Raven & Blues Archive
The show started in July 1999 but the first 18 months track listings are not available. The show audio archive starts in May 2005 so you can listen to any show from that time by clicking on the show date.
Bandana Blues Interview -bandanablues.com/raven.html
English R&B in the sixties - www.eelpie.org/comstock7.htm
The musician guests often mention the view from the studio - below is what they see as they are recording.
My Blues History
My love affair with Blues and R'n'B started in my teens when Newcastle's leading beat club, the Club A'Gogo was my regular haunt. There, local bands like The Del Vikings, The Invaders, The Gas Board (lead singer, a young Brian Ferry!) and The Animals all played their versions of the great blues numbers of the 40's, 50's and 60's.
Other groups from around the UK; John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Manfred Mann, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, all played the Club A'Gogo and all of them playing R'n'B and the Blues.
American bluesmen also visited and there I saw Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, B B King, Bo Diddley, Eddy Boyd and many more.
Those early influences set me on a career of playing music on stage and on the radio. In the Raven'n'Blues, I go back to my roots.
Chronologically, the programme spans nearly 100 years from the early recordings at the turn of the last century to the present day. It is not a representation of the Blues in a purist form but covers the broad spectrum of popular music that is blues tinged. Exploring the avenues of early Stax soul and Tamla Motown; seeing how white British musicians moved from performing blues standards to writing their own material and even travelling to the African continent to hear how the blues influence came home.
The show is made in my custom built studio on the top deck of my houseboat - the 'Home of the Blues'. Unlikely though it may seem - Taggs Island is only about 200 yards from the origin of the term 'blues'.
The first recorded use of the word was in 1741 in a letter from David Garrick in which he said that he "wasn't feeling well, in fact I have ye blues". The word 'blue' had been around since Chaucer's time (c1385) meaning sad, but it was Garrick who changed it from an adjective to a noun.
David Garrick was a leading Shakespearean actor who lived just upstream from Taggs Island in a grand building now called 'Garricks Lodge'. During his life he had built the structure to his favourite playwright, Shakespeare, now called Garrick's Temple and he also gave his name to our next island upstream - Garricks Eyot.