Blues & Gospel - Bulletin December 2008 - Tiny Bradshaw -> Jimmy Witherspoon + DVD+Calendar
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BULLETIN - December 2008
Blues & Gospel
Tiny Bradshaw ->
Jimmy Witherspoon + DVD+Calendar




CLASSIC BLUES ARTWORK FROM THE 1920S Blues Images 209 2009 Calendar ● CALENDAR $15.98
Calendar+CD - ESSENTIAL!
It's that time of the year again when John Tefteller gives us an early Christmas presenent with another sensational calendar and CD drawn from his phenomenal collection. The calendar (the sixth of 15) features reproductions of original artwork for advertisements printed in African-American newspapers in the late 20s and early 30s, mostly by the Paramount Record Company advertising their latest blues releases. This calendar features ads for records by artists like Blind Blake, Charley Patton, BUddy Boy Hawkins, Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie, Reverend Emmett Dickenson, Rev. A.W. Nix and others. The calendar also includes sample song lyrics, brief biographies and birth and death dates for many blues artists. The calendar itself would be easily worth $15.98 but in addition you get a 18 track CD featuring at least one side of all the records advertised. The original 78 of the Blind Blake title advertised Night & Day from a 1932 was only found in the poast year and both sides are included and are stunning performances. The CD also includes a newly discovered 78 by raucous singer and banjo player Ben Curry and never before issued test pressing of Hometown Skiffle - the original two parter is also included here. Even the tracks that have been out before sound so much better thanks to Rich Nevins' brilliant remastering. Also included are full color inserts to enable you to make your own Classic Blues Artwork CD with a jewel case (jewel case not included) Since these would make such a great gift if you buy five or more calendars you can get them for $13.98 each! Calendar/ CD set counts as four CDs for shipping purposes. (FS)



VARIOUS ARTISTS Broke & Hungry 001 M For Mississippi - A Road Trip Through The Birthplace ● DVD $18.98
This 94 minute documentary follows blues producers Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel on a weeklong journey across Mississippi visiting a dozen of the state's most notable active rural blues artists in a variety of settings ranging from juke joints to cotton fields. Filmed by Damien Blaylock with sound by Bill Abel it features familiar names like T-Model Ford, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Robert Belfour and Robert "Bilbo" Walker along with lesser known artists like Pat Thomas, L.C. Ulmer and Cadillac John Nolden. Bonus features include deleted and extendded scenes amd artist/ filmmaker biographies.



TINY BRADSHAW Collectables 2880 Well Oh Well - The Very Best Of Tiny Bradshaw ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
Although probably best known for writing and recording the original version of "Train Kept a Rollin'," which would become a Rock 'N' Roll standard, Tiny Bradshaw had many, many fine songs besides. This Collectables CD features such other Rhythm & Blues gems as Gravy Train/ Boodie Green/ Walkin The Chalk Line/ Snaggle Tooth Ruth/ Two Dry Bones on the Pantry Shelf/ I'm a Hi-Ballin' Daddy and many more. Bradshaw's band of many hot players included sax player Red Prysock, whose chops can be heard on many of the best early tacks featured here (all tracks recorded between 1949 and 1958). Sadly Bradshaw died tragically early in 1958, without being able to appreciate the massive influence his Train Kept a Rollin' would have on following generations. If you don't have a Tiny Bradshaw collection, you should and Collectables has done a solid job here. (JM)

"BOWLING GREEN" JOHN CEPHAS & "HARMONICA" PHIL WIGGINS Bellaphon CDLR 713123 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended Reissue of first sides issued by this excellent East Coast acoustic duo for the German L+R label in 1980 originally on L+R 42.031. Piedmont style blues with excellent flowing guitar and warm vocals from Cephas and fine harp from Wiggins whose playing beautifully weaves around Cephas's vocal and guitar. The songs are mix of old blues favorites given the duo's distinctive touch along with a handful of originals - Black rat SWing/ Guitar & Harmonica rag/ I'm A Pilgrim/ I Ain't Got No Lovin' Baby Now/ Richmond Blues/ Goin' Down the Road Feelin' bad, etc. The duo has recorded prolifically since these sides but these are among their best. (FS)

ARCHIE EDWARDS Bellaphon CDLR 712621 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 6: Road Is Rough & Rocky ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 40 mins, highly recommended
Archie Edwards was a fine Piedmont style bluesman originally born in Virginia in 1919 but based in Washington, D.C. when these recordings were made in 1980. Archie was an excellent and expressive singer and a fluid guitarist - sometimes playing a steel bodied National and using effective slide on a couple of tunes. Edwards palled around with Mississippi John Hurt when Hurt was living in Washington and his fine versionsof Lovin' Spoonful and Stagg-O-Lee pay tribute to that but most of the songs are Edwards originals, mostly based around traditional themes but also including a couple of semi-autobiographical pieces. When he was young he loved the music of Jimmie Rodgers and his version of T For Texas is a delight. A very enjoyable collection. (FS)

SLEEPY JOHN ESTES Delmark 797 On 80 Highway - With Hammie Nixon ● CD $14.98
17 tracks, recommended
Previously unissued informal session from 1974 recorded just before Sleepy John's triumphant tour of Japan. John is accompanied by his long time musical companion Hammie Nixon who does several of the lead vocals, duets with John and plays harmonica and kazoo. It's mostly familiar material from JOhn's repertoire and his performances are not among his most compelling. A couple of tracks feature the duo chatting which makes for fascinating listening. Includes Loves Grows In Your Heart/ Potato Diggin' Man (listed as Potatoe Diggin' Man - did Delmark hire Dan Quayle as a proofreader?)/ Holy Spirit/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ President Kennedy (two versions)/ T Model Ford/ Vernita Blues/ Brownsville Blues< etc.

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)

GUITAR FRANK & GUITAR SLIM Bellaphon CDLR 712423 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 8: Lonesome Home Blues ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
James "Guitar Slim" Stephens was from Greensboro, North Carolina who started playing piano in the early 1920s and four of his six tracks here find him playing piano. He's a rough hewn but very effective vocalist and his instrumental work is also rough hewn - his material is traditionally based but Slims approach is original. Guitar Frank first recorded under his real name Frank Hovington in 1975 but when these recordings were made in 1980 he insisted that the pseudonym Guitar Frank be used to avoid problems in collecting social security. He is a rare country bluesman from Delaware and was a fine singer and fluent guitarist in the Piedmont style - he performs familiar titles like Railroad Bill and Diggin' My Potatoes along with some more original pieces and if you like his music here be sure to check out the full CD of his recordings on Flyright 66. ($16.98). Another winner in this series. (FS)

MAHALIA JACKSON Collectables 7633 Come On Children Let's Sing/ Great Songs Of Love & Faith ● CD $13.98
21 tracks, 73 mins, recommended
Two classic Gospel albums put together on one affordable CD. Originally released on Columbia records, "Come On Children Let's Sing" came out in 1960 and "Great Songs of Love and Faith" came out four albums later in 1964. Clearly, this was a highly popular and prolific period for this queen of gospel. While "Come On" focused on the usual Gospel themes of love of God, "Great Songs" is a little more secular with songs of love of other things such as nature and country. Even with its secular theme, one of the latter's standout tracks would have to be Artie Glenn's Crying in the Chapel. Many other highlights throughout include Brown Boy/ Keep-A-Movin'/ One Step (Toward The Lord,)/ Because/ Trees, etc. (JM)
MAHALIA JACKSON: A Christian Duty/ A Perfect Day/ Because/ Because His Name Is Jesus/ Brown Baby/ Come On Children, Let's Sing/ Crying In The Chapel/ Danny Boy/ I've Done My Work/ If We Never Neede The Lord Before (We Sure Do Need Him Now)/ Keep A-Movin'/ My Friend/ My Task/ One Step (Toward The Lord)/ The Christian's Testimony/ The Green Leaves Of Summer/ The House I Live In (That's America To Me)/ The Rosary/ Trees/ Whither Thou Goest/ You Must Be Born Again

LONNIE JOHNSON Snapper Blues 014 Playing With The Strings ● CD $9.98
A fine budget priced introduction to the music of this great and influential bluesman. The material ranges from Love Story Blues from one of his first sessions in 1926 to In Love Again from 1941 with Lonnie and his guitar accompanied by Lil Armstrong/ piano and Andrew Harris/ bass. Along with the way we hear vocal and guitar pieces, solo guitar instrumentals, duets with Eddie Lang and a track with King Oliver's band. About half the tracks are instrumental. Excellent sound, brief notes and discographical info.
LONNIE JOHNSON: 6-88 Glide/ Away Down In The Alley/ Blue Blood Blues/ Blue Room Blues/ Bull Frog Moan/ Deep Minor Rhythm Stomp/ Four Hands Are Better Than Two/ Handful Of Riffs/ Hot Fingers/ In Love Again/ Life Saver Blues/ Love Story Blues/ Playing With The Strings/ Roaming Rambler Blues/ Rocks In My Bed/ South Bound Water/ To Do This You Got To Know How/ Two Tone Stomp/ Uncle Ned Don't Use Your Head/ Winnie The Wailer

FLOYD JONES/ EDDIE TAYLOR Testament TCD 5001 Masters Of Modern Blues ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 50 min., recommended
Back in print. This CD combines tracks from LP's Testament 2214 and 2218, with eight songs from each of these powerful Chicago blues figures. Jones is a potent, smoky singer (though not always in tune, as shown by two versions of Dark Road), and he makes this band rock hard on Rising Wind/ Stockyard Blues/ Hard Times. When Taylor and Jones switch places, playing rhythm with the masterful talents of Big Walter Horton, Otis Spann, and Fred Below, a lighter, sophisticated sound supports Taylor's higher vocal range. Take Your Hand Down and the standard Big Town Playboy get bouncy shuffle beats, standing out from the pack along with the chugging Train Fare Home on this solid mid-60's set. (MB)

LOUIS JORDAN JSP JSPCD 4207 The Later Years, 1952-1957 ● CD $22.98
2 CDs, 56 tracks, 153 mins, recommended
A lot of this material has also recently come out on the great Rev-Ola label, but this features enough stuff that didn't that you Louis Jordan fanatics will still want to pick it up. This features tracks recorded from 1953-57, when Jordan was commercially on the downward slide of his career, although musically he and his bands were still in fine form. While this has classics like Caldonia/ Let The Good Times Roll/ Is You is, or is You Ain't My Baby, etc, these aren't the versions that are as well known; but, that certainly doesn't mean that they aren't great. What I don't really get is why JSP didn't just put out a career spanning 5 CD set, one that would definitely be essential in nature? Still, this all sounds fantastic, with a new re-mastering job and coming with discographical info and interesting notes. Personally, I am a big Louis Jordan fan and have pretty much everything on here and recommend this, even if it is a bit out of his prime. (JM)
LOUIS JORDAN: Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens/ Baby, Let's Do It Up!/ Baby, You're Just Too Much!/ Bananas/ Beware Brother Beware/ Big Bess/ Caldonia/ Cat Scratchin'/ Chicken Back/ Choo Choo Ch'boogie/ Dad Gum Ya Hide, Boy!/ Dollar Down, A/ Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying/ Dripper, The/ Early In the Morning/ Ella Mae/ Fat Back and Corn Liquor/ Fire/ Gal, You Need a Whippin'!/ Got My Mo-Jo Working/ Gotta Go/ Hurry Home/ I Hadn't Anyone till You/ I Seen What'cha Done/ I''m Gonna Move To the Outskirts of Town/ I'll Die Happy/ I've Found My Peace of Mind/ If I Had Any Sense, I'd Go Back Home/ Is You is or is Your Ain't My Baby/ It's Been Said/ It's Hard To Be Good Without You/ Jamf, The/ Knock Me a Kiss/ Let the Good Times Roll/ Louie's Blues/ Man Ain't a Man, A/ Messy Bessy/ Ooo-Wee/ Private Property (No Trespassing)/ Put Some Money In the Pot, Boy, 'Cause the Juice is Runnin' Low/ Rock 'N' Roll Call/ Rock, Doc!/ Route 66/ Run Joe/ Salt Pork West Virginia/ Saturday Night Fish Fry/ Slo', Smooth and Easy/ Slop, The/ Sunday/ Sweet Lorraine/ Time's a-Passin'/ Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)/ Where Can I Go/ Whiskey Do Your Stuff/ Yeah,Yeah, Baby!/ tHE Nearness of You

B.B. KING Verve 11028-2 Live At The Apollo ● CD $11.98
10 tracks, 45 mins, recommended
The legend B.B. King, recorded at the legendary Apollo theatre in Harlem New York November 10th 1990. This features such magnificent Jazz and Blues players such as Kenny Burrell on Guitar, Harry "Sweets" Edison on Trumpet, and Ray Brown on Bass Guitar, as part of a 17 piece-backing outfit billed as Gene Harris and the Phillip Morris Super Band. BB King can certainly play The Apollo any time he wants, but this show in 1990 actually has him coming off a high profile period, which included a top-ten hit with the Irish Rock band U2. That song, When Love Comes to Town, starts out the set in grand fashion, almost as if to get it out of the way and get on with the real BB King set. Soon enough we are treated to rousing renditions of Sweet Sixteen/ The Thrill is Gone/ Paying the Cost to be the Boss, and more. Also includes wonderful versions of Willie Nelson's Nightlife, and Ivory Joe Hunter's Since I Met You Baby. Most of the classics have lively, interesting arrangements that help keep the material fresh, without being too out-there and distracting, especially noticeable on Thrill, which is a song that has been part of almost every live set since it came out; it is great to hear King and the band still so engaged in the material. King is in strong voice throughout and his playing is as usual top-notch. (JM)

ERNEST LANE Evejim 2076 Born With The Blues ● CD $13.98
13 tracks, 56 mins, recommended
Fine new set from veteran singer and piano player from Clarksdale, Mississippi who first recorded in 1948 backing Robert Nighthawk on his classic Black Angel Blues. He spent a number of years working with his old friend from Clarksdale, Ike Turner and played piano on many of Ike & Tina's classic Sue hits. He worked in Los Angeles for many yaers and was even in a band that backed The Monkees! In the 90s he joined Ike again for Ike's "comeback" and is now his out on his own fronting a solid band featuring members of the Kings Of Rhythm with a fine horn section and tough guitar by Seth Blumberg. Ernest is a superb blues pianist and a decent singer and most of his material is original though a number of them seem rooted in blues songs from the 50s. The slow blues are particularly nice, the up tempo items have a bit of a funk flavor and don't leave as much room for Ernest's fine piano work. Though not a classic this is an enjoyable set from an artist whose contributions to American popular music are not insignificant. (FS)

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)

FLORA MOLTON & THE TRUTH BAND Bellaphon CDLR 712928 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 3 ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, recommended
Reissue of L+R 42033. Flora Molton was a fascinating old time street singer and guitarist who had been performing gospel songs with her own rudimentary slide guitar on the streets of Washington, D.C. for almost 40 years when these recording were made. For these recordings she was joined by a small group including Ed Morris on rhythm and lead guitars, Larry Wise Or Phil Wiggins/ harmonica plus occasional percussion and dulcimer. Most songs are variations on traditional gospel songs and include Last Words My Mother Said To Me/ Mean Old World/ Bye & Bye I'm Going To See The King/ Louis Armstrong/ Vacation In Heaven, etc. Haunting and moving performances. (FS)

OTIS RUSH Hightone HCD 8007 Right Place, Wrong Time ● CD $13.98
10 tracks, essential
Back in print. Arguably the best recordings of this great Chicago singer/ guitarist with the possible exception of his recordings fro Cobra in the 50s. Originally recorded for Capitol in 1971 it was not released by them and was subsequently bought by Bullfrog in 1976 and then in 1986 the rights were acquired by Hightone who issued it on compact disc. Accompanied by a superb band of San Francisco based musicians Otis turns in superb versions of original songs like the title song, Take A look Behind and the superb instrumental Easy Go. he also turns in outstanding versions of ike Turner's Tore Up, Albert King's Natural Ball, Little Milton's Lonely Man and a remarkably sensitive version of Rainy Night In Georgia. Otis singing throughout is outstanding - passionate and intense but not out of control as is sometimes the case on his 70s & 80s recordings. He is also one of the world's greatest blues guitarists and there is a lot of opportunity for his playing to shine here. (FS)

ROOSEVELT SYKES Acrobat ADDCD 3019 Boot That Thing, 1929-1941 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 52 tracks, highly recommended
From his first recording for OKeh in 1929 up to his death in 1984 there was rarely a year that Roosevelt Sykes was out of the studio but in spite of his considerable output his music was rarely less than excellent. This splendid collection provides a whistle stop tour through his prewar career opening with his very first recording from June 1929 of the much covered "44" Blues and including his answer to Pinetop's Boogie Woogie in Boot That Thing, on through fine 30's sides, some in the company of Kokomo Arnold and others, to his slicker, jumpy 40's output usually featuring Roosevelt and a drummer - a sound that in part paved the way for postwar R & B. Although originally contracted to OKeh, Roosevelt, like many others recorded for other labels under pseudonyms and this set includes sides he recorded as Willie Kelly and Dobby Bragg. Roosevelt was a fine lyricist and there are several examples of Roosevelt's knack for composing clever double entendre lyrics in songs like Jet Black Snake/ Hard Lead Pencil and Yellow Yam Blues as well as his original recording of Night Time Is The Right Times which was later reworked by Ray Charles and other songs like Monte Carlo Blues and Mistake In Life/ Journey From The Germs and Doing The Sally Long (Flames Of Evaporation) and much more. Consistently fine music with excellent sound and 12 page booklet has notes and full discographical details. A great introduction to a great artist. (FS)
ROOSEVELT SYKES: '44 Blues/ 15c A Day/ 3-6 And 9 (Three, Six And Nine)/ 32-20 Blues/ 44 Blues/ 47th Street Jive/ Boot That Thing/ D-B-A Blues/ Dirty Mother For You/ Doin' The Sally Long (Flames Of Evaporation)/ Down On My Knees/ Drunken Gambler/ Eight Ball Blues/ Essie Mae Blues/ Get Your Row Out (Then You Will Understand)/ Hard Lead Pencil/ Have You Seen Ida B/ Henry Ford Blues/ Highway 61 Blues/ Hospital, Heaven Or Hell/ Jet Black Snake/ Journey From The Germs/ Just Hanging Around/ KMA Blues/ Keep Your Hands Off Her/ Kelly's Special/ Let The Black Have His Way/ Little And Low/ Love Lease Blues/ Low As A Toad/ Mistake In Life/ Monte Carlo Blues/ Nasty But It's Clean/ Night Time Is The Right Time/ Night Time Is The Right Time No 2/ Pistol Shootin' Blues/ Prison Gate Blues/ Right Now/ Sad Yas Yas Yas (You Fade Away Like Morning Dew)/ She Left Me Cold In Hand/ She's Got What It Takes/ She's Long Gone/ Sister Kelly Blues/ Skeet And Garret/ Skin And Bones Blues/ The Cannon Ball/ The Honey Dripper/ The Road To Ruin/ The Train Is Coming (No More Baby Talk)/ Third Degree Blues/ Yellow Yam Blues/ You Can't Fix It Back

EDDIE TAYLOR Hightone HCD 8027 I Feel So Bad - The Blues Of Eddie Taylor ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, very highly recommended
Back in print. Recorded in Hollywood and Glendale, CA. in the summer of 1972, this 12-tune set features Eddie and Phillip Walker on guitars, the great George Smith, harmonica, David II, sax and percussion, Jimmy Sones, piano, Chas Jones, bass, Johnny Tucker, drums, and Little H. Williams, percussion. Produced by Roots & Rhythm owner Frank Scott with assistance from Bruce Bromberg, this set has many glorious moments - Jackson Town/ Stop Breaking Down/ 13 Highway, the country blues acoustic feel of Stroll Out West, and Bullcow Blues/ 13 Year Old Boy/ Blues In The Rain. This set demonstrates how well city blues can still be played and recorded without having to resort to gimmicks, artifice, and the latest dubbing techniques. Beautiful sound, great collection. (OLN)

TOO SLIM & THE TAILDRAGGERS Underworld 013 The Fortune Teller ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 48 min., recommended
From a sound that comes from grafting the Lynyrd Skynyrd branch of the country rock family tree to a George Thorogood guitar rock 'n' blues offshoot (heavy on the slide), comes Tim "Too Slim" Langford and his rock-solid rhythm section, Dave Nordstrom (bass) and Zach Cooper (drums), a.k.a. The Taildraggers. Or maybe they're channeling Elmore James and Duane Allman. At any rate, when the songs are top drawer, as on Cowboy Boot, Givers And Takers, and Mexico, the music gives off enough heat to irresistibly draw in any listener. And when the songs come from a middle drawer (She Gives Me Money and Ain't It Lonesome), less so. Ultimately though, The Fortune Teller (the groups 14th album!) has enough going for it to forgive it its few flaws and excesses. Besides, the trio sounds fully committed 100% of the time, and that's got to be worth something. (Best line: "Sometimes I wish that I could be coldhearted too.") (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ACMCD 4038 Bob Geddins' Irma Records Story ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Another great collection of mostly West Coast blues produced by the indefatigable Bob Geddins for his Irma label in 1956/57. It opens with two sides from Texas bluesman Juke Boy Bonner who was living in the Bay Area for a short time in the mid 50s before moving back down South. These two sides, issued as by Juke Boy Barner, find him accompanied by a fine small group with Lafayette Thomas on guitar on a couple of Jimmy Reed flavored number. In the 60s and 70s he recorded for several labels, most notably Arhoolie, in a much more individualistic and creative style often with a topical flavor. There are eight sides by Jimmy McCracklin with his great band The Blues Blasters which at that time featured the superb tenor sax work of Raymon Boyd and the spectacular guitar of Lafayette Thomas who also appears on the two superb sides by Jimmy Wilson which includes a variation on his most popular song Tin Pan Alley - here it becomes Blues In The Alley. Another familiar Geddins artist is Johnny Fuller whop appears on four sides including First Stage Of The Blues where he sounds like he's impersonating Elvis. Geneva Vallier is a relatively undistinguished vocalist but her He's A Friend (Vote For Adlai Stevenson) is a fascinating topical song and she is accompanied by the fine Candyman McGuirt Band. There is some fine doo-wop from The Intervals, Starlighters and Al Smith & The Angels and the set is rounded out by two fabulous gospel sides The Golden Keys including the church-wrecking Somebody Touched Me. Excellent sound and Opal Louis Nations provides excellent notes butting these recordings into perspective. (FS)
JUKE BOY BARNER (AKA JUKE BOY BONNER): Rock With Me Baby/ Well Baby/ JOHNNY FULLER: Strange Land/ Weeping And Mourning/ First Stage Of The Blues/ No More - No More/ THE GOLDEN KEYS: One Step (Don't Wonder 'Bout Him)/ Somebody Touched Me/ THE INTERVALS WITH CHICK MORRIS' BAND: Love Me Sweet/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN & HIS BLUES BLASTERS: (My) Love For You/ Beer Tavern Girl/ Fare-well/ I Wanna Make Love To You/ I'm The One/ Savoy's Jump/ Take A Chance/ You're The One/ AL SMITH & THE ANGELS: Leavin' You Baby/ Sha-Wa-Wa/ THE STARLIGHTERS: Last Night/ Love Cry/ BIG MAMA THORNTON & THE HI-TONES: Big Mama's Coming Home/ Don't Talk Back/ GENEVA VALLIER WITH CANDYMAN MCGUIRT & HIS BAND: He's A Friend (Vote For Adlai Stevenson)/ Sunny Day/ JIMMY WILSON & HIS BLUES BLASTERS: Blues In The Alley/ Oh Red

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon 711921 The Introduction To Living Country Blues USA ● CD $22.98
Two CDs, 22 tracks, highly recommended
This two CD features one or two tracks each by many of the artists featured in the Living Country Blues series but does not duplicate any of the tracks in the series. It's great to have another track by the wonderful Boyd Rivers - a dynamic rendition of You Got To Move plus sides by Guitar Frank, Flora Molton & The Truth Band, Sam Chatmon, Hammie Nixon, Walter Brown, Lonnie Pitchford, Joe Savage, CeDell Davis, Guitar Slim (a very nice rendition of Robert Johnson's Come On In My Kitchen with additional lyrics), Boogie Bill Webb and more. Good stuff! (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 712027 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 12: East Coast Blues ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, 42 mins, highly recommended
Another fine collection featuring some of the East Coast artists featured on previous volumes. It includes sides by John Cephas on his own and with Phil Wiggins, Guitar Slim, Archie Edwards and Guitar Frank. All performances are excellent. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 712126 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 11:Country Gospel Rock ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 45 mins, essential
Probably the best in the series thanks to the six incredible sides by Mississippi singer/ guitarist Boyd Rivers. Rivers' vocals are gruff and intense and he accompanies himself with funky, bluesy electric guitar. He performs gospel standards along with a couple of others that might be originals but every performance is a masterpiece - what a shame he didn't record more. Although the performances by Rivers overshadows everything else here, the standard of the other performances here are exceptional featuring songs by Guitar Frank, Cora Fluker & Ola Mae Bell, Walter Brown, Guitar Slim, Othar Turner & The Rising Star Fife And Drum band and Flora Molton & The Truth Band. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 712225 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 10: Country Boogie ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 44 mins, highly recommended
An excellent collection of boogies and uptempo blues performed by country blues artists from Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina, etc. Among the highlights are an intense rendition of Spoonful with fine slide by Lottie Murrell, Lonnie Pitchford with his electric one string rocking it up with his One String Boogie and showing his chops on regular six string slide on Shake Your Moneymaker, John Cephas & Phil Wiggins do the outstanding instrumental Burn Your Bridges, there's lovely rendition of Sellin' That Stuff by Archie Edwards and the ever idiosyncratic CeDell Davis treats us to You Got To The Boogie Woogie. There are also fine sides from Napoleon Strickland, Guitar Slim, James "Son" Thomas, Othar Turner & The Rising Star Fife And Drum, Memphis Piano Red, Cora Fluker & Arzo Youngblood. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 712324 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 9: Mississippi Moan ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, recommended
Volume 9 in L+R's `Living Country Blues Series' is another fine collection of Mississippi country field recordings recorded in 1980. It includes the Tommy Johnson influenced Boogie Bill Webb & Arzo Youngblood, the fascinating sound of Lonnie Pitchford & his one string guitar, elemental gospel singer and guitarist Cora Fluker, singer and harmonica player Sam 'Stretch' Shields, unaccompanied vocals by Joe Savage & Walter Brown and fine singing and guitar by James 'Son' Thomas on one of his "trademark" songs Beefsteak Blues. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 712522 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 7:Afro-American Blues Roots ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, highly recommended
The 7th album in the series of `Living Country Blues' is a fine set of field recordings made in Mississippi and Louisiana in 1980 of music that is the well spring of the blues. Some powerful music from Sam 'Stretch' Shields (solo harmonica), Lonnie Pitchford (vocal and amplified one string guitar), Cora Fluker (spirituals with basic guitar accompaniment), Othar Turner & The Rising Star Fife And Drum Band, Walter Brown (unaccompanied field hollers), Arzo Youngblood (vocal and guitar blues) and Napoleon Strickland (vocal and harmonica) plus a powerful rendition of the spiritual Father I Stretch My Hands To thee by Othar Turner on vocal and fife. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 712720 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 5: Mississippi Delta Blues ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
More fine country blues - this time featuring artists based around the Mississippi Delta which has produced some of the most intense blues performers of all time and the four tracks here by the amazing Cedell Davis fall in that category. His hands were crippled by polio as a child he strums the guitar with his left hand and slides across the strings with an ordinary table knife produce an anarchic sound that perfectly complements his intense vocal style. James "Son" Thomas is back with four more fine performances incl;uding an excellent version of Texas bluesman Lil Son Jackson's Cairo Blues and a long X-rated version of Catfish Blues. Other tracks feature the superb Othar Turner on fife, fine unaccompanied singer Walter Brown and singer/ guitarist Stonewall Mays who draws on Jimmy Reed and Muddy Waters for his repertoire. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 712829 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 4: Tennessee Blues ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 46 mins, recommended
An enjoyable if not totally consistent collection of sides featuring Tennessee bluesman. Legendary singer and harmonica player Hammie Nixon is in fine form playing both solo and accompanied by guitarist Walter Cooper - it's really nice to hear him do a version of the Cannon's Jug Stompers classic Viola Lee Blues. Lottie Murrell and Charlie Sangster are fine rural performer with powerful voice and energetic guitar styles. Six of the tracks are devoted to Memphis Piano Red who is a decent singer and piano player but the piano he plays sounds like it hasn't been tuned in about 20 years and, at times, is painful to listen to. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bellaphon CDLR 713024 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 2: Blues On Highway 61 ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, highly recommended
A fine and varied collection of Mississippi country blues featuring artists based in the same region of Mississippi just off famed Highway 61. The main artists are James "Son" Thomas and Sam Chatmon. The former performs traditional style blues accompanying himself on electric guitar - sometimes with a slide and, on one track is accompanied by the rhythmic accompaniment of a broom being swept. Sam Chatmon was the surviving member of the Mississippi Sheiks and his repertoire ranges from a gorgeous version of Stop & Listen to a country blues version of Lowell Fulson's Black Night. Other artists are represented by single tracks - Walter Brown, Joe Cooper and Eddie Cusic and are all fine. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Broke & Hungry 002 M For Mississippi - A Road Trip Through The Birthplace ● CD $13.98
Music from the soundtrack of the documentary on a recent trip through MIssissippi exploring the blues - see under DVDs for more information. Includes performances by Big George Brock & The Houserockers, R.L. Boyce & Lightnin' Malcolm, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, T-Model Ford & Stud, Pat Thomas, L.C. Ulmer and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 915 Delmark - 55 Years Of Blues ● CD $14.98
Bob Koester's Delmark label originally started operating in St. Louis in 1963 with its issue of 1956 recordings of Speckled Red though he had been making recordings since 1953. Bob moved to Chicago a few years later and was one of the most important labels documenting the Chicago blues scene ever since issuing several hundred LPs, CDs and DVDs over the past 55 years. This CD/ DVD package celebrates that legacy featuring 17 tracks on the CD including one from that first Speckled Red LP along with sides by Junior Wells, Detroit Jr., Barkin' Bill, Syl Johnson, Bonnie Lee, Roosevelt Sykes, Otis Rush, Jimmy Dawkins, Magic Sam & others. The DVD features 10 tracks including one by Zora Young from the forthcoming DVD of Delmark's 55th Anniversary Blues Show plus performances from DVDs issued in the past three years by Tail Dragger, Lurrie Bell, Byther Smith, Little Arthur Duncan and others. Includes 12 page full color booklet with informative notes by Dick Shurman and full discographical info.

JIMMY WITHERSPOON Collectables 2895 The Very Best Of Jimmy Witherspoon ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
After a stint with Modern Records, the Arkansas-born blues shouter cut a slew of tough R&B sides for Syd Nathan's Federal label (1952-54). The idea was to corner some of the action Big Joe Turner was gleaning on N.Y.'s rival Atlantic diskery. 'Spoon is at the top of his game accompanied by top West Coast sidemen like Jewell Grant (alto sax), Maxwell Davis (tenor), Red Callender (bass), Tiny Webb (gtr) and others. The material ranges from tough blues to blues ballads to rockin' up tempo numbers. There are four fine sides where 'Spoon is given vocal backup by the great vocal group The Lamplighters. Apart from a few alternate takes this presents all of his Federal recordings in chronological order with excellent sound and informative notes from Victor Pearlin. (FS)
JIMMY WITHERSPOON: 24 Sad Hours/ Back Door Blues/ Back Home/ Blues in Trouble/ Corn Whiskey/ Don't Tell Me Now/ Fast Woman, Slow Gin/ Follow the Dollar/ Foolish Prayer/ Highway to Happiness/ I Done Told You/ I'm Not So Young/ It/ Jay's Blues, Pt. 1/ Jay's Blues, Pt. 2/ Just for You/ Lucille/ Miss, Miss Mistreater/ Move Me, Baby/ Oh Boy/ One Fine Gal/ Sad Life/ The Day Is Dawning/ The Last Mile/ Two Little Girls


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