Musselwhite on the Mend
Thanks for the kind words. The doctors said I almost died. I broke every rib on my left side and one on my right ó for starters. Itís a long story, but Iím home now and mending with the best possible attitude. They said I shouldíve stayed in the hospital another week, but I said I had to play New Yearís Eve. Didnít want to let anybody down. Like I say, "Gotta gig, gotta go." I had a two-hour set, and it was a haul for the shape I was in. I did it in a wheelchair and some good medication. Bonnie Raitt came by and helped out.
[Note: The estimable Mr. Musselwhite was involved in an automobile accident while in Mexico in early December.]
The Real-Deal Blues
In response to Mr. Foley in issue #40: I sincerely hope Mr. Foley speaks for himself! I have been a subscriber for three years and feel that BLUES ACCESS delivers the real-deal blues. As far as "yuppie scum," I think BLUES ACCESS is the least yuppish of current blues mags, delivering "down-home" blues in every excellent issue. Thanks ó just wanted to air my sentiments.
Itís a Dogís Year
Thank you so much for the BEAUTIFUL magazine Ö wow! I canít wait to read through it.
Thanks also for the great blip about Blue Hooís CD ó In Dog Years ó yíall made our day Ö heck, month for that matter!
Mary McPage & Blue Hoo
Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed Karl Bremerís article about John Mooney in the Winter1999 issue Ö so well written, my only wish is that it could have been longer! Itís great to see Mooney get some well-deserved exposure, and I agree with Karl about the live stuff being the very real deal. Please keep up this great quality Ö maybe a piece on Madison (WI) slide giant Paul Black? He must be a first cousin to Mooney.
Hi, my name is Wilfred and am currently working for HMV Singapore. I noticed that you have an Essential Female Vocal section [at www.bluesaccess.com] and I must add that I think Sassy Mama for Big Mama Thornton should be added as well as Jail. I am a big fan of hers as well as Etta James and am always on the lookout for great blues albums. One which to my knowledge is out of print is Eddie Boydís All-Star Band, on which he plays with the original lineup of Fleetwood Mac. I push unknown artists at the store in order to get more recognition for these great artists, and it is great to know that there are magazines that promote good blues.
Our Man in New South Wales
Right. Now I know it may seem that I am picking on Wayne Robins, but really Iím not. He is right to speak well in BA #40 of Axel Küstner and Siggy Christmann, whose efforts have been released in the U.S. by Evidence (Living Country Blues). And he is of most wonderful taste in singling out Frank Hovington. BUT, those two didnít track him down out-of-the-blue. Bruce Bastin and Dick Spottswood located him in Frederica, Delaware, as a result of information that I obtained. They and/or Dick also recorded Frank for release; both Flyright and Rounder released the same LP of Frank, a superb album that should be out on CD. I never had the opportunity to record or even meet the guy. I would have liked to, but hadnít the time and left it to others.
I heard about Frank Hovington from my youngest sisterís first husband, then a student at Yale. There was a concert there with Dr. Ross headlining, and somehow Frank was the opening act. It was he (Brian Bristol) who let me know about Hovington (he heard it as Hubbington!) and of his being from Frederica. Bastin and Spottswood tracked him down, and the rest is history. While the Flyright/Rounder release was in his given name, he asked Axel and Siggy to use a nom-de-disque out of fear of losing welfare or some other benefits. Kudos to the Germans for their work, but a few others were involved in it in some form or other as well.
Something that nobody knows is that they were not the first people to record John Cephas (with or without Phil Wiggins). I had that singular honor. I had been visiting Big Chief Ellis and he told me about this guitar player that he had just met who I should hear. One gets that frequently in the position I was then in. Chief called up John and he came over, and I interviewed him at some length. Then he pulled out his guitar and played. Then I dashed back to my vehicle and pulled out my recording equipment as quickly as I could. The last guitarist to "grab" me like that had been Henry Johnson. John also sang like a bird! After Chief had died, I also recorded John and Phil together as well. Since my files are in New Jersey and I am not, I cannot pull out the exact dates. Bastin heard the solo tapes of John and was mightily impressed (as he should have been!). Again, the rest is history.
Just fine tuning things, Wayne. Honest!
Peter B. Lowry
[Note: Pete is the founder of Trix Records, a label that recorded many country blues artists, in particular those from the Piedmont region. His Trix recordings are now being reissued by 32 Blues.]
Thanks for a great spread on the Handy Awards in the Fall 1999 issue. I think photographer/writer Chuck Winans also did your 1998 Handy coverage quite ably ó the next best thing to being there.
From the South (Central) Side
Cool issue! One reason I like BA is that you are open-minded about blues. I have always been limited in what I listen to (how can you beat the 10 best?), but your magazine has exposed me to a wider variety. Lately Iíve been into Long John Hunter and Johnny Copeland ó thanks to things Iíve read about them in BA. This has helped me with the business because I now have "wider ears."
I am committed to building a visible blues label in L.A., and with any kind of initial success we will be able to raise sufficient money and get a fair number of deserving artists a chance to make some good money for themselves.