By all accounts, they should be celebrating 50 years too.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: The Pretty Things in concert at Roadburn 2013 – VPRO Radio
Anyone who is reasonably familiar with the history of The Rolling Stones knows The Pretty Things factor in there during the early days. Under a previous incarnation as Little Boy Blue and The Blue Boys, which consisted of Dick Taylor, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, they played primarily covers of American R&B artists during the formative stages of the British Rock scene. When Brian Jones came along to form his own band, Richards, Jagger and Taylor were recruited and the band was renamed The Rolling Stones. Dick Taylor left the Stones for Art School where he met Phil May and The Pretty Things were born. Had fate turned out differently . . .
Truths to tell, I always liked The Pretty Things, and often preferred them to the Stones just because they sounded so much more raw and loud, and with the raging hormones of a 14 year-old, they were talking my language.
Sadly, The Pretty Things didn’t achieve the level of success The Stones did. Probably the biggest reason was their difficulty in cracking the U.S. market as well as a few bad choices in touring strategies. Whatever the reasons were, they became something of underrated legends.
Tonight’s post is from a concert at the recent Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands. One of the constants about The Pretty Things is the ever-changing personnel. But the remaining original members Phil May and Dick Taylor carry on the raw spirit of the band and, fifty years on, still have that raw energy they always did.
So . . .happy 50th to another legendary band.
Irma Thomas – Sendin’ some Soul to Spain
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Irma Thomas, live at Black Is Back Soul Weekend – June 16, 2013
It’s hard to believe the Black Is Back Soul Weekend festival was the first time Queen of Soul Irma Thomas played in Spain. But from all accounts it was true. Needless to say, the legend hit Madrid and the audience went nuts.
And for good reason. Irma Thomas is one of those living legends we always talk about and she was in fine form this past Sunday. Luckily for those of us not able to be there, the always wonderful Radio Nacional Espana Radio 3 was on hand to broadcast the goings on.
One thing – lots of talking between songs, and mostly talking over intros. From what I’ve been experiencing the past few years of recording streaming audio from overseas, it’s one of those things announcers do in Europe; talk a lot – they all seem to. But if it meant not hearing this huge moment and that incredible voice, I’ll take the banter any day. Besides, the sound is wonderful.
So with all that, turn this one up and bask in the heady glow of a living legend. It’s good for you.
Koko Taylor – sayin’ it, and the French, diggin’ it. (Photo: Peter Amft)
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/kokotaylor1993-11-15-bordeauxfrance.mp3]
Starting off the weekend with the inimitable Koko Taylor, live in Bordeaux, France on November 15, 1993.
The whole thing (or about an hours worth) recorded live from the stage by Radio France. Something that happens on an almost daily basis with radio and live concerts all over Europe. Funny, we have to go some 5,000 miles (give or take) to hear some of our national treasures.
I guess we take them for granted – they don’t.
In any case, here’s a good dose of downhome to get your weekend started.
Dig it, and come back for more.
- The Chicago Blues (chicagoline.wordpress.com)
Chicken Shack (with fans). Major contributors to the British Blues movement.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: ChickenShack1968ChrsitinePerfectMcVieBBC
Something slightly unusual tonight. A radio session for John Peel by the legendary Chicken Shack featuring Christine McVie (Christine Perfect at the time), recorded by The BBC in 1968.
Since hearing the rumors of a Fleetwood Mac reunion featuring Christine McVie (rumors that have since been quashed. . .too bad), I went digging into the archive for recordings of the band she was in before she landed the now-famous (or infamous)gig.
Chicken Shack had a big following in the UK and throughout Europe in the mid-late 60s, and they had often toured with the original members of Fleetwood Mac, when they were known as Peter Green‘s Fleetwood Mac.
And it made perfect sense – both Chicken Shack and Fleetwood Mac were label mates, both recording for the independent and forward thinking Blue Horizon Records during this period. Fleetwood Mac managed to click in the U.S., with a string of hits before the transformation took place. Chicken Shack, not so much. Although they were highly regarded by the Press and musicians alike, they failed to make a dent in the U.S. market, which was a shame.
As far as I know, this is the only live session featuring Chicken Shack with Christine Perfect in the lineup. She would leave the band by 1969 and go solo before teaming up with Fleetwood Mac and writing that particular chapter in music history.
Tonight it’s a short session – two numbers; Love Me Or Leave Me and Mean Old World, which also features Blue Horizon label mate, Duster Bennett – another sadly overlooked figure whose tragic early death robbed the music world of a lot of possibilities.
FYI – they recorded a few albums during this period and I think they are still available via imports. Check them out if you get a chance.
For now, it’s the session from 1968.
Paul Butterfield – straight-up, spreadin’ the message.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Paul Butterfield Blues Band – In Concert 1966
A classic concert this weekend from the legendary Paul Butterfield Blues Band, recorded live at The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on October 14, 1966.
Butterfield was one of the major forces, taking the Chicago Blues genre to a broader (and whiter) audience in the early-mid 1960’s. His band featured a number of names who would go on to become prominent solo artists in their own right, namely Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop.
This 1966 concert features the classic lineup with Bloomfield, Bishop, Mark Nafatlin on keyboards, Jerome Arnold on Bass and Billy Davenport on drums. It was recorded around the time of the release of the milestone East-West album, and the set closes with that track, which sadly fades out about 3/4 of the way through, being a Magnum Opus among 60s performances and not enough tape on the original reel to accomodate it. Ah, history.
But it’s a great concert nonetheless and a little touch of Down Home to toss into your Holiday Mix.
Mildred Bailey – wildly influential to a lot of up-and-comer singers in the 1930’s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Lies – Mildred Bailey w:Orch. – Rec. November, 1931
Something completely different tonight. Diving way back in the vaults for a sampling of Hot Jazz from the legendary Mildred Bailey from a session she recorded in Chicago for RCA-Victor with an orchestra led by Matty Malneck in November, 1931.
Tonight it’s Lies, issued as a b-side single in early 1932.
Mildred Bailey was a strong influence on a number of up-and-comer singers in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Dinah Shore was one and Peggy Lee was another, among many. She also had the good fortune of working with a number of musicians who went on to make names for themselves. Among them, Red Norvo. Although probably not as well known today as Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday, Bailey was a solid cornerstone in the Hot-Jazz movement and had a long career stretching from the 1920’s to 1940’s and practically all of her material has been reissued in one form or another over the years.
She even has a stamp. So you could never accuse her of being a one-hit wonder.
Mildred Bailey was/is an American institution. And if you aren’t familiar with her, now’s the time to check her out.
Sugar Pie DeSanto – One of the Chess/Checker divas of the 50’s and 60’s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Sugar Pie DeSanto – Never Love A Stranger
Probably not as well known as her label mates Etta James or Fontella Bass, Sugar Pie DeSanto was part of that galaxy of divas who put Chicago blues label Chess/Checker on the map.
She recorded a considerable number of material for the label and had many singles that, although not mega-hits were nonetheless memorable and have given credence to the argument that she’s one of the many underrated and overlooked artists who were active in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Tonight it’s a single from 1965. Never Love A Stranger is a nicely laid out song that borders on Deep Soul, but is further evidence DeSanto was a powerhouse and could keep up with the likes of Etta James, whom she recorded several duets with.
Still active today and gathering a growing reputation for her down-and-dirty Blues interpretations as well as her catalog of great material, she is far from being forgotten.