MC for the night ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long got the evening underway with his trio, also consisting of Lorna Franklin (vocal/kazoo) and Keith Miller (Harp). They performed Gus Cannon’s “Walk Right In”, “Woman Be Wise” written by Sippie Wallace, who in her day was considered one of the top female blues vocalists of her era alongside Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, and Bessie Smith, and attracted top players such as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, King Oliver and Clarence Williams, and standard “You’ve Gotta Get Me Some” recorded by both Clarence Williams and Bessie Smith.
Next up were Sway’s finest, The Rezzonators. Mike Shipman (guitar/mandolin) and Peter Gabony (guitar/harp) played “What Is The Soul Of A Man?” by Blind Willie Johnson, the traditional “Frankie and Johnny” (or Albert? Worth looking up on the net – interesting story behind song) and Reverend Gary Davis’s “The People I Used To See”. Then it was time for our special guests to perform their first set. Adam Franklin (resonator guitar/mandolin/vocal) and his 18 year old daughter Elsie (resonator guitar/vocal) sang “Truckin Little Woman” by Big Bill Broonzy, blues standard “Black Night”, Blind Boy Fuller’s “Cat Man Blues”, “Won’t Go Out” by Holly Golightly, the standard “Trouble in Mind” originally written by Richard M. Jones, and “Beams of Heaven” a gospel song written in 1906 by Charles Albert Tindley, Elsie took a break and her Dad finished the set with a medley; an instrumental “Summetime” and an impassioned “St James Infirmary Blues”, then joined by Jon Vaughan on harp, for Sonny Boy Williamson’s “You’re Funeral, My Trial” and Buddy Guy’s “Suits Me To A Tee”.
After the break and raffle, Bob invited Mike Atack to the stage. He sang “Love Changing Blues” by Blind Willie McTell, “Goin To Brownsville” by Sleepy Joe Estes and “Skinny Woman Blues” by Furry Lewis. Following Mike was Glen Wright who sang three of his own blues songs; “Backyard Blues”, “Blue Moon Blues” and “Do Right Baby”.
Elsie Franklin took to the stage to sing “Small Town Blues” by Ruthie Foster, Gillian Welch’s “Elvis Presley Blues”, “Hoodoo Lady” by Memphis Minnie, and “Going Down The Road Again” by Sue Foley, Dad returns to the stage and they perform “Tappin’ That Thing” by Yank Rachell, Memphis Minnie’s “Nothing In Rambling”, “This Will Bring You Back” by the Memphis Jug Band, Adam’s “If Your Lord Deserves You”, and Red Clay Halo” by Gillian Welch. They came back for a well deserved encore, and with Jon Vaughan performed Ruthie Foster’s “Runaway Soul”. A brilliant evening! Next time, 4th May, we have an ‘Open Floor’ night.