On this week’s Blues on the Bay Show ; Episode 4 of the exotic Desert Island Box of Blues featured The Back Bone Blues Band legend, Raymie McEvoy!
As well as selecting his favourite and influential blues albums, the show host Ian Sands played great songs from The Back Bone’s hugely successful 25th Anniversary Album.
Tune in every Thursday 8pm on Harbourside Radio for 2 hours of blistering blues!
Check out Raymie McEvoy's Desert Island Box of Blues Story and the music he loves below.
Raymie McEvoy's Blues Story
The Desert Island Box of Blues, on Thursday 28 January 2021.
The first album I ever bought was The Best Years which was a compilation album by Rory Gallagher. I bought it in 1976 when I was fifteen and, my favourite track is Crest of a Wave, which was originally on the Deuce album, recorded in 1971, when Rory’s band was a three-piece, with Gerry McEvoy on Bass Guitar, and Wilgar Campbell on Drums, and there is a real live sound to the recording, even though it was done in the studio. I think I said to you before how much I lament Rory’s passing as he would have been such a draw to The Blues on the Bay Festival, whether as a solo artist or with a full band. I had been buying singles, from the charts, before that, but I became a prolific purchaser of albums afterwards, and continued to be so for ten years, at least.
My first blues long player was King Bee by Muddy Waters in 1981, with Johnny Winter as lead guitar player and producer. The title track from that is classic Muddy Waters’ sound, even though Slim Harpo penned the song. Gareth (Hughes) and I went to see Johnny Winter in Manchester in 2007, and it was outstanding, and we returned to Manchester in 2008, for Buddy Guy. I’m promising myself that whenever we emerge from this Coronavirus situation, I’m going to see more live music acts, and travel out of the country to do that. 2007 and 2008 in Manchester was well worth the trip.
I used to listen to John Lee Hooker quite a bit, and bought his 1971 album Never Get Out of These Blues Alive, which features Elvin Jones, Charlie Musselwhite and Steve Miller. Again the title track is one that sticks out as John Lee Hooker shares lead vocal with Van Morrison, on that. People who follow The Backbone Blues Band will probably know that Rory and Van are two major influences, on me, and it was through them that I got into other blues players like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. I discovered BB King myself somewhere else, and most of the band saw him in The Stadium in Dublin in 1983. BB and his band were sensational, one of the tightest outfits I’ve ever heard. If I was selecting something from BB King it would be How Blue Can You Get which I think was recorded back in 1964, by BB King, and was originally a jazz standard, written by Leonard Feather and Jane Feather. Although not a blues song It’s All In The Game/You Know What They’re Writing About from Van Morrison’s Live At The Grand Opera House Belfast, in 1983 stands out, not just for Van Morrison’s magnificent arrangement but the emotions, and memories, that the song engenders. Richie, Karl, Gareth and me were at that concert and during that song, and John Allair’s delicious organ solo, you could hear a pin drop in the venue. Amazing, and with a backing band of outstanding virtuosity it was a night to remember. Other blues tracks which come to mind, as being in my favourites’ package are Loan Me A Dime which features on Duane Allman’s An Anthology and Boz Scaggs sings the Fenton Robinson written song. The album features Duane Allman playing guitar with a range of artists, between 1968 and 1971, and the album itself was released in 1972. More recently Boz Scaggs has a live recording of the song from 2010 I think, and it’s just brilliant, and well worth a listen, even if it is fifteen minutes’ long. Picking from The Backbone Blues Band’s 25 album I would have to recommend Louisiana Summertime simply because it’s not a cover version, and it was written by Richie (McEvoy).
Other favourites of mine are Tore Down from Eric Clapton’s 1994 release From The Cradle, and Help Me by Sonny Boy Williamson. Ian I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked on to the show, and I could name a multitude of songs which could be on my all-time playlist.
I wish you well Ian and dedicate my selections to my wife Rosemary children Aisling, Ciaran, Rory, Rachel, my grandson Daire and my mother Alice, along with my brother Richie, his wife Fiona, and my nephews and niece. Regards to everyone who has supported The Backbone Blues Band over many years, and I hope we will be back in action soon. Raymie McEvoy.