Blues & Gospel - Bulletin February 2009 - The Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir -> Jimmy Witherspoon + DVD+ Book
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BULLETIN - February 2009
Blues & Gospel
The Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir ->
Jimmy Witherspoon + DVD+ Book

 

 
 

BOOK

 
DELTA BLUES The Life & Times Of The Mississippi Masters by Ted Gioia ● BOOK $27.95
449 pages, hardbound, counts as seven CDs for shipping
From the field hollers and ring shouts of 19th century plantations to the electrified exploits of Delta expatriates like Muddy Waters and B.B. King, "Delta Blues" traces the stories of the blues, as raw and ragged as the singers themselves. Rooting himself in the thick-as-tar Delta soil, Ted Gioia probes the uneasy mix of race and money at the point where traditional music became commercial, as bluesmen once confined to the wrong side of the tracks found overnight fame and new audiences of thousands. In this close examination of more than 100 years of music in the Delta, Gioia draws on extensive fieldwork, archival research, interviews with living musicians, and first-person accounts to present a revealing narrative of the blues and the musicians who made them. "Delta Blues" tells how such traditional, informal tunes came to exert a powerful influence on the popular music we enjoy today, and he traces the story from its African roots to the first classic recordings of the 1920's and 1930's to its later surprising revival.

 

DVD

   
VARIOUS ARTISTS Storyville Films 26032 The Blues ● DVD $18.98
Black & white, 49 mins, very highly recommended
The 1929 all-black cast short "St. Louis Blues," featuring Bessie Smith in her only known celluloid performance, makes up the first 15 minutes of this disc. The plot is summarized in the lyric "My man's got a heart like a rock that's in the sea". She turns in a fine dramatic performance and her singing is utterly magnificent. James P. Johnson plays piano, Fletcher Henderson's band plays everything else. This has been reissued before but if you've never seen it before you owe it to yourself to see this priceless footage. This is followed by appearances in films from the 1940s of two other great female singers from the 20s - Mamie Smith and Ida Cox. There are four numbers (a couple of them incomplete) by Big Bill Broonzy from around 1939 that find him in superb form with tremendous guitar work and the disc ends with three songs from the great Sonny Boy Williamson performing in Sweden in 1962 accompanied by a Swedish rhythm section. (FS)

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
THE ABYSSINIAN BAPTIST GOSPEL CHOIR Columbia (UK) 509592 Shakin' The Rafters ● CD $10.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
We've turned up a few more copies of the deleted U.K. release of Columbia 47335 at a reduced price. This is perhaps the finest black gospel choir album ever issued. It first surfaced in 1960 on the old Columbia Black & Red label 8000 series. Under the direction of Alabama-born gospel veteran singer/ songwriter Prof. Alex Bradford, the 120-voice choir sing, stomp, wail and tear the church up with I Want To Ride That Glory Train featuring Margaret Simpson, Heaven Belongs To You with Kathy Lane and Sweet Jesus fronted by Calvin White. Includes Rev. R.P. Means' sermonette He Stays In My Room, wherein he enquires if anyone has ever been sick in church. Has three never-before released cuts (twelve cuts in all) sounding as if the Newark Gospel Choir was right there in your living room whooping it up like a band of sanctified sinners. Produced by John Hammond. Limited stock. (OLN)

 
THE ANGELIC GOSPEL SINGERS Remember 75120 Glory Glory Hallelujah ● CD $11.98
22 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
Tremendous gospel from the vaults of Gotham featuring the superb Philly group The Angelic Gospel Singers. The group was founded in 1944 by singer and piano player Margaret Allison and at the time of these recordings (1949 to 1955) included Lucille Shird, Josephine McDowell and Ella Mae Norris. Some tracks just feature Allison's soulful piano work and others include organ and drums. Their first recording - the beautiful Touch Me Lord Jesus (included here) was a big hit but just about everything they recorded for superb. The songs range from the restrained dynamics of He Never Left Me Alone to the rip-roaring hand clapping energy of When My Savior Calls Me Home. On 3 tracks the ladies are joined by the Dixie Hummingbirds, with whom they frequently toured. On Glory Glory Hallelujah the lead changes from group to group and back again. This CD appears to be a reissue of the long out of print Heritage 11. (FS)

 
COUSIN JOE Night Train 7159 I Never Harmed An Onion ● CD $15.98
22 tracks, 66 mins, very highly recommended
A superb collection of sides by New Orleans legend Cousin Joe Pleasants - a fine singer and piano player who started his recording career in the 1940s. The first 11 tracks are from a previously unissued 1989 session recorded just a few months before his death and although he wasn't able to play piano (he is accompanied by pianist Amasa Miller) his voice was strong and, as always, his songs are very fine ranging from a unique take on the saga of Stagger Lee to the whimsical title song to a version of Willie Nelson's country ballad Touch Me (here credited to Joe!) to the sensitive Let Your Light Shine. Although Miller isn't really a blues pianist her playing complements Joe's singing beautifully. The rest of the CD reissues Joe's 1986 Great Southern LP featuring a 1985 sessions with Joe accompanying himself with his distinctive New Orleans style piano. Joe's singing is stronger here and, again the songs are brilliant including a superb and original song about the sinking of the Titanic What A Tragedy, the whimsical Hard Work, his take on traditional blues like Brown Skinned Woman/ Little Low Mama/ Big Fat Mama and more. Cousin Joe was a substantial and underrated talent. I fondly remember seeing Joe when he toured England in 1964 - he was unknown to most of the audience but within a few minutes had the audience in the palm of his hand with his wit and superb musicianship. This CD is a real delight. (FS)

 
CLARENCE DOBBINS CDS REcords 1008 The Uprising ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent soul-blues in the style of Bobby Bland or Little Milton from this Nashville based performer. Dobbins is a very fine singer with a warm, powerful and expressive style and most of the songs are original compositions ranging from the hard driving Happy Wife to the funky blues of Blues Uprising to the soul ballad Call On Me - all gooduns. He also does excellent covers of Ray Charles' Drown In My Own Tears and O.V. Wright's Eight Men And Four Women - the latter is particularly nice. He is accompanied by an excellent band with excellent guitar and a fine horn section. Definitely worth your time. (FS)

 
CLARENCE EDWARDS Blues Factory 47008 Swamp's The Word ● CD $10.98
17 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Previously available on Red Lightnin' which was an expanded version of a 1991 LP originally issued on the Sidetrack label. Clarence is a fine down home singer and guitarist from Louisiana who first showed up on a collection of field recordings made by folklorist Harry Oster in 1959 and '60. He has recorded sporadically since then but this wasa the first full album under his own name. Edwards is an excellent dark and soulful singer and an effective guitarist. He plays both acoustic and electric here and is joined by various sidemen in various configurations including Louisiana piano great Henry Gray, harmonica player Harmonica Red and Michael Ward who contributes some effective fiddle on some tracks. The material is mostly fairly familiar blues standards like Rocky Mountain/ I Done Got Over/ Drivin' Wheel/ Lonesome Bedroom Blues/ Hi Heel Sneakers/ Stoop Down Baby, etc though Clarence gives them a distinctive touch, etc along with a couple of originals. The sound on many of the tracks has the feel of Excello recordings from the 50s and 60s. (FS)

 
REV C.L. FRANKLIN AIR Gospel 7027 Nothing Shall Separate Me From God/ How Long Halt Ye ● CD $9.98
4 tracks, 52 min., recommended
Two more classic C.L. Franklin sermons ("Nothing Shall Separate Me From The Love Of God" drawn from Romans 8:35 and a few following verses; and "How Long Halt Ye Between Two Opinions" taken from Matthew 7:24 and one or two following verses) each followed by brief musical selections from Ernest Franklin & Choir. But it is the sermons that shake the church, not the music. In the first, Franklin rails against the fair-weather Christians who convert easily and might not stand up to the kind of persecution of days gone by, Christians with no skin in the game, as it were. He wonders aloud how many church goers would continue to worship if they would be jailed for so doing. He tosses in a comparison to Job and answers his own question, "Who or what shall separate me from the love of God?" with a definite "Nothing." Quite an emotional performance. And the second sermon is every bit the equal of the first. Of interest to believers and non-believers alike, as the good Reverend's voice draws all ears, as well as affirmations from the congregation directly before him. These sermons will continue to be relevant so long as men are made of earth. (JC)

 
JIMMY "DUCK" HOLMES Big Legal Mess 205 Gonna Get Old Someday ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended
This is the third release of Bentonia, Mississippi country bluesman Jimmy"Duck" Holmes though I believe it was recorded prior to his releases on Broke & Hungry. While no great original, Holmes is an expressive singer and a fine guitarist who sometimes plays in the E-minor guitar tuning that was common to the area - it's most notable exponents being Skip James & Jack Owens. Holmes does fine versions of two of the area's most popular songs Devil Got My Woman and Hard Time Killing Floor. The rest of the material is all original though strongly rooted in the Mississippi blues tradition. On a numnber of tracks he is joined on harmonica by Jack Owens' old playing partner Bud Spires. Holmes is a real throwback and a most welcome one. (FS)

 
LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS Fuel 2000 61697 Blue Lightnin' ● CD $11.98
16 track selection by the great Texas bluesman. 14 of the tracks are from sessions Lightnin' did for Stan Lewis's Jewel label between 1965 and 1969 and range from solo sides with guitar to small groups with the fine piano of Elmore Nixon as well as a couple of cuts with a larger group including Eddie Hinton on guitar. Several tracks were not originally issued by Jewel. Two of the tracks - Last Affair and Lonesome Dog Blues are RPM sides from 1951 that somehow ended up in the Jewel vaults.

 
B.B. KING Geffen 1179102 One Kind Favor ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 57 min., highly recommended
Anyone who is worried that B.B. King is a little too long of tooth to put out a worthwhile blues album can relax. Producer T-Bone Burnett concentrates on what makes King great and never lets the arrangements get in the way--which is all too often the case when legends record. Here King's guitar and vocals are out front and the material superbly chosen. The opener, the Blind Lemon Jefferson-Furry Lewis classic See That My Grave Is Kept Clean has a New Orleans undercurrent, thanks in part no doubt to the piano work of Dr. John. King covers Howlin' Wolf's How Many More Years T-Bone Walker's Waiting For Your Call (one of the finest cuts), John Lee Hooker's Blues Before Sunrise, and a pair penned by Lonnie Johnson (My Love Is Down & Tomorrow Night and, interestingly, two by the Mississippi Sheiks (The World Gone Wrong & Sitting On Top Of The World. The booklet, short on words but long on design, features 4 photos of King and in 3 of them he's facing away from the camera. It must mean something. One of King's better latter-day albums. (JC)

 
LITTLE FREDDIE KING Madewright 44 Messin' Around Tha House ● CD $14.98
Funky stripped down juke joint blues in the Fat Possum style (he also has an album on Fat Possum) by Mississippi born, New Orleans based singer/ guitarist. Three of the tracks are remixed versions of songs he recorded for Fat Possum with all the electronica that involves but the rest is just straight ahead music with Freddie accompanied by harmonica, bass and drums. Most of the songs are originals - often based on traditional themes.

 
JOE LIGGINS Acrobat ACMCD 4236 Jukebox Hits, 1945-1951 ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
Truly a pioneer of Rhythm & Blues, Joe Liggins is probably best known for his much covered smash The Honeydripper, which you get here in parts one & two as well as other classics like I've Got a Right to Cry/ Dripper's Ball/ Know My Love is True, and more great originals. Liggins did fine renditions of others' material as well with songs like Duke Ellington's Caravan, old timey tunes like Sweet Georgia Brown, and Darktown Strutter's Ball, and one of his most famous records, Rag Mop, which was previously a Country hit for Johnny Lee Wills. A fine collection and an artist that fans of classic R&B will want to have represented in their collections. (JM)

 
MISSISSIPPI FRED MCDOWELL & HUNTER'S CHAPEL SINGERS Testament TCD 5004 Amazing Grace ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 39 min., essential
Finally back in print. Good recordings of rural gospel are always a rare treat, and this 1966 reissue, featuring superb slide guitarist Fred McDowell, his wife Annie, and the Hunter's Chapel Singers of Como, Ms., is about the sweetest thing this side of heaven. In the genre vocal group recordings are particularly scarce, and the practiced quartet/ quintet arrangements of songs like I Got Good Religion/ Just A Little More Faith/ Amazing Grace/ When You Come Out Of The Wilderness and an absolutely entrancing You Got To Move make this CD required listening. I've Been Converted/ Keep Your Lamp Trimmed & Burning continue the Delta spiritual tradition of vocal and bottleneck guitar duets, with McDowell's spooky whine taking on amazingly lifelike qualities in the remastered mix. The guitarist goes solo on a powerful unissued performance of Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed, and sings a hair-raising The Lord Will Make A Way. (MB)

 
POLK MILLER & HIS OLD SOUTH QUARTET Tompkins Square 2028 Polk Miller & His Old South Quartette ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 42 mins, very highly recommended
Polk Miller was a white singer and banjo player from Virginia who was influenced by the African-American music he heard on his father's plantation and in the late 1890s started touring with a black male vocal group - possibly the first integrated musical group. In 1909 Miller and his group recorded seven cylinders for the Edison company performing a wide variety of material including the most complete version of the Confederate anthem The Bonnie Blue Flag, a Laughing Song and others including the first recording of the nineteenth century spiritual What A Time. The bi-racial makeup of the group was not appreciated in many quarters and Miller begrudgingly disbanded the group in 1912. In 1928 The Old South Quartette returned to the studio and recorded seven songs for the QRS company and while it is not known if any of the original members from 1909 were in this group, the group here has a similar sound and redo two of the songs recorded in 1909. On these tracks they are accompanied by guitar or banjo. Considering the age and rarity of these recordings the sound quality is astonishing - you'd never know that half of them were recorded 100 years ago. Includes 12 page booklet with notes by Doug Seroff - one the leading experts on early African-American music. Apart from the historical value of these recordings the music is very entertaining. (FS)

 
THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS Snapper Blues 061 Sitting On Top Of The World ● CD $9.98
20 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
The Sheiks were the most popular and influential of the black string bands of the 20s and 30s. Their line-up consisted of varied combinations of the famous Chatmon brothers from Mississippi - Sam (vcl & gtr), Lonnie (vcl & violin), and Bo (= Bo Carter/ vcl/gtr/violin) - with Walter Vincson (vcl/gtr) and, occasionally, Charlie McCoy. Their music is consistently fine and infectious. The 20 tracks here were recorded between 1930 and 1934 and includes their two most famous (and frequently copied) songs - Stop And Listen Blues and Sitting On Top Of The World as well as a great song about the end of prohibition It's Done Got Wet, the ever topical Sales Tax and other gems. A great budget introduction to the work of this talented and important group. Document released their complete recordings some time ago but three of the four volumes are currently unavailable. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes by Michael Hendon. There is some duplication with Columbia 65709 ($11.98) and Yazoo 2006 ($15.98) but there is enough stuff here not duplicated that makes it well worth your while. (FS)
THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Baby Keeps Stealin' Lovin' On Me/ Grinding Old Fool/ I'll Be Gone Long Gone/ I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You/ It's Done Got Wet/ Jail Bird Love Song/ Jake Leg Blues/ Jazz Fiddler/ Lazy Lazy River/ Lonely One In This Town/ Sales Tax/ Sheik Waltz/ Sitting On Top Of The World/ Somebody's Got To Help You/ Still I'm Travelling On/ Stop And Listen Blues/ Sweet Maggie/ Tell Me What The Cats Fight About/ What's The Name Of That Thing/ World Is Going Wrong

 
ROBERT NIGHTHAWK/ HOUSTON STACKHOUSE Testament 5010 Masters Of Modern Blues ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, 57 min., essential
Finally back in print. Superb recordings from the man whose aggressive yet sweet & supple single-note slide playing heavily influenced both Earl Hooker and Elmore James. Nighthawk, who is an excellent singer with a dark brooding vocal style, is backed on most tracks (including an alternate take of Bricks On My Pillow) by John Wrencher on harp and Johnny Young on guitar, though on Kansas City from a live concert, Wrencher is replaced by none other than Little Walter. The previously unreleased Kidman Blues finds Young as vocalist. Stackhouse originally taught Nighthawk to play and not only are the 4 cuts from the original LP (Testament 2215) here, but 4 heretofore unissued cuts (Bye Bye Blues/ Mean Old World/ The Wrong Man/ Kansas City Blues). These tracks with the anarchic drumming of "Peck" Curtis and student Nighthawk playing guitar behind teacher Stackhouse, end this worthy set. (JC/AK)
ROBERT NIGHTHAWK: Black Angel Blues/ Bricks In My Pillow/ Bricks In My Pillow (Alt.)/ Crowing Rooster Blues/ Crying Won't Help You/ I'm Getting Tired/ Kansas City/ Maggie Campbell/ Merry Christmas Baby/ HOUSTON STACKHOUSE: Big Fat Mama Blues/ Big Road Blues/ Bye Bye Blues/ Cool Water Blues/ Kansas City Blues/ Mean Old World/ Take A Little Walk With Me/ The Wrong Man/ JOHNNY YOUNG: Kidman Blues

 
PIANO RED Bellaphon 82009 Dr. Feelgood ● CD $12.98
12 tracks, 45 mins, recommended
Willie "Piano Red" Perryman from Atlanta was a terrificaly entertaining performer with a raucus vocal and piano style. Though steeped in traditional blues stylings (he first recorded accompanying Blind Willie McTell in 1936!) he made many popular recordings with an R&B band and in the early 60s crossed over into the pop charts with recordings under the name of Dr. Feelgood. This fine set was recorded in Germany in 1980 and find Red solo accompanied himself only on piano. Much of it is introspective with Red reminiscing about his past between songs which include a mix of old favorites by him, new songs and fine interpretations of the standard C.C. Rider and Hank Williams' Hey Good Lookin'. Red's music and approach are truly infectious - the kind of music that leaves you with a smile on your face. (FS)

 
DARRELL RAINES Bluzpik 3700 Moanin' Time ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 46 min., recommended
Miami's own guitar hero Darrell Raines toured and recorded with the Joey Gilmore band and released his first solo effort ("Introducing Darrell Raines") in 2005 on Wells Records. This Bluzpik release finds Raines crossing a variety of blue terrain, from the Mississippi delta to Chicago's south side. His originals include Drug Hole which recounts his days growing up on the streets of Miami. But he's a better guitar player than a songwriter and a better songwriter than a singer. So while this isn't the year's strongest blues outing, Raines is one to watch (and listen to) for further developments. (JC)

 
ELDER UTAH SMITH & OTHERS Casequarter 104 I Got Two Wings - Incidents And Anecdotes Of The Two- ● CD $19.98
Amazing book and CD combination documenting the life and music of sanctified electric guitar preacher Utah Smith whose three released 78s are among the most exciting guitar accompanied gospel recordings in the post war era. For a long time Smith was a mystery until African-American music scholar Lynn Abbot started researching his background and the result is this remarkable 127 page book and companion 18 track CD. "I Got Two Wings" places Smith within the Church Of God In Christ tradition along with performers like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elder David Curry and Rev. F.W. McGee. The book is filled with anecdotes and first hand remembrances and includes many rare and unpublished photos, copies of posters and other memorabilia as well as a discography. The accompanying CD features all the previously known Smith recordings along with five previously unknown performances along with relevant performances by Tharpe, Curry, McGee and Smith's daughter, Sister Sarah James & The Sanctified Six.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard 1018 The R&B Years, 1956 Volume 2 ● CD $19.98
50 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing Boulevard 1016 (also $19.98) this is the second two CD set from Boulevard featuring blues, R&B and doo-wop titles from 1956. It includes some of the biggest hits like Reddy Teddy by Little Richard, Honky Tonk, Part 1 by Bill Doggett, Love Is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia, Confidential by Sonny Knight and others along with some tasty lesser known titles like Worried About You Baby by Roy Gaines, Cops & Robbers by Boogaloo (later covered by Bo Diddley), My Last Meal by Hurricane Harry and Ride Superman, Ride by Stomp Gordon. As always for this series, the sound quality is excellent and set comes with 8 page foldout booklet with notes and photos. (FS)
LAVERN BAKER: Jim Dandy/ JESSE BELVIN: Goodnight My Love/ CHUCK BERRY: Too Much Monkey Business/ You Can't Catch Me/ BOBBY BLAND: You've Got Bad Intentions/ BOOGALOO: Cops And Robbers/ WYNONA CARR: Should I Ever Love Again/ RAY CHARLES: Lonely Avenue/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: The Telephone Is Ringing/ THE DELLS: Oh What A Nite/ BO DIDDLEY: Who Do You Love/ WILLIE DIXON: 29 Ways/ BILL DOGGETT: Honky Tonk Pt 1/ FATS DOMINO: Blue Monday/ Blueberry Hill/ THE FIVE SATINS: In The Still Of The Nite/ ROY GAINES: Worried About You Baby/ JUNIOR GORDON: Blow Wind Blow/ ROSCO GORDON: The Chicken/ STOMP GORDON: Ride Suoerman Ride/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Destination Love/ SCREAMING JAY HAWKINS: I Put A Spell On You/ CLARENCE HENRY: Ain't Got No Home/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Dimples/ EDDIE HOPE: Lost Child/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: Since I Met You Baby/ HURRICANE HARRY: My Last Meal/ ETTA JAMES: Tough Lover/ B.B. KING: Bad Luck/ SONNY KNIGHT: Confidential/ SMILEY LEWIS: Shame Shame Shame/ LITTLE RICHARD: Reddy Teddy/ BOBBY MARCHEN: Chickee-Wah-Wah/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: You're The One/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: Love Is Strange/ No Good Lover/ AMOS MILBURN: Chicken Shack Boogie/ THE MOONGLOWS: See Saw/ JUNIOR PARKER: Mother In Law Blues/ SAM PRICE: Rib Joint/ SNOOKY PRYOR: Someone to Love Me/ JIMMY REED: You Got Me Dizzy/ JIMMY ROGERS: Walkin' By Myself/ OTIS RUSH: I Can't Quit You Baby/ HUEY SMITH: Little Liza Jane/ LITTLE WALTER: Who/ MUDDY WATERS: Don't Go No Farther/ JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON: She Moves Me/ ANDRE WILLIAMS: Bacon Fat/ YOUNG JESSIE: Don't Happen No More

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard 1021 The R&B Years, 1942-45 - Volume 1 ● CD $19.98
The latest in this great series from Boulevard features 40 recordings made between 1942 and 1945 of blues, R&B and vocal group sounds. The music is dominated by urban and jazzy stylings and includes big hits like Take It And Git It by Andy Kirk & His Orch., Don't Get Around Much Anymore by The Ink Spots, Flying Home by Lionel Hampton, What's The Use Of Getting Sober by Louis Jordan and more along with titles that have become standards even though they didn't make the charts like S.K. Blues by Saunders King, He's A Jelly Roll Baker by Lonnie Johnson and Mean Old World by T-Bone Walker along with obscure sides like Mabel Robinson's cover of Memphis Minnie's Me And My Chauffeuar, Don't Stop Now by Bonnie Davis and Boogie #1 by The Sepia Tones. Other artists include Walter Brown, Joe Turner, Cab Calloway, Big Bill Broonzy, Buddy Johnson, Erskine Hawkins, Jimmy Rushing, Rosetta Tharpe, Nat "King" Cole, Eddie Vinson and many more. Superb sound quality and booklet with informative notes.
CHESTER BOONE: I Wonder Who's Boogiein' My Woogie Now/ TINY BRADSHAW: Bradshaw Bounce/ BIG BILL BROONZY: I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town/ WALTER BROWN WITH JAY MCSHANN ORCH.: Lonely Boy Blues/ WALTER BROWN WITH JAY MCSHANN & ORCH: New Confessin' The Blues/ CAB CALLOWAY: I Want To Rock/ Minnie The Moocher/ CHRISTINE CHATMAN: Bootin' The Boogie/ Hurry Hurry/ CHARLIE CHRISTIAN WITH BENNY GOODMAN ORCH.: Solo Flight/ NAT KING COLE: Straighten Up And Fly Right/ That Ain't Right/ BONNIE DAVIS: Don't Stop Now/ BILLY ECKSTINE WITH EARL HINES ORCH.: Stormy Monday Blues/ DUKE ELLINGTON ORCH.: Things Ain't What They Uesd To Be/ ELLA FITZGERALD: Cow Cow Boogie/ TINY GRIMES: Tiny's Tempo/ LIONEL HAMPTON: Flying Home/ Hamp's Boogie Woogie/ ERSKINE HAWKINS: Bicycle Bounce/ THE INK SPOTS: Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ BUDDY JOHNSON: Let's Beat Out Some Love/ ELLA JOHNSON: When My Man Comes Home/ LONNIE JOHNSON: He's A Jelly Roll Baker/ LOUIS JORDAN: G.I. Jive/ Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (Ma' Baby)/ Ration Blues/ What's The Use Of Getting Sober/ SAUNDERS KING: S. K. Blues Pt 1/ S. K. Blues Pt.2/ ANDY KIRK: Take It And Git/ PEGGY LEE: Why Don't You Do Right/ JAY MCSHANN ORCH. WITH WALTER BROWN: Hootie's Ignorant Oil/ The Jumpin' Blues/ LUCKY MILLINDER: Apollo Jump/ Mason Flyer/ JUNE RICHMOND WITH ANDY KIRK ORCH.: Baby, Don't You Tell Me No Lie/ Hey Lawdy Mama/ MABEL ROBINSON: Me And My Chauffeur/ JIMMY RUSHING WITH COUNT BASIE ORCH.: Harvard Blues/ Rusty Dusty/ THE SEPIA TONES: Boogie #1/ TAMPA RED: Let Me Play With Your Poodle/ ROSETTA THARPE: Trouble In Mind/ JOE TURNER: Blues In The Night/ EDDIE VINSON: Cherry Red/ Somebody's Got To Go/ T-BONE WALKER: I Got A Break Baby/ Mean Old World Blues/ DINAH WASHINGTON: Evil Gal Blues/ LESTER YOUNG: Lester Leaps Again

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard 1027 The R&B Years, 1942-45 - Volume 2 ● CD $19.98
Another 50 fine sides from the 1942-45 period including tracks by Joe Turner, cecil Gant, Al Hibbler, Hot Lips Page, Louis Jordan, King Perry, Buddy & Ella Johnson, Ray Stokes, Bill Samuels, Clyde Bernhardt, Jimmy Rushing, Hadda Brooks and many more.
BUDDY BANKS: I Need It Bad (Groove Juice)/ DUD BASCOMB ORCH. WITH CLYDE BERNHARDT: Somebody's Knocking/ COUNT BASIE ORCH.: Red Bank Boogie/ BUSTER BENNETT: Reefer Head Woman/ HADDA BROOKS: Bluesin' The Boogie/ BILLY ECKSTINE WITH EARL HINES ORCH.: Jelly Jelly/ THE FOUR JUMPS OF JIVE: It's Just The Blues/ CECIL GANT: Cecil's Boogie/ I Wonder/ LIL GREEN: No Baby, Nobody But You/ LIONEL HAMPTON ORCH.: Beulah's Boogie/ ACE HARRIS: M.F.T Boogie/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Baby Look At You/ ERSKINE HAWKINS: Tippin' In/ AL HIBBLER WITH DUKE ELLINGTON ORCH.: I Ain' t Got Nothing But The Blues/ HELEN HUMES: Be-Baba-Leba/ He May Be Your Man/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: 7th Street Boogie/ Blues At Sunrise/ BULL MOOSE JACKSON: We Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues/ RUSSELL JACQUET: Penny's Worth Of Boogie/ BUDDY & ELLA JOHNSON: That's The Stuff You Gotta Watch/ ALBINIA JONES: Albinia's Blues/ LOUIS JORDAN: Caldonia/ Mop! Mop!/ Somebody Done Changed The Lock On My Door/ You Can't Get That No More/ JULIA LEE: Come On Over To My House/ JOE LIGGINS: The Honeydripper Pt. 1/ The Honeydripper Pt. 2/ JAY MCSHANN: Hootie Boogie/ Shipyard Woman Blues/ JACK MCVEA: Bartender Boogie/ Naggin' Woman Blues/ LUCKY MILLINDER ORCH. WITH WYNONIE HARRIS: Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well?/ MISS RHAPSODY: Sweet Man/ JOHNNY MOORE’S THREE BLAZERS: Johnny's Boogie/ JOHNNY OTIS ORCH. WITH JIMMY RUSHING: My Baby's Business/ Round The Clock/ HOT LIPS PAGE: Blues Jumped A Rabbit/ KING PERRY: A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But A Bird/ JIMMY RUSHING WITH COUNT BASIE ORCH.: Jimmy's Blues/ BILL SAMUELS: Jockey Blues/ RAY STOKES: Preachin' The Blues/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: This Tavern Boogie/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: Strange Things Happening Every Day/ JOE TURNER: Rebecca/ SIPPIE WALLACE: Buzz Me/ CROWN PRINCE WATERFORD WITH JAY MCSHANN ORCH.: Garfield Avenue Blues/ FLOYD WILLIAMS WITH ETTA JONES: You Ain't Nothin' Daddy/ JIM WYNN: Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Solo Art SACD 2 The Solo Art Story, Vol. 1 - Piano Blues & Boogie ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, very highly recommended
Gorgeous collection of solo piano blues and boogie recorded for Dan Qualey's Solo Art label in 1938 and 1939 by some of the greatest exponents of the music - Pete Johnson, Art Hodes, Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Jimmy Yancey and Cripple Clarence Lofton. Qualey was a New York bartender with a passion for piano blues and boogie and formed the Solo Art label in 1938 to record the music and was the first to record Pete Johnson and Jimmy Yancey who was a mentor to Johnson, Ammons and Lewis. 12 of the Yancey sides are available on Solo Art SACD 1 and this volume includes two more gems. Superb music from beginning to end with a booklet that includes extensive notes by Rudi Blesh which presumably were written for an earlier LP reissue of this material since Blesh died in 1985! (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sounds Of Yester Year 739 More Of The Real Sound Of R&B And Boogie ● CD $13.98
21 tracks, recommended
Complementing Sounds Of Yester Year 737 this is another excellent selection of blues, boogie and R&B from the 40s. Much of this material is from radio transcriptions and is making its first appearance on CD. It opens with the hot boogie Barranco Boogie by Wilbert Barranco with a band including "Snooky" Young on trumpet, "Lucky" Thompson tenor and others. Other artists include Jack Fina & His Orch. (a boogie version of "Flight Of The Bumblbee"), T-Bone Walker (the superb Low Down Dirty Shame) from 1944, Lionel Hampton with various groups, Cyril Haynes (obscure but fine boogie pianist), Joe Turner & Pete Johnson, Conny Jordan Quartet (the fine Vote For Mister Boogie - "I'll put rhythm in the White House"), Ray McKinley & band (with Freddie Slack on piano) and others. Sound quality is superb. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Testament TCD 5021 Bottleneck Blues ● CD $11.98
22 tracks, 61 min., highly recommended
Back in print. This is the long lost Testament album originally scheduled to be issued on Testament 2215 and devoted to bottleneck blues. This collection ranges from the one string "diddley bow" of Mississippi rural bluesman Napoleon Strickland to the electric Chicago blues of J.B. Hutto. Big Joe Williams does one of his amazing on-the-stop blues (Traveling Blues) with a nice extro to producer Pete Welding. The Johnny Shines' track Crucial Moment, one of those blues that never makes mention of the title but captures the moment, alone is worth the price of admission. Other highlights include Cryin' Won't Help You (Robert Nighthawk), and Worryin' Woman Blues (David "Honeyboy" Edwards). Most of the tracks are new to CD, with a few by Fred McDowell, Blind Connie Williams, J. B. Hutto being reissued before on Testament. Other artists include John Lee Granderson, Robert "Nighthawk" Johnson, Herb Quinn, John Littlejohn and Jack Owens. Fans of bottleneck guitar should seriously consider this sampler of 15 different artist, which covers all the different styles that CD note writer David Evans describes so well. (EL)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS World Arbiter 2008 Lifting The Veil: The First Blues Guitarists ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
A beautiful collection mixing previously unreleased recordings by Rev. Gary Davis and Leadbelly with newly remastered classic country blues recordings from the 20s drawn from the Harry Smith archive. There are six tracks by Davis from 1956/57 home recordings - five them instrumentals. Davis was in great form and though the tunes are mostly familiar he rarely performed the same tune the same way twice and they are a joy to listen to. In spite of the informal nature of the recordings the sound quality is superb. The four Leadbelly tracks are from a 1941 radio broadcast and include the mostly spoken Sermon On Pancakes - a unique and almost surrealistic piece. The remainder of the tracks feature recordings made between 1926 and 1928 by such superb country blues performers and Big Bill Broonzy, Leola B. Wilson with Blind Blake, Buddy Boy Hawkins, William Moore, Gus Cannon & Blind Blake, Ramblin' Thomas, Charley Patton, Rube Lacy and Edward Thompson. No surprises for long time collectors but well worth it for the improved sound. The 28 page booklet includes introductory notes, lyric transcripts and, most importantly, excerpts from a recently discovered and previously unpublished oral history of Davis conducted in 1951 by Elizabeth Lyttleton Harold who was then Alan LOmax's wife. Davis discusses his early life with greater frankness than he would later in his life. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Testament 5017 Traveling Through The Jungle ● CD $11.98
28 tracks, essential
Back in print. The music heard on this recording marks the first and only extended study of an exciting sound that until the 1960s was virtually unknown outside the communities in the South where it is performed - the sound of the black fife and drum band. The roots of this music go far back to the bedrock of African-American folk music traditions. The music is an unusual blending of the British and early American tradition of military fife and drum playing with influences of African percussion, syncopation and polyrhythms. The recordings here are varied and includes Sid Hemphill & his group recorded in Sledge, Mississippi in 1942 by the Library of Congress along with 1970 recordings made in Senatobia & Como, Mississippi and Waverly Hall, Georgia by David Evans featuring Ephram Carter & group, Napoleon Strickland and group and Othar Turner and group. There are also fife solos from J.W. Jones and Napoleon Strickland, quills solos from Sid Hemphill and Alec Askew and Compton Jones whistling and playing washtub. This CD reissue of Testament 2223 includes nine previously unissued tracks and booklet includes detailed notes by David Evans. A remarkable and fascinating musical document. (FS)

 
CEDRIC WATSON Valcour 0004 Cedric Watson ● CD $14.98
New album featuring the brilliant young Creole musician Cedric Watson who has now added some fine accordion playing to his playing skills. Not as traditionally oriented as his previous recordings this one finds him with a small band performing a selection of mostly original songs and tunes - firmly planted in zydeco and Creole music but adding a sprinkling of rock 'n' roll to the mix.

 
SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON JSP JSPCD 77101 The Later Years, 1939-1947 ● CD $28.98
Four CD, 104 tracks, approx 5 hours, essential
The second and final volume of the complete recordings of one of the most popular and influential blues singers and harmonica players of all time. This four CD set has 104 tracks recorded between 1939 and 1947. Reiterating from my review of volume 1 John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson was a wonderful singer with a warm down home style and a brilliant and innovative harmonica player whose playing was to redefine blues harmonica playing until the emergence of Little Walter who built on what Sonny Boy had created. His playing, singing and songs were to prove an immense influence on subsequent generations of blues performers and contributed to the ascendancy of the blues scene in Chicago where he was based and there's no doubt he would have been a major figure in the 50s had he not met an untimely demise in 1948. Although some of his most famous songs are based on songs originated by other artists, Sonny Boy invested them with his own distinctive approach which resulted in them being the template for future versions. This set shows Sonny Boy's style moving away from a rural approach to a more aggressive urban style with accompaniments by larger groups, often including bass and drums. His singing and playing are consistently stunning, with not a single mediocre song on the set, and if you're a Chicago blues fan you'll recognize many songs from their later covers like My Little Machine/ Sloppy Drunk Blues/ Million Years Blues (covered by B.B. King as My Heart Beats Like A Hammer/ My Black Name Blues/ Check Up On My Baby Blues (covered by the "other" Sonny Boy Williamson) and others. There are a couple of interesting war songs Win The War Blues and we Got To Win. In addition to all the great songs under his own name we have him accompanying Yank Rachell on 16 tracks including Yank's Loudella Blues, later covered by Jimmy Rogers and 23 tracks accompanying the great singer and 9 string guitarist Big Joe Williams - these are all superb performances. Accompaniments include a who's who of Chicago musicians including Big Bill Broonzy, Joshua Altheimer, Blind John Davis, Ransom Knowling, Washboard Sam, Jump Jackson, Big Maceo, Tampa Red, Willie Dixon, Judge Riley, Eddie Boyd, Willie Lacey and others. Excellent sound and informative notes round out an essential package for any blues fan. (FS)
YANK RACHEL: 38 Pistol Blues/ Army Man Blues/ Biscuit Baking Woman/ Bye Bye Blues/ Hobo Blues/ Insurance Man Blues/ It Seem Like a Dream/ Katy Lee Blues/ Loudella Blues/ Peach Tree Blues/ Rainy Day Blues/ She Loves Who She Please/ Tappin' That Thing/ Up North Blues (There's a Reason)/ Worried Blues/ Yellow Yam Blues/ BIG JOE WILLIAMS: Baby Please Don't Go/ Baby Please Don't Go (Alternate Take)/ Bad and Weak Hearted Blues/ Banta Rooster Blues/ Break 'Em on Down/ Don't You Leave Me Here/ Drop Down Blues/ Highway 49/ House Lady Blues/ I'm a Highway Man/ King Biscuit Stomp/ Mean Step Father Blues/ Mellow Apples/ North Wind Blues/ P Vine Blues/ Please Don't Go/ Somebody's Been Worryin'/ Someday Baby/ Stack of Dollars/ Throw a Boogie Woogie/ Vitamin a/ Wanita/ Wild Cow Moan/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Alcohol Blues/ Apple Tree Swing/ Better Cut That Out/ Big Apple Blues/ Big Boat/ Black Panther Blues/ Blues About My Baby/ Blues That Made Me Drunk/ Bring Another Half a Pint/ Broken Heart Blues/ Check Up on My Baby Blues/ Coal and Iceman Blues/ Come on Baby and Take a Walk/ Decoration Day Blues, No. 2/ Desperado Woman Blues/ Drink on, Little Girl/ Early in the Morning/ Elevator Woman/ G.M. & O. Blues/ Ground Hog Blues/ Honey Bee Blues/ Hoodoo Hoodoo/ I Been Dealing with the Devil/ I Have Got to Go/ I Love You for Myself/ I'm Gonna Catch You Soon/ Jivin' the Blues/ Lacey Belle/ Little Girl/ Love Me, Baby/ Mattie Mae Blues/ Mean Old Highway/ Mellow Chick Swing/ Million Years Blues/ Miss Stella Brown Blues/ My Baby Made a Change/ My Black Name Blues/ My Little Machine/ New Early in the Morning/ No Friend Blues/ Polly Put Your Kettle On/ Rub a Dub/ Shady Grove Blues/ Shake the Boogie/ She Don't Love Me That Way/ She Was a Dreamer/ Shotgun Blues/ Sloppy Drunk Blues/ Sonny Boy's Cold Chills/ Sonny Boy's Jump/ Southern Dream/ Springtime Blues/ Stop Breaking Down/ Sugar Gal/ Train Fare Blues/ War Times Blues/ We Got to Win/ Welfare Store Blues/ Western Union Man/ What's Gettin' Wrong with You/ Willow Tree Gal/ Win the War Blues/ Wonderful Time/ You Got to Step Back/ You're an Old Lady

 

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