The Rhyme Report 6th April 2017
It started out as a Blues-at-midnight thing which, simply, got out of hand.
Thus, the next edition of Nothin’ But The Blues inevitably unfolded as a show deserving a somewhat grandiose subtitle: ‘A Day In The Life Of The Blues’.
I’d happened upon a fonky little midnight tune by the irrepressible patriarch of British Blues, John Mayall. And I’m guessing that none, bar the most dedicated of his fans would even be remotely aware that the now 83-year-old Bluesman has released a new album. (His ‘umpteenth’ – according to my personal calculation.)
Anyhoo, its titled, ‘Talk About That’ – and down here at the Parque, the consensus is, that it’s a good one.
While I burned the midnight oil, it dawned upon me that in the cold light of day, the Blues is something that is always with us. It shadows us throughout the day – and well into the night.
Most times, we don’t even notice it’s there – because life (as John Lennon might have put it) is busy getting in the way.
I found myself reflecting on a Carlos Castaneda book I’d been hepped to back in the ‘70s: ‘A Separate Reality: Further Conversations With Don Juan’. Carlos was driving at night with his mysterious companion, who’d suggested that the lights following behind them were not from another car. They were being followed by Death.
Later, when Carlos noticed the lights were no longer there, he suggested that the car must have stopped, or taken another road. Don Juan’s casual reply has stayed with me ever since.
“No” he said, “Death never stops. Sometimes it turns it’s lights off, that’s all.”
That’s when the light turned on to the prospect of a show about an entire day in the life of the Blues. How the Blues remain ever-present. Even while stalking us at night – with the lights turned off.
Good people of Earth, I’m here to tell you, the Blues is ubiquitous.
Although there is no time in the day when you are free from it’s unrelenting gaze, there is an actual documented moment at which you are more likely, than at any other, to feel the touch of it’s hand on your shoulder.
It’s dank breath across the hairs at the back of your neck. We’ll touch upon that, as well, as our show unfolds.
That being said, however, it’s not all bad news. As you are no doubt well aware, there’s always been an element of defiant humour in the Blues and we have a great example of it from the poetic pen of Johnny Mercer, along with the flawless delivery of Cab Calloway. As well, we’ll have a good-time Blues from the man they called ‘The Genius’: Ray Charles.
Yes, yes, I know… How can we possibly squeeze a full 24-hours of mind-boggling content into one tiny hour of compelling yet wildly-entertaining Blues radio?
Crank up yer Wurlitzer wireless at noon (CST) this Saturday – and you will most assuredly find out.
And if you can’t join us then, check-in for the special Encore Edition, beaming out to the universe as we know it next Wednesday evening at 7pm (CST).
And as always, thanks for listening.
Gideon Rhyme – Cultural Detective
“Blue Midnight” – John Mayall
“Early Morning Blues” – Muddy Waters
“Three O’Clock Blues” – B.B. King
“Blues Before Sunrise” – Champion Jack Dupree
“Time For The Sun To Rise” – Earl King
“Good Morning Blues” – Brownie McGhee
“Late Afternoon Blues” – Memphis Slim
“When The Sun Goes Down” – Leroy Carr
“Sundown” – Charlie Musselwhite
“Six O’Clock Blues” – Lucky Peterson
“Blues In The Night” – Cab Calloway
“Black Night” – Charles Brown
“(Night Time Is) The Right Time” – Ray Charles
“Midnight Hour Blues” – Elvis Bishop