SECOND TIME AROUND - 04/10/2012 - Part 1

This is where we list some of the best and most popular releases from the past decade which you may have missed them the first time we listed them - or if you’re a new customer you may never have seen them. We hope you will find here some that will become your favorites.





MIDNIGHT AT THE BARRELHOUSE The Johnny Otis Story by George Lipsitz ● BOOK $24.98
Hardback, 235 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping The life of Johnny Otis personifies all that's best about the "American Dream." The son of Greek immigrants he grew up in an integrated neighborhood where he fell in love with African-American music and culture and devoted the rest of his life to it. Often called the "Godfather of R&B" Otis was an instrumentalist, bandleader (his bands were the launching pad for many great vocalists and musicians), singer, songwriter, night club owner, record producer, label owner, disc jockey, pastor, politician and in his spare time(!) a painter and sculptor of note. He was also a tireless fighter for racial equality. In this first biography of Otis, professor of black studies George Lipsitz tells the largely unknown story of a towering figure in the history of African American music and culture who was, by his own description, "black by persuasion". "Midnight at the Barrelhouse" is a chronicle of a life rich in both incident and inspiration, as well as an exploration of the complicated nature of race relations in 20th century America. Otis's total commitment to black culture and transcendence of racial boundaries teach important lessons about identity, race, and power while encapsulating the contradictions of racism in American society. Written in a highly readable style, Lipsitz not only tells a great man's life story, he also gives the reader a sense of time and place, and paints a grim, yet hopeful, picture of a world that was. This book is essential reading.

THE BLUES DISCOGRAPHY 1971-2000 THE LATER YEARS by Robert Ford & Bob McGrath ● BOOK $110.00
Paper, 560 pages, essential
Fabulous, important and endlessly fascinating new publication from the publishers of "The Blues Discography, 1943-1970" ($100), "The Gospel Discography, 1943-1970" ($110) and "The Soul Discography, Vol. 1" ($110). Extending the scope of the previous Blues Records discography this book is the first ever attept to document recordings made between 1971 and 200 of country blues, down home blues, city blues, soul blues and more. In order to keep the book manageable the book is essentially confined to African-American performers with white groups included that feature African-American lead performers. Artists are listed alphabetically with session information listed chronologically including titles recorded, location, session personnel (where known) and original issue on 45, LP, cassette, CD and even some titles only available as digital downloads. The scope of the publication is broad including performers whose career dates back to the 20s and 30s (Sleepy John Estes, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Roosevelt Sykes, Henry Townsend, etc.), blues legends of the 40s and 50s who were still going strong (Muddy Waters, Champion Jack Dupree, Lowell Fulson, Albert King, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Sunnyland Slim, etc.), artists whose careers started in the 50s and 60s but who became stars in the 70s and on (Carey Bell, James Booker, Clifton Chenier, Buddy Guy, Louisiana Red, Hound Dog Taylor, Phillip Walker, R.L. Burnside, etc.), important new artists that emerged in the 70s, 80s and 90s (Johnnie Bassett, Billy Branch, John Cephas & Phil Wiggins, Robert Cray, Jimmy Johnson, Keb Mo, Sonny Rhodes, Son Seals, Chris Thomas, Joe Louis Walker, etc.), artists who blend soul and blues into what is known as "soul blues" (Theodis Ealy, Z.Z. Hill, McKinley Mitchell, Artie "Blues Boy" White, etc.), great new country blues artists discovered by diligent field researchers (Marvin & Turner Foddrell, Willie Guy Rainey, Big Boy Henry, Frank Hovington, Henry Johnson, William Robertson, etc) and obscure performers who recorded one or two singles or LPs and then returned to obscurity (Stanley Banks, Sylvester Boyd, Rufus Foreman, Jim Gamble, B.J. King, Eddie Ray, etc.).
All these and many, many more are documented in great depth. Since, in this period, the industry was dominated by LPs and CDs there is a 45 page appendix that cross references all of the albums referred to in the main text organized by record label. The book is nicely laid out in a two column format on 8.5 x 11" pages and will be an indispensable addition to the bookshelf of any blues lover, collector or researcher. (FS)
To expedite shipping the book will be shipped directly from the publisher in Canada. Rates are as follows
In Canada : $12.00, 2-3 days - $20.00
To U.S.A. : 10 days - $23.00, 3-4 days - $32.00
Rest Of The World : Surface (4 to 8 weeks) - $23.00, Airmail (5-10 days) - $53.00



BOB DYLAN Sony DVD 14466 The Other Side Of The Mirror - Live At Newport Folk Fes ● DVD $14.98
83 mins, highly recommended
Captures what are probably the three most important shows in Bob Dylan's career. This DVD features fantastic footage and sound from the shows that help make Bob Dylan a legend Not to mention one of the most controversial Rock & Roll performances of all time; Two songs Maggie's Farm, and Like A Rolling Stone played loud, proud and electric in front of a crowd that had mixed feelings about what they were witnessing (to say the least). You get to watch the scrawny Woody Guthrie disciple turn into the brash enigma, far better writers than I have been discussing and dissecting both personas for the last 40 plus years. Also featured are some clips with Joan Baez, including a brief but fascinating interview bit with her as she drives away from the festival, as well as an even briefer clip of Johnny Cash doing It Ain't Me Babe. It would be nice to see all of Johnny's performance; maybe we will be getting that as well soon. Certainly this is essential for all of us Dylan-philes out there, with great takes on North Country Blues/ With God On Our Side/ Mr. Tambourine Man, and much more. Bonus feature is an interview with director Murray Lerner. If you have a Blu-Ray player there is Blue-Ray version available (Sony 787462 - $24.98) (JM)



HENRY "RED" ALLEN Membran 222401 Jazz Edition - Quadromania ● CD $10.98
Four CDs, 63 tracks, highly recommended
Another splendid low priced set of vintage jazz in Membran's Quadrophenia series - this time featuring the superb trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen with his band recorded between 1932 and 1952. Allen had a long and distinguished career and these sides feature such great sidemen as Pee Wee Russell, Joe Sullivan, Eddie Condon, "Fats" Waller, "Pops" Foster, Tommy Dorsey, Tab Smith, J.C. Higginbotham and many more. Tunes are a mix of Allen originals, jazz standards, blues and lively renditions of pop songs. Fine music with excellent sound. (FS)

CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Uptown Jazz 27.63 Electric ● CD $16.98
17 tracks, 55 mins, essential
Who knows where Charlie Christian's talents would have taken him had he not succumbed to tuberculosis in 1942 at the age of 26. One of the pioneers of electric jazz guitar his technique was to influence thousands of musicians across all spectrums of music since his untimely death. This wonderful set features four sides from a 1939 after hours jam session with tenor saxist Jerry Jerome, pianist Frankie Hines on piano and a young Oscar Pettiford on bass. The remaining tracks feature him with the Benny Goodman Sextet on radio broadcasts from 1939 and '40 with Lionel Hampton on vibes and Fletcher Henderson or Johnny Guarnieri. The merits of almost every cut here are obvious, displaying that magical live "edge" that makes this music so vibrant and swinging 50 years later. In comparison to some of the studio recordings, Christian plays like a man possessed - more adventuresome, supremely confident, and delivering each awesome solo as though he knew it might be his last. And he was not the only one ascending to the peaks of inspiration - listen to Hampton, Goodman, Guarnieri and the rest of BG's stellar outfit on the startlingly modern AC/DC Current, the rabid Dinah, and the always swingin' 'Till Tom Special/ Gone With What Wind for confirmation. These tracks have been reissued before but what makes this release so significant is that the tracks have been newly remastered from the acetates owned by Jerry Newhouse and while I don't have acess to previous reissues to compare, the sound here is simply stunning with crystal clarity on the solos and richness to the ensemble playing. Comes with great 28 page booklet with extensive notes by Frank Driggs and a slew of great photos. (FS)

THE DELMORE BROTHERS JSP JSPCD 7727 Classic Cuts, 1933-1941 ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 87 tracks, essential
It's no wonder that the Delmore Brothers are so revered by country music fans - the music they made was just so appealing with Alton and Rabon's wonderful close and distinctive harmonies and their terrific intertwining guitar work featuring Alton on lead and and Rabon on tenor guitar. Although their late 40s and early 50s King sides are featured on a number of releases this is the first in depth look at their earliest recordings with many tracks making their first appearance on CD. Unlike many other brother groups that relied on traditional and old popular songs for their repertoire most of the Delmores songs were originals - mostly composed by Alton and includes a mix of ballads, blues, gospel, novelty songs and more. Most of the tracks are just the duo and their guitars and Alton lets loose with some hot guitar solos on some of them. A few tracks feature the great fiddler Arthur Smith, a few are with a small group and there are three tracks feature a fine and unknown steel guitar - his playing on Scatterbrain Mama is particularly fine. Among the songs here are such timeless classics as Blue Railroad Train/ Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar/ Don't You See That Train, and Brown's Ferry Blues. The Delmores were very popular and influential and many of their songs frequently recorded by bluegrass and traditional country acts today. Sound quality is generally excellent - notes by Pat Harrison gives us the basic facts on the duos career but not much more. (FS)
THE DELMORE BROTHERS: 15 Miles from Birmingham/ Alabama Lullaby/ Are You Marching With the Savior/ Baby Girl/ Back to Birmingham/ Better Range Is Home/ Blind Child/ Blow Yo' Whistle, Freight Train/ Blue Railroad Train/ Broken Hearted Lover/ Brown's Ferry Blues/ Brown's Ferry Blues, Pt. 2/ Budded Rose/ Bury Me out on the Prairie/ Cannon Ball/ Careless Love (Bring My Baby Back)/ Don't Let My Ramblin' Bother Your Mind/ Don't You See That Train/ Down South/ Dying Truckdriver/ Eastern Gate/ False Hearted Girl/ Frozen Girl/ Fugitive's Lament/ Girls Don't Worry My Mind/ Go Easy Mabel/ God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds/ Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar/ Goodbye Booze/ Gospel Cannonball/ Happy Hickey -- The Hobo/ Happy on the Mississippi Shore/ Heavenly Light Is Shining on Me/ Hi De Ho Baby Mine/ Honey I'm Ramblin' Away/ I Ain't Got Nowhere to Travel/ I Got the Kansas City Blues/ I Long to See My Mother/ I Need the Prayers of Those I Love/ I Now Have a Bugle to Play/ I'm Going Away/ I'm Gonna Change My Way/ I'm Mississippi Bound/ I'm Worried Now/ I've Got the Big River Blues/ I've Got the Railroad Blues/ In That Vine Covered Chapel in the Valley/ In the Blue Hills of Virginia/ It's Takin' Me Down/ Just the Same Sweet Thing to Me/ Lead Me/ Lonesome Jailhouse Blues/ Lonesome Yodel Blues/ Lonesome Yodel Blues [Blue Yodel No. 2]/ Lorena, The Slave/ Lover's Warning/ Make Room in the Lifeboat for Me/ My Smokey Mountain Gal/ Nashville Blues/ No Drunkard Can Enter There/ No One/ Old Mountain Dew/ Over the Hills/ Promise Me You'll Always Be Faithful/ Put Me on the Train to Carolina/ Rainin' on the Mountain/ Scatterbrain Mama/ See That Coon in a Hickory Tree/ Silver Dollar/ Singing My Troubles Away/ Smokey Mountain Bill and His Song/ Southern Moon/ Storms Are on the Ocean/ Take Away This Lonesome Day/ Take Me Back to the Range/ That Yodelin' Gal -- Miss Julie/ There's Trouble on My Mind Today/ They Say It Is Sinful to Flirt/ Till the Roses Bloom Again/ Wabash Blues/ Weary Lonesome Blues/ When It's Summertime in a Southern Clime/ When It's Time for the Whip-Poor-Will to Sing/ When We Held Our Hymn Books Together/ Where Is My Sailor Boy/ Will You Be Lonesome Too?/ Wonderful There

BOB DUNN Origin Jazz Library 1004 Master Of The Electric Steel Guitar, 1935-1950 ● CD $33.98
Two CDS, 53 tracks, essential
Pioneering electric steel guitarist Bob Dunn may not be a household name but he was one of the more important figures in the development of western swing in particular and modern country music in general. Dunn's "take-off" style incorporated blues, Hawaiian guitar & the trombone of Jack Teagarden and was an influence on many steel guitarists to follow including Leon McAuliffe. Perhaps the reason for his comparative obscurity is that most of his work was done as an accompanying performer and only recorded a dozen titles under his own name with his band The Vagbonds. Origina Jazz Library have rectified that situation with this lovingly compiled package featuring twelve titles issued under his own name along with stellar work with Milton Brown & His Brownies, Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers, Floyd Tillman, Bill Mounce & Sons Of The South, Modern Mountaineers, Harry Choates and others. Throughout, Dunn's playing is dazzling and imaginative. This set is beautifully packaged in a 5"x7" book form with a 44 page booklet with four essays on Dunn's career, life, technique and the influnce of the trombone on his music. There are loads of great photos, many previously unpublished and full discographical data. Sound quality is superb. This magnificent release will help establish Dunn's credentials as the major performer he was. (FS)

BOB DYLAN Columbia 76179 The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9 : The Witmark Demos, 1962-64 ● CD $18.98
2CD, 47 tracks, 150 mins, essential
It's been said before but I'll say it again: Bob Dylan is the most influential songwriter of the 20th century, not to mention being one of the most covered. The latest installment of his Bootleg Series contains the demos that Dylan cut for Leeds Music Co and M. Witmark & Sons publishing companies, with the intent that the songs would be pitched to other singers to record. Many of his early standards were first cut here: Blowin' in the Wind/ A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall/ Masters of War/ Don't Think Twice, It's All Right/ The Times They Are A-Changin', and Mr. Tambourine Man. Some were recorded by Dyland, somewere cut by other artists, some were simply forgotten about, and many of these tracks have been heavily bootlegged for years (a couple have even appeared on previous Bootleg Series volumes), but never have all the tracks been collected so comprehensively in one place before and with superb sound throughout. As it says in the extenive liner notes, these songs-known so well by some of us, that we can sing them by heart-are being heard in their formative stages for the first time in chronological sequence. With just voice, guitar, harmonica, and piano, Dylan gives these songs an intimacy and off-the-cuff vibrancy that his early albums lack (it almost makes me wonder who in the world would think other singers would want to cover these very personal songs); when he sings The Death of Emmett Till, every word of this sad story cuts really deep and never lets you forget that injustice is something that must never be swept under the carpet of history. Some songs like Let Me Die In My Footsteps and Seven Curses are so good that it's puzzling that they wern't recorded by Dylan or anyone else at the time. The 58 page booklet has detailed notes by Colin Escott, loads of great early photos and reproductions of some of Bob's written drafts for some of the songs. It doesn't matter how many times you've heard Girl From the North Country or Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, Bootleg Series Vol. 9 is guaranteed to make these, and other, familiar songs sound brand new again. (GMC/ FS)

THE FALCONS Relic 7003 You're So Fine ● CD $14.98
16 exciting sides by this powerful Detroit group featuring the incredible vocals of Joe Stubbs (his brother is Levi Stubbs of The 4 Tops) & soon to-be-soul-star Eddie Floyd of Knock On Wood fame. Contains their Flick, Lupine & Mercury recordings from 1956 to '59 - the great title track + You're Mine/ Baby That's It/ You're In Love/ I Wonder, etc.
THE FALCONS: (when) You're In Love/ Anytime, Anyplace,/ Anywhere/ Baby That's It/ Girl Of My Dreams/ Goddess Of Angels/ I Wonder/ I'll Never Find Another Girl Like You/ Juke Hop/ Just For Your Love/ Let It Be Me/ No Time For Fun/ Please Don't Leave Me Dear/ Sent Up/ Whose Little Girl Are You/ You're Mine/ You're So Fine

HUGH & KARL FARR Country Routes RFDCD 11 Texas Stomp 1934-40 ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, essential
Repressed by popular demand! To put it simply, this is an amazing find - 26 transcriptions by Hugh & Karl Farr, Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers), Bob Nolan and other Sons Of The Pioneers, doing some of the instrumentals they used as filler on early radio shows. No Cool Water here, and no filler, for that matter - this is all hot jazz and blues-based swing in the style of the famed Eddie Lang - Joe Venuti string duos; a style popularized around this time by Django Reinhardt and Co. The disc begins with three 1935 guitar duets from the Farr Bros., then on to Bluebird Rhythm, a showcase for Hugh's flashy fiddling. Next comes a 1940 quartet in the Hot Club mode, then the earliest track here (1934), the standard Milneburg Joys complete with breakneck tempo and solo breaks. The chronology is jumbled, but no matter - every track is a gem, from the delicate swing of Heart To Heart/ I Said Goodbye to the many torrid workouts for fiddle and guitar. Farr and Rogers' St. Louis Blues is a perfect lazy blues with wild violin flourishes, and Texas Stomp is the hottest of the hot, featuring Karl in 1940 on electric guitar! This year was also marked by imaginative quartet arrangements, as on Comin' Thru The Rye/ Memories In Blue/ Dark Eyes. The musicianship is just astounding, making this an essential for fans of string jazz or hot country picking. A wonderful slice of unheard history. (MB)
THE ALCOA QUARTET: I'm Redeemed/ MR. AND MRS. J.W. BAKER: The Newmarket Wreck/ DAD BLACKARD'S MOONSHINERS: Sandy River Belle/ THE BLUE RIDGE CORN SHUCKERS: Old Time Corn Shuckin', pts 1& 2/ THE BULL MOUNTAIN MOONSHINERS: Johnny Goodwin/ THE CARTER FAMILY: Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow/ Little Log Cabin by the Sea/ Single Girl, Married Girl/ The Poor Orphan Child/ The Storms are on the Ocean/ The Wandering Boy/ UNCLE ECK DUNFORD: Skip to Ma Lou, My Darling/ THE JOHNSON BROTHERS: A Passing Policeman/ The Jealous Sweetheart/ ALFRED G. KARNES: I am Bound for the Promised Land/ To The Work/ When They Ring the Golden Bells/ J.P. NESTOR: Black-Eyed Susie/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS QUARTET: I want to go where Jesus is/ BLIND ALFRED REED: The Wreck of the Virginian/ Walking in the Way with Jesus/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Sleep, Baby, Sleep/ The Soldier's Sweetheart/ THE SHELOR FAMILY: Billy Grimes, the Rover/ B.F. SHELTON: Oh Molly Dear/ ERNEST V. STONEMAN & HIS DIXIE MOUNTAINEERS: Are You Washed in the Blood/ The Ressurection/ ERNEST V. STONEMAN, IRMA FROST, & ECK DUNFORD: Midnight on the Stormy Deep/ ERNEST V. STONEMAN, KAHLE BREWER, & WALTER MOONEY: Tell Mother I will meet Her/ ERNEST V. STONEMAN, IRMA FROST, & ECK DUNFORD: The Mountaineer's Courtship/ THE TENNESSEE MOUNTAINEERS: Standing on Promises/ THE TENNEVA RAMBLERS: The Longest Train I ever saw/ EL WATSON: Pot Licker Blues/ THE WEST VIRGINIA COON HUNTERS: Greasy String/ HENRY WHITTER: Henry Whitter's Fox Chase

AL FERRIER El Toro 1032 I'm The Man - Louisiana Swamp Rockabilly, 1955-1959 ● CD $18.98
32 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
Superb collection of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and honky tonk country Louisiana bayou flavor, laid down by an artist whose solid feel for his material is shared by his back-up band which usually featured his brother Brian on lead guitar and on the earliest cuts his other brother Warren on fiddle or bass. Among the many highlights are the Johnny Cash flavored title track, the wild Hey Baby the originally unissued Blues Stop Knocking at My Door, the great <>I>My Baby Done Gone Away which adds some fiddle into the rockabilly mix plus No No Baby/ You Win Again/ Send Her Back, and the pure country It's Too Late Now. As the 50s progressed Al moved to a more straight ahead rock 'n' roll style but with solid vocals and great accompaniments they are all a joy. In addition to all the issued sides this includes originally unissued songs and alternate takes that turned up in the 1980s and help round out the picture of Al's considerable talent. Excellent sound and 8 page booklet with detailed notes. (FS)

DICK GAUGHAN Appleseed 1016 Sail On ● CD $17.98
11 tracks, 53 minutes, essential
1997 album. It had been a long and, for us, worried seven years since Dick's previous solo album. In Dick Gaughan the fire of genius burns so bright and hot, we fear that fragile flesh won't be able to contain it. Ah! he's back, and this flight of the phoenix is higher and brighter than ever. His voice has mellowed somewhat over the years and he sometimes strains to reach the cutting edge that previously was so effortless but his passion, commitment and sincerity are as strong as ever - a rare trait in these overly cynical times. His songwriting has matured and melded with that magical spirit of trad roots that hooked us so long ago and songs like Son Of Man and the title song are among his best compositions yet. The "other people's songs" he chooses have a sound and fury that speak to the strength of his mature vision and his great heart and includes Brian McNeil's ferocious denouncement of the overly romantic image of Scotland in No Gods & Precious Few Heroes, his first attempt at a Richard Thompson song in 1952 Vincent Black Lightning and a surprising, but very effective rendition of the Rolling Stones' Ruby Tuesday with acoustic guitar and clarsach accompaniment so it ends up almost sounding like a traditional song! He also revisits two songs he has previously recorded - both from the pen of the great Scottish folklorist/poet Hamish Henderson The Freedom Come-All-Ye and The 51st (Highland) Divisions Farewell To Sicily. The latter has become a hypnotic 12 minute epic. Production by Dick sounds really, truly splendid with varied arrangements. Bright phoebus, blaze forever. (NSN/FS)

THE GEORGIA YELLOW HAMMERS B.A.C.M. 073 Johnson's Old Grey Mule ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 72 mins, essential
Simply wonderful and truly infectious string band music by one of the very best groups. Founded by singer & banjo player Bud Landress and singer and fiddler Bill Chitwood in 1927 the group also usually featured Phil Reeve on guitar and vocal and Ernest Moody on guitar, ukulele and vocal though various other musicians drifted in and out of the group. The vocals, usually featuring the lead of Landress was particularly strong and the vocal harmonies are truly wonderful. This exceptional disc features three tracks from 1924 featuring just Landress & Chitwood before they formed they group which was originally called Bill Chitwood's Georgia Mountaineers. It also includes a couple of offshoots of the group like The Clyde Evans Band and The Turkey Mountain Singers. Among the many fine performances here are Raise A Rough House Tonight/ Johnson's Old Grey Mule/ Hen cackle/ Going To Ride That Midnight Train/ I Am Bound For The Promised (a quartet vocal with only harmonium accompaniment)/ I'm S-A-V-E-D (a real favorite)/ The Picture On The Wall/ All Old Bachelors Are Hard To Please/ Moonshine Hollow Band/ Keep Marching All The Time/ Big Ball In Memphis/ Kiss Me Quick/ beyond The Clouds Is Light and others. Sound quality is generally excellent. This is the first in depth look at this group since Rounder issued an LP some 25 years ago - that provided inspiration and material for many of the young string bands of the day - maybe this reissue will do the same for a new generation. (FS)
THE GEORGIA YELLOW HAMMERS: All Gone Now/ All Old Bachelors Are Hard To Please/ Beyond The Clouds Is Light/ Big Ball In Memphis/ Come Over And See Me Sometime/ Going To Ride That Midnight Train/ Hen Cackle/ How I Got My Gal/ Howdy Bill/ I Am Bound For The Promised Land/ I‘m S-a-v-e-d/ Johnson‘s Old Grey Mule/ Keep Marching All The Time/ Kiss Me Quick/ Mary Don‘t You Weep/ Moonshine Hollow Band/ My Carolina Girl/ Raise Rough House Tonight/ Rubber Dolly Rag/ Song Of The Doddle Bug/ Tennessee Coon/ The Old Rock Jail Behind The Old Iron Gate/ The Picture On The Wall/ Whoa Mule

DAVY GRAHAM Fledgling 3050 Folk, Blues & Beyond ... ● CD $17.98
21 tracks 61 mins, essential
Previously available for a while on Topic this classic album is now reissued by Fledgling with five bonus tracks. The first 16 tracks features Davey's ground breaking first solo album recorded for Decca in 1964. Davey was adept at fusing blues, jazz & folk music and, at times overlaying it with the feel of an Indian raga and his playing influenced a whole generation of folk guitarists. The emphasis on this album is on his blues and jazz interpretations and while he is not terribly convincing as a blues singer his imaginative and dazzling guitar playing more than makes up for that. Davy is accompanied on most of the cuts by an excellent unidentified bass player and drummer. Includes Leavin' Blues/ Sally Free & easy/ Rock Me Baby/ Ballad Of The Sad Young Man/ Skillet (Good 'n' Greasy))/ Maajun/ Don't Think Twice, It's Alright/ Goin' Down Slow, etc. Two of the bonus tracks are from a rare 1963 live Decca E.P. including a mind blowing version of She Moves Through The Fair. The final three tracks are from the legendary 1963 Topic E.P. "3/4 A.D." with Alexis Korner where he introduced one of the most covered guitar tunes of the 60s Angi. Includes 12 page booklet with new notes by Ken Hunt, original LP and E.P. notes and some great color photos. (FS)

ADAM HEBERT Swallow 6169 The Essential Adam Hebert ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
If you're looking for some earthly raunchy Cajun music such as was heard in the dancehalls and taverns of the early 60's, Adam Hebert And His Country Playboys would fit the bill just fine. Aided by Claby Richard on accordion and Dick Richard on steel guitar, Hebert sings and fiddles lustily and "straight from his heart" on this lively selection of two-steps and waltzes including La Valse De Ma Cherie which was heard in Charles Bronson's movie "Hard Times" and typifies the hybrid of cajun and honky tonk that Hebert captures so well. Most of the songs are Hebert originals - a number that have become Cajun standards. Most of these great tracks are making their first appearance on CD. (JM/ FS)

HOMER & JETHRO B.A.C.M. 043 Ground Hog ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 71 tracks, highly recommended
Great collection featuring all but one of the tracks recorded by this fine comedic duo for King in 1947. Featuring vocal and guitar from Henry "Homer" Haynes and vocal and stunning mandolin playing from Kenneth "Jethro" Burns they perform traditional songs (Boll Weevil/ Poor Little Liza Poor Girl/ Ground Hog, etc), twisted version of Tin Pan Alley Songs (Margie/ Five Minutes More/ Night And Day/ I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now/ Glow Worm, etc) and a few originals (I Brusied Her Somewhat/ Goodbye Old Booze/ All Night Long, etc. Sound is generally excellent and there are brief notes by Brian Golbey. (FS)
HOMER & JETHRO: All Night Long/ Always/ Bill Bailey Won‘t You Please Come Home/ Blue Tailed Fly/ Boll Weevil/ Cielito Lindo/ Donkey Serenade/ Don‘t Let Your Sweet Love Die/ Don‘t Telephone, Don‘t Telegraph/ Five Minutes More/ Fly Birdie Fly/ Glow Worm/ Goodbye Old Booze/ Ground Hog/ I Feel Old Age Creeping On/ I Wonder Who‘s Kissing Her Now/ It Bruised Her Somewhat/ I‘ll Close My Eyes/ I‘m Glad I Waited For You/ Margie/ Night And Day/ Poor Little Liza Poor Girl/ Rye Whiskey/ Sympathy-symphony/ When It‘s Long Handle Time In Tennessee

MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT Spring Fed 108 Discovery ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
What a delightful discovery - the first recordings made by the great Mississippi John Hurt the day after blues researcher Tom Hoskins knocked on his door in March, 1963 on an inspired guess that John might still be living in the town that John sang about in his OKeh recording "Avalon Blues." So began a short new career traveling around the country delighting people with his wonderful music. The day after his first appearance Hoskins returned with a tape recorder and spent an afternoon recording him and, finally, these recordings are being made available. The recordings are informal with family and friends coming in and, in some cases, joining JOhn on the vocals and, for a while, a rooster crowing very loudly! The songs are all ones that John was to return to again and again on his commercial recordings and live performances - Nobody's Business/ Stack O'Lee/ Coffee Blues/ Candy Man/ Got The Blues/ Spike Driver Blues/ Louis Collins and others but these recordings will hold a special place on the hearts of country blues lovers for their spontaneity. Here was a man who had spent most of his life as a farmer when, out of the blue, a young white man knocks on his door. At first Hurt thought he might be an FBI agent but Hoskins reassured him that he was there because he loved his music and the next day John was creating that magical music that only he was capable of. If you are not familiar with Hurt's music this is probably not the place to start since the recording quality isn't all that great and Hurt's performances are not as polished but if you love Hurt's music as I do this will send a shiver down your spine and possibly bring a tear to your eye! The recordings include a 16 minute interview with Hurt. Simply magical. (FS)

THE JACKS Ace CDCHD 535 Why Don't You Write Me ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 69 min., essential
The companion disc to The Cadets Meet the Jacks is a winner from start to finish. The Cadets/Jacks were one of the premier groups of the 50's. With a lineup that included Aaron Collins, chief songwriter and brother to the Teen Queens (see below), future soul star Ted Taylor, and bass singer extraordinaire Dub Jones, they certainly had more talent than most of their competition. And the mostly ballad material here attests to that. Highlights include the title cut, plus Away, So Wrong, Let's Make Up, Why Did I Fall in Love, and This Empty Heart. Not only do the two discs include all of their 45 rpm and lp cuts recorded under either the Jacks' or the Cadets' name, this one also includes both sides of the very rare MJC 45 on which Jacks lead Willie Davis moonlighted-My Reckless Heart and They Turned the Party Out Down at Bessie's House. A great program put together with Ace's usual good taste, featuring a particularly nice cover design, fine sound quality, and informed liner notes by Jim Dawson. A must buy. (DH)

ELMORE JAMES Charly SNAJ 722 King Of The Slide Guitar - Complete Chief & Fire Sessions ● CD $24.98
Three CDs, 63 tracks, essential
Back in stock at a lower price. This wonderful three CD box is a repackaging of Charly CPBOX 301 and features all of Elmore's Fire/Fury recordings (including alternates) plus his great Chief sides from '57 and the Trumpet recording of Dust My Broom. Together with the Ace box and the (now deleted) Chess CD they comprise this great bluesman's entire output under his own name. The 24 page booklet accompanying the set includes a biography with photos and a discography of these sessions. If you don't already have these superb sides you owe it to yourself to get what are some of the greatest blues recordings of the late 50s and early 60s - music that sounds as fresh and vital today as it did 50 years ago. (FS)
ELMORE JAMES: (My) Bleeding Heart/ Anna Lee/ Baby, Please Set A Date/ Back In Mississippi (Conversation)/ Bobby's Rock/ Can't Stop Loving My Baby/ Coming Home/ Cry For Me Baby/ Done Somebody Wrong/ Dust My Broom/ Dust My Broom/ Dust My Broom/ Dust My Broom (I Believe My Time Ain't Long)/ Early One Morning/ Elmore Jumps One (Up Jumped Elmore)/ Elmore's Contribution To Jazz/ Everyday I Have The Blues/ Find My Kind Of Woman (Take 1)/ Find My Kinda Woman/ Fine Little Mama/ Go Back Home Again/ Got To Move/ Got To Move (She's Got To Go)/ Hand In Hand/ Hand In Hand (Take 1)/ Hand In Hand (Take 3)/ Held My Baby Last/ I Believe/ I Can't Stop Lovin' You/ I Gotta Go now/ I Have A Right To Love My Baby/ I Need You (Baby)/ I'm Worried/ It Hurts Me Too/ It Hurts Me Too/ Knocking At Your Door/ Look On Yonder Wall (Look Up On The Wall)/ Make My Dreams Come True/ Mean Mistreatin' Mama (Take 1)/ Mean Mistreatin' Mama (Take 1)/ Mean Mistreatin' Mama (Take 2)/ Mean Mistreatin' Mama (Take 3)/ My Baby's Gone/ My Kind Of Woman/ One Way Out/ Person To Person/ Pickin' The Blues (Manhattan Slide)/ Rollin' and Tumblin'/ Shake Your Moneymaker (Take 1/2)/ She Done Moved/ So Unkind/ Something Inside Me/ Standing At The Crossroads/ Strange Angels/ Strange(r) Blues (Alt. Take)/ Stranger Blues/ Sunnyland Train/ Take Me Where You Go/ Talk To Me Baby/ The Sky Is Crying/ The Twelve Year Old Boy/ Twelve Year Old Boy/ You Know You Done Me Wrong/ You Know You're Wrong

SKIP JAMES Vanguard 79705 Rare & Unreleased ● CD $16.98
19 tracks, 60 mins, essential
Possibly THE blues release of 2003! This is so wonderful - 19 previously unissued sides from 1967 by one of the greatest of all Mississippi bluesmen. Not only are all the performances unreleased but most of the songs are ones he never recorded elsewhere. Most of them are blues and gospel standards like Backwater Blues/ I Want To Be More Like Jesus/ Let My Jesus Lead You/ Bumble Bee/ One Dime Was All I Had/ Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning and others. But Skip's performances are anything but standard with his chilling and eerie high voice and unique guitar and piano playing. He even does a version of Hoagy Carmichael's Lazy Bones with idiosyncratic piano that bears only a passing resemblance to the original. This is music of unparalleled beauty and honesty and when you put this on you can let the real spirit of the blues wash over you. (FS)

BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON JSP 7706 The Classic Sides Remastered ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 94 tracks essential
Brilliant, impossible to copy singer and guitarist, Shakespeare of blues poetry, surrealist, gritty social commentator, chaser of wild women, part time wrestler..... Blind Lemon had quite a CV. He also left a wonderful legacy of recorded work, which has never been better presented than on this box set from JSP. This is not quite, as billed, the complete works (Document DOCD 5625 has a further three tracks - third versions of Got The Blues and Long Lonesome Blues and an alternate take of Corrina Blues) but is the most comprehensive Jefferson set to date.
Unlike the Charley Patton box set, which was cluttered with tracks by other artists some of whom had no real connection with Patton, the 94 performances here are all Blind Lemon and are presented in strict chronological order. There is full discographical information and JSP's packaging is attractive, with notes by Drew Kent sketching Lemon's 4 year recording career and mysterious death in 1929.
What really sets this reissue apart however is the outstanding job JSP have done in reducing the usual torrent of clicks, pops and surface noise associated with old Paramount 78s while retaining the balance and dynamics of the original recordings. Comparison with the complete works on Document shows a significant improvement on the vast majority of tracks - surface noise is still apparent, and some sides are very worn, but listening is much more comfortable. There is also occasionally the pleasant surprise of a lyric which has been lost in an aural mush for decades becoming startlingly clear. Better still, listen to the version of Matchbox Blues recorded for Okeh when Lemon broke contract with Paramount (for one record only) and hear one of the greatest of all blues records in superior sound. This is a reissue that does the great man justice and deserves a place in every collection. (DPR)
BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: 'Lectric Chair Blues/ All I Want Is That Pure Religion/ Bad Luck Blues/ Bakershop Blues/ Balky Mule Blues/ Bed Spring Blues/ Beggin Back/ Big Night Blues/ Big Night Blues/ Black Horse Blues/ Black Snake Dream Blues/ Black Snake Moan (OKeh)/ Blind Lemon's Penitentiary Blues/ Booger Rooger Blues/ Booster Blues/ Bootin' Me 'Bout/ Broke And Hungry/ Cat Man Blues/ Change My Luck Blues/ Chinch Bug Blues/ Chock House Blues/ Christmas Eve Blues/ Competition Bed Blues/ Competition Bed Blues/ Corinna Blues/ D B Blues/ Deceitful Brownskin Blues/ Disgusted Blues/ Dry Southern Blues/ Dynamite Blues/ Eagle Eye Mama/ Easy Rider Blues/ Empty House Blues/ Fence Breakin' Yellin' Blues/ Gone Dead On You Blues/ Got The Blues (Take 1)/ Got The Blues (Take 2)/ Hangman's Blues/ Hangman's Blues/ Happy New Year Blues/ He Arose From The Dead/ Hot Dogs/ How Long How Long/ I Want To Be Like Jesus In My Heart/ Jack O'Diamond Blues (Take 1)/ Jack O'Diamond Blues (Take 2)/ Lemon's Cannon Ball Moan/ Lemon's Worried Blues/ Lock Step Blues/ Lockstep Blues/ Lonesome House Blues/ Long Distance Moan/ Long Lastin' Lovin'/ Long Lonesome Blues (Take 1)/ Long Lonesome Blues (Take 2)/ Low Down Mojo Blues/ Maltese Cat Blues/ Match Box Blues (OKeh)/ Match Box Blues (Paramount, Take 2)/ Match Box Blues (Paramount, Take 4)/ Mean Jumper Blues/ Mosquito Moan/ Oil Well Blues/ Old Rounders Blues/ One Dime Blues/ Peach Orchard Mama/ Piney Wood's Money Mama/ Pneumonia Blues/ Prison Cell Blues/ Rabbit Foot Blues/ Rambler Blues/ Right Of Way Blues/ Rising High Water Blues/ Sad News Blues/ Sad News Blues/ Saturday Night Splender Blues/ See That My Grave Is Kept Clean/ See That My Grave's Kept Clean/ Shuckin' Sugar Blues/ Southern Woman Blues/ Stocking Feet Blues/ Struck Sorrow Blues/ Sunshine Special/ Teddy Bear Blues (Take 1)/ Teddy Bear Blues (Take 2)/ That Black Snake Moan (Paramount)/ That Black Snake Moan No 2/ That Crawlin' Baby Blues/ The Cheaters Spell/ Tin Cup Blues/ Wartime Blues/ Weary Dogs Blues/ Where Shall I Be?/ Yo Yo Blues

ROBERT JOHNSON Columbia-Legacy 85907 Complete Recordings - Centennial Collection ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 42 tracks, essential
When Columbia first released the complete recordings of Robert Johnson (Columbia 46222 - still available) in 1990 it became the biggest selling country blues album of all time and introduced a lot of new listeners to the beauty of the country blues - not bad for an artist who had been dead for more than 50 years! It also became the biggest selling release that Roots & Rhythm ever had. Questions were raised, however, about the remastered sound quality and in 1998 Columbia reissued the package in a newly remastered form using original masters and test pressings found in the interim. Now in 2011 on the 100th anniversary of Johnson's birth (May 8th) comes the best sounding package yet. Steven Lasker has carefully transferred the music from the original masters and then turned over the results to Seth Winner who, using the latest digital technology, has removed almost every trace of extraneous surface noice without compromising the music. The result is stunning! I auditioned this set on a fairly low end audio system and the differences between this and early editions ranges from subtle to startling. This set also includes the alternate take of Traveling Riverside Blues that didn't turn up until the late 1990s and also includes a couple of very brief "test grooves" of a few seconds each with a a guitar figure from Johnson before Traveling Riverside Blues and an almost inaudible fragment of Johnson talking before Love In Vain.
Although some have made an effort to downplay Johnson's importance there is little doubt that he was not only a major influence on many other blues performers but the intensity and conviction of his recordings are among the most affecting in all of blues. His voice is high and clear and while, not always completely intelligible, most of the lyrics are easy to understand. His sound is transitional between the rough early Mississippi Delta blues and the forthcoming Chicago blues bands with his insistent and compulsive rhythms and memorable melody lines. Quite a few of his songs feature slide guitar and there have been few, if any, performers whose playing was so accomplished and moving ranging from the lyrical beauty of Come On In My Kitchen to the mind-boggling pyrotechnics of Preachin' Blues. His songs draw on a variety of sources including his Mississippi predecessors, traditional singers around him and artists popular on records like Leroy Carr and Lonnie Johnson. All this is transmuted through Johnson's own dark and introspective vision. While songs like If I Had Possession Over Judgments Day/ Stones In My Passway/ Me And The Devil and most particularly Hellhound On My Trail may not be totally unique in the blues, there is no other blues artist, to my knowledge, who uses imagery of this intensity so consistently. Perhaps it is this dark intensity that strikes home so strongly to his listeners and crosses racial, cultural and language barriers. If you already have previous reissues you'll want this for the improved sound, and if not, you're in for the treat of lifetime! Includes 28 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes from Ted Gioia and Steve LaVere and insert advertising a centenary anniversary beer called - are you ready - "Hell Hound On My Ale" ! (FS)

GEORGE JONES Fantastic Voyage 107 Ragged But Right - The Starday Years, Plus ... ● CD $23.98
Three CDS, 86 tracks, essential
Bear Family has done a great job reissuing the 60s recordings of the great George Jones on three box sets (all available from Roots & Rhythm) but this set is the first in depth look at his early recordings covering all of his issued recordings cut for Starday and Mercury between 1954 and 1960 including singles, LP tracks and alternate LP versions of some singles. This is Jones at the beginning of his career, the personification of hard-drinking East Texas honky tonk in the very era when the citified Nashville sound was taking off. From his very first crudely-recorded song, No Money in This Deal from 1954 through to the last cut on disc three you know that this is music untouched by the "Nashville Sound". It includes all his early hits like Why Baby Why/ You Gotta Be My Baby/ Don't Stop The Music/ Too Much Water/ Color Of The Blues/ White Lightning and all the rest along with lesser known but equally fine songs like Still Hurtin'/ Your Heart/ Boat Of Life/ What's Wrong With You/ All I Want To Do and many others including his great version of Jimmie Rodgers' Any Old Time, his monumental gospel song Cup Of Loneliness and some great duets with Sonny Burns, Virginia Spurlock and Jeanette Hicks. It also includes his four superb rockabilly sides that were issued as by Thumper Jones. Poignantly forlorn music from the singer who, after Hank Williams, recorded the greatest county music of the 1950s. Excellent sound and 16 page booklet has informative notes by Davy Penny and a discography of these recordings. If you love country music you must have this! (FS)
GEORGE JONES: 'Cause I Love You/ (I'm A) Wandering Soul/ Accidentally On Purpose/ All I Want To Do/ Any Old Time/ Big Harlan Taylor/ Boat Of Life/ Color Of The Blues/ Cup Of Loneliness/ Don't Do This To Me/ Don't Stop The Music/ Eskimo Pie/ Flame In My Heart (with Virginia Spurlock)/ Frozen Heart/ Give-Away Girl/ Gonna Come Get You/ Good Old Bible/ Gotta Talk To Your Heart/ Have Mercy On Me/ Heartbreak Hotel (as Thumper Jones)/ Heartbroken Me (LP version)/ Heartbroken Me (with Sonny Burns)/ Hearts In My Dreams/ Hold Everything/ Hold Everything (LP version)/ How Come It (as Thumper Jones)/ I'll Take The Chance/ I'm A One-Woman Man/ I'm Ragged But I'm Right/ I'm With The Wrong One (with Jeanette Hicks)/ I've Got Five Dollars (And It's Saturday Night)/ If I Don't Love You (Grits Ain't Groceries)/ If You Believe/ If You Want To Wear A Crown/ Into My Arms Again/ It's OK/ Jesus Wants Me/ Just One More,/ Let Him Know/ Life To Go/ Long Time To Forget/ Maybe Little Baby/ Maybe Next Christmas/ Money To Burn/ My Lord Has Called Me/ New Baby For Christmas/ No Money In This Deal (with The Western Cherokees)/ No No Never (with Virginia Spurlock)/ No Use To Cry/ Nothing Can Stop My Love/ One Is A Lonely Number/ Opry Rag (as George Jones' String Band)/ Play It Cool Man, Play It Cool (with The Western Cherokees)/ Ragged But Right (LP version)/ Rain, Rain/ Rock It (as Thumper Jones)/ Run Boy (as Thumper Jones)/ Seasons Of My Heart/ Settle Down/ Singing The Blues/ Sparkling Brown Eyes/ Still Hurtin'/ Sweet Dreams/ Taggin' Along/ Take The Devil Out Of Me/ Tall Tall Trees/ That's The Way I Feel/ Too Much Water/ Treasure Of Love/ Uh, Uh, No/ We'll Understand It/ What Am I Worth?/ What's Wrong With You/ White Lightnin'/ Who Shot Sam?/ Why Baby Why/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken/ Wrong About You (with Sonny Burns)/ Yearning (with Jeanette Hicks, LP version)/ You All Goodnight/ You Gotta Be My Baby/ You Never Thought/ You're Back Again/ You're In My Heart (with The Western Cherokees)/ Your Heart

SAM KU WEST Grass Skirt 1001 Hawiian Hula Blues ● CD $16.98
26 tracks (mostly instrumental) from this brilliant steel guitarist recorded in 1927 and 1928 - almost his entire output. His performances include traditional Hawaiian tunes as well as American tunes like St. Louis Blues/ Memphis Blues and Old Black Joe. Superb sound and 12 page booklet has notes, discography, rare photos and label shots and other memorabilia.

MALICORNE Griffe 191272 Almanach ● CD $17.98
13 tracks, 49 mins, essential
Available again at a lower price. This 1976 album was the group's masterpiece. It consists of a series of 12 traditional songs, one for each month of the year, most of them with a magical theme. The singing led by Gabriel Yacoub and his powerful distinctive baritone is complemented by his wife Marie's fragile soprano and when the rest of the group join in on the vocal harmonies the effect is spine chilling. The instrumental work is spellbinding using acoustic and electric instruments and weaving them together in a complex interplay of sounds to create powerful and tremendously beautiful music. All this comes over with crystal clarity on this CD. On Les Tristes Noces when the electric bass comes in to join Gabriel and Marie's unaccompanied vocals the sound reverberated through my spine! This album is one of the greatest folk albums of the 70s and quite deservedly won "Grand Prix" from the Academie Du Disque Francais. The beautiful cover illustration by Laurent Lesserre prepares you for the treasures within and the 12 page booklet has notes on all the songs by Gabriel (in French) and all the lyrics. An all time classic! (FS)

THE MANHATTAN BROTHERS Stern's Africa 3013 Their Greatest Hits, 1948-1959 ● CD $15.98
20 tracks, 53 mins, highly recommended
Wonderful collection of 20 sides by the most popular South African vocal group of the 1950s. Their music was a blend of African American jazz and vocal group stylings, a dash of rock 'n' roll and a South African sensibility and is truly delghtful. Several songs are sung in English a couple of songs features the group accompanying Miriam Mekba. Set comes with superb 20 page booklet with detailed and very interesting notes by compiler Rob Alligham. (FS)

BOBBY MARCHAN Kent CDKEND 357 Get Down With It - The Soul Sides, 1963-67 ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 75 mins, very highly recommended
This collection was a great surprise to me, full of one fantastic track after another. Bobby Marchan was most famous as the lead singer of Huey Piano Smith's Clowns, certainly Rhythm & Blues at its finest. This collection shows you how much more there was to Marchan than his classic R&B sides. On this you get heart soaring Gospel, Blues, and especially big doses of sweet Soul music. This collection gathers up Marchan's recordings from the 1960s for the Cameo, Dial, and Volt record labels, including many previously unreleased and alternate versions, most of which are making their first appearance ever on CD. Great tracks recorded at legendary Stax, Fame, and American studios like Meet Me In Church/ Funny Style/ Everything A Poor Man Needs/ I Gotta Sit Down And Cry, plus many more. Even includes a funky version of Rockin' Pneumonia that is pure Southern Soul at its best. I can't see any fans of classic Soul music not loving this collection. Includes extensive notes, original label reproductions, photos, etc. (JM)

HARRY MCCLINTOCK B.A.C.M. 082 The Great American Bum ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
22 tracks recorded between 1928 and 1931 by this fascinating performer whose classic recording of In The Big Rock Candy Mountain from 1928 (featured here) was included in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou". McClintock was a world traveler who settled in San Francisco in the 1917 where he landed a radio spot on KFRC in 1925. McClintock, who was involved in the labor movement, performed a mix of hobo, vaudeville and cowboy songs including another song that has become a standard Hallelujah, I'm A Bum. Half the songs feature just Mac and his guitar - most of the rest feature a small group ("The Haywire Orchestra") and one song features fiddler Virgil Ward. Includes Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister/ Get Along Little Dogies/ The Man On The Flying Trapeze/ Trail To Mexico/ The TRusty Lariat/ Roamin'/ My Last Old Dollar/ The Bum Song/ Bald Top Mountain/ Jerry Go 'Ile That Car/ Circus Days and more. (FS)
HARRY MCCLINTOCK: Bald Top Mountain/ Billy Venero/ Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister/ Circus Days/ Fifty Years From Now/ Fireman Save My Child/ Get Along Little Dogies/ Hallelujah I’m A Bum/ Hobo Spring Song/ Homespun Gal/ If I Had My Druthers/ In The Big Rock Candy Mountains/ Jerry Go ‘ile That Car/ My Dad’s Dinner Pail/ My Last Old Dollar/ Old Chisholm Trail/ Roamin’/ The Bum Song/ The Bum Song #2/ The Man On The Flying Trapeze/ The Trusty Lariat/ Trail To Mexico

16 tracks, 39 min., essential
Good recordings of rural gospel are always a rare treat, and this 1966 reissue, featuring superb slide guitarist Fred McDowell, his wife Annie, and the Hunter's Chapel Singers of Como, Ms., is about the sweetest thing this side of heaven. In the genre vocal group recordings are particularly scarce, and the practiced quartet/ quintet arrangements of songs like I Got Good Religion/ Just A Little More Faith/ Amazing Grace/ When You Come Out Of The Wilderness and an absolutely entrancing You Got To Move make this CD required listening. I've Been Converted/ Keep Your Lamp Trimmed & Burning continue the Delta spiritual tradition of vocal and bottleneck guitar duets, with McDowell's spooky whine taking on amazingly lifelike qualities in the remastered mix. The guitarist goes solo on a powerful unissued performance of Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed, and sings a hair-raising The Lord Will Make A Way. (MB)

D.L. MENARD Swallow 6038 The Back Door & Other Cajun Classics ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, essential
Fantastic CD featuring one of giants of cajun music. D. L. Menard is one of the great voices with his wonderful keening nasal approach that has earned him the nickname of "the cajun Hank Williams". He is also a great songwriter and this disc features his original 1961 recording of The Back Door when he was a member of Badeuax & The Louisiana Aces - an outstanding group featuring the excellent accordion of Elias Badeaux and the soaring steel guitar of Archange Touchet. Other great songs from the 60s include She Didn't Know I Was Married/ Bachelor's Life and the exquisite Rebecca Ann. There are also five tracks from the 70s with a more acoustic feel, one with the great Marc Savoy on accordion. Songs include Miller's Cave/ It's Too Late, You're Divorced and The Vail And The Crown. Includes one track not on the original LP issue. (FS)

HANK PENNY Krazy Kat 25 Hollywood Western Swing ● CD $16.98
Repressed by popular demand. First CD reissue of this excellent and under-rated western swing artist features 26 cuts cut between 1944 and '47 with hot sidemen like Merle Travis, Roy Lanham, Jimmy Widener, Noel Boggs, Zeke Turner and others - Tearstains On Your Letter/ Steel Guitar Stomp/ I'm Counting The Days/ Missouri/ Low Down Woman Blues/ Texas In My Soul/ Red Hot Mama & Ice Cold Papa/ Hillbilly Jump/ You Better Save It For A Rainy Day, etc.

TINY POWELL Withasongtoo ----- Heaven In My View - The Tiny Powell Gospel Collection ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 76 mins, essential
Fantastic collection of gospel quartet singing featuring the intense, soulful lead vocals of Vance "Tiny" Powell. He is featured with three of the groups he performed with - The Golden Harp Singers and The Paramount Singers from Tiny's home turf in the San Francisco Bay area and three tracks with the nationally renowned Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi where he shares lead vocal honors with the great Archie Brownlee. There's also a beautiful solo performance of Jesus Is A Friend Of Mine from a 1947 test pressing. There are also three more 1947 acapella test pressings by Tiny's first group The Golden Harp singers including the stunning I Love The Lord with its great "lining out" feel. Tiny spent most of his gospel career with the Paramount Singers who he worked with on and off between 1948 and 1960 who are featured on the bulk of the recordings here cut between 1948 and '55 - the earliest sides are acapella but subsequently added piano, guitar and, on the last session, organ. Among the highlights are the previously unissued Breathe On Me, a lyrical version of Peace In The Valley and the wonderful two part In That Awful Hour which just builds and builds to church wrecking fervor. Finally there are three tracks from 1950 from Tiny's brief tenure with the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi where he holds his own in the company of Archie Brownlee. Sound quality is generally excellent and there fine notes by Opal Nations who compiled with this collection with the co-operation of Tiny's daughter Victoria. (FS)

LULA REED Ace CDCHD 984 I'll Drown In My Tears - The King Anthology, 1952-1955 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
Superb collection of sides featuring the sultry, girlish and sometimes gospel tinged vocals of Lula Reed. It features some of her best and most popular sides recorded for King between 1951 and 1955 - all of them accompanied by the superb band of her husband Sonny Thompson and supervised by one of the pioneer black record executives Henry Glover who also wrote many of the songs here. It includes her original recording of I'll Drown In My Tears, later a hit for Ray Charles, Rock Love which was a hit for the pop group The Fontaine Sisters, the blue and moody Last Night, the soulful unissued Living In Misery, the gently rockin' Bump On A Log and a fine gospel performance A Quiet Time With Jesus - Lula started her career as a gospel singer. Sound quality is superb and there are notes by Billy Vera which present what little is known about Lula who has remained elusive to researchers. (FS)
LULA REED: A Quiet Time With Jesus/ Bump On A Log/ Don't Make Me Love You/ Going Back To Mexico/ I'll Drown In My Tears/ I'll Upset You Baby/ I'm Giving All My Love/ I'm Gone, Yes I'm Gone/ Jealous Love/ Just Whisper/ Last Night/ Let Me Be Your Love/ Let's Call It A Day/ Living In Misery/ My Story/ Rock Love/ Sick And Tired/ Troubles On Your Mind/ Waiting To Be Loved By You/ Watch Dog/ Why Don't You Come On Home/ Without Love (ain't It A Shame)/ Wonderful Love/ Your Key Don't Fit No More

RHYTHM WILLIE Deltacat 1002 The Greatest Harmonica Player You Never Heard Of ● CD $16.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
Willie Hood aka Rhythm Willie is a little known blues harmonica player who is very highly regarded by blues aficionados for his original style with one foot in the older styles of the 20s and the other showing the influence of jazz. He only recorded six sides under his own name in 1940 and 1950 which are included here. The rest of the tracks feature Willie as an accompanying musician. There are five tracks from 1939 by Peetie Wheatstraw with Willie and four by Lee Brown from the same year. The set is rounded out by a cut by the Earl Bostic Orchestra from 1947 with extended harmonica work by Willie. According to rumor Willie was the only harmonica player that Little Walter "feared" though their styles are very different. If you love blues harmonica then this disc is indispensible. (FS)

JIM RINGER Folk Legacy 47 Waiting For The Hard Times To Go ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, essential
This 1972 debut from Jim Ringer is one of my favorite American Folk albums of the 1970s. Ringer was a superb singer with a rich, warm and very melodic voice but with gritty honesty to it. On this superb album he performs a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs. His subsequent albums featured mostly original songs but this only has one original and it's a knockout - the title song - it's one of those honest reflections on life that is as relevant today as it was in 1972. Another significant original contribution from Jim is his setting of the 19th century poem California Joe written by cowboy poet "Captain Jack" Crawford to a beautiful original tune. Among the other superb songs he covers are Otis Pierces Every Bush And Tree, George Jones's Ground So Poor That Grass Won't Grow and two from his good friend and inspiration Bruce "Utah" Phillips including the gorgeous anthemic I Believe If I Lived My Life Again with Phillips contributing harmonica. There are also songs from John Prine, Willie Nelson and Jean Ritchie along with several traditional songs. Jim is given vocal and instrumental support by friends like Mary McCaslin, Jay Ungar, Jon Wilcox and others. This is one of those perfect albums where every song is a gem and, although not a thematic album, each song seems to seamlessly flow into the next. Because of the current economic climate Folk Legacy has decided to reissue this as a CD-R only and if you want the notes with lyric transcripts you will need to send them $2.00 but that doesn't detract from the necessity of owning it. (FS)

JIMMIE RIVERS Joaquin 2501 Brisbane Bop ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, essential
Country-jazz guitar whiz Jimmie Rivers enjoyed regional success with his Northern California-based Western Swing band the Cherokees. In the early sixties, he led a cut-down version who played just south of San Francisco at Brisbane, California's wild and woolly 23 Club. The band, dominated by his formidable guitar, ex-Texas Playboy Vance Terry's pedal steel and the vocals of Gene Duncan, was captured by Terry on home recording equipment. In 1983, San Francisco's Western Records issued 12 numbers from the Terry tapes on LP and over time it became a cult classic. Bay Area music scene veteran Jeff Richardson, on of the principals in the long-defunct Western, reissued the album on CD to launch his new Joaquin label. With the original sequencing preserved, Jeff not only improved the sound considerably on the CD but went back to Terry's tapes to add a raucous spoken announcement by Rivers that sets the listener smack dab in the wild, raucous 23 Club milieu. Six never-heard songs follow, among them barn-burning versions of Air Mail Special, How High The Moon the Art Pepper bop anthem Surf Ride and Rose Room. Rivers, who blew a Dixieland trumpet as wild as his guitar, rides high on a jumping It's A Sin to Tell A Lie . The last track, Bob Wills's Twin Guitar Special is light years beyond the original version. The new graphics are outstanding, and Rich Kienzle, whose original liner notes captured the Old West atmosphere of both Brisbane (on the southern border of San Francisco) and the 23 Club, improves on those notes by adding material from a recent interview with Rivers. One of the best reissues of 1995. (AK)

JAMES ROBERTS & MARTHA CARSON B.A.C.M. 161 I'm Gonna Let It Shine ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 65 mins, essential
A most welcome reissue which could have been even better. Kentucky born James Roberts was a superb singer and instrumentalist - the son of fiddler Doc Roberts he recorded extensively in the 30s with his father and with Asa Martin as well as under his own name. In the late 30s he met up and coming singer and songwriter Irene Amburgey who worked under the stage name of Martha Carson and they married in 1939 and subsequently started performing as a vocal duo with James on mandolin and Martha on guitar. They appeared on the WSB Barndance in Atlanta where they became known as Barndance Sweethearts. In the mid 40s they started recorded for the small White Church label and this CD features eight of these beautiful sides - just James & Martha with their guitar and mandolin accompaniment on a selection of gospel songs mostly written by James including the superb Budded On Earth To Bloom In Heaven and I Ain't Got Time. They subsequently joined Capitol with a series of songs in the same mould. Their later Capitol sides featured a hand clapping vocal chorus which gave their music a different feel but was remarkably effective and includes one of their greatest performances - a spellbinding rendition of the old favorite I'll Fly Away plus a superb version of Hank Williams' I'm Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing and the wonderful We Will Rise And Shine featuring tremendous mandolin playing by James. In 1951 the duo divorced and Martha struck out on her own having an immediate hit with her own song Satisfied and became an established solo gospel singer and songwriter with a powerful style and was featured with Elvis on one of his early tours. She is featured on four songs here which are fine but have a different mood to the duo sides. If it were up to me I would have included all the James & Martha duets. Still what we have here is tremendous. Brian Chalker's notes dwell on Martha's career at great length with James given little space even though he was vital to most of the music here. (FS)
JAMES ROBERTS & MARTHA CARSON: Budded On Earth To Bloom In Heaven/ City On The Hill/ Crossing Over Jordan/ Don't Sell Him Anymore Drink/ Gotta A Little Light/ He Will Set Your Fields On Fire/ He'll Part The Water/ Heaven's Jubilee/ I Ain't Got Time/ I Bowed Down/ I Wanna Rest/ I'll Fly Away/ I'm Gonna Let It Shine/ I'm Gonna Sing Sing Sing/ Living In The Promised Land/ Man Of Galilee/ Old Blind Barnabuss/ Salvation Has Been Brought Down/ Shining City/ Sweetest Gift A Mother's Smile/ There's An Open Door Waiting For Me/ We Will Rise And Shine/ When God Dips His Love In My Heart/ When He Heard My Plea

DOUG SAHM Norton CED 274 San Antonio Rock ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 47 mins, highly recommended
This came out a while back, but we just got a stack of them recently and its so good, we thought that we should feature it. There are only a small number of artists that have contributed to American music and culture more than Doug Sahm, and when you're talking about Texas, there are far fewer, if any, above him. When he died in 1999 at the age of 58, it seemed pretty young, but by that point Doug Sahm had already given the world about 40 years worth of great music. His most famous years were from the mid 1960s onward with the Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornadoes, Solo, etcetera, but Sahm had already been making music for over a decade before the Quintet even formed. This collection presents a selection of tracks from his child prodigy years into adulthood, when he was famous in and around San Antonio, before the rest of the world would know. Recording under the guidance of music entrepreneur E.J. Henke and putting out records on Henke's multitude of record labels (Harlem, Warrior, Satin, Cobra, etc.) Sahm would grow Country & Western prodigy to Rock & Roll genius. These early tracks of Doo Wop, R&R, and Rhythm & Blues feature Sahm fronting a number of bands like The Pharaohs, Mar-Kays, Dell Kings, Knights, and so on, plus as well as some numbers with Sahm accompanying artists like the Spot Barnett Band, and Jimmy Dee. All in all this is a fine collection of early Rock & Roll that shows the blossoming of a great artist. Many of the tracks here are making their first appearance ever. (JM)

THE SPIRITS OF RHYTHM Retrieval 79004 The Spirits Of Rhythm ● CD $17.98
24 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
The entire output from this wonderful novelty string band, featuring the guitar of Teddy Bunn & the tiple playing & vocals of scat master Leo Watson along with tiple playing brothers Wilbur & Douglas Daniels, vocalist Virgil Scoggins who played percussion on a suitcase & bass by Wellman Braud or Wilson Myers. The set starts with a few rarities - 2 pre-Spirits sides by The Washboard Rhythm Kings from '32 with Watson & Wilbur (Bunn was a participant in the initial recordings by this Victor studio band) & their initial group sides as by The Five Cousins. Besides their Brunswick sides there's also sessions backing Red McKenzie (I've Got The World On A String) & Ella Logan (From Monday On), along with their own inspired insanity - Dr. Watson & Mr. Holmes/ That's What I Hate About Love/ Rhythm. Great sound courtesy of John R.T.Davies. (GM)

STEELEYE SPAN Castle CMDDD 781 The Lark In The Morning - The Early Years ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 33 tracks, essential
Simply wonderful! This two CD set features all of their first three albums from 1970 and '71 plus General taylor which was only originally issued on a 45. Steeleye Span was the most successful group to wed traditional songs and tunes with electric rock arrangements and in Maddy Prior were blessed with one of the greatest voices on the British Isles folk scene. The first album Hark The Village Wait featured Maddy, Tim Hart (who has recorded as a duo with Maddy), the group's founder and eminence gris of the British folk-rock movement Ashley Hutchings, superb Irish vocalists and instrumentalists Gay & Terry Woods who left shortly after this first effort to form their own band and Gerry Conway or Dave Mattacks on drums. This album has one stunning track after another including some spine chilling duets by Maddy & Gay including the magnificent Dark Eyed Sailor. It also includes Terry's only lead vocal on the superb Hills Of Greenmore. After their first album, Gay & Terry left to form their own band and the group to decided to go drummerless and enlisted Britain's finest folk interpreter Martin Carthy and brilliant young fiddler and mandolin player Peter Knight. The subsequent two albums "Please TO See The King" and "Ten Man Mop" is full of great performances featuring lead vocals by Maddy, Martin and Tim as well as great harmony singing and instrumental accompaniments. Among the great songs are Cold, Haily, Windy Night/ Prince Charlie Stewart (one of my all time favorites)/ The Lark In The Morning/ Fe,ale Drummer/ Lobely On The Water/ When I Was On Horseback and others including a delightful whimsical acapella rendition of Buddy Holly's Rave On. Includes 12 page booklet with photos and commentary from band members and producer Sandy Roberton. (FS)

IKE & TINA TURNER Blues Boulevard 250201 We've Always Had The Blues ● CD $15.98
22 tracks, 67 min, highly recommended
Wonderful CD reissuing Ike & Tina's 2 Blue Thumb LPs, "Outta Season" (Blue Thumb 5) & "The Hunter"(Blue Thumb 11), both from '69. Over an hour of superb blues and the occasional soul number with great singing by Tina, but also especially incredible guitar from Ike and Albert Collins who guests on two tracks. Hearing Tina as a down-home blues singer is spine-chilling, especially on such tracks as their great cover of Albert King's The HUnter, Eddie Boyd's 5 Long Years, T-Bone Walker's Mean Old World, & Lowell Fulson's Reconsider Baby. She even tackles such warhorses as Rock Me Baby & Dust My Broom & breathes new life in them, with much help from Ike's guitar & band! And there's even a taste of things to come with I've Been Loving You Too Long which would play a big part in their 70s crossover. This material has been out several times before so you might want to check your collection before ordering. (GM/FS)

SPENCER WIGGINS Kent CDKEND 340 Feed The Flame: The Fame And XL Recordings ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 67 min., essential
After Rick Hall (of Fame Records) bought Wiggins' contract from the floundering Goldwax Records, he send him straight to the studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The results of those and later sessions (as well as Wiggins' final Goldwax outing) appear on this excellent release. Recorded between 1969-73, these sides, made at Fame and Sounds Of Memphis (many previously unreleased) are every bit the equal of Wiggins' earlier work (also available on Ace/ Kent). It's deep southern soul recorded the way it should be. Wiggins' voice, which is two parts Bobby Bland and one part O.V. Wright sounds vibrant and strong on the classic This Time, the much sought after I'm At The Breaking Point, This Love Is Gonna Be True, Holding On To A Dying Love, the ballad Love Works That Way, Make Me Yours,and more. Wiggins even turns out a James Brown-esque funk workout called Love Machine and funks it up some more on Love Attack. Used to be impossible to find this guy's records, so it's especially nice to have these great recordings made available. And Kent/Ace does its usual quality job all around. Impressive stuff. (JC)

SLIM WILLET B.A.C.M. 317 A Cold Can Of Beer ● CD $14.98
30 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of Texas honky tonk with a touch of western swing recorded between 1950 and '54 by this superb singer and songwriter who is best known as the writer of the iconic country song Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes which topped the country charts in 1952 and was to mark Slim's only appearance on the charts but was to assure his future livelihood as it was covered by hundreds of country and pop performers over the years. The song's unusual rhythm and timing was inspired by songs he heard by Mexican-American oil field workers in the 1940s and was so unusual that Four Star owner Bill McCall hated it and issued as the flip of Hadacol Corners but once the public heard it all the attention wnet to Stars. Slim attempted to repeat the success with several songs that were very similar but also recorded a whole lot of other very different songs. Slim tended to favor mid to up tempo songs and his fine vocals were accompanied by fine bands - usually Shorty Underwood and his Brush Cutters with Underwood on fiddle and Vaughn O' Shields on steel. In addition to Stars and an instrumental version of the songs this set includes other fine songs like I'm A Tool Pusher From Snyder/ My Story's Sadder Than Yourn (a duet with Jean Stansbury)/Let Me Know/ My Love Song To You (one of the few slow ballads and it's a beaut)/Come Sundown (recorded in 1953 but very much proto-rockabilly)/Do As I Do/ Don't Waste Your Heart, etc. Sound quality is fine and there are informative notes by Phillip Tricker.  (FS)
SLIM WILLET: A Cold Can Of Beer/ Come Sundown/ Do As I Do/ Don't Laugh At Me/ Don't Let The Stars (Get In Your Eyes)/ Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes (instrumental version)/ Don't Waste Your Heart/ Give Me That Kind Of Love (That You Would Like To Receive)/ Hadacol Corners/ Hungry Slim (instrumental)/ I Call You Stingy/ I Might Confess/ I'm A Tool Pusher From Snyder/ I'm Going Strong/ I've Been A-Wonderin'/ If Winter Comes/ It's Hard To Love Just One/ Leave Me Alone Now/ Let Me Know/ Let Me Know (2nd version)/ Live While Your Young (Dream While You're Old)/ Love Me Baby/ Mata Hari/ My Love Song To You/ My Story's Sadder That Yourn [sic]/ Nobody Loves A Fat Man/ Tall Man/ The Red Rose/ Villa Cuna/ When We Grow Old

CLARENCE WILLIAMS Frog 75 Gimme Blues - Washboard Bands, 1926-29 ● CD $18.98
Another superb collection of early jazz from Frog - this one devoted to the washboard bands put together by jazz pianist and entrepreneur Clarence Williams. Various groups are featured with Ed Allen on cornet or trumpet on most tracks. There are three different washboard players and two different clarinetists and the groups include The Dixie Washboard Band, Blue Grass Footwarmers, The Clarence Washboard Four and others. Music is lively and entertaining, sound quality is superb and there are detailed notes and full discographical details.

JOHNNY LEE WILLS Krazy Kat 18 The Band's A Rockin' ● CD $16.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Back in print by popular demand. Krazy Kat has reissued the complete 1941-1951 Decca and Bullet sides of Johnny Lee , including his still-awesome 1941 Milk Cow Blues sung by Cotton Thompson with Junior Barnard on guitar, as well as Memories of You. The half-dozen Decca sides he made in 1947, somewhat weaker, with Leon Huff on vocals, show a band not as good as the earlier group, and certainly inferior to the 1949-1951 Bullets, the best known being his original song Rag Mop, that became a big pop hit for the Ames Brothers in 1950. To the label's credit, they omitted another Wills original, the syrupy kiddie Easter tune Peter Cottontail, and focused instead on the good stuff like Boogie Woogie Highball/ Tom Cat Boogie/ Coyote Blues and Levee Blues. Collector Dave Sax's notes are competent though sound quality is a bit disappointing. (RK)


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