Five Things: Wednesday 1st May

Steve And Steve
Really enjoyed listening to Steve Forbert at Bush Hall, lots of interaction with the audience (very good backing vox from left of us) and a pleasure to hear his idiosyncratic and unique vocal/guitar action. My only complaint was that he didn’t play his great “It Isn’t Gonna Be That Way”, a song that seems to have been written by a much older person (Miche said, watching the clip, that he seems like an old soul). As we left my friend Steve came up with a brilliant BBC4 Documentary idea: The New Dylans – Where Are They Now? You’d know about the obvious ones, Steve and John Prine and Bruce and Loudon, but what about Elliot Murphy, eh? Speaking of Bob, exciting news that two of his finest guitarristas, Larry Campbell and David Bromberg, are coming to Bush Hall later in the year as a duo. Larry was the sonic structuralist in Dylan’s great touring band of 1997-2004, anchoring the melodies of the songs with his awesomely precise picking. As well, Larry plays great cittern (hear it on “Sugar Baby”) and violin (on “Cross The Green Mountain”), and was MD and producer of Levon Helm’s last band. And David Bromberg puts down his violin restoring to join him, just after we were reminded of his nimble brilliance by the Self Portrait re-issue.

David’s comment on last week’s post prompts me to find this…
“Martin, Not apropos of anything but last Sunday I was at an Antique Fair in Lostwithiel, Cornwall and there was a bookseller with some EPs for sale and as I looked though I couldn’t resist buying a Decca EP DFE6286 by Ken Colyer’s Skiffle Group singing “Take This Hammer”, “Down By The Riverside”, “Go Down Old Hannah” and “Streamline Train” for the sum of £1.66 which was recorded on 28th July 1955 which just happens to have been my 10th birthday. The odd sum is because I also bought a King Oliver EP and another of the MJQ with a very cool photo making it three for a fiver. David”


My father’s autographed programme, MJQ concert, sometime in the 50s. Not sure how cool this photo is, but the type is great…

On its own, it’s number 8…
Gary Calton has made three lovely short films about Britain’s social clubs while on assignment fot the Indy. The first animates Gary’s stills to give the film a really interesting feel. The bingo caller in the second sounds like Graham Fellows’ great musical creation, John Shuttleworth – “Those Legs Eleven. Thank you, whistlers!” Oh, and Jonny Rich sings the hell out of ”Sweet Caroline”.

GunsmokeGunsmoke Blues. Interesting. Have ordered.
From Big O: “While surfing the web we came across this DVD that had so far escaped our attention. This 60-minute concert featured the talents of blues greats Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner and George ‘Harmonica’ Smith. We’ll let Steven I. Ramm tell the story: “In 1971, a team of blues fans, who just happened to be cameramen for television westerns (yes, Including CBS’ “Gunsmoke”), had a few days off and headed to Eugene, Oregon to catch – and film – the all-star blues tour headed by Muddy Waters with Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner and the lesser-known George “Harmonica” Smith. They captured the concert on 16 mm film (so don’t expect hi-def here) and, just as important, got to travel in the car with Waters, Thornton and Turner. In 2004 this material was compiled by producer Toby Byron (who made the wonderful “Masters of American Music” series for PBS) and it was released by Universal.”

 Wayne Cochran. Be Afraid.
Words fail. Jaco Pastorius got his start in this band, and whoever is on bass here is doing the groove proud.


  1. Martin … Enjoyed your take on Steve Forbert who is much underrated. Problem with the ‘New Dylans’ is not their often real talents but the comparison to the one and only original. Might as well say some smart young writer is the new Dickens or Dante! Regards ….Thom

  2. Martin
    thanks for the mention. I’ve listened to the EP and it takes me back to the school play ground of the period 1956//7 when we all used to pretend to be Lonnie Donegan Johnny Duncan or Ken Collyer and sang about “Rock Island Line” and “Last Train to San Fernando” etc in that mythical place called America playing our imaginary Tea Chest bass and guitars.
    Meanwhile “I’m going down to Laurel”

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