DJ set notes | The Joker, May 15 2019

Katie Bradley & Dave Ferra | Photo by andrewjohnsimpson.com

I’m always happy to play at the weekly blues social at The Joker, Islington, especially when there’s a chance to play alongside great musicians like Katie and Dave.

I don’t plan my set in advance, though I do have a think about the kind of style I’d like to play.

I’ve heard Katie sing many times and she also plays harmonica, so I knew I wanted to play a warm up set that included classic Chicago blues featuring harp, plus other songs with female vocals and a duet.

My opening song was the classic My Babe by Little Walter, one the best-loved harmonica-led blues songs, and so much happy energy!

I often play John Lee Hooker and I knew I wanted to play one or even two of his songs this evening.

One of my warm up songs was from his album Best of Friends, and it features Bonnie Raitt. I love the energy between them as they sing and play together. 

Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Love Me Like a Man’ was one of the first blues songs I ever purchased. I must have played it a hundred times and it’s guaranteed to get dancers on their feet!

As always when I DJ, I start with an idea or a couple of songs, and see where that takes me.

Etta James and Koko Taylor are two of my favourite blues women. Their gritty vocals and powerful energy made them the perfect choice for introducing Katie.

Sugar Pie

I remember the first time I listened to Sugar Pie, which was after seeing a set list by my friend and fellow DJ Ross Woods.

Sugar Pie De Santo may not be a name that is so well known among blues dancers, but her songs include several gems that should be played more often.

One of these is You Got Me Running. Another is Soulful Dress.

Listen to the playlist

Here’s the full set for you to listen to if you would like.

All the songs I played this evening are available on Spotify which is unusual.

It was a lovely evening, and I very much enjoyed dancing to music from Katie and Dave! If you were there, I hope you enjoy listening second time around. :)

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