Don’t Worry ‘Bout The Bear – The Music Memoirs of Jim Simpson

‘Don’t Worry ’Bout The Bear – From The Blues To Jazz, Rock & Roll and Black Sabbath’ is written by Jim Simpson and his brother Ron and is published by Brewin Books on June 22nd 

Jim was the original manager of Black Sabbath – but Sabbath were not typical of the music he promoted and recorded.

In the 1960s Jim played trumpet and managed the UK pop/ska band Locomotive who hit the UK charts in 1968. He later managed the Birmingham rock band Bakerloo, edited the  Birmingham music magazine ‘Brum Beat’ from 1968 to 1982 and ‘The Jazz Rag’ magazine and launched Big Bear Music promoting four American Blues Legends tours, between 1973 and 1979, as well as promoting many individual tours by US blues artists.

Among those who appeared on the ABL tours and toured individually for Big Bear include Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, Champion Jack Dupree, Billy Boy Arnold, Willie Mabon, Eddie Taylor, Eddie C. Campbell, Big John Wrencher, Boogie Woogie Red, Eddie ‘Guitar’ Burns, Lightnin’ Slim Doctor Ross, (14 tours for Big Bear), Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson, Cousin Joe Pleasant, Shuggie Otis and many more!

Jim has also been the director of the Birmingham International Jazz Festival for over 30 years, promoting Miles Davis, Illinois Jacquet, B. B. King and Dizzy Gillespie. He was also the programming and publicity manager at Ronnie Scott’s Birmingham until its demise.

Jim Simpson has been at the epi-centre of the UK music industry for over half a century promoting and recording  jazz and blues in the UK and Europe – and he is still busy supporting new acts as well as his stalwarts such as the jive and R&B combo King Pleasure and The Biscuit Boys.

Besides jazz, blues and Black Sabbath there are plenty of stories and anecdotes about musicians and artists such Nina Simone, Muddy Waters, The Moody Blues, Stevie Winwood, and broadcaster John Peel.

Watch out for reviews in Blues & Rhythm Magazine and in other UK music publications.

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Interview With Charlie Gillett From 2008


The late Charlie Gillett was a renowned broadcaster, journalist and author. He wrote the acclaimed and influential ‘Sound Of The City’ (“the first serious and comprehensive history of rock & roll”) and the story of Atlantic Records ‘Making Tracks’.

He wrote for the first serous music magazine I ever read ‘Let It Rock’, for ‘Rolling Stone’, ‘The Observer’ and the ‘NME’

As a radio DJ he appeared on the national and world service BBC, and presented the influential BBC Radio London show ‘Honky Tonk’.

Ace Records released two volumes of ‘Charlie Gillett’s Radio Picks Honky Tonk’ which included some of the classic records he played on his show including a demo by Dire Straits of ‘Sultan’s Of Swing’ which lead to world wide fame for the band.

On London’s Capital Radio he began playing ‘world music’ and developed an unparalleled knowledge of world/global music scene (check out his multi volume issued between 2000 and 2009 ‘World’ and ‘Sound Of The World’ series of double CDs).

He was the boss of Oval Music, a label named after the local south London cricket ground that he formed with Gordon Nelki in 1972, which released the influential ‘Another Saturday Night’ a compilation of South Louisiana and Cajun music.

Charlie was the recipient of  a Sony Gold Lifetime Achievement Award and the John Peel Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Radio by the Radio Academy.

In July 2006, after eleven years of broadcasting his regular Saturday-night show of world music, Gillett had to end his weekend slot due to ill health, but until his death he continued to present his half-hour show, ‘Charlie Gillett’s World Of Music’.

Charlie died on 17th March 2010, following a series of health problems, including being diagnosed with Churg-Strauss syndrome in 2006.

Music fans will enjoy this hour lone interview with a great man.

 

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Books, Film -TV, Gospel, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Rock & Roll, Roots, Soul, Vinyl, Website, World Music, You Tube | Leave a comment

Down Home Blues: Chicago Volume 2: Sweet Home Chicago

‘Down Home Blues: Sweet Home Chicago’ is the second volume of Chicago Blues post war down home blues music from Wienerworld, recorded from the mid-1940s through the golden decade years of the 1950s up to the early 1960s Sweet Home Chicago features 46 artists who were influential in developing the Chicago blues scene including Elmore James, Howling Wolf and Jimmy Rogers. Includes early down home blues recordings from Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley just before they were on the cusp of taking their music into the new big world of rock and roll

A five CD set, packaged in a deluxe digipak with an outer slip case, featuring 135 tracks all remastered and including alternate takes of well-known recordings. All unissued and alternate take records are from Peter Moody’s private collection, many of which are otherwise unavailable

Includes an outstanding 94 page book, featuring a new essay by renowned blues historian  Mike Rowe on the post war Chicago scene; over fifty rare period photographs illustrate the essay throughout; full track details, as well as full sessionography. A feature page section on some of the artists and a five page gallery of original 78 and 45 record labels

Features eight unique unpublished photos: Chuck Berry (inside cover), Johnnie Johnson (p.1), Memphis Minnie (p.2), Robert Lockwood with Sonny Boy Williamson (p.25), Honey Boy Edwards (p.31), Elmore James, Little Walter & Muddy Waters (p.34), Bo Diddley (p.42), Billy Boy Arnold (p.44)

Peter Moody, the compiler, was frustrated that as he worked on the Chicago 5 CD Fine Boogie set that was released in 2017, he was finding that he had many more prime recordings and ideas to bring to the ears of the blues music audience so he started work on this follow up collection.

Continuing the mix of well-known artists to the lesser-known, all the recordings are prime Chicago masterworks. With big hitters like Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, all their tracks are alternate takes or originally unissued masters by the record companies, most of which are currently not available on release.

Mixing with these three there are many more stars of this down home genre including Albert King, Jimmy Reed and Memphis Minnie, again with alternate recordings of their best well-known music. In this golden age of blues, there were so many superb recordings being made it was impossible to issue many of them into the singles record buying market place. Eventually when the new long playing albums began to surface they began to cater for this wealth of music when recording in later years.

CD 1
1 WHO BUT YOU *
James Clark
2 DRIFTING
Memphis Jimmy (James Clark)
3 DELTA PINE BLUES *
Johnny Shines
4 RIDE, RIDE MAMA *
Johnny Shines
5 EVIL-HEARTED WOMAN BLUES *
Johnny Shines
6 I’M GONNA CUT YOUR HEAD*
Homer Harris
7 TOMORROW WILL BE TOO LATE *
Homer Harris
8 DUE RESPECTS TO YOU
Willie ‘Long Time’ Smith
9 NO SPECIAL RIDER HERE
Willie ‘Long Time’ Smith
10 LITTLE BOY BLUE
“Blues Boy” Bill
11 BURYING GROUND BLUES * -ALT
Muddy Waters
12 COME TO ME BABY
James (Beal Street) Clark
13 YOU CAN’T MAKE THE GRADE
James (Beal Street) Clark
14 XMAS BLUES * -TEST
Herman Ray
15 SPECIAL DELIVERY MAN *
Forest City Joe
16 SHADY LANE WOMAN *
Forest City Joe
17 ATOMIC BOMB BLUES *
Homer Harris
18 TOMORROW WILL BE TOO LATE * – ALT
Homer Harris
19 DEVILMENT ON MY MIND *
Willie ‘Long Time’ Smith
20 HOMELESS BLUES *
Willie ‘Long Time’ Smith
21 MEAN MISTREATIN’ WOMAN*
Forest City Joe
22 LONESOME DAY BLUES *
Forest City Joe
23 MOTHER FUYER
Dirty Red
24 YOU DONE ME WRONG
Dirty Red
25 MR CHARLEY *
Pete Franklin
26 WATER COAST BLUES
Big Bill Broonzy

CD 2
1 HARD DAYS *
Muddy Waters
2 BURYING GROUND *
Muddy Waters
3 SCHOOL DAYS
Floyd Jones
4 COME ON, IF YOU’RE COMING
Tampa Red
5 I’LL FIND MY WAY
Tampa Red
6 BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAY
Johnny Temple
7 SIT RIGHT ON IT
Johnny Temple
8 HARD WORKING MAN *
Jimmy Rogers
9 MY LITTLE MACHINE *
Jimmy Rogers
10 CRYING SHAME *
Jimmy Rogers
11 GLORY FOR MAN *
Robert Lockwood Jr.
12 MY DAILY WISH *
Robert Lockwood Jr.
13 HOW MANY MORE YEARS -ALT
Howling Wolf
14 JUST MY KIND *
Howling Wolf
15 BROKEN HEART -ALT
Memphis Minnie
16 LAKE MICHIGAN *
Memphis Minnie
17 ME AND MY CHAUFFEUR -ALT
Memphis Minnie
18 LONESOME DAY *
Muddy Waters
19 STUFF YOU GOTTA WATCH *
Muddy Waters
20 CRYING – ALT
Blue Smitty
21 ELGIN MOVEMENT *
Blue Smitty
22 IN LOVE AGAIN *
Memphis Minnie
23 WHAT A NIGHT *
Memphis Minnie
24 FUNERAL HEARSE AT MY DOOR *
Rocky Fuller
25 DRIFTIN’ -ALT
Little Walter
26 OFF THE WALL -ALT
Little Walter

CD 3
1 SWEET HOME CHICAGO *-TAKE 2
Honey Boy Edwards
2 DROP DOWN MAMA *
Honey Boy Edwards
3 I DECLARE THAT AIN’T RIGHT * – TAKE 4
Henry Gray
4 MY BABY LEFT ME *
Big Boy Spires
5 THAT’S IT *
Little Walter
6 THAT’S IT * – EDITED VERSION
Little Walter
7 BLUES WITH A FEELING -ALT
Little Walter
8 I SEE MY BABY *
Elmore James
9 COUNTRY BOOGIE
Elmore James
10 I HAD A DREAM -ALT
Lazy Bill
11 SHE GOT ME WALKIN’ -ALT
Lazy Bill
12 LITTLE BOY BLUE * -ALT
Albert King
13 HAND ME DOWN * (SWEET WOMAN)
Albert King
14 MURDER *
Albert King
15 UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL *
Morris Pejoe
16 HURT MY FEELINGS
Morris Pejoe
17 LONESOME BLUES *
Homesick James
18 12th ST STATION *
Homesick James
19 LONG LONESOME DAYS *
Homesick James
20 EIGHT BALL*
Gus Jenkins
21 (I’M YOUR) HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN-ALT
Muddy Waters
22 IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE DEVIL
Otis Spann
23 FIVE SPOT
Otis Spann
24 I LOVE YOU SO (OH BABY) *
Little Walter
25 LAST NIGHT * – FIRST VERSION
Little Walter
26 GOODBYE BABY *
Henry Gray
27. YOU MESSED UP *
Henry Gray

CD 4
1 WEE WEE HOURS
Chuck Berry
2 NO MONEY DOWN
Chuck Berry
3 I’VE CHANGED *
Chuck Berry
4 I WAS FOOLED
Billy Boy Arnold
5 DON’T STAY OUT ALL NIGHT
Billy Boy Arnold
6 LITTLE GIRL -ALT
Bo Diddley
7 I’M A MAN -ALT
Bo Diddley
8 YOU DON’T LOVE ME (YOU DON’T CARE)
Bo Diddley
9 WATCH YOURSELF *
Henry Gray
10 THAT AIN’T RIGHT *
Henry Gray
11 THIS PAIN *
Muddy Waters
12 I WANT TO BE LOVED -ALT
Muddy Waters
13 LITTLE GIRL *
Little Walter
14 TEMPERATURE – FIRST VERSION
Little Walter
15 HURRY HOME *
Dusty Brown
16 GOOD EVENING EVERYBODY*
Sonny Boy Williamson
17 HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE *
Sonny Boy Williamson
18 SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING
Herby Joe
19 DREAMED (LAST NIGHT)
Herby Joe
20 I NEED YOU PRETTY BABY FOR MY OWN
Harmonica ‘Blues King’ Harris
21 BLUES KING MANGO
Harmonica ‘Blues King’ Harris
22 GOIN’ BACK
Po Joe Williams
23 MY BABY LEFT
Po Joe Williams
24 YOU GOT ME WRONG
Billy Boy Arnold
25 MY HEART IS CRYING
Billy Boy Arnold
26 I DON’T KNOW -ALT
Sonny Boy Williamson
27 LIKE WOLF *
Sonny Boy Williamson
28 THIS IS MY APARTMENT *
Sonny Boy Williamson

CD5
1 I’M GONNA RUIN YOU *-FIRST VERSION
Jimmy Reed
2 HONEY, WHERE YOU GOING?
Jimmy Reed
3 LITTLE RAIN
Jimmy Reed
4 HURTS ME SO MUCH * -TAKE 2
Sonny Boy Williamson
5 FATTENING FROGS FOR SNAKES – ALT
Sonny Boy Williamson
6 KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR
Elmore James
7 LOOK OUT MABLE
G. “Davy” Crockett
8 HONEY, WHERE YOU GOING? -ALT
Jimmy Reed
9 LITTLE RAIN -ALT
Jimmy Reed
10 SIGNALS OF LOVE -ALT
Jimmy Reed
11 WELL YOU KNOW (I LOVE YOU)
Dusty Brown
12 I LOVE THIS CARRYING ON
Freddie Hall
13 SHE’S A UPSETTER
Freddie Hall
14 MY WALKING BLUES
Little Mack Simmons
15 COME BACK
Little Mack Simmons
16 NOTHING BUT TROUBLE
Eddie Boyd
17 HER PICTURE IN THE FRAME
Eddie Boyd
18 FIVE LONG YEARS
Eddie Boyd
19 I CAN’T HOLD OUT
Elmore James
20 THE SUN IS SHINING
Elmore James
21 MR AIRPLANE MAN
Howling Wolf
22 LITTLE BABY
Howling Wolf
23 BABY’S COMING HOME
Hound Dog Taylor
24 FIVE, TAKE FIVE
Hound Dog Taylor
25 CAN’T AFFORD TO DO IT
Homesick James
26 SET A DATE
Homesick James
27 RUNNING AROUND
Slim Willis
28 NO FEELING FOR YOU
Slim Willis

KEY
* Track originally not issued
-ALT = Alternate Take (originally not issued)

 

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Joe Louis Walker – Live In Las Vegas

Joe Louis Walker – a Blues Hall of Fame guitarist and singer and songwriter and his band storm through ten 10 tracks live in concert at the Boulder Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This great live performance is captured iDVD and complimentary CD disc packaged in a  four-panel Digipak.

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Netflix Documentary On Robert Johnson

Netflix has made a new documentary about the life of legendary Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson, whose guitar playing in the 1930’s was pioneering for the genre and laid the template for rock’n’roll.

The film is called ‘Remastered: Devil at the Crossroads’ because Johnson was said to have made a deal with the Devil at a crossroads in rural Mississippi, and it explores how people believed that everything he touched was cursed.

This film examines more worldly interpretations of these myths and how they might have affected today’s blues stars, including contributors Keb’ Mo’, Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Bonnie Raitt.

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Unissued R&B Track Gets Release On 45rpm After 69 Years

Ace records recently found an unissued track, ‘Bartender Knock Me A Zombie’ in the the vaults of Sensation Records.

Recorded almost seventy years ago by The Four Shades of Rhythm for the Detroit based label Ace made it available to BBC Radio 6’s Cerys Mathews who played the track on air generating much interest amongst listeners.

So much so they have released it on a 45rpm disc. Click on the graphic at the top and read the Ace ‘Right Track’ press booklet for more information!

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Skiffle Tribute On BBC Four April 12th

65 years ago Lonnie Donegan started a music revolution in the UK with his recording of Lead Belly’s ‘Rock Island Line’ – it started the skiffle boom when thousands of skiffle bands spread throughout the land.

On April 12th at 9:00pm UK songster Billy Bragg presents a tribute to the song and to the skiffle boom – and it looks like it is well worth watching. Washboard’s at the ready!

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New Set From Rory Gallagher Due May 31st.

In what would have been the 50th year of Rory Gallagher’s recording career, UMC have announced the release of ‘BLUES’ on 31st May. From the vaults of the Gallagher estate’s tape archive comes this collection of rare and unreleased recordings of Rory playing blues material, ranging from never heard before tracks to special guest sessions and lost radio sessions, from 1971 right through to 1994.

Formats include a 15 track CD / 2LP version; a limited edition blue vinyl 2LP and a deluxe 36 track 3CD version showcasing Rory’s performances of electric, acoustic and live blues.

The Deluxe set comprises 90% unreleased material and features performances with Muddy Waters, Albert King, Jack Bruce, Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber. The Deluxe Edition also comes with an extensive booklet comprising previously unseen pictures of Rory plus a new essay by Blues / Rock writer Jas Obrecht.

Renowned for his blistering live performances and respected for his dedication to his craft, Rory died in 1995, aged just 47, yet his reputation has continued to flourish in the years since.

From his first album with Taste through his final solo album, Rory remained true to his own musical vision.

Like the American bluesmen he admired, he created an instantly identifiable sound.

Rory was influenced by many blues artists including Buddy Guy, B. B. King, Blind Boy Fuller, Big Bill Broozny, Muddy Waters and Lead Belly. But unlike many of his peers in the U.K., especially during the 1960s and 1970s, Rpry did not specialise in note-perfect copies of other artists songs.

As he explained to an interviewer in 1978, “I never started out to be a strict recreator of the blues or even a modern young bluesman. I wanted to be me.”

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Record Store Day 2019

Record Store Day 2019 takes place on Saturday, April 13th, at record stores across the world.

Started in 2008, the yearly event is meant to celebrate record store culture by bringing together fans, artists and thousands of independent vinyl shops, and features exclusive releases, reissues and hard-to-find vinyl and CD gems for record collectors everywhere.

The official list of special releases for 2019 is now available. Among the highlights this year are special 10 inch vinyl blues releases from Blind Willie McTell and Robert Johnson’s ‘Kind Hearted Woman Blues/ Terraplane Blues’, plus a collectable Albert King album.

Fans of 1960s and 1970s rock bands check out The Doors, Jethro Tull, Van Morrison’s ‘Astral Weeks’, Ten Years After, double vinyl albums of original Woodstock performances by Janis Joplin, Canned Heat and Sly And The Family Stone and the highlight a vinyl album of Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks – Original New York Test Pressing’.

This years ambassador’s for Record Store Day are Pearl Jam,

Check out the complete list on the official Record Store Day website.

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Cassette, Compact Disc, Jazz, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Rock & Roll, Soul, Vinyl, Website, World Music | Leave a comment

UK record company will press your ashes into a working vinyl album.

For those dedicated vinyl record collectors, a UK company, called And Vinyly, is offering to press our ashes into playable vinyl records upon our demise. 

The company’s slogan is “Live On From Beyond The Groove.” 

During manufacture, your ashes are sprinkled onto the raw piece of vinyl, one teaspoon per record, just before it is pressed by the plates. You can decide what music is on the record and presumably what colour vinyl you would prefer. 

Many people choose clear vinyl so the bits of ashes can be seen.  Of course adding ash filler to the vinyl does add some crackling surface noise, but hey, it’s a vinyl record! 

The company does not do 45’s yet, or picture sleeves. 

To read about the service visit The Vintage News article or to watch the company’s video about this click And Vinyly.

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