Friday, December 06, 2013

Tales From A Woodie (Part Seven): 1994/95

On to 1994. I made another visit to New Orleans for Jazzfest and to some excellent gigs in London, but rather fewer than in the past, mostly because of work commitments.
January 30: Diz and the Doormen at the 100 Club. ‘Professor Longhair memorial night. Pretty good.’
February 18: Ruth Brown at Ronnie Scott’s. ‘Terrific.’
April 17: Sonny Rhodes at the 100 Club. ‘Excellent blues.’
April 21-30: New Orleans for Jazzfest. Evening shows included, as ever, Irma Thomas at the Lion’s Den; New Orleans R and B Revue at Muddy Waters with Otis Jenkins (‘copyist’), Lee Bates (‘excellent soul’), Al ‘Carnival Time’ Johnson (‘great material’) and Tommy Ridgeley; Snooks Eaglin at the Rock ‘n’ Bowl; 5 Blind Boys of Alabama at the House of Blues; Delbert McClinton at Jimmy’s; Tinsley Ellis and Walter Washington at Muddy Waters. Highlights of Jazzfest included Frogman Henry, Katie Webster, Larry Garner, Beau Jocque, Frankie Ford, Oliver ‘La La’ Morgan, Jon King Cleary, Little Richard (‘beautiful as ever, with an amazing mixture of songs – from Grandma’s Apple Pie and Itsy Bitsy Spider to the greats’), Boz Scaggs, Lonnie Brooks, Dixie Cups, Mississippi Burnin’ Blues Review, Buddy Guy, Jessie Hill, Ernie K-Doe (‘drunk, but great’), Charles Brown, Doug Kershaw, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Sonny Landreth, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, Robert Parker, Roland Stone, Solomon Burke (’wonderful, a real highlight, a throwback to the great 60s soul days’), Etta James (‘another excellent heavyweight’), Albertina Walker, the Meters, B B King, Robert Cray (‘Jazzfest was ruined by a downpour just as Robert was singing ‘The Forecast Is For Pain (nearly right)), R L Burnside, Jimmy Smith, Randy Newman, Staple Singers and Ry Cooder.
June 26: Anson Funderburgh at the 100 Club.
July 12: Earl King, Irma Thomas and Bobby Bland at the Astoria. ‘Great show, with Irma in particular on brilliant form.’
Sept 4: Jon King Cleary at the 100 Club.
Sept 9: Henry Gray at the Pizza Express. ‘Rather unsuitable venue.’
Sept 23: Genitorturers at The Marquee. ‘The most bizarre gig  I’ve ever been to: heavy metal and heavy S and M, with a rack, convincing whippings, dildo penetration etc culminating in needles in the testicles of a man rotated on the rack, then having his lips wired up. Lots of blood, breasts and noise. By contrast I then went to the Borderline to see Rosie Flores.’
October 23: John Primer at the 100 Club. ‘Good solid Chicago blues.’
November 13: Byther Smith at the 100 Club.
1995 continued to produce some great (and not so great) gigs and I made return visits to New Orleans Jazzfest (plus a family trip in the heat of August) and to Utrecht. My diary entries were getting less full however.
February 14: Butch Hancock at the Borderline. ‘Good but very crowded.’
February 17: Jimmy Witherspoon at the Jazz Café.
February 23: Fem 2 Fem at the Astoria. ‘Censored by Westminster Council but fairly boring.’
April 12: Long John Hunter at the 100 Club. ‘Good but not great.’
April 13: Henry Gray at the World’s End pub, Finsbury Park. ‘Strange venue for a legend.’
April 16: Billy Boy Arnold at the 100 Club. ‘Very good to start with but tailed off a bit.’
April 27-May 9: New Orleans for Jazzfest via Lafayette. Evening shows included Clarence Carter at Grant St Dance Hall, Lafayette (‘A great venue and Clarence was brilliant.); Irma Thomas at the Lion’s Den; Domino at Poets bar in Lafayette; Doug Sahm’s Last Texas Blues Band/ Texas Tornados with Roy Head at Tipitina’s (’Roy was excellent as was the whole band, although Freddy Fender wasn’t there.’); Bob Margolin and Michael Hill at Muddy Waters; Marcia Ball at Jimmy’s. Stars who I saw at Jazzfest included Rocking Sidney, Frogman Henry, Dr John, Pete Seeger with Peter, Paul and Mary, Tab Benoit, Beau Jocque, Little Milton, Wilson Pickett (‘brilliant and a real highlight’), Black Stalin, Gladys Knight, Clarence Carter, Jimmy Clanton with Frankie Ford, Allen Toussaint, Hackberry Ramblers, Chuck Berry (‘poor’), Lavelle White (‘excellent’), Ray Charles (‘MOR’), Magic Slim, Katie Webster, Alex Chilton (‘an uneven set’), James Taylor, Steve Riley, Eddie Bo, Bobby Marchan, Joe Clay, Eddie Lejeune, Al Green (‘ a highlight’), Tommy Ridgeley, Jo Cool Davis, Jean Knight, B B King and Irma.
May 19: Kim Fowley at the Mean Fiddler. ‘A cult but really quite boring.’
May 26: Junior Wells at the Watermans.
June 24: Jerry Lee Lewis at the Forum. ‘Very enjoyable, if rather bizarre set.’
June 30: William Bell and Trudi Lynn at the Bottom Line. ‘Both of them excellent.’ Also saw some of Robert Cray at the Shepherds Bush Empire next door.
July 2: Wilson Pickett at the Grand, Clapham. ‘The years rolled back. His voice a little rough but a great show.’
July 4: Dick Dale at the Forum. ‘Odd 60s surf guitar sub-cult.’
July 17: Neville Brothers at the Shepherds Bush Empire.
August 3: Doris Troy at the 100 Club. ‘Great soul singing.’
August 23: Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas at the Rock ‘n’ Bowl, New Orleans.
August 25: Little Milton at the House of Blues.
October 17: Don & Dewey at the 100 Club. ‘Wonderful gig by 50s legends.’ With Big Town Playboys.
October 19: Mary Love at the 100 Club. ‘She didn’t start until late – was good but I wasn’t over-impressed.’
November 14: Jerry Jaye at the 100 Club. ‘Small crowd – average rockabilly.’
November 18: Blues Estafette at Utrecht. Highlights included Excello Legends – Clifford Curry (‘lively soul’), Roscoe Shelton (‘brilliant deep soul’), and Earl Gaines (‘great voice.’ Also Sugar Pie DeSanto (‘thin, weird, funny’), Tyrone Davis (‘good band, patchy songs’), Keb Mo (‘OK’), Cookie and the Cupcakes (‘fantastic, original line-up, utterly brilliant’), Jimmy Beasley (‘mostly covers’), Lavelle White (‘superb soul/blues’), Big Joe Burrell (‘I slept’), Levi Williams (‘average’).
December 3: Big Jay McNeely and Dana Gillespie at the 100 Club.
December 15: Guy Clark at the Union Chapel, Islington. (‘very cold venue’).


At 10:05 pm , Blogger grahamej said...


At 10:06 pm , Blogger grahamej said...


At 3:27 pm , Blogger Paul T said...

I was trying to work out when I did in an interview with Earl King, which I thought was July 1994. Now I have the exact day. What a good show that was with Earl, Bobby and Irma on the 12th. And that looks like a great Jazz Fess line-up you saw, too.

At 3:28 pm , Blogger Paul T said...

I was trying to work out when I did in an interview with Earl King, which I thought was July 1994. Now I have the exact day. What a good show that was with Earl, Bobby and Irma on the 12th. And that looks like a great Jazz Fess line-up you saw, too.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home