When producer Bob Thiele launched Flying Dutchman Records in 1969, he also introduced two other imprints to give his new company depth and breadth: Amsterdam for pop material and Bluestime to concentrate on the developing blues boom. Thiele had been in charge of ABC’s Bluesway label, where he had made records with many vintage blues artists. He opened Bluestime with albums by three of those performers: “The Real Boss Of The Blues” by Joe Turner, “Sweet Giant Of The Blues” by Otis Spann and “Every Day I Have The Blues” by T-Bone Walker.
T-Bone Walker was a pioneer of the electric guitar. Born in 1910, his earliest musical experiences were in Dallas, which led to him making a record as Oak Cliff T-Bone in 1929. Moving to Los Angeles in the mid-30s, he became one of the earliest champions of the electric guitar. His records for Capitol, Rhumboogie and Black & White in the 1940s provided the template for players such as B.B. King and his ‘Stormy Monday Blues’ became a much-covered standard.
His hits dried up in the mid-50s when the blues began to be considered old-fashioned, but Walker became one of the first players to be regarded as a serious musician. “T-Bone Blues”, his 1959 LP for Atlantic, was one of the first to be aimed at an intellectual white audience. In the 1960s he became a fixture on the concert circuit and continued to make LPs. “Everyday I Have The Blues”, reissued here with two live bonus live recordings, is one of his best but at the same time one of the least-known. The backing musicians provided by Thiele allowed Walker plenty of space to solo and to sing. The title track is a sharp version of the blues standard and ‘For B.B. King’, a tribute to his disciple, shows off some amazing guitar skills.
By Dean Rudland