Current Song List

We understand that people need variety so mix our sets with songs reflecting the influence of blues, but crossing over into soul, jazz, rock and country genres.  Of course, not every song is played every show. Clips of some of our favourites are provided below.

Current songs by Artist (note that this may not be the original artist, but it is the artist we were inspired by):

For the Blues Purists

Muddy Waters - Got my Mojo Working; Hoochie Coochie Man

Robert Johnson - Walking Blues

Buddy Guy - Sweet Home Chicago, Midnight Train

Junior Wells and Buddy Guy - Messing with the Kid

Etta James - At Last; I'd Rather Go Blind

Elmore James - Sky is Crying

Allman Brothers - Stormy Monday

BB King - Thrill is Gone; Every Day I Have the Blues; Something You Got (with Koko Taylor)

Freddie King - Same Old Blues

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Lenny, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Pride and Joy

Jimmi Hendrix - Little Wing, Hey Joe

Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee

Eric Clapton - Before you Accuse Me, Cocaine, Old Love, While my Guitar Gently Weeps (tribute to George Harrison), Torn Down

Steve Winwood - Presence of the Lord (from Blind Faith), Gimme Some Lovin (from Spencer Davis Band)

Susan Tedeschi - Little by Little

Gary Moore - Walking by Myself

Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason

Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine

John Mayer - Gravity

Ray Charles - Let the Good Times Roll, Georgia on my Mind 

Iwan Fals - Bento (an Indonesian classic!!!)

Joe Bonamassa - I Don't Believe

And for Some Variety....Cross Over

Aretha Franklin - Natural Woman, Respect

Marvin Gaye - Let's Get it On, Sexual Healing, Ain't no Mountain High Enough

The OJays - Love Train

Alicia Keys - If I Ain't Got You

Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody, Through the Fire

The Real Thing - You to me are Everything

Donny Hathaway (doing a Marvin Gaye song) - What's Going On

The Impressions (covered by Curtis Mayfield and Rod Stewart) - People Get Ready

Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter; Wild Horses

Sting - Fragile, Shape of My Heart, Every Breath you Take

Stevie Wonder - Superstition, Master Blaster

Prince - Purple Rain

Queen - Crazy little Thing Called Love, Love of My life

Otis Redding - These Arms of Mine, Dock of the Bay

Doobie Brothers - Long Train Running

Chris Stapleton - Tennessee Whiskey

Amy Winehouse - Love is a Losing Game; I Know you More than You'll Ever Know (our reference here is a great version by Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa - see below)

Black Crowes - Hard to Handle

Wilson Pickett - Mustang Sally, Shake, Midnight Hour

Al Green - Let's Stay Together

Eddie Floyd - Knock on Wood

Sam Cooke - Bring it on Home to Me, Twisting the Night Away

Sam and Dave - Hold on I'm Coming 

James Brown - I Feel Good, Sex Machine

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama

 Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music

Neville Brothers - Fire on the Bayou 

The Trampps - Disco Inferno 

 Seal - Crazy

TLC - Teardrops

Maroon Five - Sunday Morning

Paul Young - Every time you go away

Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop, Need your Love so Bad (now that will test music buffs!!!)

Bad Company - Feel Like Making Love

John Lennon (or Randy Crawford) - Imagine

Little Richard (hmmm...could be classed classic blues) - Long Tall Sally, Good Golly Miss Molly

Joe Cocker - With a Little Help from my Friends, Delta Lady

Tina Turner - Proud Mary, Addicted to Love

…..and for our mutual enjoyment, we also add ska (Madness Baggy Trousers) and reggae (Bob Marley, UB40 - in our own versions), who knows what you will hear as the night goes on!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success across several decades - Steve Winwood 

The Rolling Stones have done it. The Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, Elvis of course, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand have done it.  Cher had hits in four decades and Louis Armstrong had hits in five decades.  A name that is missing from this list of greats is Steve Winwood.  You may not even know him but check out some of the songs he has played on and you will definitely know them.

Steve has played every instrument on some albums.  He started as a guitarist, then became an amazing vocalist.  He bought a Hammond organ from his first record sales and created his own sound with the Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith and Traffic.  Along with Clapton and Paige and others, Steve Winwood was a virtuoso musician and vocalist.  He was committed to technically brilliant performances.  The Punk Movement came along in the 1970's to smash this idea that musical talent was required to perform.  Bands could make noise, provoke and deface, as freedom of expression took over from any notions of artistic quality.  Punk was important in that it allowed space for metal and grunge to grow out of, as well as many others on the fringe.  However, Steve no longer performed and until the 80s preferred a role as a farmer, session musician and songwriter.  His comeback in the 80s, twenty years after his first hit, was remarkable and songs like Roll with It, showed a return to his blues roots.

As a singer, Steve was influenced by Ray Charles, who brought gospel and blues roots together.  In looking for songs that Jaya Blues could play which still had a current sound, we were drawn to several of Steve's songs from different bands:  Keep on Running and Gimme Some Lovin (Spencer Davis Group); Presence of the Lord (1969 - Blind Faith, with Eric Clapton who he later joined in a sell out US tour in 2008-9) and Roll with it (1988 - solo).  Enjoy the links:

Keep on Running

  Presence of the Lord - originally played with Blind Faith, but here on reunion with Clapton after 30 years

Roll with it

We do the Blues Brothers version of Spencer David Group's Gimmie Some Lovin' - performed of course at Bob's Country Bunker, behind chicken wire...

 

 

Leon Russell: Few were more important 


As we trace the origins of great songs of the last fifty years, the links to the blues are clear.  Sometimes these links are direct links through Buddy Guy, BB King, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Freddie King, all of whom were prolifically generous collaborators. Sometimes they come through Motown. In most cases, links have come through bridging musicians who added their own flavour and inspiration during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and now into this century. The most important bridging musicians were often guitarists - Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, JJ Cale, Slash, John Mayer - but one who stands out as prolific and influential as a pianist, guitarist, band leader and song writer is Leon Russell - see wikipedia here.  

I discovered Leon Russell's influence through a documentary on Joe Cocker's career.  Leon took over as band leader on a chaotic Mad Dogs and Englishman tour and somehow managed to produce timeless musical performances, despite the drug and alcohol induced madness which is obvious in the touring party, and especially in the brilliant but damaged Joe Cocker.  I then saw Elton John speak about him as the primary influence on his early (and now later) career.  Leon made the greats great.  He was recognised in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, but only after a long period of playing in his own studio and small clubs, almost unrecognised.  His playing is inspiring, his singing raw and honest, and his songwriting has clearly stood the test of time - his songs ringing as relevantly now as they ever were.  Hats off to Leon Russell.

For your own comparison, here are Joe Cocker's version and Leon's original raw studio version of Delta Lady:

How far do we stretch our songlist? 

As a blues band, how far should we stretch before we start losing our identity?  This all depends on how tight a net you put around the genre.  We are now playing slow blues, shuffles, rock blues, soul, funk, country blues in our own way.  We paid respect to our Irish pub hosts, Molly Malone's last week with a version of Whiskey in the Jar drawn from Thin Lizzy, which was appreciated by Irish and blues music fans.  In his constant search for musical satisfaction, Eric Clapton has jumped around between musical genres, all the time bringing his playing perfection to the music he creates.  Prince was as varied a creator and performer as there may have been, providing a rich collection of rock, blues, funk, soul, R&B, pop ballads and psychedelic fantasy pieces. So, there are no rules for the brave.  Since the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was released, most audiences want to hear Queen songs, but these are tough.  Their recordings are dubbed over and over again with harmonies, and the range of vocals achieved by Freddie and Roger often have to be covered by several singers in the same band.  Springsteen is a master of playing requests live with his E Street Band, without losing his essential style.  This video is my favourite:

In part, it depends on the audience and what they have been led to expect.  If we are advertising a special blues celebration, like we did with Shun Kikuta recently, then we will stick to a fairly tight blues classic format.  If we are playing a general Sunday night we do try to introduce classic blues to people who may not have heard it before, but we also involve them by playing songs they will know.  If we play at a new venue with a different audience, it's a challenge, as we don't know what to expect, but we have to be brave.  

At the end of the day, it depends a lot on what the band really has a passion to play.  It is almost impossible to fake it on stage.  If you are not into a song, it comes through in the power of the instruments and the tone of the vocals.  It just lacks energy.  So, regardless of how comfortably a song fits in a genre, the most important element is the band's commitment to play that song.  Does the band truly respect the song and want to share it with an audience?  If yes, then the song will normally work.

So.... requests are how audiences communicate with the band but should not drive the list.  Most people who make requests are trying to connect with the band.  One way to connect back is to dedicate an alternative song you really want to play to them, play it with passion and sing it to them as if they are the only ones in the room. Almost every time they will remember this more than if you played their request.

 

Feature Artist

So time to change our feature artist from the great Freddie King (still featured below) to perhaps the father of modern blues, Muddy Waters. 

This performance of Got my Mojo Working at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960 is credited for introducing blues to white folk music fans in the 1960s.  This led to massive record sales of blues records in the US and Europe.

Mick Jagger was one proud owner of a Muddy Waters record and was holding it when he met Keith Richards on a train, after not seeing him for years.  This led to them teaming up with Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts and forming the Rolling Stones, named after a Muddy Waters' song.

They were later to meet Muddy Waters many times and perform with him in his club in Chicago (see clip here)