Monday, 26 August 2013

This week's playlist

Tail Dragger and Bob Corritore - "Birthday Blues"
Janiva Magness - "Make It Rain"
Michael 'Iron Man' Burks - "Storm Warning"
James Kahn - "Great Trains Of Hell"
Pete 'Snakey Jake' Johnson - "Stormy Weather"
Louisville Jug Band - "What A Lovely Thing"
Graham Bond Organisation - "Strut Around"
John Martyn - "Sugar Lump"
The Used Blues Band - "Pretty Woman"
Lonnie Johnson - "Sundown Blues"
Janiva Magness - "I Won't Cry"
Janiva Magness - "There It Is"
Janiva Magness - "Whistlin' In The Dark"
Jon Amor Blues Group - "Sweetheart"
Pam Taylor Band - "All I Got Left"
Beale Street Sheiks - "Beale Street Bound"
The Tom Gee Band - "Better Things To Do"
Little Willie John - "Talk To Me"

Featured Artist: Janiva Magness

Janiva Magness  
(born January 30, 1957)
Magness was born in Detroit, Michigan, but suffered the tragedy of losing both of her parents to suicide before she reached her mid-teens. Placed in a series of a dozen foster homes, Magness was pregnant at the age of 17, and gave her baby daughter up for adoption.
Having been initially inspired by the music in her father's record collection, an underage Magness attended an Otis Rush concert in Minneapolis that changed her outlook. Magness lated recalled, "Otis played as if his life depended on it. There was a completely desperate, absolute intensity. I knew, whatever it was, I needed more of it." Studying to become an engineer, she worked in a recording studio in Saint Paul, Minnesota, when she was coerced into doing some backing singing. Her work, which included backing Kid Ramos and R. L. Burnside led her to Phoenix, Arizona and in forming her own band, the Mojomatics. They enjoyed local success before Magness relocated in 1986 to Los Angeles.
Her first album It Takes One to Know One, was released in 1997. In 1999, Magness starred in a stage production of “It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues”, at the David Geffen Theater in Westwood, California
Three independent releases followed before Magness was signed to a recording contract by Northern Blues Music. They released “Bury Him at the Crossroads” (2004) and “Do I Move You?” (2006). Both albums were co-produced by Magness and Colin Linden, with the former earning them a Canadian Maple Blues Award for Producers Of The Year. “Do I Move You?” reached number 8 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart.
In 2008, Magness signed with Alligator Records releasing “What Love Will Do”. The Chicago Sun-Times stated, "Her songs run the gamut of emotions from sorrow to joy. A master of the lowdown blues who is equally at ease surrounded by funk or soul sounds, Magness invigorates every song with a brutal honesty." She toured widely incorporating Canada, Europe as well as across the United States.
The equally critically acclaimed effort, “The Devil Is an Angel Too”, appeared in 2010, and “Stronger for It” in 2012. The latter included some of her own songs, the first album to do so since her debut effort in 1997.
In 2013, Magness was nominated in five categories for more Blues Music awards.

Monday, 19 August 2013

This week's playlist

Imelda May - "Smotherin' Me"
The Mills Brothers - "Goodbye Blues"
Sleepy John Estes - "Someday Baby Blues"
Fleetwood Mac - "Something Inside Of Me"
Flying Suacers Gumbo Special - "Crawfish Groove"
The Fabulous Thunderbirds - "She's Tuff"
Memphis Jug Band - "Stealin' Stealin'"
Billy D. and The Hoodoos - "Somewhere In The Middle Of The Blues"
Maria Muldaur and Alvin Youngblood Hart - "Soulful Dress"
Blind Lemon Jefferson - "Southern Woman Blues"
The Mills Brothers - "I Heard"
Johnny Guitar Watson - "Space Guitar"
Howlin' Wolf - "Spoonful"
The Mills Brothers - "Lazybones"
The Idle Hands - "Dirty Old Rag"
The Cash Box Kings - "Trying Really Hard (To Get Along With You)"
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils - "Standing On The Rock"
Blind Willie McTell - "Statesboro Blues"
Little G Weevil - "Back Porch"
The Reclamators - "Steamroller Blues"
Bearfoot Bluegrass - "Deep River Blues"
Pat Travers - "Steppin' Out"
Giles Robson and The Dirty Aces - "Stick To The Promise"
The Mills Brothers - "Limehouse Blues"
Danny Overbea - "Stomp And Whistle"

Featured Artist: The Mills Brothers

The Mills Brothers

An astonishing vocal group that grew into one of the longest-lasting oldies acts in American popular music, The Mills Brothers quickly moved from novelty wonders to pop successes and continued amazing audiences for decades. Originally billed as "Four Boys and a Guitar," the group's early records came complete with a note assuring listeners that the only musical instrument they were hearing was a guitar. The caution was understandable, since The Mills Brothers were so proficient at re-creating trumpets, trombones, and saxophones with only their voices that early singles like "Tiger Rag" and "St. Louis Blues" sounded closer to a hot Dixieland combo than a vocal group. And even after the novelty wore off, the group's intricate harmonies continued charming audiences for decades.
The four brothers were all born in Piqua, OH -- John Jr. in 1910, Herbert in 1912, Harry in 1913, and Donald in 1915. Their father owned a barber shop and founded a barbershop quartet as well, called the Four Kings of Harmony. His sons obviously learned their close harmonies first-hand, and began performing around the area. At one show, Harry Mills forgot his kazoo -- the group's usual accompaniment -- and ended up trying to emulate the instrument by cupping his hand over his mouth. The brothers were surprised to hear the sound of a trumpet proceeding from Harry's mouth, so they began to work the novelty into their act, with John taking tuba, Donald trombone, and Herbert a second trumpet. The act was perfect for vaudeville, and The Mills Brothers also began broadcasting over a Cincinnati radio station during the late '20s.
After moving to New York, the group became a sensation and hit it big during 1931 and early 1932 with the singles "Tiger Rag" and "Dinah" (the latter a duet with Bing Crosby). Dumbfounded listeners hardly believed the notice accompanying the records: "No musical instruments or mechanical devices used on this recording other than one guitar." Though the primitive audio of the era lent them a bit of latitude, The Mills Brothers indeed sounded exactly like they'd been backed by a small studio band. (It was, in essence, the flipside of early material by Duke Ellington's Orchestra, on which the plunger mutes of Bubber Miley and Tricky Sam Nanton resulted in horns sounding exactly like voices.)
The exposure continued during 1932, with appearances in the film The Big Broadcast and more hits including "St. Louis Blues" and "Bugle Call Rag." John Jr.'s sudden death in 1936 was a huge blow to the group, but father John, Sr. took over as bass singer and Bernard Addison became the group's guitarist. Still, the novelty appeared to wear off by the late '30s; despite duets with Ella Fitzgerald ("Dedicated to You") and Louis Armstrong ("Darling Nelly Gray"), The Mills Brothers' records weren't performing as well as they had earlier in the decade. All that changed in 1943 with the release of "Paper Doll," a sweet, intimate ballad that became one of the biggest hits of the decade -- 12 weeks on the top of the charts, and six million records sold (plus sheet music). The group made appearances in several movies during the early '40s, and hit number one again in 1944 with "You'll Always Hurt the One You Love."
The influence of middle of the road pop slowly crept into their material from the '40s; by the end of the decade, The Mills Brothers began recording with traditional orchestras (usually conducted by Sy Oliver, Hal McIntyre or Sonny Burke). In 1952, "The Glow Worm" became their last number one hit. The group soldiered on during the '50s, though John, Sr. semi-permanently retired from the group in 1956. A move from Decca to Dot brought a moderate 1958 hit, a cover of The Silhouettes' "Get a Job" that made explicit the considerable influence on doo wop exerted by early Mills Brothers records. As a trio, Herbert, Harry and Donald continued performing on the oldies circuit until Harry's death in 1982, and Herbert's in 1988. The last surviving sibling, Donald, began performing with the third generation of the family -- his son, John II -- until his own death in 1999
Artist biography by John Bush

Monday, 12 August 2013

This week's playlist

Ma Rainey - "Screech Owl Blues"
Bonnie Raitt - "Mighty Tight Woman"
The John Pippus Band - "Two Hearts On The Run"
Shameless Rob Band - "Whiskey River Blues"
The Mosstins - "Blues, Stay Away From Me"
Detroit Memphis Experience - "Let's Straighten It Out"
Mississippi Sheiks - "She's Crazy 'Bout Her Lovin'"
Chuck Berry - "Tulane"
Geno Washington - "Seven Eleven"
Bonnie Raitt - "Big Road"
Fleetwood Mac - "Shake Your Money Maker"
Kara Grainger - "C'Mon In My Kitchen"
Bonnie Raitt - "Walking Blues"
Etta James - "W-O-M-A-N"
B.B. King (with Katie Webster) - "Since I Met You Baby"
Taj Mahal and James Cotton - "Honky Tonk Woman"
The Yardbirds - "Train Kept A-Rolling"
Blind Willie McTell - "Mr. McTell Got The Blues"
Hugh Laurie - "Six Cold Feet"
Hawkwind - "Bring It On Home"
The Some X 6 Band - "Look Again"
Bonnie Raitt - "You Told Me Baby"
Robert Cray, Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland - "Sleeping In The Ground"

Featured Artist: Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Lynn Raitt 
(born November 8, 1949)
Long a critic's darling, singer/guitarist Bonnie Raitt did not begin to win the comparable commercial success due her until the release of the aptly titled 1989 blockbuster “Nick Of Time”; her tenth album, it rocketed her into the mainstream consciousness nearly two decades after she first committed her unique blend of blues, rock, and R&B to vinyl.
Born in Burbank, CA, on November 8, 1949, she was the daughter of Broadway star John Raitt, best known for his starring performances in such smashes as Carousel and Pajama Game. After picking up the guitar at the age of 12, Raitt felt an immediate affinity for the blues, and although she went off to attend Radcliffe in 1967, within two years she had dropped out to begin playing the Boston folk and blues club circuit.
Signing with noted blues manager Dick Waterman, she was soon performing alongside the likes of idols including Howlin' Wolf, Sippie Wallace, and Mississippi Fred McDowelln and in time earned such a strong reputation that she was signed to Warner Bros.
Debuting in 1971 with an eponymously titled effort, Raitt immediately emerged as a critical favorite, applauded not only for her soulful vocals and thoughtful song selection but also for her guitar prowess, turning heads as one of the few women to play bottleneck. Her 1972 follow-up, “Give It Up”, made better use of her eclectic tastes, featuring material by contemporaries like Jackson Browne and Eric Kaz, in addition to a number of R&B chestnuts and even three Raitt originals.

1973's “Takin' My Time” was much acclaimed, and throughout the middle of the decade she released an LP annually, returning with “Streetlights” in 1974 and “Home Plate” a year later. With 1977's “Sweet Forgiveness”, Raitt scored her first significant pop airplay with her hit cover of the Del Shannon classic "Runaway"; its follow-up, 1979's “The Glow”, appeared around the same time as a massive all-star anti-nuclear concert at Madison Square Garden mounted by MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy), an organization she'd co-founded earlier.
Throughout her career, Raitt remained a committed activist, playing hundreds of benefit concerts and working tirelessly on behalf of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. By the early '80s, however, her own career was in trouble – 1982's “Green Light”, while greeted with the usual good reviews, again failed to break her to a wide audience, and while beginning work on the follow-up, Warner unceremoniously dropped her. By this time, Raitt was also battling drug and alcohol problems as well; she worked on a few tracks with Prince, but their schedules never aligned and the material went unreleased. Instead, she finally released the patchwork “Nine Lives” in 1986, her worst-selling effort since her debut.
Many had written Raitt off when she teamed with producer Don Was and recorded “Nick Of Time”; seemingly out of the blue, the LP won a handful of Grammys, including Album of the Year, and overnight she was a superstar.
1991's “Luck Of The Draw” was also a smash, yielding the hits "Something to Talk About" and "I Can't Make You Love Me." After 1994's “Longing In Their Hearts”, Raitt resurfaced in 1998 with “Fundamental”.
"Silver Lining” appeared in 2002, followed by “Souls Alike” in 2005, both on Capitol Records. A year later, a bootleg-feel live set, “Bonnie Raitt and Friends”, was released, featuring guest appearances from Norah Jones and Ben Harper, among others.
Raitt stepped back from the life of a professional musician over the next few years as she dealt with the passing of her parents, her brother, and her best friend. The break from recording and touring was redemptive for Raitt in many ways, and she returned focused and renewed in 2012 with her first studio album in seven years, “Slipstream”, released on her own new Redwing label imprint.

Monday, 5 August 2013

This week's playlist

Delmark Goldfarb - "Portable Man"
RB Stone - "Texas Drunk Tank Blues"
Ike Turner - "Prancin'"
Ten Years After - "Two Time Mama"
Otis Spann - "Pretty Girls Everywhere"
Nicole Hart and Anni Piper - "Ain't Nobody Watchin'"
Buckwheat Zydeco - "When The Levee Breaks"
Birmingham Jug Band - "The Wild Cat Squawl"
Ivory Joe Hunter - "Pretty Mama Blues"
Canned Heat - "Project Blues"
RB Stone - "She's Too Hot To Handle"
Deborah Magone - "Queen Bee"
Pete 'Snakey Jake' Johnson - "Railroad Man"
Charlie Musselwhite - "Ramblers Blues"
Steve Cropper - "Right Around The Corner" (featuring Delbert McClinton)
Flying Saucer Gumbo Special - "New Orleans"
Wily Bo Walker - "I Want To Know"
Elvis Presley - "Reconsider Baby"
RB Stone - "Long Gone Lonesome Blues"
RB Stone - "Loosen Up"
Chris Rea - "Renaissance Man"
Mississippi John Hurt - "Richland Woman Blues"

Featured Artist: RB Stone

RB has a very interesting life story. RB is a genuine & gracious man who has made music for 30 years.
RB Stone’s parents were huge music lovers; his father, a blues/boogie, rock ‘n’ roller and his mother, a fan of Tennessee Ernie Ford, Janis Joplin, Herb Alpert, Johnny Cash, Sly and the Family Stone, Elvis and the wide variety of hits from the 60’s. At 12, his mother showed him some chords on the piano and Bill Withers’ hit “Lean On Me” was the first song he learned, which started the ball rolling in his long blues/boogie composing career.
Eighteen and just out of high school, music was still a dream that seemed to belong to others, so he hired on with the railroad traveling the Midwest with a 90-man rail gang four days a week. After two years he accepted an offer as an assistant manager at a plumbing, electric and heating store in Ohio, rose to the level of manager and accumulated a house, two cars, two trucks, and two motorcycles.
Restless at 23 RB sold everything but a truck, some harps and a guitar and headed to Colorado to be a cowboy and play music. There he met a horse trainer and lived on an Indian Reservation in Ignacio where he slept in a barn learning horses by day and teaching himself guitar at night. A few months later he got good enough at both and started getting hired by local outfitters to run back-country horse packing, wrangle horses and entertain the guests around the campfire.
Since those early beginnings, RB’s life and career have taken many twists, turns, bumps and bruises accompanied by significant accomplishments. Independent and flying under the radar he has 15 albums under his belt, toured 32 countries & 5 continents, sold over 40,000 albums most of them at his shows. He has a song catalog with Gwen Gordy of the Motown Dynasty at EMI. He’s had principal roles in national commercials, appeared in national music videos and his songs have been recorded by artists such as The Marshall Tucker Band. RB has worked with many major acts from Jazz Greats Hiroshima to The Charlie Daniels Band, has a 14 piece Roots Music Production Show featuring his songs, a Billboard Magazine Songwriting award, to name just a few of his achievements.