Thursday, May 3, 2012
Andy Cohen & Jack Radcliffe - Four Hands No Waiting
Andy grew up in a house with a piano and a lot of Dixieland Jazz records, amplified after a while by a cornet that his dad got him. At about fifteen, he got bitten by the Folk Music bug, and soon got to hear records by Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, both of which reminded him of the music he grew up to. At sixteen, he saw Rev. Gary Davis, and his course was set. He knew he had it in him to follow, study, perform and promote the music of the southeast quadrant,America's musical mother lode.
A list of Andy's musical friends and acquaintances would fill several pages. He has studied the music
of hundreds of blues guitar players and piano players. Here is a list that hits the high points:
Willie Walker, Lemon Jefferson, Lead Belly, Davis, Broonzy, Skip James, Bukka White, Rev. Robert Wilkins, Brownie McGhee, the list goes on. He's been "lead boy" for Jim Brewer, Rev. Dan Smith, and Brother Daniel Womack and briefly, Rev, Davis himself; hung out with John Jackson, Phil Wiggins, John Cephas, Hank Duncan, Honeyboy Edwards, Mad Dog Lester, Big Joe Duskin, Pigmeat Jarrett, Howard Armstrong, Carl Martin,Ted Bogan, Elizabeth Cotten, Etta Baker, John Dee Holeman, Fris Holloway, Larry Johnson, Eugene Powell, Johnnie Shines,Will Dukes and many others. He has given support when he could to deserving players, and arranged work for many more, organized festivals and small venues for them and others to play in, written about several of the old guys and studied their work in a systematic way, and taught a couple of dozen players who are now professionals.
Andy salutes Tony Piedade, who sold him his first fiddle half a lifetime ago.
"Ragtime" Jack Radcliffe:
Jack also grew up in a house with a piano and a lot of Dixieland Jazz records.Another barber shop figured prominently in Jack's early musical development. Next door to Romie's Barber Shop on
Mechanics Lane in New Bedford was the Windsor Music Store. After every haircut, Jack would take a few quarters into the music store and buy sheet music, mostly Dixieland arrangements for small combos. Matt Perry, who occasionally subbed on piano for the late great Frankie Carl, was Jack's piano teacher and between the Bartok and the Brahms he'd slip Jack some pointers on boogie woogie and big band.The folk music revival of the 50s came along just in time, as well, and by the time Jack ran into Larry Johnson he had a pretty good understanding of country blues. At that time Larry was being touted as the next generation of country blues players. Prestige even released an album titled "Blues:The Next Generation," produced by Sam Charters. Jack and Larry worked at a few gigs doing a Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell kind of thing. After hitting the road on the folk music circuit during the coffeehouse surge of the 60s, Jack settled in very musical Newport, R.I. Jack's band,"The New Viper Revue" roared and stomped throughout the Northeast in the early and mid-70s, preaching the joyful gospel of the fusion of New Orleans Jazz, Rhythm and Blues and Piedmont Blues.
But it was his 15-year, 2,500-plus-gig partnership with the late clarinetist Al Oliveira where
Jack sprouted his own roots in traditional American jazz and blues.
And the funny thing about this new partnership with Andy Cohen is that Tony Piedade and his barber shop were the cause of it all. It was time for Andy to get back to New Bedford and pick up another of Tony's wonderful instruments ... and Jack just happened to have moved back to his native city.
original CD from sussex