Blues & Gospel - Bulletin Summer 2008 - Mickey Champion-> T-Bone Walker+ Calendar
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BULLETIN - SUMMER 2008
Blues & Gospel
Mickey Champion ->
T-Bone Walker + Calendar
 

 

 

NEW CALENDAR

   

CLASSIC BLUES ARTWORK FROM THE 1920S - 2009 Calendar Blues Images 209   ● CALENDAR $15.98
Calendar+CD - ESSENTIAL!
It's that time of the year again when John Tefteller gives us an early Christmas present with another sensational calendar and CD drawn from his phenomenal collection. The calendar (the sixth of 15) features reproductions of original artwork for advertisements printed in African-American newspapers in the late 20s and early 30s, mostly by the Paramount Record Company advertising their latest blues releases. This calendar features ads for records by artists like Blind Blake, Charley Patton, BUddy Boy Hawkins, Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie, Reverend Emmett Dickenson, Rev. A.W. Nix and others. The calendar also includes sample song lyrics, brief biographies and birth and death dates for many blues artists.
The calendar itself would be easily worth $15.98 but in addition you get a 18 track CD featuring at least one side of all the records advertised. The original 78 of the Blind Blake title advertised Night & Day from a 1932 was only found in the past year and both sides are included and are stunning performances. The CD also includes a newly discovered 78 by raucous singer and banjo player Ben Curry and never before issued test pressing of Hometown Skiffle - the original two parter is also included here. Even the tracks that have been out before sound so much better thanks to Rich Nevins' brilliant remastering. 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 $13.98 each! Calendar/ CD set counts as four CDs for shipping purposes. (FS)

 
 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
 
MICKEY CHAMPION Ace CDCHD 1192 Bam-A-Lam - The R&B Recordings, 1950-1962 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, recommended
A fine collection of blues and R&B recorded between 1950 and 1962 by fine West Coast vocalist Mickey Champion who is still active to the present day. Originally from St. Louis, Mickey got her first musical break when she was sent on the road in 1950 by Johnny Otis to pretend she was Little Esther following the enormous success of Esther's Double Crossing Blues. The recordings here were made for Modern Aladdin, Dootone and King and find her in the company of top West Coast sidemen including several sessions with the band of her second husband Roy Milton. There is also a duet with Jimmy Witherspoon and three tracks find her accompanied by vocal group The Nic Nacs (aka The Robins). The set includes five previously unissued sides. Usual high quality Ace production with superb sound and informative notes from Opal Louis Nations. (FS)

 
DION Verve 10173 Son Of Skip James ● CD $13.98
13 lucky tracks, 44 mins, recommended
Dion has worn many hats throughout his long and storied career, one of which (the one the has been most fond of lately) would be the Blues hat - -probably a fedora. The song list is a mix of vintage Blues, a couple Dion originals, a Dylan tune, and a fair version of Chuck Berry's Nadine. Dion is a good blues singer, not a great one, but his attempts at Blues are certainly far better than his attempts at Gospel. Some of the better tracks are Sleepy John Estus' Drop Down Mama, Robert Johnson's Preachin' Blues, and especially Skip James' Devil Got My Woman. Realistically, if the rest of the album was as good as Devil Got My Woman, then this would be a whole different review. Maybe that's why he called the album "Son Of Skip James"--seems like Dion does best with his work. Liner notes by Dion's #1 fan Little Steven Van Zant. (JM)

 
RONNIE EARL & THE BROADCASTERS Hep Cat 24772 Surrounded By Love ● CD $12.98
13 tracks, recommended
Reissue of long out of print Black Top 1069. For their fifth album on Black Top, guitarist Ronnie Earl (ex-Roomful Of Blues) and friends team up with harmonicist/ vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia and special guest Chicago blues legend Robert Jr. Lockwood. Lockwood plays guitar and sings on Mr. Downchild/ Jelly, Jelly, two of the best numbers here, and adds his guitar to Earl's on the opener One Of These Mornings. Other fine moments include the outstanding title track, a cover of Blind Love and the instrumental Kathy's Theme. For a change of pace Earl throws in the jazzy Akos. There is also a bonus track Night Flight not on the original album. This version of The Broadcasters provides another solid outing. (JC)

 
REV C.L. FRANKLIN AIR Gospel 7026 The 23rd Psalm/ The Prodigal Son ● CD $9.98
4 tracks, 50 min., recommended
Franklin is about as powerful as preachers can get in terms of his ability to move his audience and lead them toward the paths of righteousness. He is to sermon what his daughter Aretha is to song. The two sermons here are like the greatest hits of the Bible. Franklin begins his first noting that more people have spoken the "23rd Psalm" ("The Lord is my shepherd...") than just about any other part of the good book. And then he sets about deconstructing the text in a way that would make Stanley Fish proud, all the while making the language relevant to his audience, full of meaning and power and hope. It's enough to make a man convert. His reading of the "Prodigal Son" is a bit more straight forward but more full of energy and drive than the previous sermon, which is saying something. The two musical interludes from The Franklins (Ernest Franklin & Choir) make for pleasantness but are frankly superfluous in this context, although undoubtedly an essential transitional element of the longer presentation in their original context. Can he get a witness already? (JC)

 
RICK "L.A. HOLMES" HOLMSTROM Hep Cat 23882 Lookout! ● CD $12.98
16 tracks, 51 min., recommended
Reissue of Black Top 1125 originally issued in 1996 and long deleted. The 16 instrumental tracks on this CD are played in the tradition of the early postwar guitarists - short and to the point. Most of the tracks are originals except for Jody Williams' Lucky Lou with 6 tracks coming from the 2 Black Top sets that Holmstrom recorded with harmonica ace Johnny Dyer. Of the 10 remaining tracks, Rod & Honey Piazza (listed as King Of The Jungle and Jane) join him on The Floater and She's My Baby. Other highlights include the Lightnin' Hopkin-ish Rub It, T-Bone Walker- ish Maria Cecile, Tom Mahon's North Of Montana and Jungle Ball. Even though he's a young man (born May 30, 1965, Fairbanks, Alaska), Holmstrom has recorded with Johnny "Guitar" Watson (his mentor), William Clarke, Smokey Wilson, Billy Boy Arnold and Rod Piazza (his present employer). I'm sure we'll hear more of his playing for years to come. (EL)

 
SON HOUSE Sony Special 723276 Original Delta Blues ● CD $6.98
11 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
This is a re-issue of the "Original Delta Blues" album, with all tracks recorded in 1965. Even though it was recorded so late in the game, House was still a strong performer and the versions herein aren't to be trifled with. Whether with his sparse but brilliant guitar accompaniment, or just a hand clap or foot stomp, this is all fantastically powerful and moving. Highlights would be Death Letter, his devastating take on John The Revelator, plus Preachin' Blues/ Grinnin' in Your Face/ Levee Camp Moan, etc. Truly a giant, that still had it, pretty late in his life. Blues aficionado Canned Heat's Al Wilson can also be heard on Harmonica on some tracks. (JM)

 
JIMMY MCCRACKLIN Bear Family BCD 15558 The Mercury Recordings ● CD $21.98
13 tracks, highly recommended
Originally issued in 1992 but unavailable for several years and recently repressed. McCracklin began recording in 1945, but didn't hit it big until 1958 when The Walk went to #5 R&B-wise. Between 1958-60 he was picked up by Mercury Records, and recorded 23 songs for them. Mercury not only didn't promote McCracklin, but they released only 10 of his sides. This set collects those 10 and adds Hitched/ What's That, Pt. 2 and a cover of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison as a slow blues - the remaining sides have all been lost! The Wobble/ Georgia Slop/ Let's Do It (The Chicken Scratch) are obvious attempts to cash in on The Walk and the dance-craze market. But the best numbers are the ballads, including No One To Love Me/ The Bridge/ By Myself/ Doomed Lover. Other songs include (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You/ What's That, Part 1. Nice photos, discographical info, and informative notes from Lee Hildebrand. (JC)

 
ROY MILTON & HIS SOLID SENDERS Acrobat 4327 Jukebox Hits, 1946-1953 ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended
I love this "Jukebox Hits" series that Acrobat has been doing for a while now. They have really done a fantastic job capturing the essence of an artist or particular year and I have found new interest and reverence in some artists that I didn't pay so much attention to before. This brilliant collection follows the career of Roy Milton from the waning days of Big Band Jazz/ Early days of Rhythm & Blues to the dawn of Rock'N'Roll. This covers all of Milton's chart hits including swingin' numbers like Night and Day (I Miss You So)/ Information Blues/ T-Town Twist/ R.M. Blues/ Oh Babe, and many more. Roy Milton was an R&B shouter of the finest order and can easily be considered one of the Godfathers to Rock'N'Roll in the company of Louis Jordon, Big Joe Turner and Johnny Otis. Booklet includes reproductions of some great ads, handbills and newspaper articles from the time about Milton. (JM)

 
THE MISSISSIPPI MARVEL Broke & Hungry 13005 The World Must Never Know ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 39 min., recommended
If booklet notes may be believed, The Mississippi Marvel, for fear that his church community would disapprove mightily of his sojourn into the devil's musical camp, agreed at the age of 76 years to record this, his debut album, only if his identity were kept a secret. Even the session guys signed contracts to that effect. So, other than telling the listening public that this album of delta blues was recorded in a Mississippi juke joint in one session in November of 2007, the Broke & Hungry folks aren't saying much. Not that it matters. It's actually refreshing not having biographical information, since ultimately the music is either worth hearing or not. That said, this MM recording belongs in the slightly raw and unpolished blues category occupied by guys like CeDell Davis, only less so. MM sounds influenced by Muddy Waters, but you'd never mistake one for the other. The imperfections in MM's singing, the drunken patrons noising in the background, the occasionally wrong note or chord here and there, does nothing to diminish the hypnotic power of the music and probably adds to the experience. Slick this ain't, but a pretty cool album all the same. (JC)

 
FAMOUS L. RENFROE Big Legal Mess 0201 As The Flying Sweet Angel Of Joy - CHildren ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, 36 min., very highly recommended
Renfroe, a one-man gospel / R&B / soul group who writes and produces his own songs, sings and plays all the instruments, (except drums), sidesteps the music industry and puts out an album that represents his singular musical vision. Seems fitting that the Fat Possum label is distributing this--it's actually on the Big Legal Mess Records label, which is pretty amusing in itself and more so when one considers the religious nature of the recordings--because it is reminiscent of the early releases on that label, if not in style or sound, then in the insistence of the individual performer's ideas being in the forefront. R. L. Burnside comes to mind. But Renfroe, posing on the cover with his guitar, combines heartfelt originals with a wonderfully under-produced sound circa the late 1960s-early 1970s that results in a kind of casual genius. His songs are short--three and a half minutes is about tops--and so are his titles (Believe/ Reaching/ Feed/ His Love/ War, and others). Engaging, endearing, and strangely wonderful. Who is this guy? (JC)

 
CLARENCE SPADY Severn 045 Just Between Us ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 49 min., highly recommended
Back in 1996 when his debut album Nature Of The Beast hit the streets, critics called him the next big blues thing, predicting a lengthy and influential future. But fans had to wait until 2008 for this, his sophomore effort. His sound is a cool urban blues that Robert Cray fans should admire. Spady is the classic triple threat in that he voice is soulful, his guitar is bluesy and his material is original. For the two sharpest cuts here, figure the slow and satisfying Just Between Us. and the lyrical, mid-tempo instrumental E-Mail. No SPAM on this one. Very impressive. (JC)

 
RUFUS THOMAS Bear Family BCD 16695 His R&B Recordings, 1949-1956 : The Sun Years, Plus ● CD $24.98
29 tracks, 85 Mins, highly recommended
This is a fabulous set, one that only suffers from the fact that the Document label just put out a great collection of early Rufus Thomas material. With both of the collections covering recordings done for the Sun, Chess, Meteor, and Star Talent record labels, unfortunately there is a vast amount of overlapping material, but if you are a die-hard R&B fan, you might want to get both. If you didn't pick up the Document CD, than I would recommend this collection over that one. First off you get the deluxe Bear Family treatment, which on this release means a great 66-page booklet, with new extensive liner notes by Martin Hawkins, plus some great rare pictures and a discography for Rufus' '50s recordings as well as for the other recordings that are featured. Of the 29 cuts, 20 are duplicates of the Document CD. There are two versions of Married Woman, one of which is also on the other set, while the other is unique to this CD. The others are primarily made up of other artists' songs and vintage recordings of Thomas at WDIA. A few tracks connected to Rufus' are included--Rufus does a great version of Decorate The Counter and included on this we have a choppy early version (making its first official CD appearance here) of it from Roscoe Gordon, from the session that would produce his most famous version. Then you also have Big Mama Thornton's Hound Dog right before Rufus' answer record--Bear Cat--as well as Joe Hill Lois doing his version of Tiger Man. Also 2 tracks by fellow WDIA personality A.C. Moohah Williams Candy and All Shook Out, which are featured here not only because of the radio connection, but also due to the band backing Williams being comprised mainly of the musicians that would accompany Rufus on most of his recordings of the time. You then get some on air from WDIA material, like the incredible promo spot for Pink Pussycat Wine, intro patter from Rufus' Sepia Swing Club show, and an entertaining ten minute interview with Rufus done in Memphis in 1986 on the Daddy Cool Show that is making it's first CD appearance here. Rufus Thomas was such an all round entertainer, who did so much and worked so hard at his craft while raising a family, that his story is as inspiring as his songs are great and it is great to have his lesser known early material presented in such a fine manner. (JM)
JOE HILL LOUIS: Tiger Man (king Of The Jungle)/ MOOHAH: All Shook Out/ Candy/ RUFUS THOMAS: Bear Cat (the Answer To Hound Dog)/ Beer Bottle Boogie/ Crazy About You Baby/ Decorate The Counter/ Double Trouble/ Gonna Bring My Baby Back/ I'll Be A Good Boy/ I'm Off That Stuff/ I'm So Worried/ I'm Steady Holdin' On/ Intro Patter To Sepia Swing Club/ Juanita/ Married Woman -1/ Married Woman -2/ Night Workin' Blues/ No More Dogging Around/ Pink Pussycat Wine/ Rosco Gordon - Decorate The Counter/ Rufus Thomas On Daddy Cool Show/ Save That Money/ The Easy Livin' Plan/ Tiger Man (king Of The Jungle)/ Walkin' In The Rain/ Who's That Chick/ Why Did You Deegee?/ BIG MAMA THORNTON: Hound Dog

 
IKE TURNER JSP JSPCD 4203 Classic Early Side, 1952-1957 ● CD $23.98
Two CD set, 56 tracks, highly recommended, with reservations
I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's time someone did a box set documenting the early years in depth of Ike Turner - singer, pianist, talent scout and bandleader and the ideal label to do this would be JSP who have put out some fine box sets. Instead we have this two CD set sampling recordings by Ike and his bandmates made between 1952 and 1957. Two thirds of these tracks are available on releases in the past couple of years on Classics and Rev-Ola and most of the rest were on a now out of print Charly CD. About the only track that I don't think is available on CD elsewhere is Johnny O'Neal's great Johnny's Dream which seems to an early version of the song that fellow band member Eugene (Sly) Fox would record a couple of times and it includes that same great tremlo guitar work from Ike. Ike is featured playing guitar and piano and has several vocal and instrumental tracks under his own name. The rest features vocals by other members of his band including Billy Gayles, Dennis Binder, Matt Cockrell, Eugene Fox, Johnny Wright (a fabulous reworking of Things I Used To Do called The World Is Yours with stunning guitar by Ike) and others as well as several tracks featuring vocals by Ike's first wife Bonnie. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes by Neil Slaven and discographical info. (FS)
DENNIS BINDER: Early Times/ I Miss You So/ JACKIE BRENSTON: Gonna Wait For My Chance/ Much Later/ What Can It Be/ BROTHER BELL (JOHNNY O'NEAL): If You Feel Froggish/ Whole Heap Of Mama/ BEN BURTON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Troubles And Headaches/ You're Driving Me Insane/ MATT COCKRELL: Baby Please/ Gypsy Blues/ BILLY GAYLES: Do Right Baby/ I'm Tore Up/ If I Neve Had Known You/ Just One More Time/ Let's Call It A Day/ My Heart In Your Hands/ Night Howler/ No Coming Back/ Sad As A Man Can Be/ Take Your Fine Frame Home/ MISTREATER JACKIE: The/ WILLIE KING: Peg Leg Baby/ LONNIE "THE CAT": I Ain't Drunk/ The Road I Travel/ CLAYTON LOVE: Why Don't You Believe Me/ Wicked Little Baby/ LOVER BOY (IKE TURNER): Love Is Scarce/ The Way You Used To Treat Me/ MARY SUE (BONNIE TURNER): Everybody's Talking/ Love Is A Gamble/ JOHNNY O'NEAL: Dead Letter Blues/ Johnny's Dream/ Ugly Woman (Peg Leg Baby)/ THE SLY FOX: Hoo-Doo Say/ I'm Tired Of Beggin'/ My Four Women/ BONNIE & IKE TURNER: Looking For My Baby/ Love Is A Gamble/ My Heart Belongs To You/ Old Brother Jack/ Way Down In The Congo/ IKE TURNER: Big Question, The/ Cuban Get Away/ Cubano Jump/ Do You Mean It/ Go To It/ Loosely/ Nobody Wants Me/ Rock-A-Bucket/ She Made My Blood Run Cold/ Trail Blazer/ Why Did You Leave Me/ You've Changed My Love/ JOHNNY WRIGHT: Suffocate/ The World Is Yours

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ADDCD 3059 The Olliet Records Story ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 57 tracks, essential
Another fabulous collection of black music from the late 40s/ early 50s recorded for small West Coast labels. This one features recordings made for labels owned by African-American entrepreneur Ollie T. Hunt - most notably Olliet plus subsidiary labels State Negro Spirituals, Trilyte, Gru-V-Tone, Fentone, Scotty's and Octive (the last of these may not be a Hunt label). More than half the tracks are gospel and features several tremendous quartets like The Paramount Gospel Singers (featuring the stunning leads of Tiny Powell), The Spartonaires, Swanee River Quartet, Macedonians (an incredible acapella group who sound like they were inspired by The Spirit Of Memphis!) and The Flowers of Joy. There are also several solo gospel performers along with a couple of preachers including the ferocious Rev. George W. Killens with four titles including a spine chilling lined out version of the hymn Father I Stretch My hands To Thee. There is also a solo track from Tommy Jenkins who was a vocalist for the Rising Star Gospel Singers. His Freedom Choo Choo is a remarkable early civil rights song (1946!). Jenkins is given superb bluesy piano accompaniment by Naomi Mack who is featured on a fine instrumental Tight Key Boogie. We also have the first recordings of the great Percy Mayfield and one of the first by Jimmy Nelson (his very first - also on Olliet has never been found!). There are also tracks by Lowell Fulson, the Bay Area's most influential guitarist Lafayette Thomas, several tracks of jazzy jive, doo-wop from The Shantones and two early sides of jazz great Charles Mingus. An exemplary release compiled and annotated by Bay Area blues and gospel expert Opal Louis Nations which includes what little biographical information is known about Hunt and the various artists here along with artist photos and label shots. Sound quality is generally superb - a few cuts are from very rare and worn 78s and there is some crackle but it's all listenable. (FS)
RAY AGEE: I Brought It All On Myself/ REV. CARL C. ANDERSON: The Lord Will Make A Way/ FATHER E. DAVID & THE TONES: Since Jesus Came Into My Heart/ THE FLOWERS OF JOY: All My Appointed Time/ At The Cross/ LOWELL FULSON: Scotty's Blues/ The Train Is Leaving/ REV. J.J. GASKINS: Come See A Man/ ELDER G. GUIDRY: He Knows How Much We Can Bear/ ALLEN HENRY & HIS BAND: Big Fat Joe The Wino/ Little Red Riding Hood/ JOHN HOGG: Black Snake Blues/ Worrin' Blues/ TOMMY JENKINS: Freedom Choo Choo/ DAVID LEE JOHNSON: Hemlock Blues/ Who Can You Blame/ LYDIA JOHNSON: Canaan/ REV. GEORGE W. KILLENS: Father I Stretch My Hands To Thee/ Fighting For Jesus/ Same Man/ Testing Faith/ THE MACEDONIANS: Anybody Waiting/ I'll Never More Pass This Way/ Old Blind Barnabus/ Stop The War/ NAOMI MACK: Tight Key Boogie/ PERCY MAYFIELD: Jack You Ain't Nowhere, Pt. 1/ Jack You Ain't Nowhere, Pt. 2/ Two Years Of Torture/ BARON MINGUS & HIS RHYTHM: Lyon's Roar/ CHARLES "BARRON" MINGUS & HIS SYMPHONIC AIRS: The Story Of Love/ REV. LOUIS H. NARCISSE & THE CELESTIAL TONES: He Will Know Me/ Why Should I Worry/ JIMMY NELSON: Baby Chile/ Jailhouse Love/ The Cats Creep At Midnight/ THE PARAMOUNT GOSPEL SINGERS: He Means So Much To Me/ Heaven In My View/ In That Awful Hour, Part 1/ In That Awful Hour, Part 2/ Jonah/ KING PERRY: Come Back Baby/ It Takes A Good Man Like Me/ THE SHANTONES: Come To Me/ Little Girl/ THE SPARTONAIRES: Mother, Don't You Cry/ Precious Lord, Take My Hand/ THE SWANEE RIVER QUARTET: Jesus Is My Friend/ Lord, Have Mercy/ The Sun Will Never Go Down/ Wings/ LAFAYETTE THOMAS: The Thing/ Weekly Blues/ THE TRILYTERS: The Beat (Instr.)/ Two-O-Five Jump/ WILLIAM "THUNDERBIRD" WALKER & BAND: I'm Thinking Of You/ Thunderbird

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Label 92902 Bullet Records Gospel ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, recommended
Fine collection of gospel drawn from the Nashville based Bullet label. The Bullet label had two lives - initially started in 1946 it folden in 1953 but was revived in 1959. The first five tracks are from the label's initial incarnation including four sides by the magnificent Fairfield Four and one featuring the older jubilee style of The Famous Jubilee Singers. The remaining tracks are from the early/ mid 60s and due to the fact that many titles were pressed in very small quantities and documentation is poor it is not known how many of these were actually issued but all are fine examples of 60s style gospel. Two excellent journeyman gospel quartets are featured - The Dixie Travelers and The Sacred Four and there are also tracks by preacher Rev. H.L. Parker leading a choir, singer and piano player Ruth Zion, a couple of charming cuts by Rev. Dr. Pickett accompanied only by acoutic guitar and percussion and four tracks featuring a group led by fine Mississippi vocalist Willie Gunn. An ejoyable selection. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Dixie Frog 8597 Dixiefrog Presents Music Maker - Last & Lost Blues Survivors ● CD $24.98
French import. Two CD set featuring 38 tracks recorded in the past 15 years for Tim Duffy's Music Maker label. The emphasis is on rural Piedmont blues along with blues artists from other regions, traditional folk, urban blues, gospel and more. Performers include Frank Edwards, Neal Pattman, Guitar Gabriel, Pura Fe, Cora Mae Bryant, Sol, Etta Baker, Drink Small, Jerry McCain, Sweet Betty, Carl Rutherford, Cootie Stark, Little Pink Anderson, Captain Luke & Cool John, Algia Mae Hinton, The Branchettes, Essie Mae Brooks and others. Includes 32 page booklet with background information on the labels, bios of all the artists and photos.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5682 Mississippi Blues, Vol. 4 ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 62 min., highly recommended
Originally released on vinyl in 1987, this CD reissue includes extra tracks, including take 1 of Robert Johnson's Traveling Riverside Blues, released originally on Document's Too Late Too Late Blues, Volume 11 (DOCD-6525). It offers 11 Johnson performances in total ("the alternate takes and bonus tracks"), including 4 originally unissued sides (Phonograph Blues, Cross Road Blues, Drunken Hearted Man, and the aforementioned Traveling Riverside Blues from his 1936 San Antonio sessions. Sound quality is quite good too. The booklet notes call Robert Lockwood Jr. the son of Johnson's "regualr girl friend." Lockwood learned guitar from Johnson and absorbed his style in the process. Lockwood's earliest, rare 1941 recordings waxed for Bluebird are included here, namely <>Black Spider Blues, I'm Gonna Train My Baby, Little Boy Blue, and Take A Little Walk With Me. Also included are both sides of Mercury 8260 (I'm Gonna Dig Myself A Hole and Dust My Broom) from a 1951 Chicago session; and both sides of JOB 1107 (Aw Aw Baby (Sweet Home Chicago) and Sweet Woman From Maine) also cut in Chicago, this time in 1955. And the complete recorded works--all 4 songs--of Otto Virgil are here too (and worth hearing too), recorded in Chicago in 1935 for Bluebird. (JC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Famous Groove 972303 Soulful Gospel Vocal Groups, Vol. 3 ● CD $17.98
24 gospel sides from the mid 60s through early 70s in the then contemporary soul style. Includes cuts by The Meditations, The Gospel Cavaliers, Gospel Followers (featuring future soul favorites Ashford & Simpson), The East St. Louis Gospelettes, The Gospel Classics, Ollie Collins Jr. & Group, TheSalem Travelers, Sensational Cymbals, Cross Jordan Singers, The Capitalaires, Gospel Six Mighty Kings, etc.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Primo 6077 Vintage Sex Songs ● CD $10.98
2 CDs, 40 tracks, 116 mins, highly recommended
The best compilations transcend our daily lives and take us to a time and place that we may or may not be familiar with. This set in particular takes us behind the green door that Jim Lowe couldn't get past and, when we get there, the women there don't exactly look like Marilyn Chambers; they might be doing a lot of the same activities, but the gals here have a lot more curves and are a lot less innocent. This is a collection of dirty low-down and raunchy blues, certainly not the first, but one of the better ones to come out in years. Familiar faces for this sort of compilation, such as Bullmoose Jackson, The Swallows, Wynonie Harris etc. are here, but then you get an artist like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, not exactly someone you think of doing material like this, but her I Want A Tall Skinny Papa works quite well here. Jimmie Gordon Bed Spring Blues, Memphis Minnie Keep On Eatin, Barrelhouse Annie If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It, Blind Boy Fuller Sweet Honey Hole, Lucille Bogan Shave 'em Dry, and many more gems. Little notation on the recordings, but this is a party record--who's reading the notes? If you don't have much in the way of dirty blues, than this is a great starting point, if you do, and since there have been so many of these type of collections over the last 50 years or so, you might want to check the full track listing to make sure you aren't repeating too much. (JM)
CONNIE ALLEN: Rocket 69/ BARRELHOUSE ANNIE: If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It/ LUCILLE BOGAN: Shave 'em Dry/ BO CARTER: Banana In Your Fruit Basket/ My Pencil Won't Write No More/ MARGARET CARTER: I Want Plenty Grease In My Frying Pan/ FLOYD DIXON: Baby Let's Go Down To The Woods/ BLIND BOY FULLER: I'm A Rattlesnake Daddy/ LOWELL FULSON: Let Me Ride In Your Little Automobile/ CLEO GIBSON: I've Got Ford Movements In My Hips/ JAZZ GILLUM: Sarah Jane/ JIMMIE GORDON: Bed Spring Blues/ WYNONIE HARRIS: I Want My Fanny Brown/ She Kept On Sittin' On It All The Time/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: My Daddy Was A Jockey/ LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS: Let Me Play With Your Poodle/ BULLMOOSE JACKSON: I Want A Bow-legged Woman/ PAPA CHARLIE JACKSON: You Put It In, I'll Take It Out/ FRANKIE "HALF-PINT" JAXON: It Must Be Jelly ('cos You Know Jam Don't Move Like That)/ LIL JOHNSON: Sam, The Hot Dog Man/ LONNIE JOHNSON: The Best Jockey In Town/ LILLIE MAE KIRKMAN: He's Just My Size/ JULIA LEE: King Size Papa/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Keep On Eatin'/ AL MILLER: I Found Your Keyhole/ THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Driving That Thing/ FATS NOEL: Ride Daddy Ride/ CHARLIE PICKETT: Let Me Squeeze Your Lemon/ JIMMY PRESTON: Hucklebuck Baby/ MABEL SCOTT: Just Give Me A Man/ BESSIE SMITH: I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl/ VICTORIA SPIVEY: Good Cabbage/ THE SWALLOWS: It Ain't The Meat, It's The Motion/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: My Baby's Playground/ JOHNNY TEMPLE: Sit Right On It/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: I Want A Tall Skinny Papa/ THE TRENIERS: Poon Tang/ SIPPIE WALLACE: A Man For Every Day In The Week/ I'm A Mighty Tight Woman/ CROWN PRINCE WATERFORD: Move Your Hand Baby

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 145 Little Walter And The Kings Of The Blues Harmonica ● CD $26.98
Four CD set with 108 tracks. The first two CDs present a survey of various blues harmonica greats covering the period 1927 through 1957 and including DeFord Bailey, Noaha Lewis, Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee), Jazz Gillum (who was a fine artist but hardly a harmonica great), Sonny Terry, Snooky Pryor, James Cotton, Walter Horton, Howlin' Wolf,"Hot Shot" Love, Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), Junior Wells and others. The other two discs features 55 sides recorded between 1947 and 1957 by Little Walter Jacobs - rightfully considered the greatest blues harmonica player of the post war era. Lots of classic sides are here - Juke/ Mean Old World/ Off The Wall/ Quarter To Twelve/ Blues With A Feeling/ Last Night/ My babe/ Roller Coaster/ I Hate To See You Go/ Flying Saucer, etc. with sidemen like Jimmy Rogers, Louis Myers, Henry Gray, Willie Dixon, Robert Lockwood, Otis Spann, Fred Below, Bo Diddley, Luther Tucker and others. Excellent sound and 56 page booklet has extensive notes and full discographical details. It's all been out before but if you don't already have all this material it's a great collection, excellently packaged and at a bargain price.
BILLY BOY ARNOLD: I Wish You Would/ You Got To Love Me/ DE FORD BAILEY: Dixie Flyer Blues/ Pan-American Blues/ GEORGE CLARKE: More Blues/ Prisoner Blues/ JED DAVENPORT: Beale Street Breakdown/ Cow Cow Blues/ LITTLE BUDDY DOYLE: Hard Scufflin' Blues/ She's Got Good Dry Goods/ FOREST CITY JOE: A Woman On Every Street/ Memory Of Sonny Boy/ LITTLE WILLIE FOSTER: Little Girl/ JAZZ GILLUM: Key To The Highway/ Reefer Head Woman/ HENRY GRAY: I Declare That Ain't Right/ SLIM HARPO: I'm A King Bee/ I've Got Love If You Want It/ WALTER HORTON: Have A Good Time/ Need My Baby/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Crazy About You Baby/ Stay Here Till My Baby Comes Back/ J.B. HUTTO: Combination Boogie/ JIMMY & WALTER: Easy/ NOAH LEWIS: Chickasaw Special/ Devil In The Woodpile/ SAMMY LEWIS & WILLIE JOHNSON: So Long Baby, Goodbye/ LITTLE WALTER: Ah'w Baby/ Big Leg Mama/ Blue Light/ Blue Midnight/ Blues With A Feeling/ Blues with a Feeling/ Boogie/ Boom, Boom Out Go The Lights/ Can't Stop Loving You/ Come Back Baby/ Crazy For My Baby/ Crazy Legs/ Don't Have To Hurt No More/ Everybody Needs Somebody/ Fast Boogie/ Fast Large One/ Flying Saucer/ I Can't Hold Out Much Longer/ I Got To Find My Baby/ I Got To Go/ I Had My Fun/ I Hate To See You Go/ I Just Keep Loving Her/ It Ain't Right/ It's Too Late Brother/ Juke/ Just a Feeling/ Last Boogie/ Last Night/ Last Night/ Lights Out/ Little Girl/ Mean Old World/ Mellow Down Easy/ Mercy Babe/ My Babe/ My Babe/ Nobody But You/ Off The Wall/ Oh Baby/ One More Chance With You/ Ora Nelle Blues/ Quarter To Twelve/ Rocker/ Roller Coaster/ Sad Hours/ Shake Dancer/ Take Me Back/ Teenage Beat/ Tell Me Mama/ Temperature/ Thunderbird/ Tonight With A Fool/ Too Late/ Who/ You'd Better Watch Yourself/ You're So Fine/ JOE HILL LOUIS: Boogie In The Park/ We All Gotta Go Sometime/ COY "HOT SHOT" LOVE: Harmonica Jam/ Wolf Call Boogie/ THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Gator Wobble/ K.C. Moan/ LOUIS MYERS: Just Whaling/ WILLIE NIX: Bakershop Boogie/ SNOOKY PRYOR: Judgment Day/ JIMMY REED: Jimmie's Boogie/ Roll and Rhumba/ JIMMY ROGERS: Walkin' By Myself/ DR. ROSS: Come Back Baby/ Doctor Ross Boogie/ SNOOKY & MOODY: Boogie/ SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE MCGHEE: Born For Bad Luck/ Fox Chase/ Million Lonesome Women/ Whoopin' The Blues/ MUDDY WATERS: I Live The Life I Love/ JUNIOR WELLS: Hoodoo Man/ So All Alone/ JOHN LEE "SONNY BOY" WILLIAMSON: Decoration Blues/ Shake The Boogie/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Don't Start Me To Talking/ Fattening Frogs For Snakes

 
T-BONE WALKER Definitive 11259 Complete 1950-1954 Recordings ● CD $10.98
Two CDs, 52 tracks, 2 hrs 19 mins, essential if you don't already have it T. Bone Walker was a brilliant singer and an innovative guitar player whose playing was to influence generations of blues guitarists. He honed his craft over many years but possibly reached his peak in the 52 songs recorded for Imperial between 1950 and 1954. This double CD features one take of all of these songs. These recordings were mostly cut in Los Angeles or New Orleans with great bands including such sidemen as Jim Wynn, Billy Hadnott, Willard McDaniel, Maxwell Davis, Dave Bartholomew, Lee Allen, Walter Nelson and other. There is one classic performance after another including Glamour Girl/ Strollin' With Bones/ The Hustle Is On/ I Get So Weary/ Street Walking Woman/ Party Girl/ High Society/ Vida Lee/ Doin' Time, etc. Includes 8 page booklet with brief biography and session details. This is essentially the same as the "The Complete IMperial Recordings" issued by EMI in 1991 though I think the remastering here is a little crisper. (FS)

 

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