Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Picture review of the year

Here's my photographic review of 2018. It was a pretty good year and I was fortunate enough to see many great artists over the 12 months. Yet the year started badly. My first gig was Joe Louis Walker at the 100 Club in London. He's a fine performer, but loud (although no louder than many others I've seen over the years). However next morning I felt sick and dizzy and soon discovered that I had gone totally, and permanently deaf, in my left ear. Too many gigs spent down the front trying to get that perfect photo I fear. Let that be a warning. It didn't stop me enjoying my music, I'm glad to say (albeit in mono).
My first American trip of the year, with John Howard, Alan Lloyd and Gordon Fleming, started in the Boston area and we very much enjoyed the annual doowop show in New Bedford organised by Todd Baptista. Here's one of the stars, La La Brooks, former lead singer of the Crystals. Other acts were the Orlons, the Mystics and Del Vikings.
We moved on to Las Vegas for the biggest rockabilly festival on the planet, Viva Las Vegas. There were too many artists performing to mention them all. but here are a few: the legend that is Jerry Lee Lewis, the king of the boss guitar Duane Eddy and Sun artist Carl Mann.

A couple of us took a side trip with Noah Shaffer to a club called Piero's where there is a weekly gig featuring Sonny Charles and Pia Zadora.
We caught a show in Sacramento starring Robert Cray and moved on to Los Angeles where we were lucky enough to catch the 91st birthday gig of the great sax man Big Jay McNeely.  Sadly this was to be his last performance before he died.
We made return visits to one of LA's hidden gems, a club called La Louisianne, where we saw The Bluesman Sonny Green put on a great set.
Here's Ken Boothe, one of the stars of the London International Ska Festival. appearing at the Academy O2 in Islington.
Another excellent London show was the Tales From The Woods doowop event at the 100 Club, possibly London's best ever doowop show. Here are the stars Tommy Hunt. John Cheatdom and Gaynel Hodge. 
Soul came to London with Brenda Holloway at 229 The Venue.
And the third Blackpool International Soul Festival exceeded expectations with five superb acts. Here are Patti Austin and Nolan Porter. Others were Ann Sexton. Eloise Laws and Margie Joseph.

Candi Staton defied her 78 years to put on a great show at Omeara, promoting her 'Unstoppable' album.
The Porretta Soul Festival was, as ever, one of the highlights of the year. Photos show Lacee, Alvon Johnson and Terrie Odabi. Other acts included Ernie Johnson, Wee Willie Walker, John Ellison, Missy Andersen, Booker Brown, Percy and Spencer Wiggins and Don Bryant (more of whom later).

The king of ska, Derrick Morgan, put on on a most enjoyable show at the Jazz Cafe.
My second US trip of the year, with Dave Carroll, Alan Lloyd and Lee Wilkinson, began in style at the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival in Louisiana, where the stars included Bobby Rush (with Mizz Lowe) and Vasti Jackson. We saw Bobby again at the King Biscuit Festival in Helena, Arkansas. He remains, at the age of 85, a superb entertainer. 

Also at the King Biscuit Festival was the excellent Johnny Rawls, but here he is at the Yazoo City Blues Festival, where other acts included Ms Jody and Sir Charles Jones, both leading southern soul stars.
A highlight of our Mississippi trip was a show at the Horseshoe Casino in Robinsonville starring Carla Thomas. Latimore was the co-star, and this was a rather special evening.
We finished our trip at the Blues and Barbecue Festival in New Orleans where the headliner on the second day was Jimmie Vaughan. Other acts included 93 year old Henry Gray, Samantha Fish. Shemekia Copeland, Rev John Wilkins, Little Freddie King and Walter 'Wolfman' Washington.
Starring on the final day was Don Bryant who was superb, just as he had been at Porretta. Backed by the Bo-Keys his act was perfection. And with Percy Wiggins in support this was a fantastic end to the trip.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Music deaths in 2018 (updated)

It's been a long time since I celebrated those musicians and entertainers who have died recently. To make amends, here is a round up of some of those who have passed on in 2018. As ever, it's a long list, but let's celebrate them. They will be sadly missed and The Vinyl Word raises a glass to them all.
Barbara Alston - founder member and first lead singer of The Crystals.
Eddy Amoo -Liverpudlian who sang with The Chants and later the Real Thing.
Charles Aznavour - French/Armenian singer/songwriter who enjoyed a 70 year career
Roy Bailey - English folk singer who formed Band of Hope
Marty Balin -singer and founder of Jefferson Airplane
Babs Beverley - member of the Beverley Sisters
Dickie Bishop - pioneering skiffle banjo player with Chris Barber and own group
Hamiet Bluiett - American jazz saxophonist,
Henry Butler - blind New Orleans jazz and R & B pianist who appeared at Porretta (pictured)
Bill Caddick - English folk singer who was member of Magic Lantern
Tony Camillo - soul record producer at Motown and Invictus
Eddie C Campbell - bluesman who played with Howlin' Wolf and in Chicago Blues All Stars
Ace Cannon - sax player with Bill Blacks Combo and in his own right ('Tuff')
Bernadette Carroll - member of The Angels ('My Boyfriend's Back')
Leon 'Ndugo' Chancler - jazz and funk drummer
'Fast' Eddie Clarke - guitarist with Motorhead
Roy Clark - country singer and musician who hosted a US TV show for 28 years
Eddy 'The Chief' Clearwater - extrovert Chicago R and B guitarist and singer
Buzz Clifford - singer who found fame with 'Baby Sittin' Boogie'
Lorrie Collins - half of rockabilly duo the Collins Kids.
Stuart Colman - influential UK musician, record producer and radio DJ
Vic Damone - fifties crooner and ballad singer who also appeared in movies
Nathan Davis - jazz saxophonist
Johnny Dawson - co-founder of Motown group The Elgins.
Ken Dodd - comedian from Liverpool who had 18 UK hits including 1965's biggest
Ronald Dunbar - songwriter and record producer with Holland-Dozier-Holland
Dennis Edwards - singer with the Contours and then lead with the Temptations
Nokie Edwards - guitarist who enjoyed success with the Ventures & performed at the Stomp (pictured)
Geoff Emerick - sound engineer with The Beatles, Zombies and others
Terry Evans - singer who worked with Ry Cooder and formed soul duo with Bobby King
Fenella Fielding - British femme fatale actress ('Carry On Screaming')
D J Fontana - Sun drummer who backed Elvis for many years
Clarence Fountain - leader of the Blind Boys of Alabama
Don Gardner - R and B singer and drummer best known for duets with Dee Dee Ford,
Aretha Franklin - the Queen of Soul, originally from Memphis but based in Detroit
Peggy Sue Gerron - Jerry Allison's girlfriend who was inspiration for Buddy Holly's 'Peggy Sue'
Jeanie Green - Alabama soul singer with backed Elvis and also recorded solo ('Sure As Sin')
Rick Hall - record producer, musician and founder of Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals
Roy Hargrove - Grammy Award winning American jazz trumpeter
Mike Harrison - lead singer with Spooky Tooth
Edwin Hawkins - gospel musician who had a hit with 'Oh Happy Day'
Jon Hiseman - drummer who formed Colosseum and Tempest and played with John Mayall
His Master's Voice - venerable record store chain (died for a second time)
Chas Hodges - one half of Chas and Dave and a star of Tales From The Woods shows.
Gerard Homan - promoter of blues shows in eastern England
Tab Hunter - fifties pop singer and Hollywood actor in over 40 films
Joe Jackson- father of the Jacksons
Kern Kennedy - drummer with Sonny Burgess's Pacers
Ed King - guitarist with Strawberry Alarm Clock and later Lynryd Skynryd
Danny Kirwan - guitarist and singer with Fleetwood Mac and as solo artist
Nick Knox - drummer with the Cramps
Honey Lantree - drummer with The Honeycombs ('Have I The Right')
Denise Lasalle - Mississippi born singer who became a major blues and soul star (pictured at Porretta)
Lazy Lester - Louisiana blues singer, harmonica player and guitarist ('I'm A Lover Not A Fighter')
Stan Lewis - Shreveport record label owner (Jewel, Paula and Ronn)
Didier Lockwood - French jazz violinist who played in Magma
Wilbert Longmire - jazz guitarist
Alan Longmuir - co-founder and bass player with the Bay City Rollers
Hugh Masekela - South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and singer
Larry McArthur - member of soul group the Controllers
Jay McCaddin - Mobile, Al, based Woodie and former Navy man
Country Pete McGill - west coast bluesman
Trevor McNaughton - co-founder of rocksteady group the Melodians
Big Jay McNeely - R and B sax 'honker' from LA whose career began in the 1940s
Mighty Shadow - Trinidadian calypsonian
Matt 'Guitar' Murphy - blues guitarist who toured Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival
Charles Neville - R and B and jazz saxophonist with the Neville Brothers (pictured)
Calvin Newborn - Jazz & R and B guitarist who gave guitar lessons to Howlin' Wolf and was friend of Elvis
Dolores O'Riordan - Irish vocalist with the Cranberries
Jacqueline Pearce - Servelan in 'Blake's Sefen@
Eugene Pitt - founder and lead singer of the Jive Five ('My True Story')
Royce Porter - Texas rockabilly singer and guitarist
Herb Remington - steel guitarist with Bob Wills' Texas Playboys
Burt Reynolds - actor and director ('Deliverance', 'Boogie Nights')
Jim Rodford - bass guitarist who co-founded Argent and played with the Kinks
Otis Rush - Chicago based blues guitarist and singer
Ray Sawyer- (a final one for 2018) eyepatch wearing singer with Dr Hook
Teddy Scott - member of the G-Clefs ('I Understand')
Preston Shannon - blues guitarist and singer who played regularly on Beale Street
Pete Shelley - lead singer of the Buzzcocks
G G Shinn - swamp pop singer and former member of the Fabulous Boogie Kings
Lowrell Simon - soul singer with the Vondells and the Lost Generation
Yvonne Staples - manager of and, later, singer with, the Staple Singers
John 'Jabo' Starks - funk and blues drummer with James Brown band
Maggie Stredder - member of the Vernons Girls
Ray Thomas - founder member, flautist and singer with the Moody Blues and solo artist
Joe Valentine - Austin based soul singer, record label owner and club owner
'Wah Wah' Watson (Melvin Ragin) - guitarist with the Funk Brothers.
Norris Weir - member of rocksteady group the Jamaicans
Chuck Weldon - member of The Paradons ('Diamonds and Pearls')
Randy Weston - jazz pianist and composer
Cliff White - UK soul music journalist and expert on James Brown
Tony Joe White - Louisiana swamp blues singer/songwriter and guitarist
June Whitfield - British comedienne for many decades ('Ab Fab', 'The Glums')
Herbert Wiley - leader of Mississippi soul band Wiley and the Checkmates
Jody Williams - Chicago based blues guitarist
Betty Willis - soul singer who recorded for Gold Star in LA
Eddie Willis - guitarist with Motown's Funk Brothers
Martin Willis - sax player with Conway Twitty and at Sun Studios
Elder Roma Wilson - gospel/blues harmonica player
Nancy Wilson - jazz and occasionally soul,singer
Danny Woods - co-founder of Chairmen Of The Board
Peter Young (PY) - DJ whose soul show on Jazz FM was essential listening
Roy Young - dynamic UK rock and roll pianist and former TFTW star (pictured)
Thanks to Jon T-Bone Taylor, Marc Engel and Tony Burke for additions to the list.