Blues & Gospel - Bulletin January/February 2010 - Charlie Burse -> Various Artists + Books + Calendar + DVDS
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BULLETIN - January/ February 2010
Blues & Gospel
Charlie Burse ->
Various Artists + Books + Calendar + DVDS





CHICAGO BLUES AS SEEN FROM THE INSIDE: The Photographs Of Raeburn Flerlage by Raeburn Flerlage ● BOOK $22.95
Paperbound, 152 pages, highly recommended, counts as four CDs for shipping
Available again. Photographer Ray Flerlage has been documenting the Chicago blues scene since the late 50s and his wonderful photos have graced many record albums and appeared in numerous books and magazines. This wonderful collection features some of Ray's most well known photos as well as many not published before. Among the artists captured by Ray lens are Big Joe Williams, Little Walter, Jimmy Dawkins, Mike Bloomfield, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Sunnyland Slim, Jazz Gillum, Furry Lewis, Howlin' Wolf, James Cotton, Muddy Waters and many others. The photos include posed publicity shots, live on stage shots and candid photos informal home gatherings. There's an introduction and brief commentary on the photos by Flerlage. (FS)

HAND ME MY TRAVELIN' SHOE SHOES In Search Of Blind Willie McTell  by Michael Gray ● BOOK $26.95
Hardbound, 432 pages, counts as 7 cds for shipping
Previously available as a British import this is now finally available in the USA at a much lower price. Blind Willie McTell was one of the most gifted musical artists of his generation, with an exquisite voice and a sublime talent for the twelve-string guitar. As Bob Dylan wrote, "nobody can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell"--yet his repertoire was infinity wider than that. Why, then, did he drift in and out of the public eye, being `rediscovered' time and again through chance meetings; and why, until now, has so little been written about the life of this extraordinary man? In this personal and moving odyssey into a lost world of early blues music, a vulnerable black population and more, Michael Gray peels back the many layers of a tragic, occasionally shocking but ultimately uplifting story. He gives us an intimate portrait of a remarkable man, showing how his life connects to the tumultuous sweep of history. Getting the story is part of the story itself, and Gray's quest for facts and details reveals that little may have changed in the Deep South, even today. Part biography, part travelogue, part social history, this is an atmospheric, unforgettable tale.



LOUIS JORDAN Storyville 26031 Hey Everybody, It's Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five ● DVD $15.98
31 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended Louis Jordan was one of the greatest entertainers of all time and thankfully on top of all of his audio recordings there is also a wealth of filmed performances of Jordan & his legendary Tympany Five available. In the late 1940's Jordan made three low-budget features with the small independent movie company Astor Pictures. "Beware," "Reet, Petite, and Gone," and "Look Out Sister," aren't movies that you necessarily need to rush out and watch in their entirety, but thankfully Storyville Films have cut out the melodrama, comedy skits, etc. and are providing us here with just the pure musical performances, 31 in all that are absolutely wonderful. With different settings, the studio, the night club, the classroom, and yes, even the cowboy ranch, Jordan and company deliver brilliant performances of most all of his big hits and then some, usually surrounded by a bevy of beautiful (if nervous looking) beauties. Caldonia/ You Gotta Have The Beat/ You Are Much Too Fat, and Early in The Morning, showcases just what a huge and diverse talent Louis Jordan was. The only thing that hold this back from an "essential" rating would be the occasionally scratchy sound quality and the lack of any real bonus material, those are but small complaints though and it should hardly hold back any Rhythm & Blues, Jazz or Rock 'n' Roll fan from grabbing this one pronto. (JM)



Now you can have R. Crumb on your wall for all of 2010. Back in the 80s R. Crumb created a series of, now highly collectable, trading cards featuring his unique full color illustrations of pre-war blues, jazz and old time country musicians with biographis on the back. This new calendar includes 9"x 12" reproductions of 12 of those cards - one for each month - four blues (Blind Gary Davis, Papa Charlie Jackson, Mississippi John Hurt and Bo Carter), four jazz (Lil Hardin, Roy Palmer, Freddie Keppard & Mary Lou Williams) and four country (Eck Robertson, Ted Gossett, Uncle Dave Macon and Jimmie & George Carter). Each month includes a brief biography of the artist featured and selected birth and death dates. In addition there is a set of six postcards featuring additional illustrations from the original series.



CHARLIE BURSE & HIS MEMPHIS MUDCATS Document DOCD 5687 Memphis Highway Stomp - Complete Recorded Titles 1939 ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, recommended
Entertaining collection of sides recorded in 1939 by small group led by veteran of the Memphis JUg Band, Charly Burse. Accompanying Burses' vocals and guitar are a group of unknown musicians features on alto sax, piano, bass and drums with the drummer also featured on various other assorted percussion. The music the group makes is a cross between that of a jug band and a dance band and while there's not a lot of variety Burse's vocals are quite enthusiastic and the alto saxist has some good moments. These tracks were previously available on JSP 7752 (Memphis Shakedown - $28.98) but if you don't have that set this one is worth a listen. (FS)

SNOOKS EAGLIN Hep Cat 0530 Teasin' You ● CD $12.98
17 tracks, highly recommended
Reissue of Black Top 1071 with three bonus tracks. Snooks was a potent bluesman in the 50's, and continued to forge ahead creatively, delighting audiences up to the present day with eclecticism, outstanding guitar work and just plain soul. Here we get the wiry instrumental Sleepwalk and hot solos on Baby Please Come Home/ Travelin' Mood and many more, soul and blues standards Teasin' You/ Black Night/ Dizzy Miss Lizzy, the New Orleans sound of When It Rains It Pours/ Don't Take It So Hard and even gospel on Jesus Will Fix It. 17 thoroughly enjoyable cuts. (MB/ FS)

ANDREW "JR. BOY" JONES Electro-Fi 3415 Gettin' Real ● CD $15.98
New album from powerful Texas singer/ guitarist and one time protégé of Freddie King who was also the guitarist in the Charlie Musselwhite band for several years.

EARL KING & ROOMFUL OF BLUES Hep Cat 0528 Glazed ● CD $12.98
12 tracks, highly recommended Reissue of Black Top 1035 from 1986 with one bonus cut. On this album King, with support from top flite Providence RI band Roomfull Of Blues has fronted a smokin' rhythm & blues party. Includes Texas flavored blues shuffles and some of Earl's older compositions reworked and given new life. The communication lines between King and fellow guitarist Ronnie Earl were exceptional and Earl shines on Three Can Play The Game and One Step Beyond Love. Stellar production by Hammond Scott, & scintillating organ & piano courtesy of Ron Levy. The bonus cut Please Don't Leave Me here To Cry features a guest appearance from Curtis Salgado. (MB/ FS)

LAZY LESTER Retro World 6006 Blues Stop Knockin' ● CD $16.98
19 tracks, recommended Reissue of 2001 album by this swamp blues legend originally issued on Antones along with seven bonus tracks drawn from his 1998 Antones album "All Over You." Lester is in good voice and plays some fine harmonica on a selection of songs that includes songs he originally recorded in the 50s and 60s for Excello along with songs from the repertoire of fellow Excello artists like Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim and Lonesome Sundown along with some other blues and R&B covers. On both sessions he is accompanied by small bands that do a good job of recapturing the feel of those classic EXcello sides without imitating them. The sessions feature fine guitar work by Jimmie Vaughan or Sue Foley. (FS)

JULIA LEE Jasmine 3003 Kansas City Calling ● CD $11.00
23 tracks, 68 mins, recommended Not a new release but with most of Julia's reissues out of print except for the expensive Bear Family box this is a fine introduction to this entertaining and important performer. Heavy set, effervescent, and raunchy in a knowledgeable, fun-loving way, Julia Lee is certainly best known for the double entendre numbers and many of those are featured here like King Size Papa/ Snatch and Grab It/ I Didn't Like It The First Time, and My Man Stand Out - all performed with particular verve and style. But, as this collection shows, she also sang supper club blues, less risque novelty numbers, and even straight pop ballads. She is accompanied by top jazz musicians like Jay McShann, Walter Page, Dave Cavanaugh, Benny Carter and others. Other songs include Ain't It A Crime/ Tell Me, Daddy/ Young Girl's Blues/ You Ain't Got It Anymore/ Oh Chuck It In A Bucket/ Wise Guys (You're A Wise Guy)/ Glory Of Love, etc. Excellent sound and brief notes by Guy Brighter though no discographical info. (FS)

MAGIC SLIM & THE TEARDROPS Wolf 120.820 Rough Dried Woman ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 71 mins, very highly recommended I love the music of Magic Slim - with his gritty down to earth vocals and and intense vibrato laden electric guitar plus rock solid accompaniment from his brother Nick Holt on bass, John Primer on guitar and a variety of drummers his music is pure blues from first note to last. Although most of his material is drawn from the repertoire of other artists the songs end up being pure Magic Slim. This set is drawn from albums issued by Wolf in 80s and 90s along with three previously unissued tracks recorded live in Austria (where Slim has a big following) in 1990 and 1992. The music is consistently superb and exciting including a couple of Slim's great minor key blues which Slim lends an intensity few others achieve - his original song Tell Me What Make A Woman Treat A Good Man So Bad is a particularly good example of this. Other songs include Rough Dried Woman/ Spider In My Stew/ Bad Spider/ Ain't It Nice/ You Can't Lose What What You Ain't Never Had/ Blues At Sunrise, etc. If you've never heard Magic Slim before prepare to have your socks knocked off and if you have you'll want this if you don't already have all his Wolf albums and if you do you might want to get it for three previously unreleased tracks which are certainly prime Slim. (FS)

KOKO TAYLOR Hip-O Select 13186-02 What It Takes: The Chess Years - Expanded Edition ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended This is a reissue of Chess 9328 from 1991 with five bonus tracks. Heavily influenced by Bessie Smith and Big Maybelle, Cora "Koko" Taylor and her extra-large voice made some cool rocking blues sides for Chess/ Checker from 1964 to 1972, and most of the best ones are in this collection. If she sounds like she was invented by Willie Dixon, it's only because he wrote and arranged almost all of her songs, found the session musicians, played bass and sings on a couple of cuts. This collection includes Wang Dang Doodle, her big 1966 hit, and lots of other good stuff too: Um Huh My Baby/ Fire/ I Need More And More/ I Got (All You Need)/ What Came First The Egg Or The Hen and more. She duets with Muddy Waters on I Got What It Takes from 1972 and bonus cuts includes J.B. lenoir's Good Advice, her own What Kind Of Man Is This and others. Backing musicians includes a who's who of Chicago greats - Walter Horton, Lafayette Leake, Buddy Guy, Robert Nighthawk, Gene Barge, Al Duncan, Matt Murphy and others. Booklet includes original notes from the 1991 release by Don Snowden, a brief tribute to Koko who died in early 2009 from producer Andy McKaie and full discographical details. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 804 Boogie Woogie Kings - Pitch A Boogie ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, 53 mins, recommended A 19 track collection of sides drawn from Paul Affeldt's Euphonic. The three biggest names in boogie, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis are featured here on sides recorded from radio transcriptions in 1939 and from the same year are six sides recorded at a private party by the great and idiosyncratic Cripple Clarence Lofton. These have been reissued a number of times before. The remaining tracks are, I believe, new to CD and several tracks have never been issued before. The great St. Louis pianist Henry Brown, who recorded under his name and behind several St. Louis artists in the late 20s and early 30s, is featured on three sides from 1960 - two of them are previously unissued. His performances are fine though the piano he was playing on could have used some work. The set is rounded out by four sides by the alawys effervescent Speckled Red - a previously unissued version of his trademark Dirty Dozens from 1955 and three sides from 1971 - two previously unissued. An enjoyable but not particularly compelling collection. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5685 Memphis Blues, Vol. 3: 1927-1930 ● CD $15.98
A beautiful collection of pre-war Memphis blues featuring the Memphis Jug Band and various artists associated with it. Althought the music is wonderful and the sound is fine the release is a bit redundant as all the tracks with the exception of the four tracks by Kaiser Clifton have been reissued on the four CD series on the Memphis Jug Band issued by Frog (15, 16, 18, 62 - $18.98 each). In addition to eight alternte takes by the Jug Band it also features sides by Will Weldon, Vol Stevens, Will Shade, Hattie Hart and Kaiser Clifton.

VARIOUS ARTISTS EMI (France) 684 053-2 Black Rock 'n' Roll ● CD $24.98
Three CDs, 58 tracks, recommended Fine collection of mid and up tempo blues and R&B recorded between 1945 and 1957 and originally issued on the Aladdin, IMperial and Capitol labels. Most of the titles will be famniliar to collectors though there are a number of obscurities and titles that are not currently available elsewhere on CD. Artists include T_Bone Walker, Pigmeat Markham, Gatemouth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Lulia Lee, Cleo Brown, John Lee Hooker (from his great, originally unissued, sessions for Bernie Bessman), Clavin Boze, Peppermint Harris, Archibald, Jack Parker, Lowell Fulson, Pee Wee Crayton, Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, Shirley & Lee, Roy Brown and more.Fine sound and very brief notes in French. (FS)
JO JO ADAMS: When I'm In My Tea/ ARCHIBALD: Great Big Eyes/ DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: Jump Children/ CALVIN BOZE & HIS ALL STARS: Safronia B/ CHARLES BROWN: I've Been Savin' My Love For You/ Please Don't DRive Me Away/ CLEO BROWN: Cleo's Boogie/ GATEMOUTH BROWN: Gatemouth Boogie/ ROY BROWN: Let The Four Winds Blow/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Blues Before Dawn/ Do Unto Others/ Hurry Hurry/ You Know Yeah/ Your Truly/ FLOYD DIXON: Wine Wine Wine/ FATS DOMINO: Blueberry Hill/ THE FIVE KEYS: Hucklebuck With Jimmy/ She's The Most/ LOWELL FULSON: Chuck With The Boys/ Don't Leave Me Baby/ PEPERMINT HARRIS: I Got Loaded/ COLEMAN HAWKINS: Stuffy/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Crying All Night/ Out The Door I Went/ Snap Them Fingers Boogie/ Throw MY Money Around/ HELEN HUMES: He May Be Your Man/ ILLINOIS JACQUET: Flying Home, Part 1/ LOUIS JORDAN: Messy Bessy/ JULIA LEE: King Size Papa/ JIMMY LIGGINS: I Ain't Drunk/ NELLIE LUTCHER: Fine Brown Frame/ PIGMEAT MARKHAM: See See Rider/ BIG JAY MCNEELY: Deacon Rides Again/ AMOS MILBURN: Down The Road A Piece/ Jitterbug Fashion Parade/ Let Me Go Home Whiskey/ Let's Have A Party/ Let's Rock A While/ Sax Shack Boogie/ Wolf On The River/ JACK PARKER: I Need You, I Want You/ SHIRLEY & ROLL: Let The Good Times Roll/ GEECHIE SMITH: T Town Jump/ BIG JOE TURNER: Blues JUmp The Rabbit/ Jumpin' Tonight (Midnight Rockin')/ Love My Baby (Little Bitty Baby)/ Low Down Dog/ Lucille/ Roll 'Em Pete/ BIG T. TYLER: King Kong/ T-BONE WALKER: Bye Bye Baby/ Come Back To Me Baby/ Hard Way/ Party Girl/ Strollin' With Bone/ Teenage Baby/ Tell Me What's The Reason

VARIOUS ARTISTS Flash 101 Jericho Alley, Vol. 1 - Blues In Los Angeles, 1955-1959 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended The first of two CDs featuring all the blues recordings made for the Los Angeles based Flash label between 1955 and 1959. In spite of being a center for slick blues a lot of L.A. small labels recorded more down home sounds and Flas was no exception and even their urban blues had a raw feel to them. There are three tracks by funky down dome Texas singer & guitarist Slim Green including his great Jericho Alley - a variation on the West Coast standard Tin Pan Alley. Six cuts feature a down home trio from Fresno - singer/ harmonica Sidney Maiden, singer/ guitarist Haskell Sadler and singer/ drummer B. Brown - each of whom had one single on the label. Flash had a local hit with the fine instrumental Tricky by prolific L.A. singer and piano player Gus Jenkins who also accompanies his wife Mamie jenkins on two fine sides. Another excellent female singer is the obscure Sheryl Crowley with three songs (one originally unissued). The set is rounded out with tracks by Sweet Pea Walker (possibly Paul Clifton), Maurice Simmons & His Orch., Frank Patt (who recorded the classic Bloodstains On The Wall for Specialty as Honeyboy), Judge Davis and Paul Clifton. Over half the tracks are appearing on Cd for the first time. Sound quality is excellent and there are brief notes on the label and the artists. (FS)
B. BROWN & HIS MCVOUTS: Good Woman Blues/ Mambo For Dancers/ PAUL CLIFTON: Are You Alright?/ SHERYL CROWLEY WITH JAMES CURRY & HIS ORCH.: I'll Be Seeing You*/ Just A Night Girl/ SHERYL CROWLEY WITH LORENZO HOLDEN'S ORCH.: It Ain't To Play With!/ JUDGE DAVIS: Can't Sleep At Night/ Sawmill Section/ SLIM GREEN: Jericho Alley/ Shake 'Em Up/ Shake 'Em Up (Alt.*)/ GUS JENKINS & ORCH.: Remember Last Xmas/ Tricky/ MAMIE JENKINS WITH GUS JENKINS ORCH.: Hambone/ Jump With Me Baby/ SIDNEY MAIDEN & HIS RAMBLERS: Everything Is Wrong/ Hurry Hurry Baby/ FRANK PATT & ORCH.: Gonna Hold On/ You Going To Pay For It Baby/ HASKELL SADLER & HIS ORCH.: Do Right Mind/ Gone For Good/ MAURICE SIMONS & HIS ORCH.: Flashy/ SWEET PEA WALKER: Sweet Pea (Take 1*)/ Sweet Pea (Take 2*)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Freedom 1500 Let's Have Some Fun - The Freedom R&B Story, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
27 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended The first of two CDs reissuing a goodly portion of the blues and R&B releases cut for the Houston based Freedom label run by Solomon Kahal between 1948 and 1952. The label issued 46 singles in its blues and R&B series along with a handful of gospel and country releases in different series. The label had a couple of nationwide R&B hits with the Louisian flavored Ethel Mae by L.C. Williams and the mighty Big Joe Turner's Still In The Dark (both included here). One of the label's most popular and prolific artists was the outstanding singer and guitarist Goree Carter whose singing and playing owed a debt to T-Bone Walker but was far from a copyist. This disc features seven sides by Carter - all of them fine. This set also includes the last recordings of legendary Texas blues singer recorded in 1950 accompanied by pianist Buster Pickens and guitarist Leon Benton. Other local talent that passed through Freedom's doors including singer/ piano player LOnnie Lyons (with Goree Carter on guitar), singer/ pianist Connie Mac Booker, The Sammy Harris Orch. (the delightful Fatso), Clarence Samuels and others. Most of these tracks have been out before but it's nice to have them in a label oriented collection. Sound quality is fine though a few tracks are obviously from worn 78s. Booklet includes a complete listing of Fredoom's R&B series. (FS)
TEXAS ALEXANDER: Bottom's Blues/ Crossroads/ CARL CAMPBELL: Between Midnight and Dawn/ Gettin' High/ GOREE CARTER: Back Home Blues/ Come on Let's Boogie/ Hoy Hoy/ I'll Send You/ Rock Awhile/ She's Just Old Fashioned/ Working With My Baby/ SAMMY HARRIS ORCHESTRA (VOCAL LEON WHITEHEAD): Fatso/ LEROY 'COUNTRY' JOHNSON: No One to Love Me/ LONNIE LYONS COMBO: Faraway Blues/ Flychick Bounce/ CONNIE MAC BOOKER: Loretta/ CLARENCE SAMUELS: Lost My Head/ She Walk, She Walk (part 1)/ She Walk, She Walk (part 2)/ JESSE THOMAS: Guess I'll Walk Alone/ Let's Have Some Fun/ BIG JOE TURNER: Adam Bit the Apple/ Life is Like a Card Game/ Still in the Dark/ L.C. WILLIAMS: Ethel Mae/ Jelly Roll/ Won't You Please Come Back

VARIOUS ARTISTS Freedom 1501 Let's Have Some Fun - The Freedom R&B Story, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended More fine jump blues from Houston recorded for Freedom in 1949 and 1950. Many of the artists here are returning from volume 1 (Joe Turner, Lonnie Lyons, L.C. Williams, Clarence Samuels, Connie Mac Booker) and this set also includes one track by Little Willie Littlefield - the super hot Littlefield Boogie and one track by Carl Campbell - the fine Ooh Wee Baby! with great piano (probably Lonnie Lyons). Booklet has brief notes on the label and artists along with several label shots. (FS)
CARL CAMPBELL & ORCH.: Ooh Wee Baby!/ CONNEY'S COMBO (VCL. L.C. WILLIAMS): Gonna Change My Love/ That's Alright/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Littlefield Boogie/ LONNIE LYONS & HIS ORCH.: Betrayed/ Sneaky Joe/ LONNIE LYONS & HIS PIANO: Down In The Groovy/ Helpless/ Neat And Sweet, Part 1/ Neat And Sweet, Part 2/ CONNIE MAC BOOKER: My Baby Left Me/ CLARENCE SAMUELS: Got The Craziest Feelin'/ I'm Gonna Leave You Baby/ Low Top Inn/ JOE TURNER & ORCH.: Feelin' Happy/ I Want My Baby/ Jumpin' At The Jubilee/ Just A Travelin' Man/ Midnight Is Here Again/ You'll Be Sorry/ L.C. WILLIAMS: All Through My Dreams/ Mean And Evil Blues/ Louisiana Boogie/ Shout Baby Shout

VARIOUS ARTISTS Mountain Top 13 Mark Hummel's Chicago Blues Party Recorded Live,1980-92 ● CD $12.98
15 tracks, recommended Collection of live blues recordings featuring West Coast harmonica player Mark Hummel with various groups featuring some Chicago blues legends as well as some tracks with West Coast bluesman Mississippi Johnny Waters who performs in a Chicago blues style. Highlight of this set and the main reason to get it are for the four excellent sides by Eddie Taylor. Eddie is in fine form vocally and instrumentally and is given solid sup[port by Mississippi Johnny Waters on rhythm guitar plus bass an drums. He also accompanies Waters and takes a fine solo on Waters' version ofd Dust My Broom. Five cuts feature the great Jimmy Rogers but Jimmy is not at his best here - his performances are rather lethargic. Mississippi Johnny Waters has three other cuts which are rather pedestrian and the set finishes with two cuts featuring Hummel singing and playing with a band with Luther Tucker on guitar including a version of Little Walter's great Blue And Lonesome. Tucker played on the original but here his solo is extended to the point of tedium. In spite of all the negatives this is worthwhile for the Eddie Taylor tracks. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Raisin Music 9961 Chicago Blues: A Living History (Two CD set) ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 21 tracks, 75 min., very highly recommended A dream team of Chicago blues talent coalescing around the idea of demonstrating the development of Chicago blues from 1940 to the present (or 1991, anyway). So you get Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Bily Branch, and Lurrie Bell, legends all, working their way through songs by John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson (My Little Machine), Tampa Red (She's Love Crazy), Big Bill Broonzy (Night Watchman Blues), Big Maceo Merriweather (Chicago Breakdown), Muddy Waters (Feel Like Going Home), Elmore James (I Believe), Howlin' Wolf (Moanin' At Midnight), Lowell Fulson Three O'clock Blues), Memphis Slim (Memphis Slim USA), Little Walter (Hate To See You Go), and that's just the first disc! impeccable performances and a booklet full of informative notes on every artist. A must have for fans of Chicago blues or blues in general. Done right (although at 75 minutes this stuff would have fit on one CD). (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Severn 46 Chicago Blues Harmonica Project - More Rare gems ● CD $15.98
12 sides - 2006 recordings featuring Reginald Cooper, Harmonica Hinds, Jeff Taylor & Russ Green, Big D, Little Arthur Duncan and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Tompkins Square 2271 Fire In My Bones - Raw, Rare Other Worldy Gospel ● CD $26.98
Three CDs, 80 tracks, essential Fantastic collection of rare black gospel recordings covering the period 1944 through 2007 though most of the recordings predate 1980. Most of the performances come from rare singles along with a handful from field recordings and folk festivals and about 75% has never been reissued before on LP or CD. There are a few names that might be familiar (Sister O.M. Terrell, The Radio Four, Marie Knight, etc) but the majority of tracks are by obscure artists who only recorded a handful of sides. Gospel is a conservative musical style and recordings from the 70s often sound very similar to recordings from 20 years earlier. These are mostly artists who were little known outside their local community but what they may lack in polish and virtuosity is more than compensated by their sincerity and intensity. There are gospel quartets, down home gospel with guitar accompaniment, lining out hymns and more. There is so much great and varied material here that it's hard to pick favorites but I've always loved the rare Designer single by Joe Townsend If I Could Not Say A Word with it's beautiful Delta style guitar accompaniment by Johnnie Mays who sounds like he learned from Charlie Patton. The great New Orleans singer/ guitarist Rev. Charlie Jackosn had a CD to himself a couple of years back (still available) but here he provides the stellar guitar accompaniment to Brother Ike Gordon and a new name to me Reverend Billy H. Grady is featured on a great 1965 song Holy Rock with storming guitar accompaniment. The most recent track here is a gorgeous 2007 performances of Let The Redeemed Say So by Rev. John Wilkins (the son of the great Rev. Robert Wilkins) accompnying himself himself with some lovely fingerpicked guitar. The music here is consistently raw, beautiful and totally compelling, I love this. Booklet has brief introductory notes and notes on each track. I hope there will be more releases like this coming out - this is one of the best of the year. (FS)




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