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. 

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

juli 2021

It was on a Friday night, some 39 years ago, that I first saw and heard Barrelhouse play. It was crowded during the forerunner of the Bluesfestival Utrecht, but I quickly managed to get to the front of the stage. Tineke’s voice, the guitar work of the brothers John and Guus that you immediately feel, the piano playing of Han, the percussion of Bob, Jan Willem on the bass, it made something in me. And following the band was born. I was lucky enough to attend a performance in de Peppel in Zeist before the Corona era. There was only 32 people in the audience. But it was a wonderful evening and I went home with a signed “Almost There” album. The key to 45 years of performing and touring successfully together is to give each other space. Then the nominations and awards come as a reward. To be able to add an Edison Jazz/World to the list in 2020. Then the title “Almost There “will become reality, what you are looking for can also be found just around the corner.
Paul Copier

juni 2021

In high school, I was clearly in the Rolling Stones camp.  But then in 1970 Get yer Ya-Ya-s out came out with a live performance featuring songs like Love in vain and Midnight Rambler.  Totally awesome. Especially Midnight Rambler was as long as 9 minutes. In those days I studied at Delft University and lived as a student in my room with a gramophone and headphones.  I played this LP for years until it was completely worn out. Because of the headphones I could turn up the volume and tap along with my fingers on my desk and sing along. I was in a trance because of the music and at the same time I could solve the most complicated mathematical problems.  Music and studying went hand in hand.  I’m still amazed that I could do that, two things at the same time. And whether the neighbors were happy with just my singing, I doubt.
Rob Neleman

May 2021

In the sixties I listened a lot to bands from England and America. In the Netherlands, Rob Hoeke had released his first record ‘Boogie Hoogie’ with his Philicorda organ on the Philips label. In my then still modest record cupboard there was already the ‘Beano’ album by John Mayall. One day I would have almost all his official albums on the shelf. There are now 66 of them. In secondary school, once a month, under the guidance of a music teacher, there was an opportunity to play records taken from the classroom. Sometimes innovative but always refreshing and sometimes a reason to buy an album for 18,50 guilders at record shop Van Boxtel in Helmond. One day, a sound came out of the speakers that caused the same sensation as when I first heard ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ and ‘Sultans Of Swing’: ‘Foxy Lady’, the first track on the album ‘Are You Experienced’. This was the debut album of Jimi Hendrix in June 1967, an American guitarist who had already made a big impression six months earlier with the single ‘Hey Joe’. He was persuaded by the former bass player of The Animals, Chas Chandler, to come to England and became a legend ever since. I still play this record, with only strong songs like the bluesy ‘Red House’ and the jazzy ‘Third Stone From The Sun’. Goosebumps music, that’s what it remains. A funny detail is that Eric Burdon, on the album ‘Winds Of Change’, with the song ‘Yes I Am Experienced’, answered the question of Hendrix.
Gerrit Dijk

April 2021

My favourite album is ‘Colosseum Live’ from … by the band Colosseum. Nice raw vocals, but at the same time also instrumental gems of solos on guitar and keyboards. Besides that, I find it, certainly for an album of over forty years old, unusually good quality for that time. Especially the song “Lost Angeles” is great (but it’s almost 20 minutes long…) because of its construction and passionate singing. In the early/mid-seventies, three or four of us (we were about 17-18 years old) would regularly go to obscure places like “De Kruk” in De Meern (now music venue Azotod) and sometimes to the “Werfkelder Sarasani” in Utrecht, to get slightly stoned in dark corners together, because we didn’t have much money to blow, the beer did the rest…. Especially Karel (who also drew very well) could make great joints that kept us going for a while! The longer songs were often played later in the evening and for example “Lost Angeles” was a hit and of course a lot of work by bands like Frank Zappa, Soft Machine, Iron Butterfly, Rare Earth, The Doors etc. etc. A great time, when really good music was still being made.
Nico Biersteker