Blues & Gospel - Bulletin September 2010 - Arthur Adams  -> JImmy Yancey + Books + DVDs
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BULLETIN - September 2010
Blues & Gospel
Arthur Adams  ->
Jimmy Yancey + Books + DVD

 

 
 

BOOKS

 

BLUES IN BLACK & WHITE The Landmark Ann Arbor Blues Festivals Photographs by Stanley Lingstone, Text by M. Erlewine ● BOOK $29.95
Paper, 128 pages, counts as seven CDs for shipping
In 1969 and 1970, the first Ann Arbor Blues Festivals brought together the greatest-ever selection of blues performers, and helped to mark the discovery of modern blues music by a much larger (i.e. white) audience. Never before had such a far-reaching list of performers been assembled, including Luther Allison, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Mama Thornton, T-Bone Walker, Sippie Wallace, and Junior Wells. These groundbreaking festivals were the seed that grew into the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz festival which continued annually for many years. Stanley Livingston, a professional photographer from Ann Arbor, captured these legendary performances onstage-as well as the going-on backstage. Livingston's photos from these festivals, previously unpublished, are among the finest candid blues shots ever taken. Together with editor and archivist Michael Erlewine's artist interviews and text, these photographs comprise a visual history and important keepsake for blues aficionados everywhere. A brief bio and selected discography of each artist is also included.

 
RAISIN' CAIN The Wild And Raucous Story Of Johnny Winter by Mary Lou Sullivan ● BOOK $21.98
Paper, 362 pages, counts as six CDs for shipping Rolling Stone magazine has called Johnny Winter one of the greatest guitar players of all time. THIS is the story that made him a legend. From toughing it out in Texas to his historic appearance at Woodstock, his affair with Janis Joplin, his late-night jams with Jimi Hendrix, and his stadium-filling, superstar tours at the height of the rock 'n' roll era to washing out on drugs and the temptations of the road before finally fulfilling his dream of becoming a 100-percent pure bluesman, resurrecting the career of Muddy Waters, and becoming a multi-Grammy award winner, this is the most raucous and real rock 'n' roll story ever told. Music journalist Sullivan has known Winter since 1984 and was the only one he considered when he was ready to tell his story. Raisin' Cain features dozens of never-before-seen photos-many for Johnny Winter's private collection-from all phases of Winter's career, including shots of him with Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, and many more, and a basic discography.

 

DVDS

 
HOWARD ARMSTRONG Criterion Collection 532 Louie Bluie ● DVD $24.98
Color, 93 mins, highly recommended
The first film from Terry Zwigoff, the acclaimed director of "Ghost Wolrd" and "Bad Santa" is a 60 minute documentary from 1985 on multi-instrumentalist, painter, poet and raconteur Howard Armstrong who is possibly best known as one-third of the wonderful black string band from the 1970s - Martin, Bogan & Armstrong.. Howard who was 75 years old at the time this was made, but looks much younger, talks about his eventful life and music, often in conversation with fellow musicians, illustrated with some of his gorgeous paintings. There are numerous clips of him performing on mandolin and fiddle, often with Ted Bogan who he first recorded with in 1934 under the name of "Louie Bluie & Ted Bogan" and they perform one of the tunes from that sessions - the much covered State Street Rag. Other musicians featured include Yank Rachell and Banjo Ikey Robinson. We also get a glimpse into Armstrong's amazing "A To Z Of Pornography" - a remarkable production blending words (in a beautiful cursive script), photos and artwork into something that is more art than sleaze. Beautifully filmed and edited this is a wonderful documentary that really give you a sense of the man. Being a Criterion release the video and audio quality are absolutely superb. Bonus features include a commentary by Zwigoff, 32 minutes of outtakes including three complete songs and a selection of stills. Includes 20 page booklet with an essay by film critic Michael Sragow and some of Howard's great painings. (FS)

   

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
ARTHUR ADAMS PM Record Company 60301 Soul Of The Blues ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 43 mins, highly recommended
We recently reviewed Arthur Adams' brand new release on Delta Groove but have just come across this obscure 2003 release we hadn't seen before and it's a beauty. A superb collection of soul flavored blues, bluesy soul and even some bluesy rock 'n' roll featuring Arthur's wonderful gospel inflected vocals and dazzling guitar playing. All the songs were written by Arthur or cowritten with co-producer Will Jennings. Among the highlights on this superb set are the powerful title song and the hard driving rocker Gonna Catch You Tonight which is a bit like early Chuck Berry and features a breathtaking guitar solo. In contrast is the lovely Look For Me which is almost like a country ballad. An outstanding release from a brilliantly talented performer. (FS)

 
LUCILLE BOGAN (BESSIE JACKSON) Blues Documents BDCD 6036 Complete Chronological Recordings, Vol. 1 (1923-30) ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 61 min., highly recommended
Back in stock. Lucile Bogan was her real name and she made her first recordings in the 20s as Lucille Bogan but when she started recording again in the 30s after the depression her name was changed to Bessie Jackson. She was one of the most soulful singers ever to record and she sang some interesting and unusual lyrics singing convincingly and often about sex, prostitution, whiskey and such. The first six vaudevillish OKeh sides from '23 are filled with unpleasant surface noises and Bogan's voice is high and not terribly compelling. But what's a completist to do? The rest of the tracks here were cut for Paramount and Brunswick between 1927 and 1930 and find her voice deeper and much more soulful and sound quality is much better though occasionally pretty noisy. She is accompanied by superb musicians on these sessions like Cow Cow Davenport, Papa Charlie Jackson, Will Ezell, Tampa Red and others and the songs are compelling and moving and bring up themes she would return to in her later sides. Among the highlights are Kind Stella Blues/ Jim Tampa Blues (with great banjo from Papa Charlie Jackson who also adds comments)/ Cravin' Whiskey Blues/ Woman Won't Need No Men/ Coffee Grindin' Blues/ Pot Hound Blues and the intriguing New Way Blues but all are great. (FS)

 
R.L. BURNSIDE Wolf 120.921 Rollin' & Tumblin - The King Of Hill Country Blues ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, recommended
Fine collection of sides by Tate County, Mississippi country bluesman R.L. `Rule' Burnside recorded in 1975, 1989 and 1991. R.L. Burnside may not have had too much original material and may not be a guitar virtuoso but he certainly laid down some of the funkiest low down blues of the 1980s and 90s. Drawing on traditional Mississippi songs, songs he learned in his youth and songs from the repertoire of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and others he accompanies his rough hewn vocals with gritty acoustic and electric guitar, sometimes playing tasty slide. With so many Burnside releases out you will probably be familiar with his repertoire and there are no surprises here but R.L. was in good form on songs like Fireman Ring The Bell/ Poor Black Mattie/ Poor Boy/ 44 Pistol/ Long Haired Doney/ I Be's Troubled/ Boogie Chillen, etc. Most of the cuts were recorded in informal settings and there's a fair amount of ambient background sounds which either add or detract from the performances depending on your viewpoint. Set ends with a two minute interview. (FS)

 
GRADY CHAMPION Earwig 4963 Back In Mississippi Live At The 930 Blues Cafe ● CD $16.98
New album of high energy blues featuring Mississippi born singer and harmonica player and former rapper Grady Champion accompanied by a tough band with energetic, and sometimes excessive, guitar work from Eddie Cotton Jr. was recorded live in Mississippi in 2007. Eight of the songs were written or co-written by Champion and the rest are old favorites like I'm Ready/ Baby What You Want Me To Do and Spoonful.

 
EDDIE KING & MAE BEE MAE Black Magic 9047 The Blues Has Got Me ● CD $22.98
13 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
Reissue of 1987 Double Trouble LP by this superb Chicago bluesman. Eddie King Milton is an exceptional singer with high soulful voice, a little like Little Johnny Taylor, and is a wonderfully expressive guitarist, fleet fingered but not flashy and always appropriate. He has been recording since the early 60s but has only put out two full length albums - this being one of them. Five of the tracks features terrific vocals by his sister Mae Bee Mae. The accompanying band is solid and there are guest appearances by harmonica player Golden "Big" Wheeler, keyboardist Alan Batts and tenor sacist Earl Crossley. Most of the songs are fine originals by Eddie or Mae Bee and are a mix of Chicago blues and Southern soul blues stylings. (FS)

 
PETE MAYES & THE TEXAS HOUSEROCKERS Goldrhyme 602 Live! At The Double Bayou Dance Hall ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, very good
Fine Texas bluesman recorded live at his own club the Double Bayou Dance Hall just outside Houston in 2003. Though ill health prevented him playing guitar he is accompanied by a fine band with his cousin Bert Lewis on piano and a couple of vocals, John Broussard on guitar and Shedrick Cormier on tenor sax. They do a nice job on a selection of blues and R&b standards like Kansas City/ I'm Ready/ Honkytonk/ Just A Little Bit/ Sweet Home Chicago, etc. (FS)

 
MEMPHIS SLIM BGO BGOCD 939 Legends Of The Blues, Vols 1 & 2 ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 72 mins, recommended
Fine set by this prolific bluesman recorded for Jubilee records in 1967 on one of Slim's periodic trips home to the USA from his home in Paris. Produced by ace producer Clyde Otis he is accompanied by a small group of stellar R&B and jazz muscians including Billy Butler on guitar and Eddie Chamblee on tenor. He performs a varied selection of old material (All By Myself/ I Feel Like Balling The Jack/ Key To The Highway, etc) and new (Freedom/ Dear Abby And Ann/ Little Lonely Girl, etc) and sings and play with enthusiasm and conviction and is given sympathetic backing by the band including some biting solos from Butler who also plays some Hawaiian style licks on a couple of tracks. 10 of these sides were originally issued on a Jubilee LP and all of them were issued on two rare LPs on the British Beacon label and the booklet includes the original notes from the Beacon label plus new notes by Tony Russell. (FS)

 
PIANO RED Landslide 1039 The Lost Atlanta Tapes ● CD $15.98
18 tracks, recommended
The legendary Piano Red aka Doctor Feelgood recorded live at the Excelsior Mill Club in Atlanta, GA in 1984. About half the tracks were previously available on an obscure LP on the Carebiso and the rest are previously unissued. It was only a year before Red's death and his performances don't have the exuberance of his earlier recordings but he still is a charismatic performer with fine vocals and piano. Accompanied by a competent rhythm section he performs versions of some of his most popular songs like C.C. Rider/ Right String (But The Wrong Yo Yo/ Rockin' With Red and Doctor Feelegood along with more obscure songs from his repertoire, blues standards and an energetic rendition of the standard That's My Desire.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1266 More Miles Than Money ● CD $25.98
2CD, 38 tracks, 140 mins, highly recommended
Garth Cartwright wrote a book about his travels through America's musical back roads ("More Miles Than Money: Journeys Through American Music" due by end of month - $15.95), and Ace Records compiled a "soundtrack" of music that reflects the spirit of the book. Cartwright's great loves are "roots" music and Tex-Mex/Tejano, and those styles are represented here by the likes of Billy Joe Shaver, Alejandro Escovedo, Selena, Lydia Mendoza, Lefty Fizzell, Townes Van Zandt, Jimmie Rodgers, and more. Blues and R&B also get a look-in with appearances by Memphis Minnie, Sonny Boy Williamson, R.L. Burnside, Bessie Smith, The Dells, O.V. Wright, and others. The bases are well covered for a general overview of American music, both past and present, and no major genre (except jazz) is left unheard - even Native American music. There's even a few unsung gems here (Linda Lyndell, The Goodees) that deserve a listen. Fans of the book will no doubt enjoy hearing the music talked about in its pages, while to the uninitiated the collection might come across as a random selection of (good) tracks, some of which can be found elsewhere. Either way, there is no disputing the wealth of music included here and its place in American culture; besides, one can't deny a collection put together with as much obvious love and care as this one. (GMC)
BIG GEORGE BROCK: Down South/ R.L. BURNSIDE: Over The Hill/ JIMMY CASTOR: Hey Leroy (Your Mama's Calling You)/ RADMILLA CODY: Corn Grinding Song/ THE DELLS: Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay/ HONEYBOY EDWARDS & CAREY BELL: Every Now And Then/ ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO: Castanets/ JOHNNY FARMER & ORGANISED NOIZE: Death Letter/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: How Far Down Can I Go/ THE GOODEES: Didn't Know Love Was So Good/ J.J. GREY & MOFRO: Turpentine/ THE IMPRESSIONS: I Gotta Keep On Moving/ MABLE JOHN: Able Mable/ DIANA JONES: Pony/ JUNIOR KIMBROUGH: Sad Days, Lonely Nights/ FURRY LEWIS: John Henry/ LUKE THE DRIFTER (HANK WILLIAMS): Ramblin' Man/ LINDA LYNDELL: I Don't Know/ MARIACHI LOS GAVILANES DE OAKLAND: Los Traficantes De Michoacan/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Nothing In Rambling/ LYDIA MENDOZA: Mi Problema/ PIPESTONE: Crazy Love Life/ KELL ROBERTSON: Texas Hood Song/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Standing On The Corner (Blue Yodel #9)/ BOBBY RUSH: It's Alright/ SAM THE SHAM & THE PHAROAHS: I Couldn't Spell !!*@!/ GIANT SAND: Astonished (In Memphis)/ SELENA: Bidi Bidi Bom Bom/ BILLY JOE SHAVER & JOHNNY CASH: You Just Can't Beat Jesus Christ/ MARLENA SHAW: Woman Of The Ghetto/ BESSIE SMITH: Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer/ T-MODEL FORD & SHRIVE ALIVE: If I Had Wings/ HOUND DOG TAYLOR: Sitting At Home Alone/ TOWNES VAN ZANDT: Flying Shoes/ DALE WATSON: Aint That Livin'/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Mighty Long Time/ CHARLES WRIGHT: A Mother's Love/ O.V. WRIGHT WITH THE KEYS: That's How Strong My Love Is

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDBGP 222 The Gospel Truth - The Gospel Soul And Funk Of Stax ● CD $17.98
20 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
During the late 60's and early 70's, Al Bell of Stax Records wanted to expose gospel artists to a wider audience. So, he hit upon the idea of having these messengers of the Lord record songs that appeared spiritual, but would appeal to everyone and feature modern musical arrangements. Bell tested this plan first on the Staple Singers, whom he had signed to Stax in 1968, and their early tracks When Will We Be Paid For the Work We Did and Brand New Day set the tone for the hits - Respect Yourself and I'll Take You There - that would come at the turn of the decade. Bell set up the Gospel Truth label at the end of 1971, which would be aimed at a "youth gospel market" and would make use of "contemporary backup", in response to the Staple Singers' success. The collection of tracks included here are a testament to Bell's vision and love of gospel music: the songs have a musical flavor in step with the times, and lyrics that are uplifting without being preachy. But most of all, the songs sound fabulous with grooves and vocals that just won't quite. The Rance Allen Group get down with Talk That Talk, Pt.1 and a cover of Archie Bell & the Drells' (There's Gonna Be a) Showdown, while the Marion Gaines Singers, the Howard Lemon Singers, Clarence Smith, and The Sons of Truth all contribute stunning performances. This CD documents a forgotten musical subdivision and label of early 70's soul, and I hope the folks at BGP are planning a second volume. (GMC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77108 Rub A Little Boogie - New York Blues, 1945-1956 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 113 tracks 5 hours 2 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of down home New York blues. Although many of these tracks have been reissued before this is very well compiled with excellent sound and informative notes by Neil Slaven. The first disc is devoted to recordings made by the ever popular Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry between 1946 and 1955. Although they were recording more folk oriented material for the Library Of Congress and Folkways at the time the tracks here were hot electric blues recorded for the African-American market on independent labels with accompaniments by musicians like Bob Gaddy, Jack Dupree, Mickey Baker, Doc Bagby, Milt Hinton and others. The second and third discs mostly features fine but obscure artists including the enigmatic guitar & piano trio Sonny Boy & Lonnie, the outstanding singer and piano player Big Chief Ellis, singer guitarist Alonzo Scales (with Sonny & Brownie on four of his six sides), singer/ guitarist Leroy Dallas (accompanied by Big Chief Ellis & Brownie McGhee), superb singer/ guitarist Allen Bunn (aka Tarheel Slim), singer and piano player Bob Gaddy, singer and bass player Bob Harris, singer and guitarist Alec Seward (recording as Duke Bayou with Jack Dupree & Brownie McGhee), the fine and mysterious Square Walton and all the issued sides of the superb Cousin Leroy. The fourth disc is devoted to the complete recordings of North Carolina born country bluesman Ed Harris whose records cut between 1950 and 1952 were issued under the names of Carolina Slim, Lazy Slim Jim and Country Paul. Harris was a fine performer whose music not only showed the influence of his home state but also owed a strong debt to the very popular Lightnin; Hopkins. A most worthwhile collection. (FS)
DUKE BAYOU (ALEC SEWARD): Doomed/ Rub A Little Boogie/ She Can Shake It/ That's All Right With Me/ ALLEN BUNN: My Kinda Woman/ Too Much Competition/ CAROLINA SLIM: (Pour Me) One More Drink/ Ain't It Sad/ Black Cat Trail/ Black Chariot Blues/ Blues Go Away From Me/ Blues Knocking At My Door/ Carolina Boogie/ Come Back Baby/ Georgia Woman/ I'll Get By Somehow/ I'll Never Walk In Your Door/ Jivin' Woman/ Mama's Boogie/ Money Blues/ Mother Dear Mother/ One More Time/ Pleading Blues/ Rag Mama/ Shake Boogie/ Side Walk Boogie/ Since I Seen Your Smiling Face/ Slo-Freight Blues/ Sugaree/ Wine Head Baby/ Worry You Off My Mind/ Worrying Blues/ Your Picture Done Faded/ COUSIN LEROY: Catfish/ Crossroads/ Goin' Back Home/ Highway 41/ I'm Lonesome/ Up The River/ Waitin' At The Station/ Will A Matchbox Hold My Clothes/ LEROY DALLAS: Baby Please Don't Go Back To New Orleans/ Good Morning Blues/ I'm Down Now, But I Won't Be Down Always/ I'm Going Away/ Jump, Little Children, Jump/ Your Sweet Man's Blues/ BIG CHIEF ELLIS: Big Chief's Blues/ Dices, Dices (a)/ Dices, Dices (b)/ She Is Gone/ BOB GADDY: Bicycle Boogie/ Blues Has Walked In My Room/ I Believe You Got A Sidekick/ I Love My Baby/ Little Girl's Boogie/ No Help Wanted/ Operator/ Slow Down Baby/ BOB HARRIS: Baby You Say You Love Me/ Doggin' Blues/ Drinkin' Little Woman/ Friendly Advice/ Love, Love, Love/ Up And Down The Hill/ BROWNIE MCGHEE: Bluebird, Bluebird,/ Bottom Blues/ Brownie's Blues (Lordy Lord)/ Cheatin' And Lyin'/ Christina/ Daisy/ Don't Dog Your Woman/ Greyhound Bus/ I'd Love To Love You/ I'm 10,000 Years Old/ Love's A Disease/ My Confession (I Want To Thank You)/ My Fault/ Need Someone To Love Me/ When It's Love Time/ Worrying Over You/ ALONZO SCALES: Hard Luck Child/ Left My Home Blues/ My Baby Don't Allow/ My Baby Likes To Shuffle/ She's Gone/ We Just Can't Agree/ SONNY BOY & LONNIE: Big Moose Blues/ Bigheaded Woman/ I Wonder Who's Holding You/ I'll Water You Every Day/ Mama Blues/ My Baby Blues/ South West Pacific Blues/ Talking Boogie/ The Wide Boogie/ Wiggle Round Me Baby/ SONNY TERRY: Dangerous Woman(With A 45 In Her Hand)/ Doggin' My Heart Around/ Harmonica Hop/ Hoopin' And Jumpin'/ Hooray, Hooray/ I Don't Worry/ I Love You Baby/ I'm Gonna Rock Your Wig/ News For You Baby/ Ride And Roll/ Sonny Is Drinking/ The Woman Is Killing Me/ SQUARE WALTON: Bad Hangover/ Fish Tail Blues/ Gimme Your Bankroll/ Pepper head Woman

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Not Now 360 Voodoo Blues - The Devil Within ● CD $9.98
Two CD set with 40 tracks featuring blues dealing with the subject of hoodoo, the devil, sin and just evil in general. This has some similarities (and duplications) to the similraly titled Saga Blues collection we reviewed a while back though this one casts its net more broadly including Evil (Is Going On) by Howlin' Wolf, Burnin' Hell by John Lee Hooker, Devil Got My Woman by Skip James, Preaching Blues (Up Jumped The Devil) by Robert Johnson, Black Cat Bone Blues by Leecan & Cooksey, Your Funeral And My Trial by Sonny Boy Williamson plus sides by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Champion Jack Dupree, Washboard Sam, Casey Bill WEldon, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Memphis Minnie, J.D. Short, Josh White and others. Mostly familiar songs but it's nice to have them under this thematic rubric, sound is fine and the price is right.
JOHN BRIM: Drinking Woman/ DOCTOR CLAYTON: Root Doctor/ ARTHUR "BIG BOY" CRUDUP: Hoodoo Lady Blues/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Bad Blood/ Evil Woman/ Nasty Boogie/ SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: I Put A Spell On You/ Little Demon/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Burnin' Hell/ Graveyard Blues/ LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS: Black Cat Bone/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Evil Is Going On/ I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)/ ELMORE JAMES: Sinful Woman/ SKIP JAMES: Devil Got My Woman/ ROBERT JOHNSON: Me And The Devil Blues/ Up Jumped The Devil/ LOUIS JORDAN: Somebody Done Hoodooed The Hoodoo Man/ BOBBY LEECAN AND ROBERT COOKSEY: Black Cat Bone Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Hoodoo Lady/ MA RAINEY: Louisiana HooDoo Blues/ JIMMY REED: I Know It's A Sin/ J.D. SHORT: Snake Doctor Blues/ BESSIE SMITH: Blue Spirit Blues/ Sinful Blues/ OTIS SPANN: I'd Rather Be The Devil/ Must Have Been The Devil/ JOHNNIE TEMPLE: Hoodoo Women/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: The Devil Has Thrown Him Down/ T-BONE WALKER: Evil Hearted Woman/ Street Walking Woman/ WASHBOARD SAM: She Belongs To The Devil/ JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON: Gettin' Drunk/ CURLEY WEAVER: Two Faced Woman/ CASEY BILL WELDON: I've Been Tricked/ JOSH WHITE: Black And Evil Blues/ Evil Hearted Man/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Hoodoo Hoodoo/ I Been Dealing With The Devil/ Your Funeral And My Trial

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 4501 Rare Blues Girls On King, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 60 mins, recommended
Fine collection of urban blues recorded for King and Federal between 1947 and 1952 by female singers. Includes three of the earliest recordings of Big Maybelle when she was recording as Mabel Smith. Great vocals accompanied by a superb band led by Hot Lips Page with a guitarist thought to be Lonnie Johnson - he certainly sounds like it. There are also three superb sides by Sarah McLawler - two of them with fine vocal group accompaniments by The Syncoettes. Other artists include Tina Dixon, Marion Abernathy (also with the Hot Lips Page band), Flo Garvin (more of torch singer than blues singer), Bixie Crawford, Valerie Carr, Aletra Hampton and Mabel Scott. Quite a few of these tracks have been reissued before but were available on now deleted Westside and Classics releases. Sound quality is excellent and there is full discographical data. (FS)
MARION ABERNATHY: Brotherly Love/ My Man Boogie/ Nobody Wants You When You're Down And Out/ Scroogli-Oli-Re-Bos/ You Ain't Got Nothin' For Me/ BIXIE CRAWFORD WITH BUDDY BANKS & HIS NOTES: I Got Your Water On/ Maybe Some Rainy Day/ TINA DIXON WITH THE GENE NERO SEXTET: Blow Mr. Be Bop/ Walk That Walk Daddy-O/ FLO GARVIN WITH JIMMY COE ORCH.: I'm On The Outside Looking In/ Let Me Keep You Warm/ DUKE HAMPTON & HIS ORCH. (VCL. ALETRA HAMPTON: Please Be Good To Me/ SARAH MCLAWLER: I Gotta Have You/ Ready, Willin' And Able/ I Can't Stop Loving You/ Love Sweet Love/ GENE REDD & HIS ORCH. (VCL. OBLIGATTO VALERIE: I Dreamed The Blues/ MABEL SCOTT: Baseball Boogie/ Fine, Fine Baby/ MABEL SMITH: Bad Dream Blues/ Foolin' Blues/ Little Miss Muffett

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 4502 Rare Blues Girls On King, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, recommended
More fine sides including many of the same artists as on the first volume and also includes four sides by the excellent and energetic Martha Moore who recorded the DeLuxe subsidiary and two cuts by singer and piano player Camille Howard and her Orchestra. Also includes Marion Abernathy, Mabel Smith, Saraha McLawler (three sides including a fine rendition of Lil Green's Romance In The Dark), Tina Dixon and Lou Green. (FS)
MARION ABERNATHY: Ee-Tid-Ee-Dee/ Ja-Hoosey Baby/ Undecided/ Wee Baby/ TINA DIXON WITH THE GENE NERO SEXTET: Parrot Bar Boogie/ What I Say/ ERSKINE HAWKINS & HIS ORCH. (VCL. LOU ELLIOTT): Remember My Love/ CAMILLE HOWARD & HER ORCH.: Excite Me Daddy/ Hurry Back Baby/ I Tried To Tell You/ I'm So Confused/ SARAH MCLAWLER: I Need You Now/ I'm Just Another One In Love With You/ Please Try To Love Me/ Romance In The Dark/ MARTHA MOORE: Baby I'm Through/ I Gets A Hard Way To Go/ I Needs A Whole Lot Of Everything/ Yo, Yo, Yo/ MABEL SMITH: Too Tight Mama/ Dirty Deal Blues/ Sad And Disappointed Jill

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Superbird 026 The End Of An Era - 20 Years In Bluesland ● CD $18.98
14 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of blues and soul produced over the past 20 years by the multi-talented Fred James for his Southland Productions. Includes tracks originally issued on U.S. and European (some now out of print) along with four previously unissued cuts. In addition to producing Fred plays fine guitar on all the cuts and wrote or co-wrote most of the songs. Many of the artists are from around Fred's home base of Nashville along with some from Chicago and the deep south. Artists include Roscoe Shelton, Earl Gaines (the gorgeous soul song I Believe In Your Love), Johnny Jones (The previously unissued I Can't Do That), Herbert Hunter, Charles Walker, Dave Riley, Homesick James, Frank Frost (the particularly fine Born To Be Wise) and others including a nice instrumental from Fred's own band. The title of the album refers to the fact that so many of the artists here are now deceased and this album shows just what we have lost. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Trikont 399 Murder - Songs From The Dark Side Of Soul ● CD $22.98
23 tracks, 71 min., highly recommended
This is the kind of CD one would expect to find in Nick Cave's collection, filled as it is with murder ballads recorded between 1927 and 1958. Nothing but cream here, from Billie Holiday's classic Strange Fruit, to Jimmie Rogers' Gambling Bar Room Blues 2 to the Stanley Brothers' Pretty Polly to Sonny Boy Williamson's Your Funeral My Trial to the Delmore Brothers The Fugitive's Lament to Bessie Smith & Her Blue Boys' Send Me To The 'lectric Chair, and on and on. As eclectic as Trikont always is. Booklet notes (in German and English, of course) include an essay on the origins of America's fascination with murder in song, as well as notes on the artists and songs. Some performances sound more lethal than others. For example, Blind Boy Fuller sounds capable of murder when he sings Pistol Slapper Blues whereas, despite the greatness of the performance, Louis Armstrong and Louis Jordan are more likely to produce a smile than a terrified scream when listeners hear You Rascal, You (I"ll Be Glad When You're Dead). But that's part of the plan: ruthlessness next door to remorse, comedy alongside throat cutting, first person narrative versus third person. The songs appear to have been chosen as much for their diversity of attitudes about murder as anything. Count Henry Thomas' Bob McKinney as an infrequently anthologized and therefore unexpected pleasure. As much fun as murder is likely to be. (JC)
ARCHIBALD: Stack-A-Lee Parts 1 & 2/ LOUIS ARMSTRONG WITH LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMP: You Rascal, You (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead)/ BILLY BOY ARNOLD: Prisoner's PleA/ THE DELMORE BROTHERS: The Fugitive's Lament/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: I'm Going Down with You/ BLIND BOY FULLER: Pistol Slapper Blues/ G. B. GRAYSON: Henry Whitter: Rose Conley/ A'NT IDY HARPER & THE COON CREEK GIRLS: Poor Naomi Wise/ BILLIE HOLIDAY: Strange Fruit/ HONEYBOY: Bloodstains on the Wall/ WILMOTH HOUDINI AND HIS HUMMING BIRDS: Bandsman Shooting Case/ LONNIE JOHNSON: Got the Blues for Murder Only/ LITTLE WALTER AND HIS JUKES: Boom Boom, Out Goes the Light/ LORD EXECUTOR: Seven Skeletons Found in the Yard/ WADE MAINER: Zeke Morris: Down in the Willow/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Biting Bug/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Gamblin' Bar Room Blues/ BESSIE SMITH & HER BLUE BOYS: Send Me to the 'lectric Chair/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS: Pretty Polly/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: 'The Honey Dripper': 44 Blues/ HENRY THOMAS: Bob McKinney/ ETHEL WATERS: Frankie and Johnny/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Your Funeral My Trial

 
JUNIOR WELLS Great American Music Co 216 Messin' The Kid - Original Masters ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 51 mins, highly recommended
This is essentially an abbreviated version of Fuel 61087/ Westside 866 (now out of print) featuring most of Junior's recordings between 1957 and 1963 for Chief, Profile and USA as well as cuts accompanying Earl Hooker. Although Junior's superb harmonica work is present on only a few cuts there is stunning instrumental work from his accompanying musicians which includes such great guitarists as Hooker, Syl Johnson, Dave Myers and Lacey Gibson, pianists Lafayette Leake, Big Moose Walker and Otis Spann ,bassist Willie Dixon, drummer Fred Below and other stalwarts. There are some great songs here including the great minor key blues I Could Cry, the wonderful Prison Bars All Around Me - a reworking of So All Alone which he originally recorded for States and features some stunning piano from Spann and guitar by Hooker, his only R&B chart hit Little By Little and his most famous song Messin' With The Kid which has been covered by numerous artists. There's also the superb Little Walter inspired instrumental Calling All Blues originally issued under Earl Hooker's name. Weakest tracks are the last three recorded for USA in 1963 but the rest is all top notch Chicago blues. Sound quality is superb and there are informative notes by Bill Dahl. If you missed out on the previous reissues now's your chance to pick up these fine sides. (FS)

 
JIMMY YANCEY/ FREDDIE MITCHELL Righteous PSALM 23:42 Blues And Boogie/ Boogie Bash ● CD $15.98
18 tracks, 47 mins, highly recommended
CD issue of two 10" LPs from the early 50s featuring very different approcahes to boogie. Jimmy Yancey was one of the greatest and most influential blues and boogie piano players of all time and the 8 sides here are among his best - originally recorded for Victor in 1939/40 we have stellar renditions of tunes like Yancey Stomp/ Tell 'Em About Me/ Yancey's Bugle Call/ Crying In My Sleep and others. Tenor totin' Freddie Mitchell, was a vet of Fletcher Henderson's and Benny Carter's 40's orchestras. Freddie cut out in '49 and waxed the 10 Derby sides featured here accompanied by top New York sidemen. In the show-stoppin' saxophonic style of Jacquet and Cobb he performs hot tunes like Moon Dog Boogie/ Mama Inez/ Long Lean Daddy/ Long Lean Daddy/ National Emblem/ Louise, etc. FIne music throughout but I'm not sure if I approve of there being no gaps between the individual tracks. (FS)

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