Blues & Gospel - Bulletin October 2008 - Billy Boy Arnold-> Kenny "Blues Bos" Wayne + DVDS
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BULLETIN - October 2008
Blues & Gospel
Billy Boy Arnold ->
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne + DVDS
 

 

 
 
 

DVD S

   
ALBERT COLLINS Fuel 2000 61299 The Iceman At Mount Fuji ● DVD $19.98
The great Texas blues singer and guitarist performing live at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival in 1992 backed by his band The Icebreakers featuring both the day and evening performances. Four tunes are featured on both shows - Iceman/ Put The Shoe On The Other Foot/ Lights Are On Bt Nobody's Home and Same Old Thing. The first show also includes If You LOve Me Like I Say and Travelin' South and the second one has Honey Hush and Frosty.

 
BYTHER SMITH Delmark DVD 1796 Blues On The Moon - Live At Natural Rhythm Social Club ● DVD $22.98
This fine tough Chicago blues singer/ guitarist recorded live in August 2007 with a quartet. Features 12 songs (one not on the CD) including Judge OF Honor/ Give Up My Life For You/ If I Misused Someone/ So Mean To Me/ Don't Start Me Talkin', etc. The DVD includes a commentary by Byther and a discography.

 
DAVE SPECTER Delmark DVD 1794 Live In Chicago ● DVD $22.98

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 

BILLY BOY ARNOLD Electro-Fi 3405 Billy Boy Sings Sonny Boy ● CD $14.98
17 tracks, 71 min., recommended
Arnold cut his first single back in 1952 in Chicago, backed Bo Diddley on a couple of Checker hits, and recorded some classic sides of his own for VeeJay before drifting away from the recording world. After a lengthy hiatus, he eventually returned to universal acclaim to record a handful of albums. His latest is this tribute to his musical mentor, Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson, from whom he apparently took a few lessons. Their association, however, was cut short by Williamson's murder in 1948. This musical memorial on Toronto's Electro-Fi label pays fitting tribute to one of the blues harp greats. Arnold is no sound-alike, but his harp style owes much to his idol's. This set collects many songs made popular by Williamson and features a band that includes Billy Flynn on guitar and mandolin, Mel Brown on piano and guitar, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums. Songs include Love Me Baby, Polly Put The Kettle On, Black Gal Blues, Sugar Mama, Half-A-Pint, Cut That Out, and much more. (JC)

 
SAM COOKE Primo 6074 The Gospel Soul Of Sam Cooke ● CD $10.98
2 CDs, 29 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
This is a collection that captures the period in Cooke's career when he rose to the top of the Gospel field and started to move into the secular. There are marvelous cuts by Cooke fronting the Soul Stirrers, leading up through early solo tracks and culminating with the smash hit You Send Me. All selections are from recordings done for either the Specialty or Keen record labels. Killer gospel tracks like Peace In The Valley/ Just Another Day/ Touch The Hem of His Garment/ Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone/ "Where You There, and so on, plus pop gems like Forever/ Lovable, and Summertime. These sets on the Primo record label tend to give you a lot of great sounding music, with paltry packaging and inconsequential documentation. Still, especially if you don't have the material, it's essential stuff. (JM)

 
THE PAUL DELAY BAND Criminal 30 The Last Of The Best - Live Recordings ● CD $14.98
15 tracks, 75 min., highly recommended
This live collection, drawn from three shows at different venues in 2004 and 2006, saw release just short weeks after the untimely death of Delay, who was just 55 years old. West Coaster, deLay, aside from breathing blue fire through his harmonica, sang and wrote much of his best material. His blues have rubbed shoulders with swing and soul influences but rest their their heads on Chicago harp blues. Delay lived the life he sang about, losing some of himself to drug use and some of his time to prison. And yet his song writing shows a sense of humor not often found in contemporary blues. In the deLay-penned Could We Just Shoot Your Husband, he asks his already-married girlfriend to consider murdering her spouse because "you wouldn't want to hurt his feelings" and, besides, "it's wrong to keep on cheating." Other tracks include All Cried Out, Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline), Can't Stand Your Evil Ways, and the show-stopping Try Not To Kill Me. For these gigs, Delay's band included David Vest on piano, Peter Dammann on guitar, Dave Kahl on bass, and Jeff Minnick on drums. A great live one even if you don't like live ones. "The prince of the west, the last of the best." (JC)

 
CECIL GANT Blue Label 92912 Bullet Boogie ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
If the seven CDs on Blue Moon featuring all the recordings of Cecil Gant is too much this single disc devoted to a selection of recordings made for Nashville's Bullet label might be just the ticket. Gant was a fine performer with a distinctive voice and a brilliant piano player who could wail up a storm on a boogie. His repertoire consisted of blues, boogie, jivey jazzy songs and ballads - his biggest hit was the frequently covered ballad I Wonder. The tracks here, recorded between 1946 and 1948, are mostly blues, boogie and jive featuring Cecil accompanied by a small group which apparently consisted of white Nashville jazz musicians. It includes his two hits on Bullet - both in the blues ballad vein - Another Day Another Dollar and I'm A Good Man But A Poor Man - the latter another song covered by other artists. Other fine tracks include Nashville Jumps/ Anna Mae/ Boozie Boogie/ Three Little Girls/ Cecil's Jam Session/ My Little Baby/ What's The Matter/ Bullet Boogie, etc. Excellent sound and informative notes from Fred james. (FS)

 
HOLLYWOOD FATS & THE PALADINS Topcat 6082 Live 1985 ● CD $14.98
Legendary West Coast blues guitarist Hollywood Fats joins forces with roots rockers The Paladins for a set of mostly blues and R&B favorites recorded at the Greenville Avenue Bar & Grill in Dallas, Texas in Decmber of 1985. Includes Hideaway/ I've Tried/ Whole Lotta Shakin'/ Rooster Blues/ That Will Never Do/ Mystery Train/ Goin' To Get My Baby, etc.

 
MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT Sony Special 23314 Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 OKeh REcordings ● CD $6.98
13 tracks, 38 mins, essential
Budget priced reissue of Columbia 64986 originally issued in 1996. Mississippi John Hurt was a truly wonderful performer with a beautiful warm vocal style and a relaxed syncopated rolling guitar style very different from most of his Mississippi contemporaries. His material includes blues, folk songs and spirituals - Frankie/ Ain't No tellin'/ Avalon Blues/ Stack O'Lee/ Candy Man Blues/ Blessed Be The Name/ Blue Harvest Blues and others. These are his complete issued recordings cut for Okeh in 1928 plus Big Leg Blues which was not issued on 78 and led to his rediscovery in 1963. For three years, up to his death in 1966, he entranced audiences with his music, personality and new recordings. The booklet includes a couple of articles written in the 60s by the album compiler Lawrence Cohn. (FS)

 
J.B. HUTTO & THE NEW HAWKS J-Bar 101 Live At Jonathan SWift's, Harvard Square, Cambridge ● CD $16.98
8 tracks, 54 mins, almost highly recommended
With his intense, raw, declamatory vocals, searing electric guitar, often played with slide, and vibrant stage performance J.B. Hutto was immensely popular on the club and concert circuit from the 60s through to his death in 1983. Of all the artists who were influenced by the legendary Elmore James, Hutto was most clearly his own man with an extensive repertoire that drew on Elmore's style but never let it subsume his own talent. This is an excellent live set recorded in Cambridge, Mass but presumably from the mid/ late 70s and features a mix of familiar Hutto material along with some titles infrequently recorded like his searing rendition of the pop standard Summertime, his cover of Elmore's Twelve Year Old Boy (which he changes to Sixteen Year Old Boy - which actually make more sense!) and even a wild version of rockabilly standard Blue Suede Shoes which I don't believe he recorded elsewhere and in his hands becomes a completely different song! His set ends in a 17 minute, mostly instrumental. jam called Blues Got Soul which goes on a bit too long for my liking but was almost certainly a hit live. Sound quality is generally excellent and the only minor problem is that occasionally the songs fade out part way to feature some interview material with J.B. which leads me to suspect that this might originally have been a radio broadcast. Still most of the music is intact and exciting! (FS)

 
ALBERT KING Collectables 2887 The Complete King & Bobbin REcordings ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
Compares to the "More Big Blues" CD Ace 827 ($18.98), which shares 22 tracks with this collection. The main differences would then be that there are two tracks on this that don't appear on the Ace collection: This Funny Feeling, and Had You Told It Like it Was. Also this CD is cheaper than the Ace version, but the Ace version is cooler, better put together, has better notes and although this sounds totally fine, I would bet (without having done a track by track comparison) that the Ace set has slightly superior sound. This material certainly represents a fine period for Albert King, so I would recommend getting it all in some form or another. Recorded between 1959 and 1964, and covering his earliest recordings on Bobbin, over to King, and leading up to his departure for Stax records and the real big time. Stand out tracks from this period like Ooh-Ee Baby/ I Walked All Night Long/ Blues at Sunrise/ Don't Throw Your Love on Me so Strong/ I Get Evil, and Dyna Flow, to name a few. (JM)

 
LEADBELLY Snapper Blues 506 The Definitive ● CD $23.98
3 CDs, 75 tracks, 204 mins, highly recommended
This collection attempts to tell the story of Leadbelly with three discs and a 20 page booklet. While they have certainly done a fine job, there is still a whole lot of Leadbelly to hear and know about that isn't here. Still, this does cover a lot of ground and is done really well, with fantastic sound and attractive packaging. If your Leadbelly collection is a little light, or you are just getting into him, this would be an excellent set to pick up. All of the famous songs are here; C.C. Rider/ Midnight Special/ Pick a Bale of Cotton/ Goodnight Irene/ John Henry/ Salty Dog/ "Cow Cow Yicky Yicky Yea/ Jim Crow Blues/ All Rock Island Line, etc. Along with that, there is a feast of great lesser known track like Grasshopper on My Pillow/ Thirty Days in the Workhouse/ Black Girl/ Turn Your Radio On/ Easy Mr. Tom/ New Black Snake/ Grey Goose/ Stewball, and so many more. What is also a treat about this collection is that it has 75 tracks and almost no repeats--I think only one or two of his most famous songs are repeated--which is pretty incredible for a Leadbelly collection of this size. (JM)
LEAD BELLY: Ain't Going Down To The Well No More/ Alabama Bound/ Alberta/ All Rock Island Line/ Baby Don't You Love Me Now More/ Big Fat Woman/ Birmingham Jail (Down In The Valley)/ Black Girl/ Blood Done Sign My Name/ Bourgeois Blues/ Bull Cow/ CC Rider/ Can't You Line 'Em/ Children's Blues/ Chinatown/ Corn Bread Rough/ Cow Cow Yicky Yicky Yea/ Dancing With Tears In My Heart/ Death Letter Blues/ Death Letter Blues/ Eagle Rock Rag/ Easy Mr Tom/ Ella Speed/ Fannin' Street/ Go Down Old Hannah/ Good Morning Blues/ Goodnight Irene/ Grasshopper In My Pillow/ Gray Goose/ He Never Said A Mumbling Word/ How Long/ Howard Hughes/ I'll Be Down On The Last Bread Wagon/ I'm Alone Because I Love You/ I'm Leavin' On The Midnight Train/ I'm On My Last Go Round/ It Was Early One Morning/ Jean Harlow/ Jim Crow Blues/ John Henry/ Laura/ Leaving Blues/ Looky Looky Yonder/ Matchbox Blues/ Midnight Special/ Midnight Special/ My Friend Blind Lemon/ New Black Snake/ New Orleans/ New York City/ Pick A Bale Of Cotton/ Red Cross Store Blues/ Roberta/ Sail On Little Girl Sail On/ Salty Dog/ Shout On (Honey I'm All Out And Down)/ Somebody's Diggin' My Potatoes/ Spring Time In The Rockies/ Stewball/ Sukey Jump/ Sweet Mary Blues/ Sylvie/ TB Blues/ Take This Hammer/ Tell Me Baby/ Tell Me Baby What Was Wrong With You/ Thirty Days In The Workhouse/ Tight Like That/ Tom Hughes Town/ Turn Yo' Radio On/ We're In The Same Boat Brother/ Well You Know I Had To Do It/ When I Was A Cowboy/ Whoa Back Up/ You Cain' Loose A Me Cholly

 
LOUISIANA RED Bellaphon CDLR 82002 Blues Classics ● CD $11.98
10 tracks, 55 mins, recommended
These recordings were recorded in Germany in 1983 and were issued on a couple of albums on the L+R label. Red is featured playing acoustic and electric guitar and Dobro and several tracks feature second guitar by Gerhard Engbarth and five feature Carey Bell on harmonica. There are several topical, if somewhat self conscious, topical songs like Anti-Nuclear Blues/ Stop Crying About Detroit/ Prison Blues and No More Destruction In This Land. Red's fine singin and playing are just about always worth a listen but this is not among his finer recordings. (FS)

 
PETE MAYES Texas Music Group 40 For Pete's Sake ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 54 mins, highly recommended
Available again. 1998 album originally issued on Antones. Pete Mayes was a fine singer and guitarist from Houston influenced by the great T-Bone Walker. On this session he is accompanied by an excellent horn led band and is featured on a couple of originals along with some fine covers of songs from T-Bone, Junior Parker, Albert King and others. Though no great original his music is most entertaining with fine singing and playing and a pleasing lack of over-the-top pyrotechnics. (FS)

 
MEMPHIS SLIM & CANNED HEAT Maison De Blues 982 274-2 Memphis Heat ● CD $15.98
13 lucky tracks, 53 mins, recommended
An older release but not reviewed before. Classic blues pairing, originally put on album in 1974, now lovingly re-issued with two bonus tracks. By 1974 neither Memphis Slim or Canned Heat were exactly in their prime, but together they manage to still blast out enough quality Blues and boogie to make this a rather satisfying (if rather jammy) effort. Extensive notes tell the whole story behind the pairing along with complete recording notes. Bonus tracks featured are an alternate version of Five Long Years, and a song to commemorate the occasion, Memphis Heat. (JM)

 
JACKIE PAYNE & THE STEVE EDMONSON BA ND Delta Groove 0123 Overnight Sensation ● CD $15.98
New album of blues, gospel, soul and R&B from vocalist Jackie Payne accompanied by band led by guitarist Steve Edmonson. 13 tracks including Overnight Sensation/ Take A Chance On Me/ Midnight Friend/ Bag Full Of Doorknobs/ Feel Like Going Home, etc.

 
BYTHER SMITH Delmark 796 Blues On The Moon - Live At Natural Rhythm Social Club ● CD $14.98
This fine tough Chicago blues singer/ guitarist recorded live in August 2007 with a quartet. Features 11 songs (one less than the DVD) including Judge OF Honor/ Give Up My Life For You/ If I Misused Someone/ So Mean To Me/ Don't Start Me Talkin', etc. The DVD includes a commentary by Byther and a discography.

 
THE STAPLE SINGERS Riverside 30354 The 25th Day Of December ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 30 mins, highly recommended
Just the thing to get primed for the Christmas Holidays: this disc of mostly standards by the first family of gospel. Recorded in Chicago on July 27th and 28th 1962, these tracks provide just the right amount of reverence for the season; from the mournful The Virgin Mary Had One Son to the traditional folk classic Go Tell it On the Mountain to holiday chestnuts Silent Night and Joy To the World, the Staples' voices-given spare accompaniment by Pop's sometimes glacial, sometimes funky as hell guitar playing and an unobtrusive rhythm section-really give new meaning to songs we've heard many times before. This is a Christmas album that would sound good even in July, despite its brevity. (GMC)

 
SUNNYLAND SLIM/ JOHN DEE HOLE MAN Mapleshade 1132 AN: Blues Legends Live ● CD $19.98
T wo CD set. Not a new release but not listed before. The Sunnyland Slim set here was previously available as a single CD - I'm not sure if the Holeman was. The Sunnyland Slim set was recorded at The Roxy in washington D.C. in 1987 and finds the master in fine form on a selection mostly featuring familiar numbers from his repertoir. It includes Got A Thing Going On/ Lend Me Your LOve/ My Baby, She Don't Love Me No More/ Blues Improvisation/ Run Here Baby, etc. John Dee Holeman is a country bluesman from North Carolina who was also recorded in Washington in 1987. He accompanies himnself on electric guitar and is joined on electric piano by Fris Holloway. Holeman is a decent performer though his repertoire is derivative and he does songs like My Baby Is A Country Girl/ Diggin' My Potatoes/ My Little Machine/ Give Me Back That Wig I Bought You, etc.

 
EDDIE TAYLOR JR. Wolf 120.817 I Got To Make This Money, Baby ● CD $16.98
12 tracks, recommended Solid new album from the youngest son of the great Chicago bluesman Eddie Taylor. taylor, Jr. is a good singer and a fine guitarist, playing his father's beautiful red Gibson. At times his playing echoes that of his father though he is mostly his own man and is a very different singer. The material is not particularly impressive - his original songs seem to fall into the self referential bag a little too much and the others are either songs from his father (Train Fare Blues/ Take Your Hand Down) or familiar covers (Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean/ That's All Right/ Just A Little Bit, etc.) That being said, the performances are fine and Eddie is accompanied by an excellent band including his brother Tim on drums and the excellent Harmonica Hinds on harmonica. (FS)

 
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE Snapper Blues 048 Up Above My Head ● CD $9.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
A great collection of recordings by this fine and important artist covering the period 1938 through 1949. Rosetta was a wonderful singer and guitarist who recorded both religious songs along with jazz and blues though the majority of her recordings were religious and this emphasis is followed on this reissue. This set is varied including solo sides accompanied by only her own splendid guitar work, with accompniments by small groups led by Sam Price, several of her great duets with her friend Marie Knight, tracks accompanied by vocal group The Dependable Boys and one live recording from 1943 where she is accompanied by the Luck Millinder Orchestra - the bandleader who gave her first break. Songs include When I MOve To The Sky/ This Train/ Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air/ Everybody's Going To have A Wonderful Time Up There/ Oh, When I Come To The End Of My Journey/ What Is The Soul Of A Man?/ I Heard My Mother Call My Name/ Family Prayer, etc. Excellent sound, booklet with brief notes but no recording information. A perfect introduction to the music of this truly great artist. (FS)
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: Cain't No Grave Hold My Body Down/ Didn't It Rain/ Don't Take Everybody To Be Your Friend/ Down By The Riverside/ Everybody's Gonna Have A Wonderful Time Up There/ Family Prayer/ Heaven Is Not My Home/ I Claim Jesus First/ I Heard My Mother Call My Name/ Jesus Is Here Today/ My Journey To The Sky/ My Lord And I/ Oh, When I Come To The End Of My Journey/ Precious Memories/ Singing In My Soul/ Strange Things Happening Every Day/ This Train/ Two Little Fishes And Five Loaves Of Bread/ Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air/ Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?/ What Is The Soul Of Man?/ When I Move To The Sky

 
JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON Gusto 0828 16 Super Hits ● CD $8.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
Great, inexpensive compilation of Johnny "Guitar" Watson's recordings for Federal and King. Most of the tracks are from his 1961 through 1963 sessions for King and feature a varied selection of material including such classic performances Gangster Of Love/ Those Lonely Nights/ Cuttin' In and others including an impressive rendition of Hank Williams' Cold Cold Heart. The Federeal sessions are from 1953 and '54 when he was credited as Young John Watson (he was only 18 at the time) and feature him playing both guitar and piano. All this material has been out before in a more comprehensive format but this is a great introduction at a low price with excellent sound and brief notes. (FS)

 
KENNY "BLUES BOSS" WAYNE Electro-Fi 3407 Can't Stop Now ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 48 min., recommended
Wayne spent his early years in California and New Orleans but calls Toronto home these days. Musically, he splits his time between paying homage to guys such as Fats Domino (he covers You Can Pack Your Suitcase here), and Johnnie Johnson (check his take of Tangueray or his original Johnnie J. Was Good), and putting out originals (9 of 11 songs on this release) with a more contemporary flavor that is still rooted in various forms of R&B and boogie woogie. The latter musical form he picked up from his mother, who was enamored with the stuff. His father, however, was a preacher who took a dim view of the devil's music. The resulting music is instantly likable if not especially ground breaking. (JC)

 

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