In 1996 I missed out on New Orleans and went to
the Caribbean instead, also to Utrecht once more for the Blues Estafette. More
good gigs in London, but there are few comments about them in my diary.
January 2: Jean Carne and Marlena Shaw at the
Rhythmic in Islington. ‘Two soulful singers together.'
January 18: Percy Sledge at the Jazz Café.
February 18: the Butler Twins at the 100 Club.
February 25: Mighty Diamonds at the Rhythmic.
March 3: Teddy Royal and Hank Crawford at the
March 15: the Holmes Brothers at the Watermans.
March 23: Judy Boucher record launch at
Rumours, Brixton. ‘Take Me As I Am.’
April 23: Rufus Thomas at the Rhythmic. ‘Fun
but farcical, with Rufus wearing shorts.’
May 10: Eddie Lovette and Shadow at the Golden
Star, Tobago. ‘Lively soft reggae and Soca.’
May 26: London Blues Festival at Blackheath.
James Carr (‘intense, hypnotic, brilliant’), Corey Harris, Magic Slim, Johnny Rawls, Clara McDaniel and the
June 10. Bo Diddley at the Rhythmic. ‘Excellent
June 12: War at the Jazz Café. ‘OK but not
really my cup of tea.’
July 11: Concert for Nelson Mandela at Royal Albert Hall with Phil
Collins Big Band, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black
July 16: Otis Rush at the Mean Fiddler.
July 24: Larry Garner at the 100 Club.
August 11: Erroll Linton Band at the 100 Club.
August 27: Tracey Nelson at the Borderline.
September 29: Big Joe Turner Band at the 100
Club. ‘Pretty good.’
October 20: Eddie Lejeune at Cecil Sharp House.
‘Great Cajun music.’
November 4: Joe Louis Walker at the Jazz Café.
November 23: Blues Estafette in Utrecht. Stars
included Charles Wilson (‘good soul’), Jimmy McCracklin (‘OK but a bit
disappointing’), Sista Monica (‘very big’), the El Dorados with Andre Williams
(‘the highlight’), Little Milton, the Carter Brothers and the Black Top show
(Robert Ward, Guitar Shorty, Carol Fran and Clarence Hollimon.)
December 17: Motown show at Wembley Arena.
Edwin Starr, Mary Wilson, the Temptations and the Four Tops.
December 29: James Hunter at the 100 Club. ‘OK
1997 was another good year music-wise, with
trips to Jazzfest and Utrecht again plus my first visit to the Porretta Soul
Festival. Not many diary entries so this list is probably incomplete.
January 19: Electric Bluebirds at the 100 Club.
April 23-May 5: New Orleans for Jazzfest. Evening
shows included Irma at the Lion’s Den, Johnny Adams and Marva Wright at the
Rock ‘n’ Bowl, the Bluebirds at the River Shack, the Neville Brothers at the
House of Blues, Maria Muldaur at Jimmy’s, Ernie K-Doe at the Mother In Law
Lounge (‘he was sitting on a sort of throne and was completely out of it. The
only others there were his family – his new wife Antoinette complained that
Jazzfest should be paying a legend more to perform’), also went there a few
days later when (‘he performed some great blues’), Tab Benoit at the River
Shack, King Floyd and Taj Mahal at the House of Blues (‘Floyd lacklustre but
Taj Mahal a revelation’), Paula and the Pontiacs and Marcia Ball at Jimmy’s, Hackberry
Ramblers and C C Adcock at the Mermaid Lounge and Davell Crawford at the
At Jazzfest, artists I saw included Tabby
Thomas, Rosie Ledet (‘sexy’), dual interview with Dr John and Allen Toussaint,
Oliver Morgan, Chubby Carrier, Corey Harris, C J Chenier, James Taylor, Davell
Crawford, Clancy Blues Boy Lewis, Keb Mo, Margaret Lewis with Kenny Bill
Stinson, the Meters, Earth Wind and Fire, Frankie Ford, Sonny Landreth,
Beausoleil, Frogman Henry, Eddie Bo, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Delbert McClinton,
Ernie K-Doe was a no-show, Sherman Robertson, Carol Fran and Clarence Hollimon,
D L Menard, Al Jarreau, Cookie and the Cupcakes, Syl Johnson and Fats Domino
(‘three great acts in succession – all of them fantastic’), Snooks Eaglin, Zion
Harmonizers and George Clinton.
May 16: Nat Adderley at the Jazz Café.
May 25: Big Town Playboys at the 100 Club.
June 3: Toots and the Maytals at the Jazz Café.
June 12: Maxine Brown at the 100 Club.
July 25-27: Porretta Soul Festival. Bar-Kays,
Mable John, Jackie Johnson, James Govan, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Irma
Thomas, J Blackfoot, Otis Clay.
August 13: Skatalites at the Jazz Café.
August 27: Percy Sledge at the Jazz Café.
November 22: Blues Estafette at Utrecht. Earl
Gaines plus Herbert Hunter and Ted Jarrett, R L Burnside, the Cadillacs with
Speedo (‘great’), Willie Clayton (‘also great’), Long John Hunter, Arthur Adams,
Robert Bilbo Walker, Frankie Lee (’excellent’) and Syl Johnson.
November 30: Dale Hawkins at the Tennessee Club
in Wood Green.
December 14: Bernard Allison at the 100 Club.
‘Tribute to his late father Luther.’
December 28: Courtney Pine at the Jazz Café.