Blues & Gospel - Newsletter 143 - Barrelhouse Chuck ->Albert King + DVDS, Books, Calnedar
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NEWSLETTER #143
Blues & Gospel
Barrelhouse Chuck ->
Albert King
 

 

NEW DVDs

 
DAVID "HONEYBOY" EDWARDS Free Range Pictures 01 Honeyboy ● DVD $18.98
Fascinating 82 minute documentary on the life and music of David "Honeyboy" Edwards - one of the last living exponents of the traditional Mississippi Delta blues style. Mostly told in the words of Honeyboy himself who is an interesting and articulate narrator, with comments from B.B. King, Bruce Iglauer and others and copiously illustrated with music by Honeyboy himself as well as contributions from Willie Foster and Waymon Meeks.

 
JOE "GUITAR" HUGHES Aditi 82800 The Swingmaster Tapes, Vol. 2 - Texas Bluesman ● DVD $25.98
Fine 48 minute set filmed live in The Netherlands in 1988. Joe is accompanied by tough small group with Teddy Reynolds on piano and Michael Johnson on second guitar. Joe performs a mix of originals and covers including Hideaway/ If Your Want To See The Blues/ Stuff Like That/ Joe Hughes Blues/ The Things That I Used To Do and comes over as an entertaining and engaging performer. Not a great original but a better than average journeyman and well worth checking out.

 
PHILLIP WALKER Aditi 82801 The Swingmaster Tapes, Vol. 2 - Tough Blues ● DVD $25.98
58 minute concert by this fine Louisiana bluesman filmed in The Netherlands in 1990. Phillip has an excellent group with him including Hollis Gilmore on sax and Teddy Reynolds on piano and does some of his most well known songs - Someday You'll have These Blues/ Go Ahead And Take Her/ Tin Pan Alley/ Hello Central and others. performances are fine and video quality is excellent though sound is a bit thin and muffled.

 

NEW CALENDAR

 
CLASSIC BLUES ARTWORK FROM THE 1920S 2007 Calendar Blues Images 207 ● CALENDAR  $16.98
Get ready for 2007 with the fourth of what is promised to be a series of 15 calendars using images discovered by collector John Tefteller. These are drawn from a cache of original artwork for advertisements printed in African-American newspapers in the late 20s and early 30s by the Paramount Record Company advertising their latest blues releases. This one features ads for records by Victoria Spivey (not a Paramount but a great image), Charley Patton, Ida Cox, The Beale Street Sheiks, Bumble Bee Slim, Ma Rainey and other. The calendar also includes sample song lyrics, brief biographies and birth and death dates for many blues artists. As if that wasn't enough the calendar comes with a bonus CD with 14 tracks - all 12 of the advertised releases plus four bonus sides including both sides of the recently unearthed fourth Paramount by Son House that was recently reissued by Yazoo and in the introduction to the calendar Tefteller reveals some more information about the source of this incredible and wonderful rarity. Also included are full color inserts to enable you to make your own Classic Blues Artwork CD with a jewel case (jewel case not included)
Since these would make such a great gift if you buy five or more calendars you can get them for $14.98 each! Calendar/ CD set counts as four CDs for shipping purposes.

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
BARRELHOUSE CHUCK The Sirens 5014 And The All-Star Blues Band: Got My Eyes On Me ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 49 mins, essential It's almost impossible to imagine (or find) modern blues this good in a time when the art form has been all but forgotten by the dwindling cast who play the music with its dynamic beauty still intact, but tossing Barrelhouse Chuck in a recording studio with Kim Wilson, Joel Foy, Eddie Taylor Jr., Calvin Jones, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith was nothing short of brilliant on the part of producer Steven Dolins. Although the CD bears Chuck's name as the featured artist, he is a gifted accompanist and sideman first and foremost - one who knows what subtlety brings - and he plays brilliantly here with Wilson's harp, the buzzing guitars, and drilling rhythm section as much to the fore as Goering's wonderfully traditional keyboard work and vocals. Whether covering Floyd Jones, Detroit Junior, Sunnyland Slim, Big Moose Walker, Big Smokey Smothers, Eddie Taylor, and Muddy Waters among others, this gathering delivers one of best blues discs of 2006 without question. Essential, smoldering, and lowdown! (CR)

 
D.C. BELLAMY Stackhouse 1913 Give Some Body To Somebody ● CD $15.98
Second album from singer/ guitarist originally from Chicago but currently based in the Kansas City area. Accompanied by his tough band he performs a mix of originals and songs from the repertoire Bobby Bland, J.B. Lenoir and others.

 
ALBERT COLLINS Blue City 1310 The Cool Sound Of Albert Collins ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, 59 mins, essential
This is an outstanding collection of the coolest of the cool (that's Ice Cold!) early recordings from the "Master Of The Telecaster" Albert Collins. Being one of my all time favorite electric blues players, his recordings from the 1950s and 1960s have always been an exceptional thrill for me. This CD starts off with all of the tracks from Collins' highly regarded and sought after debut full length album from 1965 on TCF Hall, provides the flip side of Snow Cone single from that album (Snow Cone - pt. 2) and then rounds up most of his obscure and excellent singles work from the late '50 to the mid '60s. Tracks from Kangaroo, 20th Fox, and Great Scott labels are all represented. As well as some, but not all from his Hallway records singles. Bare bones production value as usual from Blue City records, but superb sound quality throughout. (JM)

 
JOE DOUCET Dialtone 0015 Houston's Third Ward Blues ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 50 mins, recommended
Fine collection of down home electric blues plus some swamp pop and zydeco from Louisiana born Texas singer/ guitarist Doucet. Doucet was active in the 50s and 60s but quite music when tastes changed but re-emerged in 2005 playing as sideman on several Dialtone sessions and eventually recording this, his first solo album. He is accompanied by a solid down home band with Earl Gilliam on piano and organ and the splendid O.S. Grant on tenor sax. Doucet is a fine singer and an effective and funky guitar player and performs a mix of mostly covers (some credited to Doucet) along with a few originals. His covers are given an original twist - his version of the swamp pop classic is partly sung in French and Frankie Lee Sims' Walkin' With Frankie becomes a zydeco romp though without accordion or rubboard. Other songs include Got You On My Mind 9an original song - not the blues standard)/ Hey Leo/ Bad Luck (a fine acoustic version of Lonesome Sundown's My Home Is A Prison)/ If You Love Me Like You Say/ Bird Without A Feather (Lonesome Sundown again - this time his Lost Without Love)/ Back At The Chicken Shack and more. A most enjoyable set. (FS)

 
CECIL GANT Blue Moon 6051 The Complete Recordings, Vol. 6: 1948-1950 ● CD $22.98
20 tracks, 51 mins, recommended
The sixth and penultimate volume devoted to this distinctive, very popular and versatile singer and piano player whose repertoire ranged from maudlin ballads to solid blues to jazzy items to rocking boogies and all these facets are represented here. The first 10 tracks are from 1948 session where he is accompanied by vibraphone and string bass plus famed trumpet player Wingy Manone on five of the tracks. Highlight of this session is probably the tough blues with spoken intro LOng Distance. The next two track session from 1949 couples the hot instrumental Rock The Boogie with the bluesy ballad I'll Go On Loving You. On the next four track session recorded in Los Angeles in 1949 finds him with a small group including the superb guitarist Tiny Webb and is mostly blues ballads including the splendid Baby I'm Losing You with tough guitar from Webb. The final session here was recorded in New Orleans in 1950 with a bigger group with a couple of horns and includes one of his most exciting numbers - the romping When You Left Me Baby as well as the odd Come Home which is a variation on Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey. There are probably more ballads than most blues fans will be keen on but this is, nevertheless, an important addition to this invaluable series. (FS)

 
CECIL GANT Blue Moon 6052 The Complete Recordings, Vol. 7: 1950-1951 Plus ● CD $22.98
23 tracks, recommended
The seventh and final volume of Cecil's work features his last four sessions, all recorded for Decca Between July 1950 and February 1951. It contains the usual mix of blues, boogies and sentimental ballads. Two of the up-tempo numbers We're Gonna Rock and Rock Little Baby both contain the phrase "rock & roll" - one of earlier uses of that important phrase. Cecil is accompanied by small groups often including famed guitarist Grady Martin. It also includes the recently unearthed recording of Paging Mr. Jackson by country singer Red Foley with vocal comments by Cecil. There are four bonus cuts - two of them previously unissued Gilt Edge recordings from his earliest sessions - one of them an alternate take of the ballad I'll Remember You and the other a storming version of Roll 'Em Pete. The other two bonus tracks was Decca's 1957 updating of two of Cecil's first recordings I Wonder and Cecil's Boogie by overdubbing guitar, bass & drum which is handled very tastefully and is intriguing that more than five years after his death Cecil was still popular enough to warrant such a move. (FS)

 
GUITAR SHORTY Shout Factory 10062 The Long And Short Of It - The Best Of Guitar Shorty ● CD $13.98
Retrospective of this high energy singer and guitar recorded between 1991 and 2001 drawn from his three albums on Black Top plus his albums on JSP and Evidence. 14 tracks includes Go Wild!/ I Want To Report/ Hard Life/ Maybe She'll Miss Me/ The Bottom Line/ I Wonder Who's Sleeping In My Bed/ Mean Husband Blues and others including his version of Hey Joe recorded as a tribute to his old friend Jimi hendrix (Shorty taught Hendrix how to play with his teeth and married Hendrix's stepsister).

 
BUDDY GUY Silvertone 81967 Can't Quit The Blues ● CD $48.98
Three CD/ One DVD retrospective of Buddy's career. The first disc covers his recordings from the 50s through the 80s for Ace, Artistic, Chess, Vanguard, JSP, etc while the other two disc feature recordings made for Silvertone from 1991 on including several previously unissued. Includes DVD with 75 minute documentary featuring a 2006 interview plus rare and previously unseen performance footage. It also includses six full performances from his performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival beginning in 1974. Set comes with 48 booklet with notes and rare photos.

 
JOHN HAMMOND Dynamic 33 Live In Greece ● CD $17.98
Hammond performing solo in Greece in February, 1983, 11 songs including Honest I Do/ No Money Down/ Spoonful/ You Can't Judge By Looking At The Cover/ Tell Me Mama/ Who Do You Love, etc.

 
WILLIE HEADEN Ace CDCHD 1118 Blame It On The Blues ● CD $18.98
Fine and varied collection of 28 sides recorded by West Coast vocalist Willie Headen for Dootsie Williams' Dooto and Authentic labels between 1954 and 1957. Headen was an excellent vocalist whose material ranges from straight blues, to jazz stylings to gospel flavored doo-wop (he started his career as a gospel singer in Kansas City). He is accompanied by excellent small groups - most of the musicians are unknown but apparently Memphis Slim plays piano on the superb slow blues Peace Of Mind. This CD reissues Willie's rare 1960 LP with 16 bonus cuts including unissued songs and alternate takes. Includes 16 page booklet with deatiled notes by Jim Dawson.

 
THE HOKUM BOYS & BANJO JOE Black Swan 36 Ain't Goin' That Way ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
The first recordings issued under the name Hokum Boys are actually by Tampa Red and Georgia Tom who are featured here on Selling That Stuff. The other 12 tracks here by the Hokum Boys focuses on the later, largely double-entendre recordings by the group which featured at various sessions Alex Robinson, Dan Roberts, Alex Hill, Bob Robinson, Jimmy Blythe, and Banjo Ikey Robinson. The instrumental work is fine but the thematic similarity of the material and the flat vocal delivery makes for rather dull listening. The best tracks by them are when they break away from the formula for more straight ahead blues like Hokum Blues or their variation on "St James Infirmary" called Gambler's Blues. This also features the first tracks recorded by Gus Cannon for Paramount. These five songs (also on Document 5032), recorded under the name of Banjo Joe with guitar accompaniment by Blind Blake are delightful performances in the minstrel and ragtime tradition including the intriguing Can You Blame The Colored Man and a couple which he reworked later with his jug band Cannon's Jug Stompers. It also includes his remarkable version of the early blues Poor Boy with Gus playing bottleneck banjo - a truly incredible performance! The set is rounded out with a track from the Banjo Joe session with Blind Blake taking a vocal on he's In the Jailhouse Now with Gus accompanying on banjo. (FS)

 
THE HOLLYWOOD BLUE FLAMES Delta Groove 107 Road To Rio ● CD $17.98
2 Cds, 27 tracks, 117 mins, highly recommended
Disc one makes up the "Road To Rio" portion of this 2-CD set gathering Big Al Blake, Fred Kaplan, Larry Taylor, and Richard Innes (four-fifths of the original Hollywood Fats Band) with Kirk "Eli" Fletcher providing guitar for the Flames' sophomore outing for Delta Groove. From driving shuffles (Everybody's Blues/ Sharpest Man In Town/ Gone Away) to in-the-alley blues, (Coffee Grindin' Man/ Black Chili Pepper) The Hollywood Blue Flames dish out solid originals and nicely-chosen covers - Junior Watson guests. Vintage 'live' material from The Hollywood Fats Band makes up the second disc and it's a blessing to have. Fats was a guitar wunderkind and the 1979-80 recordings here feature the original band as well as them backing Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (Cleanhead Blues/ Kidney Stew) and Roy Brown (Love For Sale/ Boogie Woogie Blues) on four tracks. Although the sound quality is less-than-pristine on disc two (these are vintage club recordings), the sonics aren't at all distracting and hold up well. Two killer guitar instrumentals (Fats Fries One/ Sidetracked) plus Rockinitis/ This Little Voice/ Baby Let's Play House, and more. (CR)

 
JOHN LEE HOOKER Shout Factory 10198 Hooker ● CD $58.98
Though there are a couple of box sets devoted to John Lee's early recordings this is the first to cover his entire career. This four CD set with 84 tracks opens with his first recording of his signature song Boogie Chillen recorded in 1948 and ends 40 years later with his recording of the same song in 1998 for his album "Best Of Friends" where he is joined by Eric Clapton. The first disc is primarily devoted to his Modern recordings from 1948 through 1954. The second disc features hi Vee-Jay recordings plus sides recorded for Riverside, Fortune, Atco, Savoy and other labels and covers the period 1956 through 1964. The third disc covers 1966 through 1986 and includes recordings made in Europe as a part of the American Folk Blues Festival, recordings made for Chess and Bluesway, his collaboration with Canned Heat in 1971 which gave him wider exposure to a white audience than he had previously and more and the final disc covers 1989 through 1998 and includes many collaborations with the likes of Robert Cray, Carlos Santana, Van Morrison, John Hammond, Charles Brown and others. The set comes in a 6x12" box with 60 page booklet with notes, photos and full discographical data.

 
MAHALIA JACKSON Fabulous 164 Queen Of Gospel ● CD $7.98
16 tracks, 51 mins, recommended
This is a nice little overview of some of the most famous sides by the "Queen Of Gospel," Mahalia Jackson. All tracks are from Apollo sessions cut during the late 1940s - early 1950's. Many classics like Move On Up a Little Higher" Parts 1 + 2/ In The Upper Room/ His Eye Is On The Sparrow, and I'm Getting Nearer My Home. All of these simple, elegant recordings can still stir the soul and please the ear. Modest notes and packaging leave it crying out for a more complete career retrospective, but this is a nice start. (JM)

 
MAHALIA JACKSON Proper BOX 106 Come To Jesus ● CD $24.98
Four CD, 87 track retrospective of one of the greatest of all gospel singers. It includes her earliest four sides for DEcca in 1937, most of her Apollo recordings cut between 1946 and 1954 and some of her early Columbia recordings in 1954 and '55. Most of the tracks find her in the company of her long time accompanist Mildred Falls on piano with various additional accompaniments. Includes 44 page illustrated booklet with detailed notes, photos, label shots and discographical information.

 
BISHOP SAMUEL KELSEY American Odeon 200001 And The Congregation Of The Temple Church Of God In Chr ● CD $15.98
8 tracks, 48 min., recommended
Recorded on June 20, 1965, with the Congregation of The Temple Church of God In Christ, Washington, D.C., during a live church service when Kelsey was 68 years old. (Originally issued in Europe as an LP with fewer than 1000 copies pressed, most of the run was quickly withdrawn from circulation and presumably destroyed.) So while listeners shouldn't expect finely crafted songs that clock in at 2:50, they should brace themselves for some joyous singing and fiery preaching that will warm the blood and set the hands to clapping. Some cuts (I'm So Glad Jesus Lifted Me, Write My Name Above) are uptempo powerhouses, and others (How Did You Feel, When You Come Out Of The Wilderness) smolder slowly before igniting, until finally the entire church is fully engulfed and the lead vocals are all but lost in a jubilant cacophony of slapping hands and praise-the-lords. Get a seat up front. (Informative booklet notes from Opal Louis Nations.) (JC)

 
DAVID KIMBROUGH JR. B.C. Records 1435 Shell Shocked ● CD $15.98
Junior Kimbrough's son David recorded this album last year, shortly after leaving Parchman Prison on a cocaine charge. He is joined by R.L. Burnside's son Duwayne and his band The Missississippi Mafia. David's music is based on his father's insistent North Mississippi blues grooves and adds some more contemporary elements to it including all original songs - several dealing with the events that led to his incarceration and the changes in his life.

 

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