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!