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Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May

Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 03:45 AM
Will Fly 11 May 09 - 04:01 AM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 05:22 AM
Will Fly 11 May 09 - 05:25 AM
Folknacious 11 May 09 - 05:39 AM
Will Fly 11 May 09 - 05:43 AM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 06:11 AM
Will Fly 11 May 09 - 06:25 AM
matt milton 11 May 09 - 06:45 AM
Will Fly 11 May 09 - 06:57 AM
Tug the Cox 11 May 09 - 07:16 AM
Thomas Stern 11 May 09 - 07:40 AM
Sailor Ron 11 May 09 - 07:58 AM
Will Fly 11 May 09 - 08:00 AM
High Hopes (inactive) 11 May 09 - 11:46 AM
Musket 11 May 09 - 11:50 AM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 12:13 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 11 May 09 - 12:20 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 07:08 PM
VirginiaTam 12 May 09 - 02:56 AM
GUEST,AUB 07 Sep 10 - 07:15 PM
alanabit 07 Sep 10 - 07:43 PM
alanabit 07 Sep 10 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Seayaker 08 Sep 10 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,jeff 08 Sep 10 - 04:14 PM
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Subject: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:45 AM

Did anyone else watch the above TV programme?

Some splendid clips, some marvellous illustrations of how middle class many of the purveryors of the blues revival were, a wonderful illustration of the dangers of drugs from Keith Richards, as he wurbled senselessly and endlessly an unnecessarily about things he seemed only vaguely to have remembered, and some quite unnecessary sneering at (for example) Ten Years After, Chicken Shack, and the Savoy Brown Blues Band.

Did I hear correctly, did they get the address of the Chess studios wrong? They also got the famous Sonny Boy Williamson quote a little wrong.

At the end of the day, surely it did prove that the blues was truly an ethnic art form, never successfully colonised. Champion Jack Dupree surely somewhat chillingly summed it up when explaining why he never returned to the USA, saying that once he had experienced freedom he could never again suffer the society that spat in his face - lest he risk committing murder.

The difference in kind between that and the folk revival (it seems to me) is that while the folk revivalists' forbears had suffered the oppression of the stratified society portrayed in the music, the blues revivalists' forbears had not.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 May 09 - 04:01 AM

Yes - I saw it first time round and then a little of it again late last night (on video) after our local session.

Keef did ramble - as he always does - but there were a few nuggets of interest among all the waffle.

I've also just been re-reading Levon Helm's autobiography, and it's fascinating to read about the appreciation of black music by many members of the white community in and around his part of the Mississippi delta (Turkey Scratch) in the '40s and '50s. Muddy Waters lived just along the road from them and was a popular player, for example. And while there was some gathering among the KKK fraternity, there was also a lot of white histility to that movement among the farmers.

My personal take on the music is that, as a format for musical expression, it's wonderful. As a white, Anglo-Saxon guitarist of a certain age, I always remember that, while I can use the format, it would be utterly stupid for me to sing some of the stuff with any ambition to "authenticity". And I think some of the talking heads in the programme made the same point.

I do recall having a jam with Champion Jack at a pub in the East End in the late '60s - not a man to mess with but welcoming to us "poor whites" (!)...


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:22 AM

Also no mention of two white UK singers who came closer to an authentic vocal sound than many included: Long John Baldry and Chris Farlowe. The latter's version of "Stormy Monday" was close to exemplary.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:25 AM

Long John Baldry and Chris Farlowe. The latter's version of "Stormy Monday" was close to exemplary.

Amen to that. Both superb singers. I saw Baldry in 65 at a college dance in Leeds and he was outstanding. Chris Farlowe is still singing as he did back then - and his voice is still excellent.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Folknacious
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:39 AM

There was a whole hour of Long John Baldry (and a whole hour of John Mayall) as a separate film. Alexis Korner's contribution was recognised nicely but not enough, I thought, but the country blues/ folk blues scene didn't get mentioned at all. Maybe there's simply no film of people like Jo Ann Kelly, Mike Cooper or even Duster Bennett but to omit them and include Jethro Tull (!) extensively was bordering on the bizarre.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:43 AM

Good point. Jo Ann Kelly was simply stunning. I saw her several times at venues like the Cousins and Bunjies (and also Mike Cooper), and she was superb. Carried off by a brain tumour in '87 - a sad loss. Hearing her sing "Black Rat Swing" and "Me and my Chauffeur" without seeing her, you would have thought yourself 4,000 miles west.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:11 AM

My late wife was quite friendly with Jo-Ann Kelly (who was as you say superb - I saw her in Nottingham and later in Dartford, where I recorded a bootleg (well, with her permission) cassette tape of reasonable quality (it was done on a TEAC) that alas I have since lost). I think there are virtually no recordings of here. There was that LP with Tony McPhee, called "Same thing on our minds".   I think I still have that. She did indeed have an almost indistinguishably authentic sound, and was a mean guitarist too. At first sight you would NEVER have guesses what she was going to sound like.

I also used to have a bootleg of Duster Bennett, recorded at Nottingham University, but I've lost that too!.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:25 AM

I do have recordings of Jo Ann K - there's a CD somewhere in my collection with them on. I should explain that I iPod-ded my CDs a year or two ago (10,000 tracks), so I can't say exactly on which shelf or in which box she might be! However, you'll find plenty to choose from at Amazon.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: matt milton
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:45 AM

If you mean audio rather than video, well there are a fair few Jo Ann Kelly albums available, the best being her first. Just look on amazon.

And there are absolutely loads of Duster Bennett CDs availalable too. Jo Ann and Duster are IMO the best british blues artists. Both passed away of course. But you'd have thought the BBC could at least have done what they do on so many of those documentaries when they don't have footage - a moving-camera photo montage with music/narration on top. Their recent Supremes tour doc did pretty much nothing else, they had so little footage.

They also didn't mention Duffy Power, Mike Cooper, Simon Prager or Ian Anderson of course. It would have been nice to have had Christine Perfect involved too.

Actually I heard Mike Cooper say that he was in fact contacted by the makers of the documentary, but their budget couldn't stretch to flying out to Rome to interview him, or to paying for him to fly to the UK.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:57 AM

Actually I heard Mike Cooper say that he was in fact contacted by the makers of the documentary, but their budget couldn't stretch to flying out to Rome to interview him, or to paying for him to fly to the UK.

A great shame. Mike was a stalwart of the all-niters at the Cousins, as was Ian Anderson at that time, along with such great but lesser-known bands from the Weston-Super-Mare area as The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra. I was playing a 1961 Epiphone Texan at the time and Mike offered to do a swap or it fwith his National steel guitar - an offer I turned down because I couldn't (and can't) get on with steel guitars. Great guitar but, I think, limiting in what you can play.

Anyway, a shame that he couldn't have added his thoughts on the acoustic blues scene of that time.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:16 AM

I remember Jo-Anne kelly backing Sonny and Brownie at Phillippa Fawcett College, Streatham, in the 70's. A local singer, Major Wylie offered to open the set for a bottle of newcastle brown, he did a stunnung 'proud mary'. Whatever became of him.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:40 AM

There is a discography of Jo Ann Kelly's recordings here:
http://www.wirz.de/music/danefrm.htm

I had the pleasure of hearing Jo Ann Kelly a number of times when I was working in England 1987-1989. She was friendlly and generous as
well as a great blues singer - she captured the tone of the songs as no other white (let alone woman) I've heard. I was able to attend the launch party for the British Blues magazine, and she found a copy of the Austrian Columbia album for me. I cherish the memory of those
times.
Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:58 AM

Di Thomas, a whiteman from Manchester, except when he sinds he sounds like a blackman circa 1922! Superb guitar/steel guitar player, not'original' as he tries to recreate the sounds of the original recordings, scratches an'all!.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 May 09 - 08:00 AM

This thread has now taken on a distinctly nautical flavour - the previous 3 posts coming from Tug the Cox, Thomas Stern and Sailor Ron...


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:46 AM

Mike Sheridan, from Birmingham was not a half bad blues singer, when he wanted to be. Though Mike has become more famous for who passed through his back up band, The Nightriders, than for his own vocal talents.

Another very underated English vocalist (though not strictly a blues singer), is Terry Reid.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Musket
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:50 AM

Can blue man sing the whites...

Excellent Bonzo Dog Doo Daa Band song!


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:13 PM

Is this the same one that aired Friday 1st May? Cause I recorded that one.

Damn don't tell me it was a different one and I missed it.

Gotta fire up the iplayer.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 11 May 09 - 12:20 PM

"Excellent Bonzo Dog Doo Daa Band song!"

now if someone could write just like it abour English folk music *goes off mumbling and giggling insanely*


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:08 PM

Wasn't that "The Urban Spaceman"?


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 May 09 - 02:56 AM

Personally I like

I have seen Mr. Apollo, uproot trees, with his bare hands....

hhmmm hhmmm hmmm la la la (I actually do know the entire song including asides.)

Absolutely brilliant. Love that Doo Dah stuff. It is pure gold.

Whew! I have recorded the Blues Britannia programme and saw it Friday 1st May, while ironing clothes and packig for the Sweeps. Also recorded the Stevie Winwood and Eric Clapton thing after. Must watch them both again at leisure so I can pay proper attention.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: GUEST,AUB
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 07:15 PM

As Albert King once said white people can play guitar like me but white people can't sing the Blues.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 07:43 PM

I come from a generation after the previous posters, so perhaps predictably, I have a different take on blues. For me, who heard my first blues music from white artists, I found blues singers or players "authentic" if I felt they really meant it. Neither Peter Green's "Man of the World" nor Chritine Perfect's (as she was then) "I'd Rather Go Blind" sounded any less authentic to me than either Etta James singing the original "I'd Rather Be a Blind Girl" or say Elmore James "Sho Nuff I Do". They all had conviction and technique to carry it and they all moved me. This is, of course, completely subjective, but I see no reason why the subsequent versions of the blues should be perceived as being any less authentic than the first. No disrespect to Richard and Will, of course.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 07:46 PM

PS: I wish I could have seen the programme, which Richard referred to at the beginning of this thread. I would also have liked to hear Mike Cooper, whom I knew briefly in the seventies, comment on the subject.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: GUEST,Seayaker
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 04:53 AM

No mention of Jim Crawford?

He's worth travelling a long way to see.


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Subject: RE: Can Blue Men sing the Whites, BBC4 10May
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 04:14 PM

Carolyn Wonderwall: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JV1Lrou55U or someone w/better skills than me make a blue clicky, please.

Saw her for the first time on ASL and found her to be the real deal. A little over the top, but so was Janis Joplin. No matter how one slices it this gal can play rings around alot of people. Love her mandolin version of 'The Wind Cries Mary'...I've been doing one on mandolin for years at cookouts and sing-arounds, but it never occurred to me to take it on stage. Now anyone new who hears it will think I stole it from her! :-)


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