Thursday, October 27, 2016

Final photos from the US trip

As the memories of our US road trip begin to fade I am putting one last set of photos on to the blog as a reminder of some of the great experiences we enjoyed.
First, here are a couple of photos of Cajun star Steve Riley at Warehouse 535 in Lafayette.
Also one of zydeco artist Gene Delafose who shared top billing that night.
This is the group with Steve: L-R Dave Carroll, Alan Lloyd, Lee Wilkinson, Nick Cobban, Steve Riley.
No visit to Lafayette is complete without a visit to one of the large Cajun restaurants there which feature local Cajun bands. Low Maintenance, the band who were playing at Randol's, included, as is usual in Cajun bands, a triangle player. Even I could manage that I think.
We also went to the weekly Cajun Jam at the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette.
Out in the bayous, in Loreauville, we found the grave of the great Clifton Chenier.
Not far away is his former club, now seemingly disused.
In New Orleans we visited the Professor Longhair Museum where we were made very welcome by his daughter, Pat Byrd.
We also had some N'Awlins Second Line fun at the Ooh Poo Pah Doo bar where Judy Hill, daughter of Jessie Hill, is a welcoming hostess and also sang with the James Andrews band.
On our last evening in New Orleans we went to Chickie Wah Wah where Seth Walker was launching his new CD.
On our way back across Louisiana we stopped off at Crowley, where J D Miller had his studio and where there are still thousands of records for sale upstairs.
On our final morning we paid our respects to two musicians in cemeteries in Beaumont, Texas: Moon Mullican and the Big Bopper.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Photos from 'Shake It or Break It'

A few more photos from my recent US road trip - this time from the three Ponderosa Stomp 'Shake It or Break It' shows at the Three Keys in the Ace Hotel, New Orleans, organised by Dr Ike. Some of next year's acts were announced and I'm hoping to go, but waiting for some more names to emerge.
Support act at the first show were the Fortifiers, an impressive  blues band from New Orleans,
Main act was 84 year old bluesman Leo 'Bud' Welch, who I first saw at the Juke Joint East in Wapping two years ago, soon after his first album was released.
The second evening was brilliant, with Lil Buck and the Top Cats backing the artists throughout.
Members of the band included the Lafayette Marquis, Charles (C C) Adcock, and Reginald Dural, son of Stanley 'Buckwheat Zydeco' Dural.
Here is Barbara Lynn, who was superb. Barbara is one of the acts announced for next year's Stomp.
 Also on next show will be the Texas wild man, Roy Head.
Here's one of me with Roy.
The final show featured as support act Daddy Long Legs, an excellent sixties style R and B band from New York.
Star of the night was Guitar 'Lightning' Lee
Finally, here's one of the group: L-R Nick Cobban, Ronnie Cook, Dave Carroll, Alan Lloyd, Lee Wilkinson.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Bobby Vee RIP

Very sorry to hear of the death of Bobby Vee at the age of 73. Although disregarded by some in later years as just a sixties pop singer, Bobby had a great voice and made some of the best pop records of the early sixties. Eleven of his records made it into my personal top ten between 1960 and 1963 and he was the eighth highest point scorer. His version of the Clovers' Devil Or Angel was superb and is there a better pop record of the era that Take Good Care Of My Baby? Other records that scored
highly were More Than I Can Say, Baby Face, Run To Him and Please Don't Ask About Barbara. Bobby's voice had a Buddy Holly-like hiccup which he used to good effect and he recorded a successful LP with the Crickets and another called I Remember Buddy Holly. Indeed his career began when he and some friends, making up a group called the Shadows, filled in for Holly at the show he was due to attend in Moorhead, Minnesota.
Born in Fargo, North Dakota, his first record was Suzie Baby for the Soma label. After Devil or Angel he made it big with Rubber Ball and other successes included How Many Tears, Sharing You, The Night Has A Thousand Eyes and Run Like The Devil. I saw Bobby in 1962 when he toured with Tony Orlando and Clarence 'Frogman' Henry and a couple of times in later years when he performed with his own group the Ricochets on oldies shows. These included a memorable one at Wembley in 1992 when Little Richard (celebrating his 60th birthday), Jerry Lee Lewis, Lloyd Price, Chris Montez, Johnny Preston, Little Eva and Duane Eddy also appeared. RIP Bobby.
The Vinyl Word also says farewell to Joan Marie Johnson of New Orleans girl group The Dixie Cups, who had great success with Chapel Of Love, Iko Iko, People Say, You Should Have Seen The Way He Looked At Me and Gee The Moon Is Shining Bright for the Red Bird label. I saw the group many times at Jazzfest and they were always excellent.
Also to Phil Chess, record producer and co-founder of Chess records, who has died aged 95. Phil was involved in producing many of the great blues and rock and roll records produced by Chess. Here's his obituary in The Guardian.

Photos from the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

Here's the second batch of photos from my US road trip, featuring acts at the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans.
Kicking off day one were the Suffers, a soul band from Houston, with singer Kam Franklin.
Also on day one, here is swamp blues artist Tab Benoit.
From the second day, here is a young bluesman named Jontavius Willis.
One of the highlights was the New Orleans based Nikki Hill Band, whose rock and roll flavoured set went down well.
Another New Orleans performer, who I've seen on just about every trip to the city, Walter 'Wolfman' Washington.
Here's a Brit who has been based in New Orleans for many years, Jon Cleary.
This is Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart.
Headlining on day two, this is Taj Mahal.
From day three this is blues harmonica player Smokey Greenwell.
Bluesman brother of Freddie King, this is Benny Turner.
New Orleans based blues singer Little Freddie King.
Rock singer 'Jumpin'' Johnny Sansome.
Latest in the Baton Rouge dynasty, here is Tyree Neal, a good soul singer and guitarist.
Drummer and blues singer Cedric Burnside.
Final act of the festival was New Orleans soul man Tucka, who is very popular with the locals.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Road trip photos part 1: Texas

Here is the first batch of photos of my recent US road trip with Dave Carroll, Alan Lloyd and Lee Wilkinson. These are all from the first few days in Texas.
This is James Hunter, who we saw at the House of Blues in Houston.
Here is the group with James and his new wife, who he married the week before in New Orleans.
We looked for the site of the original Duke/Peacock record label in Erastus Street, Houston. The site is now a Baptist church and there is no sign to mark its former occupant.
There is a marker, however, in Lyons Street, where the company moved to.
There is also a marker to Sam 'Lightnin'' Hopkins in Dowland Street, once the blues centre of Houston.
We moved on to the small town of Navasota where there is a mural in Blues Alley featuring Mance Lipscomb and others.
Just outside Navasota we found the grave of Joe Tex who came from the area.
In Austin we visited the Continental Club where one of the support acts was all girl group the Bluebonnets.
They were followed by another all girl band, Jane Lee Hooker.
Stars of the show were the Blasters, with lead singer/guitarist Phil Alvin.
Just outside Austin we met up for breakfast with Linda Gail Lewis and her husband Eddie Braddock.
At the Broken Spoke in Austin we saw country singer Gary P. Nunn.
Here's the group in Luckenbach, Texas.
Linda Gail Lewis at the Music and Wine festival in Gruene.
Here's one of me with Annie Marie Lewis, Linda Gail's daughter, who sang with her at the festival.
On Sunday morning we went to Carnitas Uruapan in San Antonio where conjunto performer Santiago Jimenez plays every week.
Also in San Antonio we caught Ruby Dee and the Snake Handlers at Sam's Burger Joint.