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NEWSLETTER #142
Blues & Gospel
Rod Piazza - > Muddy Waters

 

 


ROD PIAZZA Delta Groove 104 For The Chosen Who ● CD $19.98
CD/ DVD, 12 tracks, 49 minutes, recommended
Following a relatively short stay on the Tone-Cool label, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers now make their home on the Delta Groove imprint and their debut is a fine disc with an accompanying DVD. This outing finds the young and highly-talented Henry Carvajal on guitar with Paul Fasulo on drums while regulars Bill Stuve and Honey (Alexander) Piazza handle bass and piano respectively along with plenty of guests. Rod and the band cover Jimmy Rogers (Broken Hearted Blues and Trace Of You), Jimmy Reed (I'm A Love You), John Lee Williamson (Ground Hog Blues) and Little Walter (Got To Find My Baby) plus they toss in a few hearty originals. The DVD (approximately 45 minutes) covers the studio sessions for "For The Chosen Who" and features Kid Ramos, Finis Tasby, Phil Guy and others as well as interview segments. (CR)

 
DOC POMUS Rev-Ola 148 Blues In The Red ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, recommended
This album features 24 recordings made between 1944 and 1955 by young white crippled Jewish singer Jerome Solon Felder aka Doc Pomus. I may be wrong but I believe that Pomus was the first and possibly only white performer singing in this genre in this period. Later on Pomus would become one of the most successful rock 'n' roll and R&B songwriter of the 50s and early 60s, often in collaboration with Mort Schumann or Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. But in the 40s his goal was to emulate his idols Wynonie Harris and Big Joe Turner and he turned out a string of fine recordings for a number of, mostly New York based. labels. While he was certainly not in the top rung of vocalists in the genre he turned in fine performances of mostly original songs like Doc's Boogie/ My New Chick/ Fruity Woman Blues/ My Good Pot/ Traveling Doc/ Blues For Sale/ Too Much Boogie/ Heartlessly and others. You would certainly never know that he was not an African-American performer. He was accompanied by top musicians such as Tab Smith, Leonard Feather, Bill Moore, Rex Stewart, Pete Brown, King Curtis, Mickey Baker & others. Sound quality is excellent and the eight page fold out booklet has informative notes by Dave Penny and some great photos. (FS)

 
GARY PRIMICH Electro-Fi 3396 Ridin' The Dark Horse ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 53 minutes, excellent
It's been too long since Gary Primich released "Dog House Music" on the Antone's label in 2002 but it certainly seems like the wait was worth it. Assisted by Mark Korpi's guitar, Billy Horton's acoustic bass, Jim Starboard's drumming and Gene Taylor's piano (plus a few others), the harp slinger gets down to business on Sidney Crochet's Sugar Bee, Eddy Clearwater's Hillbilly Blues, Robert Nighthawk's Kansas City, and John Brim's You Got Me Where You Want Me, and shines on a good cross-section of steeped-in-tradition originals; Why Don't You Write Me/ Keep On Talking/ Pray For A Cloudy Day, and others. Recorded at Fort Horton Studios in Austin, the sound is deliciously vintage without the hiss, pops, or skips of old 78 recordings. (CR)

 
OTIS SPANN BGO BGOCD 668 The Blues Of Otis Spann/ Cracked Spanner Head ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 26 tracks, 90 minutes, excellent
More than three decades after his death at age 40, Otis Spann still finds himself seated at the King's throne of Chicago blues piano having defined the role of an ensemble player through his lengthy association with Muddy Waters. The sides on this two-disc set stem from a May 1964 session produced by Mike Vernon with Ransom Knowling on bass and Little Willie Smith on drums (we know him today as Willie "Big Eyes" Smith) plus Muddy Waters taking part in the session as well. Aimed more at completists as opposed curious onlookers, most of what's here is a duplication of itself. Disc one is a straight reissue of the 1964 album "The Blues Of Otis Spann" while disc two has overdubbed horns and additional guitar, plus a shuffling of the retitled tracks, and was issued in 1969 as Cracked Spanner Head. Includes I Came From Clarksdale/ Keep Your Hand Out Of My Pocket/ Sarah Street/ The Blues Don't Like Nobody and more. Bonus tracks not on either of the original issues (but available elsewhere) are Pretty Girls Everywhere with Eric Clapton, plus Country Boy/ My Home In The Delta, and You're Gonna Need My Help, all with Muddy's distinctive guitar work. (CR)

 
OTIS SPANN Columbia/ Blue Horizon (UK) 682 290-2 The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions ● CD $28.98
Two CD set, 28 tracks, very good
This two CD set features all the recordings the great Chicago singer and piano player made for Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon label in 1968 and 1969. The first disc opens with the fine single recorded in Chicago in 1968 with Johnny Shines and Big Walter. This is followed by two tracks from Fleetwood Mac's "Blues Jam At Chess" session with vocals by Otis. The rest of the tracks are from a lengthy session held on September 1, 1969 in New York with Spann accompanied by Flettwood Mac but with Mick Fleetwood's dismal drumming replaced by S.P. Leary. These sessions have been remixed to give more prominence to Spann's piano but the sound is still dominated by the guitars of Peter Green and Danny Kirwan. The first CD includes all of "The Biggest Since Since Colussus" LP with some false starts and studio chat. The second disc features two songs that were issued on singles - Blues For Hippies and Temperature Is Rising (98.8F) and the remainder is alternate takes, false starts and studio chatter from the "Colossus" session and the recently discovered unissued song She's Out Of Sight which is one of the finer performances here. Even if you like Green and Kirwan's playing (I don't) I really don't think these sessions do Otis justice - his vocals and piano seem to battling against the other musicians and for someone whose performances are as subtle as Spann's this is a great drawback. The set includes 20 page booklet with affectionate notes by Vernon. (FS)

 
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE Fuel 2000 61501 Sister Rosetta's Gospel Train ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, very good
The great gospel singer and guitarist recorded live in Europe in the 60s. Sister Rosetta was past her prime though she could still sing with power and conviction though there is very little of her distinctive guitar work - she mostly just strums behind her vocals with the occasional hot lick to prove that she still could do it. Material is mostly gospel favorites including some of her own trademark classics like The Gospel Train/ Peace In The Valley/ Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread and others. (FS)

 
LIL' DAVE THOMPSON Electro-Fi 3397 Got To Get Over You ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, 48 minutes, excellent
Lil' Dave Thompson started garnering acclaim in Booba Barnes' touring band and later as part of the Fat Possum Blues Caravan and takes the opportunity to shine on "Got To Get Over You". It's refreshing to listen to an artist tackle an all-original set of ten tunes without sounding like a reheated, second-rate SRV clone, and thankfully, Thompson sounds much closer to Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks and Albert King. From storming shuffles in the form of Out In The Cold and Hard Headed Woman or the soul-laced blues of I Wonder, to the slow and incendiary Lil' Girl, Thompson's guitar and voice play the perfect foil to each other while his Need For Speed proves a welcome fix for those who prefer their guitar instrumentals a little on the over-the-top side of the table. The small band consists of organ, sax, bass and drums. (CR)

 
IKE TURNER Classics 5176 The Chronological Ike Turner, 1951-1954 ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
The first volume devoted to the recordings of Ike Turner under his own name (sort of - as this set also includes two sides issued by Mary Sue aka Bonnie Turner and five tracks credited to "Lover Boy" who were originally thought to be Ike but are now thought to be Billy "The Kid" Emerson or Dennis Binder - though Ike is certainly present on all these sides). Still everything else here was certainly credited to Ike including his first issued recording from the same session that produced the classic "Rocket 88" and including an originally unissued Sun session plus singles for RPM and Flair - the latter all guitar instrumentals including the great, nearly nine minute, All The Blues, All The Time where he plays a medley of current and recent blues hits including Feeling Good/ Please Love Me/ Dust My Broom/ Hoochie Coochie Man and others - an exciting guitar workout that was probably just Ike fooling around in the studio but makes for great listening. (FS)
LOVER BOY: Love Is Scarce/ Nobody Seems To Want Me/ Nobody Wants Me/ The Way You Used To Treat Me/ Why Did You Leave Me/ MARY SUE: Everybody's Talking/ Love Is A Gamble/ BONNIE & IKE TURNER: Looking For My Baby/ My Heart Belongs To You/ IKE TURNER: All The Blues, All The Time/ IKE & BONNIE TURNER: Love Is A Gamble/ Old Brother Jack/ Way Down In The Congo/ IKE TURNER & HIS ORCHESTRA: Cuban Get Away/ Cubano Jump/ Go To It/ IKE TURNER & HIS KINGS OF RHYTHM: Heartbroken And Worried/ I'm Lonesome Baby/ IKE TURNER & HIS ORCHESTRA: Loosely/ IKE TURNER WITH BEN BURTON & HIS ORCH: Troubles And Heartaches/ You're Driving Me Insane

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCH2 1090 The Complete Meteor Blues, R&B And Gospel Recordings ● CD $25.98
Two CD set with 54 tracks featuring every blues, R&B and gospel release cut for Lester Bihari's Memphis based Meteor label between 1952 and 1957 presented in chronological order. Although blues collectors will be familiar with the sides by Elmore James, Chicago Sunny Boy (Joe Hill Louis), Fenton Robinson and some others, there are a number tracks making their first appearance on CD including obscure sides by Carl "Mr. Broadway" Green, veteran tenor saxist Buster Smith, Jimmy Wright, Al Smith's Progressive Jazz, gospel group The Angel Voices, doo-wop group The Del Rios featuring a lead by a young William Bell and others. Remastered wherever possible from original master tapes there is a 28 page booklet with extensive notes by Dave Sax and lots of label shots and artist photos. This complements Ace CDCH2 885 (two CD set $24.98) which features all the Meteor hillbilly and rockabilly recordings.
WOODROW ADAMS with BOOGIE BLUES BLASTERS: Baby You Just Don’t Know/ Wine Head Woman/ JAMES ANDERSON with THE ANDERSON HARMONEERS: Let My Last Days Be My Best/ Something Within Me/ THE ANGEL VOICES: Tell The Angels/ Walkin’ & Talkin’ With Jesus/ LEO BAXTER & ORCHESTRA: Can I Depend On You?/ Heartaches/ SUNNY BLAIR: Please Send My Baby Back (aka Step Back Baby)/ Gonna Let You Go/ BEP BROWN ORCHESTRA: Kickin’ The Blues Around (aka Flaming Blues)/ Round House Boogie (aka Sax Symphonic Boogie)/ J.T. (BIG BOY) BROWN with ELMO JAMES BROOM DUSTERS: Dumb Woman Blues/ CHICAGO SUNNY BOY: Jack Pot (aka At The Woodchopper’s Ball)/ Love You Baby/ On The Floor/ Western Union Man/ THE DEL RIOS with THE BEARCATS: Alone On A Rainy Nite/ Lizzie/ EARL (WHOOPIN’ & HOLLERIN’) FOREST: I Can’t Forgive You/ I Wronged A Woman/ CARL GREEN AND ORCHESTRA: Boogie Freight/ CARL (MR BROADWAY) GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Four Years Seven Days/ CARL GREEN AND ORCHESTRA: Horizon/ CARL (MR BROADWAY) GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA: My Best Friend/ SMOKEY HOGG: Dark Clouds/ I Declare/ ELMORE JAMES: Baby, What’s Wrong/ I Believe/ Sinful Women/ Hawaiian Boogie/ Lost Woman Blues (aka Please Find My Baby)/ LITTLE MILTON with THE PLAYMATES OF RHYT: Let My Baby Be/ Let’s Boogie Baby/ Love At First Sight/ WALTER MILLER with THE BARONS: My Last Mile/ Standing On The Highway/ FENTON ROBINSON with THE DUKES: Crying Out Loud/ Tennessee Woman/ BUSTER SMITH & ORCHESTRA: Crying In The Chapel/ Leapin’ In Chicago/ AL SMITH’S PROGRESSIVE JAZZ: Beale Street Stomp (aka Chop Chop Boogie)/ Slidin’ Home (aka Hot Rod Special)/ MINNIE THOMAS with SLIM WATERS’ LAGOONS: I Know What You Need/ What Can The Matter Be?/ RUFUS "BEARCAT” THOMAS with THE BEARCATS: I’m Steady Holdin’ On/ The Easy Livin’ Plan/ JIMMY WRIGHT & ORCHESTRA: I’m In the Mood To Be Loved/ Slow Down Daddy/ JIMMY WRIGHT AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Porkey Pine/ Scotch Mist

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1115 Blues For Dootsie ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of mostly jump blues produced by legendary Los Angeles entrepreneur Dootsie Williams between 1949 and 1958. The first 16 tracks were made between 1949 and 1951 for Willims' first label Blue and features hard to find recordings by Johnny Taylor (a versatile blues singer - not one of the later Johnny Taylors!), Bobby Nunn (later or Robins and Coasters fame), Dootsie Williams & His Rhythm Kings (with vocals by Big Joe Turner), Bumps Myers & His Frantic Five, Violet Hall (fine boogie woogie piano player and vocalist) and Cleo Brown (another singer and boogie woogie piano player). The rest of the recordings were issued on Dootone (later Dooto) and Authentic and includes some of the label's only down home sides with four tracks (two previously unissued) by singer/ guitarist Stormy Herman with harmonica from Ozie Saxton of Dixie Blues Boys fame (see Ace 1003). Dootsie reissued a previously unissued Big Joe Turner sides from his Blue session after Joe started having successs with Atlantic and there are sides by Pete Johnson & His All Stars (with vocals by Big Duke Henderson), Rosie Mae Jones & her Combo, Fats Gaines and others. An excellent and varied collection with superb sound from original acetates and tapes wherever possible and detailed 16 page booklet by L.A. researcher Jim Dawson which includes an interview with Dootsie and rare photos and label shots. (FS)
CLEO BROWN: Baby, Let's Make Some Love/ Blues Boogie/ Roll It Boogie/ The Hole In The Wall/ FATS GAINES: Katy Lee/ You're With Me, Baby/ My Man Is Gone/ VIOLET HALL: He's An Ivory Beating Baby (On The Baby Grand)/ You'd Better Come Home Baby/ STORMY HERMAN: Cadillac Fever/ Rent Day/ Bad Luck/ Jitterbug/ PETE JOHNSON & HIS ALL STARS (VOCAL BY BIG DU: Hard Luck Women & Strife/ BETTY HALL JONES: Richmond Blues/ RESSIE MAE JONES & HER COMBO: Automatic Daddy/ PAUL MONDAY: Are You Ready To Go Steady/ My Mistake/ BUMPS MYERS & HIS FRANTIC FIVE (VOCAL BY BOBBY: I'm Clappin' And Shoutin'/ I'm Tellin' You Baby/ BOBBY NUNN: Anticipating Blues/ Bring Your Lovin' Back To Me/ I Got A Country Gal/ JOHNNY TAYLOR & HIS ORCHESTRA: Back Alley Blues/ Mr. Monkey Man/ JOHNNY TAYLOR & HIS MELLOW 5: Rocky Mountain Blues/ West Coast Baby/ JOE TURNER: I Love Ya, I Love Ya, I Love Ya (Low Down Dog)/ DOOTSIE WILLIAMS & RHYTHM KINGS WITH JOE TURNER: Everybody's Jumpin' Tonight/ Gamblin' Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1121 Battle Of Hastings Street ● CD $18.98
Fabulous collection of raw Detroit blues and R&B, mostly recorded by the legndary Joe Von Battle in the back of his fabled Hastings Street record shop in the late 40s and early 50s and leased to King and its DeLuxe subsidiary. Includes 10 previously unissued sides. It features sides by Joe Weaver & His Blue Notes, Eddie Burns, Johnny Wright, Howard Richard, Robert Richard (Howard's brother), Eddie Kirkland and James Walton.
EDDIE BURNS: Dealing With The Devil/ Hello Miss Jessie Lee/ JOHNNY HOWARD: Vacation Blues/ EDDIE KIRKLAND: Mistreated Woman/ No Shoes/ Please Don't Think I'm Nosey/ Time For Lovin' To Be Done/ ROBERT RICHARD: New York Central (unissued)/ Wigwam Woman/ JAMES WALTON: Eva Lee (unissued)/ If You Don't Believe I'm Leaving (unissued)/ Lover Blues (unissued)/ Streamline No. 99 (unissued)/ JOE WEAVER & HIS BLUE NOTES: Baby I'm In Love With You/ I Got The Blues For My Baby (unissued)/ I'm So Lonesome (unissued)/ J.b. Boogie/ Soft Pillow/ JOHNNY WRIGHT: Boogie Baby (unissued)/ I Stayed Down/ I Was In St. Louis/ She Went Away (unissued)/ Up Boy (unissued)/ ’54 Blues (unissued)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Famous Groove 973000 Soulful Gospel - Vocal Groups, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
24 tracks, 75 mins, recommended Excellent collection of tough gospel sounds fom the 60s and early 70s. As the 50s waned the discreet instrumental accompaniments gave way to full accompaniments with guitar, bass, drums and, sometimes, organ and the vocals became more intense and, at times, almost hysterical. Plenty of fine music though from The Hightower Brothers, the exceptional Spiritual Five (with Wilson Pickett!), The Bullock Brothers, The Swindell Brothers, Royal Silvertones, Oakland Silvertones, Sensational Skylarks Of Detroit, Mighty Wings Of Zion and others. Lots of fine and moving performances. (FS)
THE BROOKLYN SKYWAVES: Oh Lord/ THE BULLOCK BROTHERS: Let Jeasus Lead You/ Telephone To Glory/ THE GOLDTONES: Won't It Be Wonderful/ THE HIGHTOWER BROTHERS: Come By Here/ Good Time In Heaven/ Nobody's Fault But Mine/ THE MIGHTY WINGS OF ZION: Please Sir Jesus/ You Don't Know How The Lord Has Blessed Me/ THE OAKLAND SILVERTONES: Blessed Quietness/ THE PEARLY GATES: Blessed/ God's Love/ THE ROYAL SILVERTONES: Build Me A Cabin/ Savior Don't Pass Me By/ THE ROYAL TRAVELERS: Jesus Called My Name/ Standing In The Need Of Prayer/ THE SENSATIONAL SKYLARDS OF DETROIT: A Little More Grace/ THE SENSATIONAL SKYLARKS OF DETROIT: A Sinner's Prayer/ THE SPIRITUAL FIVE (FEAT. WILSON PICKETT): Call Him Up/ Christ Blood/ THE SWINDELL BROTHERS: I Started In Heaven/ There's Nothing Between/ THE WOLRD WONDERS: Don't Give Up/ THE WORLD WONDERS: Two Wings

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7753 Shake That Thing! East Coast Blues, 1935-1953 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 105 tracks, essential
The complete recordings of three fine, individual but obscure East Coast country bluesman. There are 41 tracks by Gabriel Brown, a brilliant and original singer/ guitarist from Florida who came up with some unique lyrics. It includes 10 tracks recorded for the Library Of Congress in Florida in 1935 which is mostly traditional material - often featuring slide. The remaining tracks were recorded for New York entrepreneur Joe Davis between 1942 and 1952 and includes quite a few titles that were not originally issued. There are 19 tracks recorded for Gotham in 1949 by the utterly magnificent Dan Pickett whose background is a total mystery. Although quite a few of Pickett's songs were drawn from the repertoire of other bluesman his expressive vocals and stunning guitar (often using slide) turned them into individualistic gems. The set is rounded out with 46 tracks by Ralph Willis - another biographical mystery who is thought to be from Alabama and later moved North Carolina where he met up with Buddy Moss, Blind Boy Fuller and Sonny & Brownie and his music shows their influences. There are a dozen gorgeous solo sides by him revealing him to be a superb guitarist. The remaining tracks feature his with small groups - sometimes just bass or washboard, other times with guitar, bass & drums - the other guitarist usually being Brownie McGhee and on one sessions they are joined by Sonny Terry. Sound is excellent and there are informative notes from Neil Slaven. A beautiful collection of country blues. (FS)
GABRIEL BROWN: A Dream Of Mine/ Baby, Boy, Baby/ Bad Love/ Black Jack Blues/ Blues/ Careless Love/ Cold Love/ Cold Mama/ Doing My Best/ Don't Worry About It/ Down In The Bottom/ Education Blues/ Going My Way/ Good-Time Papa/ Got No Money Blues/ Hold Me Baby/ I Am Just Hard Luck/ I Am Playing The Game/ I Get Evil When My Love Comes Down/ I Had My Hands On It/ I'm Gonna Take It Easy/ I'm Just Crazy/ I've Done Stopped Gamblin'/ I've Got To Stop Drinkin'/ It's Getting Soft/ It's Time To Move/ John Henry (Instrumental)/ John Henry (Vocal)/ Mean Old Blues/ Motherless Child/ Nobody Loves Me Like My Little Girl/ Not Now, I'll Tell You When/ Po' Boy, Long Way From Home/ Stick With Me/ Talking In Sebastopol/ That's Alright/ The Jinx Is On Me/ Tone The Bell Easy/ You Ain't No Good/ You Have To Be Different/ Youngster's Blues/ DAN PICKETT: 99 1/2 Won't Do/ Baby Don't You Want To Go/ Baby How Long/ Chicago Blues/ Decoration Day/ Drivin' That Thing/ Drivin' That Thing (Alt)/ Early One Morning/ I Can Shake It/ Laughing Blues/ Laughing Rag/ Lemon Man/ Number Writer/ Number Writer Take 1/ Ride To A Funeral In A V-8/ Something's Gone Wrong/ That's Grieving Me/ You Got To Do Better/ RALPH WILLIS: Amen/ Amen Blues/ Bed Tick Blues/ Black And Tan/ Blues, Blues, Blues/ Boar Hog Blues/ Christmas Blues/ Church Bell Blues/ Church Bells/ Cold Chills/ Cold Chills/ Comb Your Kitty Kat/ Cool That Thing/ Do Right/ Door Bell Blues/ Eloise/ Everyday I Weep And Moan/ Goin' To Chattanooga/ Goin' To Viriginia/ Gonna Hop On Down The Line/ Goodbye Blues/ Hoodoo Man/ I Got A Letter, Too Late To Scream And Shout/ I Will Never Love Again/ I'm Gonna Rock/ I've Been A Fool/ Income Tax Blues/ Just A Note/ Lazy Woman Blues/ Mama, Mama Blues/ Neighborhood Blues/ New Goin' Down Slow/ Old Home Blues/ Salty Dog/ Shake That Thing/ So Many Days/ Somebody Is Got To Go/ Sportin' Life/ Steel Mill Blues/ Tell Me Pretty Baby/ Tell Me Pretty Baby/ That Gal's No Good/ Trouble Don't Last/ Why'd You Do It/ Worried Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7762 Rockin' This House - Chicago Blues Piano, 1946-1953 ● CD $28.98
Four CD set devoted to Chicago blues piano with the star being the sometimes underappreciated memphis Slim who is featured on two and half discs covering almost all the recordings he made between 1946 and 1954 where he helped define the small group Chicago style being accompanied by musicians like Ernest Cotton, Willie Dixon, Ernest "Big" Crawford, Alex Atkins, Ransom Knowling, Matt Murphy and others. There are 11 tracks from 1947, 1950 and 1951 recorded for Bullet and Regal by the great Roosevelt Sykes with small groups. A bit of a puzzling inclusion - Sykes really deserves a box to himself. The final disc features most of the recordings made between 1947 and 1952 by the brilliant Eddie Boyd with accompaniments from the likes of J.T. Brown, Willie Dixon, Sax Mallard, Willie Lacey, Judge Riley, Sam Casimir, Ernest Cotton, L.C. McKinley and others. It includes the first recording of his trademark song Five Long Years.
EDDIE BOYD: Baby What's Wrong With You/ Blue Coat Man/ Blue Monday Blues/ Chicago Is Just That Way/ Down Beat Rhythm/ Eddie's Blues/ Five Long Years/ Getting My Divorce/ Hard Headed Woman/ I Can Trust My Baby/ I Gotta Find My Baby/ I Had To Let Her Go/ I'm Goin' Downtown/ It's Miserable To Be Alone/ Kilroy Won't Be Back/ Lonesome For My Baby/ Mr Highway Man/ Playmate Shuffle/ Rosa Lee Swing/ Something Good Will Come To Me/ Unfair Lovers/ What Makes These Things Happen To Me/ Why Did She Leave Me/ Why Don't You Be Wise Baby/ You Got To Leave That Gal/ MEMPHIS SLIM: (Sometimes I Feel Like A) Motherless Child/ 5 O'Clock Blues/ A Letter Home/ A Letter Home/ Angel Child/ Back Alley/ Believe I'll Settle Down/ Blue All Around My Head/ Blue And Lonesome/ Blue Evening/ Blues And Lonesome/ Call Me Before You Go Home/ Cheatin' Around/ Country Girl/ Darling I Miss You/ Don't Ration My Love/ Drivin' Me Mad/ Four Years Of Torment/ Frisco Bay/ Gonna Need My Help Someday/ Got To Find My Baby/ Grinder Man Blues/ Grinder Man Blues/ Harlem Bound/ Help Me Some/ I Love My Baby/ If You Live That Life/ Jumping Bean/ Kilroy Has Been Here/ Lend Me Your Love/ Life Is Like That/ Little Mary/ Living The Life I Love/ Love At First Sight/ Mean Little Woman/ Memphis Slim U.S.A./ Messin' Around/ Midnight Jump/ Mistake In Life/ Mistake In Life/ Never Let Me Love/ No Mail/ Nobody Loves Me/ Now I Got The Blues/ Pacemaker Boogie/ Restless Nights/ Rockin' This House/ Sassy Mae/ She's Alright/ Slim's Boogie/ Slim's Boogie/ The Come Back/ The Girl I Love/ The Question/ This Is My Lucky Day/ Throw This Poor Dog A Bone/ Timsy's Whimsy/ Train Is Comin'/ Train Time/ Treat Me Like I Treat You/ Two Of A Kind/ Wish Me Well/ You And I/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: Blues 'N' Boogie/ Candy Man Blues/ Drivin' Wheel/ Green Onion Top/ Lowland Blues/ Mail Box Blues/ My Country Gal/ Rock It/ Savoy Boogie/ West Helena Blues/ Why Should I Cry/ Winter Time Blues/ Wonderin' Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7773 New Orleans Guitar ● CD $28.98
Four CD set, 102 tracks, highly recommended
Some great music though the title is a bit misleading. All of the first disc and most of the second disc is devoted to the great New Orleans singer Smiley Lewis featuring all his sides recorded between 1947 and 1955. Lewis did indeed play guitar though he was rarely, if ever, featured on a lead role on that instrument. Still this is classics R&B (some recently reissued on Classics) with Smiley's poerful vocals accompanied by the cream of New Orleans musicians led by Dave Bartholomew. Includes timeless songs like Teee Nah Nah/ Dirty people/ Gumbo Blues/ Big Mamou/ Blue Monday (the first recording of this song subsequently turned into a giant hit by Fats Domino)/ That Certain Door/ I Hear You Knocking and more. Disc 2 ends with four tracks by the obscure Boo Breeding - a good singer accompanied by a good band with a guitarist obsviously influenced by the great Guitar Slim who is the subject of the third disc which features at least one take of almost all this great and influential bluesman's recordings made between 1951 and 1955 with the exception of the two sides cut in Nashville in 1952 which are being saved for a Nashville compilation though I see no harm in including them on both so we wouldn't have an unnecessary gap. The fourth disc features two West Coast bluesman who were recorded in New Orleans - T-Bone Walker with 8 sides recorded in 1953 and Pee-Wee Crayton recorded in 1954 and '55. T-Bone sounds pretty much as he always did at that time which means great though there are no obvious New Orleans stylings in the backup. Pee-Wee seems to be particularly energized by being in the company of musicians like Clarence Hall, Herb Hardesty, Salvador Doucette and others and is in great form turning in some of his most exciting guitar work on some of the cuts. Just about everything here has been out on CD fairly recently but if you don't already have it all you won't go wrong with this great collection of "New Orleans Guitar." (FS)
BOO BREEDING: Country Woman/ I Can't Fly (Date With An Angel)/ Low And Lonesome/ My Love (She's Gone)/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Baby Don't You Cry/ Be Faithful/ Blues Before Dawn/ Do Unto Others/ Don't Break My Heart/ Don't Go/ Every Dog Has His Day/ Eyes Full Of Tears/ Hurry, Hurry/ I Got News For You/ I Must Go On/ I Need Your Love/ My Idea About You/ Runnin' Wild/ Win-O/ Wondering Why/ You Know - Yeah/ Yours Truly/ GUITAR SLIM: Bad Luck Blues/ Bad Luck Is On Me/ Certainly All/ Cryin' In The Mornin'/ Going Down Slow/ Guitar Slim/ I Got Sumpin' For You/ I Want To Love-A You/ Later For You Baby/ Letter To My Girlfriend/ New Arrival/ Our Only Child/ Quicksand/ Reap What You Sow/ Something To Remember You By/ Stand By Me/ Stanind' At The Station/ Story Of My Life, The/ Sufferin' Mind/ Things I Used To Do, The/ Think It Over/ Trouble Don't Last/ Twenty-Five Lies/ Well I Done Got Over It/ You're Gonna Miss Me/ SMILEY LEWIS: Ain't Gonna Do It/ Bee's Boogie/ Bells Are Ringing, The/ Big Mamou/ Blue Monday/ Bumpity Bump/ Caldonia's Party/ Can't Stop Loving You/ Dirty People/ Don't Jive Me/ Down The Road/ Farewell/ Growing Old/ Gumbo Blues/ Gypsy Blues/ Here Comes Smiley/ I Hear You Knocking/ I Love You For Sentimental Reasons/ If You Ever Loved A Woman/ It's Music/ It's So Peaceful/ Jailbird/ Lillie Mae/ Little Fernandez/ Lonesome Highway/ Lost Weekend/ Lowdown/ Lying Woman/ My Baby/ My Baby Was Right/ Nobody Knows/ Oh Baby/ Ooh La La/ Play Girl/ Real Gone Lover/ Rocks, The/ Sad Life/ Show Me The Way/ Slide Me Down/ Standing On The Corner/ Tee Nah Nah/ That Certain Door/ Too Many Drivers/ Turn On Your Volume Baby/ Where Were You/ You're Gonna Miss Me/ You're Not The One/ T-BONE WALKER: Got No Use For You/ I'll Always Be In Love/ I'm Still In Love With You/ Long Distance Blues/ Pony Tail/ Railroad Station Blues/ Wanderin' Heart/ When The Sun Goes Down

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7777 Memphis Blues - Important Postwar Blues ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 111 tracks, approx 5 hours, highly recommended, but ...
If you already have Sun BOX 7 issued by Charly about 10 years ago and now out of print then you have everything here. Otherwise this is a fabulous collection of music recorded in Sam Phillips Sun studios between 1951 and 1955. Amazingly enough only a fraction of these recordings were originally issued on 78s by Sun or labels Sam Phillips leased to and bearing that in mind the high standard of most of the material is astonishing. Sure there are a few tracks that are seriously out of tune (Woodrow Adams) or needed more rehearsal but most of it was worthwhile and a lot of it is sensational. The music includes old style country blues from D.A. Hunt, Sleepy John Estes and the intriguing William Stewart who was a member of the doo-wop group The Prisonaires - his solo sides are really archaic country blues that bear a stylistic resemblance to R.L. Burnside. There are small down home combos featuring Howling Wolf, Walter Horton, Willie Nix, Dr. Ross and James Cotton and more urban flavored bands featuring Billy" The Kid" Emerson, Raymond Hill, Eddie Snow, Little Milton and the eccentric Rosco Gordon. Among the others artists here are the wonderful one man band Joe Hill Louis, former member of the Memphis Jug band Charlie Burse, Earl Hooker, Shy Guy Douglas, Pat Hare (including his prophetic I'm Gonna Murder My Baby), L.B. Lawson, Honeyboy Edwards, Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson and more. The music made in Memphis at that time frequently had a loose raucous quality which is beautifully captured here and such great guitarists as Pat Hare, Wilie Johnson, Matt Murphy and the unfamiliar Erskine McLellan with their distinctive distorted stinging guitar sound, are featured all over the place. Unlike the Charly set the documentation is minimal but it does include discographical information. Around 35 of tracks duplicate the three CDs of Sun blues issued by Varese a while back (Varese 66254, 66383, 66473 - $17.98 each). My hope is that one day someone like Bear Family will issue ALL the Sun blues recordings - the Charly box came close but that's long gone. (FS)
JOHNNY ACE: Midnight Hours Journey/ WOODROW ADAMS: The Last Time/ Train Is Comin‘/ KENNETH BANKS: Blue Man (tk 1)/ High (tk 1)/ BOBBY BLAND: Crying All Night Long/ Drifting From Town To Town/ Dry Up Baby/ Good Lovin‘/ HOUSTON BOINES: Carry My Business On (tk 1)/ Crying In The Courthouse (tk 1)/ CHARLIE BOOKER: Baby I‘m Coming Home/ Walked All Night/ CHARLIE BURSE: Shorty The Barber/ JAMES COTTON: Cotton Crop Blues/ Hold Me In Your Arms/ My Baby/ Straighten Up Baby/ JIMMY DEBERRY: Take A Little Chance/ SHY GUY DOUGLAS: Detroit Arrow Blues/ Work With Her Boy/ HONEYBOY EDWARDS: Sweet Home Chicago (tk 1)/ BILLY ’THE KID’ EMERSON: Move Baby Move/ When It Rains It Pours/ SLEEPY JOHN ESTES: Policy Man Blues (tk 1)/ Rats In My Kitchen/ Registration Day Blues/ EARL FOREST: Baby, Baby/ I Can‘t Forgive You/ I Wronged A Woman/ Rock The Bottle/ BOYD GILMORE: Believe I‘ll Settle Down/ ROSCO GORDON: City Women/ Roscoe‘s Boogie/ Saddled The Cow (and Milked The Horse)/ T Model Boogie/ PAT HARE: Bonus Pay/ I‘m Gonna Murder My Baby/ HENRY HILL: That Ain‘t Right (tk 1)/ RAYMOND HILL: I‘m Back Pretty Baby/ Long Gone Raymond/ My Baby Left Me/ EARL HOOKER: Blue Guitar/ Move On Down The Line/ The Hucklebuck/ WALTER HORTON: Grandmother Got Grandfather Told/ Off The Wall/ Walter‘s Instrumental/ We All Gotta Go Sometime/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Bluebird/ Chocolate Drop/ Come Back Home (tk 1)/ Moanin' At Midnight/ L.C. HUBERT: Lucy Done Moved/ D.A. HUNT: Greyhound Blues/ Lonesome Ol‘ Jail/ JIMMY & WALTER: Before Long/ Easy/ L.B. LAWSON: Can‘t Love Me And My Money Too/ Flypaper Boogie/ SAMMY LEWIS & WILLIE JOHNSON: Feel So Worried/ So Long Baby Goodbye/ LITTLE JUNIOR: Feelin‘ Good/ Fussin‘ And Fightin‘ Blues/ Love My Baby/ Mystery Train/ LITTLE MILTON: If You Love Me Baby/ Somebody Told Me/ JOE HILL LOUIS: Boogie In The Park/ Gotta Let You Go/ Heartache Baby/ I Feel Like A Million/ She Comes To See Me Sometime (tk 1)/ We All Gotta Go Sometime/ BILLY ’RED’ LOVE: Blues Leave Me Alone/ Hart‘s Bread Boogie/ Hey Now (tk 1)/ Way After Midnight (tk 1)/ COY ’HOT SHOT’ LOVE: Harmonica Jam/ Wolf Call Boogie/ LITTLE MILTON: Homesick For My Baby/ Lookin‘ For My Baby/ WILLIE NIX: Midnight Showers Of Rain/ Prison Bound Blues/ Riding In The Moonlight/ Seems Like A Million Years Tk 1/ JOHNNY O’NEAL: Dead Letter Blues (tk 1)/ Ugly Woman (tk 3)/ LITTLE JR. PARKER: Bad Women, Bad Whiskey/ You‘re My Angel/ PINETOP PERKINS: Pinetop‘s Boogie Woogie/ DOCTOR ROSS: Country Clown (tk 1)/ Little Soldier Boy (tk 2)/ Tailor Made/ The Boogie Disease/ EDDIE SNOW: Don‘t Dog Me Around/ Skin And Bone (tk 1)/ WILLIAM STEWART: County Farm Blues/ Forty Four Blues/ Rattlesnake Mama/ They Call Me Talkin‘ Boy/ HOUSTON STOKES: Blue And Lonesome/ You‘ll Be Sorry/ RUFUS THOMAS: Bear Cat/ Married Woman/ Save That Money/ Tiger Man/ IKE TURNER: Trouble And Heartaches/ You‘re Driving Me Insane/ MOSE VINSON: Mistreating Boogie/ Worry You Off My Mind

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Mountain Top 103 Legends: Blue Harp Meltdown, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
Mountain Top records (MT 103) Recommended 29 tracks, recommended
This is a double disk dynamo of some of the hottest blues players of recent times with a few living legends joining in. This is the third in the "Blues Harp Meltdown" series, recorded live at the same venue as the other two, Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz, CA (sold out show of course.) This appears to be a great room with pristine sound. As usual, Mark Hummel is the driving force on this session with the notable and able help of Carey Bell, Lazy Lester, Steve Freund, Paul Wiggins, John Cephas, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bob Welsh, Charlie Wheal, Marty Dodson and Steve Wolf. The set features a great song selection, kicked of by Lloyd Price's Where y' At?, a red hot number that grabs a lot of respect from this writer, as I am a huge fan of Price's and think his early material doesn't get near the credit it deserves. Mouth harp blues fans rejoice. (JM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40191 Classic African-American Ballads ● CD $11.98
22 tracks, 68 minutes, essential An absolutely wonderful collection of African-American ballads by a wide variety of artists including John Jackson (Louis Collins), Big Bill Broonzy (Frankie And Johnny), Leadbelly (Gallis Pole/ John Hardy/ Old Riley), Snooks Eaglin (St. James Infirmary), Cephas & Wiggins (Stagger Lee), Pink Anderson (The Titanic/ Boll Weevil), Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (John Henry), Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon (Stewball) and the stunning and stirring version of Lost John from the Convicts at The Ramsey And Retrieve State Farms (this alone worth the price of the collection). Includes a 34-page booklet with lengthy notes from Barry Lee Pearson on the origins of the songs and the artists. While there's nothing new on this gathering though a number of tracks are making their first appearance on CD, it's a brilliant reminder of how potent the African-American ballad was to American music in general. Simply beautiful! (CR)

 
MAURICE JOHN VAUGHN Blue Suit 116 Dangerous Road ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 51 min., recommended
The multi-talented Vaughn earned a name as a top flight tenor sax man and guitarist in Chicago and finally struck out on his own in the mid-1980s. This release is only his third solo album, and while the wait has been considerable (his last came out in 1993), the evidence in hand suggests that the time was profitably spent. Vaughn turns in a solid set of originals (the lone cover being Midnight Hour); his writing and singing are polished without having lost their edges, his guitar work fiery, and the whole deal is riddled with great horn arrangements, courtesy of B.J. Emery. (JC)

 
MUDDY WATERS Chess 6273 The Definitive Collection ● CD $12.98
24 tracks, 75 minutes, excellent "The Definitive Collection" gathers 24 tracks from the figurehead of Chicago's blues hierarchy and boasts great sound with full session details. The disc spans from 1948's I Can't Be Satisfied and 1950's Rollin' And Tumblin' from Aristocrat through a strong cross-section of Chess sides including 1953's Turn Your Lamp Down Low, Trouble No More from 1955, and the tough studio version of Got My Mojo Working (predating the 'live' and more-often heard Newport take by a few years), as well as My Home Is In The Delta with Buddy Guy from 1963. The lone complaint is the cavernous space between You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had from 1964 and Crosseyed Cat, recorded for Johnny Winter's Blue Sky imprint in 1976. A potent assortment just the same but one aimed at novices - not hardened Muddy-philes. (CR)
MUDDY WATERS: (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man/ Crosseyed Cat/ Don't Go No Farther/ Forty Days And Forty Nights/ Got My Mojo Working/ I Can't Be Satisfied/ I Feel Like Going Home/ I Just Want To Make Love To You/ I'm Ready/ Long Distance Call/ Louisiana Blues/ Mannish Boy/ My Home Is In The Delta/ Rock Me/ Rollin' & Tumblin', Part One/ Rollin' Stone/ Still A Fool/ Take The Bitter With The Sweet/ The Same Thing/ Trouble No More/ Turn Your Lamp Down Low (Baby Please Don't Go)/ Walkin' Thru The Park/ You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had/ You Shook Me

 

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