Monday, 25 November 2013

This week's playlist

Walter Trout - "Blues For The Modern Daze"
Frank Frost - "My Back Scratcher"
Geno Washington - "Dust My Broom"
John Earl walker - "Earl's Boogie"
BUCK69 - "Hard Times"
J. Edwards - "Eatin' At Lulu's"
The Jake Leg Jug Band - "Alabama Blues"
Chris Grimes - "Broke And Hungry"
Eliza Neals - "ESP"
Billy 'The Kid' Emmerson - "When It Rains, It Really Pours"
58 Deluxe - "Evil"
Narvel Felts - "My Babe"
JP Blues - "Make Room At The Table"
JP Blues - "Keep On Walkin"
Spin Doctors - "Ben's Looking Out The Window Blues"
Zydeco Party Band - "Earthquake And Hurricane"
Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings - "Rollin' And Stumblin'"
Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers - "Fives And Ones"
Sonny Burgess - "Red Headed Woman"
The Sean Chambers Band - "Choo Choo Mama"

Featured Artist: Sun Records

Sun Records
Sun Records is a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee, starting operations on March 27, 1952.
Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was known for giving notable musicians such as Elvis Presley (whose recording contract was sold to RCA Victor Records for $35,000 in 1955 to relieve financial difficulties Phillips' Sun was going through), Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash their first recording contracts and helping to launch their careers. Before those days Sun Records had mainly been noted for recording African-American artists, as Phillips loved Rhythm and Blues and wanted to get black music recorded for a white audience. It was Sun record producer and engineer, Jack Clement, who discovered and recorded Jerry Lee Lewis, while owner Sam Phillips was away on a trip to Florida. The original Sun Records logo was designed by John Gale Parker, Jr., a resident of Memphis and high school classmate of Phillips
Sun was founded with the financial aid of Jim Bulliet, one of many record executives for whom Sam had scouted artists before 1952.
The music of many Sun Records musicians helped lay part of the foundation of late 20th century rock and roll, plus it influenced many younger musicians, particularly The Beatles. In 2001, Paul McCartney appeared on a tribute compilation album titled Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records. The 2010 tribute “Million Dollar Quartet” is based on the famous photograph of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis grouped round Elvis Presley at the piano, the night when the four joined in an impromptu jam at Sun Record's one-room sound studio, the “Million Dollar Quartet” of 4 December 1956.
In 1969, Mercury Records label producer Shelby Singleton purchased the Sun label from Phillips. Singleton merged his operations into Sun International Corporation, which re-released and re-packaged compilations of Sun's early artists in the early 1970s. It would later introduce rockabilly tribute singer Jimmy “Orion” Ellis in 1980 as Orion taking on the persona of Elvis Presley.
The company remains in business today as Sun Entertainment Corporation, which currently licenses its brand and classic hit recordings (many of which have appeared in CD boxed sets and other compilations) to independent reissue labels. Sun Entertainment also includes SSS International Records, Plantation Records, Amazon Records, Red Bird Records, Blue Cat Records among other labels the company acquired over the years. Its website sells collectible items as well as compact discs bearing the original 1950s Sun logo.

Monday, 18 November 2013

This week's playlist

John Lee Hooker - "Dimples"
Otis Spann - "My Home In The Delta"
Connie Lush and Blues Shouter - "Feeling Good"
Gary Clark Jr. - "Bright Lights"
Memphis Minnie - "Doctor Doctor Blues"
Bobbie Leecan and his Need More Band - "Washboard Cut Out"
Maria Muldaur with Eric and Suzy Thompson - "In My Girlish Days"
Ike and Tina Turner - "It Sho Ain't Me"
Otis Spann - "The Hard Way"
Bessie Smith - "Down Hearted Blues"
Otis Spann - "Worried Life Blues"
Ry Cooder - "Going To Browsnville"
Rory Block - "Ramblin' On My Mind"
The Rolling Stones - "Little Red Rooster"
Otis Spann - "Country Boy"
Deborah Magone - "It's All About Money"
Deborah Magone - "Queen Bee"

Featured Artist: Otis Spann

Otis Spann
 (March 21, 1930 – April 24, 1970)
An integral member of the nonpareil Muddy Waters band of the 1950s and '60s, pianist Otis Spann took his sweet time in launching a full-fledged solo career. But his own discography is a satisfying one nonetheless, offering ample proof as to why so many aficionados considered him then and now Chicago's leading post-war blues pianist. Spann played on most of Waters' classic Chess waxings between 1953 and 1969, his rippling 88s providing the drive on Waters' seminal 1960 live version of "Got My Mojo Working" (cut at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival, where Spann dazzled the assembled throng with some sensational storming boogies).
The Mississippi native began playing piano by age eight, influenced by local ivories stalwart Friday Ford. At 14, he was playing in bands around Jackson, finding more inspiration in the 78s of Big Maceo, who took the young pianist under his wing once Spann migrated to Chicago in 1946 or 1947.
Spann gigged on his own and with guitarist Morris Pejoe before hooking up with Waters in 1952. His first Chess date behind the Chicago icon the next year produced "Blow Wind Blow." Subsequent Waters classics sporting Spann's ivories include "Hoochie Coochie Man," "I'm Ready," and "Just Make Love to Me."
Strangely, Chess somehow failed to recognize Spann's vocal abilities. His own Chess output was limited to a 1954 single, "It Must Have Been the Devil," that featured B.B. King on guitar, and sessions in 1956 and 1963 that remained in the can for decades. So Spann looked elsewhere, waxing a stunning album for Candid with guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood in 1960, a largely solo outing for Storyville in 1963 that was cut in Copenhagen, a set for British Decca the following year that found him in the company of Waters and Eric Clapton, and a 1964 LP for Prestige where Spann shared vocal duties with bandmate James Cotton. Testament and Vanguard both recorded Spann as a leader in 1965.
“The Blues Is Where It's At”, Spann's enduring 1966 album for ABC-Bluesway, sounded like a live recording but was actually a studio date enlivened by a gaggle of enthusiastic onlookers who applauded every song (Waters, guitarist Sammy Lawhorn, and George 'Harmonica' Smith were among the support crew on the date). A Bluesway encore, The Bottom Of The Blues, followed in 1967 and featured Otis' wife, Lucille Spann, helping out on vocals.
Spann's last few years with Muddy Waters were memorable for their collaboration on the Chess set Fathers and Sons, but the pianist was clearly ready to launch a solo career, recording a set for Blue Horizon with British blues-rockers Fleetwood Mac that produced Spann's laid-back "Hungry Country Girl." He finally turned the piano chair in the Waters band over to Pinetop Perkins in 1969, but fate didn't grant Spann long to achieve solo stardom. He was stricken with cancer and died in April of 1970.

Monday, 11 November 2013

This week's playlist

Hobart Smith - "Soldier, Soldier"
T-Bone Walker - "Play On Little Girl"
Sean Pinchin - "Broke Down Automobile"
Sean Pinchin - "High Heel Shoes"
Steve Martin - "Daddy Played The Banjo"
Jimmie Rodgers and The Louisville Jug Band - "My Good Gal's Gone Blues"
Bo Diddley - "Mona (I Need You Baby)"
T-Bone Walker - "Strollin' With Bones"
John Oates Band - "Deep River"
Walter Trout - "Deeper Side Of Blue"
T-Bone Walker - "I'm Still In Love With You"
Roomful Of Blues - "Dressed Up To Get Messed Up"
Skip James - "Devil Got My Woman"
Vargas Blues Band - "Rolling In Trance"
Jack Derwin - "Bone House Blues"
Bob Cheever - "North Of Baton Rouge"
Camille! - "Desperate"
Rattlin Bone - "Rain On My Footsteps"
The Some X 6 Band - "Curveball"
T-Bone Walker - "Get These Blues Off Me"
The Mustangs - "Didn't I Say"

Featured Artist: T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker
(May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975)

Modern electric blues guitar can be traced directly back to this Texas-born pioneer, who began amplifying his sumptuous lead lines for public consumption circa 1940 and thus initiated a revolution so total that its tremors are still being felt today.
Few major postwar blues guitarists come to mind that don't owe T-Bone Walker an unpayable debt of gratitude. B.B. King has long cited him as a primary influence, marveling at Walker's penchant for holding the body of his guitar outward while he played it. Gatemouth Brown, Pee Wee Crayton, Goree Carter, Pete Mayes, and a wealth of other prominent Texas-bred axemen came stylistically right out of Walker during the late '40s and early '50s. Walker's nephew, guitarist R.S. Rankin, went so far as to bill himself as T-Bone Walker, Jr. for a 1962 single on Dot, "Midnight Bells Are Ringing" (with his uncle's complete blessing, of course; the two had worked up a father-and-son-type act long before that).
Aaron Thibeault Walker was a product of the primordial Dallas blues scene. His stepfather, Marco Washington, stroked the bass fiddle with the Dallas String Band and T-Bone followed his stepdad's example by learning the rudiments of every stringed instrument he could lay his talented hands on. One notable visitor to the band's jam sessions was the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson. During the early '20s, Walker led the sightless guitarist from bar to bar as the older man played for tips.
In 1929, Walker made his recording debut with a single 78 for Columbia, "Wichita Falls Blues"/"Trinity River Blues," billed as Oak Cliff T-Bone. Pianist Douglas Fernell was his musical partner for the disc. Walker was exposed to some pretty outstanding guitar talent during his formative years; besides Jefferson, Charlie Christian - who would totally transform the role of the guitar in jazz with his electrified riffs much as Walker would with blues, was one of his playing partners circa 1933.
T-Bone Walker split the Southwest for Los Angeles during the mid-'30s, earning his keep with saxophonist Big Jim Wynn's band with his feet rather than his hands as a dancer. Popular bandleader Les Hite hired Walker as his vocalist in 1939. Walker sang "T-Bone Blues"with the Hite aggregation for Varsity Records in 1940, but didn't play guitar on the outing. It was about then, though, that his fascination with electrifying his axe bore fruit; he played L.A. clubs with his daring new toy after assembling his own combo, engaging in acrobatic stage moves -- splits, playing behind his back -- to further enliven his show.
Capitol Records was a fledgling Hollywood concern in 1942, when Walker signed on and cut "Mean Old World" and "I Got a Break Baby" with boogie master Freddie Slack hammering the 88s. This was the first sign of the T-Bone Walker that blues guitar aficionados know and love, his fluid, elegant riffs and mellow, burnished vocals setting a standard that all future blues guitarists would measure themselves by.
Chicago's Rhumboogie Club served as Walker's home away from home during a good portion of the war years. He even cut a few sides for the joint's house label in 1945 under the direction of pianist Marl Young. But after a solitary session that same year for Old Swingmaster that soon made its way on to another newly established logo, Mercury, Walker signed with L.A.-based Black & White Records in 1946 and proceeded to amass a stunning legacy.
The immortal "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)" was the product of a 1947 Black & White date with Teddy Buckner on trumpet and invaluable pianist Lloyd Glenn in the backing quintet. Many of Walker's best sides were smoky after-hours blues, though an occasional up-tempo entry -- "T-Bone Jumps Again," a storming instrumental from the same date, for example -- illustrated his nimble dexterity at faster speeds.
Walker recorded prolifically for Black & White until the close of 1947, waxing classics like the often-covered "T-Bone Shuffle" and "West Side Baby," though many of the sides came out on Capitol after the demise of Black & White. In 1950, Walker turned up on Imperial. His first date for the L.A. indie elicited the after-hours gem "Glamour Girl" and perhaps the penultimate jumping instrumental in his repertoire, "Strollin' With Bones" (Snake Sims' drum kit cracks like a whip behind Walker's impeccable licks).
Walker's 1950-54 Imperial stint was studded with more classics: "The Hustle Is On," "Cold Cold Feeling," "Blue Mood," "Vida Lee" (named for his wife), "Party Girl," and, from a 1952 New Orleans jaunt, "Railroad Station Blues," which was produced by Dave Bartholomew. Atlantic was T-Bone Walker's next stop in 1955; his first date for them was an unlikely but successful collaboration with a crew of Chicago mainstays (harpist Junior Wells, guitarist Jimmy Rogers, and bassist Ransom Knowling among them). Rogers found the experience especially useful; he later adapted Walker's "Why Not" as his own Chess hit "Walking by Myself." With a slightly more sympathetic L.A. band in staunch support, Walker cut two follow-up sessions for Atlantic in 1956-57. The latter date produced some amazing instrumentals ("Two Bones and a Pick," "Blues Rock," "Shufflin' the Blues") that saw him dueling it out with his nephew, jazzman Barney Kessel ( Walker emerged victorious in every case).
Unfortunately, the remainder of Walker's discography isn't of the same sterling quality for the most part. As it had with so many of his peers from the postwar R&B era, rock's rise had made Walker's classy style an anachronism (at least during much of the 1960s). He journeyed overseas on the first American Folk Blues Festival in 1962, starring on the Lippmann & Rau -promoted bill across Europe with Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, and a host of other American luminaries. A 1964 45 for Modern and an obscure LP on Brunswick preceded a pair of BluesWay albums in 1967-68 that restored this seminal pioneer to American record shelves.
European tours often beckoned. A 1968 visit to Paris resulted in one of his best latter-day albums, “I Want A Little Girl”, for Black & Blue (and later issued stateside on Delmark). With expatriate tenor saxophonist Hal 'Cornbread' Singer and Chicago drummer S.P. Leary picking up Walker's jazz-tinged style brilliantly, the guitarist glided through a stellar set list. A 1970 release on Polydor, won a Grammy for the guitarist, though it doesn't rank with his best efforts. A five-song appearance on a 1973 set for Reprise, Very Rare, was also a disappointment. Persistent stomach woes and a 1974 stroke slowed Walker's career to a crawl, and he died in 1975.
No amount of written accolades can fully convey the monumental importance of what T-Bone Walker gave to the blues. He was the idiom's first true lead guitarist, and undeniably one of its very best.

Monday, 4 November 2013

This week's playlist

Cyril Davies & His R&B All Stars - "Country Line Special"
Queen Ida and Her Zydeco Band - "My Girl Josephine"
Fats Domino - "Korea Blues"
Michael Jerome Browne - "Doin' My Time"
Michael Jerome Browne - "At It Again"
Lee Rocker - "Black Cat Bone"
Clarence Williams and His Jug Band - "Chizzlin' Sam"
Eric Bibb - "Goin' Down That Road Feelin' Bad"
Mike McGuire - "Leaving New Orleans"
Queen Ida and Her Zydeco Band - "My Tu Tu"
The Howling Brothers - "Delta Queen"
The Paul Garner Band - "Never Make A Move Too Soon"
Queen Ida and Her Zydeco Band - "Hey Negress"
CC Bronson - "Why I Sing The Blues"
CC Bronson - "Thank You"
Richard Bennett - "Working Man's Blues"
Mike McGuire - "Cumberland River Blues"
Little Walter - "Last Night"
Buster Brown - "Crawling King Snake Blues"
Queen Ida and Her Zydeco Band - "Frisco Zydeco"
Charlie C - "Cat Call"

Featured Artist: Queen Ida

Ida Lewis "Queen Ida" Guillory  
(born January 15, 1929 in Lake Charles, Louisianna)
She was the first female accordion player to lead a zydeco band Queen Ida's music is an eclectic mix of R&B, Caribbean, and Cajun, though the presence of her accordion always keeps it traditional
Born Ida Lee Lewis to a musically talented family in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Queen Ida learned to play accordion from her mother after she spent a few years learning the piano. Her family moved to Beaumont, Texas, when she was ten and eight years later moved to San Francisco, California. Her first language is French, and wherever they went, took their Creole culture and music with them.
Queen Ida and her band played at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1976 and 1988, and the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1975, 1978, and 1991. In 1988, Queen Ida toured Japan, becoming the first zydeco artist to do so. She toured Africa the following year and in 1990 went to Australia and New Zealand.
On the album “Back on the Bayou” (1999), Queen Ida got together on the bayou in Louisiana with her brother, Al Rapone, for a zydeco reunion. Rapone often wrote and produced for her and formed the Bon Temps Zydeco Band, which later became Queen Ida's backup group. Doubling up on accordions with her oldest son Myrick "Freeze" Guillory, they are joined by Terry Buddingh on bass, James Santiago on guitar, Bernard Anderson on saxophone, Erik Nielsen on drums, and her youngest daughter Ledra Guillory and son Ron "The Rock" Guillory on rub board and vocals. As "Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band," the ensemble was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 23, 1985, with Paul Reubens as host.
Queen Ida also co-authored a cookbook, “Cookin' with Queen Ida” in 1990, which featured Creole recipes.
Queen Ida continued to perform live through the 2000s, and though she did not release any albums during this period, she has joined her son Myrick and his band onstage. She officially retired from playing in 2010 and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys cooking for her friends and family.