( Advanced Search )  


 

 

NEWSLETTER #141
Blues & Gospel
Albert Ammons ->
Zora Young
 

BOOKS
SINGING IN MY SOUL

THE LANGUAGE OF THE BLUES

DVDS
BIG GEORGE BROCK
MARK HUMMEL
SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE/ MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT,ETC
MISSISSIPPI HEAT
OTIS RUSH & FRIENDS
GARY SMITH
VARIOUS ARTISTS

COMPACT DISCS
JOE "MR GOOGLE EYES" AUGUST
ADOLPHUS BELL
BIG BILL BROONZY
BISHOP SOLOMON BURKE
RAY CHARLES
SUGAR PIE DESANTO
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE
SNOOKS EAGLIN WITH HIS NEW ORLEANS FRIENDS
JIMMY "DUCK" HOLMES
 
DOUG JAY & THE BLUE JAYS
B.B. KING
LAZY LESTER
ROSIE LEDET
ROBERT LOCKWOOD JR.

MAGIC SLIM & THE TEARDROPS
PERCY MAYFIELD
MISSISSIPPI HEAT
JOHNNY OTIS & FRIENDS
SISTA MONICA PARKER
JIMMY ROGERS
OTIS RUSH & FRIENDS
BROTHER CECIL SHAW
TAIL DRAGGER
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE
EDDIE CLEANHEAD VINSON/ JIM WYNN
MUDDY WATERS
CEDRIC WATSON & COREY LEDET
SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON & OTHERS
CHICK WILLIS
JIMMY & MAMA YANCEY
ZORA YOUNG
 

NEW BOOKS

 
SINGING IN MY SOUL Black Gospel Music In A Secular Age by Jerma A. Jackson ● BOOK $18.95
Paperback, 193 pages, counts as two CDs for shipping From the backwoods church to the big-city, big-business record companies, from the sacred to the secular and back again, gospel is the soil from which so much of the world's greatest music and performers have sprouted. Jerma A. Jackson, assistant professor of history at University of NC at Chapel Hill, examines the historical relevance of gospel music's shift from music of worship to popular entertainment and social commentary. This relatively thin book is a compact (193 pp, including index), slightly dry academic presentation of a passionate art form. Includes several photos, which are accompanied by detailed captions. In a perfect world this would be the first volume of a far more expansive series. (JM)

 
THE LANGUAGE OF THE BLUES From Alcorub To Zuzu by Debra DeSalvo ● BOOK $16.95
Paper, 174 pages, counts as three CDs for shipping This comprehensive, alphabetical reference text is not only informative, but also entertaining. Debra DeSalvo, former associate editor of Blues Revue magazine, compiles blues terminology and explains the usage and etymology through obscure academic research and anecdotes (some previously unpublished) told to her by the blues legends themselves. Entertaining without oversimplifying, DeSalvo supplies a context with which to newly appreciate the blues, and presents it in a reference book that can be read from cover to cover. (JM)

 

NEW DVDs

 
BIG GEORGE BROCK Cat Head 1002 Hard Times ● DVD $19.98
Excellent documentary on the life and music of veteran Mississippi born singer and harmonica player Big George Brock. George speaks about his varied and interesting life as a sharecropper, boxer, club owner and musician. He plays some solo harmonica and is featured performing with his band at clubs in St. Louis, MO (where he now lives) and in Clarksdale, Ms.

 
MARK HUMMEL Mountain Top DVD 259 Mark Hummel's Harmonica Party ● DVD $18.98
Mark Hummel is a blues harp pro that has been teaching and touring for close to thirty years now. This DVD features his methods of playing the amplified harmonica (chromatic and diatonic), showing students how to improve style and tone, increase understanding, and learn positions 1st, 2nd and 3rd "like never before!" It's a 90-minute harmonica party and you are invited! (JM)

 
SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE/ MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT, ETC Shanachie DVD 607  Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest ● DVD $16.98
DVD, 24 "tracks," approx. 2 hours, highly recommended
In the recent Scorsese documentary on Dylan, only once did brother Bob ever seem to care genuinely about anyone's opinion of his music when he went electric, and that opinion belonged to Pete Seeger. Seeger's television show circa 1967 is remarkable for its total lack of slickness. No one will ever again be free to invite interesting musicians (some famous, some obscure) of wildly diverse styles and backgrounds and just let them play. No product placement, no one pushing his latest album. The first show here features Sonny Terry & Browning McGhee trading songs with Seeger (although most of the time they join in on each other's songs), including McGhee's amusing original I Couldn't Believe My Eyes and the wonderful Don't Pity Me. Terry's amazing harp playing is a joy to witness and hear, and his vocal performance on Leadbelly's Rock Island Line helps to make it a highlight of the show. McGhee is his usual soft-spoken and charming self. In the second episode of Rainbow Quest, Seeger sits around a table with Mississippi John Hurt, Hedy West, and Paul Cadwell as each takes turns playing for the others. Hurt (who had recently been "rediscovered" and rerecorded) comes across as the gentlest of souls, modest and more than capable of some very fine guitar work. Hedy West, a Georgia-based folk singer performs in English (Cotton Mill Girl and German Ballad Of William Moore while accompanying herself on 5-string banjo. Caldwell, who never worked as a professional musician, specializes in old-style, nylon-string (he uses fishing line) banjo, performing ragtimes and cakewalks as few people have ever heard. (There's even a brief round-table discussion of the origins of the cakewalk!) It's a blessing that Seeger saw fit to make these performances available to posterity. (JC)

 
MISSISSIPPI HEAT Delmark 1783 One Eye Open - Live At Rosa's Lounge ● DVD $22.98
DVD, 11 tracks, about 70 min, recommended
The show (live from Rosa's Lounge, Chicago in 2005) opens with star Pierre Lacocque blowing his harp in the audience, wending his way toward blues belter Inetta Visor on stage, but when he gets there his lead guitarist (the great Lurrie Bell) takes on lead vocal duties. Not until the third song (I've Got To Sleep With One Eye Open does Visor get to warm up her vocal chords. Throughout, Max Valldenue has a hot hand on his Fender. But the show belongs to Lacocque, who can make virtually and sound come out of his harmonica, and with an admirably pure tone. His playing is measured and judicious, aimed always at improving the song and not at stroking his ego. No noodling or showing off. The songs are a mix of originals and well-chosen covers. This DVD contains a track not on the CD release (Moanin' And Cryin') but it is also missing a song available on the CD (Rock Steady), no doubt an idea from the marketing department. This night was not full of magic, but it was full of solidly built blues nonetheless. (JC)

 
OTIS RUSH & FRIENDS Eagle Eye DVD 39114 Live At Montreux, 1986 ● DVD $13.98
The great Chicago blues singer and guitarist recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1986 with guest appearances by Eric Clapton and Luther Allison. 14 performances including Tops/ Lonely Man/ Natural Ball/ You Don't Love/ Double Trouble/ Every Day I have The Blues, etc. An abbreviated version of this concert is available on CD (see below).

 
GARY SMITH Mountain Top DVD 269 Amplified Blues Harp Demystified ● DVD $18.98
Renowned San Francisco Bay Area mouth harp player and blues devotee Gary Smith breaks down helpful techniques and methods to improve your harmonica skills. Includes tips to improve your tone and style, collaborate with other musicians and broaden working knowledge of mics & amps. You can hide out in your room playing harmonica, or you can follow the sage advice from Mr. Smith and get out there with the pros. (JM)

 
TAIL DRAGGER Delmark 1782 My Head Is Bald - Live At Vern's Friendly Lounge ● DVD $22.98
DVD, 10 tracks, 75 min., recommended Difficult to image a more intimate concert setting unless the fellows stopped at your house for a set. The audience at Vern's Friendly Lounge in Chicago looks to be about three feet from the band, and there's no stage, all of which presents certain challenges for camera operators attempting to get clear shots. Mr. Dragger (born James Yancy Jones) graduated from the old school of blues circa 1950-something and he regularly attends the reunions. With stogie in hand, the band (probably supplied by the folks at Delmark) features Lurrie Bell on guitar, Billy Branch on harp, and Kenny Smith pounding the drums. But for the title track, the legendary Jimmy Dawkins dons his guitar and blasts the cobwebs out of the corners. Dragger shouts out a set of originals, including My Woman Is Gone, during which he wanders through the bar and serenades the local ladies. The lone cover, So Ezee comes courtesy of Dawkins. A pleasing documantary-like glimpse into the kind of blues bar most people only read about. This DVD includes a nine minute bonus cut (Cold Out Doors) not on the CD release. (JC)

 
 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
JOE "MR GOOGLE EYES" AUGUST Domino DRCD 350 The New Orleans Blues Shouter ● CD $17.98
20 tracks featuring all the issued recordings made between 1948 and 1955 by this excellent blues shouter. Although born in New Orleans, most of his recordings were made elsewhere so his music doesn't have that New Orleans sound. but feature fine singing with solid bands. Includes No Wine, No Women/ Poppa Stoppa's Be Bop Blues/ Young Boy/ Rock My Soul/ My Old Love/ Play the Game/ Tell Me, etc.

 
ADOLPHUS BELL Music Maker 58 One Man Band ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, recommended
Adolphus Bell is the first African-American one man band to come along in quite a while and while he is no Joe Hill Louis he is an engaging performer. Bell was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1944 and started performing in the mid 60s and switched to the one man band format in the early 70s. He mostly plays electric guitar and drums with occasional harp played on a neck rack. His music is a mix of self composed down home blues and covers of R&B and soul favorites. The latter are not too effective but Bell's singing and playing on the blues numbers is first class though some of the songs are a bit too self referential for my liking. Nothing too exceptional here but it's nice to see someone continuing the tradition. (FS)

 
BIG BILL BROONZY Munich MRCD 275 Amsterdam Live Concerts 1953 ● CD $37.98
Two CD set in book format featuring Big Bill recorded live at two concerts held in Amsterdam in February, 1953. The recordings were made by sound engineer and later film director Louis Van Gasteren and the quality is very good for a live recordings. Bill is in fine form, chatting with audience and playing some of his most well known pieces including Going Down the Road Feeling Bad? house Rent Stomp/ Black, Brown & White/ Down By the Riverside/ Glory Of Love/ back-Water Blues/ Trouble In MinD, etc. Includes 48 page booklet with notes by blues scholar Guido Van Rijn and touching reminiscences by van Gasteren and is copiously illustrated with rare photos including many previously unpublished photos taken in The Netherlands.

 
BISHOP SOLOMON BURKE Central Gospel 237 Not By Water But Fire This Time ● CD $16.98
The great soul singer returns to his gospel roots on this 1999 album featuring all songs written by Burke and family members.

 
RAY CHARLES Night Train 7154 Unreleased ● CD $10.98
19 track collection of previously unissued alternate takes from Ray's Swingtime sessions.
RAY CHARLES: A Sentimental Blues (take 1)/ A Sentimental Blues (take 3)/ Ain't That Fine (false Start)/ Ain't That Fine (take 1)/ All To Myself Alone (extended Version)/ Baby Won't You Please Come Home (incomplete Take)/ Baby Won't You Please Come Home (take 1)/ Blues Before Sunrise (take 4)/ Blues Before Sunrise (take 5)/ Honey Honey (false Start)/ Honey Honey (take 1)/ I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now (take 1)/ I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now (take 3)/ I'm Glad For Your Sake (take 1)/ I'm Glad For Your Sake (take 2)/ Jack, She's On The Ball (false Start)/ Jack, She's On The Ball (incomplete Take)/ Sitting On Top Of The World (take 1)/ Sitting On Top Of The World (take 4)

 
SUGAR PIE DESANTO Jasman 10006 Refined Sugar ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 53 min, excellent
Sugar Pie's been around since '55 when she was discovered by Johnny Otis, & she spent the 60s not only recording for Chess, but was also a staff writer & toured with the blues greats. Now on her own Jasman label, Sugar's still writing & performing, now with a bit of a country bent. Recorded in San Francisco & Berkeley, mostly with a small combo, though the lush How Many Times has strings & a Jules Broussard sax solo. There's more covers here than usual, but their choice, including Jimmy McCracklin's Blues Hall Of Fame, Big Mama Thornton's Black Rat & Gimme A Penny which was also from the Big Mama catalog - it's writer, James Moore, is currently Sugar's producer! You can get a taste of the set just by the titles - Somebody Scream/ I Need Help/ I Need To Live Again/ I Don't Care. (GM)

 
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Columbia/ Blue Horizon 518 516-2 The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions ● CD $22.98
Two CD set featuring all the sides recorded by the great blues singer and piano player for Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon label in 1968 and 1969. It includes both LPs issued, tracks from a live session intended for a third album never issued plu tracks only issued on 45s plus alternate takes and unissued tracks. Jack is featured solo plus accompanied by various British blues and rock luminaries like Paul Kossof, Stan Webb, Keef Hartley, Aynsley Dunbar and others including one track (I Want To Be A Hippy) with strings! 38 tracks in all including See My Milk Cow/ Gutbucket Blues/ Roll On/ My Home's In hell/ Street Walking Woman/ Going Down To The Blue Horizon/ Blues Before Sunrise/ Ain't That A Shame/ Who Threw The Whiskey In the Well/ Kansas City/ Black And White Blues/ You Make Me Feel Alright, etc.

 
SNOOKS EAGLIN WITH HIS NEW ORLEANS FRIENDS Sonet 987 140-7 The Sonet Blues Story ● CD $13.98
Snooks's second album in this series features him with a fine small New Orleans band - Ellis Marsalis/ piano, Clarence Ford/ sax, George French/ bass & Bob French/ drums. They do fine versions of 12 R&B favorites with an emphasis on New Orleans songs including Down Yonder/ Talk To You Daughter/ Oh Red/ Travelling Mood/ A Teeny Bit Of Your Love/ Let The Four Winds Blow

 
JIMMY "DUCK" HOLMES Broke & Hungry 3001 Back To Bentonia ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 39 mins, recommended
A new name in Mississippi country blues on record though Jimmy "Duck" Holmes from Bentonia, Mississippi has been performing for some time. In the 70s he came under the spell of the great Jack Owens and several of the tracks show the influence of Owens, particularly his versions of the Bentonia standard Devil Got My Woman> which he calls I'd Rather Be The Devil and Hard Times. Holmes is a decent singer and guitar player whose material is a mix of standards like Vicksburg Blues/ Six Little Puppies and Your Buggy Don't Ride Like Mine as well as originals like Cool Water/ Mr Taxi DriverBack To bentonia. Several songs feature him on electric guitar accompanied drummer Sam Carr to good effect. "Duck" is an worthwhile if not especially compelling performer and it's nice to hear still doing this kind of music in the 21st century! (FS)

 
DOUG JAY & THE BLUE JAYS Crosscut 11083 Jackpot ● CD $17.98
14 tracks, 54 min, good/recommended
Mr. Jay, who has been working the blues scene for about 30 years, comes through in spades on this German release, where he shows off his harpistry as well as his pen in a set of mostly originals. (Two of the few covers here are by Otis Spann: It Must Have Been The Devil and Half Ain't Been Told.) His vocals are better than merely serviceable, but fairly limited and not his strongest suit. In fact, Jay never sounds better than on the instrumental Giddy Up, where his Horner shoots his mouth off (or vice versa). (The other instrumental Tumbleweed is a surf-guitar wonder.) Other winners include the lecherous Real Bad Girl, the boogie I Jump ("I jump when you're here/and I jump when you're not around"), and the redundantly titled Each And Every Day. (JC)

 
B.B. KING Ace CDCHM 1093 B.B. King Sing Spirituals ● CD $13.98
The 11th and final volume in the series of reissues of B.B.'s original Crown albums with bonus cuts features B.B.'s only gospel album issued as Crown 5119 in 1959 featuring doing fine versions of gospel favorites like Precious Lord/ Old Time Religion/ Servant's Prayer/ I Never Heard A Man/ I Am Willing To Run All The Way and others accompanied by organ, piano, bass and drums and occasional vocal backup by a gospel group. No guitar but great singing. Since B.B. didn't record any other gospel songs the bonus cuts includes two of the songs from the album with orchestral and choral overdubs, four songs from previously unreissued singles featuring B.B. doing pop and two alternate takes of other pop songs.

 
LAZY LESTER Antone's 10042 All Over You ● CD $15.98
Available again. Fine 1998 set with Lester redoing some of his own Excello sides as well as those of fellow Excello artists like Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim and others plus a Jimmy Reed songs. Backed by a solid small group Lester sings well and plays some dynamite harp.

 
ROSIE LEDET Maison De Soul 1085 Pick It Up ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 45 mins, very good
Rosie Ledet is one of the bright spots of the current Cajun/ Zydeco scene. She's a talented accordion player and soulful singer that's been tearing it up on record for over ten years now; "Pick It Up" is her first new record in about three years. Daughter-in-law of Acadian stalwart Lanice Ledet, who's taking of "little blue pills" is the inspiration (albeit a kinda creepy one) for the title track. Features cover of Fernest Arceneaux's Zydeco Boogaloo. (JM)

 
ROBERT LOCKWOOD JR. M.C. Records 51 The Legend Live ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 45 min, recommended
The blues legend recorded live at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ on July 24th 2003. This is a great recording: the old master is in good voice, his playing crisp and on the money, which is amazing considering he was 87 at the time of this recording. The song selection is no surprise: heavy on the Robert Johnson (Lockwood's stepfather) with some Mance Lipscomb, Roosevelt Sykes, Leroy Carr and others thrown in for good measure. The CD has quality packaging with lengthy liner notes and nice pictures. (JM)

 
MAGIC SLIM & THE TEARDROPS Wolf 120.809 Tin Pan Alley ● CD $16.98
12 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
A new Magic Slim album is always cause for celebration and this one is no exception. Solid, down to earth Chicago blues with powerful vocals and gritty electric guitar work (Slim shares guitar leads with Teardrop John Primer) accompanied by spot on bass and drum rhythm. As always there's a fair share of Slim's slow burning intense minor key blues and his great Cold Hearted Woman is alone worth the price of this CD. Half the tracks were recorded in the studio and half recorded live in Austria. The music is a mix of originals and covers of songs from B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert King and others and all of it is excellent. Slim hasn't changed much over the past 20 years but it doesn't matter as everything he does is so good and sounds so fresh that listening to him is sheer delight. (FS)

 
PERCY MAYFIELD Raven 219 Blues Laureate - The RCA Years ● CD $18.98
Fabulous 25 track collection drawn from the sides recorded for RCA between 1969 and 1971 by this great singer and songwriter. All new songs from Percy including the great Highway Is Like A Woman and several witty topical songs (You Wear Your Hair Too Long/ Right On Young Americans). Percy is accompanied by top New York session musicians like Eric gales, Seldon Powell, Richard Tee, Chuck Rainey and others.

 
MISSISSIPPI HEAT Delmark 783 One Eye Open - Live At Rosa's Lounge ● CD $14.98
CD, 11 tracks, 67 min, recommended
The main MS. heating elements here are blues diva Inetta Visor and blues harpologist Pierre Lacocque. The band seems to be a Delmark artifact, featuring Lurrie Bell and Max Valldeneu on guitar and Kenny Smith on drums, all excellent players. But this show from Rosa's Lounge in Chicago from 2005 is all Lacocque, who's so good he doesn't have to show off. The DVD release contains a "bonus" track not included here, but Rock Steady, included here, is absent from the DVD. (JC)

 
JOHNNY OTIS & FRIENDS Documents 222075 The Story Of The Blues ● CD $17.98
Two CD set in book format. An odd collection. The first disc features 24 classic early sides by Otis & his band from 1949/50. The second disc features 70s recordings - four by Otis and two each by Big Joe Turner and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson which, I believe, are from Johnny's own Blues Spectrum label. There are two excellent sides by San Diego blues singer Big Daddy Rucker which, I believe, were produced by Otis and five great sides by Nyles Jones (Guitar Gabriel) which have no Otis connection. Includes 18 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes and discographical info for disc 1.

 
SISTA MONICA PARKER Mo Muscle 8888 Can't Keep A Good Woman Down ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 59 mins, very good. This CD features over an hour of "Electrifying Chicago Style Blues, Soul, R&B and Gospel Music." Sista Monica packs a mighty punch with her vocal style, has a hell of a voice and you can bounce a quarter off of the backing musicians on this. Most all of the thirteen tracks here are originals, peppered with covers of Willie Nelson and Sam Cooke. The good Sista is a cancer survivor, which gives her inspiration, and a portion of the proceeds for this will go to cancer charities. (JM)

 
JIMMY ROGERS Chess 69402 His Best ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, essential
Not a new release but not reviewed before. With the Complete Chess Recordings set no longer available this is the best currently available package of this great bluesman's classic Chess recordings. With his warm, mellifluous vocals and melodic guitar he was one of the outstanding performers to emerge from the Muddy Waters Band in the 50s. His recordings often featured fellow Muddy Waters band members like Little Walter, Big Crawford, Elgin Evans, Willie Dixon, Otis Spann and others but there were also some remarkable tracks with other musicians. There is just one classic song after another - That's All Right/ Luedella/ Today, Today Blues/ The World's In A Tangle/ Money, Marbles & Chalk/ Chicago Bound/ Sloppy Drunk/ Walking My Myself (a classic Walter Horton solo on this)/ What Have I Done, etc. (FS)

 
OTIS RUSH & FRIENDS Eagle 20084 LIve At Montreux ● CD $13.98
The great Chicago blues singer and guitarist recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1986 with guest appearance by Eric Clapton and Luther Allison. Nine tracks including Tops/ Right Place, Wrong Time/ You Don't Love Me/ Double Trouble/ Every Day I have The Blues, etc.

 
TAIL DRAGGER Delmark 782 My Head Is Bald - Live At Vern's Friendly Lounge ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 61 min., recommended
The liner notes to the DVD release of this live set from July 16, 2005, at Chicago's Vern's Friendly Lounge, explain that to "fully appreciate" Tail Dragger, one must "witness a performance." I couldn't agree more. Even including the patter between tracks (a good idea) the set is somewhat less interesting that it's visually enhanced brother. Special guest Jimmy Dawkins checks in on the title track to heat up the atmosphere. But guitarist Lurrie Bell had things pretty warm before that, and Billy Branch's harp work is a treat. Tail Dragger shouts (annunciation is not among his strengths) through a set of originals that match his Howlin Wolfish approach to the blues. (JC)

 
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE Fremeaux 1304 Complete, Vol. 4 : 1951-1953 ● CD $25.98
The latest double set reissue in this indispensable series devoted to this great gospel artist. Although there's not a lot of her great guitar playing the set has lots of terrific performances including sides with the female quartet The Rosette Gospel Singers, the Southwinds male quartet, her long time musical associate Marie Knight, The Anita Kerr Singers and a duet with country star Red Foley on Have A Little Talk With Jesus. It also also includes the records that were issued of Sister Rosetta's public marriage ceremony to her road manager Russell Morrison held at the Griffith Stadium in Washington in front of 22,000 people. The marriage was officiated by the famous radio preacher Rev. Samuel Kelsey and includes performances by Vivian Cooper, The Sunset Harmonizers, The Harmonizing Four Of Richmond and Sister Rosetta herself.

 
EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON/ JIM WYNN JSP JSPCD 7760 Honk For Texas ● CD $28.98
This four CD set from JSP is devoted to the work of two sax players born in Texas but based on the West Coast. the first two and a half CDs presents all the recordings made between 1942 and 1952 by alto sax player and distinctive blues shouter Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. The rest is devoted to Jim Wynn - a fine tenor player who is not as well known as Vinson but appeared on dozens of sessions in the 40s and 50s. The recordings here are those issued under his own name and recorded between 1945 and 1954 with various groups and a range of vocalists including Claude Trenier, Pee Wee Wiley, Robert "Snake" Sims and others.

 
MUDDY WATERS Proper BOX 102 King Of Chicago Blues ● CD $24.98
Four CD set with 97 tracks featuring at least one take of every track recorded under his own name between 1941 and 1955 plus his Library Of Congress sides with The Son Simms Four and his Columbia sides backing Homer Harris and James "Beale Street" Clark. If you don't already have these sides this is utterly essential listening with excellent sound and 44 page illustrated booklet with detailed notes and discographical info.

 
CEDRIC WATSON & COREY LEDET Valcour 001 Goin' Down To Louisiana ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, 42 mins, essential
Creole music lives! Here are two young musicians who are recapturing the sound of traditional Zydeco music before the days of larger groups with electric guitar and bass. Watson is a brilliant fiddler who was influenced by the great Canray Fontenot and Corey "Lil Pop" Ledet does a remarkable job of channeling Clifton Chenier. They are occasionally joined by rubboard and on a couple of tracks by bass and drums but throughout the music is powerful and utterly compelling with superb vocals. Their material is strongly dominated by material from Clifton Chenier, John Delafose, Canray Fontenot and other past legends but the duo gives the material their own twist. This disc is a treat from beginning to end. (FS)

 
SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON & OTHERS JSP JSPCD 7766 The Classic Sides, 1951-1954 ● CD $28.98
Four CD set featuring a wonderful collection of mostly down home blues from the Trumpet label including all the recordings for that label (including some originally unissued) by Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), Big Joe Williams, Luther Huff, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Bobo Thomas, Elmore james, Jerry McCain, Willie Love, Sherman "Blues" Johnson, Tiny Kennedy and Wally Mercer. It's all been out before on various labels but, as we say around here, it's nice to have it all in one place. Includes notes by Neil Slaven.

 
CHICK WILLIS CML Records 71542 I Did It All ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, good. The guitar playing on this is as bright, crisp and dynamic as the lyrical content is low-down, dirty and greasy. This a CDR with twelve audio tracks and ten minutes of live video footage. Of the twelve tracks you get the radio edit and the adult version of I Did It All. This CD is a whole lot more Saturday Night than it is Sunday Morning. Chick Willis "Did it All" and he's gonna tell you all about it in graphic detail. (JM)

 
JIMMY & MAMA YANCEY Collectables 7702 Chicago Piano, Volume One ● CD $12.98
14 tracks, 47 mins, essential
Originally issued on LP in 1972 as Atlantic 7229 and subsequently on CD as Atlantic 82368. The 14 cuts here, 5 of which feature effective vocals by Mama Yancey, were originally cut in 1951, just eight weeks before Jimmy passed away. And they are stunning examples of the stately style of one of the elder statesmen of boogie woogie piano. Tracks include Mournful Blues/ Yancey Special/ 35th And Dearborn/ Make Me A Pallet On The Floor/ How Long Blues. Features the 1972 notes by Bruce Bastin and fine digitally remastered sound. Buy two, just in case a friend with good taste steals one while you're not looking. (DH)

 
ZORA YOUNG Delmark 784 Tore Up From The Floor Up ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 66 min., highly recommended
Young grew up in Chicago, sang a lot of gospel, and claims Howlin' Wolf as a relative of some sort. But those credentials would mean nothing if she couldn't deliver the goods when she stood in front of a microphone. She wrote five songs here, and some good ones at that, especially Til The Fat Lady Sings and the title track. The well-chosen covers include the slightly adjusted O.V. Wright hit Ace Of Spades, and B.B. King's I'm Gonna Do The Same Thing They Did To Me. Young sings the blues as if she knows too much about them. Her band gives off sparks, especially Pete Allen, whose guitar sings duets with Young to wonderful effect, and the horn section could punch holes in concrete. Extra points to Young for singing "All you bring to the table is your appetite." (JC)

  
 

Back To New Release Index

 Back To Home Page


Roots & Rhythm
P.O. Box 837
El Cerrito, CA 94530 USA
Toll Free Order Line : 888-ROOTS-66

© 2017 Roots & Rhythm. No part of this site may be reproduced without written permission