There were several times tonight I closed my eyes and imagined I was listening to those early blues players of the Twenties and Thirties. The vibe was that good.
MC ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long with Keith Miller on Harmonica performed Robert Johnson’s “Dead Shrimp Blues” and was then joined by Graham Tonge on double bass for Big Bill Broonzy’s “When I’ve Been Drinkin'”, “Standin’ ‘Round Cryin'”, and Tommy Johnson’s “Big Road Blues”. Graham came all the way from Wantage to play with us tonight. He is a very talented multi instrumentalist and that was in evidence when he performed “Wang Dang Doodle” by Willie Dixon on harmonica, with his resonator guitar he sang J B Lenoir’s “Down In Mississippi”, on banjo the traditional “John Henry”, acapella “John The Revolator” with much audience participation, and plain old six string guitar, T Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday”.
We then had the welcome return of Mike Atack. He brought along his new 12 string guitar and played Blind Willie McTell’s “Love Changing Blues”, “Skinny Woman” by Furry Lewis, “Goin’ To Brownsville” by Sleepy John Estes, another Furry Lewis song “Cannonball Blues”. Next up was Stan ‘The Man’ Cockeram whose preference is for the harder edged Chicago blues. He performed “Somebody Gotta Go” by Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Bill Broonzy’s “Key To The Highway” and “Hoochie Coochie Man” by Willie Dixon.
After the break and raffle, ‘ The Milford Mob‘ took to the stage. Coached by Dennis Rigg with Dave Martin on keyboard, the group play harmonicas and percussion and consist of beginners to those with a couple of years experience. They performed a tune “Easy” and then sang “Careless Love” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. Dennis and David remained on stage as ‘ Bad Luck and Trouble‘ and sang blues standard “Operator Blues”, Lead Belly’s “In The Pines”, and the song on which ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ was taken, “Crescent City Blues” written in 1953 by Gorden Jenkins.
And to finish the evening, songwriter Glen Wright from Andover. Glen is also a super blues guitar player and played us a selection of mainly his own songs; “Standing By My Window”, “Backyard Blues”, “Falling Down Blues” by Robert Wilkins, “Long Tall Girl”, “Do Right Baby”, “If You Don’t Want Me”, “Merry Christmas Blues”, and “Blue Moon Blues”.
And just when we thought it was all over, Bob led a blues jam on “Dirty Mistreater”! A brilliant night. Didn’t make me feel blue at all!
Next, Wednesday 7th December: Christmas Open Floor.