Our very own ‘Mississippi’ Bob Long hosted tonight’s Blues Special which featured many songs that the early blues legends would have known well.
First up was Maurice Pearce. He sang “Deep River Blues” in the style of Doc Watson, Blind Blake’s “That Will Happen No More”, “Basin Street Blues” written by Spencer Williams in 1928 and recorded that year by Louis Armstrong with an additional verse written a little later by Glenn Miller & Jack Teagarden (!), “You Gotta Know How” by Sippie Wallace, and “Sitting On Top Of The World” written by Walter Vinson & Lonnie Chatmon of the Mississippi Sheiks, who first recorded it in 1930.
Next were The Rezzonators. Travelling all the way from Sway, Mike Shipman and Peter Gabony performed “You Can’t Get The Stuff No More” by Tampa Red, Blind Willie Johnson’s “Keep Your Light Trimmed And Burning”, “Trouble In Mind” by Richard M. Jones, Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues”, “My Pencil Wont Write No More” by Bo Carter, Ishman Bracey’s “Saturday Blues” and “Can’t Be Satisfied” by Muddy Waters.
Then it was time for the first set from our special guest, Martin McNeill. Martin is simply one of this country’s finest blues guitarists. Based in Essex, he travels regularly to clubs all over the UK and beyond. He played Big Bill Broonzy’s “Feel So Good”, “Unchain My Heart” a song written by Bobby Sharp and recorded in 1961 by Ray Charles, Fred McDowell’s “Write Me A Few Of Your Lines”, “Bring It On Home” by Sam Cooke and John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillen”.
After the break and raffle, Glen Wright stepped onto the stage. He sang his version of Elizabeth Cotten’s “Mama Don’t Care For You”, and then three of his own songs; “Blue Moon Blues”, “Do Right Baby” and “Rolling Stone”. Following Glen were the Bob Long Trio. Bob,
Lorna Franklin and Keith Miller performed The Memphis Jug Band’s “You May Leave But This Will Bring You Back”, Lorna sang “Comes Love, a 1939 jazz standard composed by Sam H. Stept, Lew Brown and Charles Tobias and featured in the Broadway musical ‘Yokel Boy’, starring Phil Silvers and Buddy Ebsen, (Buddy Ebsen…. Beverly Hillbillies!!!!) and “I Gotta Have It”, a 1948 hit for Lil Green and her Orchestra written by Cy Coben & Maxine Manners.
Martin returned to the stage for his second set which comprised of; Eric Bibb’s “Good Stuff”, “Route 66” composed in 1946 by Bobby Troup and first recorded the same year by Nat King Cole, “Danger Zone” by Percy Mayfield, “Skin Game Blues” by Peg Leg Howell, the traditional “Tell Old Bill”, Robert Johnson’s “Dust My Broom”, and “Jesus On The Main Line” by Ry Cooder.
A fantastic evening of blues from the early days and beyond. Thank you Martin and everyone who performed. Next time – 4th October – our guest is Ian Easton, singer/songwriter formerly known as “The Widowmaker”!!!