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NEWSLETTER #143
Second Time Around
Nathan Abshire ->
Various Artists
 

 

 

DVD

 
MANCE LIPSCOMB Vestapol 13011 In Concert ● DVD $22.98
The great Texas songster in a live performances recorded for TV station KLRU in 1969. 16 songs including So Different Blues/ Going Down Slow/ Alcohol Blues/ Silver City/ Key To The Highway/ Mama Don't Allow/ Baby, You Don't Have To Go/ Motherless Children and more. 58 minutes in color.

 

COMPACT DISCS

 
 
NATHAN ABSHIRE & THE PINEGROVE BOYS Fais-Do-Do Records 9082 Nathan Abshire & The Pinegrove Boys ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 46 mins, essential
Previously on, the now out of print, Flyright 19. Cajun music doesn't get any better than this! Nathan Abshire was one of the greatest of all cajun singers and accordionists who was a vital force in the music from the 30s up to his death in 1981. This collection of 20 great songs and tunes was recorded for Jay Millers' Kajun & Cajun Classics labels in the early 60s. Accompanied by a tough band featuring the soaring steel guitar of Atlas Fruge and the fiddles of Dewey Balfa and Will Kegley he performs a wide variety of material including a storming remake of his most well known song Pinegrove Blues, the doomy La La Blues (with blues harmonica from Lazy Lester), the moving waltz Dreamer's Waltz, the idiosyncratic Mardi Gras Song with vocals by black singer La La Laverne and clip-clopping horse sounds and many others. Truly magnificent music! (FS)

 
THE ABYSSINIAN BAPTIST GOSPEL CHOIR Columbia (UK) 509592 Shakin' The Rafters ● CD $10.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
We've turned up a few more copies of the deleted U.K. release of Columbia 47335 at a reduced price. This is perhaps the finest black gospel choir album ever issued. It first surfaced in 1960 on the old Columbia Black & Red label 8000 series. Under the direction of Alabama-born gospel veteran singer/ songwriter Prof. Alex Bradford, the 120-voice choir sing, stomp, wail and tear the church up with I Want To Ride That Glory Train featuring Margaret Simpson, Heaven Belongs To You with Kathy Lane and Sweet Jesus fronted by Calvin White. Includes Rev. R.P. Means' sermonette He Stays In My Room, wherein he enquires if anyone has ever been sick in church. Has three never-before released cuts (twelve cuts in all) sounding as if the Newark Gospel Choir was right there in your living room whooping it up like a band of sanctified sinners. Produced by John Hammond. Limited stock. (OLN)

 
JOHNNIE ALLAN Jin 9044 Swamp Pop Legend - The Essential Collection ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Wonderful collection of swamp pop from one the masters of the genre. Well just what is "swamp pop"? It's a South Louisiana mixture of rock 'n' roll, R&B, country and cajun music blended together with heartfelt vocals to make an immensely appealing brew. There are few better exponents than Johnnie Allan who has been performing since the 40s. This collection of recordings, mostly spanning the 50s through the 70s, is about 50% duplicated on Ace 380. Johnnie wrote half the songs here including such fine items as Angel Love/ Lonely Days And Lonely Nights/ Do You Love Me So and the terrific Let's Go Get Drunk. There are some great covers here including his reworking of the Johnny Horton hit North To Alaska as South To Louisiana, a driving version of Chuck Berry's Promised Land with cajun accordion and Merle Haggard's Today I Staretd Loving You Again. Lots of other great music here including a new song Just Remember celebrating his daughter's marriage that show what a fine stright country singer he is. Johnnie is not only a fine musician he is also an amabassador for Louisiana music and has written several excellent books on the subject. (FS)

 
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)

 
THE BARONS Funky Delicacies 05 Society Don't Let Us Down ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 57 min., essential
A vocal group out of New Orleans, The Barons spent the 1960s and '70s melding elements of doo wop and soul and succeeded every way but financially. They could sing as sweeter than aspartame or turn so funky that Perry Como and Pat Boone would run frightened and confused into the streets. This collection includes their earliest releases on the tiny Etah label, their last stab at monetary reward was undertaken in 1981 when they still sounded fine despite considerable lineup changes, and lots of good stuff in between. Impressive. (JC)

 
THE CARTER BROTHERS P-Vine PCD 24049 Southern Country Boy, The Jewel Sessions, 1965-1969 ● CD $22.98
26 tracks, 75 mins, recommended
This fine set features 25 tracks recorded by Roman, Albert and Jerry Carter for Jewel between 1965 and '69 along with one side of the first single they cut for Coleman in 1964. The Carters from Garland, Alabama performed basic, no nonsense, electric blues with an occasional nod to soul, featuring the energetic lead vocals of Roman and the fine guitar of Albert with Jerry helping out on keyboards. Some of the cuts are just the trio while others feature horns. Most of the songs are originals by the group or by their original producer Duke Coleman including the title song which was an R&B hit. Jewel only issued six singles but this set also includes unissued tracks that first appeared on a previous P-Vine reissue along with several tracks that are making their first ever appearance. There's not a whole lot of variety in the Carter's music but in small doses this makes for fine listening. (FS)

 
RAY CHARLES Atlantic (Germany) 80765 At Newport ● CD $11.98
Another classic Ray Charles album reissued in digipack format. This time featuring his appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 with his great band and The Raelettes. Four of the tracks are R&B (The Right Time/ Talkin' About You, etc) and the other four are funky jazz (In A Little Spanish Town/ Hot Rod, etc)

 
THE CHECKERS Dipper 201 21 Vocal Group Cuts From The 1950s ● CD $17.98
21 tracks, 54 min., essential
The Checkers are surely one of the most underrated of the 50's vocal groups. Formed when the Dominoes underwent their first major personnel shift in early 1952, the Checkers roster included former Dominoes bass Bill Brown and former Dominoes second tenor Charles White. Their ballad and jump performances, recorded between 1952 and 1954, rank among the most powerful in the pantheon of rhythm and blues harmony. The program here includes both sides of all ten early 50's Checkers' sides, plus Heaven Only Knows, performed by a 1958 version of the group. Among the earlier gems are Flame in My Heart, Night's Curtains, Ghost of My Baby, White Cliffs of Dover, the hilarious answer to Sixty Minute Man, Don't Stop Dan, Mama's Daughter, and Trying to Hold My Gal. Terrific music, impressive sound quality, a cover photo of the group, and short but solid liner notes. Simply not a disc to miss. (DH)

 
HARRY CHOATES Bear Family BCD 16355 Devil In the Bayou ● CD $41.98
Fantastic two CD set featuring all the recordings made by this great and influential Cajun fiddler and singer for Gold Star and Cajun Classics along with the sides he recorded in 1940 as a member of Happy Fats & His Rayne-Bo Ramblers. 57 tracks in all - everything on Arhoolie 308 and a whole lot more plus an incredible 108 page book with extensive notes by researcher Andrew, loads of rare photos and full discographical details. This set even includes four previously unissued Gold Star recordings from 1948.

 
THE DIXIE HUMMINGBIRDS Gospel Friend 1503 Jesus Has Traveled This Road Before ● CD $14.98
Back in stock. Fabulous collection by this great and long lived gospel group featuring 25 sides recorded between 1939 and 1952. There's a lot of duplication with Document 5491 (now out of print) and P-Vine 5818 but sound quality here is better, price is cheaper and it includes half a dozen of their fantastic early 50s sides that are alone worth the price. It also includes a 12 page booklet with extensive notes by `Birds biographer Jerry Zolten and Per Notini.

 
RED FOLEY Bronco Buster 9014 Hillbilly Fever In The Ozarks ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 44min., highly recommended
All of the songs on this CD were recorded as transcriptions for Radiozark in 1954 to 1955 and they're great. Supported by his crack band of Tommy Jackson on fiddle, Grady Martin on guitar, steel guitarist Bud Isaacs, guitarist Jimmy Selph and Bobby Moore on bass; Foley swings through some of his hits (Sugarfoot Rag, Birmingham Bounce and Tennessee Saturday Night) and covers some country standards (including Western Swing numbers by Bob Wills, Spade Cooley and Foy Willing). This release offers Foley's great vocals without any schlocky over-produced songs.... it's a treat. (RS)
RED FOLEY: Birmingham Bounce/ Easy to Please/ Freight Train Blues/ Hillbilly Fever/ Home in San Antone/ Honey Be My Honey Bee/ I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)/ Never Trust a Woman/ Please Don't Leave Me/ San Antonio Rose./ Shame on You/ Skinnie Minnie (Fishtail)/ Sugar Moon/ Sugarfoot Rag/ Tennessee Border/ Tennessee Polka/ Tennessee Saturday Night/ Texarkana Baby/ Texas Blues/ Why Don't You Haul off and Love Me

 
CRAIG HORTON Bad Daddy 0022 Touch Of The Bluesman ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 47 minutes, excellent
While his career has spanned some five decades, Craig Horton was a virtual unknown until his premier outing, "In My Spirit" , made some big waves in 2001. He returns with more fiery and unpredictable guitar work and a soulful voice while a full band pushes him mightily. A heaping plate of shuffles, slow blues, bumps and grinds, and more make "Touch Of The Bluesman" a solid follow-up. Produced by Rusty Zinn, Horton proves he was no fluke with the burning original, Elizabeth while Percy Mayfield's Serve Me Right To Suffer might remind some of Chicago's Jimmy Johnson. Big sound, big guitar, and big blues sure to please! Here's hoping there's more in store from Craig Horton soon. (CR)

 
FRANK HOVINGTON Flyright 66 Gone With The Wind ● CD $16.98
19 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Delaware is not usually thought of as a home of country bluesmen but Frank Hovington was a wonderful exception. Frank was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1919 but he and his family moved to Frederica, Delaware when he was young and, except for several years in Washington, DC, he lived most of his life in Delaware (he died in 1982). When he was young he came under the influence of several local musicians who were originally from North Carolina and Virginia and developed into a fine musician. Although he played regularly he never made music his career and was reluctant to appear in public and only made a handful of recordings, most of them are featured here. Many of these recordings were issued on long out of print albums on Flyright, Rounder & Library Of Congress so this CD issue, which includes some previously unissued material, is most welcome. Frank was a superb singer with a warm engaging style and an outstanding guitarist whose playing is strongly influenced by the Piedmont style but has lots of individualistic touches. His material is mostly traditional (Lonesome Road Blues/ Diggin' My Potatoes/ John Henry/ Mean Old Frisco, etc) along with original songs (Gone With The Wind/ Sing Sing Blues, etc) with strong traditional elements. A couple of tracks feature Frank playing some banjo. Frank was a signcant discovery and well worth a listen - particularly for fans of Piedmont guitar styles. (FS)

 
LEON HUFF B.A.C.M. 126 The Texas Song Bird - The Early Years, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 70 mins, recommended
First of two volumes featuring recordings with the outstanding country vocalist Leon HUff. Although he never recorded under his own name he was vocalist with several great Western Swing Bands including W.Lee O'Daniel's Light Crust Doughboys & Hillbilly Boys, Bob Wills & His Texas PLayboys, Johnny Lee Wills & His Boys and others. Huff's earliest sides from 1933 with the Light Crust Doughboys are available on Origin Jazz 1003 ("Western Swing Chronicles - W. Lee O'Daniel" - $15.98) and this CD opens with one track with The Doughboys and continues with six tracks from 1935 through 1937 with O'Daniel's Hillbilly Boys. There are 13 tracks from 1939 radio transcriptions by essentially the same group led by W. Lee's son Pat - these tracks find Leon as a pop crooner with quite a few of the songs being pop standards (And The Angels Sing/ Chapel In The Moonlight/ Red Sails In The Sunset, etc) with fairly lethargic accompanied. There are three fine sides from 1940 radio transcriptions featuring Leon with Jerry Sadler's Cowboy Stringsters with Cliff Bruner/ fiddle, Kermit Whalen/ steel guitar and floyd Tillman/ bass. From 1941 is some more crooning on Little Star Of Heaven with Charlie Mitchell & His Orchestra and the set ends with the fine Ten Years from 1942 with Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys. Sound quality is generally decent tough the radio transcriptions have too much digital noise reduction. Excellent notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
PAT O'DANIEL & HIS HILLBILLY BOYS: Ain‘t She Sweet/ And The Angels Sing/ Baby Your Mother/ Chapel In The Moonlight/ Clouds/ Cry Baby Cry/ Music Maestro Please/ My Buddy/ Old Gray Mare/ Red Sails In The Sunset/ Roll On Mississippi Roll On/ Stardust/ The Moon Got In My Eyes/ We‘ll Make Hay While The Sun Shines/ W. LEE O'DANIEL & HIS HILLBILLY BOYS: A Jug Of Wine And You/ Everyone‘s Out So Let‘s Stay In Tonight/ Goodnight My Love/ Long, Long Ago/ W. LEE O'DANIEL & HIS LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: Prairie Lullaby/ W. LEE O'DANIEL & HIS HILLBILLY BOYS: Someday Sweetheart/ There‘s Evil In Ye Children/ JERRY SADLER'S COWBOY STRINGSTERS: Does Jesus Care/ Get Along Home Cindy/ Little Star Of Heaven/ Vote For Jerry Sadler/the Singing Hills/ BOB WILLS & HIS TEXAS PLAYBOYS: Ten Years

 
REVEREND CHARLIE JACKSON Casequarter 101 God's Got It ● CD $15.98
18 tracks, 59 mins, essential
These recordings, featuring the incredible gospel singer/ guitarist Reverend Charlie Jackson from Baton Rouge, Louisiana are among the most exciting and intense gospel recordings you are ever likely to hear. In the early/ mid 70s he recorded three singles and one EP for Rev. Robert Booker's Booker label based in New Orleans and in the late 70s he recorded two singles for his own Jackson label. This CD features all but two of these sides along with tracks accompanying the gospel quartet Caravan No. 2 Of Zachary, Brother Ike Gordon and Laura Davis. Jackson is a powerful rich vocalist who often sings with such ferocity that he overloads the microphone in the studio, he accompanies his singing with a basic but incredibly energetic and effective electric guitar technique that seems to draw on the techniques of Roebuck Staples and John Lee Hooker! Most of his songs are original and personal. The rhythmic intensity he generates on songs like Fix It Jesus, God's Got It and Morning Train is awe inspiring. This disc also features his masterpiece Wrapped Up And Tangled Up In Jesus and a powerful mini sermon about Jackson's recovery from a stroke. The wonderful two part sermonette The Goodness Of God is from a Booker single though to be lost and only discovered this year. Caravan Number 2 are an excellent male/ female group who sound a bit like the Staple Singers, Brother Ike Gordon is a fine vocalist with a style not unlike that of Jackson himself and benefits from Jackson's sterling guitar work as does that of the fine Laura Davis who recorded for Jackson's own label. Sound quality is as good as could be achieved bearing in mind that the original recording conditions for the Booker sides were very primitive and the CD comes with 16 page booklet with extensive notes on Jackson by compiler Kevin Nutt plus some great photos, discographical info and a profile of the Booker label by Lynn Abbot. This is one of the great reissues of the past few years. We expect stock around the end of the month. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 876 The Modern Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
Long awaited first volume in a series documenting recordings made in the Southern states in the early 50s by the Modern Record Company. This first volume features recordings made by partner Joe Bihari with the assistance of Ike Turner in Arkansas & Mississippi in 1951 and 1952. The most well known artist recorded was the great Elmore James but we also hear from Drifting Slim, Houston Boines, Charlie Booker, Red Boyd & His Orchestra, Ernest lane, Sunny Blair & Junior Brooks. Downhome blues at its finest with extensive notes from Jim O'Neal and three previously unissued tracks.
SUNNY BLAIR: 5 Foot 3 Blues/ Glad To Be Back Home/ HOUSTON BOINES: Going Home/ Relation Blues/ CHARLIE BOOKER: Moonrise Blues/ No Ridin' Blues/ Rabbit Blues/ RED BOYD ORCHESTRA: Red' Ride/ JUNIOR BROOKS: Lone Town Blues/ She's The Little Girl For Me/ DRIFTING SLIM: Down South Blues/ My Little Machine/ BOYD GILMORE: I Believe I'll Settle Down/ I Love My Little Woman/ If That's Your Girl/ If That's Your Girl/ Just An Army Boy/ Ramblin' On My Mind/ Ramblin' On My Mind/ Ramblin' On My Mind/ ELMORE JAMES: Hand In Hand/ Please Find My Baby/ ERNEST LANE: Little Girl Little Girl/ What's Wrong Baby

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Lake 55100 Rare Chicago R&B Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
Although Chicago is strongly associated with a down home blues style there was also an active jump and urban blues scene and this disc explores some of these lesser known but fine recordings. The set opens with the jivey I've Got A Crazy Baby by fairly prolific Dr. Jo Jo Adams and continues with very fine female vocalist Lou Mac who is featured on three songs including the splendid Move Me. Other fine female vocalists here include Helen Thompson, Mitzi Mars (including an answer to Willie Mabon's I'm Mad called I'm Glad) and Nelda Dupuy. On the male front are fine performers like Leon D. Tarver, Eddy Ware (his great Lima Beans), George Green, Browley Guy and Joe Buckner. The tracks by Danny Overbea and Stomp Gordon are pretty expendable. The set is rounded out with two fine instrumentals by John "Schoolboy" Porter and His Schoolboys. Many of these tracks are making their first appearance on CD. Sound quality is excellent and the booklet has notes on all the performers. (FS)
DR. JO JO ADAMS: I've Got A Crazy Baby/ JOE BUCKNER WITH TOMMY DEAN'S ORCH.: Eventime/ NELA DUPUY: Riding With The Blues/ STOMP GORDON: Don't Do Me That Way/ The Grind/ GEORGE GREEN: Finance Man/ RUDY GREEN: Meet Me Baby/ It's You I Love/ I Had A Feeling/ BROWLEY GUY & THE SKYSCRAPERS: Blues Train/ You Ain't Gonna Worry Me/ LOU MAC: Baby/ Move Me/ Slow Down/ MITZI MARS WITH SAX MALLARD & ORCH.: I'm Glad/ Roll 'Em/ DANNY OVERBEA: Ebony Chant/ Stomp And Whistle/ JOHN "SCHOOLBOY" PORTER & HIS SCHOOLBOYS: Walk Heavy/ SCHOOLBOY PORTER & HIS SCHOOLBOYS: Soft Shoulder/ LEON TARVER: Oh Baby I'm Blue/ LEON D. TARVER & THE CHORDONES: I'm A Young Rooster/ Ooh-Wee What's Wrong With Me?/ HELEN THOMPSON: Going Down To Big Mary's/ EDDIE WARE & HIS BAND: Lima Beans

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Chess (UK) 9830153 Chess Northern Soul ● CD $14.98
Fine selection of 20 cuts of soul sides popular in the British Northern Soul clubs recorded for Chess, Checker and Cadet between 1965 and 1972. Includes quite a few tracks not readily elsewhere. Includes tracks from Marlena Shaw, The Radiants, Denise LaSalle, The Gospel Classics, Tony Clarke, Little Milton, The Dells, Tommy & Cleve, Ramsey Lewis & others. Includes 16 page booklet with notes, photos & label shots.
FONTELLA BASS: Leave It In The Hands Of Love/ TERRY CALLIER: Look At Me Now/ Ordinary Joe/ TONY CLARKE: Landslide/ The Fugitive Kind/ THE DELLS: Make Sure/ Run For Cover/ Wear It On Our Face/ MAMIE GALORE: It Ain't Necessary/ THE GEMS: I Can't Help Myself/ THE GOSPEL CLASSICS: More Love That's What We Need/ DENISE LASALLE: A Love Reputation/ RAMSEY LEWIS: Wade In The Water/ LITTLE MILTON: More And More/ You Colored My Blues Bright/ BOBBY MCCLURE: Peak Of Love/ THE RADIANTS: Hold On/ MARLENA SHAW: Let's Wade In The Water/ TOMMY & CLEVE: Boo Ga Loo Baby/ THE VALENTINOS: Sweeter Than The Day Before

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS El Cerrito 1004 Bay Area Blues Blasters, The 60s - Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of West Coast blues - many tracks featuring the brilliant and distinctive guitar playing of Johnny Heartsman. There are a number of instrumental tracks by Johnny and his band including his local hit, the two part Johnny's House Party - a steal of Bill Doggett's Honky Tonk. His work as an accompanying musicians is even more interesting and he is featured playing some wonderful guitar (and occasionally flute) on sides by the brilliant Tiny Powell (his classic My Time After Awhile), Tommy Harris, Jesse James, Ray Agee (when is someone going to a whole CD of his work?) and others. Heartsman is also obviously the guitarist on the track by veteran West Coast bluesman Jimmy Liggins even though on the original 45 it was credited to "Jimmy Liggins, his guitar and Orchestra". Heartsman influenced guitarist Eddie Foster is featured on a couple other Tiny Powell cuts and the set ends with the excellent instrumental Jump Back featuring another fine local guitarist Eugene Blacknell and his band The Savonics. Sound is excellent and there are brief informative notes. (FS)
RAY AGEE: Love Is A Cold Shot/ The Monkey On My Back/ EUGENE BLACKNELL & HIS SAVONICS: Jump Back/ TOMMY HARRIS: My Conscience Is Bothering Me/ JOHNNY HEARTSMAN: Besame Mucho, Pts. 1 & 2/ Johnny's Blue Mood/ Johnny's Thunderbird/ One More Time/ Sizzling/ Syrup Soppin'/ JOHNNY HEATSMAN: Johnny's House Party, Pts. 1 & 2/ JESSE JAMES: A Love Like The Wind/ I Call On You/ I Wanna Full Time Love/ RUDY LAMBERT: I'll Do It/ Love/ JIMMY LIGGINS: Blues For Love/ TINY POWELL: Done Made It Over/ Get My Hat/ My Time After Awhile/ That Was Yesterday/ JOE SIMON: I Keep Remembering/ Troubles/ LACY STEWART: Lightning Flashing

 

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