Over the last five years or so we’ve had some great evenings at our little club, and tonight was right up there with the best.
MC ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long got the evening off to a fine start with Robert Johnson’s “Phonograph Blues”, “Everybody Ought To Make A Change” by Sleepy John Estes, Will Shade’s “Aunt Caroline Dye”, “Peavine Blues” by Charley Patton and “Boogaloosa Woman” by Tommy Johnson. Then Bob introduced our special guests of the evening: The Pete Harris Trio. The term ‘legend’ is often over-used, but not in the case of Pete Harris, who has been strutting his blues stuff for more years than he cares to remember, influencing many young players along the way. Jeradine Hume was a revelation tonight, and if there’s any justice, she’ll be entertaining audiences for many years to come. And Jon Vaughan: Simply one of the best and most distinctive harp players I’ve ever seen!
They performed; “Sugar Coated Love” by Lazy Lester, Leadbelly’s “Good Morning Blues”; Jeradine sang “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean”, written by Johnny Wallace and Herbert J. Lance and a number one hit for Ruth Brown in 1953, Imelda May’s “Big Bad Handsome Man”; back to Pete singing Mississippi John Hurt’s “Angels Laid Him Away”, and Jeradine “If I Can’t Have You I Don’t Want Nobody Else” by Eden Brent, Gillian Welch’s “Look At Miss Ohio”, and to finish the set, Pete switched to his resonator with slide to provide us with some Mississippi hill country blues from Fred McDowell, “Write Me A Few Lines”. Phew! High Octane blues!
After the break and raffle, Bob invited Mike “Furry” Atack to the stage. Mike sang Blind Willie McTell’s “Love Changing Blues”, “Goin’ To Brownsville” by Sleepy John Estes, “Goin’ To Kansas” and “Skinny Woman” by Furry Lewis, and Ishman Bracey’s “Saturday Blues”.
The Pete Harris Trio returned to the stage with the blues standard “Cocaine Blues”, written by T. J. “Red” Arnall and recorded by many artists including Luke Jordan in 1927, and featuring Bob Long on pub bell, Mississippi John Hurt’s “Lay Me Down A Pallet On The Floor”, Chicago bluesman Jimmy Reed’s “Honest I Do”, sung by both Pete and Jeradine, and featuring a spellbinding harp solo from Jon; Jeradine sang “Woman Be Wise” written by Sippie Wallace and John Beach and more recently recorded by Bonnie Raitt, and featuring more sublime harp, “Stealin’, Stealin'” by the Memphis Jug Band, more Chicago blues, this time Koko Taylor’s “I Got What It Takes” with a blistering vocal by Jeradine, gut wrenching harp and Pete’s guitar, steady as a rock in a hard place; a work out for Jon on “Big Walter’s Boogie” by one of the greatest harp players of all time Big Walter Horton, (and not forgetting Jeradine’s egg!), another Gillian Welch Song, co-written with her partner David Rawlings, and recorded by the great Soloman Burke, “Valley Of Tears”; more hill country blues and return of the resonator for R L Burnside’s “Poor Black Mattie”, and the inevitable encore more than well deserved, “The Sky Is Crying” by Elmore James and recorded by many including the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan, featuring Jeradine on lead vocal and heart breaking slide from Mr Harris. Jon wasn’t bad either!
MC Henry Campion got the evening off to a fine start with John Denver’s “Goodbye Again” and “Nothing More” by Sandy Denny. Following Henry, was Steve Moorhouse. He sang three of his own songs; “Architect of Time”, “Bisterne Dragon” and “My Sweet Rosemary”.
Next up was Sean Brophy. He performed “Through The Barricades” by Gary Kemp, a big hit for his band ‘Spandau Ballet’, “Roof Is Leaking” by Phil Collins, and Mark Knopfler’s “Romeo and Juliet” from the Dire Straits album ‘Makin’ Movies’. Geoff Yerrell travelled all the way from Lancing to play for us tonight, for the first time. He sang Chris de Burgh’s “Why Mona Lisa Smiled”, Mike Silver’s “Matter of Pride” and “Please Don’t Ask Me” by by English born Australian legend John Farnham.
Following Geoff was another newcomer, also from Sussex, Peter from Arundel. He performed Tom Paxton’s “Comedians and Angels”, “Can We Go Round Again” by A. Dickinson and covered by duo Cardy & Coke, and Merle Haggard’s “Send Me Back Home”.
After the break and raffle, Henry sang Dylan’s “Forever Young” before introducing the world to ‘Fog Patrol’ (Sean Brophy & Steve West) who performed “Chasing Cars” by ‘Snow Patrol’.
One of resident bluesmen ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long took us to the Delta with Blind Blake’s “Rope Stretching Blues” and Leadbelly’s “Diggin’ My Potatoes”. Next, more newcomers! Three of them! The Steve Lomis Band (for want of a better name) consisted of Steve on guitar and vocals, Dan on electric bass and Elena on violin. Steve sang four of his own songs; “I’ll Be Down The Road”, “Theme For A Dream”, “Rescue” and “Day One”.
Finally, and last but not least, our favourite country singer, Pat O’Dea. (Or was it Owen Moore?!) Pat sang “What The Lonely Call The Blues” by Donovan, “Liverpool Lou” by Dominic Behan and “Pretty Flamingo” which was a number one hit for Manfred Mann in 1966 and was written by Mark Barkan, an American songwriter who wrote many songs covered by famous artists such as Lesley Gore, the Monkees and Connie Francis but, for me, will always be remembered as being co-writer on that pop classic “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana), from the Banana Splits Show!
MC Steve West kicked off the evening with his “Christchurch Smuggler” before inviting Rich Smith to the stage. He sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to John Travolta (!), and two Joni Mitchell songs; ‘A Case of You’ and ‘All I Want’.
Believe it or not, this was Mikey Ball’s first visit to the club. He sang Springsteen’s ‘The River’, ‘Long Black Veil’ written by Lefty Frizzell, and one of his own, ‘Our Lives’. Next up was Mary Dore. We haven’t seen her for a while but it was good to see her again. She performed the traditional ‘Mary Don’t Weep’, her own ‘London Bombs’ and Joni Mitchell’s ‘Help Me’.
For the remainder of the first half, our special guest, master storyteller, Paul Openshaw. He sang songs about Mr & Mrs Grumblybottom, the Homeward Flight of the Swallow, Bengal Tiger Spotting, and the dangers therein, When The Boot Goes In, a powerful perspective on religious intolerance and bullying, memories of a trip to India, railways and food, not always a good combination, and a commentary on the Can’t Believe Its Not Butter industry! A brilliant set.
We needed short break after that, and after the raffle, SW sang “Standing In The Gateway” before introducing our ‘Enry, Henry Campion. He sang two of his own songs; ‘Close To You’ and ‘Straight Jacket Blues’. Another performer we haven’t seen for a while is Chris Pugh.
It was good to once again listen to his powerful voice and impressive songs. He gave us ‘River’ and ‘Man Above I’. Mikey returned for a second set, singing two songs from his latest EP; ‘Home To You’ and ‘Wishing Well’ and ‘Seagull’ which featured on the very first Bad Co. album.
And to complete the evening, Paul returned with more stories of everyday life including one about ‘her’ cup of tea, and then a very poignant song about a veteran returning to the Normandy beaches 70 years after D-Day, ‘It Could Have Been Me!’, another song from India concerning the Indians interpretation of the Highway Code influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of peaceful non co-operation, The Bucket Song featuring his Grandson, a song about Jumping Jack Thunder, Weymouth’s very own Elvis interpreter and finally a song for his daughter – “striving to be some-one when there’s no-one quite like you”. Another great set to complete a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
MC Jonathan Klein was joined by his fellow professor and Bass Cook John Gabbay on double bass to perform Jonathan’s “If I Could Have One Wish”, Buddy Holly’s “Everyday”, reminding us of the anniversary of the day the music died, and another of Jonathan’s songs, “Stephanie”.
“Mississippi” Bob Long was next onto the stage and he sang Gus Cannon’s “Bring It With You When You Come”. Bemoaning his lost youth (and hair) he then donned a black wig to sing “Don’t Leave Me Here” by Henry Thomas, and “Going To Germany”, recorded by Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers and written by harmonica player Noah Lewis. Following Bob were Mark & Rob. Their first song “Sorrow” was written by the songwriting team of J. Goldstein, Christopher A. Daughtry, R. Gotteher & B. Feldman and was originally a hit in the mid 60’s before being famously covered by David Bowie on his 1973 album “Pin Ups”. They then performed “If Not For You” by Bob Dylan, recorded by both George Harrison and Olivia Newton John, and another Dylan song “Wheels Of Fire”, recorded in 1968 by Julie Driscoll with Brian Auger and The Trinity, this evocative version is closely associated with the psychedelic era in British music and featured use of the mellotron, a keyboard device being used by Paul McCartney at Abbey Road during the recording of ‘St Pepper’s’.
We don’t see John Scott as often as we would like and rarely without his guitar slinging pardn’r. Here, solo, he sang “Wings On My Heels” by Raymond Froggatt, “I Got Mexico” by Eddy Raven and Rodney Crowell’s “Many A Long And Lonesome Highway”.
To finish the first half, Mike “Furry” Atack presented himself as a folk singer (!?) and sang Ralph McTell’s “Daddy’s Here” before returning to more familiar territory with Ishman Bracey’s “Troubled Hearted Blues” and “Casey Jones” by Mississippi John Hurt.
After the break and raffle, our two professors returned to the stage to perform Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” and Jonathan’s “If There Were 25 Hours”. Bob gave us Charley Patton’s “Banty Rooster Blues” and “Feel Like Blowin’ My Home” by Muddy Waters. Mark & Rob played “Lay Down Sally” written by Eric Clapton, Marcella Detroit and George Terry, a country blues performed in the style of Clapton’s long time friend JJ Cale, and Mark’s song “Lady Of The Night”.
It was lovely to see Molly Atack after such a long time. She sang “Reminder” by Mumford & Sons and “New Romantic” by Laura Marling. Next up was raffelmeister Steve West. He sang two of his own songs; “Devil’s Curse” and “The Lie”.
And to finish the evening, Mike performed two Furry Lewis songs: “Cannonball Blues” and “Skinny Woman”.
MC Mike Atack commenced proceedings with Townes van Zandt’s “Pancho & Lefty”, “Love Changing Blues” by Blind Willie McTell and “Skinny Woman” by Furry Lewis. He then introduced fellow bluesman Bob Long to the stage. Bob sang the traditional blues “St James Infirmary” and was then joined on stage by Jan Anderson on her djembe for Tommy Johnson’s “Big Road Blues”, “Old Jim Canan” by Robert Wilkin, Robert Johnson’s “Phonograph Blues” and “Standin’ Around Cryin’” by Muddy Waters. This new combo is known as ‘Mellow Peaches’! Next up was Martyn Tanner. On his five string ukulele he performed “Handsome Molly”, his own arrangement based on versions by Doc Watson and Bob Dylan, “King Of The Road” by Roger Miller and John Prine’s “Diamonds In The Rough”. To complete the first half were Al & Heather Slipper, sometimes ‘Nomad’, sometimes ‘Hobos’. Alan sang his own song “The River And The Railroad Track” followed by Dougie Maclean’s “Turning Away”, a Brownie McGee/Sonny Terry number (didn’t catch the title!), and Bob Dylan / Ketch Secor’s “Wagon Wheel” with a little vocal help from Steve West.
After the break and raffle, Mike sang “Cannonball Blues” by Furry Lewis, and “Goin’ To Brownsville” by Sleepy John Estes. Bob returned to the stage with Jan to perform Robert Johnson’s “Red Hot Tamales” and was then joined by Martyn, Al & Heather on “Dirty Mistreater” by Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry. Martyn then sang “The Wanderer”, written by Ernie Maresca and made famous by Dion, and “Lost Highway” by Leon Payne and recorded by Hank Williams among many others. And finally, Al & Heather took to the stage to sing “The Great Divide” by Kate Wolf, and then joined by Steve West on “Step It Out Mary” and “Leaving Of Liverpool”. A splendid and varied evening.
Tonight, Lymington Folk & Blues took the keys to the highway and blasted on down the inter state of the blues. MC ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long kicked off the evening in fine style with Robert Johnson’s “Travelin’ Riverside Blues” and “Hoodoo Lady” by Memphis Minnie.
Following on from Bob was Mike Richards. Mike performed “Going Down Slow” composed by St. Louis Jimmy Oden and famously recorded by Howlin’ Wolf, another blues standard “Hesitation Blues”, origin unknown, and Arlo Guthrie’s “My Creole Belle”.
Next up, and a temporary break from the blues was Henry Campion. He sang “Walkin’ In Memphis” by Marc Cohn, “It Ain’t Necessarily So” by George Gershwin and Jesse Fuller’s “San Francisco Bay Blues. To finish the first half, our special guest Pete Robson was invited to the stage. Playing a resonator with slide and with a blues infused voice his first set consisted of; “Sweet Home Chicago” by Robert Johnson, “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Two” by Chris Thomas King, Son House’s “Empire State Express”, “Queen of Hearts” (PR), “Kokomo Me Baby” by Mississippi Fred McDowell, “Walking Blues” by Robert Johnson and another of his own songs “Pour Me Another Barmaid”.
After the break and raffle were were gently eased into the second half by Jonathan Klein who sang “For You Blue” by George Harrison and “If I Could Have One Wish”. Following Jonathan, bluesman Mike Atack who has just released a CD “Furry’s Blues” to critical acclaim,
performed Furry’s “Falling Down Blues”, Blind Willie McTell’s “Love Changing Blues” and another Furry Lewis song, “Skinny Woman Blues”. And then onto the stage, the blues legends that are The Rezzonators. Coming all the way from Sway, home of the Avon Water Blues and the fondly remembered treacle mines, Pete Gabony and Mike Shipman played “Drop Down Mama” by Sleepy John Estes, Tampa Red’s “Tight Like That” and Mississippi John Hurt’s “Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me”. And for the remainder of the evening we welcomed back our guest, Pete Robson. He performed “Who Do You Love” by Bo Diddley, and then a set of self penned numbers; “Pram in your Hallway”, “The Morning After”, “Working Man”, “Tomorrow’s Pay”, “Leaving the City”, “I Got So Drunk”, “More Fun on a Monday”, and “You Think You’ve Got It Bad”. And to finish the evening, at ‘Crazy’ Bob’s suggestion, all the performers joined in on a mass jam. It was brilliant, and so was the night. Thanks to all the performers and especially to our guest, Pete Robson.
Even before MC Steve West could introduce the first act, a rabble from Milford on Sea interrupted proceedings! In fact, they were the ‘Milford Mummers’ who entertained us with their seasonal play. Tough following that but Henry Campion was up to the challenge. He first sang unaccompanied the traditional “Pace Egging” and then Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings” and McCartney’s “Let It Be”.
For the remainder of the first half, our special guest Nigel Waite sang a selection of his fine songs. “Shooting The Breeze”, “Openshaw Lad”, “It’s You”, “North To Dartmouth”, “St Helena” and “Harry Paye” were all well received.
After the break and raffle, Mike Atack performed Blind Willie McTell’s “Love Changing Blues” and two songs by Furry Lewis; “Goin’ To Kansas” and “Skinny Woman”. And then someone we haven’t seen for awhile. Victor Checuti sang three of his own songs; “Keep On Walkin'”, “To Your Eyes” and “Gypsy Rose”. To finish the evening Nigel returned to the stage and sang “The Floor Singer”, “It’s A Fine Line”, “Pegasus Bridge”, “The Good Samaritan”, “It’s Time”, and a Christmas medley that included “In The Bleak Midwinter”, “Here Comes The Sun” and “Silent Night”. A great set.
MC Jonathan Klein got the evening off to a fine start with one of his own songs, “Oh, Stephanie”. He followed that with Paul McCartney’s “Here, There and Everywhere” from the ‘Revolver’ album and another of his own compositions, “Running For Love”.
Next up was our very own ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long. He proceeded to tell us his greyhound joke before performing Gus Cannon’s “Walk Right In”, originally recorded in 1929, it was famously recorded by ‘The Rooftop Singers’ in 1962 and became a worldwide hit, being covered by many artists. He then sang Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Shuckin’ Sugar Blues” and another Gus Cannon song, “Last Chance Blues”. To finish the first half, we had a special extended set from Henry & Roni as ‘Free ‘N Easy’. In 1968, ten school-friends, five boys, five girls, formed a group, made an LP and then went their separate ways. Forty six years later they decided to do it again! The title of the now CD is called, appropriately, “Some Time Later” and all proceeds go the the charity ‘Extend’, of which Roni is a member. They sang songs from the CD including; “Four Strong Winds” by Ian Tyson, “Sally Free ‘N Easy” by Cyril Tawney, John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery”, Don McLean’s “Crossroads”, “Follow It On” by Stu Hanna and Debbie Hanna-Palmer from ‘Megson’, “Wagon Wheel” by Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor, and an unaccompanied “Wild Mountain Thyme”. A briiliant set and a great end to the first half.
After the break and raffle, Pat O’Dea took to the stage and sang “Song For Life” by Rodney Crowell and Alan Jackson’s “Here In The Real World”. He was then joined by his pardn’r John Scott on Jamie O’Hara’s “For Reasons I’ve Forgotten”. John continued with “If I Had Any Pride Left At All”, written by John Greenebaum, Troy Seals and Eddie Setser, and another Rodney Crowell song, “Many A Long And Lonesome Highway”. He was then re-joined by Pat to perform bluegrass standard “Before I Met You”. Following on from John & Pat was Jim Brown. He sang “Dixie Darling” by the Carter Family, Gillian Welch’s “I Dreamed A Highway Back To You”, Tom Paxton’s “Wild Flying Dove”, and “Make Me Down A Pallet On Your Floor”, recorded recently by Gillian Welch, the original probably written by Doc Watson.
And finally, Sway blues legends ‘The Rezzonators’. Sway may not have the Mississippi River, but then the Mississippi doesn’t have Avon Water, a lighthouse, a dock…. and treacle mines. Hard times in Sway! Mike Shipman (who didn’t tell his whippet joke) and Peter Gabony performed; “Reconsider Baby” by Lowell Fulson, Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man”, Mississippi John Hurt’s “Creole Belle”, “Walking My Blues Away” by Blind Boy Fuller, and “Whiskey Headed Woman” by Tommy McLennan. A great evening again.