Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Time Machine Looking at Blues From October 1976

My 3rd installment of my blues column from the Buffalo Jazz Report, October, 1976. I mentioned the B.B. King and Muddy waters gigs the previous month, but here I have a quick review along with mentioning Buddy and Junior with Jeff Beck in the audience. I believe he opened for Fleetwood Mac at the Old War Memorial Auditorium the next night. I believe Buddy and Junior's Band was pretty much the same as on the album they did backing Memphis Slim including brother Phil Guy on guitar, A.C. Reed on sax and Buffalo native Roosevelt 'Snake' Shaw on drums. The images of the two album covers are from reissues of the Peg Leg Sam and Louisiana Red albums.

The last month has been quite good for live 'blues' in the Buffalo area. B.B. King appeared at Melody Fair, Muddy Waters at the Outside Inn in Angola, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells returned to the Belle Starr and as I write this Bobby 'Blue' Bland will appear at Kleinhans. I had a chance to see B.B. and he is the 'King of the Blues' without question. A true pro who is totally into his music and who worked·through songs associated with him like "How Blue Can You Get" and his current hit (with Bobby Bland) of "Let the Good Times Roll" as well as Leon Russell's "Hummingbird" and a fine version of "Please Send Me Someone To Love". Buddy Guy and Junior Wells were dynamite as usual. The night I saw them Jeff Beck was in the audience to see his favorite guitarist, Buddy Guy, and later sat in with the band. 
Peg Leg Sam is a veteran of the medicine show scene. A fine country blues harmonica player and singer his new album Going Train Blues (Blue Labor BL 105). accompanied by Louisiana Red, 1s a fine album demonstrating Sam's skills as a singer and entertainer. He has an earlier album on Trix which I have unfortunately, not heard. Other fine blues Ips on Blue Labor Include Louisiana Red's Sweet Blood Call (BL 104) which features marvelous country blues and original lyrics such as the fine "Death of Ealase, written about his wife who died of cancer. Sonny Terry's Robbin' the Grave (BL 101) finds Sonny without Brownie McGhee, but with friends in a fine set of spirited blues, far removed from the folkie circuit that some have associated Sonny with. Sonny plays and sings with great enthusiasm. Sonny and Brownie back Alec Seward on Late One Saturday .Evening (BL 103) which was recorded at a house party along wilh other fnends with everyone in good spirits. 

Bobo Jenkins is one of many artists playing blues in Detroit. For various reasons Bobo has recorded himself and created Big Star Records out of his own work. A worker for Chrysler for over 20 years (he recently quit). he built his own basement studio and Here I am a Fool in Love Again (BS 11-33) reflects this as it won't win audio awards. The music is great gutty city blues- not very different from Chicago blues of the 50s, played without any BS. The outstanding track of the album is "Sharecropper Blues" where working for Chrysler is compared to being a sharecropper. You will want to get this from Bobo at Big Star Recording Studio, 4228 Joy Road, Detroit, Michigan,

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