As the original Blues Attic was held in a small room above the Swan Inn, it would be impossible to accommodate the number of performers I hoped would perform at this event. So Spiceball Mill & Arts Centre with its Theatre and Millers Bar was the obvious choice and Saturday 8th September 2012 was the chosen date. I have tried to put together a group of musicians who played at the Blues Attic, or in Banbury over the last few years and represent what British blues was all about in the late 60s. It has been interesting when looking back at the history of individual musicians how their paths have crossed, either in recording or playing in the same band or being born in the same area. This point came home to me in the case of Gordon Smith (who now lives in the south) and the Last Gasp Spasm Band (Newcastle area) they all come from the Newcastle area and do know each other. This I did not know till after they had been booked to appear. There are many great blues musicians who appeared at The Blues Attic, who are sadly no longer with us such as Curtis Jones, Juke Boy Bonner from USA, Jo-Ann Kelly and Duster Bennett from the UK. So remember the musicians you see tonight were all performing when the British music industry was influencing the world in the 60s. In fact it was British musicians who rekindled the interest in white N Americans for the Blues, this gave many of the living and dead blues performers world recognition for there music.
You may be wondering why the phrase ‘One More Time’ is quoted in the publicity about the event. This is the title of a song that the Colin James Band used to play and can be found on the 3 CD set titled Chicago the Blues Today, this was originally issued on vinyl in 1966 and the song was performed by Johnny Young’s South Side Blues Band. This song became a bit like an anthem at the Attic, as when the Colin James band first played it, the audience joined in on the chorus. At subsequent performances it was not unusual (no matter who was playing) for the audience to shout out ‘One More Time’ even if the song was not being played.
Many people may have memories or anecdotes of the Blues Attic, just contact me at BluesAtticRevisited@gmail.com and I will add it to the web site.
As an example Curtis Jones played at the Attic on December 12th 1968. He was brought to Banbury by Ron Watts who ran the Blues Loft at High Wycombe and arrived late at about 21.00. Ron told us that they had been stopped by the police and Curtis had in his possession a rather large cigarette that had a banned substance in it.
Curtis had thrown it in the ditch and after the police went he would not continue to Banbury until he had found this cigarette and that was why they were late.
Curtis went on to play the piano and sing but due to the time of year and the fact that the room had been very cold the piano keys were sticking and he kept saying ‘’man this piano is bad’’. He did go on to play his guitar but we had been warned that he was not a very good guitarist.