Lp of the month

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 lpvandemaand@bluesinwijk.nl.  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 Regio90FMThe 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. 

may 2022

Hell's Sessions
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.
Ellen Steijn

April 2022

Untiteld
‘The Rolling Stones are more than just a group – they are a way of life’. This is what manager Andrew Loog Oldham wrote on the back of the first LP the Stones made. That ‘way of life’ appealed to me and I still carry it in my bones. I received this LP from Dianna when we had just met. I grabbed this LP from my record shelf and you can see it’s been turned gray. Bintangs-style!!! When I was asked to describe my “favorite album ever,” I immediately thought of this unforgettable record. We were in the process of outgrowing Indo rock with the Bintangs and transforming into a blues-tinged style. And suddenly there were the Stones. We first bought an EP and were sold. Then came this album and we were stoned for life! Arti Kraaijeveld, Meine Fernhout and I (Frank Kraaijeveld) played the record so often that we heard the B-side right through the A-side. Magic!!! The rough, uncomplicated rhythm and blues with rock edges and blues emotion penetrated deep into our souls! There was no escaping it. A brief summary: ROUTE 66, a killer riff and a banging Charlie. I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU, Muddy Waters at top speed. HONEST I DO, a fragile Jimmy Reed song. I NEED YOU BABY (MONA), Bo song with a hypnotic Tremelo. NOW I’VE GOT A WITNESS, instrumental interlude. LITTLE BY LITTLE. Rhythm and blues pur sang. I’M A KINGBEE, fat version of Slim Harpo’s hit. CAROL, super tight version of Chuck’s song with a leading role for Keith. TELL ME, the first song of Mick & Keith. Note the twelve-string guitar. CAN I GET A WITNESS, uptempo R&B song by Holland/Dozier. YOU CAN MAKE IT IF YOU TRY, Mick Jagger has proven that. Last but not least: WALKING THE DOG, an ambiguous song by Rufus Thomas. In short, a record that still stands as a rock, that definitively put the Stones on the map. The cover alone is an arrogant statement. Just the rugged Stones looking furiously into the camera and absolutely no title!!! The bottom of the LP is gnawed by time!!!
Frank Kraaijeveld (The BINTANGS)

March 2022

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.
Frans Bruijnincx

February 2022

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.
Willem van de Kraats

januari 2022

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

december 2021

An LP that really makes me happy. What strikes me most in it is the music and the audible influences of the artists. An album by blues musician Howlin’ Wolf released in 1971 on Chess Records and on Rolling Stones Records in Britain. It was one of the first super session blues albums, setting a blues master among famous musicians from the second generation of rock and roll, in this case Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. Backstage at the Fillmore Auditorium, after a concert by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Electric Flag and Cream, Chess Records producer Norman Dayron saw the guitarists of the latter two bands, Mike Bloomfield and Eric Clapton, talking and joking. Dayron approached Clapton and on impulse asked “how would you like to make an album with Howlin’ Wolf?” After confirming that the offer was legitimate, Clapton agreed and Dayron organized sessions in London through the Chess organization to coordinate with Clapton’s schedule. Clapton secured the participation of the Rolling Stones’ rhythm section (pianist Ian Stewart, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts), while Dayron assembled even more musicians, including 19-year-old prodigy Jeffrey Carp, who died in 1973 at the age of 24. Initially, Marshall Chess did not want to pay the cost of flights and accommodation to send Wolf’s long-serving guitarist Hubert Sumlin to England, but an ultimatum from Clapton mandated his presence. Sessions took place between May 2 and May 7, 1970, at Olympic Studios. On the first day, May 2, Watts and Wyman were unavailable and calls were made for immediate replacements. Many showed up, but from that day on, only recordings with Klaus Voormann and Ringo Starr were released. In the first album credits, Starr is listed as “Richie”, as Dayron was under the impression that, because he was a Beatle, his name could not be used directly. Further overdubbing took place at Chess studios in Chicago with Chess regulars Lafayette Leake on piano and Phil Upchurch on bass, and horns Jordan Sandke, Dennis Lansing, and Joe Miller of the 43rd Street Snipers, Carp’s band. Ex-Blind Faith keyboardist Steve Winwood, on tour in the United States, also contributed to the overdub sessions. Although he actually plays on only five tracks on the original album, his name appears on the cover under The Wolf’s, along with Clapton, Wyman and Watts.
Richard Quartel

november 2021

One of the first LPs I owned was by Elmore James. I was 11 or 12 at the time and had been playing guitar for about 4 years and didn’t think it was that exciting at the time. Later when I heard Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix, SRV, Allman Brothers, Mayall and other greats, I understood that was the basis for the music as it developed then. I no longer have the LP, there was a friend of mine who was totally obsessed with it and collected everything by E.J. You could hear from the recordings that the gentlemen were playing live and as the recordings progressed and also the intake of probably Whisky, the musical creativity furthered. Dust my blues: a standard blues that comes right in because of the slide. Sunnyland: a special rhythm takes you on a journey, here and there I recognize Hendrix in this song; Mean and evil: great to swing along on the groove, the early Stones must have listened to this; Dark and dreary: The parts for the horns are great, the guitar solo is top; Standing at the crossroads: the sax and the bass support each other, with a combination like that you can get any room standing on its head; Happy home: nice to stomp along; No love in my heart for you: with Basic Station we recorded Straight Walking man, live like song on our CDs. I know now where I got it from; Blues before sunrise: what a voice and inspiration; I was a fool: Chuc comes walking along, nice and firm; Goodbye baby: here I hear a lot of Fleetwood Mac, choir, piano answer, solo, beautiful. These songs are dear to me because they swing, wring and tell. I really hope to reach half that level with Basic Station.
Wim Schriekenberg

oktober 2021

Gebouw-T is the pop temple of Bergen op Zoom where many artists from home and abroad like to perform. This is also the school for young sound engineers where they learn the trade. A few years ago John Mayall came to Bergen op Zoom for a performance. I had told my brother-in-law Willem about this and he was interested in coming to this gig. It was also a great performance. What a power this man has. The passion radiated from him. Together with the band behind him it was a great blues evening. Willem and I also like to go to the record store De Waterput where we hope to find gems among the 2nd hand vinyl. Recently I came across the double album about John Maylall and his band The BluesBreakers. On it are songs he played with all the musicians who played with him. Like Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Taylor. It’s a nice double album, which will get a place in my collection.  
Aloys Stenders

september 2021

At the end of my elementary school years, when there was finally some real music on the radio, there were soon two camps: you were either a Beatles or Stones fan.  I belonged to the latter group, although I wasn’t averse to a bit of ‘screaming twaddle’ either. A lot of cool bands that played nice rock ‘n’ roll but…, no money to buy all those records. Solution was a good Akai tape recorder with Glass-Ferrite heads, they didn’t wear out and therefore didn’t mishandle your tapes either! Everywhere records were exchanged, borrowed, and recordings shared. At one point we discovered the program “Superclean Dreammachine” by Piet Velleman on the radio, the latest records from the U.S., lots of Underground etc. Three of our friends had a tape recorder and soon it was agreed that everyone who was at home would record the program integrally so nothing would be lost and we could fish out the gems later. And then it happened: Velleman played Voodoo Child! Electric Ladyland, of course I had to have that record. I was already a fan of Jimi’s work, but this was different, long songs, rough, but also sensitive, not made to score a quick hit or to show off your virtuosity. At least three rhythm and/or mood changes per song and quietly playing the most ridiculous bass solo in pop music when the mood calls for it. (1983… A Merman I Should Turn to Be) The screeching seagulls on the beach, the screeching flames (House Burning Down), the musical use of the Wah pedal and stereo effects. (The solo in -Come On- that suddenly goes into counterphase so it sounds wide open in stereo, but nothing is left of it on a mono radio). Jan B., a mate from school, got it for his birthday, complete with ladies on the cover! Now a collectors item, I hope he still has it. I played it to death, as far as you can tell from a band of course. Later, when I was travelling a lot for my job, this became one of the two cassette tapes that sometimes stayed in the player for weeks on end! (The other was “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.) I still use the talking guitar at the beginning of -Still Rainin’ Still Dreamin’- as a ringtone on my cell phone!  “Hello, how are you?”
Bas Spek

augustus 2021

In 2013 I got to know Dick Verbeek, the then drummer of Basic Station and with that the blues. I became fascinated by the blues especially because I went with him many a time to the studio where the band practiced. Yet the blues was not entirely new to me. In the early 80’s I played the album ‘Making Movies’ by the Dire Straits completely grey and my love for Mark Knopfler was born. The song ‘Redbud Tree’ has been waking me up for years when my alarm clock goes off via my mobile phone. Bluebird’ is also a favorite. For me, this is a valuable album that I enjoy listening to and find wonderfully relaxing.  
Erna Koekoek