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NEWSLETTER #138
Blues & Gospel
The Angelics ->
Percy Mayfield
 

 

NEW DVDS

 
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all DVDs offered are in NTSC format which means that they will not play on a European DVD players unless you have a multiple format player.
 
 
JOHN LEE HOOKER Silverline 288136 With The Groundhogs ● DVD $17.98
11 tracks, 42 minutes, DVD Audio, excellent
Recorded in 1965 with Tony McPhee & The Groundhogs, Hooker is in muscular form with solid, unobtrusive backing including from McPhee's guitar, Tom Parker's piano, and a rhythm section consisting of Pete Cruickshank's bass and Dave Boorman's drumming. While some aggregations of American blues artists with British bands could be over-the-top or plodding, Hooker was comfortable with The Groundhogs and acquits himself well. John Lee's guitar and vocals are in top-shelf form on I'm Losing You/ Little Girl Go Back To Schoo/, Bad Luck And Trouble/ Don't Be Messin' With My Bread/ Little Dreamer and six more. The 5.1 surround-sound gives this much more of a 'being there' feel compared to earlier issues - some which had overdubbed horns tossed in. Liner notes are of the viewable on-screen type and provide a brief look at Hooker's career. This plays in all DVD units but is NOT a DVD documentary or movie. (CR)

 
LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY BAND Music Video Distributors 9024 Films And Soundies ● DVD $18.98
Black & White, 35 tracks, 91 min., recommended
Jordan scored 57 R&B chart hits between 1942-1951 for Decca (all but two reaching the top ten!), and the three movies represented here-- "Beware!" (1946), "Reet, Petite And Gone" (1947), "Look Out Sister" (1948) -- were filmed during that creative period. Free from the usual passive fascism imposed by having to watch bad movies to see great musical performances, the viewer will rejoice at the ability to move from performance to performance without suffering stilted actors parroting banal dialogue. On "Beware!" the sound is out of sync with the musicians by a mildly annoying amount, the lighting is not ideal, but Jordan is so entertaining that it's all forgivable. On "Reet Petite And Gone", the syncing is a little better if the picture quality isn't, and by "Look Out Sister" both are just fine. Throughout, the music is of course wonderful, and includes such favorites as That Chick's Too Young To Fry, Jack You're Dead, Five Guys Named Moe, G.I. Jive, Caldonia, Salt Pork, West Virginia, Texas And Pacific, and Ain't That Just Like A Woman, as well as lesser known tunes, including Turkey In The Straw which the gentlemen perform in cowboy outfits, The Green Grass Grows All Around, You Gotta Have The Beat, Wham Sam (Dig Them Gams), and many more. The real treat here is the 10 soundies because the film quality is extraordinary, or at least appears so next to the others. Life is good. (JC)

 
 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
THE ANGELICS Liquid 8 12101 Touch Me Lord Jesus ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, 32 mins, essential
More tremendous gospel from the vaults of Gotham - this time featuring the superb Philly group The Angelics aka The Angelic Gospel Singers. The group was founded in 1944 by singer and piano player Margaret Allison and at the time of these recordings (1949 to 1955) included Lucille Shird, Josephine McDowell and Ella Mae Norris. Some tracks just feature Allison's soulful piano work and others include organ and drums. Their first recording - the beautiful Touch Me Lord Jesus (included here) was a big hit but just about everything they recorded for superb. The songs range from the restrained dynamics of Almost Persuaded (surely an inspiration for the 60s secular country song of the same name) to the rip-roaring hand clapping energy of There Must Be A Heaven but my favorite is the intense Does Jesus Care which features a stunning lead vocal (Allison?) but it's all superb. About half the cuts are duplicated on the out of print Heritage 11. (FS)

 
ETTA BAKER Music Maker 91006 Railroad Bill ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, 48 mins, highly recommended
Available again. A lovely collection of instrumental guitar tunes from this fine performer from North Carolina recorded in the mid 90s. Etta's music first came to the attention of blues lovers with a half dozen highly regarded performances on the long out of print collection on Tradition "Instraumental Music Of The Southern Appalachians". A number of circumstances including family tragedies kept Etta off the music scene for many years. Her playing is in the traditional free flowing finger picked East Coast style, sometimes called Piedmont blues, which is also heard in the playing of musicians like Elizabeth Cotten and Blind Boy Fuller. Although she was in her 80s when these recordings were made her finger picking is assured and delicate on mostly traditional tunes like Careless Love/ Don't Let Your Deal Go Down/ Lonesome Road/ One-Dime Blues/ Candyman/ Baby Let Me Lay It On You/ CRipple Creek and more. Delightful music. (FS)

 
AL BASILE Sweetspot 5212 Blue Ink ● CD $12.98
13 tracks, 57 minutes, recommended
Al Basile left his horn (a cornet) at home for most of this session and brought in old friend Duke Robillard to produce and play guitar. Duke and the band (made up of Jerry Portnoy's raspy harp, Matt McCabe's piano, and bass and drums from Marty Ballou and Mark Teixeira) provide fire to the proceedings with Basile delivering solid vocals on a set of all original material. From Muddy Waters-influenced stop-time grooves (I've Got To Love And Be Loved), slow burners (The Catch-Up), back-porch blues (Hooray For Me And To Hell With You), to New Orleans flavors (Stop Knockin'), the songwriting shines while Al's voice gets the job done without fanfare. The band, an all-star cast for sure, sticks to the frontman like hot rubber to a sun-baked Southern roadway. (CR)

 
CHRIS BEARD Northern Blues 028 Live Wire ● CD $16.98
15 tracks, very good
With half of this disc stemming from 'live' performances (partly from the Kingston Mines in Chicago), Chris Beard is often too far over-the-top with guitar histrionics that seem to fall short of their intended heights. He's certainly a credible artist with a lot to offer, but he has yet to match the brilliance of Hendrix or other heroes like Luther Allison. The studio material is far more focused and palatable with songs in the three-to-five minute range as opposed to lengthy 'live' excursions like the 15-minute It's Over (a slow blues with an aimless bass solo and sloppy editing) and he fares very well on the Dennis Walker penned Never Felt No Blues/ Can't Walk Away, and Lock My Dreams. (CR)

 
BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA Real World 63959 Atom Bomb ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, recommended
With Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, George Scott, Bobby Butler, Ricky McKinnie, and Joey Williams singing, the guest artists (and there are a number of them) don't clutter the proceedings at all. Billy Preston, David Hidalgo, Charlie Musselwhite, and The Gift Of Gab (adding some rap and hip-hop flavor) all step in adding considerably to a well-versed collection of great gospel. The Blind Boys offer solid readings of Norman Greenbaum's Spirit In The Sky and the Eric Clapton/Blind Faith gem, Presence Of The Lord, as well as touching their early roots on Old Blind Barnabas and Talk About Suffering. Nice production, occasional solid blues underpinning, and brilliant vocals abound. (CR)

 
JUKE BOY BONNER Sonet 986 925-1 The Sonet Blues Story ● CD $13.98
Reissue of 1972 album originally issued in Sweden on Sonet and subsequently on GNP in the USA. 12 of Juke Boy's evocative original songs commenting on the world around produced by Chris Strachwitz who produced Juke Boy's best recordings for Arhoolie. Includes I'm A Bluesman/ Trying To Get Ahead/ Lonesome Ride Back Home/ I'm Lonely Too/ Come To Me/ Tired Of The Greyhound Blues, etc. Includes 12 page booklet with original LP notes as well as new notes from series producer Sam Charters.

 
BIG BILL BROONZY JSP JSPCD 7750 Volume 2 : 1937-1940 ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 101 tracks, recommended
This slice of mid period Big Bill continues his small group recordings of uncomplicated, good time music, and takes us to within a couple of years - 40 titles - of the end of his pre-war career. These sessions were built around Bill's engaging vocals and accomplished guitar work with key support from a succession of talented pianists - Black Bob, Joshua Altheimer and Blind John Davis. The rest of the musicians and particularly the trumpet and clarinet players who feature on many sessions are something of a mixed ability group, but the overall sound is tight and confident, and was by all accounts very popular in its day. The original purchasers of these records though would have bought only a fraction of them, and consequently would have been less aware of the reworking of material - sometimes many times over - which a chronological reissue like this so cruelly exposes. Of course all blues singers who were extensively recorded did this, but somehow it is made more obvious by the consistently slick treatment it gets here. That said there are many outstanding performances in this set, and some of the reworkings offer more wit and invention than is apparent on first hearing. Highlights include You Do Me Any Old Way/ Trucking Little Woman/ Trouble And Lying Woman/ Baby I Done Got Wise/ Oh Yes and Unemployment Stomp, an upbeat tone being maintained even when dealing with themes of poverty, violence and infidelity. Bill also had a gift for tapping his rural roots and memories of the south, and songs like Plow Hand Blues and Going Back To Arkansas would have resonated with many in his Chicago audience.
The weakest disc is disc 3, but even here there are classics like Just A Dream and two strong, ingratiating performances from the 1938 Carnegie Hall "From Spirituals To Swing" concert, where Big Bill was drafted as a replacement for the murdered Robert Johnson. Listening to the laughter at Bill's lyrics in Done Got Wise and the warm applause you wonder whether Mr. Johnson would have come across as well to the white audience - I doubt it. Many of the best tracks here have of course featured in numerous "best of " compilations including Columbia's "Good Time Tonight" (Col 467247), but I wouldn't be without some of the fine, less anthologized tracks like Dreamy Eyed Baby. Sound on this set is generally excellent, and like Volume 1 becomes more impressive when compared to a sample of previous reissues - presentation is typically less noisy, clearer and with a fuller dynamic range. This set is also much easier to listen to than the often noisy complete works on Document. Add decent notes from Neal Slaven, ignore the usual budget packaging and you have another winner from JSP. (DPR)
BIG BILL BROONZY: Baby Don't You Remember/ Baby I Done Got Wise/ Border Blues/ Come Home Early Tk 1/ Come Home Early Tk 2/ Come Home Early Tk 3/ Come Home Early Tk 4/ Cotton Choppin' Blues/ Don't You Be No Fool/ Don't You Lay It On Me/ Don't You Want To Ride/ Done Got Wise/ Down And Lost In Mind/ Down In The Alley Tk 1/ Down In The Alley Tk 2/ Evil Hearted Me/ Fightin' Little Rooster/ Flat-foot Susie With Her Flat Yes Yes/ Going Back To Arkansas/ Good Boy/ Good Time Tonight/ Got To Get Ready Tonight/ Hattie Blues Tk 1/ Hattie Blues Tk 2/ Hattie Blues Tk 3/ Hell Ain't But A Mile And A Quarter/ Hot Dog Mama/ I Believe I'll Go Back Home/ I Want My Hands On It Tk 1/ I Want My Hands On It Tk 2/ I Want You By My Side/ I'll Do Anything For You/ I'll Start Cutting On You/ I'm Still Your Sweetheart, Baby/ I've Got To Dig You/ I.c. Blues/ It's A Low Down Dirty Shame/ It's Too Late Now Tk 1/ It's Too Late Now Tk 2/ It's Your Time Now/ Jivin' Mr Fuller Blues/ Just A Dream (on My Mind)/ Just A Dream No. 2/ Just Got To Hold You Tight Tk 1/ Just Got To Hold You Tight Tk 2/ Just Wondering/ Keep On A-smilin'/ Leap Year Blues/ Let Me Be Your Winder/ Let Me Dig It/ Let's Have A Little Fun/ Living On Easy Street/ Looking For My Baby/ Louise, Louise/ Louise, Louise Blues Tk 1/ Louise, Louise Blues Tk 2/ Make A Date With An Angel (got No Walking Shoes) Tk 1/ Make A Date With An Angel (got No Walking Shoes) Tk 2/ Make My Get Away/ Mary Blues/ Merry Go Round Blues/ Messed Up In Love/ My Gal Is Gone/ My Last Goodbye To You/ My Old Lizzie/ New Shake-em On Down/ Night Time Is The Right Time No. 2/ Oh Yes/ Play Your Hand/ Please Be My So And So/ Plow Hand Blues/ Preachin' The Blues/ Reamy Eyed Baby/ Ride, Alberta, Ride/ Rider Rider Blues/ Sad Letter Blues/ Sad Pencil Blues/ She Never/ Somebody's Got To Go/ Spreadin' Snake Blues/ Stuff They Call Money/ Sweetheart Land/ Tell Me What I Done/ That's All Right, Baby/ The Mill Man Blues/ Too Many Drivers/ Trouble And Lying Woman/ Trucking Little Woman/ Trucking Little Woman No. 2/ Unemployment Stomp/ W.p.a. Rag/ What Is That She Got/ When I Had Money/ Whiskey And Good Time Blues/ Why Do You Do That To Me/ Woodie Woodie/ You Can't Sell 'em In Here/ You Can't Win/ You Do Me Any Old Way Tk 1/ You Do Me Any Old Way Tk 2/ You Got To Hit The Right Lick

 
BIG BILL BROONZY Vogue 664351-2 The Complete Vogue Recordings ● CD $39.98
Three CD set with 44 tracks featuring all the recordings Big Bill made in Paris in 1951 and 1952 for the Vogue Record Company including nine previously unissued alternate takes. It's mostly just Bill and his acoustic guitar though on seven tracks recorded live he is joined by his old friend Blind John Davis on piano. Although some of the material is in a "folky" vein Bill's singing and playing are superb throughout and, in fact, we get to hear more of his fabulous guitar technique than we had since his early recordings. Includes original LP artowrk and booklet with notes in French and English.

 
THE CANTON SPIRITUALS J&B 125 That's My Train Fare Home ● CD $15.98
The Canton Spirituals from Canton, Mississippi were originally founded in the 40s but didn't start recording until the 70s and are currently one of the most popular gospel quartets in the country. This album issued in 2003 features previously unissued sides from the 1980s. The group features the fine lead vocals of Harvey Watkins, Jr. - son of the group's founder with sweet harmonies from the rest of the group. Although modern sounding the performances are straight ahead with simple accompaniments. The music is a mix of traditional and contemporary songs including That's My Train Fare Home/ God Will Bring Things Out All Right/ Sinner Man/ Travelin' On/ Since The Grace Of God/ I'm Going Home, etc.

 
THE CARAVANS Charly SNAP 187 Going Home ● CD $13.98
28 tracks, 76 min., highly recommended
The Caravans produced many a gospel star in their day, and this Vee-Jay aggregation, might be the strongest. The solo duties are split between the amazingly spirit-filled Shirley Caesar and Cassietta George, although leader and contralto Alberta Walker takes top honors on To Whom Shall I Turn and a few others. Josephine Howard steps up to the plate vocally on What Will Tomorrow Bring. But its really Caesar who galvanizes listeners on cuts such as No Coward Soldier, Jesus Will Save, It's Jesus In Me (sometimes listed as Jesus And Me on other releases, It Must Not Suffer Loss, One Of These Old Days, and others. The Caravans parted ways in 1965, after five Vee Jay LPs issued between 1952-65, and their music is required listening for gospel fans. Drawn primarily from two Vee Jay LPs (Seek Ye The Lord from 1962 and The Soul Of The Caravans from 1963), this compilation shares 21 tracks with the domestic Vee Jay release of 1993 (NVG2-608). The remaining 7 tracks come from 1964-65 and include three live performances. (JC)

 
ALBERT COLLINS Recall 538 Deep Freeze ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 18 tracks, excellent
Disc one stems from an Albert Collins performance at the Fillmore West in 1969 while disc two represents another 'live' setting from the El Mocambo in 1973. Trademark instrumentals Thaw Out/ Deep Freeze/ Backstroke, and Frosty are included as well as Collins singing well on How Blue Can You Get/ Things I Used To Do, and I've Got A Mind To Travel, plus others. While this material has seen issue previously (often unauthorized), it's a nice two-disc set of the Iceman. It won't win any sound quality awards but it does represent Collins well showing him to be an exceptional performer shortly before he signed with Alligator, where he finally hit stride after years of relative obscurity. (CR)

 
PAPA JOHN CREACH Acadia 8084 Playing My Fiddle For You/ Filthy ● CD $17.98
Creach's second and third albums on one CD. With his own band Zulu featuring Kevin Moore (now known as Keb Mo) and guests including Hot Tuna, Big Joe Turner and Blue Mitchell.

 
PAPA JOHN CREACH Acadia 8089 Papa John Creach ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, 38 min, recommended
CD issue of Grunt 1003 from 1971. Papa John made his name when, at the age of 55, he joined Jefferson Airplane in '71 with his electric violin, also becoming a member of Hot Tuna. However, his pedigree goes back to Cleanhead Vinson & Slim Gaillard. His new found fame got him his first solo LP, originally released on the Airplane's vanity label Grunt. Several of the songs have backing by Hot Tuna, a couple with other Airplane members, most notably the opener The Janitor Drives A Cadillac where John duets with Grace Slick, & many of the others have the usual crew of San Francisco all-stars (Pete Sears, Nick Buck, Jerry Garcia, most of Santana). The two most satisfying have no rock encumbrances - beautiful versions of Over The Rainbow & Danny Boy. Liner notes by Airplane historian Jeff Tamarkin. (GM)

 
THE DIXIE HUMMINGBIRDS Liquid 8 12012 With The Angelics - Move On Up ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, 32 mins, essential
More fantastic late 40s/ early 50s gospel from the Gotham catalog at a bargain price. Nine of the tracks are gorgeous sides by the Birds in transition between the older jubilee style and the harder edge gospel style and the remaining three are amazing collaborations with the great Angelic Gospel Singers with leads alternating between Ira Tucker of the Birds and Margaret Allison and Ella Ma Norris of The Angelics. Truly wonderful sides - Move On Up A Little Higher/ Beaming From Heaven/ I'll Be Satisfied/ Standing On The Highway/ Mercy Lord/ Cool Down Yonder, etc. (FS)

 
CECIL GANT Blue Moon 6047 The Complete Recordings Volume 5 : 1947-1949 ● CD $22.98
20 tracks recorded between 1947 and 1949 by this talented performer. Most of the material is slow and mid tempo blues and blues ballads with a couple of exceptions including his classic performance of Hogan's Alley. This disc also includes two cuts That's The Stuff You Gotta Watch and Time Will Tell which were issued on a rare1958 LP on the Sounds label and were unissued alternate takes from his early Gilt Edge sessions with an overdubbed band!

 
GEORGIA PEACH Gospel Friend 1504 Lord Let Me Be More Humble In This World ● CD $15.98
Superb collection of 24 sides recorded between 1930 and 1960 by this outstanding gospel vocalist who was frequently accompanied by male quartets.

 
LIL GREEN Fabulous 124 Romance In The Dark ● CD $7.98
18 tracks, 46 mins, highly recommended
If you don't want to spring for the Classics series this is a great introduction to some of the finest recordings of this superb blues singer. This disc presents tracks from her first five sessions cut between 1940 and 1942 where she is accompanied by the brilliant New Orleans pianist Simeon Henry, the great guitarist Big Bill Broonzy and, usually, Ransom Knowling on bass. For a brief period Lil was immensly popular and a number of her songs, include here, have become blues standards such as Romance In The Dark/ I Won't Sell My Love/ Why Don't You Do Right? and the wonderful drug song Knockin' Myself Out. Sound quality is fine and the booklet has brief notes on her career. (FS)

 
BOB HALL & DAVE PEABODY Appaloosa 044 Down The Road Apiece/ Roll And Slide ● CD $21.98
Two LPs from the 80s on one CD. British duo Hall (vocal & piano) and Peabody (vocal and guitar) are joined by small bands of British musicians on renditions of blues standards and a few originals. Includes Down The Road Apiece/ Rolling Down The Highway/ I'm A Business Man/ Old Devil/ Sobert/ Hungry/ Living With The Blues/ She Fooled Me, etc - 23 songs in all.

 
HELEN HUMES Jazz Legends 2012 Knockin' Myself Out, 1927-1951 ● CD $10.98
21 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
Excellent retrospective of this versatile singer from 1927 to 1951 ranging from early blues sides with De Loise Searcy and Lonnie Johnson to late 30s/ early 40s big band sides with the Harry James and Count Basie Orchestras to mid 40s /early 50s R&B sides with Leonard Feather's Hiptet, The Bill Dogget Octet, Buck Clayton All Stars and others. It includes her 1946 hit Be-Baba-Leba plus A Worried Woman's Blues/ Sub-Deb Blues/ Fortune Tellin' Man/ See See Rider/ They Raided The Joint/ Married Man Blues/ Knockin' Myself Out/ Livin' My Life My Way and others. Compiled by Scott Yanow who provides notes and booklet includes full discographical info. (FS)

 
MAHALIA JACKSON Fabulous 164 Queen Of Gospel ● CD $7.98
Budget priced introduction to the Apollo recordings of this great gospel singer featuring 16 tracks recorded between 1947 and 1952 including her two most famous Apollo recordings Move On Up A Little Higher and In The Upper Room - both two parters. It also includes What Could I Do/ Even Me/ Dig A Little Deeper/ The Last Mile Of The Way/ I'm Getting Nearer My Home/ How I Got Over and others.

 
E.G. KIGHT Blue South 904 Takin' It Easy ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 48 minutes, excellent
A totally captivating and inspired vocalist, EG Kight delivers a strong, blues-infused stew on "Takin' It Easy." Special guests include Greg Piccolo (sax on When You Were Mine) and Ann Rabson (Saffire The Uppity Blues Women) who offers her polished piano on I Don't Wanna Start Over and Coming Out Of The Pain. Backing throughout consists of a revolving door of exceptional talent and Kight sounds just as comfortable on Duke Ellington's easy rolling I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues as she does working Southbound (from Richard Betts via The Allman Brothers) to fever pitch. Her voice is similar in power and range to Phoebe Snow's with plenty of grit when called for. Another solid platter deserving attention. (CR)

 
THE LEE BOYS Arhoolie 516 Say Yes ● CD $12.98
11 tracks, 56 minutes, highly recommended
Similar to Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Lee Boys are another outfit consisting of three brothers; Alvin on guitar with Keith and Derrick on providing vocals, plus nephews Emanuel Roosevelt Collier on pedal-steel, Alvin Cordy Jr. on bass, and Kenneth Earl Walker's drumming, all providing another fine look at the continuing "sacred steel" tradition. Collier's pedal-steel work soars on Joyful Sounds/ Come On Help Me Lift Him Up/ Tribute To Calvin Cooke, and a rousing version of You've Got To Move. Adding funk, hip-hop, and R&B flavors make for some wonderfully exciting listening. Perfectly suitable for driving to and from church, weekend barbeques, and any other day of the week, The Lee Boys deliver with all cylinders wide open. (CR)

 
MEADE "LUX" LEWIS Jasmine 417 Gliding From Glendale To Chicago ● CD $15.98
Fine two CD set featuring 46 tracks by this great blues and boogie pianist. There are no recording details provided but, as far as I can tell, most of the recordings are from the 40s and early 50s. Most f the tracks are solo though a few feature a small group with nice electric guitar. On a few tracks he is featured playing celeste.
MEADE "LUX" LEWIS: Albert‘s Blues/ Bass On Top Boogie/ Bear Cat Crawl/ Birth Of The Blues/ Blues Whistle/ Bugle Call Rag/ Celeste Blues/ Chicago Flyer/ Closing Hour Blues/ Cow Cow Blues/ Darktown Strutters‘ Ball/ Deep Fives/ Denapa Boogie/ Doll‘s House Boogie/ Far Ago Blues/ Fast And Blues/ Fast Boogie/ Freakish Man Blues/ Glendale Glide/ Honky Tonk Train Blues/ Honky Tonk Train Blues/ How Long Blues/ I Ain‘t Gonna Give/ I‘m In The Mood For Love/ Jumpin‘ For Pete/ Lux Boogie/ Meade‘s Boogie/ Medium Boogie/ Mr. Freddy Blues/ No. 1 Boogie/ Pinetop‘s Boogie Woogie/ Randini‘s Boogie/ Rising Tide Blues/ Rockin‘ The Clock/ Six Wheel Chaser/ Slow Boogie/ Someday, Sweetheart/ St. Louis Blues/ Suitcase Blues/ Tell Your Story/ Tidal Boogie/ Two And Fews/ Whistlin‘ Blues/ Yancey Special/ Yancey‘s Pride/ ’deed I Do

 
LITTLE CHARLIE & THE NIGHTCATS Alligator 4902 Nine Lives ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, excellent
While the rhythm section has been somewhat like a revolving door over the years, Little Charlie Baty and Rick Estrin have been joined at the hip for what seems a lifetime. From slow, minor key blues (Circling The Drain) with guitar well to the fore, to jumping chromatic harp (Handle With Care), and solid Latin grooves (Got To Have A Job), The Nightcats once again deliver a strong disc that touches all the blues bases. Estrin's vocal affectations can often be more of an acquired taste, but as a songwriter, his wittiness and sense of humor are almost always striking. Rusty Zinn and a handful of others (including horns) make appearances rounding out "Nine Lives". (CR)

 
LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD Ace CDCHD 1056 Boogie, Blues and Bounce ● CD $18.98
Complementing Ace 736 ("Kat On The Keys" - $16.98) this is the second collection of sides recorded for Modern by this superb singer and piano player from Texas. It includes all the remaining Modern singles plus tracks previously only available on Ace LPs plus eight previously unissued tracks.

 
ROBERT LOWERY Wolf 120932 Goin' Away Blues ● CD $15.98
Fine selection of country blues from Arkansas born nad West Coast based singer and guitarist Lowery. Lowery is an excellent singer and guitarist who uses tasteful slide on several cuts. Most of the songs are originals though usually based on traditional themes. On a couple of tracks he is joined by fine harmonica player Virgil Thrasher.

 

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