MC ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long got the evening going with two Robert Johnson songs: “Little Queen of Spades” and “Travelin’ Riverside Blues”, Memphis Minnie’s “Hoodoo Lady” and “Feels Like Going Home” by Muddy Waters. He then asked fellow LF&B activist Mike ‘Furry’ Atack to take to the stage. He sang “That’s No Way To Get Along” by Robert Wilkins, Woody Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man”, “Yellow Dog Blues” by Sam Collins and “Falling Down Blues” by…. Furry Lewis (of course!).
Next up were Calum & Tom who play blues under the name of “Two Tones Down”. These two young guys shouldn’t be able to play the blues so well, but they do. They rocked through “Hey, Hey”, “Nobody Knows You”, composed in 1923 by Jimmy Cox, the blues standard “Key To The Highway” first recorded by Charlie Segar in 1940, and “Hoochie Coochie Man”, written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters in 1954. The final two featured Tom’s exhilarating slide guitar. Bob then introduced Jon “The Don” Rowson to the stage. He performed Bob Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell”, loosely based on ‘St James Infirmary’, “Going Down Slow” by Lightning Hopkins, and he then took up his fiddle and was joined by Gill on guitar for “Shake Hands And Tell Me Goodbye” by Mississippi Sheiks. To finish the first half, Bob led a jam session featuring some of the performers on “Just A Dream” by Big Bill Broonzy.
After the break and raffle, Glen Wright was invited to the stage. He played “Buckets of Rain” by Bob Dylan, “Sun Going Down”, his own lyrics based on a Robert Wilkins tune, “Amazing Grace”, first published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton, “They Call Me Lazy” by Lazy Lester, and “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, originally recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson in 1937 as “Good Morning, School Girl” as an uptempo blues with an irregular number of bars, and although identified with ‘Chicago blues’, it was a product of Sonny Boy’s west Tennessee roots. Following on from Glen was “Hawaiian” Pete Gabony. He sang “It Ain’t One Thang Baby It’s Two” by Chris Thomas King”, Blind Alfred Reed’s “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live”, Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster”, and Memphis Minnie’s “When The Levee Breaks”.
And last but certainly not least, ‘Big’ Al Whittle. He started with a Dave Van Ronk song (the name of which escapes me!), and followed with a Jimmy Reed mash up “Bright Lights, Big City/Let It Roll”, “Winin’ Boy Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton, Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Matchbox Blues” “Diggin’ My Potatoes” by Washboard Sam and finally and appropriately, “Goodnight Irene”, a blues standard first recorded by Huddie Lebetter in 1933 but of much earlier origin.