The Rockinitis series showcases electric-guitar blues from the mid-fifties to the early-sixties. Unfettered pleasure in the form of Black dance music. Third time’s the charm as two heavy-hitters join the fray.
Wexford, Ireland’s Bill Kealy has been packing dancefloors for 30 years. He was sucked deep into the Rhythm & Blues vortex after following the trail back from the music of his youth; The Kinks, The Animals and the like. A truly international DJ, hear his sets at The Federal Rhythm & Blues Club in Crewe, For Dancers Only in Dublin, or as a regular guest DJ at top R&B clubs almost everywhere.
Steve Longworth spent his teenage years dancing to Soul at Wigan Casino. He was then drawn towards the R&B and Popcorn sound. Since the early 2000s he’s been running nights all across England’s North – Soulful Shack, Down In The Basement and The Ad-Lib, to name a few. He’s played gritty Blues 45s at clubs from Barcelona to Melbourne and now regularly spins at Sheffield’s mighty Room At The Top.
Side: Bill Kealy
1. Al Simmons – You Ain’t Too Old (Dig) 1957
Let’s boogie! Song singer and drum drummer Al Simmons was joined by guitarist Slim Green and The Cats From Fresno when he cut this fantastic follow-up to the joyous Old Folks Boogie.
2. Eddie Burns – Hello Miss Jessie Lee (DeLuxe) 1953
Lo-fi recording of a high voiced Detroit-based harp and guitar pro. Mississippi style blues which lifts its rhythm from John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson’s Good Morning, School Girl.
3. Skip Robinson – I Just Can’t Wait (Chris) 1962
Charles ‘Skip’ Robinson’s big voice growls and hollers Screamin’ Jay Hawkins-esque lyrics over a Green Onions rhythm. The first of only three records from the keyboardist and singer.
4. The Nightriders – Looking For My Baby (Sue) 1959
Massive club fave and it only takes one listen to hear why. Take a loose, jugging rhythm, snappy beat and honking sax, add Mel Smith’s gravelly Yah-Yahs then ALAKAZAM it’s party time.
5. Roy Brown – She’s Gone Too Long (King) 1955
The dancefloor filling Roy Brown (and His Mighty Mighty Men) sound has a beat that’s hard to beat and this knockout selection is no exception. Pure class from the Good Rockin’ Man.
6. Peppermint Harris – I Cry For My Baby (Aladdin) 1952
Forlorn lyrics from a singer with a voice so deep you can just dive right in. If you haven’t been so romantically distraught that your mutt damn dies, you don’t know the blues.
7. Ulie & The Uniques – You Don’t Love Me (Uni) 1961
A merry melody belies a mournful tale once again. Relatively unknown, this swinger was a former Bill Kealy cover-up. Completely different to the Willie Cobb record of the same name.
8. Junior Wells – Lawdy Lawdy (States) 1954
Chicago blues blaster. Muddy Waters plays one of the guitars and Willie Dixon’s on bass, naturally. Not to mention the heavy lashings of harmonica from the main man himself. Woah Lord!
Side: Steve Longworth
1. Little Walter – I Hate To See You Go (Checker) 1955
Just a straight banger from another Chicago mouth harp master. Insanely good harmonica sound, Bo Diddley’s on guitar (and you can tell), plus Willie Dixon slaps the bass yet again.
2. Dusty Brown – Well, You Know (Bandera) 1959
Twelve bar blues by a musician who took the well-travelled route from Mississippi to Chicago. The b-side to the second of only two singles Dusty Brown aka C.W. Triplett ever released.
3. Ace Holder – Sorry I Had To Leave (Movin’) 1962
In 1957, aged 20, harmonica in hand, Albert ‘Ace’ Holder left Alabama for Los Angeles. His soulful, southern voice is the star of this show. Wailing at times, he sings of love lost.
4. Lynn Johnson – Wicked Woman (My Time) 1962
Smooth and jazzy R&B in a top-notch Ray Charles kind of way. Just like the last track, this was recorded in L.A. and released in ‘62. Don’t be confused, Lynn can be a man’s name too.
5. Detroit Junior – Too Poor (Chess) 1960
Despite having the exact same label and catalog number, this is from a rare pressing containing a different and superior song to the one widely known as Too Poor by Detroit Junior.
6. Jimmy Anthony – Eternal Thing (Howard) 1961
Even a gutbucket blues comp needs songs that are positive about love. The Jap Curry Blazers, led by Virginian saxman Clarence ‘Jap’ Curry, play on this gospel-inspired R&B belter.
7. Magic Sam – All My Whole Life (Cobra) 1958
Otherworldly guitar greatness from yet another Chicago blues superstar. Good Rocking Sam was taken so Samuel Maghett switched his names round and became Magic Sam. Guess who’s on bass.
8. Poppa Hop – My Woman Has A Black Cat Bone (Ivory) 1960
Sounds like Poppa Hop Wilson’s also got a black cat bone; he’s using it for a slide. The lap-steel sliding Texan influenced a few of the Lone Star State’s more famous axe-wielders.
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Format: Vinyl Album
Genre: Rhythm & Blues