We hope you will join us this Saturday night, February 4, at 11 o’clock as Henry and I have a few surprises for you, including the big shocker that for once, we are playing the big hits!
Every so often, when we’re out and about, we run into people who are usually much younger than we are and those whippersnappers have the audacity to ask us – US – why we don’t play music from people they’ve heard of. But if the truth is told, I probably couldn’t pick the musicians they listen to out of a police lineup. And I’ll probably get that chance sooner than later, knowing how today’s musicians act…
This show is for those fine folks who want to hear something from well-known artists, maybe even some who don’t normally play the blues. We hear you and we’ve got what you are looking for.
Let’s kick things off with the group that is at the top, or near to the top of just about everyone’s list of the greatest rock bands of all time, The Rolling Stones! Most blues fans remember that the Stones started out as a blues band back in Merrie Ole England, in fact they took their name from a Muddy Waters song and were at the forefront of those bands who were desperate to work with American Blues Masters.
Remember their EP Five By Five? It contained an instrumental called 2120 South Michigan Avenue which not so coincidentally is the address for Chess Records’ Office and Studio. In fact, the songs on this EP were all recorded at Chess Studios and the Stones have returned several times to the Windy City to pay homage to the greats, even going so far as to jam with Muddy Waters at the famous Checkerboard Lounge.
According to Jagger, he and Richards started out by learning to play all of the blues greats and their early albums generally contained some material that was pure blues.
Now as they have reached the stage in their collective careers that they can pretty much do anything they want – the group decided to cut an album that was nothing b ut blues covers and the result is a fine piece of work, Blue & Lonesome. It started out with Richards asking Ronnie Wood to learn one particular blues song as he had an idea of creating a new song with it.
Once Wood started playing with it, the group found their passion for the blues reignited and they started tossing out other titles that might be fun to play. Over a period of three days, they cut all the songs that are on the album, and believe me, there is some killer material here. This is the first show where we will feature some of the tracks off this album, but it won’t be the last.
To celebrate its release, we have three songs from Blue & Lonesome and then just for grins, I’ve pulled one off of Let It Bleed. That one is a real bluesy number that features Richards on vocals for the first time. Hope you like it, I sure do.
Next up is another surprise as Melissa Etheridge is not well-known for playing the blues. But if you listen to her vocals, she’s definitely got the chops to be a first-rate blues singer. Her songs have skirted around the blues for a long time, and now she’s put together a great album, Memphis Rock And Soul, that celebrates that unique STAX sound.
Some might sound like a little bit of rock and roll or soul music, but it’s all rooted in the blues, and I for one, think she does a great job interpreting these classics.
Speaking of classics, you have to give EC himself, Mr. Eric Clapton proper respect for everything he’s done for the blues. A three-time member of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, he has done so much to not only preserve the blues, but to go out of his way to introduce new audiences to it. Over the years he has worked with some of the all-time greats and his love for the blues has never wavered.
Last year he released the album, I Still Do, and has hinted that it may be his last. I certainly hope that is not the case as he still sounds fresh and his enthusiasm has truly made a difference to the blues community. We’ve got a couple of tunes from this latest (I refuse to say last) album plus one from an earlier release just for fun.
But just because we’re loaded for bear with the big names, it doesn’t mean we’re looking past some of the best from recent releases. We’ve got Derrick Procell who sounds about as old-school as they come, plus songs from our pal Reggie Wayne Morris, and one from the Alexis P. Suter Band that I really think you’re going to like.
So, be sure to be ready for this great show. Take a nap, get up late, pile on the caffeine, whatever it takes. Just be there, because you don’t want to be that person who missed out. We know folks will be talking about it at work all week long and you want to be a part of the cool kid conversation.
Remember, it’s this Saturday night at 11 Eastern time, and you can find us online at http://ideastations.org or on the radio on 88.9, WCVE-FM, where it’s always Time For The Blues!