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Eddie Lang & Lonnie Johnson -> Lead Belly


EDDIE LANG & LONNIE JOHNSON BGO BGOCD 327 Blue Guitars 1 & 2 CD $19.98
Two CDs, 32 tracks, 100 mins, essential
At last we've found a new, and hopefully more reliable source for this magnificent collection reissuing two LPs originally issued in the 70s. This set features two giants of the guitar - Lonnie Johnson was a bluesman who could play jazz and Lang was a jazzman who could play blues. There are seven incredible guitar duets including such gems as Hot Fingers/ Have To Change Keys To Play The Blues and Two Tone Stomp. There are also solo performances by each, two tracks by the Louis Armstrong Orch - one with Lang and one with Johnson, there are accompaniments to the great blues singer Texas Alexander and much more. Sound quality is stunning - you'll have a hard time believing that most of these tracks are more than 70 years old. Decent notes by Stan Britt and full discographical info. (FS)

HIP LANKCHAN Storyville 8039 I Am On My Way CD $24.98
Previously on a hard to find MCM album this set features live recordings cut at "Ma Beas" in Chicago in 1976. CD issue includes 4 songs not on original LP.

DENISE LASALLE Malaco 7422 Love Talkin' CD $16.98
This album by fine Memphis singer is a mixture of blues and soul with some occasional funk and pop. Highlights are the soulful Talkin' In Your Sleep, the bluesy Someone Else Is Steppin' In, the cynical Love Is A Five Letter Word and the rocking Get What You Can. Arrangements have that Malaco assembly line sound to them - very competent but lacking in expressiveness. But the album is worth a listen for Denise's vocals and some of the songs. (FS)

BOOKER T. LAURY Bullseye Blues 9542 Nothin' But The Blues CD $15.98
BOOKER T. LAURY: Blues On The Prowl/ Blues With A Feeling/ Booker's Boogie/ DB Blues/ Disco Strut/ Early In The Morning/ Introduction To The Blues/ Sweet Root Man/ That's All Right For You/ The Slop Jar Story/ Woke Up This Morning

BOOKER T. LAURY Wolf 120.929 Blues On The Prowl CD $16.98

BOOKER T. LAURY/ MOSE VINSON Wolf 120.928 Memphis Piano Blues Today CD $16.98
Nice collection of piano blues from two veteran Memphis musicians in their 70s. The tracks by Vinson were recorded at a friends house and the sound quality is a bit thin. Vinson is a barrelhouse player with a style firmly rooted in the past and performs mostly original songs and tunes including a nice Boogie Woogie Blues. Laury is a little more modern in his style and seems to have been influenced by Vinson and by Roosevelt Sykes. He is a more powerful performer with an occasional tendency to stridency. His 8 tracks were recorded live in front of a very enthusiastic audience and is accompanied by an unidentified drummer. His material is somewhat more derivative (Next Time You See/ Blues With A Feeling/ Night Time Is The Right Time, etc) but his performances are enjoyable and there are a couple of good originals. Not essential but enjoyable. (FS)

JOHNNY LAWS Wolf 120.881 My Little Girl CD $16.98
Debut album from Chicago singer/ guitarist accompanied by The Teardrops and with Little Mac Simmons on four tracks.

SAM LAY Random Chance 8 I Get Evil CD $14.98
10 tracks, 43 minutes, very good
Sam Lay got his nickname, "The Shufflemaster," from his ability to lay down a driving and relentless backbeat. That ability is shown to good effect in his latest offering which follows work on Appaloosa, Evidence, and Telarc. Lay has a fine band in tow for Jimmy Reed's You're So Fine, with good harp from Fingers Taylor while Fred James dishes out fine guitar on Lowell Fulson's Black Night and Albert King's I Get Evil. Muddy Waters' Mean Disposition gets a nice reading and Jay McShann's Hands Off rides along the familiar mojo groove. The true gems here show Sam Lay on guitar, playing convincingly in a country blues style for Rock Me Baby/ Boogie Chillen, and Muddy's Still A Fool. Lay's own slow and deliberate instrumental, Sam's Big Boy, is just as satisfying. This revelation itself makes the disc worth its admission price. (CR)

SAM LAY BLUES BAND Evidence 26081 Stone Blues CD $12.98
11 tracks, 42 mins, recommended
Excellent new solo album from great blues drummer and vocalist Sam Lay - with Fred James/ guitar, Billy Farlowe/ harmonica and others. Lay is not a great singer but he gets his message across and his drumming is exceptional. The material is very varied including a number of originals from Sam and his bandmates including the intense topical blues Red White And Blues, the not immodest The Shuffle Masters and others. The covers are varied and well chosen including Muddy's Walkin' Through The Park, Lightnin' Hopkins' Short Haired Woman and the jazz-blues standard Jelly Jelly. Accompaniments are solid with some very nice guitar by Fred James. (FS)

LAZY LESTER Ace CDCHD 518 I'm A Lover Not A Fighter CD $18.98
Classic Excello recordings.
LAZY LESTER: A Real Combination For Love/ Bloodstains On The Wall/ I Hear You Knockin'/ I Love You, I Need You/ I Made Up My Mind/ I Told My Little Woman/ I'm A Lover Not A Fighter/ I'm So Glad/ I'm So Tired/ If You Think I've Lost You/ Late In The Evening/ Lester's Stomp/ Lonesome Highway Blues/ Patrol Blues/ Sad City Blues/ Sugar Coated Love/ Take Me In Your Arms/ Tell Me Pretty Baby/ The Same Thing Could Happen To You/ Through The Goodness Of My Heart/ Whoa Now/ You Better Listen To What I Said/ You Got Me Where You Want Me/ You're Gonna Ruin Me Baby

LAZY LESTER Alligator 4768 Harp & Soul CD $16.98
LAZY LESTER: Alligator Shuffle/ Bloodstains on The Wall/ Bye Bye Baby/ Dark End Of The Street/ Five Long Years/ I Done Got Over It/ I'm A Man/ Patrol Wagon Blues/ Raining In My Heart/ Take Me In Your Arms

LAZY LESTER Antone's 10042 All Over You CD $15.98
Available again. Fine 1998 set with Lester redoing some of his own Excello sides as well as those of fellow Excello artists like Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim and others plus a Jimmy Reed songs. Backed by a solid small group Lester sings well and plays some dynamite harp.

LEAD BELLY BGO BGOCD 403 Huddie Ledbetter's Best CD $18.98
12 tracks, essential
CD issue of Capitol T-1821 (now deleted in the USA) originally issued in 1963. Recorded in October, 1944 these were the last studio recordings of the great singer and 12 string guitarist and features fine renditions of some of his most popular songs including a particularly rousing version of his most famous song Goodnight Irene plus Rock Island Line/ Ella Speed/ Western Plain/ Sweet Mary Blues, etc. There are also two wonderful tracks featuring Leadbelly playing some lovely ragtime flavored blues piano. Many of the tracks feature Paul Howard on zither - an instrument not normally associated with the blues but which is remarkably effective here (FS)

LEAD BELLY Collectables 5183 Golden Classics Part One - Bourgeois Blues CD $11.98
LEADBELLY: Big Fat Woman/ Bring Me Li'l Water Silvy/ Burrow Love & Go/ De Kalb Woman/ John Hardy/ Julie Ann Johnson/ Line 'em/ Looky, Looky Yonder Black Betty/ Noted Rider/ Poor Howard Green Corn/ The Bourgeois Blues/ The Gallis Pole/ Whoe Back Buck/ Yellow Woman's Doorbells

LEAD BELLY Collectables 5196 Golden Classics Part Two - Defense Blues CD $11.98
LEADBELLY: Blue Tail Fly/ Boll Weevil Blues/ Defense Blues/ Down In The Valley/ Jim Crow/ Keep Your Hand Off Her/ Midnight Special/ On A Monday/ Pigmeat/ Skip To My Lou

LEAD BELLY Columbia 30035 Leadbelly CD $9.98
LEAD BELLY: Alberta/ Baby Don't You Love Me No More/ Black Snake Moan/ Blind Lemon/ Bull Cow/ C.C. Rider/ Death Letter Blues Part I/ Death Letter Blues Part II/ Kansas City Papa/ Match Box Blues/ Mister Tom Hughes's Town/ Packin' Trunk Blues/ Red River/ Roberta Part I/ Roberta Part II/ You Can't Lose Me, Baby

LEAD BELLY Columbia 46776 King Of The 12-String Guitar CD $11.98
Another fine entry in Columbia-Legacy's "Roots A Blues Series", this time featuring 18 fine sides recorded between January and March, 1935 for ARC by this great Louisiana singer and 12 string guitarist. These recordings are among his finest and includes a rare excursion on slide guitar on the magnificent Packing Trunk. The rest of the material includes blues, work songs and even a sentimental ballad. Several tracks have nver been issued before including the powerful My Baby Quit Me and T.B. Woman Blues. Sound is generally good though some tracks are from worn acetates. Affectionate notes by Larry Cohn and some nice photos. (FS)
LEAD BELLY: Becky Deem, She Was A Gamblin' Girl/ Daddy I'm Coming Back To You/ Death Letter Blues Part I/ Death Letter Blues Part II/ Fort Worth And Dallas Blues/ Four Day Worry Blues/ Honey, I'm All Out And Down/ Kansas City Papa/ My Baby Quit Me/ Ox Drivin' Blues/ Packin' Trunk/ Pig Meat Papa/ Roberta Part I/ Roberta Part II/ Shorty George/ T.B. Woman Blues/ Yellow Jacket/ You Don't Know My Mind

LEAD BELLY/ JOSH WHITE Document DOCD 1018 Black Folk Singers, The Remaining Titles CD $15.98
30 tracks, 75 mins, recommended
A "mopping up" operation bringing to CD tracks not yet reissued on Document or other label CDs. The Leadbelly sides cover the period 1937 to 1946 and includes an unreissued Library Of Congress tracks, material from live broadcasts and more. Includes a version of Rock Island Line with zither and a version of Careless Love with Sonny & Brownie, Willie "The Lion" Smith and Pops Foster. Several of the songs are about America's involvement in Worlw War 2. The White cuts are from the period 1944 to 1946 and includes tracks with the Union Boys (Hold On) and a duet with Leadbelly on Don't Lie Buddy. Most of the songs by both artists are familiar titles so this would not be your first choice by either artist but if you want to be complete ... here it is! (FS)

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5226 Complete Recorded Works, 1939-1947 : Vol 1 CD $15.98
25 tracks, 76 min., recommended
If you're a Leadbelly fan, your CD player should soon runneth over. In addition to his many discs already available, Document is now doing the job the right way, with maximum-length, chronological-order retrospectives. This volume opens with two "bonus" tracks, 1935 alternate takes of Daddy I'm Coming Back to You and Shorty George, cuts that are included because Columbia missed them in its series covering the complete ARC sessions (Columbia 46789 and CK30035). Then it moves on to his first sessions with Musicraft and with Victor/Bluebird, overall covering roughly the last half of 1939 and the first half of 1940. Selections include Fannin Street/ De Kalb Blues/ The Boll Weevil and, from his first session with the Golden Gate Quartet, Pick a Bale of Cotton/ Midnight Special, and Rock Island Line. Not a bad program at all. Good sound quality, honest and informative notes, and a nice cover photo of Leadbelly sporting his trademark bow tie. (DH)
LEAD BELLY: Ain't Goin' Down To The Well No Mo'-go Down Old Hannah/ Alabama Bound/ Alberta/ Boll Weevil/ Bourgeous Blues/ Daddy I'm Coming Back To You/ De Kalb Blues/ Fannin Street/ Frankie And Albert/ Frankie And Albert/ Gallis Pole/ Good Morning Blues/ I'm On My Last Go-round/ Leaving Blues/ Looky Looky Yonder-black Betty-yellow Women's Door Bells (on A Monday)/ Midnight Special/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Poor Howard-green Corn/ Red Cross Store Blues/ Roberta/ Rock Island Line/ Sail On Little Girl Sail On/ Shorty George/ T.b. Blues/ Whoa Back Buck

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5227 Complete Recorded Works, 1939-1947 : Vol 2 CD $15.98
29 tracks, 76 min., recommended
The second set in this series offers the material from seven New York City sessions, held between the spring of 1940 and the summer of 1943. Original issue labels include Bluebird, Victor, Asch, Melodisc, and Atlantic. The highlights here include Leadbelly's second session with the Golden Gate Quartet, which produced Grey Goose/ Stew Ball, and Take This Hammer, the "play-party" and "work song" sessions for Moses Asch, which produced Skip to My Lou/ Ha Ha Thisaway/ Little Sally Walker/ Haul Away Joe, and Rock Island Line, and seven numbers accompanied by harmonica wizard Sonny Terry. Great music, presented with fine sound quality, a vintage cover photo, and excellent notes by Ken Romanowski. (DH)
LEAD BELLY: Ain't You Glad/ Can't You Line 'em/ Christmas Song/ Corn Bread Rough/ Don't You Love Your Daddy No More/ Easy Rider/ Good Morning Blues/ Good Night Irene/ Good Night Irene/ Grey Goose/ Ha Ha Thisaway/ Ham An' Eggs/ Haul Away Joe/ How Long/ John Henry/ Little Sally Walker/ New York/ Ol' Riley/ Old Man/ On A Monday/ Redbird/ Rock Island Line/ Skip To My Lou/ Stew Ball/ Take This Hammer/ Take This Hammer/ Worried Blues/ You Can't Lose Me Cholly/ You Can't Lose-a Me Cholly

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5228 Complete Recorded Works, 1939-1947 : Vol 3 CD $15.98
26 tracks, 75 min., recommended
Volume three features seven more New York sessions, the last five of which are clustered in April of 1944, all from the time when Leadbelly was associated with the Moe Asch labels, Disc, Asch, and Stinson. Only the second session here, having been done for Musicraft, breaks the pattern. Highlights overall include the artist accompanying himself on button accordion in a version of John Hardy, and on piano in Big Fat Woman. There are two duets with Josh White, I've a Pretty Flowers and Don't Lie Buddy. And the rather convincing aural evidence that Leadbelly really did act as "lead boy" for Blind Lemon Jefferson is offered in Blind Lemon (Memorial Record) and Leadbelly's Dance. Again, the sound quality, notes, and graphics are worthy of the historically-important music that is presented. (DH)
LEAD BELLY: Bill Brady/ Blind Lemon (memorial Record)/ Bring Me Little Water Silvy-julia Ann Johnson-line 'em-whoaback Buck/ Cow Cow Yicky Yicky Yea-out On The Western Plains/ Don't Lie Buddy/ Fiddler's Dream-yallow Gal-green Corn/ How Do You Know-don't Mind The Weather/ I've A Pretty Flowers/ In New Orleans/ John Hardy/ John Hardy/ Leadbelly's Dance/ Little Sally Walker-ha Ha Thisaway-red Bird/ Meeting At The Building-talking Preaching-we Shall Walk Through The Valley/ Mo' Yet-how Old Are You (little Boy)-there's A Limb On The Tree (green Gras/ Mother's Blues (little Children Blues)/ Noted Rider-big Fat Woman-borrow Love And Go/ Outskirts Of Town/ Pretty Flowers In Your Backyard/ Red River-black Girl (in The Pines)-don't Miss Your Water Blues/ Roberta/ Skip To My Lou-christmas Day (it's Almost Day)/ What Are Little Boys Made Of-let Me Hold Your Hand (all Foryou)-polly Wolly/ When The Boys Were Out On The Western Plains/ Where Did You Sleep Last Night/ Yellow Gal

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5310 Complete Recorded Works, 1939-1947 : Vol. 4 CD $15.98
29 tracks, 73 mins, recommended
More terrific sides from the masterful Leadbelly recorded in 1944 for Moses Asch and, somewhat surprisingly, for Capitol. The material is varied including blues standards (In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down/ T.B. Blues/Backwater Blues/ Easy Rider, etc), topical songs (Jim Crow Blues/ Army Life/ Mr. Hitler/ Bourgeois Blues, gospel (The Blood Done Signed My Name, an unaccompanied work song (Line 'Em and more. The Capitol recordings feature particularly fine versions of some of his most popular songs like Rock Island Line/ Goodnight Irene/ Western Plain and more. On a number of these he is joined by the zither of Paul Howard and the combined sound of the zither and his 12 string guitar is particularly stirring. On a couple of tracks he plays some wonderfully raggy piano and the delightful Corn Bread Rough features a rare example of his concertina playing. This great performer in top form throughout. (FS)
LEAD BELLY: Army Life/ Backwater Blues/ Bourgeois Blues/ Children's Blues (little Children's Blues)/ Corn Bread Rough/ Cow Cow Yicky Yicky Yea/ Eagle Rock Rag/ Easy Rider (see See Rider)/ Ella Speed/ In The Evenin' When The Sun Goes Down/ Irene/ Jean Harlow/ Jim Crow Blues/ Juliana Johnson/ Keep Your Hands Off Her/ Line 'em/ Mr. Hitler/ National Defense Blues/ On A Christmas Day/ Red Bird/ Rock Island Line/ T. B. Blues/ Take This Hammer/ Tell Me Baby/ The Blood Done Sign My Name (ain't You Glad)/ The Eagle/ There's A Man Going Round Taking Names/ We Shall Be Free/ Western Plain

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5311 Complete Recorded Works, 1939-1945 : Vol 5 CD $15.98
28 tracks, 71 mins, recommended
More fine sides. The set starts off with the last two cuts from his Capitol sessio in ovember, 1944. From February, 1945 is a live radio broadcast for schools recorded in front of an audience of children. Leadbelly's rapport with the youngsters is impressive and they join in the choruses of several of the songs. He is back in New York in 1946 and the fruits of two sessions are presented here. On one he is joined by Sonny Terry, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Brownie McGhee and "Pops" Foster and on the other by Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston. The songs are mostly reworkings of old Leadbelly favorites. (FS)
LEAD BELLY: Alabama Bound/ Boll Weevil/ By And By When The Morning Comes/ Christmas Is Coming/ Defense Blues/ Diggin' My Potatoes/ Easy Rider/ Everytime I Feel The Spirit-swing Low Sweet Chariot-they Hung Him On The Cr/ Fiddler's Dram/ Good Morning Blues/ Grasshoppers In My Pillow/ Gray Goose/ Green Corn/ Ham And Eggs/ Haul Away Joe/ Irene, Goodnight/ John Henry/ John Henry/ Julie Ann Johnson/ Midnight Special/ Pigmeat/ Rock Island Line/ Stew Ball/ Sweet Mary Blues/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ We're In The Same Boat Brother/ When A Man's A Long Way From Home/ Yellow Gal

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5568 Complete Recorded Works, 1939-1947 : Vol. 6 - 1947 CD $15.98
38 tracks, some previously on LP plus 10 tracks only recently discovered. Includes cuts with Leadbelly on concertina or piano.
LEAD BELLY: Big Fat Woman/ Black Betty/old Man/on A Monday/ Black Girl/ Blind Lemon/ Borrow Love And Go/ Bring Me A Little Water Silvy/ Cotton Song/ Duncan (and Brady)/ Eagle Rock Rag/ Gallis Pole/ Good Mornin' Blues/ Good Morning Blues/ Gray Goose/ Ha Ha This Way/ Howard Hughes/ I'm Leavin' On The Morning Train/ If It Wasn't For Dickey/ Irene Goodnight/ Jean Harlow/ Laura/ Leavin' Blues (leavin' In The Morning)/ Leaving Blues/ Meeting At The Building/ Morning/ New York City/ No Good Rider/ Old Riley/ On A Monday (i'm Almost Done)/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Pigmeat/ Rock Island Line/ Shorty George/ Sukey Jump (win'jammer)/ Take This Hammer/ Turn Yo' Radio On/ We Shall Walk Through The Valley/ Yellow Gal/ You Can't Lose Me Cholly

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5591 Remaining ARC & Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol. 1 CD $15.98
The first of five volumes to feature all of Leadbelly's Library Of Congress that are not on the Rounder series (1044, 1045, 1046, 1097, 1098 & 1099). This disc has 15 Library Of Congress recordings from 1934 & '35 plus 13 ARC cuts from 1935 complemnting those on Columbia.

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5592 Remaining Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol. 2 : 1935 CD $15.98

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5593 Remaining Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol. 3 : 1935 CD $15.98

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5594 Remaining Library Of Congress Recordings, V. 4 1935-38 CD $15.98

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5595 Remaining Library Of Congress Recordings, V. 5 1938-42 CD $15.98

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5640 Complete Recordings, Vol 7 : 1947-1949 CD $15.98
28 tracks
LEAD BELLY: Ain't Going Down To The Well No More/ Ain't Gonna Let You Worry My Life No More/ Birmingham Jail (down In The Valley)/ Come And Sit Down Beside Me/ Go Down, Old Hannah/ Goin' Back To Mary (if I Had You Governor/governor Pat Neff)/ Good Morning Blues/ Green Card/ Ha, Ha This A Way/ I Will Be So Glad When I Get Home (live)/ It Was Early One Mornin' (jail House Blues)/ It Was Soon One Morning/ John Henry/ John Henry/ Noted Rider/ Old Ship Of Zion (live)/ Ox Driving Moan/ Parting Song (when You Smile-o)/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Pretty Papa/ Rooster Crows At Midnight (christmas Day)/ Shout On (honey I'm All Out And Down)/ Skip To My Lou/ Take A Whiff On Me/ Take This Hammer/ Tell Me Baby What Was Wrong With You/ Whoa Back Buck/ You Can't Lose A Me, Charlie

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5664 Private Party, Minneapolis, Minn 1948 CD $15.98
26 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
This is a pleasant surprise - the great songster and 12 string guitarist captured in fine form at a private party held at the home of University Of Minnesota lecturer and concert coordinator Clifford Manz in November, 1948. Considering the circumstances, the recording quality is excellent - the microphone is some distance from Leadbelly so the vocals are a little hollow and you have to strain to hear the spoken parts but it's all highly listenable. Leadbelly sounds relaxed and in great spirits, reminiscing with the audience about the songs and performing with fire and skill. His songs cover a broad spectrum of his repertoire, mostly familiar material but there a few that aren't readily available elsewhere and Leadbelly composed Lake Superior on the spot for his hosts. The set ends with an utterly charming version of Goodnight Irene with Leadbelly duetting with a little girl who can't be more than 5 years old. This set reminds us what a great entertainer he was. (FS)
LEADBELLY: A Lesson In History/ Ain't It A Shame/ Bourgeois Blues/ Dicky/ Down In Louisiana/ Fannin Street/ Goodnight Irene (sung with little girl)/ Goodnight, Irene/ Governor O.K. Allen/ Governor Pat Neff/ Hawaiian Song/ I Ain't Goin' Down To The Well No More/ Jean Harlow/ Jim Crow/ John Henry/ Lake Superior/ Mississippi River/ Mississippi River (No. 2)/ Nobody In The World Is Better Than Us/ Old Black Crow/ Pig Latin Song/ Samuel Hall/ Stewball/ Story/ Talk About Governor Patt Neff And Writing The Song/ Talk About Louisiana & Governor Allen/ Talk About Stewball/ The Grey Goose/ Tuning/ Tuning; Introduction; Gallis pole

LEAD BELLY Document DOCD 5676 "Live" - New York 1947/ Austin, Texas 1949 CD $15.98
21 track collection. The first four sides were recorded live in 1947 at New York Town Hall in September 1947 where Leadbelly is accompanied by the Bunk Johnson band (Johnson, Jimmy Archy, Omer Simeon, Danny Barker, etc) and the remainder recorded at the University Of Texas, Austin in June, 1949 just six months before his death and are some of the very last recordings of this giant.
LEAD BELLY: Backwater Blues/ Borrow Love And Go/ Ella Louise/ Good Morning Blues/ I Don't Want No More Of Army Life/ I Will Be So Glad When I Get Home/ Irene Goodnight (finale)/ Irene Goodnight (intro)/ John Henry/ Mary And Martha/ Medley/ Old Hannah/ Old Ship Of Zion/ Relax Your Mind/ Rock Island Line/ Scrambled Egg Song (c'est Bon)/ Shine On Me/ Skip To My Lou/ What Can I Do To Change Your Mind/ Whoa Buck/ Yellow Gal

LEAD BELLY Fabulous 105 Live! CD $8.98
16 tracks, 55 mins, recommended
Fine set by this great songster recorded live at the University Of Texas in Austin on June 15, 1949. Despite being ravaged by the disease that was to kill him less than six months later both his singing and playing was strong and his repartee with the audience was delightful and he gets them to sing along on a number of the songs. The repertoire is familiar Lead Belly favorites including Goodnight Irene/ Rock Island Line/ Shine On Me/ Skip To My Lou/ Whoa Buck/ Backwater Blues/ I Don't Want No Army Life and others along with one new songs C'est Bon, Les Ouefs which he wrote after e had returned from his first and only European tour having spent almost a month in Paris. Sound quality is generally excellent. This was originally issued many years ago on an LP on the Playboy label and I believe that this is its first appearance on CD. A worthwhile addition to your Lead Belly collection. (FS)

LEAD BELLY JSP JSPCD 7764 Important Recordings, 1934-1949 ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 97 tracks, recommended
JSP's box sets have helped enormously in improving the sound quality of our pre war collections, but given the scores of Leadbelly [or Lead Belly] CDs currently available, it is tempting to wonder why they took on this project. Leadbelly's legacy of about seven hundred recordings certainly invites a selective approach, and as he made many versions of his standard songs throughout his career JSP's claim that these are the "important" recordings (whatever that may mean) is intriguing. Disc A, covering the 1934-38 field recordings, is excellent. The magnificent voice, the variety of songs (including topical songs), the robust support of the 12 string sometimes embellished with imitations of little "piano pieces", the fast spoken exposition between verses, the sheer power of performance and personality are all much in evidence. One marathon piece Leaving On The Morning Train Blues is, according to JSP, new to CD, while the version of Bourgeois Blues gives the background of racial discrimination by both blacks and whites which prompted the song. Sound quality is very good considering the source material and often significantly better than corresponding tracks on the Rounder reissues.
Disc B covers Leadbelly's first commercial recording session, and opens with the first 15 songs in chronological order. The ARC sessions were undoubtedly some of his very best work: the blues which dominate them are outstanding, and C.C. Rider must be one of the most exciting versions on record. Sound quality is well up to the good standard of the Sony/Columbia releases and all the tracks on "Leadbelly" (Col 30035) and "King Of The 12-String Guitar" (46776) are included.
Disc C completes the ARC sessions before the focus changes to folk and work songs, nine in the company of the Golden Gate Quartet. These group performances are surprisingly effective, although they take up quite a bit of space in the context of the compilation. It is a pity room could not have made for the compelling field holler Ain't Going Down To The Well No Mo'/ Go Down Old Hannah, which preceded the first Golden Gate recordings, but after the first session with the quartet Leadbelly remained in the studio to produce some of his finest work. The five tracks featured here, starting with a superb Good Morning Blues, are one of the highlights of the set.
The final disc, while again interesting and varied and like Disc C offering good sound quality, is a more subdued affair. Some of the tracks seem lacking the usual energy, and the ten that feature a zither player force a more muted presentation of some songs, although Irene with zither accompaniment works very well. Despite his extensive catalogue what little commercial success Leadbelly had was as a live performer for white audiences, so it is appropriate that the set ends with a concert version of Shine On Me just a few months before his death. While we can argue about individual selections this is another JSP box well worth having, supported by informative notes from Neal Slaven drawn from the Charles Wolfe/Kip Lornell biography. As a supplement, Smithsonian/Folkways "Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Leadbelly Legacy Volume 1" (40044 - $15.98) offers superior versions of Rock Island Line and In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down as well as other interesting later work, with only one duplication. (DPR)

LEAD BELLY Rounder 1044 Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol 1 : Midnight Specia CD $15.98
The first in a series presenting the cream of Lead Belly's Library Of Congress recordings cut between 1934 and 1940. This volume features 15 tracks - some recorded at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La in July 1934 and the rest recorded in Wilton, Ct between January and March, 1935. It includes some of his most famous blues and ballads including a two part version of Irene which though probably not written by him as is often thought will always be associated with him. It also includes a lovely version of Matchbox Blues with fine slide guitar, the song that supposedly helped win his release from prison Governer O.K. Allen, Ella Speed, Take A Whiff On Me and others. Very good sound considering the condition of the originals, informative notes by Kip Lornell and some fine photos. (FS)
LEAD BELLY: Careless Love/ Dekalb Blues/ Ella Speed/ Frankie And Albert/ Get Up In The Mornin'/ Governor Ok Allen/ I'm Sorry Mama/ Irene/ Irene (2)/ Matchbox Blues/ Midnight Special/ Red River/ Roberta/ Take A Whiff On Me/ You Don't Know My Mind

LEAD BELLY Rounder 1045 Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol 2 : Gwine Dig A Hole CD $15.98
LEAD BELLY: Alberta Alberta/ Becky Dean/ Cc Rider/ Dance Calls/ Governor Pat Neff/ Green Corn/ Gwine Dig A Hole To Put The Devil In/ If It Wasn't For Dicky/ Mama Did You Bring Any Silver/ Medicine Man/ Old Rattler/ Po' Howard/ Queen Mary/ Turn Yo' Radio On

LEAD BELLY Rounder 1046 Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol 3 : Let It Shine On Me CD $15.98
The third volume features 16 tracks - mostly recorded at a marathon session on August 23, 1940 where he recorded more than 50 songs. The opening cut is a 12 minute conversation with Alan Lomax with musical illustrations about the old time dances and sookey jumps (listed on the disc as Monologue On The Mourners Beach but I think that may be a mistake). The collection includes a number of spirituals (mostly unaccompanied) including the superb You Must Have That Religion, Halleloo. There are several interesting topical songs - Howard Hughes/ The Roosevelt Song and Mr Hitler as well powerful blues (Leaving Blues/ No Good Rider/ Blues About New York) and Leadbelly's own take on country & western - When I Was A Cowboy. Excellent! (FS)
LEAD BELLY: Backslider Fare Thee Well/ Blues About New York/ Down In The Valley To Pray/ Howard Hughes/ Leavin' Blues/ Let It Shine On Me/ Monologue On The Mourner's Bench/ Mr Hitler/ Must I Be Carried To The Sky/ No Good Rider/ Ride On/ Roosevelt Song/ Run Sinners/ When I Was A Cowboy/ You Must Have That Religion Halleloo

LEAD BELLY Rounder 1097 Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol 4 : The Titanic CD $15.98
19 tracks, 68 min., recommended
Rounder's fourth installment in its series of six, issuing selected Library of Congress acetates by this extraordinarily important blues/folk artist. According to Dixon and Godrich's Blues & Gospel Records 1902-1943, most of the numbers here were recorded in 1935. (The liner notes by Kip Lornell mysteriously place them between 1939 and 1943.) Program highlights include Blind Lemon Blues/ Henry Ford Blues/ Angola Blues/ Red Cross Sto', and the popular Texas number, Hesitation Blues. Sound quality varies a bit, but in spite of some surface noise on most numbers, the set as a whole is quite listenable. Otherwise, graphics are well done, and the notes are brief. (DH)
LEAD BELLY: Angola Blues (so Doggone Soon)/ Blind Lemon Blues/ Boll Weevil/ Dallas And Fort Worth Blues/ Don't You Love Me No More/ Easy Mr Tom/ Fo' Day Worry Blues/ Henry Ford Blues/ Hesitation Blues/ I Ain't Bothered A Bit/ Julie Ann Johnson/ Mary Don't You Weep/ Mr Tom Hughes' Town/ Red Cross Sto'/ Sail On Little Girl/ Shreveport Jail/ Take Me Back/ Tight Like That/ Titanic

LEAD BELLY Rounder 1098 Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol 5 : Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen CD $15.98
LEAD BELLY: Ain't Goin Down To The Well No More/ Ain't Gonna Drink No More/ Ain't Gonna Ring Dem Yellow Woman's Do' Bells/ Billy The Weaver/ Bring Me Water Silvy/ Git On Board/ Ha-ha Thisaway/ Hindenburg Disaster/ Hindenburg Disaster/ Ho Day/ Little John Henry/ Monkey Man/ New York City/ Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen/ One Dollar Bill Baby/ Outshine The Sun/ Rock Island Line/ Shorty George/ Where De Sun Gone Down

LEAD BELLY Rounder 1099 Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol 6 : Go Down Old Hannah CD $15.98

LEAD BELLY Rounder 1151 Bridging Lead Belly $15.98 ● CD $9.98
A collection of 17 previously unissued recordings - 12 recorded for the BBC in New York in 1938 and 5 recorded at a private party in Salt Lake City in 1946. Mostly familiar songs but often given unfamiliar treatments - Boll Weevil/ Go Down Ol' Hannah/ (Baby) Take A Whiff On Me/ Jail-House Blues/ Ox Driver's Song/ Julie Ann Johnson/ Frankie & Albert/ We're In The Same Boat Brother/ Irene, etc. Sound quality on the home recordings is very rough.

LEAD BELLY Smithsonian Folkways 40010 Leadbelly Sings Folk Songs CD $15.98
The long-awaited reissue of Leadbelly's Folkways recordings has begun! 15-track CD, with Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston and Sonny Terry, including There's A Man Going Around Taking Names/Stewball/Keep Your Hands Off Her/Outskirts Of Town/The Blood Done Sign My Name (Ain't You Glad)/Jean Harlow/Little Children's Blues/Meeting At THe Building. Formerly Folkways #31006.

LEAD BELLY Smithsonian Folkways 40044 Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Lead Belly Legacy,Vol.1 CD $15.98
34 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Wonderful selection of performances from this masterful songster featuring his powerful voice and dynamic 12 string guitar newly remastered from original acetates so they sound better than ever. The tracks here were recorded for Moses Asch, who was responsible for preserving so much of Lead Belly's musical legacy, between 1941 and '47. Most of the tracks on this disc were originally released on LP in the early 50s on two Folkways albums but this set includes a number of unissued songs and alternate takes including a brief but beautiful piece of unaccompanied moaning which brings to mind Blind Willie Johnson's Dark Was The Night but without the guitar. The material is varied including blues, sprirituals, folk songs and children songs. Besides his guitar accompaniments there are also examples of his piano and accordion work. A couple of tracks feature the harmonica playing of the great Sonny Terry and one features vocal accompaniments by the Oleander Quartet. Timeless songs including Irene/ Good Morning Blues/ In The Pines/ On A Monday/ Bring A Little Water Sylvie/ Laura/ Rock Island Line/ New Orleans (Rising Sun Blues)/ You Can't Lose Me Cholly/ Ha Ha This A Way/ Green Corn/ Meeting At The Building and many more. (FS)
LEAD BELLY: 4 5 And 9/ Big Fat Woman/ Blind Lemon/ Bottle Up And Go/ Bring A Little Water Sylvie/ Chicken Crowing For Midnight/ Cotton Fields/ Duncan And Brady/ Duncan And Brady/ Good Morning Blues/ Green Corn/ Grey Goose/ Ha Ha This A Way/ In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down/ In The Pines/ Laura/ Leaving Blues/ Let It Shine On Me/ Meeting At The Building/ Moanin'/ New Orleans (the Rising Sun Blues)/ No Good Rider/ Old Riley/ On A Monday/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Pigmeat/ Rene/ Rock Island Line/ Sally Walker/ Shorty George/ Sukey Jump (win'jammer)/ Take This Hammer/ Yellow Gal/ You Can't Lose Me Cholly

LEAD BELLY Smithsonian Folkways 40045 Bourgeois Blues - Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 2 CD $15.98
28 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
Another superb collection of recordings from this great singer and master of the 12 string guitar recorded by Moses Asch for his Disc, Asch and Folkways labels between 1940 and '48. Like the first volume most of the tracks on this disc were originally released on LP in the early 50s on Folkways albums but this set includes a number of unissued songs and alternate takes. The set opens with a stunning version of his tribute to Fannin Street in Shreveport featuring some truly dynamic guitar playing. The set also includes some powerful songs about race relations in Bourgeois Blues and two versions of Jim Crow as well as topical songs about the war Army Life and Hitler Song. There are traditional blues favorites like Easy Rider, T.B. Blues and Alabama Bound, a version of a traditional British ballad which he calls Gallis Pole, a fascinating previously unissued song about Abraham Lincoln, a couple of children's songs, western songs and more. It's mostly just Lead Belly and his guitar with occasional added instrumental and/or vocal accompaniment from Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Woody Guthrie and others. All tracks have been newly remastered and have a powerful vibrant presence. Booklet has notes to all the songs and an essay about Leadbelly by Woody Guthrie. Exciting stuff! (FS)

LEAD BELLY Smithsonian Folkways 40068/71 Leadbelly's Last Sessions CD $49.98
4 CDs, 96 tracks, 4 hours, essential
96 tracks long and wide, this sprawling collection presents the greatest recordings by one of the century's crucial figures. Leadbelly was that rare unaccompanied bluesman who could thrive in front of white and black audiences, and this expertly remastered set reveals mystery after mystery of his talent, his appeal, and his sources over its four hours. Recorded over three nights in 1948, mixing straight blues, straight talking, and a capella work songs, Leadbelly's Last Sessions isn't made for passive listening, but those who work at it with be repaid tenfold. (JG)
LEAD BELLY: 25 Cent Dude/ 4 5 & 9/ Ain't Goin Down To The Well No More/ Ain't Going To Drink No More (de Kalb Blues)/ Ain't It A Shame To Go Fishin' On A Sunday/ Backwater Blues/ Birmingham Jail/ Black Betty/ Blue Tail Fly/ Boll Weevil Song/ Bottle Up & Go/ Bottle Up And Go/ Bring Me A Little Water Silvy/ Bully Of The Town/ Careless Love/ Chinatown/ Cry For Me/ Dancing With Tears In My Eyes/ Death Letter Blues/ Dick Ligger's Holler/ Didn't Old John Cross The Water/ Dog Latin Song/ Drinkin' Lum Y A Alla/ Easy Mr. Tom/ Easy Mr. Tom/ Easy Rider/ Fannin Street/ Go Down Old Hannah/ Good Morning Babe How Do You Do/ Grey Goose/ Hawaiian Song/ He Never Said A Mumbling Word/ He Never Said A Mumbling Word/ He Was The Man/ Hello Central/ Hesitation Blues/ House Of The Rising Sun/ How Come You Do Me Like You Do/ I Ain't Going Down To The Well No More/ I Ain't Gonna Drink Anymore/ I Don't Know You What Have I Done/ I Don't Want No More Of Army Life/ I Want To Go Home/ I'll Be Down On The Last Bread Wagon/ I'm Alone Because I Love You/ I'm Going Back Down In Louisiana/ I'm Thinking Of A Friend/ In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down/ In The World/ Irene/ Irene/ It's Tight Like That/ Jail House Blues/ John Henry/ Jolly O' The Ransom/ Julie Ann Johnson/ Leaving Blues/ Leaving Blues/ Looky Looky Yonder/ Mary Don't You Weep/ Mary Don't You Weep/ Midnight Special/ Miss Liza Jane/ Mistreatin' Mamma/ My Lindy Lou/ National Defense Blues/ New Iberia/ Nobody In This World Is Better Than Us/ Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out/ Old Man Will Your Dog Catch A Rabbit/ Old Riley/ Old Ship Of Zion/ Pig Latin Song/ Polly Wolly Wee/ Relax Your Mind/ Rock Island Line/ Rock Island Line/ Salty Dog/ Shorty George/ Silver City Bound/ Somebody's Diggin' My Potatoes/ Springtime In The Rockies/ Stewball/ Sugared The Beer/ Sweet Jenny Lee/ Sweet Mary/ Talk About Fannin Street/ Titanic/ We're In The Same Boat Brother/ We're In The Same Boat Brother/ Well You Know I Had To Do It/ Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues/ Yellow Gal/ Yes I Was Standing In The Bottom/ Yes I'm Going Down To Louisiana/ You Know I Got To Do It

LEAD BELLY Smithsonian Folkways 40105 Shout On : The Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 3 CD $15.98
32 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
More superb sides from this great songster and 12 string guitarist recorded for Moses Asch between 1941 and 1948. This is the third and final volume in the "Leadbelly Legacy" series and features such great performances as Shout On/ Governer Pat Neff/ Go Down, Old Hannah/ How Long, How Long/ John Henry/ Birmingham Jail/ It Was Early One Morning/ If You Want To Do Your Part/ Whoa Back Buck/ Midnight Special and more. On several cuts he is joined by Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee or Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston. Usual superb sound and extensive notes. (FS)
LEAD BELLY: Ain't Goin' Down To The Well No More/ Birmingham Jail/ Come And Sit Down Beside Me/ Don't Sleep Too Long/ Go Down Old Hannah/ Governer Pat Neff/ Green Corn/ Grey Goose/ Ha Ha This-a-way/ Ham & Eggs/ How Long, How Long/ If You Want To Do Your Part/ It Was Early One Morning/ It Was Soon One Morning/ Jean Harlow/ John Henry/ Little Children;s Blues/ Midnight Special/ More Yet/little Boy How Old Are You/ Green Grass Growing All Around/ National Defense Blues/ Old Man/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Rooster Crows At Midnight/ Shout On/ Skip To My Lou/ Take This Hammer/ The Parting Song/ Uncle Sam Says/ What Are Little Boys Made Of/ Polly Wee/ Whoa Back Buck/ Yellow Gal/ You Can'r Lose Me Cholly

LEAD BELLY Smithsonian Folkways 45047 Sings For Children CD $15.98
Lead belly loved performing for children and this is a collection of some of his best reissuing the Folkways album "Negro Folk Songs For Young People" recorded in front of a group of children along with studio recordings. More Yet/ Skip To My Lou/ Ha Ha This A-Way/ Blue Tailed Fly/ When A Man's A Long Way From Home/ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/ Old Man/ Whoa Back Buck/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton and others including Pig Latin Song - one of the few recordings of a song sung entirely in pig Latin! Elightful-day tuff-say!
LEAD BELLY: Blue Tailed Fly (jimmie Crack Corn)/ Boll Weevil/ By And By When The Morning Comes/ Christmas Is A-coming/ Cotton Fields/ Every Time I Feel The Spirit-swing Low Sweet Chariot-they Hung Him On The C/ Good Morning Blues/ Grey Goose/ Ha Ha This A-way/ John Henry/ Julie Ann Johnson/ Little Boy How Old Are You/ Midnight Special/ More Yet/ Old Man/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Pig Latin Song/ Polly Wee (the Frog Song)/ Red Bird/ Rock Island Line/ Sally Walker/ Skip To My Lou/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Take This Hammer/ We're In The Same Boat Brother/ When A Man's A Long Way From Home/ Whoa Back Buck/ You Can't Lose Me Cholly

LEAD BELLY Tradition TCD 1006 Goodnight Irene CD $9.98


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