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NEWSLETTER #133
Blues & Gospel
Jo Jo Adams ->
Jimmy Rushing

 

B.B. & THE BLUES SHACKS Crosscut 11079 Blue Avenue ● CD $16.98
16 tracks, 60 minutes, excellent At this point in time, it matters not where you hail from if you're playing blues. This fact is hammered home by B.B. & The Blues Shacks, a smoldering five-piece outfit all the way from Germany. Brothers Michael and Andreas Arlt pair up on harmonica and guitar respectively, with Michael tackling vocal chores as well while backing comes thumping through from Henning Hauerken's upright bass, Andreas Bock's drilling kit work and Dennis Koeckstadt's piano. Alex Schultz guests on guitar and works seamlessly with Andreas Arlt as they trade smoking rhythms and brittle leads through bouncing jump (Cool Drinks), gripping shuffles (Do To Me), and Chicago boogie (Wait On Honey). Worried Times/ Beauty Parlor Gossip/ Rambling Kind/ Shipwrecked and everything else make for a convincing argument. These guys are no newcomers either, their catalog is growing steadily. (CR)

 
CHARLES BROWN Savoy Jazz 17326 Alone At The Piano ● CD $11.98
13 tracks, 40 minutes, excellent Recorded between 1989 and 1995, this superb CD displays Charles Brown alone at the piano delivering a set of music with great feel. Sonics are incredibly good and you get the impression that the piano wizard is in your listening room playing solely for your enjoyment. Moonrise/ Gloria/ I'll Miss You/ Is You Is Or Is You Ain't/ I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) and Cottage For Sale are delicious, and Brown offers up a classic blues in the form of Black Nite that sizzles while remaining low-key. His voice was always a pleasure and it's no different here. The only complaint is the relatively short playing time, but Brown revives some old gems for a real treat. (CR)

 
LEROY CARR Columbia 86989 Whiskey Is My Habit, Good Women Is All Crave ● CD $24.98
Two CDS, 40 tracks, highly recommended Between 1928 and his untimely death in 1935 singer/piano player Leroy Carr and his guitar playing partner Scrapper Blackwell produced some of the finest and most influential blues recordings of the era. Carr's beautiful melancholic vocals and low key, but very effective piano work was perfectly complemented by Blackwell's wonderful acerbic guitar style. This collection features some of his most memorable and most covered songs as well as lesser known titles including novelty songs and even the odd pop ballad. Among the titles here are How Long, How Long Blues/ Prison Bound Blues/ Sloppy Drunk Blues/ Midnight Hour Blues/ Mean Mistreater Mama/ Hurry Down Sunshine/Blues Before Sunrise/ Motherless Child/ Barrelhouse Woman/ I Believe I'll Make A Change/ Bobo Stomp/ Hard Hearted Papa/ Evil Hearted Woman/ Hustler's Blues/ You Got Me Grieving/ Suicide Blues and many others. Sound quality is superb, frequently using original metal parts and set comes with 12 page illustrated booklet with discographical information and brief notes by Tom Piazza. But why only 40 tracks? They could easily have given us 10 more - Carr deserves no less! (FS)
LEROY CARR: Barrelhouse Woman/ Big Four Blues/ Black Wagon Blues/ Blues Before Sunrise/ Bobo Stomp/ Bread Baker/ Church House Blues/ Corn Licker Blues/ Don't Start No Stuff/ Eleven Twenty-nine Blues/ Evil Hearted Woman/ Gambler's Blues/ Good Woman Blues/ Hard Hearted Papa/ How Long-how Long Blues/ Hurry Down Sunshine/ Hustler's Blues/ I Ain't Got No Money Now/ I Believe I'll Make A Change/ It's Too Short/ Mean Mistreater Mama/ Midnight Hour Blues/ Motherless Child/ Muddy Water/ My Good For Nothin' Gal/ My Woman's Gone Wrong/ Papa's On The House Top/ Prison Bound Blues/ Shady Lane Blues/ Shinin' Pistol/ Six Cold Feet In The Ground/ Sloppy Drunk Blues/ Southbound Blues/ Straight Alky Blues, Pt. 1/ Straight Alky Blues, Pt. 2/ Suicide Blues/ Take A Walk Around The Corner/ Tight Times Blues/ You Got Me Grieving/ You Left Me Crying

 
THE CARRIERE BROTHERS Arhoolie 512 Old Time Louisiana Creole Music ● CD $12.98
Wonderful collection of African-American rural music from Louisiana in the Creole tradition, recorded in 1974, blending old time mazurkas, polkas and Creole songs as well as more recent blues, Cajun and zydeco numbers. The brothers are Joseph "Bebe" Carriere/ fiddle and vocals and Eraste "Dolan" Carrier/ accordion and vocals and their music is a joy to listen to. On four of the tracks they are joined by Linton Broussard who provides some primitive but effective drum accompaniment. Nine of the tracks were previously on Arhoolie LP 5031 but the rest are previously unissued.

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 9041 The King Of Zydeco Sings The Blues ● CD $9.98
12 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended Reissue of Arhoolie 1097. Although the blues is a major part of Clifton Chenier's music this is one of the few albums almost exclusively devoted to the blues and a splendid set it is too featuring recordings made by Houston entrepreneur Roy Ames and previously issued on the Prophesy and Home Cooking labels. With his brother Cleveland on washboard and a solid if somewhat thin rhythm section he does versions of blues classics like Be My Chauffeur and Worried Life Blues, originals like Ain't No Need Of Crying and Gone A La Maison (the latter sung in French) and jumping R&B like Fats Domino's Rose Mary and a revitalised verison of Glenn Miller's In the Mood. Plus My Little Angel/ Done Got Over/ Trouble In Mind/ Paper In My Shoe/ Brown Skin Woman. Great stuff! These sides were previously available on Arhoolie 351 which is now deleted. (FS)

 
DADDY GRACE & GROUP American Odeon 14001 A Night With Daddy Grace ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 37 mins, highly recommended Reissue of limited edition LP originally issued in 1950s featuring the only recordings of the trombone shout band led by Charles "Daddy" Grace. Grace was a charismatic African-Portuguese immigrant who became an evangelist and founded "The United House Of Prayer For All People" in the early 1920s which now has some 350 churches with more than 3,000,000 members. Music in these churches often featured groups led by trombones with tubas, mandolins, percussion and other instruments. The recordings here were made at Grace's home church in Harlem around 1955. Only three tracks feature the whole band but the other tracks are just as exciting with piano, organ, tamborines and spirited singing from the Grace Emmanual Singers. Grace himself is heard with an opening prayer and introducing the final track - the amazing 12 minute tour de force featuring the whole band Jericho March. Sound quality is excellent - too bad the notes are so brief. (FS)

 
FELIX GROSS Blue Moon 6040 The Complete, 1947-1955 ● CD $13.98
27 tracks, 75 mins, recommended Felix Gross was a fine but obscure jump blues singer and occasional drummer. Gross was probably from Texas but settled in Southern California where he did most of his recording. Most of his first few sessions have a Louis Jordan feel to them with a loping jumping feel though lacking Jordan's lyrical wit or variety. The later sides have more variety including some nice slow blues including a fine October 1949 session with fine tenor sax by Joe Howard and brilliant guitar from Tiny Webb. Nothing specatcular here but some decent performances. (FS)

 
SLIM HARPO Hip-O 0583 The Excello Singles Anthology ● CD $21.98
2 discs, 44 tracks, essential Exactly what it says - both A & B sides of Slim's 22 singles released on Excello, initially recorded at Jay Miller's legendary studio in Crowley LA & sold to Ernie Young (of the equally legendary Ernie's Record Mart) in Nashville for Excello. Later tunes were cut directly for Excello in Nashville. With a lazy backing rhythm, Slim had hits in a great swamp pop vein (I'm A King Bee/ Rainin' In My Heart) & later with spoken lyrics (the classic Baby Scratch My Back). All the singles are here, including all the attempts to cash in on "King Bee" - Buzzin'/ Buzz Me Baby and Little Queen Bee. There's also later hits - Tip On In Pts 1 & 2/ Ti-Ni-Nee-Ni-Nu, & tunes that became better known when covered by rock bands( mostly British) including I Got Love If You Want It (The Kinks) and Shake Your Hips (Rolling Stones). Full recording info & detailed liner notes by John Broven. (GM)

 
JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL Inside Sounds 519 Get Right Blues ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, recommended A collection of previously unissued recordings made between 1979 and 1985 by this fine Mississippi country blueswoman. About half the tracks are solo featuring Jessie Mae accompanying herself on guitar and various forms of percussion and on one track accompanying herself on "diddley bow" (a one string guitar featuring a wire placed up against a wall). The other tracks feature her with various accompanying musicians and vocalists including David Evans (guitar), Compton Jones (vocal, percussion and diddley bow), Glen Faulkner (diddley bow), Joe Hicks (drums) and others. Songs include Streamline Train/ Go Back To Your Used To Be/ Baby, Please Don't Go/ Cowgirl Blues/ He's A Mighty Good Leader/ Loving In The Moonlight/ Jessie's Love Song/ Jesus Will Fix It For You, etc. Some fine performances from this talented musician who has been unable to perform for the past ten years due to a stroke. (FS)

 
LUTHER JOHNSON Black & Blue 462-2 Born In Georgia ● CD $22.98
15 tracks, 64 minutes, essential For fans of driving Post-war electric blues, this set is hard to beat. Luther ("Georgia Boy" or "Snake") Johnson fronts a small band with Sonny Thompson at the piano, and a rhythm section of Emmett Sutton's bass and Bill Warren's in-the-pocket drumming. Dusty Brown steps in for some fine harp on Bright Lights Big City/ Take Enough Of Him and a funked-up ride through Hoochie Coochie Man, while Johnny Shines appears on beautiful country blues pieces like Walkin' Blues/ My Daddy Told Me, and Crawlin' King Snake. Includes four previously unissued cuts - Bright Lights/ Am I Wrong For Loving You/ Hoochie Coochie/ Rock 'N Roll Every Day. Johnson is muscular throughout, both vocally and on guitar. An exceptional set of blues. (CR)

 
THE JUBALAIRES Heritage 48 The Singing Waiters, 1947-1948 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended Excellent quartet from the 40s who performed both sacred and secular material though the majority of the material is sacred. The group has a complicated history which is elaborated upon in the 12 page booklet by compiler Opal Louis Nations. Some of the group's commercial recordings were reissued on Big Q 102 ("Best Of The Jubalaires" - $18.98) but this set features previously unissued radio transcriptions from 1947 & '48. Featuring the fine lead of William Johnson they perform 19 gospel songs and 6 secular pieces sung acapella or accompanied by Jimmie O'Brien on piano. The material is performed in fine jubilee style inspired by the Golden Gate Singers but with a harder, more contemporary, edge on some of the tracks like You Better Run and When The Moon Goes Down. Titles include John Saw The Number/ Ezekiel/ I Declare This World Is In A Bad Condition/ Wade In the Water/ Dese Bones Gwine Rise Again/ My Father's Rich/ Old Lamb/ Live A-Humble/ My Trouble Is Hard/ Jube's Blues/ Casey Jones (with some nice boogie piano from O'Brien)/ Long, Lean & Lanky and others. Sound quality is superb. (FS)

 
B.B. KING Ace CDCHM 996 Blues In My Heart ● CD $13.98
The fifth volume in Ace's ongoing mid-priced series based on B.B.'s original Crown LPs with bonus tracks, This was originally issued as Crown 5309 in 1963 and features B.B. in a small combo setting and Ace have added seven previously unissued bonus tracks.
B.B. KING: Downhearted Aka How Blue Can You Get?/ Got ’em Bad/ I Can't Explain/ I Need You Baby/ Love My Baby(bonus)/ Loving You In Vain(bonus)/ My Baby's An Angel(bonus)/ My Baby's Dynamite(bonus)/ My Sometime Baby(bonus)/ So Many Days/ Strange Things/ The Wrong Road/ Troubles Don't Last/ What Have I Done(bonus)/ You're Gonna Miss Me/ You've Got My Hands Tied(bonus)/ Your Good Lovin' Man(bonus)/ Your Letter

 
THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS Columbia CK 65709 Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down - Best Of The Mississippi Sheiks ● CD $11.98
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 for OKeh in 1930 and '31 and in addition to recordings under their own name includes three tracks where they accompany the superb Texas singer Texas Alexander. It includes their two most famous (and frequently copied) songs - Stop And Listen Blues #2 and Sitting On Top Of The World as well as other fine tracks like Still I'm Traveling On/ The Jazz Fiddler/ Driving That Thing/ When You're Sick With The Blues/ Things About Comin' My Way/ Last Stage Blues (Texas Alexander vocal)/Your Good Man Caught The Train And Gone/ Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down/ West Jackson Blues. A great 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. Excellent sound and informative notes by compiler Larry Cohn. (FS)
TEXAS ALEXANDER: Frost Texas Tornado Blues/ Last Stage Blues/ Seen Better Days/ THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Bed Spring Poker/ Bootlegger's Blues/ Driving That Thing/ Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down/ I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You/ Jazz Fiddler/ Livin' In A Strain/ Please Don't Wake It Up/ Ramrod Blues/ Sitting On Top Of The World/ Still I'm Traveling On/ Stop And Listen Blues No. 2/ Things About Comin' My Way/ Unhappy Blues/ West Jackson Blues/ When You're Sick With The Blues/ Your Good Man Caught The Train And Gone

 
GATEMOUTH MOORE Savoy Jazz 17327 Cryin' & Singin' The Blues ● CD $11.98
20 tracks, 60 minutes, excellent Gatemouth Moore's name might not come up as frequently as it should in discussions of great Post-war blues shouters, but his startling and booming voice is all over this well-done release. Nine of the twenty tracks are previously unissued (all recorded for the National label between May of 1945 and October of 1946) and stem from three separate sessions with either Dallas Bartley & His Smalltown Boys, Budd Johnson's Orchestra, or the Tiny Grimes Swingtet. Laced with buzzing and honking saxes and solid piano behind him, Moore's vocals soar above and dive below the jumping workouts. I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby/ Did You Ever Love A Woman/ Cryin' And Singin' The Blues, and much more. (CR)

 
JOHN PRIMER Wolf 120.808 Blue Steel - A Tribute To Elmore James ● CD $15.98
Chicago bluesman pays tribute to one of the all time blues giants with his versions of some Elmore songs along with a few originals in Elmore's style. He is accompanied by a small band with Steve Bell/ harmonica, Detroit Jr/ piano, Little Bobby Neely/ sax and others. Pleasant enough but the originals are so much better.

 
BOBBY RUSH Deep Rush 1001 Folk Funk ● CD $16.98
New album by this popular contemporary bluesman finds him in a more down home vein than usual with Alvin Youngblood Hart on guitar and Bobby playing some fine harmonica.

 

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