This is where we list some of the best and most popular releases from the past decade or so which you may have missed 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.










PREACHIN' THE BLUES The Life & Times Of Son House by Daniel Beaumont ● BOOK $24.95
Hardbound, 206 pages, counts as four CDs for shipping
In this first full-length biography of Son House, author Daniel Beaumont traces a life and career that were marked not only by musical greatness but also by violence, alcoholism, two marriages, two decades of obscurity, and, finally, a surprising comeback that brought his music to a new generation. Within Beaumont's narrative, we follow House's journey from rural pulpits and labor farms to juke joints; from jail to recording with Charley Patton, classic songs like "Preachin' the Blues" and "My Black Mama" to recording for Alan Lomax in 1941-42, and, following his retirement from playing in 1943, his rediscovery in the mid-60s. Brimming with insights into the social forces and private demons that drove Son House, Preachin' the Blues provides an original and penetrating analysis of the "folk revival" that led to House's rediscovery. In addition, this book offers a fresh perspective on how the blues influenced American culture and spread throughout the world.

LOST DELTA FOUND John W. Work, Lewis Wade Jones & Samuel C. Adams,Jr. - Rediscovering The Fisk University Study ● BOOK $29.95
343 pages, hardbound, essential Counts as seven CDs for shipping purposes.
The authors were part of the same Library of Congress / Fisk University study that produced Alan Lomax's "The Land Where the Blues Began" and some of the greatest field recordings of all time, including Muddy Waters' first sessions. Little or nothing was known about the rest of the intended sociological study, and Lomax barely bothered to mention these scholars, although Work not only accompanied him but ran the recording machine and did some of the interviewing (including that of Waters). Editor Gordon found a portion of the manuscript-in Lomax's archives-while researching his excellent Muddy Waters biography, "I Can't Be Satisfied." What emerged from the further research done by he and Nemerov is the most detailed account known of the living conditions and social relationships in the pre-World War II Mississippi Delta. Work's extensive transcriptions and commentary constitute a fundamental document of blues musicology. Lomax did not suppress this material-it was genuinely lost-although he did take full credit for work that was only partially his. Whether or not you consider that important, "Lost Delta Found" is a fascinating and indispensable book. (Dave Marsh)



BOB DYLAN Paramount 31054 No Direction Home ● DVD $14.98
Two DVDs, 207 mins, color and black & white, essential
We don't list Bob Dylan too often but that's not because we don't love him - particularly his early recordings. This release is really something special presenting a biography of Bob's early years from his birth in Hibbing, Minnesota through his scuffling years on the New York folk scene, his emergence as a great songwriter and the turmoil and rejection engendered when he shifted direction into a more rock oriented style resulting in him becoming frustrated and bitter. Skillfully directed by one of America's greatest filmmakers Martin Scorsese with most of the narration by Bob himself with commentary from friends and associates like Alan Ginsburg, Maria Muldaur, Joan Baez, former girl friend Susie Rotolo, Mark Spoelstra and other. It is illustrated with copious vintage photographs, film clips, home movies, rare recordings and more. Interspersed with the early footage is footage from the controversial tour of England in 1966. These performnces have a savagery that seem to be an outlet for his anger at the treatment he is receiving - some of the questions and comments from reporters set my teeth on edge. The movie reminds one, if one needs reminding, what an incredible performer he was, how much he had to say, how wll he said it and how well it resonates today. Even if you saw the show on PBS it's worth repeated viewing and includes several bonuses seven full length performances recorded between 1963 and 1966 including particularly compelling renditions of Man Of Constant Sorrow and Mr. Tambourine Man. There are also guest performances by Mavis Staples, Liam Clancy and others plus an unusual promotional spot for Positively 4th Street with Dylan doing some embarassing lip synching! (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Shanachie DVD 604 High Lonesome - The Story of Bluegrass Music ● DVD $19.98
Color, 95 minute, essential
This is as comprehensive a cinematic overview of bluegrass as we are likely to get, the perfect response to the question "What is bluegrass music anyway?" Director Rachel Liebling has skillfully interwoven still photographs, archival performance footage, newly shot concert footage, and interviews with the music's luminaries to create an informative and entertaining film which is at times very evocative and moving. She does a very nice job of placing the music in historical and sociological context without becoming pedantic or preachy. Bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe is prominently featured throughout, as befits his enormous importance in the history of the music. There is performance footage of Bill and his band in the 80s as well as enticing bits of archival footage of his various bands from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Also included are interviews with Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin, The Osborne Brothers and others along with vintage concert footage of Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, The Osborne Brothers and others as well as more recent footage of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Alison Krauss & Union Station and others. The whole thing is tied together nicely by a voiceover narration written by Liebling and delivered by Mac Wiseman. The footage of the aging Monroe visiting his old home place and musing about the past is particularly affecting and evocative. One minor quibble : little attention is given to the second generation of stars of the music, those who were, in my view, very important in bringing bluegrass music to the attention of the larger world of music - artists such as Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Clarence White, David Grisman, Byron Berlin, and others. Still, this movie is quite an achievement, particularly in view of the fact that Liebling was a recent convert to the music when she began the project.  (RP)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time DVD 1 Rockin' On Ranch Party ● DVD $28.98
Black & White, approx 85 mins, highly recommended
Amazing collection of 42 performances drawn from Western Ranch Party broadcasts recorded in Los Angeles in 1956 and '57. These were filmed at the same time as The Town Hall Party shows (some of which have been reissued) and features the same artists (and some of the same songs) but I believe that most of these are earlier than most of the performances reissued by Bear Family. A great collection of rockabilly and country which includes among its highlights three superb performances by Carl Perkins and his group, five by Johnny Cash and His Tennessee Two, a great You Got To Be My Baby by George Jones, Wanda Jackson doing Cool Love, a couple by Skeets McDonald including a great version of Trouble In Mind, some amazing guitar duets by Joe Maphis & Larry Collins who are joined by Merle Travis on Wildwood Flower. Also includes Bobby Helms, The Collins Kids, Jim Reeves, Johnny Bond, Mac Wiseman, Jeannie Mack, Merle Travis, Les "Carrot Top" Anderson, Fiddlin' Kate, Tex "Jenks" Carman, Patsy Cline, Marilyn Tuttle, Jimmy C. Newman and a couple of songs by the whole Ranch Party cast. Audio and video quality are not that great but the opportunity to see and hear some of these great artists performing live in their prime more than compensates. (FS)



THE 6 & 7/8S STRING BAND American Music 125/126 Echoes Of Tom Anderson's - New Orleans String Jazz ● CD $28.98
2 discs, 56 tracks, 126 minutes, highly recommended
If you've treasured that Folkways album of The Six & 78s String Band for most of your life, here's an unexpected surprise: two discs of 1949 recordings, Folkways outtakes and a March 1950 radio broadcast by this beloved New Orleans string ensemble, plus related music by associated musicians. Formed by guitarist Dr.Edmond Souchon around 1911, this seven-piece semi-professional group (its diminutive violinist inspired the name) played rags, pop tunes and nascent jazz at local house parties, receptions and public events. Totally overlooked by record companies before World War II, this lively music went undocumented until a 1949 session yielded two limited-run 78s, both included here. By then the group was pared down to Souchon, mandolinist Bill Kleppinger, acoustic steel guitarist Bernie Shields and bassist Red Mackie. Kleppinger played the leads usually handled by cornets or clarinets, while Shields' slide work assumed the trombone's supporting role. Captivated by the peppy music he heard on these records, Sam Charters assembled the group for two August 1954 sessions in Doc Souchon's Metarie living room. The cream of these sides appeared on a Folkways LP the following year. The remainder appears here, though relatively few sides could be considered unworthy of general release. Later in 1955 Souchon backed original 6 & 7/8s member Charles Hardy, Jr. for a private pressing of sixteen jazz ukulele numbers; all are included here. Fleshing out the album are five 1958 tracks by New Orleans finger-style guitarist Frank Amacker and two late-'20s Columbias by the New Orleans Owls, featuring brief instrumental choruses by Rene Gelpi and Monk Smith, once members of Kleppinger and Mackie's original string band, the Invincibles. The Six and 7/8s String Band lasted until the mid-'60s and reportedly made other recordings, but Katrina's devastation means this collection likely contains the last 'new' music we'll hear from this distinctive quartet. Excellent sound and informative notes by Sam Charters, who produced this collection for George Buck's American Music imprint. Not to be missed! (DS)
DISC ONE: THE 1949 78s: Tiger Rag/Clarinet Marmalade/High Society/Tico Tico/That Old Gang of Mine. THE 1954 SESSIONS: Winter Night & Stumbling/Who's Sorry Now/Clarinet Marmalade/Dixieland One-Step/Jealous/Muskrat Ramble/Tico Tico/Floating Down that Old Green River/Bei Mir Bist Du Schon/Sunrise Serenade/Medley in D/My Josephine/High Society/Lazy River & There'll Be Some Changes Made/Donna Clara/Floating Down That Old Green River/Raggin' the Scale (false starts)/At Sundown/When the Saints Go Marching In. FRANK AMACKER: A Handful of Cards/Gettysburg March/Lover Come Back to Me/'A' Rag/Liebestraum. DISC TWO: SIX & 7/8s STRING BAND (1950 AIRCHECK): That Old Gang of Mine/Floating Down That Old Green River/High Society/Who's Sorry Now/Tiger Rag/Tico Tico/Up a Lazy River/Donna Clara/When the Saints Go Marching In. CHARLIE & SOU: Ukulele Marmalade/Dixieland One-Step/Tea for Two/At the Storybook Ball/Opus Four/Little Coquette/I'm Nobody's Baby/Bill Bailey/High Society/I Had a Dream, Dear/Ida/Who's Sorry Now/Walkin' the Dog/That Old Gang of Mine/Little Coquette/Little Rock Getaway. NEW ORLEANS OWLS: West End Stomp/That's a Plenty

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

THE APOLLAS Kent CDKEND 365 Absolutely Right! The Complete Tiger, Loma & Warner Bro ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, very highly recommended
This Bay Area trio's amazing story is documented in the enclosed booklet: the tale of a West Coast girl group who were renown for their live work, but who couldn't get a break in the singles charts. From early tracks recorded as the The Lovejoys to assorted solo tracks from nominal lead singer Leola Jiles, the full gamut of the girls' mid 60's sessions are giving an airing that reveals gems like You're Absolutely Right/ Just Can't Get Enough of You/ He Ain't No Angel/ You'll Always Have Me, and Sorry Mama. Jiles amazing voice dominates these recordings and gives them their potency, much in the way Diana Ross drives the Supremes. With people like Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, and Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich-among others-supplying the material, there's no way this stuff can miss, and it doesn't. The songs run the gamut from the girl group pop of the Tiger sides (as the Lovejoys) to the more sophisticated pop of the Warner Bros. productions, none of which lose the gospel underpinnings of the girls' church backgrounds. These tracks are a real find and will give much pleasure to fans of girl group pop. (GMC)

CHUCK BERRY Chess 01685 After School Session ● CD $7.98
15 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended
Newly remastered version of Chuck's first Chess album 1426 originally issued in 1957 with three bonus tracks. All of Chuck's early albums were loaded with hits, later to become standards for millions of rock bands. In this case there's School Day/ Too Much Monkey Business/ No Money Down/ Brown Eyed Handsome Man. Then again you always have the lesser known tracks - Wee Wee Hours/ Havana Moon/ Berry Pickin', etc. To gild the lily the three bonus tracks are all classics - You Can't Catch Me/ Thirty Days (To Come Home) and Maybelline. Mastering is superb with Berry voice and groundbreaking guitar and Johnny Johnson's piano coming through clear as a bell. Booklet has original cover and back liner plus new notes and discographical info. (FS)

REVEREND PEARLY BROWN Arhoolie 9025 You're Gonna Need That Pure Religion ● CD $9.98
20 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
Fine set of rural gospel by street singer and guitarist from Georgia. It includes 15 tracks recorded by Harry Oster in 1961 and originally issued on Folklyric and 5 songs from a 1974 radio show hosted by Chris Strachwitz which includes some fascinating interview material. Brown was not a great original but had a powerful rough hewn voice and was a decent guitarist. His material includes some nice performances inspired by the great Blind Willie Johnson with fine slide including Nobody's Fault But Mine/ Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning/ God Don't Ever Change and others. There are also other performances in a more hillbilly style like Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Savior, Don't You Pass Me By and more. The radio show performances are even more rewarding - on several tracks he is joined on vocals by his wife Christine and two tracks feature him playing 12 string guitar including a great version of What A Morning. A most worthwhile release. (FS)

MILTON BROWN & HIS MUSICAL BROWNIES Origin Jazz Library 1000 Western Swing Chronicles, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, essential
If you can't afford the box set of Brown's complete recordings (Texas Rose 1-5 Five CDs with book - $69.98) this single album is a great introduction to the music of one of the creators of Western swing featuring sides ranging from the bouncy Nancy Janes recorded at his first session in 1932 as a member of The Fort Worth Doughboys -a group that also included Bob Wills - and ends with the beautiful love song A Thousand Good Nights recorded at his last session in March, 1936 - just a month before his tragic early death. Brown's group, The Musical Brownies, changed musical history. To his brother Derwood's rock solid guitar, he added Ocie Stockard's equally steady tenor banjo, the Earl Hines-influenced piano of Fred "Papa" Calhoun (the 1st piano in Western Swing), and the dazzling, jazzy, Venuti-styled fiddle of Cecil Brower. Then, in 1935, he added the utterly astounding, revolutionary amplified steel guitar of Bob Dunn, whose take-off style featured some of the earliest examples of amplified guitar to be recorded and incorporated blues, Hawaiian guitar & the trombone of Jack Teagarden. This wildly infectious, jazzy danceband served the marvelous, easy-swinging vocals of Milton, who could croon sweetly, growl the blues, jive like Cab Calloway, or shout to the heavens the joys of womanhood, babies, Texas, or rascality. All manner of vaudeville, blues, pop, and swing were given his special treatment. Sound quality on this issue is superb and the 20 page booklet has informative notes by Brown's biographer Cary Ginell, great and rare photos and discographical information. (JM/ FS)

BILL CARLISLE B.A.C.M. 034 Duvall County Blues ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 58 mins, highly recommended
Complementing the releases on Cattle and Collector this is another fine collection by this superb singer and guitarist featuring 20 tracks recorded between 1933 and 1939. A varied selection - blues, sentimental songs, gospel songs and more. Includes solo sides as well as sides with his string band The Kentucky Boys. Includes Beneath The Weeping Willow Tree/ I Know What It Is To Be Lonesome/ Drifting Together/ Lost On Life's Sea/ Rattlesnake Daddy/ Little Wild Rose/ Penitentiary Blues/ I'm Heading For Home Sweet Home/ Roll On Old Troubles, Roll On/ Sugar Cane Mama, etc. (FS)
BILL CARLISLE: A Shack By The Side Of The Road/ Are You Going To Leave Me Lil/ Beneath The Weeping Willow Tree/ Cowgirl Jean/ Drifting Together/ Duvall County Blues/ I Done It Wrong/ I Dreamed I Searched Heaven For You/ I Know What It Is To Be Lonesome/ I'll Always Be Your Little Darling/ I'm Heading For Home Sweet Home/ If Jesus Should Come/ Little Wild Rose/ Lost On Life's Sea/ Penitentiary Blues/ Rattlesnake Daddy/ Roll On Old Troubles, Roll On/ Sugar Cane Mama/ The Girl I Left So Blue/ Why Did The Blue Skies Turn To Grey

CONJUNTO BERNAL Arhoolie 9060 Mi Unico Camino ● CD $9.98
15 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended
Great conjunto music from perhaps its finest players, as recorded for the Ideal label in Alice, Texas from 1954-60. Led by Paulino Bernal's dazzling accordion, aided by brother Eloy on bajo sexto, the Bernals crowded the dance floors with rollicking polkas like Loretta Polka or Fidel Castro Polka or lively rancheras like Pa' Que Me Hago Ilusiones. Equally, they could slow people's pulses with torchy boleros as in their big hit Mi Unica Camino or Al Fin Mujer with passionate duet or trio singing with Ruben Perez. A connoisseur's delight, this release shows why their music was deemed "twenty years ahead of its time". Many of these tracks were on the now deleted Arhoolie 344. (JMC)

ARTHUR CONLEY Kent CDKEND 358 I'm Living Good - The Soul Of Arthur Conley, 1964-1974 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, very highly recommended
Sometimes an artist is remembered for as a one hit wonder; such a man was Soul singer Arthur Conley, who hit big with Sweet Soul Music in 1967. But Conley was much more than that uptempo number, and he actually excelled on ballads. This collection of B-Sides, album tracks, and non-album 45s is a salute to Conley's artistry, his debt to both Sam Cooke and his mentor Otis Redding, and a valentine to Northern Soul and Southern Soul fans alike. There are many rarities here for collectors, such as the original versions of Where You Lead Me and I'm a Stranger (aka I'm a Lonely Stranger) from 1964, which Conley re-cut for Redding's short-lived label Jotis, in 1965; I Want Your Love, which went unheard until it was found for a 1988 Japanese LP; and Stop Knocking a gem from 1974 that was buried on a Capricorn Records sampler. Make no mistake, this material-from his pre-fame years as well as the years he spent recording for Atco and Capricorn-is magnificent. From the lovely Put Our Love Together to the bouncy Take a Step and the touching Otis tribute Otis Sleep On, none of these songs put a foot wrong; this is a necessary edition to any serious Soul music library. (GMC)

THE DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS Frog DGF 6 Louisville Stomp ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
The Dixieland Jug Blowers featuring the violin of Clifford hayes, jug of earl McDonald, banjo & guitar of Cal Smith and others was probably the jazziest of all the jug bands and this wonderful CD featuring all 19 tunes the band recorded between December 1926 and June 1927 plus 6 alternate takes. The music is consistently delightful and creative. Mostly instrumental with occasional vocals from fine blueswoman Elizabeth Washington, alto saxist Lockwood Lewis and a group vocal on Boodle-Am Shake. One session features the great jazz clarinetist Johnny Dodds. Superb sound thanks to John R.T. Davies and informative notes from Ron Geesin. (FS)

THE DIXON BROTHERS JSP JSPCD 77113 With The Callahan Brothers ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 101 tracks, essential
Fabulous collection of old time country recorded between 1934 and 1939. The first three CDS and first third of the fourth features the complete recordings of The Dixon Brothers including tracks by The Rambling Duet featuring Howard Dixon and Frank Gerald and duets by Dorsey and his wife Beatrice. Lifelong industrial millhands, The Dixon Brothers from South Carolina were also among the most influential of the early country brother duets and were also successful recording artists in the 30's. The brother's repertoire was an intriguing blend of mountain ballads, parlor songs, self-penned country songs in the style of the day, religious songs, country blues, and songs about the hardships in the cotton mills drawn from personal experience. Dorsey does most of the lead vocal and plays regular guitar, brother Howard provides harmony vocals and steel guitar and the duo were inspired by Darby & Tarleton. Some of their most enduring songs were the topical Weave Room Blues, the humorous delight Intoxicated Rat and Dorsey's composition I Didn't Hear Anybody Pray which was later reworked by Roy Acuff as Wreck On The Highway and became a big hit for him. Other fine original songs include Sales Tax On The Women/ Spinning Room Blues and The Light Of Homer Rogers. Their version of the Civil War song Two Little Boys has entered the bluegrass repertoire via The Country Gentlemen. There are "answer" songs to such popular ditties as Maple On The Hill/ I'm Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail/ More Pretty Girls Than One/ What Would You Give In Exchange and Bonnie Blue Eyes, religious songs like Not Turning Back/ A Wonderful Day/ When Jesus Appear/ A Church At The Foot Of The Hill and others as well as a few sentimental songs. The tracks by Howard and Frank Gerald are similar to the songs by the brothers but somewhat gentler compared to the sometimes ferocious approach of the brothers. The last 20 tracks on the fourth disc is devoted to The Callahan Brothers from North Carolina another outstanding and popular duo featuring sides recorded between 1934 and '39. The brothers Homer (aka Bill) and Walter (aka Joe) sang (and sometimes yodeled) in harmony accompanied by their own guitars and some cuts feature some fine mandolin work. They perform traditional songs, blues, novelty, gospel, sentimental songs and the like. Songs include Once I Had A Darling Mother/ Katie Dear/ On The Banks Of The Ohio/ Drive My Blues Away/ I've Rode The Southern L&N, etc and their music perfectly complements that of the Dixons and they are deserving of their own in depth reissue. Excellent sound and informative notes round out another indispensible reissue of old time music from JSP. (FS) Note: In the copy I listened to discs C & D are reversed and I suspect that all copies are like that but all the music is there - just switch around the discs so the track listings on the jewel case match what's on the discs and "Bob's your uncle!"

DUKE ELLINGTON JSP JSPCD 924 Volume 1: 1926-1929 :Mrs Clinkscales To The Cotton Club ● CD $28.98
4 discs 96 tracks essential
This may be one of the best sets to be released in 2005! Ellington collectors find it hard to keep track of the early years, as he extensively recorded for the four major labels Victor, Columbia , Brunswick & Vocalion. The set starts off with some of Duke's rarest, the pre-majors recordings starting with backing Alberta Prime & Florence Bristol in 11/24 for Blu-Disc, as well as their own first coupling Choo Choo/ Gotta Hurry Home. From there it was The Washingtonians recording for Pathe'& Gennett before starting to record for Vocalion & Brunswick as Duke Ellington & His Kentucky Club Orch, for Victor as Duke Ellington Orch, Columbia as The Washingtonians. And that doesn't include sessions for Pathe as The Whopee Makers, Okeh as The Harlem Footwarmers & The Chicago Footwarmers, even Warren Mills & His Blue Serenaders. There's multiple versions of his signature tunes of the time, some of my faves of all-time, including Black & Tan Fantasy/ Creole Love Call/ East St. Louis Toodle-Oo/Jubilee Stomp/ Black Beauty/ The Mooche/ Digga Digga Doo & Doin' The New Lowdown. There's discographical info that's a bit hard to follow, & unfortunately no credits for the remastering. And by the way, Mrs Clinkscales was the actual name of young Edward Ellington's piano teacher! (GM
DUKE ELLINGTON: Animal Crackers/ Awful Sad/ Bandanna Babies/ Birmingham Breakdown/ Birmingham Breakdown/ Black And Tan Fantasie/ Black And Tan Fantasy/ Black And Tan Fantasy/ Black Beauty/ Black Beauty/ Black Beauty (Firewater)/ Blue Bubbles/ Blues I Love To Sing, The/ Blues With A Feelin', The/ Bugle Call Rag/ Chicago Stomp Down/ Choo Choo (Gotta Hurry Home)/ Creeper, The/ Creeper, The/ Creole Love Call/ Diga Diga Doo/ Diga Diga Doo/ Doin' The Frog/ Doin' The New Low - Down/ Doin' The Voom Voom/ Doin' The Voom Voom/ Down In Our Alley Blues/ East St. Louie Toodle-Oo (East St. Louie Toodle-Oo)/ East St. Louis Toodle-O/ East St. Louis Toodle-O/ East St. Louis Toodle-O (Sic)/ East St. Louis Toodle-Oo/ Flaming Youth/ Georgia Grind/ Goin' To Town/ Got Everything But You/ Harlem River Quiver (Brown Berries)/ Harlem Twist/ High Life/ Hit Me In The Nose Blues/ Hop Head/ Hot And Bothered/ Hot And Bothered (Hot And Bothered)/ Hottentot/ How Come You Do Me Like You Do?/ I Can't Give You Anything But Love/ I Done Caught You Blues/ I Must have That Man/ I'm Gonna Hang Around My Suga/ I'm Gonna Put You Right In Jail/ If You Can't Hold The Man You Love/ Immigration Blues/ It's All Coming Home To You/ It's Gonna Be A Cold, Cold Winter (So Get Another Place To Stay)/ Jubilee Stomp/ Jubilee Stomp/ Jubilee Stomp/ Jubilee Stomp/ Lil'l Farina/ Louisiana/ Lucky Number Blues/ Misty Mornin'/ Misty Mornin'/ Mooche, The/ Move Over/ Move Over/ New Orleans Low-Down/ No, Papa, No/ No, Papa, No/ Parlor Social De Luxe/ Parlor Social Stomp/ Rainy Nights (Rainy Days)/ Red Hot Band (Red Hot Brand)/ Santa Claus Bring My Man Back To Me/ Saturday Night Function/ Soliloquy/ Song Of The Cotton Field/ St. Louis Blues/ Stack O'Lee Blues/ Swampy River/ Sweet Mama (Papa's Gettin' Mad)/ Take It Easy/ Take It Easy/ Take It Easy/ The Mooche/ The Mooche/ The Mooche/ Tiger Rag-Part 1/ Tiger Rag-Part 2/ Tishomingo Blues/ Trombone Blues/ Washington Wabble/ Washington Wobble/ What Can A Poor Fellow Do?/ Yellow Dog Blues/ You've Got Those) Wanna-Go-Back-Again Blues

LT. JAMES EUROPE'S 369TH U.S. INFANTRY BAND Memphis Archives 7020 "Hell Fighter's" Band ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Available again. 24 tracks recorded in 1919 featuring one of the most important early black bandleaders James Reese Europe. He organized and led the all-black 369th U.S. Infantry "Hell Fighters" Band during World War I. They fought in the trenches and introduced an early form of jazz to the Continent. Tragically, Europe was murdered shortly after these recordings. Several tracks feature the vocals of Noble Sissle. Includes That Moanin' Trombone/ On Patrol In No Man's Land/ All Of No Man's Land Is Ours/ Dixie Is Dixie Once More/ St. Louis Blues/ Ja Da/ Missouri Blues/ Russian Rag/ Clarinet Marmalade/ Mirandy and others.Sound quality is excellent and set comes with 44 page booklet with extensive notes on Europe's life and career as well as information on the members of the band and a discussion of each performance. It also includes photos and other illustrations along with excerpts from newspaper reports of the time. (FS)

THE FASCINATORS Eagle 90409 Featuring Tony Passalacqua ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 69 min., highly recommended
Considered by many 50's doo-wop aficionados to be the best white lead singer of them all, Tony Passalacqua herein gets the career overview treatment from this German import label. The program opens with his stellar sides for the Capitol label, including Chapel Bells, Oh Rose Marie, Who Do You Think You Are, and the originally unreleased Recess and Teenage Wedding. Next up are the four Colpix sides issued as by Tony and the Twilights, including Paper Boy and Please Believe in Me. Remaining numbers are made up of one early group record (unreleased?) featuring Tony on lead and later recordings with a variety of backup groups, among them the Angels. It's all good material, even the mid-60's cuts. Sound quality is solid, and the notes are reprinted from the September 1972 issue of Bim Bam Boom. (DH)

RAY FISHER Folk Legacy 91 Willie's Lady ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 43 mins, essential
Ray Fisher is a member of a very talented family of singers - her brother Archie and sister Cilla are well known performers and although Ray is less well known she might very well be the best of them. Her voice has that incredibly melodious quality you hear in the best Scottish and Irish singers and the quiet intensity of her approach will send shivers down your spine. Most of the songs are traditional featuring Ray accompanied by her own rather basic but effective guitar accompaniment and include stellar renditions of fairly uncommon songs like The Red-Haired Man's Wife/ Are You Sleeping Maggie/ The Weary Cutters and others. These performances are enough to make this well worth your $16.98 but what makes it essential is the stunning Willie's Lady an amazing nine minute tale of treachery, murder and magic which Ray put to a Breton folk tune. On this track she is given some sublime fiddle accompaniment by Johnny Cunningham. Martin Carthy was so impressed by her approach that he also did a spectacular rendition of her version on his "Crown Of Horn" album. (FS)

HEN GATES & HIS GATERS Masterseal 6000 Let's All Dance To Rock & Roll ● CD $17.98
29 tracks, 79 mins, recommended
O.K. time for some serious discographers to step forward. Back in the late 50s wiley entrepreneurs tried to cash in on the popularity of rock 'n' roll by taking anything they could find with a beat and issuing it as rock 'n roll. This CD is, I think, a reissue of two LPs issued in the late 50s. In spite of the teenagers pictured on the cover and the reference in the liner notes to the performers being "a group of talented young rock 'n' roll musicians" this is actually a collection of hard driving instrumental R&B featuring honking sax. The sax man is identified as Freddie Mitchell - a fine veteran musician whos started with Fletcher Henderson and Benny Carter in the 40s and recorded for a number of small labels over the years. But how about the rest of the polished group featured here? Hen Gates was a stage name for jazz pianist James Foreman who worked with Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody in the late 40s - so is he the pianist on some of these tracks? Or did the compiler of this album think "Hen Gates" was too cool a name to let go to waste? Some of the tracks appear to be reissues of Freddie's singles from as far back as 1949 with slight retitlings (Auld Lang Syne Boogie becomes Auld Lang Syne Rock). Anyway, this is a fine collection of instrumental R&B with an air of mystery about it that makes it even more appealing. (FS)

BABS GONZALES Babs 6402 Cool Whalin' ● CD $17.98
25 track collection from this be-bop jive/ scat vocalist including some with an R&B flavor. Includes the title song plus The Preacher/ Bab's Celebrity Party/ A Cool Tale Of Love/ Manhattan Fable/ When Rigor Mortis Sets In/ House Rent Party/ Pay Dem dues/ Git To Dat/ Lullabye Of The Doomed/ These New York Neighbors/ Be Bop Santa Claus/ Teenage Santa Claus and others.
BABS GONZALES: A Cool Tale of Love/ All About This Rock and Roll/ Bab's Celebrity Party/ Be Bop Santa Claus/ Cool Whalin'/ Dem Jive New York People/ Flying Home/ Git to Dat/ Hair Dressen Woman/ House Rent Party/ Lullabye of the Doomed/ Manhattan Fable/ Me - Spelled M-E - Me/ Pay Dem Dues/ Rock and Roll Santa Claus/ Rockin' and Rollin' the Blues/ She's Just Right For Me/ Shuckin' and Jivin'/ Still Wailin'/ Sugar Ray/ Teenage Santa Claus/ The Preacher/ These New York Neighbors/ Watch Them Resolutions/ When Rigor Mortis Sets In

CLAY HAMMOND/ Z.Z. HILL Kent CDKEND 188 Southern Soul Brothers ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 77 min., highly recommended
Long overdue for (CD) reissue, here we have the complete Kent recordings of R&B singer/songwriter Clay Hammond (aka Clayton D. Hammond Jr.). He's best known for his song Part Time Love, first recorded in 1963 by Little Johnny Taylor, who at that time was managed by Clay's younger brother Walter Lee Hammond (former singer with The Olympics). Those of us who have the 1988 Ace album (which also included the 2 titles he recorded for Galaxy Records) will be pleased with the 3 extra unissued sides. Highlights include I'll Make It Up To You, You Messed Up My Mind, an early (unissued) version of You Threw Out Your Lifeline (with just guitar accompaniment) and the delightful Suzy Do It Better Than You". The CD is complemented by ten Z. Z. Hill tracks that were not included on Kent CDKEN 099 "The Down Home Soul Of ZZ Hill". Included are cover versions of songs by Allen Toussaint (The Greatest Love) (first recorded by Johnny Adams and Lee Dorsey), the late Jimmy Holiday (Where She At, Everybody Needs Somebody), and the late Aaron Collins (Gimme Gimme). Collectors should note that the version You Got Me Chained To Your Love was first issued on an old Kent (US) album/CD, and was re-recorded on Hill's first Malaco album (1981). (EL)
CLAY HAMMOND: Do Right Woman/ I Got A Letter This Morning/ I'll Make It Up To You/ I'm Gonna Be Sweeter/ I'm So Glad You're Mine/ Love Made The Whole World Multiply/ My Jealous Girl/ My Sweet Baby Is Coming Home/ Something Better/ Suzy Do It Better Than You/ Take Your Time/ The Good Side Of My Girl/ Togetherness/ You Brought It All On Yourself/ You Messed Up My Mind/ You Threw Out Your Lifeline/ Z.Z. HILL: Don't Make Promises (you Can't Keep)/ Everybody Needs Somebody/ Gimme Gimme/ I'm Gonna Love You/ My Girl Has Gone Away/ Please Take Me Back/ The Greatest Love/ What Am I Living For?/ Where She At/ You've Got Me Chained To Your Love

PEPPERMINT HARRIS Blue City 815 I Got Loaded ● CD $17.98
30 track collection of sides from the 50s from this fine Texas urban bluesman. Includes his great #1 R&B hit I Got Loaded which has been covered by a number of artists plus Right Back On It/ Hey Little Schoolgirl/ I Always End Up Blues/ I Never Get Enough Of You/ Let The Back Door Hit You/ Maggie's Boogie and others.
PEPPERMINT HARRIS: Black Cat Bone/ Bye Bye Faire Thee Well/ Fat Gal Boogie/ Goodbye Baby/ Have Another Drink And Talk To Me/ Hey Little School Girl/ I Always End Up Blue/ I Cry For My Baby/ I Don't Care/ I Got Loaded/ I Never Get Enough Of You/ I Sure Do Miss My Baby/ It's You, Yes It's You/ Just You And Me/ Let The Back Door Hit You/ Love At First Sight/ Maggie's Boogie/ Messin' Round With The Blues/ Middle Of Winter/ Need Your Lovin'/ Oo Wee Baby/ P.h. Blues/ Right Back On It/ The Blues Picks On Me/ There's A Dead Cat On The Line/ This Is Goodbye/ Three Sheets In The Wind/ Too Late To Worry/ Wasted Love/ You Got Me Wondering

BUELL KAZEE B.A.C.M. 027 Legendary Kentucky Ballad Singer ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
A number of Buel Kazee tracks have appeared on various compilations but this is the first CD reissue exclusively devoted to this his fine and important ballad singer. Kazee, who was a trained singer, accompanied himself on banjo and recorded seminal versions of songs like Butchers Boy/ East Virginia/ Lady Gay/ Wagoner's Lad/ The Moonshiner and others. This set also features tracks with guitar and violin accompaniment, some duets with Carson Robison and some gospel songs with Frank & James McCravy as The Blue Ridge Gospel Singers. Wonderful stuff. (FS)
BUELL KAZEE: Don't Forget Me Little Darling/ East Virginia/ Faded Coat Of Blue/ I'm Alone In This World/ If You Love Your Mother/ Lady Gay/ Little Mohee/ Old Whisker Bill, The Moonshiner/ Poor Orphan Boy/ Redwing/ Roving Cowboy/ Snow Deer/ The Blind Man/ The Butcher Boy/ The Cowboy Trail/ The Cowboy's Farewell/ The Dying Soldier/ The Orphan Girl/ The Ship That's Sailing High/ The Wagoner's Lad/ Toll The Bells/ Why Not Tonight

AL KING & ARTHUR ADAMS Ace CDCHD 1292 Together - The Complete Kent And Modern Recordings ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 54 mins, highly recommended
Ace hasn't been putting out too many blues releases lately but this one is a knockout featuring the complete mid/ late 60s Modern recordings of two outstanding urban bluesmen. Al King (Alvin Smith) started recording in 1951 and was a seasoned pro by the time he started recording for Modern in 1967. Al was a superb singer with a warm easygoing style, a little like Lowell Fulson and an excellent songwriter who drew on the contemporary urban experience to fashion witty and soulful songs - often with a catchy loping tempo. He is accompanied by a superb band produced by veteran musician and producer Maxwell Davis with the added bonus of the superb guitarist Arthur Adams who really melts the frets on Get Lost and Without A Feeling. Al has the first dozen cuts and then turns over the vocals to guitarist Adams for nine songs including duets with Edna Wright and Mary. Arthur is a more intense vocalist and his performances show strong influences of contemporary R&B and soul sounds full of gritty and exciting guitar work. After leaving Modern, Arthur spent the next 30 years working primarily as a session guitarist for any number of major performers before returning to a solo career in the the late 90s and has released several fine and highly acclaimed albums. Great music, great sound and 16 page booklet with informative notes from Tony Rounce. (FS)

REG LINDSAY B.A.C.M. 258 When The Wagon Was New ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Reg Lindsay, who died in August 2008, was one of Australia's most popular country performers recording hundreds of songs between the early 1950s and the early 21st century. Although little known in the USA these days he was the first Australian country artist to appear on the Grand Ole Opry and was awarded a plaque on Nashville's Walkway Of The Stars. He had a big hit in 1971 with his version of John Stewart's song Armstrong about American astronaut Neil Armstrong and his version is part of a time capsule at NASA's Space Center in Houston. Reg was a terrific singer and many of the songs feature him just with his guitar, often with some fine yodeling. Though stylistically influenced by American country music the best Australian country singers, like Lindsay, sing songs grounded in the Australian outback. Many of the songs here are Lindsay originals along with a number of covers of American country songs (If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time/ My Blue Eyed Jane/ Sweeter Than The Flowers, etc) given a uniquely Australian flavor. Three of the songs are duets with Heather McKean who was the sister of Australia's most popular country singer Slim Dusty and who Reg married in 1954. Most enjoyable. (FS)
REG LINDSAY: Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ Blue Velvet Band/ Country Mile/ Down By The Old Sliprail/ Driftwood On The River/ From 40 to 65/ Hearts And Flowers/ I'm Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail/ I'm Ragged But I'm Right/ I'm Wastin' My Tears On You/ If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time/ In The Luggage Van Ahead/ I’m Sorry It Ended This Way/ Missing In Action/ Mississippi Delta Blues/ My Blue Eyed Jane/ Old Love Letters/ Shackles And Chains/ Sundowner Yodel/ Suvia Bay/ Sweeter Than The Flowers/ There's A Love Knot In My Lariat/ When The Sun Peeps Over The Hill/ When The Wagon Was New

BARRELHOUSE BUCK MCFARLAND Delmark 788 Alton Blues ● CD $14.98
17 track, 48 mins, very highly recommended
What an absolute delight! Barrelhouse Buck McFarland recorded a handful of superb sides in the 20s and 30s with great piano work and distinctive raspy vocals and phrasing. When he was rediscovered in 1961 by Bob Koester and St. Louis copy Charlie O'Brien he was still a potent performer as this superb, previously unissued session, shows. MCfarland was from Alton, Illinois (also the birthplace of Miles Davis), around 20 miles from St. Louis, Mo. where there was an active group of pianists like Speckled Red, Roosevelt Sykes, Walter Davis and others and McFarland's style, like that of Wesley Wallace and Jabo Williams is considered an offshoot of the St. Louis style with distinctive bass work with the left hand and a flowing right hand style. On this August, 1961 session Buck is in fine form playing versions of songs he had recorded prewar as well a variety of other compositions with his distinctive vocals and lovely piano work. This outstanding set also includes a five minute chat with McFarland where he reminisces about people like Henry Brown, Peetie Wheatstraw, Charlie Jordan and other denizens of the St. Louis blues scene. He was only 58 at the time of these recordings and obviously had the ability to rekindle his musical career but, sadly, he passed away eight months after these recordings. If you like piano blues then this release is a must. (FS)

THE MCPEAKE FAMILY Topic TSCD 583 Wild Mountain Thyme ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 50 mins, essential
What an absolute joy to finally have these magnificent recordings available on CD featuring some of the most sublime Irish folk music you're ever likely to hear. Every lover of folk music is familiar with the song Wild Mountain Thyme (also known as Will Ye Go Lassie Go) and while the origins of the song are somewhat controversial there is no doubt that this exquisetly beautiful song was introduced to the folk audience at large by The McPeake Family along with other songs like Slieve Gallon Braes and Verdant Braes Of Skreen which are all featured here along with other superb songs and tunes. The McPeake Family had a unique sound featuring father Francis, son Francis and his brother and sister James and Kathleen and grandson Francis (got that straight?!). They perform in various combinations often featuring three sets of uileann pipes (Francis, Francis & Francis) and harp (James). They sing in various combinations, sometimes acapella and sometimes accompanied and the sound is unique and exquisite - no fancy playing or ornamented singing - the result is artless and totally haunting. This CD features a 1962 Topic LP and an EP from the following year. If you love Irish music or any kind of folk music this is a must. (FS)

THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND Frog 18 Volume 3 ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, essential
The third volume starts with the band's session of May 1930, in the wake of the Wall Street Crash and with record sales already in sharp decline. Even so the band managed to cut a further twenty titles in the year, over nine short recording sessions. Highlights include Cocaine Habit, Meningitis Blues with vocal by Memphis Minnie, Going Back To Memphis and the sparkling final sessions in November which produced such classics as You Got Me Rollin'. Despite personnel changes Will Shade had managed to preserve a fairly consistent sound to his group during nearly four years of recording, a fact underlined by the alternate takes of titles from the earlier volumes which fill out this CD. (These alternate takes are otherwise found on Wolf WBCD 004.) It was to be four years before the band recorded again, but they certainly went out on a high. Excellent notes again by Neil Slaven, a full discography and very decent sound. If only all reissues were like this set!  (DPR)
THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND: Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues/ Bumble Bee Blues/ Cave Man Blues/ Cocaine Habit/ Everybody's Talking About Sadie Green/ Fourth Street Mess Around/ Going Back To Memphis/ Got A Letter From My Darlin'/ He's In The Jail House Now/ It Won't Act Right/ Jim Strainer Blues/ Lindberg Hop/ Meningitis/ Move That Thing/ Newport News Blues/ Oh Ambulance Man/ Papa's Got Your Bath Water On/ Round And Round/ Snitchin' Gambler Blues/ Spider's Nest Blues/ Stingy Woman Blues/ Stonewall Blues/ Sun Brimmers Blues/ You Got Me Rollin'/ You May Leave But This Will Bring You Back

THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND Frog 62 Vol. 4 ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, essential
Now available - the fourth and final volume in Frog's reissue of the complete recordings of one of the greatest of all jug bands - The Memphis Jug Band led by singer, guitarist, harmonica & jug player Will Shade. The first nine tracks are a real treat - nine never before issued alternate takes from 1927 and 1928 from recently discovered test pressings. Differences from the issued takes is frequently minor, though in some cases, like their magnificent Beale Street Mess Around there are substantial lyric changes and another classic Stealin' Stealin' has an extra verse in this alternate. The remaining 16 tracks are from 3 sessions in November, 1934 and find the group somewhat more urbane than on their earlier sides with a stronger infusion of jazz and some influences of white country music in Charlie Pierce's fiddle playing. In spite of the changes the music made by the group was irrepressibly infectious particularly on mostly instrumental tracks like Jazzbo Stomp/ Gator Wobble/ Take Your Fingers Off It and their wonderful Rukus Juice & Chittlin'. The first three volumes (Frog 15, 16 & 18) are still available and equally essential. (FS)

MOLLY O'DAY Bear Family BCD 15565 Molly O'Day And The Cumberland Mountain Folks ● CD $41.98
36 tracks, 104 mins, highly recommended
Another fine double CD reminder from Bear Family of what country music was like before the lure of mainstream popularity and riches tore its heart out. Between 1946 and 1951 Miss O'Day recorded 36 songs for Columbia Records, about equally divided between her solo singing and duets with her husband, Lynn Davis. The earlier sides feature the lovely Dobro playing of George "Speedy" Krise which is replaced by the splendid steel guitar of Jimmie Selph or Cousin Jodey. She was, among her other plentiful musical virtues, one of the first performers to recognize and take advantage of the song-writing talents of the then up-and-coming Hank Williams. As a result, her material, as well as its presentation, are often superior. Tracks here include The Tramp On The Street/ When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels/ The Drunken Driver/ Matthew Twenty-Four/ I Heard My Mother Weeping/ Teardrops Falling in the Snow, and the delightful Heaven's Radio. A plethora of plaintive country gospel and occasional secular song presented with Bear Family's justly-respected flair for completeness. Excellent note and lots of vintage pictures. Not to be missed. (DH)

DOYE O'DELL B.A.C.M. 172 If Tears Were Gold ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 67 minutes, highly recommended
A Texas native whose primary audience was rural central and southern Californians, Doye O'Dell was essentially a West Coast Red Foley. His recording career spanning the late '40s into the mid-'50s, O'Dell sang in a peppy, upbeat style that was well suited for radio and the era's juke boxes. As on the best West Coast country records, the vocals were bracketed with hot fiddle, steel and guitar leads. None of the musicians are identified, but fiddler Harold Hensley is a likely participant. Sharp-eared listeners can probably spot Jack Rivers, Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West on some tracks. This B.A.C.M collection complements an earlier Cattle anthology, emphasizing O'Dell's '50s material, including ten tracks from an elusive 1956 dime-store LP. Seven cuts are from O'Dell's 1947-48 Exclusive 78s, three come from Mercury and the remaining seven are Intro sides from 1951-53. Sound is above average for B.A.C.M. Bryan Chalker's notes read like an essay question on an ill-prepared history student's exam, but so what? The music smokes, and that's what matters. (DS)
DOYE O'DELL: According To The Evidence/ Bow Your Head And Pray/ Candy Man/ Diesel Smoke/ Horses Women And Wine/ I Signed On The Dotted Line/ I Want More Mustard On My Hot Dog/ If Tears Were Gold/ It Makes No Difference Now/ It Won't Be Texas To You/ Left My Gal In The Mountains/ Mabel, Mabel/ Man Behind The Throttle/ My Little Red Wagon/ Oklahoma Hills/ Old Boy/ Old Shep/ Ole Tex Kringle/ Peekin' Peekin' Peekin'/ Pretty Woman For The Boss/ Red River Valley/ San Antonio Rose/ That's Just My Hand You're Holding Not My Heart/ There's A Shamrock Growing In Texas/ Two Eyes Two Lips But No Heart/ When My Sunshine Goes Walking In The Rain/ You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven

REPARATA & THE DELRONS Ace CDCHD 1066 The Best Of Reparata & The Delrons ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 71 min, essential
Besides having one of the best names ever (Reparata was the Confirmation name of lead singer Mary Aiese) R & the DR's were, in my humble opinion, one of the top three NY girl groups (the other two, of course, The Ronnettes & The Shangri-las - in fact Sheila Reilly is a dead-ringer for one of the Shang's Ganser Twins). Besides having most of the singles, key LP cuts & an unreleased track or two, this finally clears up the group's convoluted history. Starting as The Delrons - their only single Leave Us Alone on Laurie from '64 is here, Mary had a new set of Delrons for their World Pacific tunes & as Reparata & The Delrons scored a huge hit with Whenever A Teenager Cries in '64. The group toured until, when time for another tour, Mary was the only one who showed up! Having to put out a couple singles just as Reparata, she was next signed to RCA in '66 on the condition she had a group, so another version was formed, this one including Lorraine Mazzola, which then went to Mala & had a huge UK hit with Captain Of Your Ship. The history tells of a Mary-less R & DRs, then Lorraine taking over the name &, when with Barry Manilow as the group Lady Flash (she's the one that looks like Cher with breasts) sued the real Reparata under Manilow's instigation. Find out the outcome, & other goodies like why on a Jay & The Americans 45 it says "Sorry Reparata" in the dead groove! (GM)

BILLY LEE RILEY Bear Family BCD 15444 Classic Recordings, 1956-60 ● CD $41.98
Two CDs, 48 tracks, highly recommended
Arkansas singer Billy Lee Riley was one of the finest artists to emerge from Sam Phillips' Sun studios in the 50s and his lack of success was not due to lack of talent as this excellent double CD retrospective demonstrates. He was an outstanding singer with a natural affinity for the blues, a fine guitarist and harmonica player and a good songwriter. The first compact disc features all his issued recordings released on Sun, Brunswick and Rita. It includes some of his most memorable rockers such as Rock With Me Baby/ Flying Saucer Rock & Roll/ Red Hot and Pearly Lee where he is accompanied by such terrific Sun session men as Roland Janes, Martin Willis and J.M. Van Eaton. It also includes the fine bluesy harmonica instrumentals Itchy and Thunderbird which were originally issued under Sonny Burgess's name, his relatively undistinguished Brunswick coupling and his two singles issued on the Rita label formed by Billy and Roland Janes. One of these featured two blues and were issued as by Lightnin' Leon and Billy's performance was so convincing that many blues collectors assumed it was a black artist! The second disc features 28 tracks not originally issued including alternate takes of some of his best Sun songs plus quite quite a few excellent covers of blues and R&B favorites like Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash/ Betty & Dupree/ Saturday Night Fish Fry and others including the particularly fine When A Gets The Blues There is also a brief parody of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues and a 1960 remake of one of his most popular Sun songs Red Hot which is given a very different treatment. Being Bear Family the sound is superb and there is a 40 page booklet with fine notes by Rob Bowman and Ross Johnson, much of it based on an interview with Billy plus great 50s photos of Billy with his band The Little Green Men and full discographical details. Highly recommended to anyone who loves rock 'n roll. (FS)

OTIS RUSH Delmark 781 All Your Love I Miss Loving - Live At The Wise Fools Pub ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, 68 mins, essential
A live set from 1976 featuring Otis Rush at the top of his game - need I say more? Otis was possibly the greatest of the new breed of Chicago bluesmen to emerge in the mid 50s with an intense emotion drenched vocal style and an incredible guitar technique that owes a debt to the long drawn out phrasing of Albert King but takes it to a new level. This live session was recorded at Chicago's famed Wise Fools Pub with his band of the time (Bob Levis/ guita, Albert Gianquinto/ pno, Bob Stroger/ bass and Jesse Green/ drums). The titles are mix of Rush classics (All Your Love/ It takes Time) and blues standards (Please Love Me/ Mean Old World/ Gambler's Blues), etc. but all take on a new life in the hands of the master. As liner note writer Steve Tomashefsky points Otis Rush out is one of a handful of Chicago bluesmen who is a great singer and a great guitarist and "When he is on - as he is here - there seems to be nothing he can't do with either instrument."I dare you to site still during the closing instrumental Motoring Along. (FS)

ROBERT SHAW Arhoolie 377 The Ma Grinder ● CD $13.98
17 tracks, 71 mins, essential
Robert Shaw was one of the last of the great Texas piano players - member of an itinerant cluster of pianists loosely known as "the Santa Fe group" which included musicians like Pinetop Burks, Rob Cooper, Buster Pickens and many other unrecorded performers. When Shaw was discovered by Mack McCormick in 1963 running a food market and barbecue stand in Austin, Texas and playing just for fun he had all his faculties intact. Listening to him is to travel back in time to the 1930s when the style he kept alive was at its zenith. McCormick recorded him and 11 tracks were subsequently issued on two Arhoolie LPs. These are included here along with six previously unissued songs cut by Chris Strachwitz in 1973 and '77. Shaw's singing and playing is a joy to listen to throughout whether it's a stompin' instrumental like The Cows, a long introspective version of Black Gal or a bawdy romp like Whores Is Funky. I have very fond memories of Robert when he called me up out of the blue to let me know that he was taking a bus to California to attend the 20th anniversary celebration for Arhoolie Records and its owner Chris Strachwitz to show his appreciation to Chris for having done so much to bring his music to a wider audience. Wonderful music by a wonderful man. If you like piano blues you most certainly want to give this a listen. (FS)
ROBERT SHAW: Black Gal/ Fast Santa Fe (Bear Cat)/ Going Down To The Gulf/ Groceries On My Shelf (Piggly Wiggly)/ Hattie Green/ Here I Come With My Dirty, Dirty Duckings On/ Jim Nappy/ Mobile & K. C. Line/ People, People/ Put Me In The Alley/ Saturday Night Special/ She Used To Be My Baby (Ma Grinder #2)/ The Clinton/ The Cows/ The Fives/ The Ma Grinder/ Whores Is Funky

BIG MAMA THORNTON Arhoolie 9043 With The Muddy Waters Blues Band, 1966 ● CD $9.98
17 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
One of the great voices in the blues joins forces with one of the great blues band - both in top form. At that time the band line up included Muddy, James Cotton, Otis Spann, Sammy Lawhorn, Luther Johnson, Francis Clay. Originally issued on LP as Arhoolie 1032 this CD includes seven bonus unissued songs and alternate takes. Although at times the sound is a bit ragged due to lack of rehearsal there is some great singing and playing throughout on a collection of mostly original songs by Big Mama - I particularly like the intense slow blues Gimme A Penny which in addition to the great vocal includes some stellar playing from Spann and Cotton. Other songs includes I'me Feeling Alright/ Black Rat/ Everything Gonna Be Alright/ Looking The World Over/ Wrapped Tight/ Big Mama's Shuffle (with Big Mama and Cotton duetting on harmonica)/Big Mama's Blues, etc. (FS)

MERLE TRAVIS & TEX ANN B.A.C.M. 286 Wild Goose ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
A delightful collection featuring radio transcriptions made in 1946 featuring Merle Travis duetting with his then wife Tex Ann (Sydna Jacqueline Ann Nation) on a selection of traditional American folk songs, gospel songs, original compositions by Mewrle and songs Tex used to perform with her previous husband Oklahoma Buck. There is some of Merle's fine and pioneering guitar work on some of the intros and solos but the emphasis is on the excellent duet vocals and they are joined by an excellent old timey fiddle player. Songs include Mus'rat/ And They Called It Dixieland/ Sourwood Mountain/ The Life Of The Party/ The Dust On Mother's Old Bible/ Heaven Bound Train (possibly the best track with wonderful vocal interplay and great guitar and fiddle) / Baby Don't You Cry No More/ Go Where I Send Thee/ My Worst Worry/ Did You Ever Go Sailing?, etc. I believe this is the first time these recordings have been reissued and they are a delight. (FS)
MERLE TRAVIS & TEX ANN: And They Called It Dixieland/ Baby Don’t You Cry No More/ Dear Little Wifey Back Home/ Did You Ever Go Sailing/ Dream Train Engineer/ Go Where I Send Thee/ God Put A Rainbow In The Cloud/ Grandad’s Cuspidor/ Heaven Bound Train/ I’d Like To Go Back/ Lolly To Dum Dey/ Mus’Rat/ My Worst Worry/ Nickelty Knackelty Now/ Paper Of Pins/ Peg Leg Jack/ Shady Brook Lane/ Someone To Call Me Honey/ Sourwood Mountain/ The Courtin’ Song/ The Dust On Mother’s Old Bible/ The Dutchman’s Wife/ The Life Of The Party/ The Wise Old Owl/ This World Is Such A Lonely Place/ Tomorrow (I’ll Be In My Dixieland Home Again)/ Why’d I Fall For Abner/ Wild Goose

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1003 The Modern Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 3 ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 73 mins, essential
Third volume in this great series concentrating on the down recordings made in the South by the Biharis for their Modern group of labels in the early 50s. 14 of the tracks were recorded in Sam Phillips' Sun studios including sides by Willie Nix, Howling Wolf, Robert Bland (aka Bobby "Blue" Bland with Junior Parker on harmonica and Matt Murphy/ guitar), Joe Hill Louis, Walter Horton, Jim Lockhart and Alfred "Blues King" Harris. Seven tracks were recorded in Arkansas featuring vocals by members of the King Biscuit Boys - pianist Robert "Dudlow" Taylor and drummer James "Peck" Curtis with guitarist W.C. Clay and two harmonicas - Sonny Boy Williamson and, probably, Frank Hawkins. The final five tracks are by the mysterious Dixie Blues Boys who were thought to have been recorded in the South but were actually recorded in Los Angeles in 1955 and whose identities have finaly come to light due to recent research though very little can be gleneaned of their history. NMevertheless they did some fine small combo down home blues with two harmonicas. Only a handful of the tracks here were originally issued as 78s and a number are being issued here for the first time ever. Includes extensive notes by Jim O'Neal with much new information. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1057 The Modern Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 4 ● CD $18.98
The fourth volume in this great series is a real treat for country blues lovers - apart from four tracks by Texas pianist Alexander Moore (accompanied by guitarist Smokey Hogg) the rest is all guitar accompanied country blues. Some of it by real mystery men and all of it great. Includes Jesse Thomas, Pine Top Slim, Leroy Simpson (with Lane Hardin/ guitar), Lane Hardin (aka Arkansas Johnny Todd, Big Bill Dotson,, Little Son Jackson and Big Charley Bradix. The CD includes six previously unissued songs or alternate takes. Jim O'Neal's in depth liner notes helps lift the veil on some of the mysteries here.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1133 It Came From The Suburbs - Rare Teen Rock From The Kennedy Era ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Second volume to explore the strange and wonderful world of Downey records, a quirky So Cal label from the sixties. Subtitled "Rare Teen Rock From The Kennedy Era." The first all instrumental volume, "Intoxica!" (Ace 1114 - $18.98), is one of my favorites from the recent Ace output, this is a fantastic follow up. Tracks are pulled from the original masters that had been stored inside of Wenzel's Music Town record store for decades. From the sound of it, the kids were having a fantastic time in those L.A. suburbs. This compilation is brimming with wild novelty tunes, Thump De Dum Dum by Ernie Baptiste, Oh It Hurts by the Karols, Betty Boop (a direct rip on Alley Oop) and Astro Romeo by Johnny MacRae and Jessie Hill's fabulously weird Chop Chop (My Fair Lady) - you can guess what gets chopped- not to mention two songs about Voo Doo! On top of the novel tracks there is some real top shelf R&B. Three tracks by The Invictas, two by The Pastel Six, another fine Jessie Hill cut, two tracks by The Debonairs and much, much more. Great Stuff! (JM)
RAE ANN & THE TONGAS: Cupid's Clown/ ERNIE BAPTISTE: She Came, She Saw, She Conquered/ Thump De De Dum Dum/ MICKEY BOWMAN & THE TWINKLETONES: Purty Baby/ CARL BURNETT & THE HUSTLERS: Sweet Memories/ PAUL CLIFTON: Jay Walkin'/ THE DEBONAIRES: Dorothy/ Laura/ DARRELL GLENN: Hoo Doo The Voo Doo/ JESSIE HILL: Chip Chop (My Fair Lady)/ Understanding/ JIMMIE HOMBS WITH TOM & THE TWINKLETONES: Joe Cool/ JIMMIE HOMBS WITH THE INVICTAS: Voo Doo Dolly/ THE INVICTAS: Gone So Long/ Nellie/ Country Star/ THE KAROLS: Oh It Hurts/ JOHNNY MACRAE: Betty Boop/ Bwana/ Lovin' Up A Storm/ My Mary's Gone/ JOE MANISCALCO: Yea Yea Yea/ THE PASTEL SIX: Horny aka Hot Dogger/ Richard's Bounce/ UNKNOWN MALE VOCAL: The Dragon/ RICHARD WARD & THE HUSTLERS: The Well Of Loneliness

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1136 Rockin' In Wisconsin ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
Following up the outstanding "Garagemental" compilation (Ace 1113), this is the third volume to spotlight Wisconsin's premier Rock 'n' Roll label, Jim Kirchstein's Cuca Records. Amazing but true, there is easily enough great Rock "n' Roll music made in Wisconsin in the 1960's to fill up three full compilations. These bands really put the "sin" in Wisconsin, not to mention great hooks and fantastic tunes. Officially There are 28 Rock 'n' Roll / Rockabilly songs on here and 2 Doo Wop, and--Guess what?--there was some fine Doo Wop in the great cheese state as well, at least two great tracks by Kenny King & The Be Bops and Ronnie Premier. Some of the rockers are the superb Orbit Rock by The Orbits, Bad News by the Rhythm Rockers and two fantastic tracks by The 5 Chords, Red Wine and Daisy May, which feature some wailin' sax. You knew that they would eventually have to include the original Cuca version of The Fenderman's Mule Skinner Blues, and you get that as well as answer record What's All This by Bob Mattice & The Phaetons and Rocky Road Blues by the Muleskinners. Clearly Wisconsin was not a desirable state for a mule to live in. The list of fine cuts goes on and on. (JM)
KENNY BEE & THE PLAINSMEN: No, No/ THE DARNELLS: Little Sheila aka She She Little Sheila/ JIMMY DAWSON (DIXIE DRIFTER): Little Hero/ LARRY DOWD (WITH FIRST GARRISON): Mama Say Blue/ THE FENDERMEN: Janice/ Muleskinnner Blues (Original Cuca version)/ THE FIVE CHORDS: Daisy Mae/ Red Wine/ GRAND PRIX: Say Mama/ BOBBY HODGE: Gonna Take My Guitar/ RAY KANNON & THE CORRALS: Little Baby/ KENNY KING & THE BE BOPS: You're Alright/ ROBIN LEE & THE LAVENDERS: Aw Shucks/ BOB MATTICE & THE PHAETONS: What's All This?/ THE MONTEREYS: Rockin' Fool/ THE MULESKINNERS: Rocky Road Blues/ THE ORBITS: Orbit Rock (Instr)/ DANNY PEIL & THE TIGERS: Jingle Jump/ LARRY LEE PHILLIPSON: Bitter Feelings/ LARRY LEE PHILLIPSSON: I'm Wondering Now/ RONNIE PREMIER: Let It Be/ Love Trap/ Meet Me By My Locker/ Please Make Love To Me/ THE RHYTHM ROCKERS: Bad News/ THE SUPREME FOUR: Patricia/ THE TEEN KINGS: I Might Have Known/ UNKNOWN ARTIST: I'm So Blue/ KAREN WELLS & THE BLACK KNIGHTS: Never Gonna' Let Him Go

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 1005 Lost Sounds - Blacks & the Birth Of The Recording Indus ● CD $26.98
Two CDs, 54 tracks, 154 mins, essential
Fabulous and important collection featuring some of the earliest recordings of African-American music made between 1891 and 1922. This set complements Tim Brooks's groundbreaking book of the same name which documented the lives and music of the many black artists who recorded well before the 1920s which is the era usually associated with the beginning recordings of black music. Although there is not much here that will appeal directly to diehard blues fans there is much music of great interest and appeal including quartets singing spirituals and secular songs, the first recording of a minstrel group, jazz precursors like Europe's Society Orchestra and Wilbur C. Sweatman and much more including classical performances, novelty songs, comedy routines and a recording from 1891 of The Whistling Coon by George W. Johnson - one of the very first recordings of a black artist who had previously recorded the same song a year earlier and recorded the songs several more times as it was a big "hit." Johnson is thought to have recorded as early as 1878. There are also fascinating spoken word pieces from boxer Jack Johnson and the great black leader Booker T. Washington. Archeophone have done a truly remarkable job in sound restoration and in spite of the age, rarity and wear of these recordings the sound quality is highly listenable and enjoyable in their own right. The aforementioned George W. Johnson cylinder was broken in several pieces when found but you'd never know it. A couple of tracks were in such bad condition that very little could be done to improve the sound but are included because of their historical importance. Includes a 60 page illustarted booklet with notes by Brooks and full recordings information. Congratulation to Archeophone for doing such a splendid job in making these important historical recordings available in such an appealing form. (FS)
AFRO-AMERICAN FOLK SONG SINGERS: Swing Along (1914)/ The Rain Song (1914)/ THE APOLLO JUBILEE QUARTET: Shout All Over God's Heaven (1912)/ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (1912)/ EUBIE BLAKE TRIO: Sarah from Sahara (1917)/ BLAKE'S JAZZONE ORCHESTRA: The Jazz Dance (1917)/ EDWARD H. S. BOATNER: Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (1919)/ HARRY T. BURLEIGH: Go Down Moses (1919)/ WILBUR C. SWEATMAN: Down Home Rag (1916)/ CHARLEY CASE: Experiences in the Show Business (1909)/ CIRO'S CLUB COON ORCHESTRA: On the Shore at Le-Lei-Wei (1916)/ CARROLL CLARK: Old Dog Tray (1910)/ FLORENCE COLE–TALBERT: Villanelle (1919)/ OPAL COOPER (1917): Beans, Beans, Beans/ COUSINS AND DEMOSS: Poor Mourner (1898)/ Who Broke the Lock (1898)/ THOMAS CRAIG: Old Black Joe (1898)/ FORD DABNEY'S BAND: Camp Meeting Blues (1919)/ R. NATHANIEL DETT: Barcarolle (1919)/ THE DINWIDDIE COLORED QUARTET: Down on the Old Camp Ground (1902)/ LIEUT. JIM EUROPE'S 369TH U. S. INFANTRY “HELL FIGH: Darktown Strutters' Ball (1919)/ EUROPE'S SOCIETY ORCHESTRA: Down Home Rag (1913)/ FISK UNIVERSITY JUBILEE QUARTET: Little David, Play on Yo' Harp-Shout All Over God's Heaven (1909)/ THE FOUR HARMONY KINGS: Goodnight Angeline (1921)/ W. C. HANDY'S MEMPHIS BLUES BAND: St. Louis Blues (1922)/ ROLAND HAYES: Vesti la Giubba (1918)/ GEORGE W. JOHNSON: Carving the Duck (1903)/ Listen to the Mocking Bird (1896)/ The Laughing Coon(ca. 1898)/ The Laughing Song (excerpt)(ca. 1894–98)/ The Whistling Coon (1891)/ The Whistling Girl (1898)/ JACK JOHNSON: My Own Story of the Big Fight, Part 1 (1910)/ MEMPHIS PICKANINNY BAND: Some Jazz Blues (1917)/ POLK MILLER AND HIS OLD SOUTH QUARTET: Jerusalem Mornin' (1909)/ THE ORIOLE QUARTETTE: Brother Michael, Won't You Hand Down that Rope(ca. 1895-1896)/ THE RIGHT QUINTETTE: Exhortation (1915)/ The Rain Song (1915)/ NOBLE SISSLE (1920): Great Camp Meetin' Day/ LEN SPENCER AND GEORGE W. JOHNSON: The Merry Mail Man (1906)/ SPENCER, WILLIAMS & QUINN'S IMPERIAL MIN: Minstrel First Part, (featuring "The Laughing Song" (ca. 1894)/ THE STANDARD QUARTETTE: Keep Movin' (1894)/ WILBUR C. SWEATMAN'S ORIGINAL JAZZ BAND: Ev'rybody's Crazy 'Bout the Doggone Blues (1918)/ DAISY TAPLEY AND CARROLL CLARK: I Surrender All (1910)/ TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE SINGERS: Good News (1914)/ THE UNIQUE QUARTETTE: Mamma's Black Baby Boy (1893)/ Who Broke the Lock(ca. 1895)/ LOUIS VASNIER: Adam and Eve and de Winter Apple (ca. 1893)/ BOOKER T. WASHINGTON: Atlanta Exposition Speech (1908)/ CLARENCE CAMERON WHITE: Lament (1919)/ BERT WILLIAMS: Nobody (1906)/ WILLIAMS AND WALKER: My Little Zulu Babe (1901)/ EDWARD STERLING WRIGHT: When de Co'n Pone's Hot-Possum (1913)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9012 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1914: Her Memory Haunts You ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Another volume in this splendid series documenting some of the most popular recordings of the early years of the recording industry. This was the year when Woodrow Wilson's progressive economic agenda took effect including a tax on the wealthy (horrors!) though attempts by the suffragete movement to be noticed were rebuffed. It was also the year the first World War broke out with Wilson vowing to keep America neutral. Although there are no topical songs here - Little Greay Home In The West (sung here by Alma Gluck) and It's A Long, LOng Way To Tipperary (sung here by The American Quartet) became popular with British troops marching off to the front and the latter became an all time favorite. Other songs here that have stood the test of time include When You Wore A Tulip An I Wore A Big Red Rose (The American Quartet), The Aba Daba Honeymoon (Collins And Harlan), Ballin The Jack (Princes Band) and others. It also includes a version of blues pioneer W.C. Handy's Memphis Blues played by The Military Band, the big selling comedy skit Cohen On The Telephone by Joe Hayman which was recorded in England and was popular on both sides of the Atlantic along with performances by George MacFarlane, Nora Bayes, Helen Clark & Henry Barr, Billy Murray, Chauncy Olcott and others. Sound quality, as usual for this series, is exceptional and the 24 page booklet has extensive notes covering the historical context and each of the performances. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital DTD 01 Goodbye, Babylon ● CD $99.98
Six CD box set, 160 tracks, nearly 8 hours of music, essential
Simply fantastic six CD box set of gospel music, mostly by rural artists, recorded between 1902 and 1960. 160 tracks in all drawing on both African-American and white country traditions. The fist five discs feature 135 songs and each disc has a unifying religious theme - deliverance, salvation, judgement, etc and the sixth disc features 25 sermons. The recordings have been carefully chosen to represent some of the very finest performances available and have been restored and remastered by Airshow Mastering and sound considerably better than any previous reissues of any of these recordings. Although most of the African-American recordings have been reissued before you have previously had to wade through poor sounding "complete recordings in chronological order" series on Document to uncover many of these gems and there are some black gospel performances reissued here for the first time on CD. Many of the tracks by white artists are making their first appearance on CD. A brief listing of some of the artists includes Rev. T.T. Rose & Singers, Alabama Sacred Harp Singers, Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, Lil McLintock, Bessie Jones & The Sea Island Singers, Brother Claude Ely, Carl Smith, Skip James, North Carolina Cooper Boys, Luther Magby, Uncle Dave Macon, Dinwiddie Colored Quartet, James & Martha Carson, Washington Phillips, Sam Morgan Jazz Band, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Arizona Dranes, Tennessee Mountaineers, The Heavenly Gospel Singers, Alfred G. Karnes, Blind Willie McTell, The Carter Family, REv. J.M. Gates, Rev. Emmett Dickenson, Rev. Johnie Blakey and many, many more. The set comes packed in raw cotton in an 8"x 11" x2.5" cedar box and includes a 200 page 8" x 5" book with introductory articles from Dick Spottswood and Charles Wolfe and detailed information on each performance from numerous experts plus lyrics to all the songs, passages from the scriptures and loads of rare photos and other graphics. (FS)
ALABAMA SACRED HARP SINGERS: Heavenly Vision/ Present Joys/ J.T. ALLISON'S SACRED HARP SINGERS: Exhilaration/ BAILES BROTHERS: Romans Ten and Nine/ REV. JOHNNY BLAKEY: King of Kings/ THE BLUE CHIPS: Crying Holy unto the Lord/ BLUE SKY BOYS: Come to the Savior/ BROWN'S FERRY FOUR: Keep on the Firing Line/ ELDER RICHARD BRYANT: Come Over Here/ BRYANT'S JUBILEE QUARTET: I'll Be Satisfied/ ELDER J.E. BURCH: My Heart Keeps Singing/ The Church And the Kingdom/ REV. J.C. BURNETT: The Downfall of Nebuchadezzar/ The Gambler's Doom/ CHARLES BUTTS SACRED HARP SINGERS: Murillo's Lesson/ REV. E.D. CAMPBELL: Take Me to the Water/ REV. BENNY CAMPBELL: You Must be Born Again/ CARLISLE BROTHERS: Jesus My All/ JAMES AND MARTHA CARSON: I'll Fly Away/ CARTER FAMILY: Keep On the Sunny Side/ River of Jordan/ CHUCK WAGON GANG: As the Life of a Flower/ EDWARD W. CLAYBORN: Your Enemy Cannot Harm You (But Watch Your Close Friend)/ JAYBIRD COLEMAN: I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan/ WILMA LEE AND STONEY COOPER: Walking My Lord Up Calvary's Hill/ COTTON TOP MOUNTAIN SANCTIFIED SINGERS: I Want Two Wings to Veil My Face/ ELDER CURRY AND HIS CONGREGATION: Memphis Flu/ DA COSTA WOLTZ'S SOUTHERN BROADCASTERS: Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb/ DANIELS DEASON: Sacred Harp Singers Primrose Hill/ BLIND GARY DAVIS: I Belong to the Band - Hallelujah!/ I am the True Vine/ BLIND WILLIE DAVIS: When the Saints Go Marching In/ DEACON LEON DAVIS: Deacon's Prayer Service/ REV. EMMET DICKINSON: Hell and What It Is/ DINWIDDIE COLORED QUARTET: Down on the Old Camp Ground/ THOMAS A. DORSEY: How About You/ If You See My Savior/ ARIZONA DRANES: Crucifixion/ He is My Story/ BROTHER CLAUDE ELY: There Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down/ EMPIRE JUBILEE QUARTET: Get Right Church/ FAMOUS BLUE JAY SINGERS: I'm Leaning on the Lord/ SISTER CALLY FANCY: Goin' to Heaven in the Sanctified Way/ FLATT AND SCRUGGS: That Home Above/ BLIND MAMIE FOREHAND: Honey in the Rock/ REV. J.M. GATES: Death Might Be Your Santa Claus/ Gettin' Ready For Christmas Day/ C.H. GATEWOOD: Well of Salvation/ THE GEORGIA PEACH: When the Saints Go Marching In/ GOLDEN GATE JUBILEE QUARTET: Found a Wonderful Savior/ GOLDEN GATE QUARTET: Golden Gate Gospel Train/ GOLDEN GATE JUBILEE QUARTET: Rock My Soul/ ROOSEVELT GRAVES AND BROTHER: I'll Be Rested (When the Roll is Called)/ Woke up this Morning (with My Mind on Jesus)/ A.A. GRAY AND SEVEN FOOT DILLY: The Old Ark's A Moving/ ELDER EFFIE HALL AND CONGREGATION: O Day/ HALLELUJAH JOE: The Prodigal's Return/ BLIND WILLIE HARRIS: Where He Leads Me I Will Follow/ ELDER HARRIS: I'll Lead a Christian Life/ BLIND ROGER HAYS: On My Way To Heaven/ EDDIE HEAD AND HIS FAMILY: Down on Me/ HEAVENLY GOSPEL SINGERS: When Was Jesus Born/ LAURA HENTON: He's Coming Soon/ ROSIE HIBLER AND FAMILY: Move, Members, Move/ HOLY GHOST SANCTIFIED SINGERS: Thou Carest Lord, for Me/ HUGGINS-PHILLIPS SACRED HARP SINGERS: Lover of the Lord/ MAHALIA JACKSON: Amazing Grace/ God's Gonna Separate the Wheat from the Tares/ SKIP JAMES: Jesus is a Mighty Good Leader/ BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: All I Need is that Pure Religion/ JIMPSON: No More, My Lord/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There/ REV. ANDERSON JOHNSON: Death in the Morning/ JOHNSON FAMILY SINGERS: Deliverance will Come/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON LORD: I Just Can't Keep From Crying/ BESSIE JOHNSON'S SANCTIFIED SINGERS: The Whole World In His Hand/ ELDER OTIS JONES: O Lord I'm Your Child/ REV. GEORGE JONES: That White Mule of Sin/ SAM JONES: I've Got Salvation/ BESSIE JONES AND THE SEA ISLAND: Singers O Day/ JUBILEE GOSPEL TEAM: Let Jesus Lead You/ Lower My Dying Head/ Oh, Lord Remember Me/ ALFRED KARNES: Called to the Foreign Field/ KENTUCKY RAMBLERS: Glory Glory Glory Glory to the Lamb/ KING'S SACRED QUARTET: This World Can't Stand Long/ BELA LAM AND HIS GREENE COUNTY SINGERS: Sweet Story of Old/ LION AND THE CYRIL MONROSE STRING ORCHES: Jonah, Come out the Wilderness/ LOUVIN BROTHERS: I'll Never Go Back/ BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD: Dry Bones/ UNCLE DAVE MACON: The Bible's True/ MADDOX BROTHERS & ROSE: In the Land Where We'll Never Grow Old/ LUTHER MAGBY: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit/ Jesus is Getting us Ready/ J.E. MAINER: Satisfied/ WADE MAINER: I'll be a Friend to Jesus/ Standing Outside/ LIL MCCLINTOCK: Sow Good Seeds/ MOTHER MCCOLLUM: Jesus is My Aeroplane/ REV. F.W. MCGEE: Jonah in the Belly of the Whale/ ELDERS MCINTORSH & EDWARDS: He Gave Me a Heart to Love/ BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: I Got to Cross the River of Jordan/ MCVAY AND JOHNSON: Ain't Going To Lay My Armor Down/ DOROTHY MELTON: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me/ REV. J.M. MILTON: The Black Camel of Death/ MONROE BROTHERS: Sinner You Better Get Ready/ REV. E.S. (SHY) MOORE: Christ, the Teacher/ SAM MORGAN'S JAZZ BAND: Over in Gloryland/ REV. W.M. MOSLEY: If You Follow Jesus/ REV. SISTER MARY NELSON: Judgment/ REV A.W. NIX: Black Diamond Express to Hell Part 1/ Black Diamond Express to Hell Part 2/ NORFOLK JUBILEE QUARTET: My Lord's Gonna Move this Wicked Race/ NORTH CANTON QUARTET: I'm Bound for Home/ NORTH CAROLINA COOPER BOYS: Daniel in the Den of Lions/ OKEH - ATLANTA SACRED HARP SINGERS: Return Again/ PACE JUBILEE SINGERS: You'd Better Mind/ FRANK PALMES: Troubled 'Bout My Soul/ BLIND BENNY PARIS & WIFE: Hide Me in the Blood of Jesus/ WASHINGTON PHILLIPS: Lift Him up That's All/ What are They Doing in Heaven Today?/ ERNEST PHIPPS AND HIS HOLINESS SINGERS: If the Light Has Gone Out of Your Soul/ PRICE FAMILY SACRED SINGERS: Ship of Glory/ BLIND ALFRED REED: I Mean to Live for Jesus/ MRS. L. REED & MRS. T.A. DUNCANS: Light in the Valley/ DOCK REED AND VERA HALL WARD: Free at Last/ REV. D.C. RICE: We Got the Same Kinda Power over Here/ RIDGEL'S FOUNTAIN CITIANS: Hallelujah to the Lamb/ REV. T.T. ROSE: Goodbye, Babylon part 2/ ELDER DAVID ROSS: He Gave Me a Heart to Love/ SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHOIR: On Jordan's Stormy Banks We Stand/ SHEFFIELD QUARTET: Christ Arose/ REV. ISAIAH SHELTON: The Liar/ SILVER LEAF QUARTETTE: Daniel Saw the Stone/ CARL SMITH WITH THE CARTER SISTERS AND MOTHER: Blood That Stained the Old Rugged Cross/ STANLEY BROTHERS: Standing in the Need of Prayer/ ERNEST V. STONEMAN: There's a Light Lit up in Galilee/ I Remember Calvary/ JIMMIE STROTHERS: Down to the Shore/ T.C.I. WOMEN'S FOUR: That Great Day/ REV. T.T. ROSE: Goodbye, Babylon/ BLIND JOE TAGGART: Goin' to Rest Where Jesus Is/ TASKIANA FOUR: Creep Along, Moses/ TENNESSEE MUSIC AND PRINTING COMPANY QUA: Joy Bells/ TENNESSEE MOUNTAINEERS: Standing on the Promises/ SISTER O.M. TERRELL: The Bible's Right/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: Strange Things Happening Every/ TRUMPETEERS: Milky White Way/ TWO GOSPEL KEYS: You've Got to Move/ VIRGINIA DANDIES: God's Getting Worried/ DOCK WALSH: Bathe in that Beautiful Pool/ LOUIS WASHINGTON: Got Heaven in My View/ REV. WEBB: Moses was Rescued by a Negro Woman/ REV. T.E. WEEMS: God is Mad with Man/ If I Have a Ticket Lord Can I Ride/ JOSHUA WHITE: I Don't Intend to Die in Egyptland/ WASHINGTON WHITE: I am in the Heavenly Way/ HANK WILLIAMS: I'll Have a New Body/ DEACON A. WILSON: You Need Jesus on Your Side/ REV. S.J. WORELL: The Prodigal Son

VARIOUS ARTISTS El Toro 1013 Welcome To The Club - Early Female Rockabilly ● CD $18.98
33 Tracks, 78 mins, essential
When the average person thinks of rockabilly, the names that immediately come to mind are all male: Carl Perkins, Johnny & Dorsey Burnette, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and even guys who only dabbled like Elvis and Johnny Cash. But what about the ladies who rocked right alongside the guys: Rose Maddox, Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin, and Brenda Lee? Well, on "Welcome to the Club" you get a fine sample of what the ladies can do. Kicking off with Anita Carter's spunky He's a Real Gone Guy, the CD makes its case for the females admirably by spotlighting the above-named women and other shining examples of girl power: Barbara Pittman (Sentimental Fool), tough chick Jan Smith (It'd Surprise You), teen sensations the Collins Kids, with Lorrie Collins on lead vocals (I'm in My Teens), and Sparkle Moore (Skull & Crossbones). As the liner notes point out, if the men had a tough time making it as rockabilly singers, the women had it twice as hard, and yet these tracks exist as exemplary examples of these women giving it their all and succeeding on the terms laid out by the powers that be. Anyone wanting to check out legends like Maddox, Jackson, and Martin, while sampling the best of the rest should start here. (GMC)
CHARLINE ARTHUR: Hello Baby/ Welcome to The Club/ BETTY BARNES: What Would You Do?/ BOLEAN BARRY: Long Sideburns/ BETTY BRYANT: I'll Take Back That H/ ANITA CARTER: He's a Real Gone Guy/ JEAN CHAPEL: I won't be Rockin' Tonight/ PATSY CLINE: Stop, Lookin & Listen/ ALVADEAN COKER: We're Gonna Bop/ THE COLLIN KIDS: Move a Little Closer/ THE COLLINS KIDS: I'm in Your Teens/ CONNIE & THE CYTATIONS: Boogie Rock/ THE DAVIS SISTERS: Everlovin´/ PATSY RUTH ELSHIRE: Sugar Lump/ Watch Dog/ WANDA JACKSON: Baby Loves Him/ Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad/ DOTTIE JONES: Honey, Honey, Honey/ THE LADELL SISTERS: Rockin' Robert/ BRENDA LEE: Bigelow 6200/ ROSE MADDOX: Hey Little Dreamboat/ Wild Wild Young Men/ JANIS MARTIN: Drugstore Rock'n'Roll/ Let's Elope Baby/ SPARKLE MOORE: Rock-A-Bop/ Skull & Crossbones/ THE NETTLES SISTERS: Real Gone Jive/ BUNNY PAUL: History/ Sweet Talk/ BARBARA PITMAN: Sentimental Fool/ BARBARA PITTMAN: I Need a Man/ MIMI ROMAN: Little Lovin'/ JAN SMITH: It'd Surprise You

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fire 101 N.Y. On Fire, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 64 mins, very highly recommended
A most welcome release featuring a great selection of New York blues, R&B, gospel and doo-wop recorded for Bobby & Danny Robinson's stable of labels in the 50s and 60s. Bobby Robinson, who died earlier this year, was one of the great and important African-American independent record producers who, together with his brother Danny, launched a number of record labels (Fire, Fury, Everlast, Holiday, etc.) and chalked up a number of big R&B hits. A number of reissues of their recordings have been made over the years but these reissues seem to recycle the same 40 or 50 singles. But the brothers made much more great music that hasn't been reissued and this is the first disc in a series to help rectify that situation with about 2/3 of the tracks new to CD. Sure there are a few familiar titles (Charles Walker Slop by Charles Walker, Scratch n' Twist by Wild Jimmy Spruill, etc.) but it's the more obscure titles that will be of most appeal to collectors and most of it is very good indeed including the ferocious hard rocking opener Can't Stop Movin' by Johnny Chef (aka Johnny Acey), Riff Ruffin's reworking of The Hucklebuck as Hucklebuck Scratch with fret melting guitar (Jimmy Spruill? Larrry Dale? Mickey Baker?), two gorgeous gospel sides from The Southwinds, Curtis Carrington's incredibly soulful rendition of the oldie You Are My Sunshine with some great sax work which sounds like King Curtis. Other goodies come courtesy of Helen Bryant, Hal Paige & The Whalers (the intense gospelly blues Don't Have To Cry No More), The Gay Poppers, Harry Lewis & Orch. (the fine two part instrumental Night Stroll), Lee Roy Little (a great rendition of Amos Milburn's Let Me Go Home Whiskey with that rhythm that was to influence ska music in Jamaica) and others. Excellent sound and booklet has introductory notes on Bobby's career to be continued on Volume 2. (FS)
JUNE BATEMAN: Believe Me, Darling/ JUNE BATEMON: Need Your Love/ BOBBY & BUDDY: I Cried/ What's The Word Thunderbird/ HELEN BRYANT: That's A Promise/ CURTIS CARRINGTON: I'm Gonna Catch You (Cuttin' Out On Me)/ You Are My Sunshine/ JOHNNY CHEF: Can't Stop Moving/ BOBBY DUNN: Laughing/ THE GAY POPPERS: I Want To Know/ I've Got It/ BETTY JAMES: Help Me To Find My Love/ HARRY LEWIS & ORCH.: Night Stroll, Part 1/ Night Stroll, Part 2/ CLARENCE "JUNIOR" LEWIS WITH SAMMY LOWE'S ALL-STARS: Lost Everything/ Your Heart Must Be Made Of Stone/ LEE ROY LITTLE: Let Me Go Home, Whiskey/ HAL PAIGE & THE WHALERS: Don't Have To Cry No More/ ROCKIN' BRADLEY: Lookout/ RIFF RUFFIN: Hucklebuck Scratch/ THE SOUTHWINDS: Build Me A Cabin/ They Call Me Crazy/ WILD JIMMY SPRUILL: Scratch N' Twist/ CHARLES WALKER & BAND: Charles Walker Slop/ MIGHTY JOE YOUNG WITH LEFTY BATES ORCH.: Why Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77144 Wizards Of Country Guitar - Selected Sides, 1935-1955 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, essential
A fabulous collection devoted to the use of the guitar in country music - especially the electric steel guitar in Western Swing groups. The first disc is devoted to the work of the great pioneer in electric steel guitar Bob Dunn recorded between 1935 and 1939 featuring him with Miltown Brown & His Brownies, Cliff Bruner & His Boys, Dickie McBride & The Village Boys and others including a couple of cuts with his own band The Vagabonds. There are only a couple of duplications with the great Bob Dunn two CD set issued recently (Origin Jazz Library 1004 - $33.98). The second disc is devoted to the less well known but also superb Wilson "Lefty" Perkins. He is featured on recordings made between 19036 and 1938 as a member of Durwood Brown & His Musical Brownies and Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers. The third disc features Billy Briggs who had a lengthy career - most of the disc features his early work with the Hi Flyers and The Sons Of The West between 1937 and 1941. In the 40s Briggs struck out on his own as a solo performer and the last two cuts are a couple of superb performances from 1949. The following year he would have a hit with the novelty song Chew Tobacco Rag. The final disc features two guitar wizards from Claifornia - Jimmy Bryant, the first master of the Fender Telecaster and Speedy West the first pedal steel guitarist in country music. These all instrumental cuts sides recordde between 1951 and 1955 showcase their amazing instrumental virtuosity. In spontaneous, and still fresh and futuristic fashion, they traded off breathtaking solos, with Bryant's dazzling cascades of country-jazz guitar on white lightning duelling with Speedy's flamboyant, swooping pedal steel. Great music throughout with excellent sound and informative notes from Pat Harrison. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 133 Chicago Radio Soul ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 75 min., highly recommended
Compiled (& noted) by Chicago soul scholar Robert Pruter, this set includes songs that were local Chicago radio favorites--WVON was owned by Chess--but failed to make the national leap. Fontella Bass' superb Rescue Me stands as a notable exception, as it went to #1 on the R&B charts. More typical of the fare here, though, is The Radiants' One Day I'll Show You, which backed their 1962 national hit Father Knows Best and bettered it, except in popularity. Other infrequently compiled songs of undeniably high quality include A Love Reputation, an early Denise LaSalle track; Mitty Colliers' stone smooth No Faith, No Love; James Phelps' Love Is A Five Letter Word, which bears a certain resemblance to Bobby Bland's Ain't Nothin' You Can Do; Lonely Girl by Andrea Davis; an early (1962) Dells bit of dance floor fervency called The (Bossa Nova) Bird; The Radiants' (Don't It Make You) Feel Kinda Bad; and heaps more. (JC)
FONTELLA BASS: Rescue Me/ Don't Mess Up A Good Thing/ TONY CLARKE: This Heart Of Mine/ MITTY COLLIER: No Faith, No Love/ Sharing You/ ANDREA DAVIS: Lonely Girl/ THE DELLS: The Bossa Nova Bird/ JOANN GARRETT: A Thousand Miles Away/ Stay By My Side/ THE GEMS: Happy New Love/ I Can't Help Myself/ ETTA JAMES: Only Time Will Tell/ DENISE LASALLE: A Love Reputation/ LITTLE MILTON: We Got The Winning Hand/ BOBBY MCCLURE: Peak Of Love/ BOBBY MOORE & THE RHYTHM ACES: Try My Love Again/ JAMES PHELPS: La De Da, I'm A Fool In Love/ Love Is A 5-letter Word/ THE RADIANTS: (Don't It Make You ) Feel Kinda Bad/ Heartbreak Society/ One Day I'll Show You/ Shy Guy/ FREDDY ROBINSON: The Creeper/ JACKIE ROSS: Selfish One/ Take Me For A Little While/ BILLY STEWART: Strange Feeling

VARIOUS ARTISTS Lesley 02 Imperial Rock & Roll Party ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
An excellent collection of rockers recorded for Imperial - mostly in the mid 50s. There are a few familiar tracks from the likes of Roy Brown, Bobby Mitchell and The Burnette but most of the material is fairly obscure with many tracks making their first appearance on CD and most of them are very good including several hot instrumentals. Artists include Jimmie Haskell, Jimmie Maddin (an excellent cover of Eddie Cochran's Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie with fine guitar), Art Roberts (a couple of hot instrumentals including the bizarrely titled Give Her The Ax, Max), Bobby Jay, Freddie Fender (his 1959 bluesy rocker Mean Woman), Simon Scott, Merle Kilgore, Jimmie Craig (the Buddy Hollyish Oh! Little Girl!), Buddy Lowe (the great bluesy and intense It Happened To Me with tough guitar), Bobby Charles (a fine cover of fellow New Orleanian Fats Domino's Let The Four Winds Blow), Jackie Walker (two songs including a fine cover of Peggy Sue with some superb guitar work - James Burton?) and more. A most worthwhile set with excellent sound but no notes. (FS)
SONNY ANDERSON: Lonely Lonely Train/ Yes, I’m Gonna Love You/ JAY BLUE: The Coolest/ ROY BROWN: Hip Shakin’ Baby/ THE BURNETTE BROTHERS: My Honey/ BOBBY CHARLES: Four Winds/ JIMMY CRAIG: Oh! Little Girl!/ RONNIE DIAMOND: Life Begins At 4 O’clock/ FREDDIE FENDER: Holy One/ Mean Woman/ JOHNNY GARNER: Fool/ JIMMIE HASKELL: Astrosonic/ Rockin’ In The Orbit (Space Satellite)/ BOBBY JAY: So Lonely/ Sweet Little Stranger/ MERLE KILGORE: Hang Doll/ Start All Over Again/ TOMMY LOMONTE: I’m Leaving/ Yeah, Yeah Yeah/ BUDDY LOWE: It Happened To Me/ JIMMIE MADDIN: Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie/ BOBBY MITCHELL: I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday/ SANDY NELSON: All Night Long/ ART ROBERTS: Giver Her The Ax, Max/ Terrible Ivan/ SIMON SCOTT: Move It Baby/ What Kind Of Woman/ SLICK SLAVIN: Speed Crazy/ RONNY SMITH: I Started Out Walkin’/ Long Time No Love/ JACKIE WALKER: Good, Good Feelin’/ Peggy Sue

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 001 Eccentric Soul - The Capsoul Label ● CD $19.98
19 tracks, 60 min., essential
The Capsoul (short for Capital City Soul) label only survived for five years, only issued a dozen 45s, only pressed one LP (by the Four Mints), but has since gained legendary status in soul circles. Their secret? Founder Bill Moss released great soul songs and, unless you lived in or near the source (Columbus, Ohio), they were tough to find even when they were new. The master tapes drowned in a flood (although the sound here is quite good), and Moss destroyed his back stock one sad day. Perhaps the best known group here is the Four Mints (who still perform in Ohio). Their doo-wop inspired You're My Desire and Do You Really Love Me worked their way up the national R&B charts to #80 and #84, respectively--an amazing achievement considering the lack of distribution and promotion available to Capsoul. Marion Black's Go On Fool did even better (although on the Avco Embassy label), reaching #39 in 1971. Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr's You Can't Blame Me had regional hit power, but didn't chart. But the hands-down, put-on-your-soul-shoes best track has got to be the Kool Blues' I'm Gonna Keep On Loving You, on the short list for most underrated soul song of the '70s. The other two Kool Blues tracks shine too. The booklet notes do not include much session information, but you can't have everything. The reissue label seems as obscure as Capsoul was. May it last longer. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Old Hat 1005 Good For What Ails You ● CD $24.98
Two CDs, 48 tracks, essential
Another wonderful collection from Marshall Wyatt's exceptional Old Hat label - this time featuring the sounds you might have heard on medicine shows. From the late 1890 through the early 1950s medicine shows were part of the American rural landscape. Run by hucksters selling all kinds of dubious remedies for whatever ails you, these shows travelled from town to town and before launching the big sell the audience were entertained by magicians, jugglers and, of course, musicians. Many great blues and old timey musicians got their start in these shows. Although no recordings of medicine shows exist this two CD set with 48 tracks features performers who appeared on these shows along with some who didn't performing tunes and songs used to loosen up the crowd. Among the blues and old time country performers performers included are Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah, The Dallas String Band with Coley Jones, Pink Anderson & Simmie Dooley, Walter Smith, Stovepipe #1 & David Crockett, Walter Cole, Henry Thomas, The Blue Ridge Mountain Entertainers, Sam McGee, Blind Willie McTell, Frank Stokes, Alec Johnson & His Band, Papa Charlie Jackson, Hezekiah Jenkins, Charlie Parker & Mack Woolbright, J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers and many more. Sound quality is stunning and set comes with a 76 page booklet illustrated in color and black & white with a history of the medicine shows, rare photographs and other illustrations, never before published first hand accounts, discussions of each song and full discographical information. An indispensible collection. (FS)
THE ALLEN BROTHERS: Bow Wow Blues/ PINK ANDERSON & SIMMIE DOOLEY: Gonna Tip Out Tonight/ Papa's 'Bout To Get Mad/ BANJO JOE: My Money Never Runs Out/ THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN ENTERTAINERS: Baby All Night Long/ CHRIS BOUCHILLON: Born In Hard Luck/ Hannah/ TOMMIE BRADLEY: Nobody's Business If I Do/ CANNON'S JUG STOMPERS: Bring It With You When You Come/ THE CAROLINA TAR HEELS: Ain't No Use Working So Hard/ Her Name Was Hula Lou/ FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON & HIS VIRGINIA REELERS: Gonna Swing On the Golden Gate/ WALTER COLE: Mama Keep Your Yes Ma'am Clean/ BOGUS BEN COVINGTON: Adam & Eve In The Garden/ THE DALLAS STRING BAND WITH COLEY JONES: Hokum Blues/ THE DALLAS STRING BAND: Shine/ SHORTY GODWIN: Jimbo Jambo Land/ THE GRANT BROTHERS & THEIR MUSIC: Tell It To Me/ BEANS HAMBONE & EL MORROW: Beans/ PRINCE ALBERT HUNT'S TEXAS RAMBLERS: Traveling Man/ FRANK HUTCHISON: Stackalee/ JIM JACKSON: Bye, Bye, Policeman/ I Heard the Voice of a Porkchop/ PAPA CHARLIE JACKSON: Scoodle Um Skoo/ HEZEKIAH JENKINS: Shout You Cats/ ALEC JOHNSON & HIS BAND: Mysterious Coon/ JOHNSON-NELSON-PORKCHOP: G. Burns Is Gonna Rise Again/ UNCLE DAVE MACON & HIS FRUIT JAR DRINKERS: Go Along Mule/ J. E. MAINER'S MOUNTAINEERS: Kiss Me Cindy/ LIL MCCLINTOCK: Don't Think I'm Santa Claus/ EARL MCDONALD'S ORIGINAL LOUISVILLE JUG BAND: Casey Bill/ SAM MCGEE: Chevrolet Car/ KIRK MCGEE & BLYTHE POTEET: C-H-I-C-K-E-N Spells Chicken/ BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: Atlanta Strut/ THE MEMPHIS SHEIKS: He's In the Jailhouse Now/ EMMETT MILLER & HIS GEORGIA CRACKERS: The Gypsy/ CHARLIE PARKER & MACK WOOLBRIGHT: The Man Who Wrote Home Sweet Home Never Was a Married Man/ Ticklish Reuben/ CHARLIE POOLE & THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS: Sweet Sixteen/ WALTER SMITH: The Bald-Headed End of a Broom/ The Cat's Got the Measles, The Dog's Got the Whooping Cough/ FRANK STOKES: I Got Mine/ STOVEPIPE #1 AND DAVID CROCKETT: A Chicken Can Waltz the Gravy Around/ DADDY STOVEPIPE & MISSISSIPPI SARAH: The Spasm/ GID TANNER & HIS SKILLET-LICKERS: It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'/ GID TANNER & RILEY PUCKETT: Tanner's Boarding House/ HENRY THOMAS: Railroadin' Some/ THE THREE TOBACCO TAGS: Reno Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Pavillion 71237 The Lovely Ladies Of Doo-Wop ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, 59 mins, recommended
Excellent collection of female doo-wop and early "girl group" sounds from around 1956 to 1960. It opens with the first six titles recorded by The Shirelles before they really hit the big time with their string of great hits on Scepter. It includes their first hit I Met Him On A Sunday We then segue nicely into the rare first recordings by The Chiffons including their fine cover of the Shirelles hit Tonights The Night. The rest of the groups are obscure but consistently fine and includes The Vestelles, Antwinettes, Charmers, Dolls (particularly fine), Teenettes, Overtones (a fine version of the standard Walkin' My Baby Back Home), Sharmeers, Deltaires, Starlets and others. No notes but sound is generall very good. (FS)
THE ANGELETTES: Mine & Mine Alone/ THE ANTWINETTES: Johnny O/ Kill It/ THE CHAMPETTES: Johnny Johnny/ THE CHARMERS: Oh Yes!/ THE CHIFFONS: Do You Know/ Tonight's The Night/ THE DELTAIRES: You Won't Be Satisfied/ You Would've Known It/ THE DOLLS: Suspicious Of You Baby/ Tell Me Now/ THE OVETONES: Walking My Baby Back Home/ PENNY & THE OVETONES: What Made You Forget/ THE SAILTONES: Lover Boy/ THE SHARMEERS: A Schoolgirl In Love/ THE SHIRELLES: I Got The Message/ I Met Him On A Sunday/ I Want You To Be My Boyfriend/ My Love Is A Charm/ Slop Time/ Stop Me/ THE STARLETS: I'm So Young/ THE TEENETTES: Too Young To Marry You/ THE VESTELLES: Come Home/ Ditta Wa Doo

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways SF CD 40021 That's Why We're Marching ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 71 mins, essential
Beautiful, moving and important collection of recordings from the 40s featuring the New York folk scene's response to World War II. Initially, many of the left leaning performers were adamantly opposed to America's entrance into the war. This disc features three songs by The Almanac Singers from their acclaimed (or reviled - depending on your position) 78 rpm album "Songs For John Doe" including such powerful messages as Ballad Of October 16 and Plow Under. After Hitler broke his pact with Stalin and invaded Russia in June, 1941 many of these performers changed their stance and a number of them entered the military. Most of the rest of the songs are more patriotic and anti-fascist though sometimes with an ironic edge. Among these recordings made by Moses Asch are such performers as Josh White, Woody Guthrie, Tom Glaser, Bess Lomax Hawes, Burl Ives, Lead Belly, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, Cisco Houston and others performing in various combinations. Amazingly more than half these songs were never originally issued and were discovered when compilers Guy Logsdon and Jeff Place were cataloguing the Folkways recordings for the Smithsonian. In addition to the 24 musical performances there is also a delightful story from Vincent "Jimmy" Longhi who shipped out with Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston in the merchant marines. Sound quality is superb and there are extensive notes. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Topic TSCD 904 Music Of Albania ● CD $14.98
19 cuts, 40 min, essential
Recorded in 1965 by A.L. Lloyd, this classic release remains one of the few examples of the treasures of Albanian music available here. It begins with the epic drama of songs and tunes from the Gegs of Northern Albania, forged by and retelling the battles for independence from the Ottomans for 500 years. Backed by the 2-stringed cifteli lute, the singing is dramatic and monodic, or one-voiced. The southern Tosks & Labs sing with more polyphony, dream-like and eery in its resonances, with several fine examples here, along with lovely instrumental pieces on gajde bagpipe, shepherd's flute, clarinet and llaute, or lute. With detailed notes and lyric translations by Lloyd. (JMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Topic TSCD 931 Women Of Egypt, 1924-1931 ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
Wonderful and varied collection of recordings made by Egyptian women singers in the 20s and early 30s. Although Umm Kulthum (aka Oum Kalsoum, 1904-1975) is well known outside her native country most of the other artists here are little known today though in their day were as popular and successful as Kulthumm, selling substantial numbers of their recordings and appearing on the stage and in movies. Accompanied by small groups or, occasionally larger orchestras featuring traditional instruments, they sing songs of love with a gorgeous and passionate intensity. This collection draws on recordings housed in the British Sound Archive and the sound quality is superb. The 20 page booklet has background information, biographies of the performers, period photos and others graphics. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 7004 The Secret Museum Of Mankind Vol.1 1925-48 ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 66 min, essential
Stunning music selected by editor Pat Conte from rare 78s from around the world, recorded before the full impact of radio and records on the traditional musical cultures of our world. Each selection is an absolute gem, crystallizing the uniqueness of the performers and the power of their tradition, from manic violin/accordion party music from Ceylon, & wild gypsy tunes from Romania & Russia, to eerie Rajastani vocal duets & somber Japanese court songs. Sardinian launedda bagpipes, Indian ghungur bells, and Swedish nyckelharpa fiddles vie for unusual instruments, while Nigerian, Society Island, Fijian and Abyssinian choirs expand our perception of vocal possibilities. Vibrant, syncretic popular musics are represented by Cuba's Septeto Matamoros (with a bagpipe!), Jamaica's Lord Composer, a klezmer orchestra, flamenco's La Nina De Los Peines, & Basque Triki-Triki music. Wonderful music, masterfully programmed, with fine sound and great notes and pix. A true delight! (JMC)

NORMA WATERSON, MARTIN & ELIZA CARTHY Topic TSCD 475 Waterson : Carthy ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, 54 mins, essential
Martin Carthy has been the leading performer of traditional music on the English folk scene for nearly 30 years, he and his wife Norma Waterson are half of Britains finest acapella harmony group, The Watersons, and their daughter Eliza Carthy is one of the finest up and coming musicians on the British folk scene. Together they make music that is simply magical - nearly all of it traditional - showing that traditional song is far from being moribund as some might have you believe. Four of the songs are sung by Norma who proves, if any proof was needed, that she is one of the best traditional singers in England. The version of When I First Came To Caledonia with exquisite guitar from Martin and fiddle by Eliza is simply spine chilling as is her performance of the Texas waltz Midnight On the Water with lyrics from Ron Kavana. Eliza takes the lead vocal on three songs and her singing and fiddle playing continue to develop from her excellent debut album with Nancy Kerr. Her performance of Robert Burns' powerful The Slaves Lament is truly affecting. Martin takes the leads on Ye Mariners All and John Hamilton. The three harmonize on the remarkable Sleep On Beloved a traditional funeral song from North Yorkshire which bears a strong resemblance to Bahamian Joseph Spence's I Bid You Goodnight. The instrumental work is outstanding throughout and Eliza's original tune Farewell To A Dark haired Friend shows her ability as a composer too. Family musical groups frequently have an empathy not heard in unrelated musicians and there can be few better examples than here. Simply magnificent in every respet. (FS)

DOC WATSON & CLARENCE ASHLEY Smithsonian Folkways 40029/30 The Original Folkways Recordings: 1960-1962 ● CD $24.98
48 tracks, 2 CDs, 128 min, essential
These recordings are among the most important of the 60s folk revival, introducing many fine tunes & ballads from the Southern Appalachians, re-discovering the wonderful banjo-picker and veteran string band/medicine show performer, Clarence "Tom" Ashley, and showcasing the amazing talents of guitarist-singer extraordinaire, Doc Watson. Their release, with 20 unreleased tunes & songs, is cause for general celebration! In 1960, Ralph Rinzler travelled to North Carolina to record Ashley, ex- of the Carolina Tar Heels and other bands famed for their fine recordings in the 20s. Fortuously, he stumbled on a goldmine of songs & musicians, as Ashley brought in Clint Howard, Jack Burchett, Fred Price, Gaither Carlton, and Gaither's son-in-law, Doc Watson. Recorded originally at Ashley's home and issued on Folkways, the musicians were taken to various folk festivals & the Ash Grove in Los Angeles, where the balance was set down for us to enjoy. From old ballads like Handsome Molly/Short Life Of Trouble/Coo-Coo Bird & Banks Of The Ohio to lively tunes like Shout Lulu/Peg & Awl/Little Sadie/Shady Grove/Sittin' On Top Of The World & Sally Ann, they unveiled a staggering repertoire. Tom's laconic, sharp-witted delivery and vigorous banjo was complemented and, as the recordings progressed, overshadowed by the prowess of Doc on guitar & banjo, and Doc's amazing command of the traditions of his community. Together, their impact on our understanding of American tradtional music was immense, and continues today, as these CDs make clear. JM

REV. ROBERT WILKINS Genes 9902 Remember Me ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 45 mins, essential
Stunning, beautiful and incredibly moving music from one of the masters of black country gospel. Born in Hernando, Mississippi, Wilkins settled in Memphis when he was a child and eventually became one of the finest blues singers and guitarists in the area. He was a lovely singer with an appealing almost gentle voice that was full of understated intensity. He was a stunning guitar player who played in complex finger picked style that was both lyrical and hypnotic. In the 30s he turned away from the secular life and became a preacher though he continued to sing and play - sometimes putting sacred lyrics to his blues songs. Following his discovery by blues researchers in the early 60s he was as strong a performer as ever though he surprisingly recorded little. Apart from the magnificent 1964 recordings made for Piedmont in 1964 (currently unavailable) these 1969 and '71 recordings are the only full length album of recordings. The songs here are mostly traditional gospel songs like Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ When The Saints Go Marching In along with a couple of original gospel songs and one long, mostly instrumental piece, Streamline 'Frisco Limited. While this is not quite as strong as his Piedmont recordings it's a wonderful set with dynamic singing and playing throughout. (FS)

BILL WIMBERLY B.A.C.M. 312 At The Old Town Hall ● CD $14.98
23 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection of western swing from this little known bandleader whose promising career was curtailed by legal and personal problems. This CD presents the majority of his released recordings cut between 1954 and '56 where he led some fine bands including musicians like fiddlers Gene Gasaway, Jimmy Hall, Jimmy Belkin and Johnny Manson, guitarists Thumbs Carlile and Cotton Whittington and steel guitarists Curley Chalker and Gene Crownover. A fine and varied selection of vocal and instrumental tracks featuring vocals from Bill Taylor, Chuck Bowers, Kay Stalker and others. Better than usual sound for B.A.C.M. and usual high quality notes from Kevin Coffey. (FS)
BILL WIMBERLY: At The Old Town Hall/ Back Street/ Bile 'em Cabbage Down/ Black Mountain Rag/ Chicken Reel/ Columbus Stockade Blues/ Country Rhythm/ Devil's Dream/ I'll Have To Die To Forget You/ I'll Never Fall In Love Unless/ It's Rain Rain/ Liberty/ Missouri Drag/ Ole Mister Cottontail/ On And Off Again Love/ Over And Over/ Ozark Liza/ Ragtime Annie/ Tennessee Wagoner/ The Sheriff Song/ Tired of Your Honky Tonk Love/ Where Are You/ You Can't Lean On Me

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