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Still passing the Biscuits…..

Me with Sonny in the KFFA studios, 2010

I’m going to be away in Lanzarote on November 21st. But I wanted to do a post about that date. Because it’s an Anniversary. It will have been SEVENTY-ONE YEARS exactly since King Biscuit Time started broadcasting on that very day in 1941, out of Helena, Arkansas, on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi. presented by Sonny Boy Williamson it also at one time featured the late great Pinetop Perkins in the studio band – a legend I was privileged to meet just a year before his death, in Austin, Texas.

Sonny – still broadcasting loud and clear in September this year

Now clocking in at 16,500+ broadcasts and still going strong, it has been presented by the legendary Sunshine Sonny Payne, 86 years young, since 1951.
When I was on my ‘Blue Odyssey’ to Nashville, Memphis, the Mississippi and beyond in 2010, I dropped into the KFFA studio, located within the Blues museum in ‘beautiful downtown Helena’ and was interviewed by the man himself. The man, the programme, the place, is a legend, and I was privileged to be on his show. Not only that, but he graciously agreed to do a voiceover on my homage to this amazing show – a song I wrote which takes it’s title from Sonny’s catchphrase “Pass the Biscuits!”

With ‘The Two Sonnys’ – by the Mississippi levee at Helena 2010

So here it is, All Instruments and vocals by myself, except drums by my dear friend Stef Cybichowski, and of course, featuring the inimitable Sunshine Sonny Payne – here’s to you Sonny, congratulations on King Biscuit time reaching 71 – here’s to many more!

Kev Moore

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November 11, 2012 Posted by | Blue Odyssey CD, blues, Home Studio, Music, Recording, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More and Moore Music!

Don’t forget music-lovers, I have a host of product out there: including 2 full albums as digital downloads, “The Long Walk Home” and “The Songwriter Diaries” COMPLETELY FREE! Plus, available to buy from Shop:Kev,  My DCFC tribute CD “Fan Fayre for the Commons People”, and my latest CD, the 18 track “Blue Odyssey”.

Click on the picture links to explore, listen, download and buy!

Kev Moore

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Blue Odyssey CD, blues, Home Studio, Music, Recording, Rock, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Return to Blue Odyssey

Kev enjoys a cold one at The Parrot Beach Cafe, Little Rock

When you take a break from a project to go off and do something else (in my case, heading off to France with Miki) it has its drawbacks as well as its advantages. It clears your head and recharges your batteries, but simultaneously removes you from the project, gives you distance. Now, this allows you a fresh perspective on your work, but also can cause you to feel a sense of detachment when you return to it.

I suffered from this in the first week or so since coming back to the studio, and couldn’t find the ‘spur’ to kick on again. Miki suggested that I check in with the various collaborators on the project, so I did just that, and late last night I received a wonderful contribution from legendary King Biscuit Time DJ ‘Sunshine’ Sonny Payne, which will feature on the track ‘Pass the Biscuits’ a homage to the Radio Station in one of the great blues centres, Helena, Arkansas.

Needless to say, Sonny’s enthusiasm, and KFFA’s generosity (for which I also must thank Rose Seaton) provided that very spur I needed, and this morning I went into the studio to work on piano tracks for the song.  In some days, the baton will pass to my friend Stefan Cybichowski over in the UK, who has agreed to put his distinctive drumming on it. So, ‘Pass the Biscuits’ will be a truly international collaboration!

You can listen to Sonny’s broadcasts by following the links at http://www.kffa.com

On a more sombre note, I want to mention the passing of Ronnie James Dio. One of the great, great rock vocalists, I’ve followed Ronnie’s career since his band Elf, subsequent appearance on Roger Glover’s  ‘Butterfly Ball’ LP, and of course, his fine work with Rainbow, Dio, Black Sabbath and Heaven and Hell. I never met him personally, but my friend Graham Oliver knew him , and jammed with Dio. He spoke very highly of him.  He finally succumbed to Stomach cancer on May 16th.  I offer my condolences to his family. Ronnie has finally caught the rainbow.

The Man on the Silver Mountain......

Kev Moore

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Blue Odyssey CD, blues, Home Studio, Music, Recording, Rock, Touring | , , , | 2 Comments

Blue Odyssey – New Update!

The guest list for the Blue Odyssey project is expanding. I have now heard back from King Biscuit Time, where legendary broadcaster Sunshine Sonny Payne has agreed to do a voice-over for one of the tracks.  You can read about my meeting with Sonny and my interview on KBT HERE.

Kev and Sonny at King Biscuit Time studios, Downtown Helena, Arkansas

I’m really excited to have Sonny contribute to the project. He’s been instrumental in keeping the blues alive and inspiring generations of artists through his radio show, now on the air for an amazing 60 years and counting!

I’ve also been in touch with my old friend Ron ‘Sax’ Johnson, who now resides in Columbus, Ohio. He’s agreed to provide some of his signature saxaphone playing to the CD too.  Ron recently wrote a piece about me in the Columbus Examiner. You can read it online HERE.

Kev and Ron onstage at Jazzlife in Mojacar, Spain some years back...

With around 8 tracks underway the CD is really taking shape. I spent a lot of time today working on the lyrics. Keep checking in here for further news about Blue Odyssey!

Kev Moore

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Blue Odyssey CD, blues, Home Studio, Music, Recording, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking the Biscuit – On the air with a living legend

Monday morning, Memphis in our mirror, we headed south on the legendary Highway 61.  I suggested to Miki that we take a detour across the mighty Mississippi and into Arkansas to visit Helena.  A stop on the outskirts at the visitor centre and a very welcome free coffee, provided me with an opportunity to confirm this town as the location of “King Biscuit Time”, the legendary radio show started in 1941 by Sonny Boy Williamson and a massive influence on the likes of BB King and Ike Turner.  The lady in the visitor centre pointed out the studio’s location. She told us the blues exhibition where the station broadcast from was closed to the public on Mondays, but she called ahead and told them we were coming. And so it was that I met the legendary  DJ “Sunshine” Sonny  Payne  who has been broadcasting the show for 60 years.  A sprightly 85, this man really is a living legend and has brushed shoulders with the giants.  On first name terms with the likes of Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, etc, he is an affable, cordial host, and I was honoured to be invited to take part in the latest broadcast of the show. It is always broadcast at 12.15, the time originally chosen to match that of the lunch break of the African-American workers in the Delta. Miki even got a mention, introduced as the French artist who doesn’t speak!!

Chewin' the fat with Sunshine Sonny Payne

I talked a little about Christie, and how the B-Side of our multi-million seller was called “Down the Mississippi Line”, and how I was thrilled to be going down the Mississippi for real, and I was invited to sign a guitar for the display and also the large flight case display, where I put my name next to Robert Plant’s.

Sonny very kindly signed one of his posters for me, which will be on permanent display at “Kev and Miki towers” when we get home!

King Biscuit time occupies a unique place in Blues history and culture. If it wasn’t for Sonny Boy Williamson’s success in getting the local grocery distributor to  finance the show in exchange for endorsements and naming rights, a whole generation of musicians may not have had access to what was to become their inspiration. Situated in Helena, it also was perfectly placed as a stopping off point for blues musicians on their way from the Delta region to the Chicago blues nightclubs and was also convenient to Memphis, Tennessee and its lively blues culture. Several blues musicians came to Helena and made it their home, such as Little Walter Jacobs and Jimmy Rogers.  The King Biscuit Flour Hour, the one hour syndicated rock and roll radio program, was derived from King Biscuit Time. Levon Helm drummer for The Band, has credited King Biscuit Time,  for inspiring his musical career.

To have been a small part of this wonderful, historic show was a huge honour for me. As Sonny says, every day at 12.15 without fail for the last 60 years,  “Pass the biscuits, ‘cos it’s King Biscuit Time!”

Kev Moore

January 27, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Touring, Uncategorized, Writing | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment