Henry Cook and I certainly hope you will join us on Time For The Blues this Saturday night, September 14th at 10:00, as we unleash yet another untamed episode and deliver it right to your ears!
Seriously, this is going to be a fun evening as we are delighted to present sets from a couple of our personal favorites – Billy Branch and The Sons of Blues paying tribute to the late great Little Walter, and Albert Castiglia releasing his unquestionable Masterpiece.
There is absolutely no way to dispute the importance Marion Walter Jacobs plays in the history of the blues. Born on May 1, most likely in 1930, he is credited with changing the way the harmonica was used in recording and live on stage. The flamboyant performer not only played on most of Muddy Waters’ best work of the 1950’s, he also led his own band and his innovative style quickly became the standard by which all other harp players were judged.
Little Walter was the first – and so far, only – person to have a harmonica instrumental make it to the top of the charts, and during his career he accumulated three more harp instrumentals in the top ten. For much of his career, he released singles that featured him singing on one side, and playing an instrumental on the flip side.
His influence on the next several generations of harp players cannot be measured and he has been the focus of several tribute albums over the years as he passed away at a young age in 1967.
One of today’s best proponents of Jacobs’ harp style is Billy Branch, and he has recently released an album on Alligator titled Roots and Branches: The Story of Little Walter. We’ve got three tracks from this album, including one written by Little Walter himself (he was a prolific songwriter). Just to give you a little perspective, we’re also going to play on side from a different album so you can hear Branch team up with another great harp player, Sugar Ray Norcia.
Another feature will focus on our pal, Albert Castigila. To say that Castiglia has gone through a few upheavals in his life the past year or so would be a major understatement. In a nutshell, not only discover that he had a previously unknown daughter making him a father, but said daughter was grown and has a bambino of her own, making him a grandfather as well!
Castiglia was over the moon, and his wife and family fully support him in establishing this relationship, and his approach to life has undergone a real change. The work he produced as a result of this happening formed the basis for his recent album, Masterpiece. He left his long time label, Ruf, and signed on with Mike Zito and Guy Hall’s new company, Gulf Coast Records.
We’ve got three sides from this new CD, but probably won’t have enough time to add any more to the show. That is, if we want to get to the rest of the goodies we have in store for you.
What goodies might they be, you asked yourself out loud. Well, the kind of chewy morals that you can sink your teeth into, but not have to worry about dislodging a filling. Such ooey gooey goodness that Willy Wonka himself will be jealous.
I’m going to introduce you to Twist Turner and his friends. Don’t worry, I had to learn about him myself, and I’m glad I did. See, Turner is an excellent drummer who has worked with many of the big names in the blues world. Normally based out of Chicago, Turner came down with a case of wanderlust and spent time in New Orleans and his native Seattle, before taking up an extended stay in the Oakland/San Francisco region.
While there, he made friends and played with a number of people. He recorded several of them – different vocalists singing his songs – before returning to Chicago. He recorded more of his friends doing the same and then had the brilliant idea to put a bunch of these together on one album.
That’s how Battle of the Bands: Chicago vs Oakland on Delta Roots was born. Each city has great talent and distinct sound. We’re going to sample some and let you make the decision who wins for yourself.
One word of caution, some of the tracks on the album have some recording issues, something like low volumes and occasional distortions. We’ve tried to work a little magic on our end to make it all come together, but there are certain limits even Henry can’t overcome.
But we’ve still got more for you! Our New Release feature presents new work from the Kerry Kearney Band, Ben Levin, and Jeff Dale!
If you’re a regular listener, we know you’re going to do whatever you need to do to join us at 10:00. If you’re new to Time For The Blues, drop by and find out what everybody is talking about.
We’ve got everything all laid out and ready to go, all we need is you and a few hundred of your closest friends. You know how to find us, point your browser here, or join us on one of these great VPN Stations: 89.1 WCVN, Northern Neck; 90.1 WMVE, Chase City; and the flagships, 93.1 and 107.3 VPM-Music, Richmond, where it’s always Time For The Blues!