Blues enthusiast and board member Willem van de Kraats has been pulling an LP from his large collection of vinyl every Sunday morning for years, sitting down with a cup of coffee and enjoying the blues. That Sunday ritual gave us the idea of doing this monthly on a larger scale. Blues lovers choose their favorite LP, write their personal memories with it and mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Willem and Jos du Floo together form a jury and choose the best entry. We publish that choice on our website, share it on social media, and Jos plays a song from the LP every Sunday for a month in his blues program ‘Highstreet Jazz&Blues’ op Regio90FM. The first LP of the month was announced by Jos on Sunday, October 4. Below all the elected LPs and the stories can be read back and a nice archive of wonderful bluesLPs will be created in the coming years.
Hoodooman Blues is an album by Buddy Guy and Junior Wells and this was the eye opener for me in the 70s. You see, this was so good to hear that it was put directly on the record in the here and now without studio tricks or over dubbing. And that’s what real music could be too. Genuineness and immediacy. Nothing to the detriment of music that is overthought and overdubbed and arranged, that remains but to me the immediacy of the moment really appeals. Like a Zen master smashing a calligraphy on the canvas in one motion. But another truth is. You can’t expect authentic intimate music to be brought to a large audience. People go out to laugh, drink and dance. We give them a piece of freedom that they lack in their work. Every musician would rather have a full house of nice people than a few critics with a notebook to write on. And you have to find the magic yourself, a DJ can’t help with that, he wants to become famous himself.
It is Sunday morning and I have just returned from a nice party on the beach in Scheveningen (read… broke), I walk to my grandfather’s wooden fruit auction box to pick out an LP as I normally do every Sunday morning with a cup of coffee. Yet this time is different, I now want to pick an LP to write an ode to for the website of Blues in Wijk. Doubt, doubt, doubt… Which one shall I choose? Ries already has “the London Sessions”, Wim has Elmore James and Bo chooses Muddy… Shit! Let’s see, how do you determine your favorite LP? Oh well, I’ll have to choose anyway. I go for a real modern classic “Blues Singer” by Buddy Guy from 2003. Back to basics! Jos du Floo once gave me this wonderful record as an audio file “you really should listen to this”. I think it’s a wonderful record, beautiful acoustic blues with a wonderful relaxed atmosphere that makes me feel very relaxed and where my thoughts wander away to a world of 100 years ago, a world without hurry. Somehow I find it a very exciting record, when you hear the song “Crawlin’ Kingsnake” together with BBKing and Eric Clapton. What a groove you say! The song “Moanin’ and Groanin’” gives me the feeling of a couple of guys along the Mississipie River making music with each other. Maybe it is my feeling of being broke. But what a fine record to listen to with an espresso!
This LP is not really my favorite, but whenever someone asks me about it, this is always the one that comes to mind first. That’s probably because of the unparalleled versions of Little Wing and Red House on this album (both of which I think I’ve listened to about 300,000 times). So maybe this album has had more influence on my musical development than I realize. It is a “Live” album which is composed of songs from various concerts and two different band formations and has a bit of a messy history (which suits me). My first copy (LP) I played gray and where other people sometimes made a scratch on such an LP while moving the needle, I branded mine with a burning cigarette while turning it over (I think still with heavy Van Nelle) so that was careful while turning it over because otherwise I could get a new needle. As far as I’m concerned, this album is still highly recommended, especially for musicians. Just make sure you listen to the original, from before 2011. Jimi Hendrix- guitar, vocals; Mitch Mitchell- drums; Noel Redding- bass guitar (1968-1969 tracks and Billy Cox- bass guitar (1970 tracks) On the 1st release of the album (1971): The album’s credits misrepresent “Little Wing” and “Voodoo Child” as being recorded in San Diego, but in reality they were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on February 24, 1969. All songs were written by Hendrix, except where noted. The album details are from the original 1971 Reprise LP record labels. The original UK Polydor release reverses the sides, with “Johnny B. Goode” as opening side one and “The Queen” side two. Both the Reprise and Polydor album liner notes list the tracks in a different order than the actual LPs. 2011 reissue: Hendrix in the West was reissued on September 13, 2011, as part of Experience Hendrix’s project to remaster Hendrix’s discography. Because the rights to the Royal Albert Hall performances featured on the original LP are in dispute, the reissue replaces the recordings of “Little Wing” (3:52) from Winterland on October 12, 1968, and “Voodoo Child” (10:40) from the San Diego Sports Arena on May 24, 1969.
BluesinWijk’s LP of the month feature has already produced a nice collection of albums by Blues giants from home and abroad. That, combined with the fact that there is such a rich history of fantastic Blues albums to choose from, makes it no easy task to come up with one LP of the month. Still, I was missing an artist who should definitely not be missing from this wonderful collection. When I was born, he had been dead for 63 years. As the first member of the infamous club of 27, he wasn’t granted a long life, but fortunately his music lived (and still lives) on. I am of course talking about Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues singers. The work of this pioneer of the Blues, which consists of only 29 songs, is a must-have in the collection of every Blues fan. With his howling voice and virtuoso guitar playing, to me he is truly one of the first great Blues legends and his music manages to touch me time and time again. He recorded first versions of many Blues classics and there are many of them on this posthumous 1961 collector. Outside of Johnson’s great music, which would become an inspiration for many music legends from Eric Clapton to Jimi Hendrix, Johnson was very important to the Blues in another way. His life, about which little can really be said with certainty, has been eagerly used by many as material for myth-making due to his young death. In doing so, he has become the epitome of the Blues. The stories, which undoubtedly have very little to do with reality, have fascinated Blues fans and historians around the world for decades. From his alleged encounters with the devil to the wild conspiracies over his mysterious death via the story that he allegedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for superhuman skill on the guitar. This story is supported by rock solid songs on this album such as Me and the devil Blues and Crossroads Blues. The iconic cover of this album also tells a fascinating story in all its simplicity. For me, the mysterious and dark aspect is an important part of the charm of the Blues. Listening to the Blues brings you very close to a time long gone, with all its secrets and beauties, and that is what is so wonderful, exciting and fascinating about this music. Robert Johnson is still unsurpassed in expressing this story comprehensively and aptly with minimal means, and so he certainly deserves a spot in this fine column.
I was 12 years old when I saw Hendrix on TV, it was a rainy day and on TV( Belgium 2) there was a concert, that was namely Jimi plays Berkeley. My mother tipped me to it, knowing that I was (and still am) very interested in guitar music. I couldn’t take my eyes off the picture…this was unbelievable, this was how it had to be and this was the sound I liked. That’s where I saw the Marshall stacks, just like AC/DC. A love of life was born. The Fender stratocaster and wah pedal did the rest. Unbelievable what a sound. After a week, not sleeping from excitement hahahaha I took the plunge and went to a friend of my father’s. My father said go and see him, he has a lot of LPs. Saturday afternoon I rang the bell and he (Pierre was his name) let me in. I asked about the music, Hendrix! Oh boy, sit down, he said, and I’ll let you hear some. That’s where it started, that afternoon my future was formed, we went from Freddie King, to Rory Gallagher, from Allman Brothers to Litlle Feat, from Howlin wolf to ….alles that I didn’t know but he let me hear. This was my music, in addition to the rock and metal I already had at home in small numbers, like Quo, and AC/DC and Motorhead.After 4 hours I said to him, I saw Hendrix on TV! What do you have from that? What of it! was his answer, but he said, I actually have to go somewhere, but I’ll give you an LP. That album was the Band of Gypsies. When I got home I went to my bedroom and put the record on the turntable. What a sound, freedom and improvisation….that record, like Irish Tour by Gallagher, shaped my musical thinking…. from the first notes of Who Knows to the last sounds of We gotta live together…..unbelievable. But that one note of the solo of Machine gun…is the highlight of the record for me. By now I am a big music collector myself, of all kinds of styles, from Jazz ,blues to metal and prog, psychedelics, sixties etc. Over the years I have collected all versions of the Hendrix Band of Gypsys recordings, bootlegs, extra tracks somewhere on CDs, etc., until finally two years ago a boxset appeared with all the tracks from those evenings……. it was complete, just like my search…. Once gaaien I found myself listening to the music, the intensity and the freedom……..it still is for me….Band Of Gypsys changed my musical life permanently….timelessly inspiring musical document of a legend……..Hendrix……Gorgeous
My favorite blues LP from back in the day, when I was young and pretty, was Hell’s Session by Livin’ Blues. That was actually my first introduction to the Blues in general in the 1960s. This band was one of the best Dutch Blues bands at the time as far as I was concerned. There is so much variety in the songs, which they released. Nicko Christiansen with his lived-in raw voice gave that specific own sound to the music. However, I had never heard them play in real life. Until I heard in 2018, that in a different composition, Livin’ Blues Xperience performed in Amerongen, organized by Amuuz in the Allemanswaard with frontman Nicko Christiansen. I thought, we are going to experience that. I was curious what this would be like. Too bad that the hall did not have a more intimate atmosphere, would be nice in the future, but what a performance! The enthusiasm was splashing off. Great singing and what a performance. Nicko jumped all over the stage like a young guy of 25, alternating with a bit of sax, percussion. The rest of the band had the same enthusiasm and were very well matched. And Nicko can paint well too, but that aside. The original Livin’ Blues sound was well preserved. I was glad, that I had experienced this and that the band in this composition with so much energy and fun had preserved the Livin’Blues feeling and sound.
‘The Rolling Stones are more than just a group – they are a way of life’. Dit schreef manager Andrew Loog Oldham op de achterkant van de eerste LP die de Stones maakten. Die ‘way of life’ sprak mij aan en draag ik nog steeds in mijn botten. Ik kreeg deze LP van Dianna toen we elkaar net hadden ontmoet. Ik pakte deze LP uit mijn platenkast en je ziet dat hij grijs gedraaid is. Bintangs-style!! Toen ik de vraag kreeg om mijn ‘favoriete album ooit’ te beschrijven, dacht ik onmiddellijk aan deze onvergetelijke plaat. We waren met de Bintangs bezig met het ontgroeien aan de Indorock en het transformeren naar een blues-getinte stijl. En daar waren ineens de Stones. We kochten eerst een EP en waren verkocht. Daarna kwam dus dit album en we waren gestenigd voor het leven! Arti Kraaijeveld, Meine Fernhout en ik (Frank Kraaijeveld) draaiden de plaat zo vaak dat we de B-kant dwars door de A-kant heen hoorden. Magie!!! De ruige, ongecompliceerde rhythm and blues met rock-randjes en blues-emotie drong diep in onze zielen! Er was geen ontkomen aan. Een korte opsomming: ROUTE 66, een dodelijke riff en een knallende Charlie. I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU, Muddy Waters op topsnelheid. HONEST I DO, een fragiele Jimmy Reed song. I NEED YOU BABY (MONA), Bo-song met een hypnotiserende Tremelo. NOW I’VE GOT A WITNESS, instrumentaal intermezzo. LITTLE BY LITTLE. Rhythm and blues pur sang. I’M A KINGBEE, vette uitvoering van Slim Harpo’s hit. CAROL, superstrakke uitvoering van Chuck’s song met een hoofdrol voor Keith. TELL ME, de eerste song van Mick & Keith. Let op de twaalf-snarige gitaar. CAN I GET A WITNESS, uptempo R&B song van Holland/Dozier. YOU CAN MAKE IT IF YOU TRY, dat heeft Mick Jagger wel bewezen. Last but not least: WALKING THE DOG, een dubbelzinnig nummer van Rufus Thomas. Kortom, een plaat die nu nog als een paal boven water staat, die de Stones definitief op de kaart zette. Alleen de hoes al is een arrogant statement. Alleen de ruige Stones die woedend in de camera kijken en totaal geen titel!! De onderkant van de LP is aangevreten door de tijd!!
In 1963 I came to live in Beverwijk, a teenager of then 12 years old, with a strong Brabant accent, still as blue as a pack of butter and went there to do the LTS and later the MTS. My musical development was still in its infancy, but the Beatles were better than the Stones. You had to choose, of course. In the sixties, the Bintangs and the Hamlets competed for local popularity in Beverwijk and the surrounding area. There was a time when I went to school in the morning and my eyes were drawn to the disused municipal gasometer. A towering thing where before that time the gas storage took place locally. Now it was adorned at the very top by metre-high letters that formed the name BINTANGS. An action by the band’s now quite active fan club. It became the talk of the town and a boost to the band’s popularity. It had to happen to go to a performance and that became the parking lot on top of the dune in Wijk aan Zee. There I was first struck by the sounds of the Bintangs. What a mess, Basic Station can still suck on that today. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they could still hear it in England. Of course I wasn’t used to this at all, that is also apparent when I listen to their music from back then, because then it turns out to be not too bad. I had to recover for a while and sat down on the step of the truck that belonged to the stage. Sitting there, I noticed that I had to get up all the time to let someone in or out. From my wiser friends I soon understood that the truck driver also wanted to earn something from the performance and that he rented out his cabin every 10 minutes to ‘enthusiasts’. I had an inkling of what that meant, but I didn’t dare to look inside, afraid I might get up a bit. In hindsight, I didn’t even think that crazy. In those years there were already some singles released, but only in 1969 the first LP – Blues on the Ceiling. I thought that was a bit mediocre, but luckily a year later Travellin’ in the U.S.A. An LP that certainly contains some songs that I have remembered as real Bintangs music. Jan Wijte’s flute certainly contributed to this. I got the LP from Harry Schierbeek, the hardest drummer I’ve ever experienced. He always broke something, but that didn’t bother him, playing softly was not his thing. I knew him because I regularly came home to his parents Harry Sr and Aunt Bep because of another hobby, the radio, the 27Mc to be precise. Harry really was a guy that makes you say ‘raw husk white pit’. Nice time though. By the way, I sometimes met the guitarist Jack van Schie. His sister was friends with my sister and I was allowed to play as a taxi every now and then. Nice guy that Jack. Travellin’ in the U.S.A. This LP contains at least three songs that I really think is ‘Bintang’s sound’. Those are Ridin’ on the L&N, Agnes Gray and Traveling in the U.S.A. The latter even had a top 10 listing in the charts in 1970. On the front of the cover is a beautiful black and white photo of the then occupation Frank Kraayeveld, Jan Wijte, Arthy Kraayeveld, Rob van Donselaar, Aad Hooft and singer Gus Pleines. Besides the band’s repertoire, it was especially Gus’ voice and appearance that made the Bintangs very often compared to the Rolling Stones, just such a big mouth and the same demeanor on stage. In short, this is the Bintangs LP that I still think is the best.
I was 14 years old and heard for the first time on radio Veronica the song ‘You’re the Victor’ by Q65, also known as De Kjoe. This appealed to me very much and I went looking for this band, which turned out to be from The Hague. Not much later, their LP REVOLUTION was released. Everyone was talking about it and I knew one thing, I wanted and had to have this LP. I worked at the local grocery store on my afternoon off from school and was able to buy the LP at the record shop in our town with the money I made there. It had to be ordered, because this was music that did not belong in our narrow-minded village. A week later I collected the LP. Fl. 18.00 poorer but musically priceless richer. Back home I played it a lot on my ERRES suitcase record player. To this day, this LP has left an indelible impression on me. The song ‘Middleage talk’, a real Blues song written by themselves and with the beautiful acoustic guitar work by Joop Roelofs, is for me one of the highlights on this MONO LP. In 2010 I bought the LP again in stereo, but that one doesn’t reach the atmosphere of the MONO version from 1966. In short, a standard work which I think will be on the record shelves of many fans and which is still perfectly playable in this day and age.
My introduction to The Blues began for me around the age of 10. In the 1970s, my father used his tape recorder to make recordings of the Belgian radio program “Boom Boom”. These recordings were played throughout the week and when I came home from school, the penetrating sounds echoed through the room at the Brocken house. Especially the song “Mad Man Blues” by John Lee Hooker touched me directly in my soul. What kind of mysterious music was this, what did the man mean, why did it sound so direct, intense and at times dangerous? That stomping on the floor, the raw guitar, that dark voice…. Much later, this early musical experience would shape me as a person, as a musician and as a Blues enthusiast. I gradually began to immerse myself more and more in this style of music and made one wonderful discovery after another. Music of sometimes more than 75 years old. I searched second hand markets and record stores for rare finds. Muddy Waters – Folk Singer was such a find. During my search (I must have been about 21 years old) I came across this LP in an old and dilapidated record shop somewhere in the neighborhood of the Amsterdam Jordaan. One look at the cover and I immediately knew I had to buy this LP. I didn’t even have to listen to it. I paid 12 Guilders and hurried home. When you play the first song, “My Home Is In The Delta”, it immediately sets the tone for the entire album. Nine tracks, pure Delta Blues and early Chicago style. Stripped of fuss, played completely acoustically and brought back to the essence of The Blues. Nothing more, nothing less. On most tracks Muddy is assisted by drummer Clifton James and of course bassist Willie Dixon. On a number of tracks Buddy Guy also plays along on acoustic guitar. You could safely say that the greatest of the world were recorded here in a gem of an acoustic Blues production. Muddy Waters is in his very best form, his voice sounds like a bell and his guitar playing, both fingerstyle and slide is accurate and to-the-point fresh. The production, recorded in 1964, sounds warm, open and spacious. Many songs we recognize from earlier electric recordings by Muddy Waters; such as the beautifully understated “Long Distance” played here, the fierce “You Gonna Need My Help” and the authentic “Feel Like Going Home” played by Muddy solo, derived from the song “Country Blues”; the very first song Muddy ever recorded while still living in the Delta on Stovall’s plantation near Clarksdale MS. Also special is the song “My Captain”, small and understated, with Buddy and Muddy together on acoustic guitar. I could not stop listening and even if I am not exaggerating I think this LP must have been on my turntable for months. In addition to Robert Johnson’s recording sessions, this record has been a guiding light in my musical education. Unfortunately, the five electrically played bonus tracks that were later added to the 1999 remastered, digital reissue on CD do not add any special value to the album. While these are obviously all wonderful, rare recordings of Muddy Waters, they don’t really match the original atmosphere and minimalist nature of the intimate acoustic LP. Despite that, I heartily recommend this album to every music lover: must-have!
Big Bo Brocken
BluesinWijk was founded in 2009, consists of a number of blues fans and organises about ten blues events every year in Calypso theatre, in pubs, on the river Lek, in private living rooms and on open-air stages. The slogan is: enjoying good blues in our own home town.
Blues in Wijk Foundation
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