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.
|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.