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Kathleen Loves Music

Charles Walker & the New York City Blues Band > Oblivion Records

December 30th, 2006

Charles Walker & the New York City Blues Band > Blues from the Apple
Charles Walker & the NYC Blues Band > Scratch My Back

The whole story of this record is too long and too good to go into in one short blog post. (Some day on the Oblivion blog.) Suffice it to say it goes from discovery to borrowed guitars in South Bronx pawn shops to money borrowed from friends to a Harlem funeral with dueling, crying wives.

My friend and partner Tom Pomposello was a bluesman (Italian, from Long Island, but truly, a bluesman) with an evangelical vision of New York, more known for Frank Sinatra and the Brill Building than blues. I’ve forgotten right now where he first met Charles, but Tom became convinced he was the ticket.

Subsequently he fell for every scam Charles laid on us, particularly the ones that required an immediate cash outlay (”You can never move too fast in this business, Fred.”) all the way to Charles’ aforementioned burial when the Lenox Avenue funeral director refused to go on with the service until the two suburban kids came up with the scratch.

Speaking of scratch, the band’s double harmonica version of Slim Harpo’s Scratch My Back is some of the deepest, funkiest blues to ever come out of a New York studio, especially with one of the harp players being a white guy.

Fred

Charles Walker & the NYC Blues Band > Scratch My Back

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Looking at the blog after a long absence.

Several of the recently posted covers are so familiar - stashed as real-life vinyl in my basement. Haven’t listened to them in a long time. Makes me want to set up the old turntable again, since I don’t have a son who has converted my material-world to the digital world…….

Did you ever check out Huun Huur Tu or Yat Kha? Perhaps not your thing, but I’d be interested in your take - especially if you heard anything about the sound track from Storm over Asia/Yat Kha thing. It was an amazing performance to see in person.

And talking about harmonicas, have you ever heard of Mark Graham? Wrote a song for me once called “I am a bold scientist”. Funny. At any rate, he does music out of your area I think - mostly Irish/old time kind of stuff. He played with Kevin Burke (great fiddle player). They did a few CDs under the name of “Open House”- Kevin on fiddle, Mark on harmonica (maybe also clarinet) - percussion was provided by Sandy who used her feet - amazing. Funny story about one of the times they played on Prarie Home Companion. Great music if you like that kind of thing.

Music is such a big world - From New York to Asia to Russia to Ireland to the American Prarie - great, isn’t it?????

Happy happy new year.
xxoo
K

 
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