Monday, December 02, 2013

Tales From A Woodie (Part Five): 1992

1992 was another excellent year for gigs and here are some of them. I also made my third visit to New Orleans for JazzFest.
February 1: Fabulous Thunderbirds at the Mean Fiddler. ‘Enjoyable but the word ‘fabulous’ was a bit of an exaggeration I thought.’
February 21: Jean Carne at the Jazz Café. ‘Great voice but problems with sound and a band which didn’t know half the songs.’
March 11: Frankie Ford at the St Johns Tavern, Archway. ‘Sang some good New Orleans R and B and had a good backing band. I enjoyed it, even if the rockabillies there didn’t.'
April 1: Charlie Gracie at the RNA Club, Plaistow. ‘Backed by D J Fontana and Freddie Fingers Lee. John Howard DJ-ing. Great set.’
April 17: Charlie Musselwhite at the Mean Fiddler. ‘Not really any better than last time – samey and sterile.’
April 24-May 4: New Orleans for Jazzfest. Evenings shows included several at Irma Thomas’s Lion’s Den, including one with L J Hamilton on instead of Irma. Second night: ‘A great night – Irma in relaxed, full-voiced form, doing some new material. And Johnny Adams was a surprise guest – a great spot, displaying his vocal gymnastics to the full.’ Other shows includes the Neville Brothers at Tipitinas, the 5 Blind Boys of Alabama and Al Green at the Saenger Theatre: ‘Al was in fine form, his soft but powerful voice cruising through mostly gospel songs and a couple of oldies. A lot of sermonising but I can stand that to hear his voice.’ Also Robert Ward, Snooks Eaglin, Grady Gaines, Clarence Hollimon, Carol Fran, Earl King and Big Robert Smith at Black Top night at Tipitinas. ‘Highlight was Robert Ward – amazing guitar sound.’ Also Charles Brown at Charlie B’s, Marcia Ball, Clarence Hollimao and Carol Fran at Storyville; Johnny Adams at the Rock ‘n’ Bowl, and Ironing Board Sam in a bar on Bourbon St.
Jazzfest itself featured most of the above plus (first weekend) Eddie Bo, Little Freddie King, Robert Parker, Wayne Toups, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, Zachary Richard, Marva Wright, Eddie Lejeune, Lynn August, Allen Toussaint, Ernie K-Doe, Jessie Hill, Gladys Knight, Clancy Blues Boy Lewis, D L Menard, Nathan’s Zydeco Cha Chas, Dr John. Second weekend: Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Henry Gray with Hubert Sumlin, Junior Walker, Albert King, Troy Turner, Frogman Henry, Tabby Thomas, Kenny Neal, Sugar Boy Crawford (first time at Jazzfest) with grandson Davell, Beausoleil, Tommy Ridgeley, Chuck Carbo, Al Johnson, C J Chenier, Bobby Womack, Walter Washington, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Dixie Cups, Linda Hopkins, Carl Sonny Leyland, C J Chenier. So much great music.
May 19: Dave Alvin and the Paladins. ‘Good stuff, especially from the former.’
May 28; 5 Blind Boys of Alabama at the Hackney Empire. ‘Excellent over the top act, great theatre.’
June 4: Joe Louis Walker at T&C2. ‘Very good blues band.’
July 4: Crystal Palace Blues festival. ‘The festival was not as good as last year, due to the weather (very overcast), and the line-up. John Campbell, Mose Allison, John Hammond, Terry Garland, Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith and the star, Pop Staples. Finished in a downpour.’
July 7: Johnnie Johnson at the T&C2. ‘Enjoyable, varied set.’
July 8: Roy Rogers at the Mean Fiddler. ‘Excellent white blues guitarist.’
July 16: New Orleans Gala at Royal Festival Hall. ‘Johnny Adams first – vocally great but slightly disappointing; Eddie Bo – very good, great dancing; Willie De Ville – did a bad Ernie K-Doe impersonation; Dr John – in great form; Zachary Richard – lively zyde-cajun; Wild Magnolias – colourful. All on stage together for the Saints at the end.’
July 29: Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys. ‘Good traditional Cajun.’
August 18: Jean Carne at WKD Café, Camden Town. ‘Very enjoyable set but eventually gave up waiting for her second set.’
August 27: Short Fuse at the Weavers. ‘Went to see Henry Gray but he was stranded in Baton Rouge because of a hurricane. Instead watched a mediocre UK blues band with quite a tasty girl singer.’
September 6: Jimmy Witherspoon at the 100 Club. ‘Enjoyable, varied set (but no Evenin’’) – not bad for 70.’
September 20: Sherman Robertson at the 100 Club. ‘Excellent.’
September 27: Dwight Yoakam at Hammersmith Odeon. ‘Not bad once he moved away from the country stuff.’
October 3: Neville Brothers at Hammersmith Odeon. ‘On great form – Aaron’s voice was so beautiful I cried.’
October 18: Byther Smith at the 100 Club. ‘A rather indifferent B B King copyist.’
October 23: The Crickets at the Mean Fiddler. ‘Jerry Allison and Joe Maulden – a night of Buddy nostalgia.’
October 29: Katie Webster at the Venue, New Cross. ‘Got progressively better as her set went on, including Sea of Love.’
November 2: Etta James at the Town and Country. ‘Pretty good but didn’t seem to give it her all. Also Jay Owens, who was very good on his soul numbers.’
November 21: Austin, Texas. Buckwheat Zydeco at Antone’s – ‘A great club.’; then Butch Hancock and Jesse Guitar Taylor at the Cactus Café. ‘Butch was excellent and Jesse a brilliant guitarist.’
November 29: Southside Johnny and Sonny Landreth at the Town and Country. ‘Johnny and the Asbury Dukes were very good, including a great Havin’ A Party.’
December 5: Giants of Rock and Roll at Wembley Arena. ‘Absolutely brilliant – like watching my whole life pass before my eyes: Chris Montez, a white haired Johnny Preston and a big Little Eva went through their hits followed by a lively set from Bobby Vee and the Ricochets and big bouncy balls. Next was Lloyd Price – all his hits and a good band, although his voice was showing the years a bit. Then Duane Eddy – very much what you would expect. Next on was Little Richard – his 60th birthday: he received a cake from Lloyd Price. A wonderful set – the man’s as exciting as ever, eager to please. He played for an hour – would have liked more. Finally Jerry Lee, looking pale and much fatter than in the past. He played a solid if unemotional set, until the end when Little Richard and Lloyd Price came on stage and he got up, smiled, danced around a bit and played a duet with Richard. First time these three had ever been on stage together apparently.’


At 6:53 pm , Blogger Tennessee Dave said...

On the Dwight Yoakam comment, considering he's a country singer what did you expect but country music?
Silly twit.


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