Monday, 27 August 2012

This Week's playlist

"Trouble Everywhere I Go" - David 'Honeyboy' Edwards
"World In A Jug" - Canned Heat
"Bring It With You When You Come" - Jake Leg Jug Band
"Eatin' At Lulu's" - J. Edwards
"Bucket's Got A Hole In" - Washboard Sam
"When The Sun Goes Down" - Leroy Carr
"Hot Tamales And They're Red Hot" - Jake Leg Jug Band
"Short Legs Shuffle" - The Roundhouse Jug Four
"Lights Out" - Dr. Feelgood
"Project Blues" - Canned Heat
"Once Upon A Time" - Michael Harrison
"Lady Quit Her Husband Onexpectadly" - Tub Jug And Washboard Band
"I'm So Tired" - Canned Heat
"Jake Leg Blues" - Jake Leg Jug Band
"You Don't Love Me" - Jillaine
"Hell Ain't Going Home" - Wooden Horse
"I'm A Big Girl" - Kathy Frank
"Let Me Hold You" - Gravelroad
"Blues Attack" - Guitar Mikey
"Saturday Blues" - Canned Heat
"Every Day In The Week" - The Providence Jug Band

Featured Artist: Canned Heat

Canned Heat
Hard-luck blues band of the '60s, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan Wilson and Bob Hite. They took the name from Tommy Johnson's 1928 "Canned Heat Blues", a song about an alcoholic who had desperately turned to drinking 'Sterno', generically called "canned heat". They seemed to be on the right track and played all the right festivals (including Monterey and Woodstock, making it very prominently into the documentaries about both) but somehow never found a lasting audience.
Certainly their hearts were in the right place. Canned Heat's debut album -- released shortly after their appearance at Monterey -- was every bit as deep into the roots of the blues as any other combo of the time mining similar turf, with the exception of the original Paul Butterfield band. Hite was nicknamed "The Bear" and stalked the stage in the time-honored tradition of Howlin Wolf and other large-proportioned bluesmen. Wilson was an extraordinary harmonica player, with a fat tone and great vibrato. His work on guitar, especially in open tunings (he played on Son House's rediscovery recordings of the mid-'60s, incidentally) gave the band a depth and texture that most other rhythm players could only aspire to. Henry Vestine -- another dyed-in-the-wool record collector -- was the West Coast's answer to Michael Bloomfield and capable of fretboard fireworks at a moment's notice.
Canned Heat's breakthrough moment occurred with the release of their second album, establishing them with hippie ballroom audiences as the "kings of the boogie." As a way of paying homage to the musician they got the idea from in the first place, they later collaborated on an album with John Lee Hooker that was one of the elder bluesman's most successful outings with a young white (or black, for that matter) combo backing him up. After two big chart hits with "Goin' Up the Country" and an explosive version of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together," Wilson died under mysterious (probably drug-related) circumstances in 1970, and Hite carried on with various reconstituted versions of the band until his death just before a show in 1981, from a heart seizure.
"Going Up the Country" was a remake of the Henry Thomas song "Bulldoze Blues" recorded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1927. "On the Road Again" was a cover version/re-working of the 1953 Floyd Jones song of the same name, which is reportedly based on the Tommy Johnson song "Big Road Blues" recorded in 1928.
The surviving members -- led by drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra -- continued touring and recording, recruiting new vocalist Walter Trout; he was replaced in 1985 by James Thornbury, who fronted the band for the next decade. After Thornbury exited in 1995,Canned Heat tapped Robert Lucas to assume lead vocal duties; they soon recorded “The Canned Heat Blues Band”, which sadly was Vestne's last recording with the group -- he died in Paris in October 1997 in the wake of the band's recent tour. “Boogie 2000” followed two years later.

Monday, 20 August 2012

This week's playlist

"Banjo Blues" - Todd Taylor
"I Want To Do Something For You" - Mance Lipscomb
"What Did I Do?" - Jillaine
"Just Don't Look Good Naked Any More" - Paula Harris
"Depression Blues" - Michael Packer Blues Group
"Muskrat" - Doc Watson
"What Man Have Done" - Corey Harris
"German Blues" - Birmingham Jug Band
"Done Sold Everything" - Debbie Davies
"Captain, Captain" - Mance Lipscomb
"Bring It On Home" - Led Zeppelin
"Save Some Mercy For Me" - Sandi Thom
"Texas Blues" - Mance Lipscomb
"Devil In The Wood Pile" - Noah Lewis
"Oh Papa Blues" - Ma Rainey
"Give It Up Daddy" - Kathy Frank
"Statesboro' Blues" - Blind Willie McTell
"Test Of Time" - Grainne Duffy
"When I Was A Cowboy (Western Plain)" - Jim Kweskin and The Jug Band
"Farewell" - Mance Lipscomb
"She's Tuff" - The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Featured artist: Mance Lipscomb

Mance Lipscomb
April 9th 1895 – January 30th 1976
Like Leadbelly and Mississippi John Hurt, the designation as strictly a blues singer dwarfs the musical breadth of Mance Lipscomb.
Lipscomb was born April 9, 1895 to an ex-slave father from Alabama and a half Native American (Choctaw) mother. Lipscomb spent most of his life working as a tenant farmer in Texas and was "discovered" and recorded by Mack McCormick and Chris Strachwitz in 1960 during the country blues revival.
He began playing guitar early on and played regularly for years at local gatherings, mostly what he called "Saturday Night Suppers" hosted by someone in the area. These gatherings were hosted regularly for a while by himself and his wife. The majority of his musical activity took place within what he called his "precinct", meaning the local area around Navasota, until around 1960.
His debut release was “Texas Songster” (1960). Lipscomb performed old songs like "Sugar Babe," the first song he ever learned, to pop numbers like “Shine On Harvest Moon” and “It's A Long Way To Tipperary”.
A proud, yet unboastful man, Lipscomb would point out that he was an educated musician, his ability to play everything from classic blues, ballads, pop songs to spirituals in a multitude of styles and keys being his particular mark of originality. “Trouble in Mind” was recorded in 1961, and released on a major label, Reprise.
In May 1963, Lipscomb appeared at the first Monterey Folk Festival in California.
He released many albums of blues, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley and folk music (most of them on Strachwitz' Arhoolie label), singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He had a "dead-thumb" finger-picking guitar technique, and an expressive voice. Lipscomb often honed his skills by playing in nearby Brenham, Texas, with a blind musician, Sam Rogers.
He went on to appear at numerous blues and folk festivals throughout the '60s.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not record in the early blues era, but his life is well documented thanks to his autobiography, “I Say Me for a Parable: The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman”, narrated to Glen Alyn, which was published posthumously and also a short 1971 documentary by Les Blank, “ A Well Spent Life”.
In 1974 he retired from the festival circuit and passed away on January 30, 1976 in his hometown of Navasota, Texas. He was 81.
With a wide-ranging repertoire of over 90 songs, Lipscomb may have had a belated start in recording, but left a remarkable legacy to be enjoyed.

Monday, 13 August 2012

This week's playlist

"Cakewalk Into Town" - Simon Prager
"Morning Tea" - Champion Jack Dupree
"It'll Turn You Around" - Nick Moss
"Dust Bowl" - Joe Bonamassa
"Just You Just Blues" - Charlie Musslewhite
"Renaissance Blues" - Chris Rea
"Smackin' The Sax" - Phillips Louisville Jug Band
"Wake Up Your Neighbourhood" - Barrelhouse Jukes
"All Alone Blues" - Champion Jack Dupree
"Hide Away" - Freddie King
"Muddy Water Blues (Acoustic)" - Paul Rodgers
"Mean Ole 'Frisco" - Champion Jack Dupree
"Blue Midnight" - Little Walter
"Smotherin' Me" - Imelda May
"When The Levee Breaks" - Buckwheat Zydeco
"In My Time Of Dying" - Soulstack
"Deep River" - John Oates Band
"He's Got Me Going" - Bessie Smith
"My Old Lady" - Brewers Droop with Mark Knopfler
"Up The Line" - Paul Orta and The Kingpins
"Bus Station Blues" - Champion Jack Dupree
"Don't Know Where I'm Going" - Rory Gallagher

Featured artist: Champion Jack Dupree

Champion Jack Dupree
Born: July 4th, 10th or 23rd 1908, 1909 or 1910
Died: January 21st 1992
A formidable contender in the ring before he shifted his focus to pounding the piano instead, Champion Jack Dupree often injected his lyrics with a rowdy sense of down-home humor. But there was nothing lighthearted about his rock-solid way with a boogie; when he shouted "Shake Baby Shake," the entire room had no choice but to acquiesce. Dupree was notoriously vague about his beginnings, claiming in some interviews that his parents died in a fire set by the Ku Klux Klan, at other times saying that the blaze was accidental. Whatever the circumstances of the tragic conflagration, Dupree grew up in New Orleans' Colored Waifs' Home for Boys (Louis Armstrong also spent his formative years there).
Learning his trade from barrelhouse 88's ace Willie “Drive 'em Down” Hall, Dupree left the Crescent City in 1930 for Chicago and then Detroit. By 1935, he was boxing professionally in Indianapolis, battling in an estimated 107 bouts.
In 1940, Dupree made his recording debut for Chicago A&R man extraordinaire Lester Melrose and OKeh Records. Dupree's 1940-1941 output for the Columbia subsidiary exhibited a strong New Orleans tinge despite the Chicago surroundings.
After a stretch in the Navy during World War II (he was a Japanese P.O.W. for two years), Dupree decided tickling the 88's beat pugilism any old day. He spent most of his time in New York and quickly became a prolific recording artist, cutting for Continental, Joe Davis, Alert, Apollo, and Red Robin (where he cut a blasting "Shim Sham Shimmy" in 1953), often in the company of Brownie McGhee.
Contracts meant little; Dupree masqueraded as Brother Blues on Abbey, Lightnin' Jr. on Empire, and the truly imaginative Meat Head Johnson for Gotham and Apex.
King Records corralled Dupree in 1953 and held onto him through 1955 (the year he enjoyed his only R&B chart hit, the relaxed "Walking the Blues.") Dupree's King output rates with his very best; the romping "Mail Order Woman," "Let the Doorbell Ring," and "Big Leg Emma's" contrasting with the rural "Me and My Mule" (Dupree's vocal on the latter emphasizing a harelip speech impediment for politically incorrect pseudo-comic effect).
After a year on RCA's Groove and Vik subsidiaries, Dupree made a masterpiece LP for Atlantic. 1958's “Blues From The Gutter” is a magnificent testament to Dupree's barrelhouse background, boasting marvelous readings of "Stack-O-Lee," "Junker's Blues," and "Frankie & Johnny" beside the risqué "Nasty Boogie."
Dupree was one of the first bluesmen to leave his native country for a less racially polarized European existence in 1959. He lived in a variety of countries overseas, continuing to record prolifically for Storyville, British Decca (with John Mayall and Eric Clapton lending a hand at a 1966 date), and many other firms.
Perhaps sensing his own mortality, Dupree returned to New Orleans in 1990 for his first visit in 36 years. While there, he played the Jazz & Heritage Festival and laid down a zesty album for Bullseye Blues, “Back Home In New Orleans”. Two more albums of new material were captured by the company the next year prior to the pianist's death in January of 1992.
Jack Dupree was a champ to the very end.

Monday, 6 August 2012

This week's playlist

"My Wallet" - The Some X 6 Band
"On A Monday" - Ry Cooder
"Sticky Fingers" - Irene Torres And The Sugar Devils
"On Your Way Down" - Little Feat
"Blues Got Me Again" - Charlie Musslewhite
"Caretaker" - Danny Marks
"New Minglewood Blues" - Geoff Muldaur, Jim Kweskin and John Sebastian
"Little Steve's Shuffle" - The Elmores
"13 Question Method" - Ry Cooder
"In The Wee Hours" - Chuck Berry
"Midnight Special" - Leadbelly
"The Bourgeois Blues" - Ry Cooder
"Learn How To Love You" - Tedeschi Trucks Band
"Graffiti" - Michael Powers
"Catfish Blues" - Corey Harris
"I Can't Be Satisfied" - Richard Staines and Satinder Grewal
"Blue Railroad Train" - Doc Watson
"Train Kept A-Rolling" - The Yardbirds
"I'm Drinking Again" - Ry Cooder
"Truckin' Angel Blues" - Nerak Roth Patterson

Featured Artist: Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder (Born March 14th 1947)
Cooder made his debut as a solo artist in 1970 with a self-titled album featuring songs by Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, and Woody Guthrie.
The follow-up, “Into Te Purple Valley” introduced longtime cohorts Jim Keltner on drums and Jim Dickinson on bass, and it and “Boomer's Story” largely repeated and refined the syncopated style and mood of the first.
In 1974, Cooder produced what is generally regarded as his best album, “Paradise And Lunch” and its follow-up, “Chicken Skin Music”, showcased a potent blend of Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, gospel, and soul, and featured contributions from Flaco Jimenez and Gabby Pahinui.
In 1979, “Bop Till You Drop”was the first major-label album to be recorded digitally.
In the early '80s, Cooder began to augment his solo output with soundtrack work on such films as 'Blue Collar', 'The Long Riders', and 'The Border'; he has gone on to compose music for 'Southern Comfort', 'Goin' South', 'Paris, Texas', 'Streets of Fire', 'Alamo Bay', 'Blue City', 'Crossroads', 'Cocktail', 'Johnny Handsome', 'Steel Magnolias', and 'Geronimo'.
“Music By Ry Cooder” (1995) compiled two discs' worth of highlights from Cooder's film work.
In 1992, Cooder joined Keltner, John Hiatt, and renowned British tunesmith Nick Lowe, all of whom had played on Hiatt's “Bring The Family” to form Little Village, which toured and recorded one album.
Cooder turned his attention to world music, recording the album “A Meeting By The River” with Indian musician V.M. Bhatt. Cooder's next project, a duet album with renowned African guitarist Ali Farke Toure titled “Talking Timbuktu”, won the 1994 Grammy for Best World Music Recording.
His next world crossover would become one of the most popular musical rediscoveries of the 20th century. In 1997, Cooder traveled to Cuba to produce and play with a group of son musicians who had little exposure outside of their homeland. The resulting album, Buena Vista Social Club, was a platinum-selling international success that made stars of Company Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez and earned Cooder another Grammy.
In 2005, Cooder released “Chvez Ravine”, his first solo album since 1987's “Get Rhythm”; the album was the first entry in a trilogy of recordings about the disappearance of Los Angeles' cultural history as a result of gentrification. “Chavez Ravine” was followed by “My Name Is Buddy” in 2007, and the final chapter in the saga “I, Flathead” in 2009.
In 2010, Cooder was approached by Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains to produce an album. Moloney had been obsessed with an historical account of the San Patricios, a band of immigrant Irish soldiers who deserted the American Army during the Mexican-American War in 1846 to fight for the other side, against the Manifest Destiny ideology of James Polk's America. Cooder agreed and the end result was San Patricio, which brings this fascinatingly complex tale to life.
In early 2011, Cooder was taken by a headline about bankers and other moneyed citizens who'd actually profited from the bank bailouts and resulting mortgage and economic crisis, and wrote the song "No Banker Left Behind," which became the first song on 2011's “Pull Up Some Dirt And Sit Down”, an album that reached all the way back to his earliest recordings for musical inspiration while telling topical stories about corruption (political and social) the erasure and the rewriting of American history, and an emerging class war. A month after its release, Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's fabled City Lights publishing house issued Cooder's first collection of short fiction entitled Los Angeles Stories.
He continued to follow his socio-political muse with “Election Special”, released in the summer of 2012.