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Chicago Blues Living History and Steve Miller!

John and I invite you to join us this week (11/9/13) as Time for the Blues returns to “Chicago Blues: A Living History,” incredible remakes of classic blues from all the greats! Unlike the old “sold-on-TV-fake-rock-hits-LPs” from the ‘70s, these remakes are the real deal! We’ll also find out what Steve Miller was up to when he returned to his blues roots in 2010!

So you know the story by now (if you heard the show last week)! John originally picked “Chicago Blues: A Living History” because he thought it was a great classic compilation of Chicago blues by the greats--Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, etc. Turned out it is so much more, as current blues legends Billy Boy Arnold (harp/vocals), John Primer (guitar/vocals), Billy Branch (harp/vocals) and Lurrie Bell (guitar/vocals-he was just here at the Richmond Folk Festival) teamed up with talented backing guys Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith (the late Kenny “Big Eyes” son) on drums, Billy Flynn (guitar) as well as real smooth keyboards from Johnny Iguana and Felton Crews deftly handling the bass chores.

The two-disc set covers 1940--1955 (cuts from that disc were featured last week) and 1955--present and that’s what were going to feature this week. Not to give away everything, but the these are tracks written and originally recorded by Junior Wells, Billy Boy Arnold himself, John Lee Hooker (but you’ll be surprised which track they cover) and of course, our obligatory Willie Dixon song! We really dig this set and hope you will too! (Check the audio sample below.)

Our second feature this week is the Steve Miller Band--we’ve played Steve and his blues tracks form the late 60’s/early 70’s before, but this time I stumbled on two CDs he recorded in 2010/2011! Why we didn’t know about these at that time, I can’t say, but you’ll be glad I found’em now! Steve Miller didn’t record a new release for 17 years (since 1993) so when he did return to the studio, he chose to return to the blues! The first release “Bingo!” features Steve at his best on guitar and his vocals sound as if it were still 1973! He also has great help from soul vocalist Sonny Charles and the late harp great Norton Buffalo (in fact, this was Norton’s last recording session before he passed). What I love on this disc and the follow up “Let Your Hair Down” is that Steve covers the greats--you’ll hear his takes on a Howlin’ Wolf classic as well as Lowell Fulson and WIllie Dixon! In all, almost every blues great is represented on these two discs--that’s why I thought this complemented our “Chicago Blues: A Living History” feature! Great restylings of the blues greats and all for you to enjoy!

If all that weren’t enough, we have some recent stuff for you from right in our own backyard--we’ll check out a track from Richmond’s own Barrelhouse and their new indie CD and a track from the new CD “All in Good Time” from local fave The Mike Lucci Band! One more treat comes from the latest CD “The Rock House Sessions” by gifted guitarist Sean Chambers--the man can shred! 

For a tasty dessert, we’ll hit the archives (actually, my bottom file drawer) and play some tracks from the Orignal Soundtrack to Mystery Train, that quircky 1989 Jim Jarmusch film of three stories over a night in Memphis--you’ll love these tracks by Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas and Bobby Blue Bland!

So again, have we enticed you enough to grap a short nap, get your popcorn and your Snuggie and stay up with us? Time for the Blues with John Porter and Henry Cook airs Saturdays at 11:00 p.m.

Got a movie soundtrack you love that has great blues? Give us a shout and we’ll play it for you!