Blue Shadows

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Mick writes:

Here's a 10 track LP featuring 6 recent single releases and 4 brand new tracks.

"Blue Shadows" was written, apparently, by BB King, with of course a half share of the credits going to his manager / producer Saul Bihari. I heard it on BB King's album "The Jungle". I still remember bringing the LP home from Dobells Record Shop in Charing Cross Road, circa 1970. I've changed the tune and chords a little, and I like it. I think it's quite haunting really, and I like some of the original lyrics.. blues is my companion, every night and every day.

"Dear John" was a rockabilly track from Sun Studios by Warren Smith.. (although Sam Phillips reportedly didn't like the term "rockabilly" - to him it was all just rock'n'roll - and I have to agree). Anyway, great little song.. "I went to the bank this morning, the cashier said with a grin, I really hate to tell you John but your wife has just been in". And that's the blues.

"Last Two Dollars" was originally by R&B Soul star Johnnie Taylor. It's the tale of a guy who is hit on by a femme fatale at a gambling joint, but he ain't giving up his last two dollars - one's for his bus fare and one's for the juke box - he's got to hear some blues! I had to laugh when I first heard the song - it's the kind of thing I might write myself. So here it is - do enjoy.

The other new track is Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer's "Skylark". Yes I know, way out of my league. But I thought I'd have a go at it simply because I love the song so much, and actually I thought it turned out OK. (If I didn't you wouldn't be getting to hear it). The track features some nice guitar on my £20 Oxfam classical guitar, and some jazz chords which I don't even understand, on a Fender Rhodes piano setting. Anyway, good to get out of your comfort zone occasionally - I hope you enjoy it.

The other 6 tracks are all recent single releases, and some are versions of favourite blues classics which I've enjoyed over the years.. Wolf's "Killing Floor", Sonny Boy's "Help Me", Leadbelly's "Alabama Bound" and Pink Champagne, written by Joe Liggins, although the version that I've always known was by Georgie Fame. Also Hank's "Lonesome Whistle Blow" and the current single "Night School".

So another lump of blues'n'boogie for your delectation. I hope you enjoy it - keep rockin' the blues.

Photo by Kamil Fecczo Kamil Feczko Twitter

Mick Clarke - Blue Shadows