Magical musical trip back in time

“THE Blues are Back in Town”. Yes indeed, once again, just as every year in our town of Bonnie Colne since 1990, when Svengali blues man Gary Hood brought the sounds of America’s deep south to the stone-flagged streets of the North of England.

Exit founder Hood and enter successor Goode; that is Alison Goode who is the festival guru who brings the rhythm and blues artistes into town to its many venues.

The 21st Colne R’n’B festival saw all the old favourites back - “Route 66”, “Welsh T Band”; “Hokum Hotshots”, Dr Feelgood; “Mud in Your Ear”, “The Hamsters”; “Sidewinder”, Peter Green and not forgetting big names, Chris Farlowe and Georgie Fame.

Familiar friendly faces to be seen were genial guitar wizard Uncle Neil, transcendent teddy boy Denis Baines, breezy bon viveur Billy Bantam and affable aficionado of all times Rhythm and Blues’ Paul Barnes. Paul, a good friend of mine, provided a supreme, nostalgic afternoon at the cosy Dressers’ Club when he played a selection of genuine early rhythm and blues records from his vast and consummate collection. Why, here are original shellac 78 rpm records with wonderful label names - Atlantic, Brunswick, Cameo, Chess, Duke, Gee, Imperial King, RCA Victor, Spark, and the legendary labels, Art Rupe’s specialty and Sam Phillip’s ground-breaking Sun label.

Note this week’s column picture features Atlantic label mega R’n’ B hit, “Tweedlee Dee” by Lavern Baker and the Gliders. Lavern was a truly big star in the fifties and was always a joy to listen to and look at with her clinging, sexy dresses.

Paul brought out more rarities, 45 rpm classics, 10 inch early LP’s, the names of fame ring out big Joe Turner, the Clovers, Wynonie Harris All Stars, the Robins, Arthur (big boy) Crudup, Lloyd Price, the Midnighters, Big Mama Thornton, Little Junior Parker and the Blue Flames, Ruth Brown, Billy Ward and the Dominoes, Larry Williams and so many more from that halcyon era.

Paul, many thanks old pal for a marvellous magical trip back in time.