A 'Gut Bucket Sort of Woman' Martin Longley Talks to American Blues Singer Angela Brown

By Longley, Martin | The Birmingham Post (England), March 19, 1999 | Go to article overview

A 'Gut Bucket Sort of Woman' Martin Longley Talks to American Blues Singer Angela Brown


Longley, Martin, The Birmingham Post (England)


During the 1997 Birmingham Jazz Festival, Chicagoan blues singer Angela Brown burst into the confines of Ronnie Scott's, displaying her theatrical assets, with an energetic delivery that came over as a cross between Big Mama Thornton and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

At the age of nine she had already started singing doo wop around the Chicago clubs, made-up to look rather older, rebelling against her family's long line of preachers. Then, she played Bessie Smith in The Little Dreamer, touring the States and Canada.

In the past, Brown hasn't been recorded very often, so it was all the more pleasing to welcome the recent Thinking Out Loud album, on the London-based Blueside label. Her backing band on the sessions was The Mighty 45s, the same outfit we saw at the Ronnie's gig.

A firm bond has been made after being on the road for five years, beginning their relationship after being thrown together suddenly at the 1994 Gloucester Blues Festival.

"Katie Webster couldn't make it, she'd gotten very sick," says Brown. "So, I filled in for her, but I didn't come with a band, I only came with my boyfriend piano player.

"They set me up with The Mighty 45s and we had a little room, it was really rather cute. They came in and I said, we got one hour. They were a little nervous about what was gonna happen, but it clicked easily and afterwards we'd enjoyed it so much I told them, c'mon, let's do it again. …

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