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Yank Rachell -> Jimmy Reed

YANK RACHELL Delmark 649 Chicago Style ● CD $11.98
A nice album of old style electric Chicago blues featuring singer/mandolin player Rachell accompanied by Pete Crawford/ guitar, Floyd Jones/ bass and Odie Payne/ drums. Most songs are old favorites like Roll me Over Baby/ Check Up On My Baby/ Early In the Morning, etc along with a couple of originals including the semi-topical Depression Blues. Nice, if not earthshaking, music. 
YANK RACHELL: Check Up On My Baby/ Depression Blues/ Diving Duck/ Early In The Morning/ Going To St. Louis/ I Don't Believe You Love Me No More/ Let Me Tangle In Your Vines/ Roll Me Over Baby/ Sugar Mama.

YANK RACHELL & HIS TENNESSEE JUG BUSTERS Delmark 606 Mandolin Blues ● CD $15.98
Reissue of 1963 album featuring Yank with Sleepy John Estes, Big Joe Williams, Mike Bloomfield and Hammie Nixon. Includes 6 previously unissued cuts.
YANK RACHELL: Bye Bye Baby./ Do The Boogie Mama, Take 2/ Do The Boogie Mama, Take 3/ Doorbell Blues/ Get Your Morning Exercise/ Girl Of My Dreams/ I'm Gonna Get Up In The Morning/ Lonesome Blues/ Move Your Hand/ Rocky Mountain Blues/ Shout Baby Shout/ Starvation In My Kitchen/ Stop Knocking On My Door/ Texas Tony/ Up And Down The Line/ When My Baby Comes Back Home

THE RADIO FOUR Heritage HTCD 42 1952-1954 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 70 mins, essential
Though not as well known as some of their contemporaries the Radio Four were certainly among the finest gospel groups to record in the 50s and these early sides are among their very finest accomplishments. They were originally a family group featuring five Babb brothers - Morgan, George, Ray, James & Claude. Most of the leads are taken by Morgan whose singing is exquistly sweet, soulful and utterly convincing - his performance on the two part Sending Up This Prayer with its brief passages of sermonizing is nothing short of ecstatic. Morgan also provides the distinctive guitar intro to most of their songs and his playing together the slapped string bass playing of Ernie Newton provides an irresistible propulsive rhythm on the up tempo numbers that makes me think of rockabilly gospel! A couple of the leads are taken by the more earnest sounding brother George and throughout the rest of the group provide stunning four and five part harmony. This set also includes the group accompanying the fine female gospel singers Mdm Edna Gallmon Cook and Sister Lucille Barbee as well as two cuts from '52 by Morgan with two of his other brothers Paul & Sepheus. The twelve page booklet includes extensive notes by Opal Louis Nations who compiled this set. I've been waiting a long time for someone to reissue this classic material and it's certainly my favorite gospel reissue of 1999. (FS)

MA RAINEY Black Swan HCD 12002 The Paramounts Chronologically, Vol 2: 1924-25 ● CD $13.98
How about this for frustration - volume 1 in this series, issued several years ago is only available on LP now here we have volume 2 on compact disc only, maybe volume 3 will be on DAT! However this is a great collection by one of the finest of the early blues singers featuring 16 songs recorded between August 1924 and July 1925 plus 4 alternate takes for a total of 20 performances. Most of the tracks feature accompanied by her "Georgia Band" featuring either Howard Scott, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Ladnier or Robert Taylor/ cornet, Don Redman, Buster Bailey or Jimmy O'Bryant/ clarinet, Fletcher Henderson or Thomas Dorsey/ piano and others. There are some stunning performances on this collection including the first recording of See See Rider plus Booze And Blues/ Jelly Bean Blues/ Cell Bound Blues/ Explaining The Blues/ Goodbye Daddy Blues/ Rough And Tumble Blues, etc. Except for a few tracks the sound is generally very good, considering the age and condition of these recordings, and there are informative notes by Chib Deffaa and full discographical information. (FS)

MA RAINEY Black Swan BCD 12005 The Paramounts Chronologically, Vol 5 ● CD $13.98

MA RAINEY Document DOCD 5156 Complete 1928 Sessions In Chronological Order ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 69 min., recommended
Rightfully known as The Mother Of The Blues, Rainey's recording career began in '23 for Paramount. These sides from '28 (still for Paramount) are the last she recorded; after that she apparently went into theater promotion. Nine tracks are with Her Tub Jug Washboard Band, which featured Georgia Tom Dorsey on piano. The latter also appears with Ma on several other cuts with Tampa Red's guitar assistance. The last 2 songs find Rainey in a duet with Papa Charlie Jackson. This collection includes original and unissued versions of Sleep Talking Blues/ Black Eye Blues. And while Ma was still in top form, the going is sometimes slow here and the sound quality is sometimes less than ideal. Includes the biographically interesting Prove It On Me Blues, ostensibly about Ma's bisexuality. (JC)

MA RAINEY Document DOCD 5581 Complete Recordings,Vol. 1 - December 1923 to Aug 1924 ● CD $15.98

MA RAINEY Document DOCD 5582 Complete Recordings,Vol. 2 - October 1924 to Augus 1925 ● CD $15.98

MA RAINEY Document DOCD 5583 Complete Recordings,Vol. 3 - December 1925 to June 1926 ● CD $15.98

MA RAINEY Document DOCD 5584 Complete Recordings,Vol. 4 -November 1926 to Decem 1927 ● CD $15.98

MA RAINEY JSP JSPCD 7793 Mother Of The Blues ● CD $28.98
5 CDs, 111 tracks, essential
An independent minded woman, brilliantly fashioning her own material from a mixture of folk, vaudeville and blues sources, blessed with a magnificent voice and supported by musicians of the quality of Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds and Coleman Hawkins, Ma Rainey had no equivalent and arguably no equal among the so called "classic" blues singers. This JSP box features the complete works as issued by Document, including take two of Traveling Blues which appeared on their "Too Late, Too Late Volume 2" (DOCD 5126). Generally though for an artist of such stature Ma has had rather a thin time of it from CD reissue companies, probably because of the difficulty of remastering her Paramount recordings. About half were made in the acoustic era (i.e. pre 1926), and all were subject to Paramount's usual poor quality pressings. To make matters worse, the popularity of the discs was such that today even best available copies are often in very worn condition. The task of improving on the sound of the Document reissues is not therefore an easy one.
Comparing the Document discs with this new set shows that on the first three JSP discs, and on disc five, the character of the transfers is essentially the same, with little difference in the sound of the better condition tracks beyond a tidying up of occasional clicks etc by JSP. Compared to the more noisy Document transfers however, JSP have usually managed some worthwhile noise reduction which may not always be obvious on casual listening, but which helps to highlight the vocals. Tracks benefiting from this treatment include Bo-Weavil Blues/ Last Minute Blues/ Shave 'Em Dry Blues/ Cell Bound Blues/ Levee Camp Moan/ Slave To The Blues/ Titanic Man Blues and Screech Owl Blues. It is on the fourth JSP disc though that the improvement is most marked. Even with on occasion a fair amount of background hiss, the JSP sound is clearer, especially on tracks like Gone Daddy Blues/ Misery Blues/ Dead Drunk Blues and Slow Driving Moan, where the Document versions sound muffled. All of which means JSP have achieved a significant improvement in presenting these treasures and chalked up one of their most important reissues to date. Max Haymes' booklet notes give some background but read like the product of desk research and fail to engage with the music - a minus point but minor consideration when the music speaks so eloquently for itself. A great set, and good value too. (DPR)
MA RAINEY: Bad Luck Blues/ Barrel House Blues/ Big Feeling Blues/ Black Dust Blues/ Black Eye Blues/ Black Eye Blues/ Blame It On The Blues/ Bo-weavil Blues/ Bo-weavil Blues/ Daddy Goodbye Blues/ Don't Fish In My Sea/ Dream Blues/ Farewell Daddy Blues/ Grievin' Hearted Blues/ Honey Where You Been So Long/ Last Minute Blues/ Leaving This Morning/ Little Low Mama Blues/ Lost Wondering Blues/ Lucky Rock Blues/ Ma And Pa Poorhouse Blues/ Ma Rainey's Mystery Record/ Moonshine Blues/ Morning Hour Blues/ Mountain Jack Blues/ Mountain Jack Blues/ Runaway Blues/ Screech Owl Blues/ Shave 'em Dry Blues/ Sleep Talking Blues/ Sleep Talking Blues/ Southern Blues/ Sweet Rough Man/ Those All Night Long Blues/ Those All Night Long Blues/ Those Dogs Of Mine/ Tough Luck Blues/ Trust No Man/ Walking Blues/ Army Camp Harmony Blues/ Army Camp Harmony Blues/ Bessemer Bound Blues/ Bessemer Bound Blues/ Big Boy Blues/ Black Cat Hoot Owl Blues/ Blues Oh Blues/ Blues The World Forgot/ Blues The World Forgot/ Booze And Blues/ Broken Hearted Blues/ Broken Soul Blues/ Cell Bound Blues/ Chain Gang Blues/ Countin' The Blues/ Countin' The Blues/ Damper Down Blues/ Dead Drunk Blues/ Deep Moaning Blues/ Deep Moaning Blues/ Down In The Basement/ Explaining The Blues/ Explaining The Blues/ Four Day Honorary Scat/ Four Day Honorary Scat/ Georgia Cake Walk/ Gone Daddy Blues/ Goodbye Daddy Blues/ Hear Me Talking To You/ Hustlin' Blues/ Jealous Hearted Blues/ Jealousy Blues/ Jelly Bean Blues/ Lawd Send Me A Man Blues/ Levee Camp Moan/ Log Camp Blues/ Louisiana Hoo-doo Blues/ Ma Rainey's Black Bottom/ Memphis Bound Blues/ Misery Blues/ Moonshine Blues/ New Bo Weavil Blues/ Night Time Blues/ Night Time Blues/ Oh My Babe Blues/ Oh Papa Blues/ Prove It To Me Blues/ Rough And Tumble Blues/ See See Rider Blues/ See See Rider Blues/ Seeking Blues/ Seeking Blues/ Sissy Blues/ Slave To The Blues/ Slow Driving Moan/ Soon This Morning/ South Bound Blues/ Stack O'lee Blues/ Stormy Sea Blues/ Titanic Man Blues/ Titanic Man Blues/ Toad Frog Blues/ Traveling Blues/ Traveling Blues/ Victim Of The Blues/ Weeping Woman Blues/ Wring And Twisting Blues/ Ya Da Do/ Ya Da Do/ Yonder Comes The Blues/ Hellish Rag/ Ice Bag Papa

MA RAINEY Milestone 47021 Ma Rainey ● CD $16.98
This CD reissue of the Milestone 2-LP set (minus a few tracks due to space considerations) collects 24 of Ma Rainey's finest sides recorded for Paramount between 1924-'28. Born Gertrude Malissa Pridgett in 1886, Rainey was often billed as "The Mother Of The Blues", an eminently defensible claim. Her influence (direct and indirect) on Bessie Smith was great; depending on who tells the story, she and Smith worked together briefly in the early 1930's. The selections here include the classic See See Rider/ Ma Rainey's Black Bottom/ Prove It To Me/ Sleep Talking Blues/ New Boweavil Blues/ Jealous Hearted Blues/ Trust No Man. Ma is backed by various small jazz combos whose members have names like Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Coleman Hawkins, Blind Blake, Jimmy Blythe, "Georgia Tom" Dorsey, and Tampa Red, to name several. Excellent sound quality, given the 78 rpm sources (the Paramount label is renowned by collectors for preserving the best early blues artists on the worst pressings ever!). Powerful music from a powerful woman - essential for those interested in the development of the blues. Duplicates collections on Yazoo, Black Swan, VJM and others. (JC)

MA RAINEY Yazoo 1071 Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ● CD $15.98

KID RAMOS Evidence 26104 Kid Ramos ● CD $15.98
Recommended. Fine "solo" CD by the current hot guitarist from The Fabulous Thunderbirds on his 3rd CD, his 1st since joining the T-birds in '95. Current 'Birds Kim Wilson (vocals) & Gene Taylor (also ex-Blaster) on piano the high point is probably the 1st reunion of the mid-80s James Harmon Band, with Harmon (vocal, hca), Ramos, Taylor, Willie J. Campbell (bass) & Stephen Hodge (d), especially on Harmon's lament of the cell phone, Walk-Around Telephone Blues. Other high points include Howlin' Wolf's 300 Pounds Of Joy with Los Lobos' Cesar Rosas on vocals, Ray Agee's Leave Me Alone with vocals by Willie Chambers of The Chambers Bros., Jimmy Liggins' No More Alcohol, even Dick Clark's old theme song Bandstand Boogie!! (GM)

KID RAMOS Evidence 26117 Greasy Kid Stuff ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, 59 minutes, highly recommended
The Kid Ramos list of accomplishments has grown healthier and longer each year. From his beginnings with James Harman, standing next to Hollywood Fats, to his tenure with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, he's studied his craft and devoted himself to being one of the finest guitar players in blues. This star-studded affair pairs him with harp slingers Paul deLay, Johnny Dyer, Rick Estrin, James Harman, Charlie Musselwhite, Rod Piazza, and Lynwood Slim. From the crushing original instrumental title track, to the disruptive Chicken Hearted Woman, or Harman's blow-by-blow descriptions in Low Down Woman, Ramos tackles guitar chores with respect, never overshadowing the proceedings. The chromatic closer, Harmonica Hangover, finds Estrin and Musselwhite aiming jabs at a crumpled and passed-out James Harman. (CR)

AL RAPONE Blind Pig 73790 Zydeco To Go ● CD $15.98
New recordings by popular Bay Area zydeco performer. Al is a great performer (and a very nice guy too) who can really tear up a dancefloor. After seeing him live I'd have to say these sides are a little uneven, sometimes lapsing into overtly commercial and novelty cuts that are bound to sound dated in a few years. But I wholeheartedly applaud the straight ahead traditional tunes, which feature Al's mighty accordion alongside the talents of David Nelson (of the New Riders), Mark Naftalin, Tom Rigney, Leonard Gill and more. The singing of Roy Chantier is particularly good, and Rapone is no slouch in the vocal department either. A live recording would show the world what he can really do, so let's keep our fingers crossed. 12 cuts. (MB)

A.C. REED Alligator 4757 I'm In The Wrong Business ● CD $13.98

A.C. REED Delmark 726 Junk Food ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 49 mins, recommended Fine new album from veteran Chicago sax man and singer. Just about all original songs, often featuring A.C.'s witty humor. He is accompanied by top Chicago musicians like Maurice John Vaughn, Johnny B. Gayden, Casey Jones and others including a very effective horn section on some cuts. As a bonus two of the tracks are from A.C.'s private stash featuring him recorded live in 1981 in Tulsa, OK with Albert Collins on guitar. (FS)
A.C. REED: 2 Women In A Pick Up/ Big Woman/ Broke Music/ Fed Up/ Florine/ Give It Up (smoking)/ I Got Mad/ Junk Food/ Last Time Around./ Lonely Man/ Party With Y'all/ President Plays/ Roadhouse Blues/ You're Going To Miss Me

A.C. REED/ BIG WHEELER Wolf 120.860 Chicago Blues Session Vol. 14 ● CD $15.98
Nice set of Chicago blues recorded there in 1989 featuring 5 songs by singer/ tenor sax player Reed and 4 by singer and harmonica player Big Wheeler. Both artists are accompanied by a solid band including Luther Adams and John Primer/ guitars, Willie Kent/ bass and Timothy Taylor/ drums. Reed's songs are particularly nice with good singing and sax playing and some particularly nice guitar work. Wheeler is a less interesting performer though his tracks have a good sound thanks to the solid ensemble playing. A worthwhile selection. (FS)

JIMMY REED Charly SNAJ 728 The Essential Boss Man ● CD $27.98
3 CD set, 75 tracks, 3 hrs 25 mins, essential
The most comprehensive available collection of the classic Vee-Jay recordings of Jimmy Reed who was the most popular down home bluesman of the mid to late 50s and early 60s. His lazy voice, limited but effective harmonica playing and hypnotic guitar beat have entranced generations of fans and fellow musicians. Along with B.B. King, Reed is one of the most influential bluesmen ever, and hit for hit, only King can beat him quantity-wise. His early sides for Vee Jay are wonderful; full of the relaxed guitar work, harp fills, and laid-back vocals that made him popular even among white audiences. Much credit must go to longtime guitarist Eddie Taylor and Reed's wife, Mary "Mama" Reed who whispered the lyrics into his ear. The selection here, which comprises almost two-thirds of his entire Vee-Jay output, ranges from his first session for Chance in June 1953 where he cut the superb High & Lonesome, which subsequently became Vee-Jay's first ever release, through to Knocking At My Door recorded in May 1966 and released on the Exodus label after the collapse of Vee-Jay and was Jimmy's last hit. It includes all his R&B hits including You Don't have To Go/ Ain't That Lovin' You Baby/ I Love You Baby/ Honey Where's You Going/ Honest I Do/ I Told You Baby/ baby What You Want Me To Do/ Hush Hush/ Big Boss Man and all the rest along with fine lesser known titles like his great cover of Billy Boy Arnold's I Ain't Got You, the wonderful instrumental Odds & Ends with Jimmy's harmonica accentuated by the very effective blues violin of Remo Biondi, the much covered Take Out Some Insurance and others. In addition to his right hand man Eddie Taylor's, many of Jimmie's records benefited from the spot on flexible drumming of Earl Phillips. This set includes 24 page illustrated booklet with detailed notes by Les Fancourt and full discographical details. (FS)

JIMMY REED Collectables 5436 Jimmy Reed Is Back ● CD $13.98
12 tracks recorded in 1966 and 1971.

JIMMY REED Recall SMDCD 232 Big Boss Man ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 36 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent, inexpensive introduction to the classic Vee-Jay recordings of Jimmy Reed who was the most popular down home bluesman of the mid to late 50s and early 60s. Along with B.B. King, Reed is one of the most influential bluesmen ever, and hit for hit, only King can beat him quantity-wise. His early sides for Vee Jay are wonderful; full of the relaxed guitar work, harp fills, and laid-back vocals that made him popular even among white audiences. Much credit must go to longtime guitarist Eddie Taylor and Reed's wife, Mary "Mama" Reed. The selection here ranges from 1955 through 1964 and includes most of of his R&B hits like You Don't Have To Go/ Ain't That Lovin' You Baby/ You Got Me Dizzy/ Little Rain/ Honest I Do/ I'm Gonna Get My Baby/ Hush-Hush/ Bright Light, Big City, etc as well as choice non-hits like his first recording, the wonderful High & Lonesome, the great instrumental Ends And Odds which includes blues violin by Remo Biondi the fine and frequently covered Take Out Some Insurance and more. Sound quality is excellent and some tracks are in stereo. Includes informative notes bu Neil Slaven but no discographical info. (FS)
JIMMY REED: Ain't No Big Deal/ Ain't That Lovin You Baby/ Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth/ Baby What You Want Me To Do/ Big Boss Man/ Boogie In The Dark/ Bright Lights, Big City/ Close Together/ Come On Baby/ Devil's Shoestring, The Pt 2/ Down In Mississippi/ Down In Virginia/ Found Love/ Going To New York/ Help Yourself/ High And Lonesome/ Honest I Do/ Hush Hush/ I Ain't Got You/ I'm A Love You/ I'm Going Upside Your Head/ I'm Gonna Get My Baby/ I'm The Man Down There/ Left Handed Woman/ Let's Get Together/ Little Rain/ My First Plea/ Odds And Ends/ Oh John/ Sun Is Shining, The/ Take Out Some Insurance/ When Girls Do It/ You Don't Have To Go/ You Got Me Dizzy/ You Upset My Mind/ You're Something Else



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