Monday, 24 February 2014

This week's playlist

Ma Rainey - "See See Rider"
Taj Mahal - "Leaving Trunk"
Blowin' Smoke Rhythm And Blues Band - "Turtle Blues"
James Tumston - "Beer And Cheap Wine"
Roundhouse Jug Four - "Short Legs Shuffle"
Dani - "Old Brown Shoe"
Fats Domino - "Careless Love"
Taj Mahal - "Stagger Lee"
Howlin' Wolf - "Sitting On Top Of The World"
Taj Mahal - "Going Up To The Country"
Blowin' Smoke Rhythm And Blues Band - "Built For Comfort"
Sun King - "Late Night Phone Call"
Joe Marson and The Satisfied Minds - "Someday Soon"
Dr. Feelgood - "Lights Out"
Patrick Sassone - "Big Old Dinosaur"
Imelda May - "Smotherin' Me"
Taj Mahal - "Frankie And Albert"
The Mills Brothers - "You Rascal, You"

Featured Artist: Taj Mahal

Henry Saint Clair Fredericks
(born May 17, 1942)
Taj Mahal was born Henry St. Clair Fredericks in New York on May 17, 1942. His parents -- his father a jazz pianist/composer/arranger of Jamaican descent, his mother a schoolteacher from South Carolina who sang gospel -- moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, when he was quite young, and while growing up there, he often listened to music from around the world on his father's short-wave radio. He particularly loved the blues - both acoustic and electric - and early rock & rollers like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. While studying agriculture and animal husbandry at the University of Massachusetts, he adopted the musical alias Taj Mahalm (an idea that came to him in a dream) and formed Taj Mahal & The Elektras, who played around the area during the early '60s. After graduating, Mahal moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and, after making his name on the local folk-blues scene, formed The Rising Sons with guitarist Ry Cooder. The group signed to Columbia and released one single, but the label didn't quite know what to make of their forward-looking blend of Americana, which anticipated a number of roots rock fusions that would take shape in the next few years; as such, the album they recorded sat on the shelves, unreleased until 1992.
Frustrated, Mahal left the group and wound up staying with Columbia as a solo artist. His self-titled debut was released in early 1968 and its stripped-down approach to vintage blues sounds made it unlike virtually anything else on the blues scene at the time. It came to be regarded as a classic of the '60s blues revival, as did its follow-up, “Natch'l Blues”. The half-electric, half-acoustic double-LP set “Giant Step” followed in 1969, and taken together, those three records built Mahal's reputation as an authentic yet unique modern-day bluesman, gaining wide exposure and leading to collaborations or tours with a wide variety of prominent rockers and bluesmen. During the early '70s, Mahal's musical adventurousness began to take hold; 1971's “Happy Just To Be Like I Am” heralded his fascination with Caribbean rhythms and the following year's double-live set, “The Real Thing”, added a New Orleans-flavored tuba section to several tunes. In 1973, Mahal branched out into movie soundtrack work with his compositions for Sounder, and the following year he recorded his most reggae-heavy outing, “Mo' Roots”.
Mahal continued to record for Columbia through 1976, upon which point he switched to Warner Bros.; he recorded three albums for that label, all in 1977 (including a soundtrack for the film 'Brothers'). Changing musical climates, however, were decreasing interest in Mahal's work and he spent much of the '80s off record, eventually moving to Hawaii to immerse himself in another musical tradition. Mahal returned in 1987 with “Taj”, an album issued by Gramavision that explored this new interest; the following year, he inaugurated a string of successful, well-received children's albums with “Shake Sugaree”. The next few years brought a variety of side projects, including a musical score for the lost Langston Hughes/Zora Neale Hurston play 'Mule Bone' that earned Mahal a Grammy nomination in 1991.
The same year marked Mahal's full-fledged return to regular recording and touring, kicked off with the first of a series of well-received albums on the Private Music label, “Like Never Before”. Follow-ups, such as “Dancing The Blues” (1993) and “Phantom Blues” (1996), drifted into more rock, pop, and R&B-flavored territory; in 1997, Mahal won a Grammy for “Senor Blues”. Meanwhile, he undertook a number of small-label side projects that constituted some of his most ambitious forays into world music. Released in 1995, “Mumtaz Mahal” teamed him with classical Indian musicians; 1998's “Sacred Islands” was recorded with his new Hula Blues Band, exploring Hawaiian music in greater depth; 1999's “Kulanjan” was a duo performance with Malian kora player Toumani Diabate. “Maestro” appeared in 2008, boasting an array of all-star guests: Diabate, Angelique Kidjo, Ziggy Marley, Los Lobos, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.

Monday Morning Blues 24/02/14 (1st hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday Morning Blues 24/02/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday, 17 February 2014

This Week's playlist

58 Deluxe - "Red House"
Reverend Gary Davis - "Devil's Dream"
Steve Cropper (featuring Delbert McClinton) - "Right Around The Corner"
Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band - "Spike Driver Blues"
Rick Fowler - "Skeletons In Your Closet"
King David's Jug Band - "Rising Sun Blues"
John Lyons - "Bluestar Highway"
Jack Derwin - "Bone House Blues"
Reverend Gary Davis - "The Boy Was Kissing The Girl (And Playing The Guitar The Same Time)"
Hambone Willie Newbern - "Rock And Tumble Blues"
Curtis Jones - "Roll Me Over"
Reverend Gary Davis - "Mister Jim (Walking Dog Blues)"
Layla McCalla - "When I Can See The Valley"
Bob Dylan - "Rollin' And Tumblin'"
Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials - "My Chains Are Gone"
Chris Rea - "My Baby Told Me"
Christian Maucery - "Rattle Snake"
Sandi Thom - "Save Some Mercy For Me"
Reverend Gary Davis - "Can't Be Satisfied"
Charlie Patton - "Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues"

Featured Artist: Reverend Gary Davis

Reverend Gary Davis, also Blind Gary Davis 
(April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972)
Gary Davis was born in Laurens, South Carolina, and was the only one of eight children his mother bore who survived to adulthood. He became blind as an infant. Davis reported that his father was killed in Birmingham, Alabama, when Davis was ten, and Davis later said that he had been told that his father had been shot by the Birmingham High Sheriff. He recalled being poorly treated by his mother and that before his death his father had given him into the care of his paternal grandmother.
In his prime of life, which is to say the late '20s, the Reverend Gary Davis was one of the two most renowned practitioners of the East Coast school of ragtime guitar; 35 years later, despite two decades spent playing on the streets of Harlem in New York, he was still one of the giants in his field, playing before thousands of people at a time, and an inspiration to dozens of modern guitarist/singers including Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Donovan and Ry Cooder,who studied with Davis.
Davis was partially blind at birth, and lost what little sight he had before he was an adult. He was self-taught on the guitar, beginning at age six, and by the time he was in his 20s he had one of the most advanced guitar techniques of anyone in blues; his only peers among ragtime-based players were Blind Arthur Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie Johnson. Davis himself was a major influence on Blind Boy Fuller.
Davis' influences included gospel, marches, ragtime, jazz, and minstrel hokum, and he integrated them into a style that was his own. In 1911, when Davis was a still teenager, the family moved to Greenville, SC, and he fell under the influence of such local guitar virtuosi as Willie Walker, Sam Brooks, and Baby Brooks. Davis moved to Durham in the mid-'20s, by which time he was a full-time street musician. He was celebrated not only for the diversity of styles that his playing embraced, but also for his skills with the guitar, which were already virtually unmatched in the blues field.
Davis went into the recording studio for the first time in the '30s with the backing of a local businessman. Davis cut a mixture of blues and spirituals for the American Record Company label, but there was never an equitable agreement about payment for the recordings, and following these sessions, it was 19 years before he entered the studio again. During that period, he went through many changes. Like many other street buskers, Davis always interspersed gospel songs amid his blues and ragtime numbers, to make it harder for the police to interrupt him. He began taking the gospel material more seriously, and in 1937 he became an ordained minister. After that, he usually refused to perform any blues.
Davis moved to New York in the early '40s and began preaching and playing on street corners in Harlem. He recorded again at the end of the 1940s, with a pair of gospel songs, but it wasn't until the mid-'50s that a real following for his work began developing anew. His music, all of it now of a spiritual nature, began showing up on labels such as Stinson, Folkways, and Riverside, where he recorded seven songs in early 1956. Davis was "rediscovered" by the folk revival movement, and after some initial reticence, he agreed to perform as part of the budding folk music revival, appearing at the Newport Folk Festival, where his raspy voiced sung sermons; most notably his transcendent "Samson and Delilah (If I Had My Way)" - a song most closely associated with Blind Willie Johnson - and "Twelve Gates to the City," which were highlights of the proceedings for several years. He also recorded a live album for the Vanguard label at one such concert, as well as appearing on several Newport live anthology collections. He was also the subject of two television documentaries, one in 1967 and one in 1970.
Davis died in May 1972, from a heart attack in Hammonton, New Jersey. He is buried in plot 68 of Rockville Cemetery in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York.

Monday Morning Blues 17/02/14 (1st hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday Morning Blues 17/02/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday, 10 February 2014

This week's playlist

Pete 'Snakey Jake' Johnson - "Payday"
Jim Quick & The Coastline - "Jumpin' The Jetty"
Maria Muldaur - "The Panic Is On"
Maria Muldaur - "Blues Go Walking"
Ginger St. James - "Please Mr. Driver"
Jed Davenport & His Beale Street Jug Band - "Piccolo Blues"
Jim & Bob - "Party Spirit"
Isaiah B. Brunt - "Hear My Train A Comin'"
John Lyons - "The Blues Moved In"
Ike Turner - "Prancin'"
Robert Johnson - "Preaching Blues (Up Jumped The Devil)"
Sean Pinchin - "Coming Home"
Maria Muldaur with Dan Hicks - "Life's Too Short/ When Elephants Roost In Bamboo"
Maria Muldaur - "Rain Down Tears"
A.J. Croce - "Rollin' On"
Billy Branch And The Sons Of The Blues - "Sons Of The Blues"
Scott H. Biram - "Jack Of Diamonds"
Flying Saucers Gumbo Special - "New Orleans"
Pepe Belmonte - "Foolish"

Featured Artist: Maria Muldaur

 Maria Mudaur
Born on September 12, 1943

Best known for her seductive '70s pop staple "Midnight At The Oasis," Maria Muldaur has since become an acclaimed interpreter of just about every stripe of American roots music: blues, early jazz, gospel, folk, country, R&B, and so on. While these influences were certainly present on her more pop-oriented '70s recordings (as befitting her Greenwich Village folkie past), Muldaur came into her own as a true roots music stylist during the '90s, when she developed a particular fascination with the myriad sounds of Louisiana. On the string of well-received albums that followed, Muldaur tied her eclecticism together with the romantic sensuality that had underpinned much of her best work ever since the beginning of her career.
Maria was born Maria D'Amato on September 12, 1943, in New York. As a child, she loved country & western music and began singing it with her aunt at age five; during her teenage years, she moved on to R&B, early rock & roll, and girl group pop, and in high school formed a group in the latter style called the Cashmeres. Growing up in the Greenwich Village area, however, she naturally became fascinated with its booming early-'60s folk revival and soon began participating in jam sessions. She also moved to North Carolina for a while to study Appalachian-style fiddle with Doc atson.
Back in New York, she was invited to join the Even Dozen Jug Band, a revivalist group that included John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Stefan Grossman; they had secured a recording deal with blueswoman Victoria Spivey's label and she wanted them to add some sex appeal. The young D'Amoto got a crash course in early blues, particularly the Memphis scene that spawned many of the original jug bands, and counted Memphis Minnie as one of her chief influences.
Elektra Records bought out the Even Dozen Jug Band's contract and released their self-titled debut album in 1964; however, true to their name, the band's unwieldy size made them an expensive booking on the club and coffeehouse circuit and they soon disbanded. Many of the members went off to college and, in 1964, D'Amoto moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to another vibrant folk scene. She quickly joined The Jim Kweskin Jug Band and began an affair with singer Geoff Muldaur; the couple eventually married and had a daughter, Jenni, who would later become a singer in her own right.
When the Kweskin band broke up in 1968, the couple stayed with their label (Reprise) and began recording together as Geoff & Maria Muldaur. They moved to Woodstock, New York to take advantage of the burgeoning music scene there and issued two albums – 1970's “Pottery Pie” and 1971's “Sweet Potatoes” -- before Geoff departed in 1972 to form Better Days with Paul Butterfield a move that signaled not only the end of the couple's musical partnership, but their marriage as well.
With Maria initially unsure about her musical future, her friends encouraged her to pursue a solo career, as did Reprise president Mo Ostin. Muldaur went to Los Angeles and recorded her debut album “Maria Muldaur” in 1973, scoring a massive Top Ten pop hit with "Midnight at the Oasis." Showcasing Muldaur's playfully sultry crooning, the Middle Eastern-themed song became a pop radio staple for years to come and also made session guitarist Amos Garrett a frequent Muldaur collaborator in the future. Muldaur's next album, 1974's “Waitress In A Donut Shop”, featured a hit remake of her Even Dozen-era signature tune, "I'm a Woman." Three more Reprise albums followed over the course of the '70s, generally with the cream of the L.A. session crop, but also with increasingly diminishing results.
Around 1980, Muldaur became a born-again Christian; she recorded a live album of traditional gospel songs, “Gospel Nights”, for the smaller Takoma label in 1980, and moved into full-fledged CCM with 1982's “There Is A Love”, recorded for the Christian label Myrrh. However, this new direction did not prove permanent, and for 1983's “Sweet And Slow”, Muldaur recorded an album of jazz and blues standards (many with longtime cohort Dr. John on piano) that created exactly the mood its title suggested. Released in 1986, the jazzy Transblucency won a year-end critics' award from The New York Times. Muldaur spent the rest of the '80s touring, often with Dr. John, and also began acting in musicals, appearing in productions of Pump Boys and Dinettes and The Pirates of Penzance. In 1990, she recorded an album of classic country songs, “On The Sunny Side”, that was specifically geared toward children; it proved a surprising success, both critically and among its intended audience.
Partly inspired by Dr. John's New Orleans obsessions, Muldaur signed to the rootsy Black Top label in 1992 and cut “Louisiana Love Call”, which established her as a versatile stylist accomplished in blues, gospel, New Orleans R&B, Memphis blues, and soul. The album won wide acclaim as one of the best works of her career, offering a more organic, stripped-down approach than her '70s pop albums, and became the best-selling record in the Black Top catalog. Her 1994 follow-up, “Meet Me At Midnight”, was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award. Muldaur next cut a jazzier outing for the Canadian roots label Stony Plain, 1995's “jazzabelle”. She subsequently signed with Telarc and returned to her previous direction, making her label debut with 1996's well-received “Fanning The Flames”. Released in 1998, “Southlands Of The Heart” was a less bluesy outing recorded in Los Angeles, arriving the same year as a second children's album, “Swinging In The Rain”, a collection of swing tunes and pop novelties from the '30s and '40s. “Meet Me Where They Play The Blues”, issued in 1999, was intended to be a collaboration with West Coast blues piano legend Charles Brown, but Brown's health problems prevented him from contributing much (just one vocal on "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You"); thus, the project became more of a tribute.
Muldaur moved back to Stony Plain for 2001's “Richland Woman Blues”, a tribute to early blues artists (particularly women) inspired by a visit to Memphis Minnie's grave. Featuring a variety of special guest instrumentalists, “Richland Woman Blues” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. The children's album “Animal Crackers In My Soup: The Songs Of Shirley Temple” appeared in 2002. The next year saw the release of “Woman Alone With The Blues”, a collection of songs associated with Peggy Lee, on Telarc Records.
“Love Wants To Dance” followed in 2004, also on Telarc. The mostly acoustic “Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul” was issued by Stony Plain in 2005, followed by “Heart Of Mine: Love Songs Of Bob Dylan” on Telarc in 2006. “Songs For The Young At Heart” was also released in 2006. The following year, the last in the set of three albums that paid tribute to female blues singers of the 1920s through 1940s, “Naughty, Bawdy And Blue” (fllowing on from “Richland Woman Blues” and “Sweet Lovin' Ol'Soul”), came out. The antiwar-themed “Yes We Can!”, which featured Muldaur singing with the Women's Voices For Peace Choir, was released in 2008. Muldaur next released another children's album, “Barnyard Dance: Jug Band Muic For Kids”, in 2010, following it with the New Orleans-flavored “Steady Love” on Stony Plain in 2011.

Monday Morning Blues 10/02/14 (1st hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday Morning Blues 10/02/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday, 3 February 2014

Featured Artist - Kim Simmonds

Kim Simmonds, born in Newbridge, Wales, in 1947, is considered a legendary blues guitarist by almost any musical standard. He has even been called one of the founding fathers of British blues by some. Besides his mastery with the guitar, he can hold his own with vocals, piano, harmonica, and even Dobro. The strength of his talent and his willingness to hang tough when weaker men would toss in the towel have carried him through more than three decades in the survive-if-you-can music business.
When still a young teenager Kim Simmonds learned to play from listening to his brother's blues records.
At the age of 19 Simmonds formed Savoy Brown in 1966. Explosive live performances eventually led to Savoy Brown signing with Decca. But it was 1969 before its classic line-up gelled around Simmonds, guitarist "Lonesome" Dave Peverett and monocle and bowler hat-wearing vocalist Chris Youlden. That year's Blue Matter and A Step Further albums conjured up at least three classics heard on The Best Of Savoy Brown: "Train To Nowhere," the live show-stopper "Louisiana Blues" (a Muddy Waters number) and "I'm Tired." Since its first US visit, Savoy Brown has criss-crossed the country, and "I'm Tired" became the group's first hit single across the ocean. The band would find a greater reception in America than in its native England throughout its career.
1970's Raw Sienna followed, featuring A Hard Way To Go and Stay While The Night Is Still Young. When Youlden then departed for a solo career, Lonesome Dave took over the lead vocals. Looking In, also in 1970, featured not only "Poor Girl" and "Money Can't Save Your Soul" but one of the era's memorable LP covers, a troglodyte-like savage staring into an eye socket of a monstrous skull. Later, Peverett, bassist Tony Stevens and drummer Roger Earl left to form the immensely successful but decidedly rock band Foghat. Simmonds soldiered on, recruiting from blues band Chicken Shackn keyboardist Paul Raymond, bassist Andy Silvester and drummer Dave Bidwell, and from the Birmingham club circuit the vocalist Dave Walker.
The new lineup was a hit. On stage in America, the group was supported by Rod Stewart and The Faces. On the album Street Corner Talking (1971) and Hellbound Train (1972) launched favorites "Tell Mama", "Street Corner Talking", a cover of the Temptations' Motown standard "I Can't Get Next To You" and the nine-minute epic "Hellbound Train" (decades later Love & Rockets adapted it as "Bound For Hell"). Walker then quit to join Fleetwood Mac, pre-Buckingham/Nicks.
In 1997, Simmonds released his first solo acoustic album, entitled Solitaire. He continues to tour worldwide with various configurations of Savoy Brown - of particular note is the 2004 live set You Should Have Been There, recorded in early 2003 in Vancouver with Simmonds himself handling lead vocals - and also as a solo acoustic act. In 2011 he celebrated 45 years of touring with the Savoy Brown album Voodoo Moon.
As leader of Savoy Brown, he has released over 50 albums. He is also a painter, and the cover of his 2008 solo release "Out of the Blue" features his original art.

Monday Morning Blues 03/02/14 (1st hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday Morning Blues 03/02/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

This week's playlist

Chuck Bery - "Oh Baby Doll"
Champion Jack Dupree - "Morning Tea"
Kim Simmonds - "Going Away"
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown - "Laura Lee"
Alexis Korner - "Night Time Is The Right Time"
Elder Richard Bryant and His Sanctified Singers - "Come Over Here"
Spin Doctors - "If The River Was Whisky"
The Blue Valentines - "Swamp"
Roscoe Chenier - "Time Is Hard"
Ry Cooder - "On A Monday"
Connie Lush - "Nobody's Fault"
Kim Simmonds - "Going Home"
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown - "Goin' To The Delta"
No Refunds Band - "One More Drink"
Nick Moss Band - "Light It Up"
Jessie Pratcher, Mattie Gardner and Mary Gardner - "Mary Mack"
Willie Dixon - "Pain In My Heart"
Sherman Robertson - "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind"