29 June 2016

#543 :: Another Belly Fulla Blues With Fatt Max

The Blues Room, 29 June 2016
Episode #543

Fatt Max lays down another Belly Fulla Blues as we come to the end of the month of June. Coming up in July we have Darcy Perry presenting another Hour Of Blues Power on 6 July. On 13 July we will welcome to The Blues Room for the very first time a show by Jeff Harris called Big Road Blues which features rare and forgotten blues figures from the past; from the once popular artists who are now forgotten to the obscure artists who may have only cut a handful of 78’s or 45’s. Fatt Max will return with another Belly Fulla Blues on July 20th. And then on 27th July Nate will present another great LIVE blues recording. 

1. Solomon Burke – None Of Us Are Free
2. Eddy Clearwater - Sugar Baby
3. Artie ‘Blues Boy’White – The More You Lie To Me
4. King King – Hurricane    
5. Floyd Dixon – Moonshine
6. The Flaming Mudcats – Champagne Diamonds and a Fast Car
7. Kyla Brox – If You See Him
8. Scott H Biram – I want My Mojo Back
9. Fernest Arceneaux – I’m On My Way Back Home
10. Shane Speal’s Snake Oil Band – A Fat Man Will Love You
11. Albert King – Searching For A Woman
12. Slim Harpo – I Got The Love (If You Want It)
13. Little Milton – If You Love Me Baby
14. Howlin’ Wolf – Sitting On Top Of The World
15. Junior Wells – Messing With The Kid

22 June 2016

#542 :: LIVE BLUES RECORDING :: Walter Horton with Sugar Ray & The Bluestones feat. Ronnie Earl (1980)

The Blues Room, 22 June 2016
Episode #542

It's the fourth Wednesday of the month so its LIVE recording Wednesday. The recording I've chosen to present in this episode features one of my favorite harmonica players, Big Walter Horton. I first discovered Horton's musicial genius when I heard him backing both Johnny Shines and Johnny Young on Chicago/The Blues/Today! Vol.3. I couldn't get enough of his playing and set out to buy up everything I could of his. Incidentally, The Chicago/TheBlues/Today! Vols.1-3 series of 3 LPs is totally recommended.  

The recording you'll hear in this episode was perhaps one of the last by Horton. Here he's backed by Sugar Ray & The Bluetones featuring Ronnie Earl. I've decided to post a review by Craig Ruskey about the CD release as it pretty much sums up how I feel about Horton's playing, and Craig also adds great information about the recording and personnel too. Hope you like it, leave a comment below and make any recommendations for future LIVE Recording Wednesdays.

"Of the multitude of blues harmonica players from Chicago's golden era, Big Walter Horton stands as perhaps the premier master of rich tone, and it mattered not if he was blowing amplified or acoustic. While never a frontman of note when compared to Little Walter, Billy Boy Arnold, or Snooky Pryor, Horton's style was immediately recognizable in a solid variety of sideman efforts and the rather small catalog of his own sessions. This set, from the Knickerbocker Cafe in RI, and likely Horton's very last recording (he died in 1981), finds him backed by a young Sugar Ray & The Bluetones. This cast of characters should need little introduction, as all have gone on to make considerable marks in the annals of blues, but as a quick primer the band consisted of Sugar Ray Norcia taking the fore with potent harp and blues-soaked vocals, Ronnie 'Youngblood' Horvath (better known today as Ronnie Earl) ably handling the guitar slot, Little Anthony Geraci holding down the piano chair, and a rhythm section of Mudcat Ward's bass and Ola Mae Dixon's relaxed, yet spot-on drumming.

"The Bluetones kick off the party with a bang as they effortlessly roll through Billy Boy Arnold's "I Cried For You" showing just what a tight outfit they truly were in the early days. Norcia's harp is thick and blasting while the crew delivers a hearty groove and they slow the pace back for a blistering "Lord Knows I Tried" where Ronnie offers a smoldering and lengthy guitar break packed with intense flurries and passionate bursts. They turn in a crunching version of "Country Girl," with Norcia and Horvath echoing the interplay between Junior Wells and Buddy Guy and Big Walter steps in beginning with "Walter's Shuffle" as he leans headlong into the groove serving quick notice that he was truly a king of tone. For "Little Boy Blue," the band holds a slow and steady beat offering plenty of space for Horton's creativity, then "It's Not Easy" recalls an early single Big Walter cut in 1953 with Jimmy DeBerry in Memphis. Instead of a slow boil, this version chugs along at a quicker tempo still showing much of utter brilliance on the original Sun 78, and for "Two Old Maids," the bristling snap and dynamics of everyone involved deserves note. Ronnie quietly slips into an Earl Hooker/Robert Nighthawk mode for "What's On Your Worried Mind" with incredible slide and searing single notes blending perfectly with Walter's heartfelt vocal, and things close on the muscular "Walter's Swing," another solid shuffle.

"At 52 minutes long, it's certainly shorter than one would hope, but the bonus tracks at the beginning are a nice addition and a much better fit than the out-of-place Left Hand Frank cut on the original vinyl offering from some two decades ago. The Bluetones, while considerably young when this was recorded (on a portable 8-track machine), were more than up to the task and show just how dedicated they were; by studying the masters who set the standard before them, they managed to recreate the feel of a Chicago tavern in the seaport neighborhood of Westerly. Big Walter Horton is simply stunning here, and regardless of his better than sixty years of age at the time, he sounds as young and vital as he did in the early 1950's. Horton's benchmark recordings have often been those where he offered his efforts as a sideman to others, but his remarkable tone, creative drive, and youthful spirit are all clearly evident. Recommended."
    Big Walter Horton
    Live at the Knickerbocker
    (JSP Records CD2152 (C) 2001)
    Review date: November 2002

    1. I Cry for You (Live)
    2. Lord Knows I Tried (Live) 
    3. Country Girl (Live)
    4. Walter's Shuffle (Live)
    5. Little Boy Blue (Live)
    6. It's Not Easy (Live)
    7. Two Old Maids (Live)
    8. What's on Your Worried Mind (Live) 
    9. Walter's Swing (Live)

    There are two other album covers for this recording that I've come across, same live recording, just different packaging.

    16 June 2016

    #541 :: Watch Out! Here's Fatt Max!

    The Blues Room, 15 June 2016
    Episode #541

    Like a boss, Fatt Max kicks off his new role as show host with this scorching playlist. If this is a taste of things to come, have mercy, we're in for a heck of a ride! 

    1. John Lee Hooker - Boom Boom
    2. R L Burnside - Rollin' & Tumblin'
    3. Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite - I'm In I'm Out I'm Gone
    4. Snooks Eaglin - Walking Blues
    5. Elmore James - Early One Morning
    6. Jimmy Reed - Boogie In The Dark
    7. Big Boy Bloater - The Devil's Tail
    8. The Della Grants - Red Mist
    9. Long John Laundry - Honey Bee
    10. Dr John - Let The Good Times Roll
    11. Keb' Mo' - Hand It Over
    12. Taj Mahal - Leaving Trunk
    13. Seasick Steve - Dog House Blues
    14. Sonny Boy Williamson - All My Love In Vain
    15. Toronzo Cannon - Chicken Coming Home To Roost

    Hear more selections from Fatt Max on these dates:
    20 July
    17 August
    21 September
    19 October
    16 November
    21 December

    12 June 2016

    We Welcome Fatt Max To The Blues Room

    We look forward to welcoming Mark Hill aka 'Fatt Max' to The Blues Room: from the roots to the fruits each month. Fatt Max hails from London but has been playing the blues in NZ for over 18 years. He combines original material with various classics played on both conventional and hand made instruments. He loves all blues music, especially the rare and unusual. This is what he loves to share with his audience. Look out for something different hitting your ears! This week and every third Wednesday of each month from 9pm on Free FM89.0 in the Waikato, and streaming online athttp://www.freefm.org.nz/hear-us and podcast at http://thebluesroom.blogspot.co.nz/

    Check out his websites:

    Tune in for Fatt Max on these dates:
    15 June - Fatt Max
    20 July - Fatt Max
    17 August - Fatt max
    21 September - Fatt Max
    19 October - Fatt Max
    16 November - Fatt Max
    21 December - Fatt Max

    8 June 2016

    #540 :: Blues Music Awards 2016

    The Blues Room, 8 June 2016
    Episode #540

    The Blues Music Awards are awards presented by the Blues Foundation, a non-profit organization set up to foster blues heritage. The awards, started in 1980, are according to Offbeat music magazine "universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded musicians and songwriters in blues music."

    The awards were formerly known as the W.C. Handy Awards (or "The Handys") but were renamed in 2006 in an effort to increase public appreciation of the significance of the awards.

    The awards had been presented annually in Memphis, Tennessee, where the Blues Foundation is located, although the 2008 award ceremony was held in Tunica, Mississippi. The 37th Blues Music Awards were held on May 5, 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Heres some of my winning favorites from this years Blues Music Awards 2016, and a wee tribute to Candye Kane to kick things off. Who were your picks from the great lists of nominees?

    1. Candye Kane & Laura Chavez - Toughest Girl Alive (RIP Candye Kane, the toughest girl around!)
    2. Allen Toussaint - Get Out of My Life, Woman
    3. Ruthie Foster - Dues Paid In Full
    4. Lisa Mann - Hard Times, Bad Decisions
    5. Billy Price & Otis Clay - Somebody's Changing My Sweet Baby's Mind
    6. Cedric Burnside Project - Going Away Baby
    7. Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots - Big Dogs Runnin This Town
    8. Joe Louis Walker - Messed My Mind Up
    10. Slim Harpo - My Little Queen Bee (Got a Brand New King)
    11. Buddy Guy feat. Kim Wilson - Kiss Me Quick
    12. Mr. Sipp - TMBC
    13. Shemekia Copeland - Long As I Can See the Light
    14. Doug MacLeod - Rosa Lee
    15. Duke Robillard - Left Handed
    16. Walter Trout - Gonna Live Again
    17. Terry Hanck - Cupid Must Be Stupid

    #539 :: Darcy Perry's Hour Of Blues Power

    The Blues Room, 1 June 2016
    Episode #539

    Darcy Perry brings us another hour of blues power!

    1. Louis Armstrong - Didn't He Ramble
    2. B.B. King with U2 - When Love Comes To Town
    3. The Black Crowes - Bad Luck Blue Eyes
    4. Albert King - I'll Play The Blues For You
    5. John Mayer - Route 66
    6. Rod Stewart - Amazing Grace 
    7. Buddy Guy - Sweet Black Girl
    8. Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Train A'Comin
    9. Nina Simone - Work Song 
    10. The Black Keys - Grown So Ugly
    11. Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms