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NEWSLETTER #133
Blues & Gospel
Roosevelt Sykes ->
Charles Wilson
 

 

SISTER ROSETTA THARPE Fremeaux 1303 Complete, Vol. 3 : 1947-1951 ● CD $25.98
Two CD set, 40 tracks, highly recommended
Third volume devoted to the complete recordings of this great and influential gospel singer and guitarist. Her earlier recordings have been reissued on three CDs on Document (two currently unavailable) or two double setw on Fremeaux (1301: 1938-1943 and 1302: 1943-1947 - $25.98 each). A few tracks overlap with the third Document volume but much of this glorious material is making its first appearance on CD. She is usually accompanied by the fine Sam Price Trio or The James Roots Trio. A number of tracks feature the fine male vocal group The Dependable Boys and some feature the female group The Rosette Gospel Singers. There are some great duets with her good friend Marie Knight as well as two duets with her mother Katie Bell Nubin and she accompanies Katie Bell on two fine solo sides. The set also includes two cuts from the "Spirituals To Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938 where she is accompanied by pianist Albert Ammons as well as two sides recorded in 1947 for Downbeat as Sister Katty Marie. There is not as much of Sister Rosetta's great guitar playing as on her earlier recordings but there are some fine solos and the singing is superb throughout. Sound is excellent and the 24 page illustrated booklet has notes in French and English and full discographical info. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1009 Welcome To The Club ● CD $18.98
Complementing Ace 717 this is a second collection of Chicago blues and R&B from the vaults of King/ Federal Records including sides by Willie Wright & the Sparklers (9 fine sides, mostly previously unissued), Lee "Shot" Williams (4 tracks), Syl Johnson (6), Eddy Clearwater (2), Jesse Anderson (2) and Danny Overbea (1).
JESSE ANDERSON: How Long Has It Been/ You'd Better Think Twice/ EDDY CLEARWATER: I Was Gone/ Twist Like This/ SYL JOHNSON: (she's So Fine) I Just Gotta Make Her Mine/ I Resign From Your Love/ I Wanna Know/ I've Got To Find My Baby/ Little Sally Walker/ Well Oh Well/ DANNY OVERBEA: I'm Tired Of Being Tossed Around/ LEE "SHOT" WILLIAMS: Don't Misuse My Love/ I'm Tore Up/ When You Move, You Lose/ You're Welcome To The Club/ WILLIE WRIGHT & THE SPARKLERS: Bloodhound/ Gibble Gobble/ Got A Feelin'/ Hard Times/ I Want To Love You/ I'm Gonna Leave You Baby And I'm Goin' Away To Stay/ Slowly Losing My Mind/ Sufferin' In Mind/ What Will I Say

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS American Odeon 14002 Harlem Congregation Live ● CD $14.98
Another fascinating musical historical document from this new label. This one features live recordings made around 1954 at two churches in Harlem - one on Christmas day and one on Saint Sylvester's Day (December 31st) and was previously only available as limited edition LP in Europe. We sermons, solo and congregational singing and a testimonial all performed in ahighly spirited manner.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Boulevard Vintage 4002 The R&B Years - 1952 ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of some of the most popular blues, R&B and doo-wop recordings of 1952. Only one problem is that 40 of the tracks are duplicated on Indigo 2532 - The R&B Hits Of 1952. Still the remaining 60 tracks includes lots of gems from the likes of Wynonie Harris, Fats Noel, T-Bone Walker, Joe Houston, Willis Jackson, Amos Milburn, Todd Rhodes, Lloyd Glenn, The Dominoes, Chuck Willis, Pig Meat Peterson, Melvin Smith, Louis Jordan (doing a version of Junco Partner), The Four Blazes, Lula Reed, The Five Royales, Roy Milton, Varetta Dillard, JImmy McCracklin, Little Caesar, Joe Williams, Tiny Kennedy and many more. Sound quality is superb and there is an 8 page fold out booklet with notes by Roy Bainton. (FS)
JOHNNY ACE: My Song/ MARIE ADAMS: I'm Gonna Play The Honky Tonks/ ARCHIBALD: Great Big Eyes/ TINY BRADSHAW: The Train Kept A Rollin'/ JACKIE BRENSTON: Hi-Ho Baby/ CHARLES BROWN: Hard Times/ ROY BROWN: Good Rockin' Man/ I've Got The Last Laugh Now/ RUTH BROWN: 5-10-15 Hours/ Daddy Daddy/ RAY CHARLES: Kissa Me Baby/ Midnight Hour/ THE CLOVERS: Hey, Miss Fannie/ One Mint Julep/ Ting-A-Ling/ TOMMY DEAN: Lonely Monday/ VARETTA DILLARD: Easy, Easy Baby/ Them There Eyes/ FLOYD DIXON: Call Operator 210/ Come Back Baby/ FATS DOMINO: Goin' Home/ How Long/ Poor Poor Me/ THE DOMINOES: Have Mercy Baby/ I'd Be Satisfied/ That's What You Do To Me/ THE DU DROPPERS: Can't Do Sixty No More/ H-BOMB FERGUSON: Slowly Goin' Crazy/ THE FIVE ROYALES: You Know I Know/ JIMMY FOREST: Night Train/ THE FOUR BLAZES: Mary Jo/ T.J. FOWLER: Back Biter/ LOWELL FULSON: Guitar Shuffle/ LLOYD GLENN: Yancey Special/ ROSCO GORDON: Booted/ No More Doggin'/ JOHN GREER: Got You On My Mind/ GUITAR SLIM: Feelin' Sad/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Keep On Churnin'/ Lovin' Machine/ LYNN HOPE: Hop, Skip And Jump/ JOE HOUSTON: Worry, Worry, Worry/ FLUFFY HUNTER: Walk Right In/ IVORY JOE HUNTER: Rockin' Chair Boogie/ BULLMOOSE JACKSON: Nosey Joe/ WILLIS JACKSON: Wine-O-Wine/ THE JACKSON BROTHERSS: We're Gonna Rock This Joint/ LOUIS JORDAN: Jordan For President/ Junco Partner/ TINY KENNEDY: Strange Kind Of Feeling/ B.B. KING: Boogie Woogie Woman/ You Know I Love You/ CHRISTINE KITTRELL: Sittin' Here Drinkin'/ BOBBY LEWIS: Mumbles Blues/ PETE "GUITAR" LEWIS: Louisiana Hop/ SMILEY LEWIS: The Bells Are Ringing/ JIMMY LIGGINS: That's What Knocking Me Out/ LITTLE CAESAR: Goodbye Baby/ LITTLE ESTHER: Aged And Mellow/ Ring-A-Ding-Doo/ BILLY LOVE: Drop Top/ WILLIE MABON: I Don't Know/ PERCY MAYFIELD: Cry Baby/ The Big Question/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: My Days Are Limited/ EDNA MCGRIFF: Heavenly Farther/ BIG JAY MCNEELY: Blow, Blow, Blow/ AMOS MILBURN: Greyhound/ Thinking And Drinking/ Trouble In Mind/ LUCKY MILLINDER: The Right Kind Of Lovin'/ ROY MILTON: Night And Day/ So Tired/ FATS NOEL: Ride Daddy Ride/ THE ORIOLES: Baby Please Don't Go/ See See Rider/ JOHNNY OTIS: Sunset To Dawn/ PIG MEAT PETERSON: Everybody Loves A Fat Man/ LLOYD PRICE: Lawdy Miss Clawdy/ Oooh-Oooh-Oooh/ THE RAVENS: Rock Me All Night Long/ LULA REED/SONNY THOMPSON: I'll Drown In My Tears/ Let's Call It A Day/ TODD RHODES: Rocket 69/ Your Daddy's Doggin' Around/ SHIRLEY & LEE: I'm Gone/ MELVIN SMITH: Looped/ THE SWALLOWS: It Ain't The Meat/ WILLIE MAE THORNTON: Let Your Tear Drops Fall/ JOE TURNER: Don't You Cry/ Sweet Sixteen/ TITUS TURNER: Got So Much Trouble/ T-BONE WALKER: Cold, Cold Feeling/ Street Walking Woman/ DINAH WASHINGTON: New Blow Top Blues/ JOE WILLIAMS: Every Day I Have The Blues/ LESTER WILLIAMS: Brand New Baby/ I Can't Lose With The Stuff I Use/ CHUCK WILLIS: Loud Mouth Lucy/ My Story

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Buzzola 003 Like An Atom Bomb ● CD $15.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
Fine, if too short, collection of songs and tunes showing the musical fallout following the detonation of the two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. Includes blues, country and gospel songs. It includes one pre bomb blues from Sonny Boy Williamson in his prescient Win The War Blues where he declares ("I Want To Drop A Bomb And The Set The Japanese City On Fire (x2) Because They Are So Rotten, I Just Love To See Them Die"). Includes songs describing the event, songs pro and con the invention of nuclear power, the use of the word "Atomic" to describe something especially exciting, the cold war and an artist who doesn't sing about atomic energy but has an atomic name (H-Bomb Ferguson). Includes two version of the classic Jesus Hits Like An Atom Bomb - one by black gospel group The Pilgrim Travelers and the other by white country group Lowell Blanchard & The Valley Trio. Also includes tracks by The Buchanan Brothers, Sons Of The Pioneers (a great version of the talking blues Old Man Atom with the line "Peace In The World or The World In Pieces"), Hank Williams, Karl & Harty, Spirit Of Memphis Quartet, Camille Howard, Benny Goodman Orchestra, Lightnin' Hopkins and others. Quite a few tracks are making their first appearance on CD though there is extensive duplication with the long out of print LP "Atomic Cafe". Sound is superb, there are witty and informative notes from Neil Kellas and set is very attractively packaged in a digipack. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5054 Storefront & Streetcorner Gospel, 1927-29 ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, essential
Available again, newly remastered and repackaged. A truly lovely selection of black gospel featuring 3 unique performers. "Star" of this set is the incredible Washington Phillips who recorded 16 sides in Dallas, Texas between 1927 and '29. He was a wonderful and moving singer with a gentle, artless voice and accompanied himself on the rare dulceola - a plucked instrument similar to a hammer dulcimer with a haunting quality. His songs were originals, sometimes based on biblical themes, but often exploring his own view of the world. Truly incredible music. These tracks alone are worth the cost of the disc but we also get the two thundering performances by Luther Magby accompanying himself on portable organ with tambourine accompaniment - two joyous performances. Finally we have four songs (2 takes of three of them) by A.C. & Blind Mamie Forehand accompanying their sensitive vocals with guitar, harmonica and etherial hand cymbals. Excellent sound and new notes by Guido Van Rijn. (FS)
A.C. FOREHAND & BLIND MAMIE FOREHAND: Honey In The Rock/ I'm So Glad Today, Today (take 1)/ I'm So Glad Today, Today (take 2)/ Mother's Prayer (take 1)/ Mother's Prayer (take 2)/ Wouldn't Mind Dying If Dying Was All (take 1)/ Wouldn't Mind Dying If Dying Was All (take 2)/ LUTHER MAGBY: Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit/ Jesus Is Getting Us Ready For The Great Day/ WASHINGTON PHILLIPS: A Mother's Last Word To Her Daughter/ Denomination Blues-part 1/ Denomination Blues-part 2/ I Am Born To Preach The Gospel/ I Had A Good Father And Mother/ I've Got The Key To The Kingdom/ Jesus Is My Friend/ Lift Him Up That's All/ Mother's Last Word To Her Son/ Paul And Silas In Jail/ Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There/ The Church Needs Good Deacons/ Train Your Child/ What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?/ You Can't Stop A Tattler - Part 1/ You Can't Stop A Tattler - Part 2

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7723 The Paramount Masters ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 100 tracks, recommended
In recent times Paramount has acquired a glamour completely at odds with the company's reputation in the twenties. The widely reproduced Chicago Defender ads with their superb artwork and comically na´ve and patronizing copy have helped, but the label's main appeal lies, despite its shoddy production methods, in the variety of wonderful music it captured. Don't be mislead by the title of this compilation though - it is not produced from master discs [if only!] and the true "masters" of the label - Jefferson, Blind Blake, Ma Rainey and Charlie Patton - muster only two tracks between them. Instead each of these discs contains a mixture of often outstanding country blues from artists such as Bo Weavil Jackson, Ed Bell and King Solomon Hill, great piano pieces like Wesley Wallace's No.29, and contributions from interesting female singers such as Alice Moore ["I'm black and I'm evil, and I did not make myself"]. Partly because of Paramount's distribution problems and a worsening economic climate few of these records were commercially successful, but some are high points in pre war recording. Thoroughly enjoyable in its own terms, this "best of" compilation is a departure from the "complete recordings" approach previously adopted in this series of box sets. The content here is also circumscribed by JSP not wanting to duplicate the many Paramount recordings on their previous releases. (The one Patton track is the slower alternate take of I Shall Not Be Moved omitted from JSP 7702.) We can only assume, and hope, that it also constrained by planned future releases. Does the omission of Frank Stokes point to a Memphis Blues box set? Is the fact that Ramblin' Thomas doesn't feature, except on a near inaudible accompaniment to Bernice Edwards, an indication of a Texas box? And is it significant that there is a second issued take of the one Ma Rainey track? Enough daydreaming, the sound quality here is pretty good for Paramounts, and, as might be expected, generally better than on the corresponding reissues on Document. The degree of improvement varies however, and comparing a sample of these tracks against the Document counterparts revealed one where the Document transfer was clearly superior. Neil Slaven's notes for each disc give useful background on some of the artists and the often eccentric workings of Paramount, although it appears they were written before the tracklisting was finalized. Still, the sequencing of tracks works very well, and makes this introduction to some of blues' more obscure performers consistently engaging. (DPR)
RAYMOND BARROW: Walking Blues/ LOTTIE BEAMAN: Honey Blues/ Red River Blues/ ED BELL: Hambone Blues/ Mamlish Blues/ FREDDIE BROWN: Raised In The Alley Blues/ HENRY BROWN: Deep Morgan Blues/ Eastern Chimes Blues/ BUMBLE BEE SLIM: Rough Rugged Road Blues/ JOHN BYRD: Billy Goat Blues/ Old Timbrook Blues/ LONNIE CLARK: Broke Down Engine/ Down In Tennessee/ BOGUS BEN COVINGTON: I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop/ BEN CURRY: Boodle De Bum Bum/ The New Dirty Dozen/ TEDDY DARBY: Lawdy Lawdy Worried Blues/ My Laona Blues/ SIDE WHEEL SALLY DUFFIE: Bunker Hill Blues/ MOANIN' BERNICE EDWARDS: Jack Of All Trades/ PIANO KID EDWARDS: Give Us Another Jug/ Piano Kid Special/ THE FAMOUS HOKUM BOYS: Where Did You Stay Last Night/ BOBBY GRANT: Lonesome Atlanta Blues/ Nappy Head Blues/ BLIND ROOSEVELT GRAVES: Guitar Boogie/ New York Blues/ GEORGE HANNAH: Freakish Man Blues/ The Boy In The Boat/ THE HARUM SCARUMS: Come On In (Ain't Nobody Here But Me)/ BUDDY BOY HAWKINS: Nuber Three Blues/ KING SOLOMON HILL: Down On My Bended Knee/ The Gone Dead Train/ Whoopee Blues/ JACK O'DIAMONDS: Smiling Blues/ The Ducks Yas Yas/ BO WEEVIL JACKSON: Pistol Blues/ Some Scream High Yellow/ You Can't Keep No Brown/ PAPA CHARLIE JACKSON: Gay Cattin'/ Mama, Don't You Think I Know/ MARY JOHNSON: Barrel House Flat Blues/ Key To The Mountain Blues/ RUBE LACY: Ham Hound Crave/ Mississippi Jail House Groan/ MEADE LUX LEWIS: Honky Tonk Train Blues/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Vicksburg Blues/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTOGOMERY: No Special Rider Blues/ ALICE MOORE: Black And Evil Blues/ Prison Blues/ WILLIAM MOORE: Old Country Rock/ Raggin' The Blues/ CHARLIE 'DAD' NELSON: Cotton Field Blues/ Red River Blues/ MARSHALL OWENS: Texas Blues/ Try Me One More Time/ CHARLEY PATTON: I Shall Not Be Moved (Alt. Tk)/ RUBY PAUL: Last Farewell Blues/ Red Letter Blues/ ALICE PEARSON: Water Bound Blues/ ROBERT PEEPLES: Fat Greasy Baby/ Wicked Devil's Blues/ MA RAINEY: Traveling Blues/ BLIND JOE REYNOLDS: Nehi Blues/ Ninety Nine Blues/ Outside Woman Blues/ BOB ROBINSON: The Preacher Must Get Some Sometime/ J.D. SHORT: Lonesome Swamp Rattlesnake/ Telephone Arguin' Blues/ CHARLIE SPAND: Back To The Woods Blues/ Fetch Your Water/ Soon This Morning Blues/ FREDDIE SPRUELL: Low-Down Mississippi Bottom Man/ Tom Cat Blues/ SWEET PAPA STOVEPIPE: All Birds Look Like Chickens To Me/ Mama's Angel Child/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: Conjur Man Blues/ Fire Detective Blues/ Three, Six And Nine/ ELVIE THOMAS: Motherless Child Blues/ Over To My House/ EDWARD THOMPSON: Seven Sister Blues/ Up On The Hill Blues/ HENRY TOWNSEND: Doctor, Oh Doctor/ Jack Of Diamons Georgia Rub/ WESLEY WALLACE: Fanny Lee Blues/ No. 29/ WASHBOARD WALTER: Narrow Face Blues/ WASHBOARD WALTER: Wasn't It Sad About Lemon/ BARREL HOUSE WELCH: Dying Pickpocket Blues/ BARRELHOUSE WELCH: Larceny Woman Blues/ JAMES 'BOODLE IT' WIGGINS: Evil Woman Blues/ JAMES WIGGINS: Gotta Shave 'Em Dry/ JAMES 'BOODLE IT' WIGGINS: Keep A-Knockin'/ GEECHIE WILEY: Eagles On A Half/ Pick Poor Robin Clean/ GEORGE 'BULLET' WILLIAMS: Frisco Leaving Birmingham/ Touch Me Light Mama/ JABO WILLIAMS: Jab Blues/ Pratt City Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Memphis Archives 7008 Memphis Blues Caravan, Vol 1 ● CD $12.98
11 tracks, 40 mins, recommended
Available again. A splendid collection of country and juke joint blues by Memphis based blues performers - most of whom were part of the traveling blues festival in the early 70s called the Memphis Blues Caravan. The recordings here were made between 1972 and 1975 - some live concerts and some informal home recordings. The expected artists like Sleepy John Estes, Bukka White and Furry Lewis are here and are in fine form. What makes this collection so valuable is a chance to hear some fine performers who are not as familiar including the magnificent singer/ guitarist Sonny Boy Nelson (Eugene Powell) whose reluctance to record is a real shame as he is an outstanding musician. Other gems come from singer/ piano player Big Sam Clark, the obscure but excellent Earl Bell and others. The selections were well recorded and the enclosed booklet has informative notes by Steve LaVere and some good photos. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Memphis Archives 7009 Memphis Blues Caravan, Vol 2 ● CD $12.98
11 tracks, 44 mins, recommended
Another fine set with familiar figures like Skip James, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, and Johnny Shines in top form. I particularly like Furry's evocation of his medicine show act - if only there were a video of it! Of the lesser known performers there are excellent performances by barrelhouse pianist and singer Memphis Piano Red, singer/ guitarist Little Red Holmes, urban bluesman Big Daddy Rucker (actually from San Diego but he does a B.B. King song and the guitar player is from Memphis, so ...!) and outstanding singer/ harmonica player Boy Blue who had first recorded for Alan Lomax in 1959. "Legendary" figures Joe Willie Wilkins and Charlie Booker are interesting but not very exciting. Still, a most worthwhile set. (FS)

 
WILLIAM WARFIELD Delmark 772 Something Within Me ● CD $14.98
17 tracks, 68 minutes, excellent
Just another wonderful addition to the Delmark catalog, although outside the straight-ahead blues and jazz realm. Traditional New Orleans flavor abounds in Make Me A Pallet On The Floor/ Just A Little While To Stay Here, and When The Saints Go Marching In, while the balance consists of spiritual material like The Old Rugged Cross/ Down By The Riverside/ Precious Lord/ What A Friend We Have In Jesus/ His Eye Is On The Sparrow/ Amazing Grace and more. Warfield's baritone voice was a powerful and deeply moving tool as evidenced by these recordings dating from late 2000 and early 2001. Backing consists of trumpet, trombone, piano, string bass, drums, clarinet and more. Great fun! (CR)

 
JODY WILLIAMS Evidence 26130 You Left Me In The Dark ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
Jody's second CD for Evidence after his nearly 40 year hiatus from music is another winner. Perhaps not quite as strong as the first (Evidence 26120 - "Return Of A Legend") it is still full of great original songs, fine singing and dynamite guitar work. Jody is accompanied by a solid rhythm section and a few tracks add some well placed horns. Robert Jr. Lockwood and Lonnie Brooks each make a couple of guest appearances - Robert's are effective but Brooks's are less so. Highlights are the fine minor key title song, the sly Good Things and the groovy shuffle Young men Don't Know with some killer fretwork from Jody but it's all good. Jody may be almost 70 but his music has the freshness of someone just getting started - may he continue for many more years! (FS)

 
WARNER WILLIAMS Smithsonian Folkways 40120 Blues Highway ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, very good
Singer/ guitarist Warner Williams from Tacoma Park, Maryland recorded live on the mid 90s - often accompanied by harmonica player Jay Summerour. Williams was in his 60s at the time of these recordings and performs in the Piedmont style with some excellent singing and some nice fingerpicking though his choice of material is overly familiar (Step It Up And Go/ Digging My Potatos/ Key To The Highway/ Good Morning Little Schoolgirl/ Worried Life Blues, etc). He also does a couple of pop tunes and one humorous original Hey Bartender, There's A Big Bug In My Beer. Includes 28 page booklet with extensive notes by Nick Spitzer. (FS)

 

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