The Fix List: Blueprint Blue
London-based trio Blueprint Blue have a simple manifesto: “Beautifully crafted melodies, heartfelt storytelling, and a classic authentic sound”. This statement of intent can be heard in their influences as well as their own music as: Elliot Hayward (guitar, vocals), Melissa Rigby (drums) and Huw Webb (bass) select their favourite tracks for our listening pleasure.
Doc & Merle Watson - 'The Last Thing On My Mind'
Elliot: I’m listening to a lot of Doc Watson at the moment and think he is a pretty good entrance point into Bluegrass music: he was playing later, which means the fidelity of the recordings are better, and not all the songs are super pious. I suppose he and his son Merle were more known as guitar players (they were amazing), but here it's Doc's singing I like so much. The song sounds pretty modern to me in its production and arrangement, which I guess says something about me. Tom Paxton, who I don’t know, wrote the song, but I will listen to some of his other work.
Bobby Charles - 'Small Town Talk'
Mel: This song has such a great feel to it; Bobby Charles co-wrote this song with Rick Danko, which I think really comes across. The production is amazing; the way the keyboard sort of sits in the background but plays a huge part in holding the whole thing together.
Kenny Rankin - 'People Get Ready '
Huw: There are many great versions of ‘People Get Ready’ and it’s pretty hard to beat a Curtis Mayfield vocal. Al Green also sets the bar pretty high but Kenny is right up there with both of them on this one.
Kamasi Washington - 'The Rhythm Changes'
Mel: I’m very new to Kamasi Washington; I only heard his name this year when I saw it on the bill of a festival we were playing. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see him play but Elliot and Rhys said it was one of the best live performances they’d ever seen. I’ve watched a few videos and was completely blown away by the way he leads the band and then comes in with the most incredible solo. The vocal on this song is so good!
James Taylor - 'Nobody But You'
Huw: We are all massive James Taylor fans: he is constantly being played on the stereo when we’re on the road. This is just one of many tracks we all love to sing along to. It doesn’t get much better than JT!
Keith Richards - ‘Hate It When You Leave'
Huw: This track from Keith’s second solo record has a perfect catchy chorus, with a really soulful groove. It’s almost a Motown/Temptations groove that runs throughout the track making it a stand out song on the record.
Booker T. & the M.G.’s - ‘Sunday Sermon'
Mel: I could happily sit and listen to this song all day long. It was released as a B-side to their cover of ‘Something’ by George Harrison. I can’t believe it’s a B-side! Each musician’s part is played so beautifully, and the accents and stops they put in work so well together. (Perfect example at 3.28!)
A King Curtis - 'Mr. Bojangles - Live At Fillmore West'
Elliot: King Curtis was the head of Aretha Franklin's backing band, although I first discovered him on the ‘Withnail and I’ soundtrack: the opening sequence playing ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ at Fillmore West. This recording of the Jerry Jeff Walker song ‘Mr. Bojangles’ is from the same concert – I think he’s playing his saxophone through a Crybaby pedal or something - it’s totally lyrical and his phrasing is subtle, which is what I like in a soloist. I play this song in my Volvo all the time and get really cross if anyone talks over it.
Faces - 'Glad And Sorry'
Mutual: The Blueprints no.1 song.
Hugh Masekela and The Union Of South Africa - ‘Mamani’
Elliot: Years ago my dad brought me one of Hugh Masekela’s CDs, which I became obsessed with, especially the five songs by The Union of South Africa. I’ve never really heard anything else that sounds exactly like these songs, although there are a few close things on the Strut compilation ‘Next Stop.....Soweto Vol. 3’. I would desperately like to hear more of their recordings but I’m not sure if they made anymore. I suppose it’s essentially a rock band playing traditional songs with jazz harmonies, and I love how the vocals are arranged and layered like horns. If anyone has anything else from this specific period of Masekela I'd love to hear/buy it!