Stephen Pilkington’s Review of 2009

Posted on: Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010

Bobby Jones CD

Top albums of 2009

Omar Kent Dykes – Big Town Playboy – Up to his usual high standards with a variety of well-chosen covers from the likes of Eddie Taylor, Jimmy McCracklin, Slim Harpo and, of course, Jimmy Reed.

Duke Robillard – Stomp! The Blues Tonight – The Duke doing what he does best, honking, pounding, wailing and hollering jump blues.

Magic Slim & The Teardrops – Rough Dried Woman – A great compilation of his work on the Wolf label – Chicago blues don’t get any better than this!

Bobby Jones – Comin’ Back Hard – A big-voiced singer, backed by the mighty Mannish Boys…blues perfection!

Chicago Blues A Living History – Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch and Lurrie Bell combine their considerable talents to give us a guided tour of Chicago blues history.

Sugar Pie Desanto – Go Go Power- The complete collection of her Chess singles proves that there’s a lot more to this lady than “Soulful  Dress”.  From deep ballads to pounding dancefloor anthems, every one’s a winner.

Rod Piazza – Soul Monster – A typical mixture of covers and originals, featuring Rod’s superb harp playing and his tight-as-hell band.

Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Live In San Antonio – Never seen this guy live, but now I’ve heard this, I’ll be looking to rectify that as soon as possible!

Harmonica Shah – If All You Have Is A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A nail – Primitivo Detroit blues in the grand tradition of Eddie Kirkland and John Lee Hooker.

Tail Dragger – Rooster’s Lounge – The spirit of the Wolf lives on in this raw and ragged set recorded live.

Shirley Johnson – Blues Attack – I love this lady and always go to see her at Blue Chicago when I’m in the Windy City. This, her second album for Delmark, is a real favourite of mine.

Little Walter – The Complete Chess Masters (1950-1967) – If you’re into harmonica blues, you need this. As simple as…

Quintus McCormick Blues Band – Hey Jodie! –  A great set of mostly self-penned soul blues from a talented vocalist and guitarist.

Eddie Hinton – Very Extremely Dangerous – Welcome reissue of this long-deleted set from the greatest blue-eyed soulman ever.

Take Me to The River – A Southern Soul Story – This is probably cheating, as I think it came out in December last year, but what’s the odd month when you’re talking about a masterpiece like this?  If you don’t have it, buy it. Now.

Live performances…

I was thinking back to the last live gig I’d been to and then I realised it was the Harpbreakers at the George in Cheadle…in November 2008! I really wish someone would start up a blues night in downtown Manchester.

Hopes for 2010

To get out to more live gigs and to make it to Chicago again for the blues festival.

Happy New Year

Steve Pilkington



January 26th, 2010 at 20:36
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Hi Stephen, welcome aboard, some fine choices in your picks, and nice to see the great Eddie Hinton get a mention. As for gigs you may like to check out The Harpbreakers – The Oli Brown Band – Ian Siegal, all together at Manchester Academy on Friday, 12th March. Think it is something like £12.50 in advance, may actually be Academy 2?



January 27th, 2010 at 22:04
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Cheers, Grahame, and thanks for the tip off about the Academy gig – it sounds unmissable! Must get down there and have a pint or two with Mr Dunne!