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NEWSLETTER #131
Blues & Gospel
Johnny Otis ->
Jim Wynn
 

JOHNNY OTIS
JACKIE PAYNE & STEVE EDMONDSON
SNOOKY PRYOR
MA RAINEY
MABEL SCOTT
BESSIE SMITH
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE
RON THOMPSON
VARIOUS ARTISTS
LIL JOE WASHINGTON
MUDDY WATERS
BIG JOE WILLIAMS
BILLY WRIGHT
 
 

JOHNNY OTIS Savoy Jazz 17059 The Johnny Otis Rhythm & Blues Caravan ● CD $39.98
Available again with a new number. Fabulous three CD set featuring all of Otis and his aggregations recordings for Savoy between 1949 and 1951 plus his first session for Excelsior in 1946 and some recently discovered unissued Savoy tracks. 77 tracks in all from this R&B pioneer with his great band and vocalists like Jimmy Rushing, Little Esther, Mel Walker, The Robins and others.

 
JACKIE PAYNE & STEVE EDMONDSON Burnside 49 Partners In The Blues ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, 58 minutes, highly recommended
Jackie Payne should be no stranger to blues listeners seeing as he's worked with a legendary list of bands including T-Bone Walker, Johnny Otis, Johnny Copeland, Lowell Fulson, Gatemouth Brown, and more, but sadly, he's little-known outside of the work he delivers on the West Coast. With guitarist Steve Edmondson, the duo delivers on of the finest and hottest blues/soul CDs in recent memory. Payne's power is a voice touched by Midas and he's simply crushing on Little Milton's I'm A Lonely Man, Willie Dixon's Close To You, or Don Robey's I Don't Believe. Edmondson's guitar is about as good as it gets and he's never over-the-top, instead, working his magic by knowing what fits where. Think Twice Before You Speak is a standout with voice and guitar communicating seamlessly. Brilliant. (CR)

 
SNOOKY PRYOR Electro-Fi 3381 Mojo Ramble ● CD $15.98
8 tracks, 65 minutes, excellent
Thankfully, Snooky Pryor is showing no signs at all that he's ready to call it a day on the blues circuit. While this 'live' set was recorded in November of 2001, Pryor is still delivering on all eight cylinders today. Here, he's joined by Mel Brown & the Homewreckers again for a superb outing that has him offering up riveting harp and potent vocals on Dirty Rat/ It Hurts Me Too/ Let Your Hair Down Woman/ Headed South, and more. Mel Brown's guitar is a perfect fit to Snooky's snorting, in-the-alley style and the small band of keyboards, bass, and drums do a stellar job of staying out of Pryor's way adding only what's necessary. The shortest song logs in at over six minutes while the rest run an average of eight, but the playing is focused and tight. (CR)

 
MA RAINEY Shout Factory 30252 Heroes Of The Blues - The Very Best Of Ma Rainey ● CD $13.98
16 tracks, 48 minutes, recommended One of the biggest names among the "classic" blues singers from the 1920s is that of Ma Rainey, who, along with Bessie Smith and others, defined blues singing for early record buyers. Rainey hailed from Georgia and was 37 when she cut her first sides for Paramount in 1923, already well-established having been a popular attraction with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels touring shows. A powerful singer with a great sense of phrasing, Rainey's vocal shadings are at times lost behind surface noise on her original Paramount 78s, but remastering has helped the 16 sides here. See See Rider/ Grievin' Hearted Blues/ Yonder Comes The Blues/ Hear Me Talkin' To You and more prove what a voice she had. Five duplications with Yazoo 1071. (CR)
MA RAINEY: Black Eye Blues/ Blues Oh Blues/ Bo Weavil Blues/ Don't Fish In My Sea/ Grievin' Hearted Blues/ Hear Me Talkin' To You/ Jealous Hearted Blues/ Mountain Jack Blues/ New Bo Weavil Blues/ Oh Papa/ Prove It On Me Blues/ See See Ryder/ Seeking Blues/ Those All Night Blues/ Walking Blues/ Yonder Comes The Blues

 
BESSIE SMITH Frog DGF 45 The Complete Recordings - Volume 6 ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 69 minutes, essential
This new release in Frog's acclaimed, eight-volume series restores the great blues diva's Columbia output from April 1927 to August 1928. The set opens with two superb sides backed by Harlem stride pianist James P. Johnson, Sweet Mistreater and Lock and Key. Porter Grainger became Smith's musical director in late summer 1927. Outside of an October 1927 session with Fletcher Henderson and a February 1928 date with Fred Longshaw, Grainger plays piano on the remaining tracks. This period yielded several Smith classics, including Mean Old Bedbug Blues/ A Good Man Is Hard to Find, and the magnificent two-part Empty Bed Blues with Charlie Green on trombone. The Henderson session is especially strong, with cornetist Tommy Ladnier underscoring Dyin' by the Hour and Foolish Man Blues. Though some of Grainger's musical concepts and arrangements now seem excessively florid, Smith always delivers her lyrics with power and emotion. As with previous Frog volumes, British sound restoration wizard John R.T. Davies supervised new digital transfers from pristine laminated 78s. The sound is brilliant and natural, especially when compared to Columbia's own highly compressed, virtually unlistenable Smith CD issues. John Capes provides a thumbnail bio along with critical comments on the recordings. (DS)

 
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE MCA 05330 The Gospel Of The Blues ● CD $11.98
Great collection of this wonderful and influential artist. 18 tracks recorded for Decca between 1938 and 1947 including both sacred and secular recordings. There are tracks where she only accompanied by her own brilliant guitar work, tracks with a trio led by Sammy Price and tracks featuring her with the large Lucky Millinder Orchestra. It also includes a couple of her wonderful duets with Marie Knight. There is no shortage of Sister Rosetta reissues but this is a must thanks to superior sound.

 
RON THOMPSON Fabulous 188 Magic Sam aka Ron Thompson - Just Pickin' ● CD $7.98
18 tracks, 42 min, highly recommended
There's been a bunch of "Magic Sam" instrumentals showing up on low-budget labels that were undocumented in Sam's discography. Turns out the main reason is that it's NOT Sam, but our own Bay Area guitar hero Ron Thompson with some wild guitar often with slide. Most of the tunes are short & rockin', with such great titles as Bullet Blues/ Switchblade Blues/ Gangster Blues (actually Link Wray's Rumble)/ Please Be Cool. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS ACT 9204 Lost Blues Tapes Vol. 1 - American Folk Blues Festival ● CD $22.98
16 tracks, 51 min., recommended These formerly lost tapes of American Folk Blues Festival Artists artists were recorded in Germany between 1963-65 in the studio., not live as the title may suggest. John lee Hooker contributes a driving alternate take of Della May (Mae) -- Muddy Waters gives us a rather folky rendition Captain, Captain, Big Mama Thornton sings an alternate take of Hound Dog, and Sugar Pie Desanto spins out a throaty version of You Got Me Running. The funkiest moment, however, belongs to one-man-band Doctor Ross who does 5 pounding minutes of Farewell Baby. Other luminaries include Willie Dixon, Big Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, J. B. Lenoir, Fred McDowell, Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, Sleepy John Estes, and Hammie Nixon. How could they have ever lost this stuff? (JC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital DTD 01 Goodbye, Babylon ● CD $94.98
Six CD box set, 160 tracks, nearly 8 hours of music, essential
Simply fantastic six CD box set of gospel music, mostly by rural artists, recorded between 1902 and 1960. 160 tracks in all drawing on both African-American and white country traditions. The fist five discs feature 135 songs and each disc has a unifying religious theme - deliverance, salvation, judgment, etc and the sixth disc features 25 sermons. The recordings have been carefully chosen to represent some of the very finest performances available and have been restored and remastered by Airshow Mastering and sound considerably better than any previous reissues of any of these recordings. Although most of the African-American recordings have been reissued before you have previously had to wade through poor sounding "complete recordings in chronological order" series on Document to uncover many of these gems and there are some black gospel performances reissued here for the first time on CD. Many of the tracks by white artists are making their first appearance on CD. A brief listing of some of the artists includes Rev. T.T. Rose & Singers, Alabama Sacred Harp Singers, Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, Lil McLintock, Bessie Jones & The Sea Island Singers, Brother Claude Ely, Carl Smith, Skip James, North Carolina Cooper Boys, Luther Magby, Uncle Dave Macon, Dinwiddie Colored Quartet, James & Martha Carson, Washington Phillips, Sam Morgan Jazz Band, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Arizona Dranes, Tennessee Mountaineers, The Heavenly Gospel Singers, Alfred G. Karnes, Blind Willie McTell, The Carter Family, REv. J.M. Gates, Rev. Emmett Dickenson, Rev. Johnie Blakey and many, many more. The set comes packed in raw cotton in an 8"x 11" x2.5" cedar box and includes a 200 page 8" x 5" book with introductory articles from Dick Spottswood and Charles Wolfe and detailed information on each performance from numerous experts plus lyrics to all the songs, passages from the scriptures and loads of rare photos and other graphics. (FS)
ALABAMA SACRED HARP SINGERS: Heavenly Vision/ Present Joys/ J.T. ALLISON'S SACRED HARP SINGERS: Exhilaration/ BAILES BROTHERS: Romans Ten and Nine/ REV. JOHNNY BLAKEY: King of Kings/ THE BLUE CHIPS: Crying Holy unto the Lord/ BLUE SKY BOYS: Come to the Savior/ BROWN'S FERRY FOUR: Keep on the Firing Line/ ELDER RICHARD BRYANT: Come Over Here/ BRYANT'S JUBILEE QUARTET: I'll Be Satisfied/ ELDER J.E. BURCH: My Heart Keeps Singing/ The Church And the Kingdom/ REV. J.C. BURNETT: The Downfall of Nebuchadezzar/ The Gambler's Doom/ CHARLES BUTTS SACRED HARP SINGERS: Murillo's Lesson/ REV. E.D. CAMPBELL: Take Me to the Water/ REV. BENNY CAMPBELL: You Must be Born Again/ CARLISLE BROTHERS: Jesus My All/ JAMES AND MARTHA CARSON: I'll Fly Away/ CARTER FAMILY: Keep On the Sunny Side/ River of Jordan/ CHUCK WAGON GANG: As the Life of a Flower/ EDWARD W. CLAYBORN: Your Enemy Cannot Harm You (But Watch Your Close Friend)/ JAYBIRD COLEMAN: I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan/ WILMA LEE AND STONEY COOPER: Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill/ COTTON TOP MOUNTAIN SANCTIFIED SINGERS: I Want Two Wings to Veil My Face/ ELDER CURRY AND HIS CONGREGATION: Memphis Flu/ DA COSTA WOLTZ'S SOUTHERN BROADCASTERS: Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb/ DANIELS DEASON: Sacred Harp Singers Primrose Hill/ BLIND GARY DAVIS: I Belong to the Band - Hallelujah!/ I am the True Vine/ BLIND WILLIE DAVIS: When the Saints Go Marching In/ DEACON LEON DAVIS: Deacon's Prayer Service/ REV. EMMET DICKINSON: Hell and What It Is/ DINWIDDIE COLORED QUARTET: Down on the Old Camp Ground/ THOMAS A. DORSEY: How About You/ If You See My Savior/ ARIZONA DRANES: Crucifixion/ He is My Story/ BROTHER CLAUDE ELY: There Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down/ EMPIRE JUBILEE QUARTET: Get Right Church/ FAMOUS BLUE JAY SINGERS: I'm Leaning on the Lord/ SISTER CALLY FANCY: Goin' to Heaven in the Sanctified Way/ FLATT AND SCRUGGS: That Home Above/ BLIND MAMIE FOREHAND: Honey in the Rock/ REV. J.M. GATES: Death Might Be Your Santa Claus/ Gettin' Ready For Christmas Day/ C.H. GATEWOOD: Well of Salvation/ THE GEORGIA PEACH: When the Saints Go Marching In/ GOLDEN GATE JUBILEE QUARTET: Found a Wonderful Savior/ GOLDEN GATE QUARTET: Golden Gate Gospel Train/ GOLDEN GATE JUBILEE QUARTET: Rock My Soul/ ROOSEVELT GRAVES AND BROTHER: I'll Be Rested (When the Roll is Called)/ Woke up this Morning (with My Mind on Jesus)/ A.A. GRAY AND SEVEN FOOT DILLY: The Old Ark's A Moving/ ELDER EFFIE HALL AND CONGREGATION: O Day/ HALLELUJAH JOE: The Prodigal's Return/ BLIND WILLIE HARRIS: Where He Leads Me I Will Follow/ ELDER HARRIS: I'll Lead a Christian Life/ BLIND ROGER HAYS: On My Way To Heaven/ EDDIE HEAD AND HIS FAMILY: Down on Me/ HEAVENLY GOSPEL SINGERS: When Was Jesus Born/ LAURA HENTON: He's Coming Soon/ ROSIE HIBLER AND FAMILY: Move, Members, Move/ HOLY GHOST SANCTIFIED SINGERS: Thou Carest Lord, for Me/ HUGGINS-PHILLIPS SACRED HARP SINGERS: Lover of the Lord/ MAHALIA JACKSON: Amazing Grace/ God's Gonna Separate the Wheat from the Tares/ SKIP JAMES: Jesus is a Mighty Good Leader/ BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: All I Need is that Pure Religion/ JIMPSON: No More, My Lord/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There/ REV. ANDERSON JOHNSON: Death in the Morning/ JOHNSON FAMILY SINGERS: Deliverance will Come/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON LORD: I Just Can't Keep From Crying/ BESSIE JOHNSON'S SANCTIFIED SINGERS: The Whole World In His Hand/ ELDER OTIS JONES: O Lord I'm Your Child/ REV. GEORGE JONES: That White Mule of Sin/ SAM JONES: I've Got Salvation/ BESSIE JONES AND THE SEA ISLAND: Singers O Day/ JUBILEE GOSPEL TEAM: Let Jesus Lead You/ Lower My Dying Head/ Oh, Lord Remember Me/ ALFRED KARNES: Called to the Foreign Field/ KENTUCKY RAMBLERS: Glory Glory Glory Glory to the Lamb/ KING'S SACRED QUARTET: This World Can't Stand Long/ BELA LAM AND HIS GREENE COUNTY SINGERS: Sweet Story of Old/ LION AND THE CYRIL MONROSE STRING ORCHES: Jonah, Come out the Wilderness/ LOUVIN BROTHERS: I'll Never Go Back/ BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD: Dry Bones/ UNCLE DAVE MACON: The Bible's True/ MADDOX BROTHERS & ROSE: In the Land Where We'll Never Grow Old/ LUTHER MAGBY: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit/ Jesus is Getting us Ready/ J.E. MAINER: Satisfied/ WADE MAINER: I'll be a Friend to Jesus/ Standing Outside/ LIL MCCLINTOCK: Sow Good Seeds/ MOTHER MCCOLLUM: Jesus is My Aeroplane/ REV. F.W. MCGEE: Jonah in the Belly of the Whale/ ELDERS MCINTORSH & EDWARDS: He Gave Me a Heart to Love/ BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: I Got to Cross the River of Jordan/ MCVAY AND JOHNSON: Ain't Going To Lay My Armor Down/ DOROTHY MELTON: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me/ REV. J.M. MILTON: The Black Camel of Death/ MONROE BROTHERS: Sinner You Better Get Ready/ REV. E.S. (SHY) MOORE: Christ, the Teacher/ SAM MORGAN'S JAZZ BAND: Over in Gloryland/ REV. W.M. MOSLEY: If You Follow Jesus/ REV. SISTER MARY NELSON: Judgment/ REV A.W. NIX: Black Diamond Express to Hell Part 1/ Black Diamond Express to Hell Part 2/ NORFOLK JUBILEE QUARTET: My Lord's Gonna Move this Wicked Race/ NORTH CANTON QUARTET: I'm Bound for Home/ NORTH CAROLINA COOPER BOYS: Daniel in the Den of Lions/ OKEH - ATLANTA SACRED HARP SINGERS: Return Again/ PACE JUBILEE SINGERS: You'd Better Mind/ FRANK PALMES: Troubled 'Bout My Soul/ BLIND BENNY PARIS & WIFE: Hide Me in the Blood of Jesus/ WASHINGTON PHILLIPS: Lift Him up That's All/ What are They Doing in Heaven Today?/ ERNEST PHIPPS AND HIS HOLINESS SINGERS: If the Light Has Gone Out of Your Soul/ PRICE FAMILY SACRED SINGERS: Ship of Glory/ BLIND ALFRED REED: I Mean to Live for Jesus/ MRS. L. REED & MRS. T.A. DUNCANS: Light in the Valley/ DOCK REED AND VERA HALL WARD: Free at Last/ REV. D.C. RICE: We Got the Same Kinda Power over Here/ RIDGEL'S FOUNTAIN CITIANS: Hallelujah to the Lamb/ REV. T.T. ROSE: Goodbye, Babylon part 2/ ELDER DAVID ROSS: He Gave Me a Heart to Love/ SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHOIR: On Jordan's Stormy Banks We Stand/ SHEFFIELD QUARTET: Christ Arose/ REV. ISAIAH SHELTON: The Liar/ SILVER LEAF QUARTETTE: Daniel Saw the Stone/ CARL SMITH WITH THE CARTER SISTERS AND MOTHER: Blood That Stained the Old Rugged Cross/ STANLEY BROTHERS: Standing in the Need of Prayer/ ERNEST V. STONEMAN: There's a Light Lit up in Galilee/ I Remember Calvary/ JIMMIE STROTHERS: Down to the Shore/ T.C.I. WOMEN'S FOUR: That Great Day/ REV. T.T. ROSE: Goodbye, Babylon/ BLIND JOE TAGGART: Goin' to Rest Where Jesus Is/ TASKIANA FOUR: Creep Along, Moses/ TENNESSEE MUSIC AND PRINTING COMPANY QUA: Joy Bells/ TENNESSEE MOUNTAINEERS: Standing on the Promises/ SISTER O.M. TERRELL: The Bible's Right/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: Strange Things Happening Every/ TRUMPETEERS: Milky White Way/ TWO GOSPEL KEYS: You've Got to Move/ VIRGINIA DANDIES: God's Getting Worried/ DOCK WALSH: Bathe in that Beautiful Pool/ LOUIS WASHINGTON: Got Heaven in My View/ REV. WEBB: Moses was Rescued by a Negro Woman/ REV. T.E. WEEMS: God is Mad with Man/ If I Have a Ticket Lord Can I Ride/ JOSHUA WHITE: I Don't Intend to Die in Egyptland/ WASHINGTON WHITE: I am in the Heavenly Way/ HANK WILLIAMS: I'll Have a New Body/ DEACON A. WILSON: You Need Jesus on Your Side/ REV. S.J. WORELL: The Prodigal Son

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rounder 1866 Alan Lomax Blues Songbook ● CD $23.98
Two CDs, 41 tracks, highly recommended. A wonderful two CD retrospective of blues drawn from field recordings made by Alan Lomax that span the period 1935 to 1978. Most of the tracks have been issued on previous Rounder albums but this set does include some choice previously unissued items and gives an excellent overview of Lomax's blues recordings. 41 tracks by such artists as Fred McDowell, Jack Owens (previously unissued), Boy Blue (unissued alternate take), Cecil Augusta (unissued track by mysterious but superb country bluesman), Son House, Dock Reed & Vera Ward Hall, Bessie Jones, Dock Boggs (previously unissued), Jelly Roll Morton, The Memphis Jug Band (unissued 1959 recording but a bit of a disappointment), John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Blind Willie McTell, Elinor Boyer, Canray Fontenot (unissued), Ozella Jones, R.L. Burnside (unissued), Albert Ammons, Smith Casey, Ed Young & Hobart Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, Lead Belly and others. Includes 40 page booklet with introduction by Martin Scorsese, introductory notes by John Cowley, notes on all the performances by Cowley or David Evans and some great photos. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Rounder 2171 Box Of Blues ● CD $28.98
Budget priced four CD set featuring 60 tracks drawn from Rounder's extensive catalog of blues recordings - Fred McDowell, Robert Nighthawk, Buster Brown, Otis Spann, Big Joe Williams, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Eddy Clearwater, Willie Cobbs, Jimmy Rogers, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Anson Funderburgh, Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones, Candye Kane, Duke Robillard, George Thorogood, Ruth Brown, Johnny Adams, Paul Kelly, Charles Brown, Irma Thomas and many more.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Savoy 275 Ladies Sing The Blues ● CD $11.98
20 tracks, 56 min., recommended. Available again. The digital reissue of the similarly titled double LP from the early 80's, with ten fewer cuts, so that now each of the five featured artists sings four numbers apiece. Miss Rhapsody (Viola Wells) sings Blues in My Heart and The Night Before Judgment Day from the mid-40's. Albinia Jones offers Evil Gal Blues and Salty Papa from the same time frame. Linda Hopkins performs Sad and Lonely and Baby Please Come Home, recorded in 1951. Little Esther's tracks include Longing in My Heart and If It's News to You, both from 1956. And Big Maybelle's closing section of the program includes Ramblin' Blues and A Good Man Is Hard to Find from late 50's sessions. It's a solid program from start to finish, featuring excellent sound quality and a teeny tiny CD-booklet-version of the original notes (I do recommend a magnifying glass.) by Sheldon Harris. (DH)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Savoy Jazz 17199 Savoy Blues 'n' Boogie ● CD $12.98
18 track, 49 mins, highly recommended. Excellent collection of jump blues, boogie and R&B recorded between 1945 and 1952 for Savoy and associated labels. It includes early recordings by two artists who became R&B superstars - Jackie Wilson recording in 1952 with the Billy Mitchell Band as Sonny Wilson on the fine Rainy Day Blues and Lavern Baker doing I Want To Rock in 1950/51 under the name Little Miss Sharecropper. There are also two sides 1947 by the great Doc Pomus aka Jerome Felder who was one of the most convincing white blues singers of all - his My Good Pott is a far cry from his later compositions like Teenager In Love and Viva Las Vegas! There are also track by Big Jay McNeely, Gatemouth Moore, H_Bomb Ferguson, Helen Humes, Milton Buggs, Dallas Bartley, Billy Wright and others. A number of these tracks have appeared on CD before but these are all newly remastered from original acetates and tape masters. Includes 8 page foldout booklet with notes by te indefatigable Billy Vera. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Shout Factory 31134 Blues Story ● CD $24.98
Two CDs, 38 tracks, good Enjoyable but frustrating compilation that attempts to survey the whole spectrum of blues in 38 tracks on two CDs. The music is consistently great but the orientation is very lopsided with lots of music from Mississippi and Chicago but very little from the Eastern or Western states. The versions of many songs featured are not always the expected ones - Lowell Fulson's Reconsider Baby is a later Stony Plain recording, Buddy Guy's First Time I Met The Blues is a European recording and so on - fine in their own right but not really part of the "blues story". In fact there's nothing that originates with Universal who own Chess, Peacock, etc. - I wonder what the story is there? It's too bad that this has the same title and graphics as the "Blues Story" DVD - this is not in the same league as that superb production. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Shout Factory DVD 31226 Blues Story ● CD $18.98
DVD 90 mins + 30 mins bonus, color & black & white, widescreen, highly recommended
This underpromoted documented aired on PBS the same week as the overpromoted Martin Scorsese series and was probably missed by a lot of people even though it's better than most of what was shown in the Scorsese series. This documentary is a history of the blues as told through the words and music of the musicians themselves. Through some excellent editing this documentary (directed by Jay Levy) weaves together recent interviews and performances, vintage footage and photos to paint a broad but interesting picture of the music touching on many of the most important artists and styles. It features recent interviews and/or performances by Bobby Bland, Ruth Brown, Willie Foster, Lowell Fulson, John Jackson, Robert Lockwood, Pinetop perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Henry Townsend and others. The DVD features and expanded 90 minute version of the original documentary plus a bonus 30 minutes of performances by Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Lockwood, Willie Foster and others. For the newcomer to the blues this provides a perfect introduction to the music and the devoted fan will find lots of great music presented even if the facts presented are familiar. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Vestapol DVD 13041 Texas Blues Guitar ● CD $23.98
14 tracks, b&w/ color, 60 mins, recommended Now on DVD. This video features four great Texas guitarists starting with three powerful songs from the Iceman Albert Collins from 1991. He's followed by three exciting performances from a 1972 show with Freddy King. There are four songs from a 1960 New York TV show by Lightnin' Hopkins - some of the earliest footage of him finding him in brilliant form and the tape ends with four songs from 1968 by Mance Lipscomb - two played slide style with a pocket knife. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 2067 Times Ain't Like They Used To Be, Volume 7 ● CD $15.98
Another in those fine collections featuring recordings of American rural music from the 20s and 30 - both black and white. This volume include the superb Time Has Done Got Hard by King Solomon Hill which was previously only available on the bonus CD with the Blues Calndar. Also includes Dilly & His Dill Pickles, The Sheffield Male Quartet, Three Tpbacco Tags, Ed Bell, Fiddlin' John Carson, The Stripling Brothers, Skip james, Dennis McGee (great Cajun fiddler), Uncle Pete & Louise (a fascinating early version of Tramp On The Street called Only A Tramp), Son House, The Old Southern Sacred Singers and others. About two-thirds white country music and the rest is blues.
ED BELL: Ham Bone Blues/ FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON: Little More Sugar In The Cofee/peter Went A Fishin'/ JAYBIRD COLEMAN: I'm Gonna Cross The River Of Jordon Some Of These Days/ DANIELS-DEASON SACRED HARP SINGERS: Primrose Hill/ DILLY & HIS DILL PICKLES: Bust Down Stomp/ EAST TEXAS SERENADERS: Mineola Rag/ GITFIDDLE JIM: Rainy Night Blues/ KING SOLOMON HILL: Times Has Done Got Hard/ SON HOUSE: Dry Spell Blues Pt. 1/ BO WEAVIL JACKSON: Devil & My Brown Blues/ SKIP JAMES: Hard Luck Child/ BEN JARRELL & FRANK JENKINS: Jack Of Diamonds/ UNCLE DAVE MACON & SAM MCGEE: Go On Nora Lee/ DENNIS MCGEE: Jeunes Gens Campagnard/ DAVID MILLER: Cannonball Rag/ OLD SOUTHERN SACRED SINGERS: I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go/ RED HEADED FIDDLER: Texas Quickstep/ TED SHARP, HINMAN & SHARP: Pikes Peak/ SHEFFIELD MALE QUARTET: Christ Arose/ STRIPLING BROTHERS: Horseshoe Bend/ JIMMIE TARLTON: Dixie Mail/ THREE TOBACCO TAGS: Good Gal Remember Me/ UNCLE PETE & LOUISE: Only A Tramp

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 2068 Times Ain't Like They Used To Be, Volume 8 ● CD $15.98
Like the first volume this is heavily weighted towards white country but the blues tracks here are spectacular including the magnificent My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon by King Solomon Hill which has never been reissued before and is alone worth the price of this CD. Tommy Johnson's demo recording of I Want Someone To Love Me which was previously on the bonus CD with the Blues Calendar is also including. Other artists here include The Vaughan Quartet, "Gitfiddle Jim" (Kokomo Arnold's first record - the dazzling Paddlin' Blues), Dock Boggs, The Stripling Brothers (the wonderful Lost Child), Bo Weavil Jackson, Dick Reinhart, Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, Johnny Barfield, Ed Bell, Dennis McGee, Uncle Dave Macon & the McGee Brothers, The Shelor Family and others.

 
LIL JOE WASHINGTON Dialtone 008 Houston Guitar Blues ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 45 minutes, highly recommended
If you thought they couldn't make records today that recalled the efforts of Cal Green, early Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and other Texas wizards, you'll need this disc just to see how wrong you've been. Lil Joe Washington may never get much further than he is currently, but his guitar playing is thankfully stuck in a time warp that dates back four decades. Hard Way 6 and 5 Spot are sweltering guitar instrumentals with loads of wild fretwork and vocally, Washington is no slouch either. His singing is unadorned and matches his playing with plenty of grit, sweat, and a no-frills approach. Unfinished Business and How Long are roughshod slow blues with careening guitar. They don't get much more stripped-back and simple than this. Another winner from Fort Horton studios. (CR)

 
MUDDY WATERS Columbia 86559 Muddy "Mississippi" Waters - Live ● CD $29.98
2 CDs, 18 tracks, 101 minutes, recommended
Disc one is a remastered look at Muddy's 1979 LP of the same name and the sonic upgrades are evident from square one with the set being a clinic of Muddy's bottleneck guitar as well as spot-on accompaniment from the band. Everyone climbs in behind Muddy's slide and potent vocals whether playing shuffles, slow blues, or grinding Delta rhythms. Disc two holds 59 minutes of previously unreleased recordings from the same late-1970s tour and while Muddy might not have been as powerful a force on tracks like Stormy Monday Blues or Corrina, Corrina, he was in the zone for Trouble No More/ Champagne And Reefer/ She Moves Me/ Mad Love (I Want You To Love Me) and more. Pinetop Perkins, Jerry Portnoy, Willie Smith, Bob Margolin, Luther Johnson, and Calvin Jones play superbly. A few cuts find Johnny Winter aboard with Portnoy out and Charles Calmese taking the place of Jones. Some bone-rattling music with packaging, photos, and notes by Margolin and Robert Gordon being top-shelf. (CR)

 
BIG JOE WILLIAMS Delmark 767 I Got Wild ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 62 minutes, essential
While he traveled extensively, Big Joe Williams can be seen as one who wasn't recorded often enough. There are a number of titles of his available, but with that bizarre 9-string guitar and his barking vocals, he's always highly rewarding. This set consists of previously unreleased tracks from Delmark's vaults recorded in 1958 and 1961 with Ransom Knowling's thundering upright bass on P-Vine Blues, the impromptu Studio Blues, and That Thing's In Town, while Big Joe handles the remainder on his own. Hearing him do You Are My Sunshine is worth the price of admission, as well as the studio banter about bootlegging, and Joe's croaking voice throughout. Brilliant. (CR)

 
BILLY WRIGHT Blue City 810 Have Mercy Baby ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Great collection of 28 sides from this outstanding and influential blues and R&B singer from Atlanta including a couple that are not listed in the standard discography. The tracks here range from his first session in 1949 to his last in 1959 and vary from intense slow blues to upbeat rockers and includes his four R&B chart hits Blues For My Baby/ You Satisfy/ Stacked Deck and Hey Little Girl plus other fine cuts like Have Mercy Baby/ Don't You Want A Man Like Me/ Beg A Dog/ Turn Your Lamp Down Low (a great urban reworking of the country blues standard Baby, Please Don't Go)/ Drinkin' & Thinkin'/ If I Didn't Love You (a great track not listed in the discography with some very hot guitar)/ This Love Of Mine/ Back Biting Woman/ Married Woman Boogie/ I Keep Drinking/ Mean Old Wine/ Let's Be Friends. Sound is fine but there are no notes. (FS)

 

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