Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bettye LaVette Webisode On Soulful Detroit

Check out a new webisode on Soulful Detroit dedicated to Bettye LaVette written by Graham Finch. The webisode includes text, photos and sound clips and covers Bettye's career from 1962 through to the present.

Antoinette K-Doe dies on Mardi Gras Day

Just picked up the following sad news from

Antoinette K-Doe, the irrepressible widow of rhythm & blues singer Ernie K-Doe who transformed the Mother-in-Law Lounge into a living shrine and community center, died early Tuesday after suffering a massive heart attack. She was 66.

"It was her personal mission to keep his memory alive," said Ben Sandmel, who is writing a biography of Ernie K-Doe. "But she also did so much for the community. It's a huge loss for the whole musicians' community of New Orleans."

Born Antoinette Dorsey, Mrs. K-Doe was a cousin of rhythm & blues singer Lee Dorsey. She had known Ernie K-Doe for many years before they became a couple around 1990.

Read full story.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Andre Williams Documentary

Pitchfork TV now showing Andre Williams Documentary for a week:

In his prime, early rock 'n' roller Andre Williams worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Ike Turner. But constant touring, drugs and run ins with the law turned this once vibrant star into a sunken ghost of his former self. This documentary-- filmed between March 2006 and July 2007-- captures the 72-year-old Williams as he deals with the effects of a lifetime of perpetual motion. Flashes of death are coupled with moments of ecstasy.

Big John Hamilton Are You Happy With Him

Big John Hamilton is one of my favourite soul voices so this release is a dream come true to hear previously unheard material from the Playground Studios.

Pick one up from Dave Porter over at Vivid Sound UK:

Calvin Arnold

Head over to Georgia Soul blog where Brian Poust has begun posting on Georgia soul man Calvin Arnold.

DT6 Don't Doubt Me

Starla Records present their debut 45 release SRC 1001
The DT6 “Don’t Doubt Me” b/w Marco & The DT6 “Open My Eyes”

Scotland’s Starla Records present their debut 45 from house-band The DT6. “Don’t Doubt me is a frenetic slice of hammond-driven funk with a dynamic bassline and flute counterpoint.

The DT6 features a revolving cast of Scotland’s young funk and jazz session musicians and are currently working on material with a number of vocalists and other guest players for future releases from Starla.

Samples of the tracks are available from: and

Copies can be ordered from us direct by emailing starlarecords (at) for a paypal or cash/money order details.

The records are priced at £5 (GBP) each with the following rates for postage -
UK (First Class) £1(GBP), Europe (EU Airmail) £2(GBP) , Rest of World (Airmail) £3(GBP). We will discount for multiple orders, please get in touch for wholesale details.

The Olympians How Can I Love (Now That You've Gone)

Toby Pazner, long time keyboard/vibe player on many T&S releases, has come into his own and delivered a sweet little 45 under the band name, The Olympians. The 45 represents Pazner's musical aesthetic and features El Michels on horns and other members of the NY funk elite.

With a mixture of soulful sounds reminiscent of Isaac Hayes, Mickey and the Soul Generation, and Curtis Mayfield, The Olympians are well suited for a lazy Sunday, a trip to the beach or any pensive moment. Recorded in his bedroom on a Tascam 388, The Olympians give us that gritty yet sweet sound that can only come from NY. Pazner has been hard at work cranking out a plethora of goodness and this is just a taste of what is coming from The Olympians. The A side “How Can I Love (Now that your Gone)” is a meditative piece full of soulful vibes, piano, and wistful horns, that are reminiscent of the feelings any lover gets after heart break. Side B entitled “Stand Tall” features Michels on flute and Leonhart on trumpet backed by a hard hitting beat and tough guitars.

Check it out here

African Music Today

Truth & Soul presents it's first collection of rare and unreleased African funk and afrobeat gems that have never seen the light of day until now. Spearheaded four years ago by world famous record collector, Phillip Lehman, African Music Today Vol.1 compiles some of the nastiest afro grooves know to the universe... This is a digital-only release. Click here for ITUNES link.

Soul! TV Show

Just got tipped to the above shows here:-

Check out early 70's sets from Earth Wind & Fire, Linda Hopkins, Ashford and Simpson and others.

US Warren & The Genghis Pea Hard Headed Woman

Hello people,

A new cult reissue seven inch is now available from your favourite independant record label Sausage Records!

SAUS006 - U.S. WARREN & THE GENGHIS PEA - Hard Headed Woman/The Drop PT.1 - 6.00 Euros

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Ulysses Samuel Warren originally released a few singles later featured on the LP "For A Few Funky Dues More" on his own record label Chytowns. Hell, the sound of his formation is unbelievable!

Check it out on the website

Ari Roze Rolling With A Planet


We've got a new 7inch out on Mighty Highness Records by Ari Roze entitled:
rolling with a planet / rolling with a dub

Its our 2nd release & limited to 300 copies.

Visit and take a listen.

Available from us direct or Jazzman/ Juno

This 7 has a sound that sits somewhere between rocksteady meets electrofunk & dub.

Timmion Records Presents Myron & E

The newest 7-inch release to come from Helsinki's Timmion Records is by Myron & E, a Bay Area-based soul duo who have re-considered what new soul music ought to sound like. Without being over-sung nor over-produced, their sound is loose, cool and something you'll want to hear again and again.

Having already collaborated independently of one another with several hip hop groups like Blackalicious, Myron & E (aka producer E da Boss) have combined forces to create a new soul sound with tight production and honest vocals.

Expertly backed by the go-to group The Soul Investigators and produced by E himself, Myron & E have set themselves up for making their 7-inch an instant collectible.

Here's the first single:

And buy it here:

or here:

Dusty Groove

Thank you for supporting independent music.

Daptone Studios Robbed!

Just picked up the following message from Gabriel Roth from Daptone Records in Brooklyn:

Friends and associates,

As you may have heard through the grapevine by now, Daptone was broken into last night. Unfortunately, there was a lot of equipment (mics, pre-amps, monitors, turntables, guitars, amps, computers, etc.) stolen and damaged. It is going to take us a while to go through everything and take full stock of what was stolen, and we are not supposed to touch anything until the cops come back to collect fingerprints so we can only guess what's missing from some mic drawers and cabinets.

And, no, we did not have insurance. We had been shopping around with different companies earlier this month but had not signed a check, so nothing was insured. We are working on replacing the gate in front, installing an alarm system, and getting insurance, but it is President's day so it's not going as quickly as we would have liked.

Nydia's computer was stolen (which wasn't backed up) and the modems/ phone system was ripped out, so we'll be relatively out of commission for a few days.

I would like to ask for everyone's help first in keeping an eye out for all of our stuff showing up on ebay/craigslist/local music shops, and secondly (and more realistically) keeping an eye out for good deals on headphones, mics, pre-amps, etc. I could really use a heads up on any kind of studio package for sale or studio equipment to be possibly bought or borrowed as soon as possible. We have a session scheduled for Friday to lay down some music for (I know this sounds
surreal) Rod Stewart, and I'm going to have to get the studio running by then. I know I'm going to need to find headphones, cables, mics, and pre-amps by then. I'm not sure what else yet.

More details here

Lee Fields New Album Out May

Truth & Soul Records have announced that the following:

Follow Lee Fields & The Expressions on Myspace and get ready for the May 09' release of their first full-length LP.

Great news - take a listen to the 45s if you don't already know them on his MySpace.

Mayer Hawthorne Just Ain't Gonna Work Out

I am miles behind with tips because of my infrequent posts since New Year - here's one from last year:

Mayer Hawthorne is Stones Throw's newest artist. His debut track “Just Ain't Gonna Work Out” (aka “I'm Sorry”) premiered on Giles Peterson's Best of 2008 (BBC Radio 1) a few weeks back. Mark Ronson picked it up for his show, saying “I have no idea what this is, old or new, but it's good!”

We held off on saying anything about Mayer Hawthorne while we waited for these heart-shaped 45s to roll in. We've got them now: “Just Ain't Gonna Work Out” b/w “When I Said Goodbye” – limited 1000 copies.

Mayer Hawthorne is from Detroit and now lives in Los Angeles. He wrote, played, recorded and sang on these tracks. As for the rest of "what it is," check out Mayer Hawthorne's bio written by Ronnie Reese at the link below.

Mayer Hawthorne bio:

Drop over to Stones Throw for more details.

Check out his latest stuff on his MySpace

Garland Green @ Dig Deeper 28/2/09

Dig Deeper is a monthly 60's Soul Party in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn at the Five Spot Soul Food Supper Club (459 Myrtle Ave). Hosted by Mr. Robinson and DJ Honky, on the fourth Saturday of the month, with the dancefloor primed with the finest funk and soul records anywhere in the world from their collections and a live performance each month at midnight from a legendary soul / funk artist that we particularly treasure.

We are ecstatic to welcome Chicago soul legend Garland Green back to NYC for his very first show in the New York area since his last Apollo Theater performance over 35 years ago, this time backed by the Sweet Divines and the Divine Soul Rhythm Band. Garland's next performance after his small club show at Dig Deeper will be to perform for 4,000 people in Germany.

Born in Dunleath, Mississippi, Garland Green headed to Chicago at the young age of 16 in search of better education and a better life, and ended up at the same high school that Gene Chandler and some of the Chi-lites attended.

After a few years of singing in talent shows (and consistently winning), in 1966, he was discovered at a competition belting out Chuck Jackson's "I wake up crying" by none other than Jo Armstead, who signed him on the spot to her fledgling startup label Gamma. After Garland's first single "Girl I love you" (which now sells for upwards of $400) became a local hit in Chicago, he began recording for MCA labels like Revue and Uni.

His string of singles for those two labels ultimately were compiled on his classic "Jealous Kind of Fella" album - the title track of which sold a million copies, but where the money went unfortunately remains a bit of a mystery. It was around this time that Garland made his trek out to NYC and performed at the Apollo Theater with Joe Simon.

Since then, Garland recorded a number of singles on Cotillion and Spring and several LPs which have been beloved by soul fans around the world - and late last year, Kent Records in the UK compiled "The Very Best of Garland Green", which contains his hits from across his career.

Check out Dig Deeper MySpacefor ticket details.

Funk Documentary

Fothcoming Funk Documentary - preview 4 of 4

Check out a forthcoming documentary on funk music by Geoffrey Pleasant:

Monday, February 09, 2009

WFMU Downtown Soulville With Mr Fine Wine

Dave Hamilton (L) & The Peppers

I haven't given Mr Fine Wine a shout for awhile:

Fridays, 7 to 8 p.m. U.S. eastern time
since 1994

years of archives at

30th January 2009 Playlist

Dave Hamilton and His Peppers, Cooter Bug (Hi-Q)
Sammy Ward, Don't Take It Away (Tamla)
The Ideals , Go Get a Wig (St. Lawrence)
Albert Williams, Tumbling (Jam)
Jimmy McCracklin, Get Tough (Checker)
The Supertones, Slippin' and Sloppin' (Pt. 1) (Everest)
Kell Osborne and the Chicks, Do You Mind (Class)
Buddy Ace, What Can I Do (Duke)
King Solomon, Separation ( Mader-D)
Gail Anderson, I Can't Stop It (Galaxy)
James Bynum, Up and Down (Integra)
Robert Winters, Soul Motivation (Ron's)
Lee Moses, How Much Longer (Must I Wait) (Musicor)
Kim Tolliver, Driving Me to the Arms of a Stranger (Rojac)
Bobby Dobyne & The Barefacts, Hold On I'm Coming (Crown Ltd.)
Jock Mitchell, Work With Me Annie (Impact)
Bobby Conerly, Little Girls Go Home (Duke)
Lee Mitchell, Unique (HL&M)
The Sticks of Dynamite, It's Football Baby (Saxton)
Sebastian Williams, Get Your Point Over (Ovide)
The Entertainers, My Pad (Symbol)
Bernie Hayes, The Soul Pearl (Bright Star)
The Magictones, My Dreams Have Got the Best of Me (Westbound)
Bernie Moore, I Wanna Be Loved to Death (Burdett)

If you want to read about Dave Hamilton's career then drop over to the excellent Sixties Detroit

Marvin Ruffin @ Leasowe Castle 14/2/09

John Broven Record Makers and Breakers

Due out 19 March 2009:

Voices of the Independent Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneers

This engaging history of the independent rock ’n’ roll record industry from its raw regional beginnings in the 1940s with R & B and hillbilly music through its decline in the 1960s combines narrative history with extensive oral history material from numerous recording pioneers. This exceptional volume contains the author’s interviews with major players in the independent music scene, including Joe Bihari of Modern Records; Marshall Chess of Chess Records; Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, and Miriam Bienstock of Atlantic Records; Sam Phillips of Sun Records; Art Rupe of Specialty Records; and many more. Behind-the-scenes sources include London Records’ remarkable Mimi Trepel; music publishers Gene Goodman and Freddy Bienstock; The Cash Box trade magazine editors Ira Howard, Irv Lichtman, and Marty Ostrow; disc jockey Bill “Hoss” Allen of Radio WLAC, Nashville; recording studio/label owner and erstwhile teenage jukebox operator Cosimo Matassa; and many, many others.

Also check out John Broven's website

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sir Mack Rice Justice CD

Check out new CD by Sir Mack Rice on CD Baby

Jean Shy New CD

Check out CD on CD Baby from Jean Shy

A dynamic compilation of some of the hottest Soul-Blues material recorded on Jean Shy & The Shy Guys. In conjunction with this CD, Jean Shy was nominated for the 2009 Blues Music Awards, in the category of "Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year".tracks

1 I Wouldn't Wanna Be You
2 Unchain My Heart
3 Song for You
4 Living the Blues
5 Never Loved a Man
6 One Day (Blues Version)
7 I Can't Save You (From Yourself)
8 We Like the Same Thangs
9 Precious Memories
10 Rock Me
11 Old Time Rock'n Roll
12 Amazing Grace

The Blues Got Soul is a compilation of some of the hottest Soul-Blues material recorded on Jean Shy and her German Band The Shy Guys, which was partially, performed “Live” at an Open Air Concert in Duisburg, Germany.

This classic CD is a timeless work of art, which consists of original compositions, and covers performed in Jean Shy & The Shy Guys’ own unique style.

The CD includes Songs that many of their Fans identify Shy and her Shy Guys with, some of which have become their Trademark at live concerts for Years. The original composition “One Day” talks about the search of Peace, Love & Understanding. Shy wrote it, after seeing many homeless people living in cardboard boxes, on Streets in downtown Los Angeles. The Ray Charles / Joe Cocker Classic “Unchain My Heart” has been a much-requested Song at Jean Shy concerts over the years. Their rocking version of Muddy Waters’ “Rock Me”, and last, but not least “Amazing Grace”, which is almost celebrated like a “national anthem”, has to be performed in every show.

Since the “Concert” originally was not recorded for making a CD, there were no Microphones set up in the Audience and therefore it is hardly audible. Jean Shy sacrificed any Studio editing on those songs, to keep the pure, and powerful thriving Live-Sound, which we think “especially,” makes this CD of great quality.

Jean Shy & The Shy Guys have been performing to thousands of Fans at major Festivals, Concert Halls, and Churches throughout Europe since the eighties, and are still excited when Fans say: “Keep Rockin’ on."

Check out more about Jean Shy

New Deep Soul Column on Soul Express


Both old, and new southern soul records are reviewed at

There's also an interview with Bunny Sigler, a Grammy nominee this year.

Best regards

Hitsville Weekender Mojacar 2009

Half a century later, the Motown sound is still the soundtrack of American life

Check out the Root magazine article on Motown

In the months leading up to the presidential election, much was made about the size of the crowds and the energy level at Obama rallies. For clues, some looked to the Obama playlist—the songs that served as the soundtrack for those frenzied events. True to his overall political strategy, Obama’s playlist cut across various popular genres—country music stalwarts Brooks and Dunn were as likely to be heard as much as the McFadden and Whitehead disco-era classic “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”

Read more

Donnie Fritts Interview

Check out Donnie Fritts Interview on Blues In London

There is a unique blend of southern R&B, soul, and blues that is known the world over... Closely related to the sounds of Stax Records and folks like Rufus Thomas, but with a slightly different blend of spices and it's own distinct flavor... Studios, sessionmen and songwriters from the northwest corner of Alabama put their stamp on records by giants such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Cher, Clarence Carter, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and the impenetrable Rolling Stones. This scene, movement and cultural revolution was centered around a small town in which most of the folks were born and raised... Muscle Shoals Alabama.

Read more

The Soul Of Black John

The Soul of John Black is John “JB” Bigham, an adventurous artist who isn’t afraid to take risks while pursuing his musical vision. His stage moniker is a name shrouded with an element of darkness and mystery, inspired by the 1976 cult film “J.D.’s Revenge.” JB declares, “I tend to like artists who lean toward the shadows and walk the edge and wanted my music to reflect that.” He draws his inspiration from blues and soul pioneers of the past and stands as a true testament to the dynamic beauty and freedom of musical expression, which he strips down to the core – guitar, voice and exposed human emotion conveyed in sparse, soulfully captivating performances wrought with raw, spontaneous power.

JB’s musical history boasts an impressive resume. He’s written songs for Miles Davis and played percussion in the Davis group. His track “Jilli” is featured on the trumpeter’s last studio album “Amandla,” and he appeared on the Davis DVD, “Live in Paris,” recorded at the 10th Paris Jazz Festival. Bigham also played guitar and keyboard for the pioneering rock-funk-ska band Fishbone for eight years, contributing songs, guitars, keyboards, background vocals and production expertise to several of their albums, and later toured as a side man and played on sessions with artists as varied as Eminem, Dr. Dré, Rosey, Joi, Nikka Costa, Bruce Hornsby and Everlast.

The Soul of John Black is a celebration of the African American musical heritage. On “Black John,” JB masterfully combines soul, gospel, funk and hip-hop, while tracing its roots all the way back to its humble origins - the blues. JB infuses his uniquely crafted music with contemporary urban rhythms and hauntingly earthy acoustic slide guitar which at once pays tribute to a bygone era of such legendary figures as Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, while boldly crossing over into new innovative territories and sonic frontiers. Backed by notable musicians Adam McDougal on keys (Black Crowes, Macy Gray, Maroon 5, Nikka Costa), Oliver Charles on drums (Ben Harper, Rhythm Roots All-Stars), Scott Seiver on drums (Nikka Costa, Inara George), Jake Najor on drums (Carl Denson, Connie Price, Breakestra), Shawn Davis on bass (Beck, Nikka Costa), Davey Chegwidden on percussion (Rhythm Roots All-Stars, Bitter Sweet, Ghost Face Killer, Big Daddy Kane), and Bill Botrell on 2nd guitar (Grammy winning producer for Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne, and many others), The Soul of John Black has reached a new plateau; transcending the crossroads and arriving upon an unexplored intersection on the aural highway. It’s soul music for a whole new generation.

Listen to audio clips here

Eli Reed & The True Loves New Tour

Hey everyone,

At long last our Spring tour down to the South by Southwest music
festival in Austin, TX has been finalized. It looks like it's going to
be a great tour since we'll be headed back to some of my favorite
cities. I think the band and I are most excited about coming back to
play in Boston after what feels like forever! We'll be at the Middle
East Downstairs on March 11th with some of our good friends to kick
off what will hopefully one of our best tours yet. Here's how the
dates break down:

March 11th: Tour Kick off Show @ The Middle East Downstairs -
Cambridge, MA
March 12th: The Bell House - Brooklyn, NY
March 13th: Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, DC
March 14th: The Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
March 15th: 3rd and Lindsley - Nashville, TN
March 16th: Red's Lounge - Clarksdale, MS

March 18th-22nd: South by Southwest Music Festival (Shows TBA) -
Austin, TX

March 24th: Off Broadway - St. Louis, MO
March 25th: The Backporch @ The House of Blues - Chicago, IL
March 26th: The Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
March 27th: The North Star Bar - Philadelphia, PA
March 28th: Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ
March 29th: The Iron Horse Bar - Northampton, MA

The band I are really looking forward to hitting the road in the US
again, it's been far too long since we've played in many of these
cities. Please go to our myspace page (
for more information about any of these shows as well as continual
updates, new songs and band news. See you all soon I hope!


Phil Flowers & The United Family Alpha & Omega

Tuff City Records is proud to announce the release of a lost, great psychedelic funk concept album by the enigmatic R&B impresario, Phil Flowers. The release, Phil Flowers and the United Family Band’s Alpha and Omega (DEL LP/CD 0081), is transferred from the original master tapes and is available now as an exact reissue vinyl LP, as well as a CD featuring bonus content.

Before recording this album in 1973, Phil had a long and storied career as a master R&B stylist who, born in North Carolina and raised in Maryland, had been performing for twenty years before he recorded this record. Phil had, by 1973, amassed a family of seven children and a traveling cadre of musicians. Playing in the idyllic Bermuda for months out of the year, Phil, who had various cycles of fervent religiosity which manifest themselves as a fascination in Pyramids or cryptic readings of the Old Testament, conceived of a musical play that took the myths and stories of the bible and applied them to modern day dilemmas. And though the play never materialized, we have existent a stunning musical document. With his years of studio experience, a talented family full of musicians, a room full of wah-wah pedals and echoplexes, a garden of Earthly delights in Bermuda and a group of long-time and forward thinking musicians, Phil assembled an album no one could have ever assembled. Immediate and urgent yet timeless, calling on the genres of funk and soul yet transcending them, Alpha and Omega is an album that is rests comfortably in the cross section between Eugene Macdaniels, Sun Ra, Del Jones and the YaWhoWa 13.

This is a music lovers’ album. It is an album that was made by musicians who each poured his or her own ambitions, individual talents and command of genre. Made for no one but the musicians themselves, it is a pure record full of fire and brimstone, cherubim and ether and a commitment to an artistic vision. Alpha and Omega will be available for retail March 10th, 2009, on LP and March 31st, 2009 on CD. The CD release of Alpha and Omega will include bonus tracks – alternate versions of songs from the Alpha and Omega studio sessions.

Eula Cooper Live @ The Five Spot

Here's Eula in her first NY gig from a few weeks ago.

Watch out for more upcoming soul legends hosted by the Dig Deeper team - next up Delia Gartrell followed by Garland Green - more details soon.

James Duncan Update

My old mate Red Kelly was trying to turn up information on James Duncan for his Soul Detective blog. Unfortunately, he and other soul detectives have not turned up as amny clues as other cases. However, this week I picked up a snippet of information from the Southern Soul list:

He is involved with the Church full time now.There are at least a dozen unreleased tracks according to James. Price to licence them from the owners, not James, $500 per track. Another project that is unlikley to happen.

What a pity - it would been good to see him back out on the streets with a CD.

Booker T. Jones Reflects on Black History Month

Check out an interesting piece on Antilabelblog “In September ‘08, weeks before the election, while walking in Washington DC with my wife Nan, I was struck with an awareness I had never had before. It was as though I knew, with an unreal sense of certainty, of a real estate transaction that was about to transpire. And I was walking on that very piece of real estate." Read more

In The Basement 53

This week, a new jam-packed edition of In The Basement dropped through the door. This time around, the issue's packed with features on Gloria Jones, Lattimore Brown, Ronnie Walker, Gwen Owens, Sidney Barnes, and Ernie K Doe. Plus plenty more features on soul music, record and CD reviews, gig reports, obituaries, and more.

Subscribe here.

Lenis Guess On Right Track Tonight

The last post was dedicated to Virginia Soul and you can listen to Lenis Guess, one of the most important purveyors of soul music from that State, on tonight's Right Track Show:

8-00pm AND 10pm


Harry & Diana
The Right Track Soul Show
Salford City Radio 94.4 fm
Sunday nights 8.00 pm - 10.00 pm
Studio Number: 0161 793 2944 / 2942

Funky Virginia

Here's an interesting blog dedicated to Virginia Soul Music.

Roy C & Ernie Johnson In Living Blues 199

Living Blues #199 features Chester Chandler aka. Memphis Gold on the cover. Chandler’s deep Memphis roots date back to Rev. Robert Wilkins and years of playing in legendary Memphis deep blues bands like the Fieldstones and the J.J.’s Blues Band. Today Chandler lives in Washington, D.C., just played at one of the Presidential inaugural balls, and is set to break out after recovering from a nearly fatal accident.

Other features include Carolina deep soul man Roy “C”, and Dallas Soul Blues vocalist Ernie Johnson. We also present another in our Jas Obrecht interview series. This time it is a 1983 interview with the last surviving member of the legendary Mississippi Sheiks, Sam Chatmon.

All this plus Blues News, Obituaries, Radio Charts, our 2008 Top 50 Blues Albums and reviews of Shemekia Copeland, Howlin’ Wolf, Jerry McCain and nearly 40 others.

Ponderosa Stomp: Pay Tribute To Your Musical Hero

Lady Bo
Born in New York City in 1940, Peggy Jones was an early-blooming talent; by age 9, she was a tap-dancing prodigy and a master of the ukulele. After graduating from New York’s High School of the Performing Arts, she got the gig that would define her career and put her name in the history books forever – replacing Jody Williams after he was drafted into the military, she took the lead guitar spot in Bo Diddley’s band.

The newly christened Lady Bo was the first woman ever hired to play lead guitar by a major act. She played full-time with Bo’s band until 1961, helping to develop the singular Bo Diddley guitar sound and co-writing many of his best-known hits. Lady Bo went back to Bo's band in 1969 and stayed until 1989.

After her 1961 departure, she was replaced by the Duchess, another female guitarist Bo Diddley hoped would continue the novelty appeal of an axe-slinging woman – but then and now, it was impossible to imitate the first lady of guitar, the holy terror on the strings that is Lady Bo. Learn more about Lady Bo and hear some of her music.

Pay Tribute To Your Musical Hero

The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, our not-for-profit organization, is giving you the opportunity to thank your favorite musician for their work or an even just a particular song that has been important in your life. You can help us recognize and celebrate the unsung heroes of American music and support Living History by Living the Mission of the Stomp.

From now until May 1st 2009, when you make a donation to the Foundation, let us know your favorite Stomp artist and any personal story or note you would like to tell them. We will be sending a note of appreciation to all of the heroes named, or to their families if they are no longer with us, letting them know who made a contribution in their honor and offering your personalized thanks for their work in shaping the sound of your life! We hope you will join us in recognizing these amazing American music contributors throughout the next several months.The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation is sustained in large part by the donations of music lovers like you. Now you can show your appreciation for your favorite Stomp artist and help the Foundation continue its preservation and education based initiatives, ensuring we can serve additional musicians.

We will feature 10 Ponderosa Stomp Foundation artists and unsung heroes over the next several months. If you contribute in response to today’s email, Lady Bo will receive a personalized letter letting her know of your contribution and thanking her for her work in shaping the American sound. You can make an online donation for any musician, though, by including their name in the “Note(s) to the Foundation” field on our secure donation server. You can also contribute by mail, if you prefer, or in a variety of other ways. Learn more by visiting the Support Us section of our website.

Thank you, in advance, for your support and generosity. And may the wisdom of Teenie Hodges of the Hi Rhythm Section shine through: “Love and happiness. Love will make you do right.”

Modern Soul @ Prestatyn Soul Weekender 12-16 March 09

Hank Ballard Box Set From Bear Family

Check it out here with sound samples.

Gil Scott Heron Live In 1979

Wolfgang's Vault continue to drop killer concerts. Here's the latest from Gil Scott-Heron:

Gil Scott-Heron - vocals
Robert Gordon - bass
Tony Green - drums
Carl Cornwell - saxophone
Ed Brady - guitar

Activist musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron had considerable stature within the worlds of R&B and jazz by the time he played the Madison Square Garden stage in 1979, taking part in the famous series of “No Nukes” concerts organized by the Musicians United for Safe Energy. This concert took place the same day as the huge MUSE-organized rally at the Battery Park City landfill, which 200,000 people attended.

Scott-Heron’s musical career began in the late ’60s when Bob Thiele, famous jazz producer to the likes of Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane, urged the emerging poet and writer to give his poetry a musical form. With his first record, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, he quickly emerged as a sharp, intelligent critic of contemporary culture, boasting terrific jazz-styled accompaniment. By the late ’70s, Scott-Heron’s sound had adopted a bit more of a contemporary R&B aesthetic, but his jazz roots remain clear on the opener “Johannesburg”, a call-and-response Top 30 hit (“What’s the word? Johannesburg!”) from 1976’s From South Africa to South Carolina. The second track, “South Carolina”, is especially relevant to the “No Nukes” event, as it concerns “the dangers of nuclear power,” particularly near the Savannah River in South Carolina

In his introduction to the lilting, reflective final track, “Winter in America” (the title track from his 1974 classic album), Scott-Heron encourages those assembled to rise above national feelings of “political paralysis” and look to each other for encouragement and achieving forward movement. He hasn’t released any new recorded material since 1994’s Spirits, and in the early ’00s, faced prison time for drug possession charges. He has since been released, and as of early 2009, he is working on a new record, and still makes occasional live appearances.
Wolfgang's Vault

Kings Go Forth Update

We featured Kings Go Forth on the blog last year with the release of their 45 You're The One.

I picked an update on the band from their MySpace:

Hi everybody, wanted to state the next 45 should be ready late February or early March. No reservations are necessary as the record will not be limited. The 45s will be $8 each plus postage. There will be no limit for quantity ordered as previously stated. Wholesale rates are available if you'd like 15 copies or more. Shipping is as follows:

$3 first 45, $1 each add on
$6 first 45, $1 each add on

paypal is to:

You can pay us anytime, but the 45s will not be shipped until we have them obviously.


for all those people who have given such a positive response to 'Don't Take My Shadow', don't fear. It will get a 7" release, probably right after MRC002.. I just need to figure out some logistics with the long running time. anyways, stay tuned and thanks always for the support. hopefully we can get outside of the US sometime in 09 to play for the overseas fans. Look out for a feature on KGF in February's BLUES & SOUL online magazine. Snowboy did the piece, should be good.Andy

Frank Wilson Do I Love You For Auction?

I have been following with interest the possiblity of Frank Wilson Do I Love You on Soul, which is reputedly one of the world's rarest records, being auctioned in the near future.

You can keep upto date on Soul Source with the auction and the ensuing interest.

What is fascinating on the Soul Source thread is the mythology surrounding this 45 from how it was recorded, Berry Gordy's insistence on copies being destroyed after deciding Frank Wilson was to be a producer/writer only, how copies survived and where they came from and the ensuing tale of how the 45 became the most famous Northern Soul 45 of all time. The thread is set against the speculation of how much the 45 will fetch and who will want to bid or more importantly who can afford to bid.

Sam Williams & Johnny Brantley

It has been sometime that I have updated my research on the producer Johnny Brantley. One artist that worked with Johnny who I have not explored in any depth is Sam Williams. You can now find a page on John Ridley's Deep Soul Heaven dedicated to Sam Williams including 3 of his rare outings produced by Johnny Brantley:

Sir Shambling Updates

Just catching up with recent updates from John Ridley over on his Deep Soul Heaven website:


A quick note to let you know I've added some new pages to my website. The artists involved are Tommy Collins from New York, the excellent Jay Lewis who recorded in Atlanta and the West Coast, Bennie Cole from Milwaukee, and more 70s music from Alfreda Brockington and Lifestyle who cut in Philly.

Plus second update today:

A quick note to let you know I've added some new pages to my website. The artists involved are Roland Dice from Louisiana, the girl group Nature's Gift, Wayne Warren who cut in Memphis, and Vick & John and the great Sam Williams from New York. There are the usual label shots and soundclips.I have also updated over 20 pages with new info. I'm grateful as always to everybody who has taken the time/trouble to write to me with comments or info.

There are the usual label shots and soundclips.

You can find the full artist list here

Best wishes, John

Tommy Tate Needs Help

I must apologise for my absence over the last month.

Back with an important message about Tommy Tate which I've picked up from the Southern Soul group:

Went to see Tommy Tate last week in his nursing home. Over the last few months he has suffered three strokes. He is now a man with a very sharp mind trapped in a crippled body. His day to day life is a very mundane routine, he needs stimulation. The manager there pulled me to one side and said "Your visiting him hasnot just made his day, but made his month".

So here is what I would like you guys to do and I have cleared this with the nursing home. Please send him letters to read, you know the stuff, how much you have enjoyed his music etc.
Tommy is one of the great southern voices, that has given many of us so much pleasure over the years, here's our chance to give something back.

Tommy Tate
c/o Freddie Prouty
Forest Hill Nursing Center, Inc.
927 Cooper Road
MS 39212

Let us try to help Tommy who has been responsible for some great soul music.