Program Note


 Document video for the release of
Edwin Buster Pickens – The 1959 to 1961 Sessions

 

I've been collaborating with Document Records since 2005 when they asked me to write the notes for the Robert Nighthawk collection Prowling With The Nighthawk. The next project was the series that grew into the three double disc sets of Blues, Blues Christmas. For years I had being doing an annual Christmas program on my blues show and pitched the idea of a vintage collection of blues and gospel Christmas songs to Document. This year Document issued the third volume of Blues, Blues Christmas, the most wide-ranging collection yet, jumping genres from blues, gospel, jazz, rock, doo-wop and country. Another idea I brought to Document was to resurrect some great long out-of-print blues records. One of the first records that came to mind was pianist Buster Pickens' lone album for Heritage (HLP 1008), the self-titled Buster Pickens, which was recorded over several sessions between 1960 and 1961 and released in 1962, subsequently reissued in 1977 on the Flyright label as Back Door Blues and now appears on CD first time as Edwin Buster Pickens – The 1959 to 1961 Sessions.

Texas Piano Part 1 Texas Piano Part 2

 

A couple weeks back I got a call from Gillian from Document asking me if I was interested in putting together some podcasts. With the release of the Buster Pickens and the Christmas CD we decided to do a couple revolving around the rich Texas piano tradition and one devoted to Christmas tunes. You can hear these on the new Document podcast page. While you're there check out the great podcasts on James Booker and Christmas songs from Edison Records.

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A few weeks back I passed along the sad news that Doc's Juke Joint was going off the air. Starting June 3rd the blues will be back to four hours as we announce the addition of The Blues Spectrum with Jim McGrath to the Sunday lineup, immediately following Big Road Blues. Jim is well know to the Rochester blues community, probably best known for his overnight blues program on WXXI for many years. Jim was an inspiration to several of us, including myself, who went on to host their own blues shows in Rochester. In addition, Jim has been compiling the Living Blues Playlist that has appeared in Living Blues magazine for the past twenty-five years. Jim was born and raised in Rochester, and started listening to music in the 50's coming to jazz in high school due to a priest that enjoyed jazz and had an after school jazz club. It was just a listening activity but that coupled with stories of The Pythodd Club and other Jazz venues lead Jim to a life long love of the music. But after "liking what he liked" he sat down and tried to figure out what he liked about the music styles, and the common denominator turned out to be the blues. To learn more about Jim McGrath, click here.

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You can now automatically record Big Road Blues using DAR.fm. DAR stands for "Digital Audio Recorder". DAR.fm is a personal recorder which records radio stations and shows to be played back at the convenience of the listener. Similar to how a DVR (digital video recorder) works with television DAR is a DVR for your radio. Just click the "Record This Show" on the sidebar to get started. Your recordings can be played on multiple devices.

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Jazz90.1 is pleased to announce the release of it's iPhone, iPod and iPad app, available free in the iTunes app store. You can browse DJ bios, station information, listen live, see the complete program schedule, event pictures, and even become a member right from the App. All listeners need to do is search for Jazz90.1 in the iTunes app store and download the app!

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Sunday Blues Presents Robert Johnson Special

A shroud of mystery has surrounded blues guitarist and singer Robert Johnson for well over 70 years. In his time, he was not famous, but those who knew him struggled to understand how he could be so good. In this one-hour radio special, you’ll hear of the man and the times in which he lived, the myth of his “deal with the devil” at the crossroads, and the music he created through interviews with Johnson’s grandson and Vice President of the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation Stephen Johnson. Host Josh Jackson also talks with musicians Warren Haynes and Corey Harris, along with writers Peter Guralnick and Scott Baretta. Hear this special Sunday May 15th from 7-8 p.m immediately following Big Road Blues. only on Member Supported Jazz90.1.

Bobby Bland Feature

Tune in May 22nd for our feature on Bobby Bland and the Memphis blues. During the first hour we spin tunes by Bobby Bland and his early Memphis cohorts like B.B. King, Johnny Ace, Earl Forrest and others. In the second hour we interview and spin tunes with Charles Farley, author of  Soul of the Man – Bobby "Blue" Bland. This biography traces Bland's life and recording career, from his earliest work through his first big hit in 1957, "Farther Up the Road." It goes on to tell the story of how Bland scored hit after hit, placing more than sixty songs on the R&B charts throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.

Son House Feature

Tune in May 29th for our feature on Son House. During the first hour we spin tunes by Son House and his contemporaries like Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Willie Brown and others. In the second hour we interview and spin tunes with Dan Beaumont, author of  Preachin' the Blues: The Life and Times of Son House. In June of 1964, three young, white blues fans set out from New York City in a Volkswagen, heading for the Mississippi Delta in search of a musical legend. So begins Preachin' the Blues, the biography of American blues signer and guitarist Eddie James "Son" House, Jr. (1902 – 1988). House pioneered an innovative style, incorporating strong repetitive rhythms with elements of southern gospel and spiritual vocals. A seminal figure in the history of the Delta blues, he was an important, direct influence on such figures as Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson.

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