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Various Artists Collections - Post War Harmonica Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Vanguard 79549 Blow'n The Blues ● CD $15.98
19 track collection of Chicago style blues drawn from Vanguard albums recorded in the 60s and early 70s featuring harmonica.
PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND: Blues With A Feeling/ JAMES COTTON: Coast Blues/ Cotton Crop Blues/ Honest I Do/ Rocket 88/ The Blues Keep Falling/ BIG WALTER HORTON'S BLUES HARP BAND: Rockin' My Boogie/ CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE: Chicken Shack/ Christo Redemptor/ Juke/ My Baby's Sweeter/ THE JOHNNY SHINES BLUES BAND (With Walter Horton): Hey, Hey/ THE SIEGEL-SCHWALL BAND: Angel Food Cake/ Tell Me/ JUNIOR WELLS: Checking On My Baby/ Early In The Morning/ Help Me (a Tribute To Sonny Boy Williamson)/ Messin' With The Kid/ Stormy Monday Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhino 71124 Blues Masters, Vol. 4 - Harmonica Blues Classics ● CD $11.98
An almost perfect collection of post war harmonica blues with an emphasis on Chicago.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhino 75346 Blues Masters, Vol. 16 - More Harmonica Blues Classics ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 50 mins, highly recommended
Complementing Rhino 71124 this is another great collection of post-war blues harmonica from the period 1948 through 1992 with the majority from the 50s and 60s.  Excellent sound plus fine notes from Cub Koda and full discographical info. (FS)
THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND: Born In Chicago/ WILLIAM CLARKE: Pawnshop Bound/ JIMMY COTTON BLUES QUARTET: Cotton Crop Blues/ J. GEILS BAND: Whammer Jammer/ SLIM HARPO: Baby Scratch My Back/ HOWLIN' WOLF: All Night Boogie/ LAZY LESTER: I Hear You Knockin'/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: Jump The Boogie/ LITTLE WALTER & HIS JUKES: Off The Wall/ GARY PRIMICH: The Briar Patch/ JIMMY REED: Odds And Ends/ DOCTOR ROSS: Come Back Baby/ SONNY TERRY: Hootin' Blues No. 2/ JUNIOR WELLS CHICAGO BLUES BAND: (Help Me) A Tribute To Sonny Boy Williamson/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Keep It To Yourself/ Shake The Boogie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Wolf 120.848 Chicago Blues Harmonica ● CD $16.98
BILLY BRANCH: Take You Down Town/ DUSTY BROWN: He Don't Love You/ Hey Baby/ Say You Love Me/ JAMES COTTON: Decoration Day/ LESTER DAVENPORT: Let's Go Party/ She's 41 Years Old/ When My Troubles End/ BIRMINGHAM JONES: Don't Slam That Door/ I Was Wondering/ My Little Girl/ Strange City/ SNOOKY PRYOR: Look What You Doin' To Me/ You Better Keep The Arms Around Me/ LITTLE MAC SIMMONS: Come Back To Me/ GOLDEN 'BIG' WHEELER: Dirty Blues/ I'm Ready

VARIOUS ARTISTS Alligator ALCD 115 Crucial Harmonica Blues ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, very good
A dozen harp handlers step up and offer evidence as to why they've become the more respected names among harmonica fans. Again, nothing earthshattering or unreleased, this disc is simply a nice selection for those just getting interested in the Mississippi saxophone. Have Mercy by Carey Bell and Big Walter Horton stands as the absolute finest track here, making it worth the entrance fee for the balance of the set, one that also features James Cotton, Sonny Terry, Rick Estrin from Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and Sugar Blue. William Clarke is sadly missed and his Blowin' Like Hell is riveting, Billy Boy Arnold's Shake The Boogie shows his continuing debt to John Lee Williamson, and Junior Wells and Billy Branch worked magic on Broke And Hungry. Not enough to satisfy yet? Charlie Musselwhite steps in as do Cephas and Wiggins and Delbert McClinton. (CR)
BILLY BOY ARNOLD: Shake The Boogie/ CAREY BELL: Lonesome Stranger/ CEPHAS & WIGGINS: Burn Your Bridges/ WILLIAM CLARKE: Blowin' Like Hell/ JAMES COTTON: Superharp/ BIG WALTER HORTON: Have Mercy/ LITTLE CHARLIE & THE NIGHTCATS: Coastin' Hank/ DELBERT MCCLINTON: Thank You Baby/ CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE: Make My Getaway/ SUGAR BLUE: One More Mile To Go/ SONNY TERRY: Sonny's Whoopin' The Doop/ JUNIOR WELLS: Broke And Hungry

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 604 Deep Harmonica Blues ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Back in stock at a lower price. A great collection of harmonica blues from the vaults of Excello featuring Jerry McCain, The Blues Rockers, Baby Boy Warren (with Sonny Boy Williamson/ harp), Little Sonny, Ole Sonny Boy, Lightnin' Slim, Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester, Whispering Smith, Jimmy Anderson and Jolly George (probably James Stewart). Includes a previously unissued alternate take of Slim Harpo's Wonderin' & Worryin' and Jimmy Anderson's Shut Your Mouth. Excellent sound and quality notes by Chris Smith. (FS)
JIMMY ANDERSON: Rats And Roaches On Your Mind/ Shut Your Mouth/ THE BLUES ROCKERS VOCAL EARL DRANES: Calling All Cows/ THE BLUES ROCKERS VOCAL LAZY BILL LUCAS: Johnny Mae/ SLIM HARPO: Wonderin' And Worryin'/ JOLLY GEORGE: She's Got Me/ When I Met You Baby/ LAZY LESTER: They Call Me Lazy/ LIGHTNIN' SLIM: Goin' Home/ I'm Grown/ LITTLE SONNY: I'll Love You Baby (until The Day I Die)/ Love Shock/ JERRY MCCAIN & HIS UPSTARTS: Courtin' In A Cadillac/ That's What They Want/ Things Ain't Right/ You Don't Love Me No More/ OLE SONNY BOY: Blues And Misery/ You Better Change/ WHISPERING SMITH: Harmonica Twist/ Please Give Me One More Chance/ BABY BOY WARREN WITH SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Bring Me My Machine Gun (aka Baby Boy Blues)/ Chuck-a-luck (chicken)/ Hello Stranger (aka Mattie Mae)/ Not Welcome Anymore (sanafee)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Rock'It 111 Got Harp If You Want It ● CD $16.98
A collection of West Coast harp players, most of whom came to prominence in the white blues boom of the 80's. Charlie Musselwhite goes back a little further, and his veteran status is confirmed on 3 of these thirteen tracks. Little Charlie & The Nightcats' Rick Estrin opens with two, and a pair of Ralph Shine tracks finishes up. In between we hear from local favorites Mark Hummel and Dave Wellhausen, L.A. heavyweight William Clarke, Paul Durkett, Andy Just and Mark Ford.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Random Chance 5 Harmonica Blues Orgy ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 69 minutes, very good
Known primarily as a shuffling wizard behind the drums, Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith blows greasy and unpretentious harp on five cuts with solid backing from Eddie Taylor Jr. and Illinois Slim on guitars, plus Steve Cushing on drums, but Willie's voice still remains his weakest draw card. Martin Lang's four instrumentals are firmly grounded in Little Walter territory, getting help from Dave Myers and Johnny Burgin on guitars and Kenny Smith's backbeats, then Little Arthur Duncan steps in for three tracks. Alex 'Easy Baby' Randle returns from among the missing to deliver four standouts beginning with the rustling Room 309/ Crazy Mixed Up World/ This Little Light Of Mine, and a brutal Wolf-like Willie Mae, about a woman who hides a "razor in her stockings, pistol in her brassiere." This is just pure, simple, unadorned blues. (CR)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fremeaux & Associes 5059 Harmonica Blues, Vol. 2 : 1946-1952 ● CD $24.98
Complementing Fremeaux 040 which featured harmonica blues recordings made between 1927 and 1941 this one focuses on the post war era featuring 36 tracks on two CDs recorded between 1946 and 1952. It includes some familiar names like both Sonny Boy Williamsons, Snooky Pryor, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Sonny Terry, etc along with some more obscure artists like J.D. Horton, Billy Brazos, Sa, Kelly, Little Sam Davis, Papa Lightfoot, Walter Mitchell & Robert Richard, Rhythm Willie and others.
SUNNY BLAIR: Five Foot Three/ BILLY BRAZOS: Brazos Blues/ GRACE BRIM: Man Around My Door/ EDDIE BURNS: Hello Miss Jessie Lee/ LITTLE SAM DAVIS: Going To New Orleans/ K.C. DOUGLAS & SIDNEY MAIDEN: Mercury Boogie/ DRIFTING SLIM: Down South Blues/ FRANK EDWARDS: Love My Baby/ FOREST CITY JOE: A Woman On Every Street/ JAZZ GILLUM: Take One More Chance With/ BIG WALTER HORTON: Little Boy Blue/ Now Tell Me Baby/ J.D. HORTON (OLE SONNY BOY): Cadillac Blues/ HOWLIN WOLF: Riding In The Moonlight/ PEE WEE HUGHES: Santa Fe Blues/ SONNY BOY JOHNSON: Come Home And Go With Me/ SAM KELLY: Rambling Around My Blues/ PETE LEWIS: Harmonica Boogie/ Scratchin‘/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: Jumpin‘ With Jarvis/ The Honeydripper/ LITTLE MILTON (ANDERSON): Little Milton‘s Boogie/ LITTLE WALTER: Blue Midnight/ Sad Hours./ JOE HILL LOUIS: Walkin‘ Talkin‘ Blues/ WALTER MITCHELL & ROBERT RICHARD: Stop Mess Around/ SNOOKY PRYOR: Boogy Fool/ RHYTHM WILLIE: Wailin‘ Willie/ DOCTOR ROSS: My Bebop Gal/ SONNY TERRY: Baby, Let‘s Have Some Fun/ Harmonica Rhumba/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON (JOHN LEE WILLIAMSON): Hoodoo Hoodoo/ Mellow Chick Swing/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON (RICE MILLER): Mr Downchild/ Pontiac Blues/ ELDER R. WILSON: Better Get Ready

VARIOUS ARTISTS Alligator 4790 Harp Attack! ● CD $15.98
Billed as the blues harp "superpower summit meeting", this historic session features James Cotton, Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch blowing and singing together on 11 cuts. It's a great idea in theory, but doesn't always yield consistently exciting results in practice. Some numbers suffer from overly long solos and/or too many leads crammed in together. My favorite cuts are the solo spotlights - James Cotton's moody Black Night Is Falling and Junior's Keep Your Hands Out Of My Pockets/ Somebody Changed The Lock, and the harp duels do work out well on occaision. (MB)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 710 Harp Blues ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
A great collection of mostly amplified harmonica blues. Not too many surprises just one classic after another including such gems as Jimmy & Walter's Easy (surely one of the greatest blues harmonica instrumentals of all time!), the ferocious Wine, Women, Whiskey by Papa Lightfoot, Jerry McCain's wonderful Steady, Jimmy Rogers does Walkin' By Myself with a searing harmonica solo from Walter Horton, Sleeping In The Ground by Sammy Myers, Roller Coaster from Little Walter and lots more from Doctor Ross, both Sony Boy Williamsons, Jimmy Reed, Junior Parker and more including a couple of obscure but fine cuts from Shy Guy Douglas. Being an Ace release I don't need to tell you that the sound is unbeatable and the 12 page booklet has informative notes by Paul Jones. (FS)
BILLY BOY ARNOLD: I Ain't Got You/ CHICAGO SUNNY BOY (JOE HILL LOUIS): Western Union Man/ JAMES COTTON: Rocket 88/ COUSIN LEROY: Up The River/ SHY GUY DOUGLAS: Monkey Doin' Woman/ What's This I Hear?/ LITTLE WILLIE FOSTER: Little Girl/ FRANK FROST: Ride With Your Daddy Tonight/ EDDIE HOPE & MANISH BOYS: A Fool No More/ SHAKEY HORTON: Need My Baby/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Howlin' Wolf Boogie/ JIMMY & WALTER: Easy/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: Wine Women, Whiskey/ LITTLE WALTER: Roller Coaster/ JERRY MCCAIN: Steady/ SAMMY MYERS: Sleeping In The Ground/ LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER: Sweet Home Chicago/ SNOOKY PRYOR: Boogie Twist/ JIMMY REED: Found Love/ JIMMY ROGERS WITH BIG WALTER: Walking By Myself/ DOCTOR ROSS: Chicago Breakdown/ GEORGE SMITH: West Helena Blues/ JUNIOR WELLS: All Night Long (Rock Me Baby)/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Bring Another Half Pint/ Ninety Nine

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP 811 Harpin' On It ● CD $12.98
16 track compilation drawn from the JSP catalog and focusing on harmonica players including Walter Horton, Carey Bell, The Butler Twins, Sugar Blue and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dialtone 0014 Texas Harmonica Rumble ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
An excellent and solid collection of down home harmonica blues from six veteran harmonica players. Three of the performers are well known to blues lovers - Lazy Lester, Sammy Meyers and Bobby Rush and all turn in fine performances accompanied by excellent small groups. Lester brings new life to standards That's All Right and Honest I Do and Rush plays some nice chromatic on Willie Mabon's Poison Ivy (which Rush takes composer credit for - naughty!). The other three artists are obscure but are very fine. Orange Jefferson is a superb singer and plays top notch harmonica accompanied only by the funky electric guitar of Thierry Cognee. Joe Jonas and Mel Davis are also excellent artists - both are strong singers and harmonica players and perform original material. There are plenty of collections of recent blues harmonica recordings but this one certainly impresses more than most. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Wolf 120.105 The Best Of Harmonica Blues ● CD $16.98
A varied collection ranging from the 40s through the 80s
HERMANN ALEXANDER: Baby Please Don't Go/ CAREY BELL: One Day/ BILLY BRANCH: Everything Gonna Be Alright/ JAMES COTTON: Dealin' With The Devil/ CEDELL DAVIS: When I Woke Up Last Morning/ LITTLE ARTHUR DUNCAN: Kansas City/ JAZZ GILLUM: I'm Still Walking The Hi-way/ OSCAR HARP: Caress Me Baby/ WALTER 'SHAKEY' HORTON: Hard Hearted Woman/ MARTIN LANG: Martin Leaps In/ JERRY MCCAIN: It Most Be Love/ J. MONOUED'D: Rice And Gravy Fever/ SNOOKY PRYOR: It Seem Like A Dream/ LITTLE MAC SIMMONS: You Mistreated Me Baby/ GEORGE 'HARMONICA' SMITH: I Don't Know/ DOC TERRY: Born In The Delta/ SONNY TERRY: Goin' Down Slow/ KID THOMAS: Rockin' This Joint Tonight/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Blue Bird Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 746 This Is The Blues Harmonica ● CD $14.98
A collection featuring some the best blues harmonica drawn from various Delmark albums. Includes Junior Wells (a previously unissued track from the famed "Hoodoo Man Blues" session), Carey Bell, Hammie Nixon & Sleepy John Estes, Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Branch, Jimmy Burns, Lynwood Slim, Kim Wilson, Louis Myers and others.
BILLY BOY ARNOLD: Streetwise Advisor/ CAREY BELL: Deep Down South/ BILLY BRANCH: I Got The Blues About My Baby/ JIMMY BURNS: Shake Your Boogie/ MAD DOG LESTER DAVENPORT: Ain't It Nice/ LITTLE SAMMY DAVIS: Hey Little Girl/ HARMONICA GEORGE: Sputnik Music/ BIG WALTER HORTON: Hard-hearted Woman (alternate)/ LITTLE WALTER: Red Headed Woman/ LYNWOOD SLIM: Hopeless/ LOUIS MEYERS: Top Of The Harp/ HAMMIE NIXON: New York City Blues/ JUNIOR WELLS: This Is The Blues/ GOLDEN 'BIG' WHEELER: Guilty/ KIM WILSON: 'c' For Chicago

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 780 This Is Blues Harmonica, Vol. 2 ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 61 minutes, recommended Delmark's second harp compilation (the first being DE-746) again proves the small instrument a powerful one. Chicago heavyweights dominate - Junior Wells' Tomorrow Night, Big Walter's Back Home To Mama, Shakey Jake's That Ain't It (with sizzling Magic Sam guitar), Alfred "Blues King" Harris' Miss Ida, Louis Myers' That's Alright, and Big Wheeler's Chicago Winter Weather Blues. The blessing is these are all alternate takes. Other tone powerhouses are Carey Bell for Blues Rhumba, Mad Dog Lester Davenport on West Side Blues, Little Sam Davis' Devil's Trail, and Eddie Burns' Hastings Street Special - amplified gems all. Walto Pace's Fox Chase/ Lost John and Hammie Nixon's Love Grows In Your Heart show the acoustic side of the instrument to be just as satisfying. Others include Mark Hummel, Little Walter, Little Mac Simmons, and Tad Robinson. (CR)
CAREY BELL: Carey's Rhumba/ BIG WHEELER: Chicago Winter Weather Blues (alternate)/ EDDIE BURNS: Hastings Street Special/ 'MAD DOG' LESTER DAVENPORT: West Side Blues Harp/ LITTLE SAMMY DAVIS: Devil's Trail/ ALFRED 'BLUES KING' HARRIS: Miss Ida (alternate)/ BIG WALTER HORTON: Back Home To Mama/ MARK HUMMEL: I Got My Brand On You/ LITTLE WALTER: Rollin' & Tumblin' Pt. 2/ LOUIS MYERS: That's Alright (alternate)/ HAMMIE NIXON: Love Grows In Your Heart/ WALTO PACE: Fox Chase-lost John/ TAD ROBINSON: Coming Home/ SHAKEY JAKE: That Ain't It (alternate)/ LITTLE MACK SIMMONS: Muddy Waters Goin' To Run Clear/ JUNIOR WELLS: Tomorrow Night (alternate)


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