Blues Baby Blues Playlist

 

We were down in London at the weekend, at Blues Baby Blues – Swing Patrol’s main annual Blues event, and as I played a short set there, it seems like a good opportunity to put up another blues set list.

On a technical level, this was not a particularly straightforward set. My laptop’s headphone socket gave up the ghost a few days before, which means that I’m now using my backup sound card (it’s good to have spares) for previewing tracks. To complicate things slightly, I had a cable fail on me when I was testing to ensure I had sound… so out came the spare for that. In the confusion, I ended up unplugging then replacing the second sound card after I’d fired up Megaseg, and this proved to be a mistake.

Good though Megaseg is, it isn’t without its quirks, and one thing it’s not good at is hot-swapping audio devices… so attempts to preview were now coming out of the main speakers. Which is … not good. I managed to rectify it in the end by switching to iTunes for one track, restarting Megaseg, then switching back. So far as I could tell, no-one who wasn’t at the DJ desk noticed anything was wrong.

All of which explains firstly why it’s a good idea to carry spares, and secondly why it wasn’t a particularly adventurous set. It did keep everyone dancing, and gather quite a few compliments… so overall, it could have gone much worse.

On to the set.

Title Length Speed Artist
Axe and The Wind 02:29 99.0 George Wild Child Butler
Mannish Boy (Album) 02:56 70.0 Muddy Waters
Ain’t Gonna Play No Second 04:05 87.0 Lavern Baker
Back O’ Town Blues 03:51 73.0 Louis Armstrong & His All Stars
Up the Country Blues 03:02 105.0 Sippie Wallace
Step by Step 05:22 53.0 L. A. Blues Alliance
Year Of ’29 03:44 65.0 Lowell Fulson
I Pity the Fool 02:43 76.0 Bobby Blue Bland
Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl 03:27 82.0 Hadda Brooks
Wade In the Water 03:01 99.0 Michelle Shocked
St Louis Blues 04:29 76.9 Etta James
To Hell with Love 03:18 100.0 Di Anne Price

And a few of the thoughts behind what I was playing:

Axe and the wind is a lively, slightly funky track, which followed on nicely from the previous set. Mannish Boy… is a guaranteed floor-filler, and I played it here to give myself a touch of breathing space as I figured out how to deal with the technical issues.

Ain’t Gonna Play No Second has a more mellow vibe, with some wonderful breaks, and fun – with Lavern Baker’s fantastic voice driving it. Plus – I wanted something reasonably long so I could sort out Megaseg with a minimum of stress. By the time I got to Back O’ Town Blues (with one of the best in-band-heckles I’ve ever heard) I was up and running again.

Step By Step, I Pity the Fool and that version of Wade in the Water (Michelle Shocked with a hip-hop crew) are favourites that I play far too much – but I can get away with it more at events where people aren’t so familiar with me.

So in the end, a fun set – shorter than I normally like, but it meant I was able to dance more, so there’s always an upside.

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