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Pickin’ with John and Henry!

Join us this week on Time for the Blues (6/24/12) as Henry and I pick through our blues library in search of “buried treasures!” No, we’re not copying a reality show--the stuff we’re picking is ABOUT picking! Guitars, get it? Yeah, not one of our best, but hey, the music will be great!

Lately Henry has tried to get me addicted to shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars. If you haven’t seen these shows, they show the main characters sifting through other people’s castoffs and in every single episode they come across some little thing that changed the course of history or is worth a small fortune.

As a result, Henry and I have started to check out unusual stores, flea markets, and the occasional yard sale looking for bargains. Not so much the yard sales, because those are usually too early on a Saturday and Richmond is ridiculously hot this time of year. Henry prefers pawn shops because they tend to be air conditioned. More times than not we walk away with nothing to show but a sunburn, but once in a while we have picked up some incredible stuff to share with you on the show.

It’s also no secret that we like to think of ourselves as musicians. Notice I didn’t say that anyone else considered us musicians. Henry plays the guitar and I sometimes like to play the harp. We argue - discuss vehemently - what makes a blues song and while I still believe an instrument like the harp or a Hammond B add a great deal to a song, it is the guitar or piano that drives it.

The guitar does the heavy lifting this week as we’ll check out some of the giants of the instrument wailing on six strings like the virtuosos that they are. How about Eric Clapton and B. B. King teaming up on a couple of sides as well as taking solo turns. We’ve got those other Kings as well, Freddy and Albert contributing a couple of standout tunes. Henry’s betting up now that we have three kings!

Also sitting in the “pickin” session are Elmore James and the guitar-harp tandem of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells live from one of the premiere music festivals. Plus we’ll showcase some sides from new releases from The Mannish Boys, Sista Monica Parker and R. J. Mischo.

Speaking of new releases, two friends and performers in the blues, Dennis Gruenling (harp) and Doug Deming (guitar) are teaming up in performance this coming Wednesday, June 27th, 8:00 PM at the Capital Ale House Music Hall downtown! They’re celebrating dual CD releases: Dennis’ “Rockin’ All Day” and Doug’s (with the Jewel Tones) “What’s it Gonna Take.” What we found really cool is that Dennis plays on Doug’s CD and Doug & the Jewel Tones play on Dennis’ CD. So, if you hit the show you’ll hear a whole lotta cool blues with a jumpin’ sound! Check out the audio from Dennis’ track “Bloodshot Eyes” below!

Now, as you can see, we did all the picking (actually I did all the picking--Henry’s just taking credit) and all you have to do is enjoy! So grab that perfunctory nap, make a snack and stay up late with us! Time for the Blues with John Porter and Henry Cook airs Sundays at 1:00 AM.

Tell us a tale of finding lost blues gems--and if you’ve got a yard sale coming up, let us know if you’ve got any cool music for sale (not that we can afford it)--by the way, Henry’s looking for some warped Tupperware.