Tag Archives: blues

RockBottom Blues

7 Mar

Rock Bottom
Various
Year: unknown – probably early 70s

This is a great double album compilation of classic blues recordings compiled by a Canadian blues guy, King Biscuit Boy, and an Australian blues guy (who was living in Canada), Ritchie Yorke.
I gather that this is a Canadian only pressing
There is no information about this album ion the Internet except for someone selling it for $29.79 US on Ebay. I got it at a garage sale for much less.
But this is not about prices of rare and/or obscure records. The music here is quite impressive You have recordings by Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Clifton Chenier, Billy Stewart, Howlin’ Wolf, Lowell Fulson, Elmor James, John Brim, Robert Nighthawk and Little Milton. There are 24 tracks on these two disks and there are a bunch that I’ve never heard before.
In the fold of this album, both Yorke and King Biscuit Boy wrote well paced notes as to why they included each track in this compilation.
It makes for fascinating reading while listening to great blues.

Weekly Vinyl – Ray Charles

24 Jun

The Greatest Ray Charles
Ray Charles
(1963)
RayC

This is one of those albums, those collections of music, that needs to be played on a turntable.
You need to hear the crisp static retort of the needle hitting the spinning vinyl before the first song on the side starts.
It is special.
Listening to this, going through the actions to flip the album and getting the arm in position to start the music flowing again, I can imagine the aura of Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) putting on the album when he and his brother Jake, (John Belushi) come into his one room apartment.
It wasn’t this music, but Ray Charles was in The Blues Brothers. But the feeling is right on.
It is late. I`m drinking cheap wine. And there is a turntable spinning some great blues my way.
Fantastic.

Guitar lesson

1 Nov

SONY DSC

Saw this in a bar in Atlanta. I need to make me one of these.

Weekly Vinyl – King in London

15 May

B. B. King in London
B.B. King
(1971)

SONY DSC

This is not an obituary, but it is a coincidence that I was reviewing B.B. Kings album the day before he passed away. I left the review as I wrote it before the news of his passing reached me.
He will be truly missed.
I saw B. B. years ago, early 1990s I believe, and it was a great show. But it was a little too well-rehearsed. Mr. King sat on his perch and played a great guitar and belted out wonderful tunes and his large backup band dutifully played in time. The audience dug it. My concert going companions, the Ukrainian rock band Braty Hadiukiny, Брати Гадюкiни, were enthralled.
The show was a little too slick for my liking. It lacked the rawness, the spontaneity that I imagined was one of the pillars of blues music. This show always coloured my view of B.B. King’s music.
This album, recorded about 20 years before I saw him, shattered my view of Mr. King. (I bought this album in those happy vinyl days where people were ditching their collections for CDs.) This album is raw and inspired. It snarls and sneers. It preaches and beseeches. It is powerful and subtle.
It is blues.
It is why he is the King and will always be the King.
Long live the King.