Second Time Around - May 2014

This is where we list some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them - particularly if you’re a new customer. We hope you will find here some that will become your favorites.








CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie DVD 401 The King Of Zydeco ● DVD $18.98
DVD, color, 13 tracks, 55 mins, essential
Wonderful collection of live performances from the once and always King Of Zydeco. Half the tracks were filmed at the 1982 San Francisco Blues Festival featuring Clifton with a fine band including brother Cleveland on washboard, son C.J. on tenor sax, guitarist Sherman Robertson and others. There are several performances from the 1977 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with his best ever band with Cleveland, tenor sax player John Hart, keyboardist Buckwheat, guitarist Paul Senegal and more. There are several tracks from Louisiana television including one show with the band all wearing crowns! Interspersed with the music are interview segments with Clifton talking about his music. The music is consistently superb and gives a taste of just how much excitement Clifton could generate in a live performance. Not to be missed. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Vestapol 13049 Devil Got My Woman - Blues At Newport ● DVD $24.98
14 songs, 60 mins, essential
God almighty - talk about a supersession! At the 1966 Newport Folk Festival Alan Lomax recreated a Southern juke joint at the rooming house where several of the musicians were staying and invited some of the bluesmen who were at that years festival perform. The result is a series of loose, informal performances that what they occasionally lack in technical prowess is more than compensated by the atmosphere. We get to see some of the only footage available of the unique Skip James performing three songs including his most famous Devil Got My Woman. Bukka White shows that country blues was not just for listening and a number of people get up and dance to his irresistible rhythms including a tipsy Son House who later on goads Howling Wolf while he is getting ready to perform his three songs with his band. Son's own performance is a typically ferocious and moving Forever On My Mind and the video includes three fine performances by the less well known but excellent spiritual singer Rev. Pearly Brown. The camera roves around among the performers and their friends and capture the spirit of the occasion as a rare piece of "cinema verite" and the closest most of will ever come to the juke joint experience. Buy two copies - one for yourself and one as a present to someone who loves the blues - they'll thank you for it. Truly priceless! (FS)



THE ALBION DANCE BAND BGO BGOCD 486 The Prospect Before Us ● CD $17.98
16 tracks, 48 mins, essential
Previously on EMi Harvest. This, along "Battle Of The Field", marks, to my mind, the high points in the career of the ever changing group of musicians assembled around one of the architects of the British folk rock scene, Ashley Hutchings. Intended as a dance band the group featured two drummers (Michael Gregory and Dave Mattacks), two electric guitarists (Simon Nicol & Graeme Taylor), singer and melodeon player John Tams, Ashley on bass and lending a medieval flavor were Phil Pickett and John Sothcott who played such ancient instruments as curtals, shawms, bagpipes, vielle, crumhorn and more. Pickett also provided occasional synthesizer. With the exception of the French group Malicorne I cannot think of any other group that has so effectively wedded contemporary and ancient instruments. Joining the fun are vocalist Shirley Collins and vocalist and dance caller Eddie Upton. The material is a mixture of traditional (Huntsman's Chorus/ Wassail Song/ Hopping Down In Kent, etc) along with tunes from British 17th century composers like John Playford and Henry Purcell (Masque Tune/ Minuet/ The Whim, etc). The material and performances are consistently superb and don't let the "Dance" part deterr you - this is as wonderful to listen to as it is would be to dance to. For the CD reissue EMI have added the previously unissued Sussex carol On Christmas Night All Christians Sing and an alternate take of my favorite tune here Merry Sherwood Rangers originally issued on a single. Remastering is superb and the disc comes with a booklet with extensive notes on the group and the performances. This disc, like the LP, boasts one of my favorite cover design and the inside of the booklet reproduces the delightful back cover of the album. One definitely not to miss. (FS)

ELDON BAKER B.A.C.M. 145 And His Brown County Revelers ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 69 mins, essential
Fabulous collection of country swing by this obscure but utterly superb group from Kentucky. Led by Eldon Baker who took ocassional vocals it featured his brother Floyd on guitar and Wade who also played guitar and took most of the vocals. Joining the Bakers were two incredible musicians - Charlie Linville on fiddle and Harry Baker on guitar - this duo perform in a jazzy style that is in the same vein as Hugh & Karl Farr. The bulk of the recordings here (10 of them originally unissued!) are from a lengthy 18 trcak session recorded over two days and includes a varied selection of material including including traditional numbers, Western flavored songs, religious songs, novelty songs and blues. Additionally there are two rare sides from 1945 by Wade Baker as well a song by him from a radio transcription that same year. Rounding out the set are six fabulous sides from 1952 from guitarist Harry Adams who now plays electric guitar and also occasionally sings on five rocking numbers that proves he had lost none of his instrumental chops. An exemplary release from B.A.C.M. with notes from the knowledgeable Kevin Coffey. (FS)
ELDON BAKER & HIS BROWN COUNTY REVELERS: Arkansas Traveller/ Bile Em Cabbage Down/ Chokin' The Reeds/ Come Along Down To The Old Plantation/ Dear Old Dixieland/ Don't Hang Around Me Anymore/ Don't You Want To Go/ Froggie Went Acourtin'/ Giving Everything Away/ Happy Cowboy/ I Know There Is Somebody Waiting/ I Will Meet You/ In The Hills Over There/ It's Hard/ Little Bonnie/ Long Gone From Bowling Green/ Lost John/ Milk Bucket Boogie/ One Eyed Sam/ Plodding Along/ Roll Along Jordan/ Sittin' Round The Fireside/ Vine Street Stomp/ When The Roses Bloom In Dixieland/ You Can't Do Wrong And Get By/ You Can't Make Me Cry Anymore

THE BATTLEFIELD BAND Temple 2055 The Battlefield Band ● CD $17.98
11 tracks, essential
Reissue of the first Topic album from 1977 of this fabulous SCottish band who are still going strong more than 30 years later - albeit with only one of the original members - Alan Reid whose sesnsitive pedal organ playing has given the band part of its unique sound. Joining Alan are muilti-instrumentalist and vocalist Brian MacNeil, vocalist and cittern player Jamie McEnemy and whistle and concertina player John Gahagan. Most of the vocals are by Jamie who was certainly one of the finest Scottish singers to emerge in the 70s. His performances of the Archie Fisher/ Norman Buchan song The Shipyard Apprentice and the traditional The Cruel Brother are among the highlights here. There are also a couple of vocals from Alan including the exquisite It Was All For Our Rightful King sung to a stunningly beautiful tune collected by Robert Burns. The instrumental sets are performed with skill and sensitivity and a remarkable empathy. This is Scottish music at its very finest. (FS)

CHUCK BERRY Geffen/ Chess 04364-02 Gold ● CD $21.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 134 mins, essential
Almost 60 years years since he was referred to as "the black Hank Snow," Chuck Berry's revolutionary music still sounds as great as ever. What more can be said about the music that was the cornerstone of Rock n' Roll and has influenced most all of popular music for the last few generations? Listening to this just reminds me of why I love Rock 'n' Roll so much. From the haunting echo of Berry's first Chess sessions in 1955, with no less than Willie Dixon on Bass and Jerome Green (Bo Diddley's Jerome, who you were supposed to bring things to) on maracas, to early 1960's hits like Nadine and No Particular Place to Go, they are all here, sounding fantastic and all essential for your collection. Maybellene/ Thirty Days/ Brown Eyed Handsome Man/ Roll Over Beethoven, and on and on, it's either a groundbreaking hit, or a lesser known song that could have been a hit, no home in America should be without these classics! Fantastic sound and complete recording info detailed when available. (JM)

THE BOTHY BAND Mulligan (US) 3007 Old Hag You Have Killed Me ● CD $17.98
12 tracks, 43 mins, essential
Another classic Irish folk album back in print on CD. This is the second album from 1976 by this magnificent band put together by multi-instrumentalist Donal Lunny after Planxty split up in 1975. In addition to Lunny the band consisted of brilliant musicians including Matt Molloy on flute & whistle, Paddy Keenan on pipes and whistle, Kevin Burke on fiddle, Triona Ni Dhomnaill on clavinet and harmonium and her brother Michael on guitar. On the instrumental sets the performances range from beautifully subtle to wildly exhilarating and the vocal tracks by Triona or Michael - some in Gaelic - are a joy. Their group acapella performance of the Scottish mouth music piece Fionnghuala's Bothy is utterly spellbinding. (FS)

BILL BOYD & HIS COWBOY RAMBLERS B.A.C.M. 049 Singing & Swinging ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
21 tracks from one of the finest and most prolific Western Swing bands led by singer/ guitarist Bill Boyd. The varied material here was recorded between 1934 and 1950 and features appearances by lots of stellar musicians like Bob Dunn, Noel Boggs, Zeke Campbell, Cecil Brower, Knocky Parker, Art Davis and others. Includes I Wish I Knew The Way You Feel/ An Ace/ Oh Monah (You Shall Be Free)/ That's Why I'm Jealous Of You/ Why Don't You Love Me/ Singing And Swinging For Me/ Lone Star/ Spanish Fandango, etc. Excellent sound and informative notes from Kevin Coffey. (FS)
BILL BOYD & HIS COWBOY RAMBLERS: An Ace/ Boyd’s Tin Roof Blues (instr)/ Fan It/ Goofus (instr.)/ Guess Who’s In Town/ Homecoming Waltz (instr.)/ I Can’t Tame Wild Women/ I Wish I Knew The Way You Feel/ I’ve Got The Blues For Mammy/ Lone Star/ Mama Don’t Like No Music/ New Steel Guitar Rag (instr.)/ Oh Monah (You Shall Be Free)/ Palace In Dallas/ Ramblers Rag (instr.)/ Singing And Swinging For Me/ Spanish Fandango (instr.)/ That’s Why I’m Jealous Of You/ Wah Hoo/ Why Don’t You Love Me/ Windswept Desert (Desert Blues)

BIG BILL BROONZY JSP JSPCD 7718 All the Classic Sides, 1928-1937 ● CD $28.98
5 CDs, 127 tracks, highly recommended
It is not just that he was in the top rank of pre war guitarists, or that he was a fine singer with a considerable facility as a songwriter - part of Big Bill's genius lay in a unique ability to convey in his work the warmth of his personality. Established as a star of the Chicago scene by the mid 1930s, he filled out his many recording sessions by adapting songs from common stock or other people's hits, but when inspired he could produce performances of breathtaking skill, and songs which were truly memorable and enduring. Among many examples of his best work in this excellent box set are driving, complex rags like Saturday Night Rub and Pig Meat Strut, flatpicking masterpieces such as Mistreatin' Mama and How You Want It Done, superb straight blues like Bull Cow Blues and the stunningly effective Southern Flood Blues, and the rollicking Good Liquor Gonna Carry Me Down. Suffice to say there is plenty here that is hugely enjoyable - we even get a version of C.C.Rider with Big Bill on violin! The present set ends about half way through his pre war output, but JSP are promising two more to complete the series. Aside from the many single disc compilations, all this material has of course been previously reissued on Document, principally on DOCD 5050/51/52, 5126, 5127 and the first four titles of 5128. Compared to the Document series five titles are missing, but as these are an accompaniment to the obscure Steele Smith, two gospel songs attributed to a Broonzy studio group and two by the State Street Boys on which Jazz Gillum takes vocal, the JSP set is stronger without them. In their place JSP have corrected the errors and omissions on the Document CDs (as reflected in Document's "Too Late, Too Late Blues " Volumes 1 and 4, DOCD 5150 and 5321) and added five extra tracks from Bill's work with the Famous Hokum Boys. Again the set benefits as a result, as it does from Neil Slaven's excellent notes. Detailed comparison with the Document reissues shows a significant improvement in sound quality, with noticeably less crackle and hiss. Having said that there is only so much that can be done with badly worn originals without compromising the music, and some titles are still pretty rough. Elsewhere sound is excellent, and when comparing tracks from compilations based on better condition sides, like Columbia's "Good Time Tonight" (Col 467247) the JSP set matches or improves upon the sound quality. In other words, unless a load of mint condition 78s turn up, this reissue is likely to be as good as it gets. With the amount of Big Bill material already issued it is difficult to call this an essential set - so let's just say it's an unmissable bargain. (DPR)
BIG BILL BROONZY: Ash Hauler/ At the Break of Day/ Bad Luck Blues/ Banker's Blues/ Barrelhouse When It Rains/ Beedle Um Bum/ Big Bill Blues/ Big Bill Blues/ Big Bill's Milk Cow, No. 2/ Big Billl Blues (These Blues Are Doggin' Me)/ Black Mare Blues/ Black Widow Spider/ Bow Leg Baby/ Bricks in My Pillow/ Brown Skin Shuffle/ Bull Cow Blues/ Bull Cow Blues, No.3/ Bull Cow Blues, Pt. 2/ C & A Blues/ C.C. Rider (Take A)/ C.C. Rider (Take B)/ Cherry Hill/ Come Up to My House/ Detroit Special/ Dirty No-Gooder/ Down in the Basement Blues/ Down the Line Blues/ Dying Day Blues/ Evil Women Blues/ Falling Rain/ Friendless Blues/ Get Back (Black, Brown and White)/ Good Jelly/ Good Liquor Gonna Carry Me Down/ Grandma's Farm/ Hard Headed Woman/ Hobo Blues/ Horny Frog [Take 1]/ Horny Frog [Take 2]/ House Rent Stomp/ How You Want It Done/ How You Want It Done/ Hungry Man Blues/ I Can't Be Satisfied/ I Can't Make You Satisfied/ I Got the Blues for My Baby/ I Want to Go Home/ I Want to See My Baby/ I'll Be Back Home Again/ I'm Just a Bum/ I'm a Southern Man/ Keep Your Hands Off Her/ Let Her Go-She Don't Know/ Let's Reel and Rock/ Little Bug/ Long Tall Mama/ Low Down Woman Blues/ Lowland Blues/ M and O Blues/ Married Life's a Pain/ Match Box Blues/ Mean Old World [Take 1]/ Mean Old World [Take 2]/ Meanest Kind of Blues/ Milk Cow Blues/ Mississippi River Blues/ Mistreatin' Mama Blues/ Mistreatin' Mamma/ Mountain Blues/ Mr. Conductor Man/ My Big Money/ My Woman Mistreats Me/ No Good Buddy/ Oh Babe (Don't Do Me That Way)/ Out With the Wrong Woman/ Pneumonia Blues/ Police Station Blues/ Prowlin' Ground Hog/ Rising Sun Shine On/ Rukus Juice Blues/ Selling That Stuff/ Serve It to Me Right/ Serve It to Me Right Disc: 3 Starvation Blues/ Seven-Eleven (Dice Please Don't Fail Me)/ Shelby County Blues/ Skoodle Do Do/ Skoodle Do Do/ Something Good/ Southern Blues/ Southern Flood Blues/ Starvation Blues/ State Street Woman/ Stove Pipe Stomp/ Sun Gonna Shine in My Door Someday/ Tadpole Blues/ Tell Me What You Been Doing/ Terrible Flood Blues/ These Ants Keep Biting Me/ They Can't Do That/ Too Too Train Blues/ Too Too Train Blues/ W.P.A. Blues/ Worried in Mind Blues/ Worrying You Off My Mind, Pt. 1/ Worrying You Off My Mind, Pt. 2/ You Drink Too Much/ You Know I Got a Reason/ You Know I Need Lovin'/ You May Need My Help Someday/ THE CHICAGO BLACK SWANS: Don't Tear My Clothes, No. 2/ THE FAMOUS HOKUM BOYS: Black Cat Rag/ Guitar Rag/ Pig Meat Strut/ Saturday Night Rub/ Somebody's Been Using That Thing/ THE HOKUM BOYS: Keep Your Mind on It/ Nancy Jane/ Papa's Gettin' Hot/ Pig Meat Strut/ Saturday Night Rub/ THE STATE STREET BOYS: Don't Tear My Clothes/ Dozen/ Midnight Special/ Rustlin' Man/ She Caught the Train/ Sweet to Mama

CANNON'S JUG STOMPERS Yazoo 2060 The Best Of Cannon's Jug Stompers ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 70 mins, essential
I must admit to being a bit torn as all these tracks are available on two CDs on Document (5032 and 5033) along with all of Gus Cannon's solo sides, duets with harmonica player Noah Lewis and Lewis's own sides. This music deserves to be heard in its entirety and in chronological order - the Yazoo collection is in random order and further confounds matters by having no discographical info. But the sound on the Yazoo is superior and in the case of my favorite track, the utterly sublime Going To Germany with it's mournful vocal and lyrical harmonica playing by the great Noah Lewis, the sound is dramatically better. But whatever way you get it you must have this music - it is truly wonderful stuff featuring the banjo, jug and vocals and playing of Gus Cannon with the utterly superb Noah Lewis on harmonica and Ashley Thompson or Elijah Avery on guitar and, on some tracks, Hosea Woods on kazoo. Thompson, Avery and Lewis also take the vocal honors on several tracks. Cannon's Jug Stompers were probably the bluesiest of all the jug bands and their performances are consistently outstanding. Notes by Don Kent are excellent but lack of separate discographical info is regrettable. If you can afford it I would recommend both the Documents and the Yazoo but if not than the Yazoo is probably the one to go for if only to get the best sounding version of Going To Germany. Among the other great tracks here are feather Bed/ Big Railroad Blues/ Minglewood Blues/ Viola Lee Blues/ Walk Right In/ Wolf River Blues/ Madison Street Rag/ The Rooster's Crowing Blues/ Money Never Runs Out/ Springdale Blues and more. (FS)

LEROY CARR & FRIENDS JSP JSPCD 77125 When The Sun Goes Down, 1934-1941 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 91 tracks, very highly recommended
The most welcome follow up to JSP 77104, the first two CDs on this set feature the remainder of this great artists' recordings, the third disc features two artists influenced by Carr and the fourth disc features other artists from the 20s and 30s interpreting or providing the inspiration for Carr's songs. The Carr recordings were made between August 1934 and February 1935 - the last just a couple of months before his premature death. Although Carr's battle with alcoholism may have been taking a toll on his body his music was unaffected and, in fact, his music had become more intense and introspective and he had pretty much abandoned the novelty numbers and pop songs he had featured early in his career. Blackwell's fantastic guitar playing tended to become more prominent as the recordings progressed and it becomes very clear what a big influence his playing was on many later musicians - the fabulous I Believe I'll Make Change is an almost instrumental showcase for Blackwell's playing. There may not have been a whole lot of variety in the performances during this period but the cumulative effect of hearing these recordings is to be impressed by how many times Carr and Blackwell would press new wrinkles into their mix. His final session for Bluebird in February, 1935 features some of his most beautiful and mournful performances - it's interesting to compare the mood of his performance of Big Four Blues at this session with the version recorded two months earlier for Vocalion. For the final four tracks Srapper Blackwell sits out and Leroy performs on his own ending with the sublime and prophetic Six Cold Feet In The Ground - he was dead two months later. The third disc features two of the artists most influenced by Leroy - Bumble Bee Slim and Bill Gaither who both pay tribute to their influence - Slim with The Death Of Leroy Carr (which includes Scrapper on guitar) and Bill Gaither with The Life of Leroy Carr . Both artists are very fine - I particularly like Gaither. Disc four features artists interpreting Leroy's songs or singing songs that provided inspiration for Leroy including Stovepipe No. 1 & David Crockett, James "Stump" Johnson, Madlyn Davis & her Hot Shots, Florence White, Tampa Red, Lucille Bogan, Walter Davis and others and ends with Scrapper's own tribute to Leroy - My Old Pal Blues. Great music, fine sound and informative, if sometimes confusing, notes. (FS)

JOHNNY CARROLL Bear Family BCD 15928 Rock Baby, Rock It (1955-1960) ● CD $21.98
33 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
A ton of music, along with a 25 page booklet automatically make any proud owner of this CD a Johnny Carroll expert. The 33 cuts on the CD can be broken down into four parts. The first nine songs are from 1955, recorded in Dallas and have just a pinch of hillbilly to them, while the recording studio gives them a garagey sound..... and they come out sounding pretty darn good. But things get even better with the next six cuts. These recordings were done at the Bradley studios in Nashville in 1956 and they feature Grady Martin and Harold Bradley on guitar and Owen Bradley on piano..... they rock. It's a mystery how none of them were hits. The following 14 tracks were recorded in Dallas between 1957 and 1960. It's a mixed bag of songs, some of them very cool, especially Rock Baby, Rock It and Sugar. The CD ends with 4 songs from the movie "Rock Baby, Rock It" with Carroll covering four of his best songs. A tasty mix of songs from one of the guys who put the rock in rockabilly. (RS)

THE CARTER SISTERS Country Routes 35 And Mother Maybelle With Chet Atkins ● CD $16.98
39 tracks, 75 minutes, essential
Finally - a first-rate collection of eight RadiOzark shows by one of the premier show bands from country music radio's golden age! The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle with Chet Atkins recorded more than three dozen, fifteen-minute open-ended transcriptions about 1949 or 1950 that were sold to small Southern radio stations. Spunky June Carter was the band's focal figure, singing many leads and bantering with veteran announcer Joe Slattery. Younger sisters Helen (playing accordion) and the angelic Anita (playing bass) also had solo turns, while matriarch Maybelle was often spotlighted on a Carter Family classic. Atkins delivers a dazzling guitar or fiddle solo on each show plus an occasional vocal. The group's blend and range is impressive, shifting from gospel and pop standards to contemporary country and western hits and novelties. Its joyous, spontaneous music couldn't be further removed from that of the original Carter Family, the comparatively few commercial records the group did about this time or the lackluster sides Maybelle and her daughters (not to mention Atkins) made through the 1960s. Transfers were sourced from pristine 16" discs recorded late in the series' run; the brief, uncredited liner notes offer little of value or insight. (Slattery's participation confirms that these ETs were cut in Springfield, Missouri - not Nashville as stated here.) Some themes and superfluous chatter were deleted to create a more listenable disc. Truly a wonderful, welcome release. (DS)

MARTIN CARTHY Topic TSCD 300 Crown Of Horn ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 53 mins, very highly recommended
1976 classic album that first appeared on GAMA, now on CD. Martin Carthy is by now the doyen of the man-with-guitar folk troubadours, long the hardest-working man in (his part of) show-biz. But because he is the person he is -- as full of fire and joyous enthusiasm as he is of grand songs and tunes -- his repertoire is endlessly fresh, as seamless as the humdinger "trad plus a bit" ballads he's hammered out of his forebears' versions. This disc is the one that has his knockout Geordie, Willie's Lady, and that all-time classic which I'd here and now like to dedicate to wild wild women everywhere, Bonny Lass of Anglesey. Martin was at the height of his powers when these recordings were made, his pure tenor at his purest and his guitar blazing and drumming like the dancing feet of the above-mentioned Bonny Lass. Yesss! (NSN)

KARAN CASEY Compass 74476 Ships In The Forest ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, highly recommended
Karan Casey, former lead singer with the group Solas, is one of the finest singers on the Irish folk scene with a beautiful crystalline and ethereal voice. The mood here is generally serious and somber with songs about emigration, war, tragedies in Irish history and lost love that really come to fresh life in Karan's expressive vocals. Karan's vocals are given sparse accompaniments by various musicians including Caoimhin Vallely/ piano, Kate Ellis/ cello, Niall Vallely (Karan's husband)/ concertina, Cillian Vallely/ pipes and others. Songs are mostly traditional and include Love Is Pleasing/ Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye (one of the most spine chilling war songs)/ Town Of Athlone/ The Fiddle And The Drum/ Ae Fond Kiss and others. A real delight. (FS)

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

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

EUGENE CHURCH Ace CDCHD 1067 The Very Best Of Eugene Church ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 69 min, essential
Best known for having penned & recorded the immortal Pretty Girls Everywhere (liner notes mention covers by everyone from Gene Vincent to Magic Slim to The Ventures!) this is the first ever collection totally devoted to Church. Starting out as half of The Cliques (the classic Girl Of My Dreams) with his buddy Jesse Belvin, this set covers his early career with both sides of all his singles for Modern (The Cliques -'56), Specialty '56-57, again with a usually uncredited Belvin, the hit years with Class '58-60, again often with Belvin, a one-off for Rendezvous in '60, then five singles for King '60-61. Besides lots of great cuts (The Struttin' Kind/ I'm Your Taboo Man), there's also a never before issued alternate take of his hit Miami, an extended version with studio chat of Geneva as well as a great booklet full of pics, record labels & detailed history. (GM)

THE CLOVERS Jasmine 576 The Feelin' Is Good ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 60 tracks, 159 mins, essential
Most extensive ever collection devoted to the 50s recordings of one of the greatest and most popular doo-wop groups of the era. The group was very versatile with the core group boasting 3 singers who could all sing lead plus the fine guitar of Bill Harris. Harold "Hal" Lucas formed the group in the late 40's and in 1951 they signed on with Atlantic. The Clovers had the first crack at all the hippest songs and also were fortunate to be backed up by the finest sessionmen of the time like Floorshow Culley, Harry Van Walls, Gatortail Jackson, Mickey "Guitar" Baker, etc. This set opens with their first two sides recorded for the Rainbow label in 1950 after which they were picked up by Atlantic and the set includes all their singles recorded for the label which included 22 R&B chart hits over the next five years - three of them reaching No. 1. Includes such all time classics Fool, Fool, Fool/ Ting A Ling/ Good Lovin/ Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash/ Blue Velvet/ Hey Doll Baby and many others. After being dropped by Atlantic in 1958 they joined their manager's Poplar label where they recorded a couple of singles and a hard to find LP where they did great soulful renditions of standards like The Good Old Summertime/ Pennies From Heaven/ My Mother's Eyes and others and this set includes all their Poplar singles and the set ends with their 1959 United Artists recording of Love Potion No. 9 which returned them to the charts for the first time in three years. Sound quality is excellent and their are brief, informative notes by Bob Fisher. Indispensible for doo-wop lovers! (FS)
THE CLOVERS: All About You/ Alrighty Oh Sweetie/ Baby Baby Oh My Darling/ Blue Velvet/ Bring Me Love/ Comin' On/ Crawlin'/ Devil Or Angel/ Don't You Know I Love You/ Down In The Alley/ Feeling Is Good, The/ Fool Fool Fool/ From The Bottom Of My Heart/ Good Lovin'/ Good Old Summertime, The/ Gossip Wheel, The/ Here Comes Romance/ Here Goes A Fool/ Hey Doll Baby/ Hey Miss Fannie/ I Confess/ I Got My Eyes On You/ I Played The Fool/ I'm A Lonely Fool/ I-I-I Love You/ Idaho/ If I Could Be Loved By You/ If You Love Me (Why Don't You Tell Me So)/ In The Middle Of The Night/ In The Morning Time/ Jamaica Farewell/ Kentucky Babe/ Little Mama/ Love Bug/ Love Love Love/ Love Potion No.9/ Lovey Dovey/ My Mother's Eyes/ Needless/ Nip Sip/ One Mint Julep/ Pennies From Heaven/ Please Come On To Me/ Rock And Roll Tango/ Skylark/ So Young/ That Old Black Magic/ There's No Tomorrow/ Ting A Ling/ To Each His Own/ Vaya Con Dios/ What Is This Thing Called Love/ When You Come Back To Me/ Wishing For Your Love/ Wonder Where My Baby's Gone/ Yes It's You/ Yes Sir That's My Baby/ You Good Looking Woman/ Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash/ Your Tender Lips

ANN COLE Blue City 812 In The Chapel - 30 Greatest Hits ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
Former gospel vocalist Ann Cole was a superb singer who had a few modest hits in the late 50s/early 60s and might have gone on to greater fame had she not been in a car accident in the early 60s which resulted in her being confined to a wheel chair. This compilation features almost her entire recorded output cut in New York between 1954 and 1962. The recordings are a mixture of driving uptempo numbers and bluesy ballads, usually with fine bands. Among the highlights here are her version of Got My Mojo Working which Muddy Waters learned from her, Easy Easy Baby (later recorded by Magic Sam), the soulful ballad Are You Satisfied which was her biggest hit, the soul scorcher Have Fun from 1962 and its flip Don't Stop The Wedding - an answer to Etta James's big hit, the upbeat gospel flavored Each Day with hot guitar from Mickey Baker and others. It also includes a live version of Easy, Easy Baby from an Alan Freed. Sound quality is generally excellent though total lack of documentation is disappointing. (FS)

SAM COOKE Abkco 3563 Keep Movin' On ● CD $12.98
23 tracks, 62 min, essential
When the Sam Cooke four CD box set, "The Man Who Invented Soul" (RCA 67911) came out, it had a fatal flaw. Sam's final recordings, from '63-64 were absent. They were controlled by the infamous Allan B Klein's ABKCO, notorious for suppressing their holdings from being released on CD on CD, from The Rolling Stones to Phil Spector to Cameo/Parkway, even Herman's Hermits! Of course none of those tunes were allowed on the box, nor were they available anywhere else. Now ABCKO has come through with this exceptional package on their Tracey subsidiary. Everything here is wonderful & includes classics such as Good News/ A Change Is Gonna Come/ Shake/ Good Times/ Another Saturday Night/ Rome Wasn't Built In A Day/ Yeah Man, none of which were on the box. To make this even more wonderful, the title track is making it's 1st ever appearance. Complete liner notes, great sound make this as an essential package as you can get, with no overlap with the box. (GM)

WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER B.A.C.M. 154 On The Banks Of The River ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, 60 mins, essential
Fabulous collection of old time singing and playing by this superb duo recorded between 1949 and 1955. The incredible Wilma Lee Cooper takes most of the leads with her emotion drenched soulful vocals joined by husband Stoney on fiddle and harmony vocals. They are usually accompanied by Dobro, mandolin, bass and acoustic guitar though their version of Hank Snow's Golden Rocket (a rare solo by Stoney) features some hot electric guitar. There are two all time country gospel classics Thirty Pieces Of Silver and Walking My Saviour Up Calvary Hill plus lots of great secular songs like No One Now/ Faded Love (a stunning version of the Bob Wills favorite)/ All On Account Of YouYou Tried To Ruin My name/ Bamboozled/ Just A While/ This Crazy, Crazy World, and more. Traditional country doesn't get much better than this. (FS)
WILMA LEE & STONEY COOPER: All On Account Of You/ Bamboozled/ Can You Forget/ Each Season Changes You/ Faded Love/ Golden Rocket/ How It Hurts To Cry Alone/ I Cried Again/ I've Been Cheated Too/ Just A While/ Moonlight On West Virginia/ No One Now/ On The Banks Of The River/ Stoney (Are You Mad At Your Gal)/ Sunny Side Of The Mountain/ The White Rose/ Thirty Pieces Of Silver/ This Crazy, Crazy World/ Walking My Saviour Up Calvary Hill/ We Make A Lovely Couple/ You Can't Feel The Way I Do/ You Tried To Ruin My Name

PEE WEE CRAYTON Ace CDCHD 632 The Modern Legacy ● CD $18.98
23 tracks, 64 min., highly recommended
Sometime blues can sound deceptively simple, especially when they are short & sweet and to the point. Take for example the music of singer/guitarist Connie Curtis (Pee Wee) Crayton (1914-1985). Relocating to California (in 1935), his 1948-1951 Modern Recordings are some of the best instrumental guitar blues recorded - guitar blues played on a Vega guitar, full of simple structures and emotions. His first R&B hit record, Blues After Hours ('48, with pianist David Lee Johnson), charted for over 13 weeks, and was the very first guitar instrumental to reach the #1 R&B position. This wonderful track (a clever variation of pianist Avery Parrish's composition After Hours) is included in this first (of two) volume of his best recordings. Other instrumentals include Bounce Pee Wee ('48), Rock Island Blues ('48), Pee Wee's Wild ('50) and an alternate take of Texas Hop ('48 with Buddy Floyd on tenor sax) - his 2nd Top 5 R&B hit. As a bonus, ACE has included two 1949 tracks he recorded with Jay McShann, Black Gal (unissued) and the rare instrumental Boogie Woogie Upstairs (issued as by Al Cake Wichard, McShann's drummer). Collectors should note that the set has the master take of Central Avenue Blues ('48) and three titles from the 1950 session with the Harry Sweets Edison-Ben Webster group, including Please Come Back (with possibly Marshall Royal on alto sax) and a new alternate take of Louella Brown. (EL)
PEE WEE CRAYTON: After Hours/ Austin Boogie/ Black Gal/ Blues For My Baby/ Boogie Woogie Upstairs/ Bop Hop/ Bounce Pee Wee/ Central Avenue Blues/ Change Your Way Of Lovin'/ From Blues To Boogie/ I'm Still In Love With You/ Louella Brown/ My Everything/ Pee Wee's Boogie/ Pee Wee's Wild/ Please Come Back/ Rock Island Blues/ Rockin' The Blues/ Rosa Lee/ T For Texas (Mistreated Blues)/ Texas Hop/ Tired Of Travelin'/ When Darkness Falls

MAXWELL DAVIS Fantastic Voyage 130 Wailin' Daddy, The Best Of Maxwell Davis, 1945-1959 ● CD $22.98
Three CDS, 89 tracks, essential
A wonderful tribute to one of the unheralded geniuses of blues, R&B and rock 'n' roll - West Coast saxophonist/ writer/ arranger and producer Maxwell Davis whose talents in one or more of those capacities was responsible for many blues, R&B and rock 'n' roll hits. He worked for all the important West Cost record companies (Aladdin, Swing Time, Modern, Speciaty, etc.) and was involved with hundreds of different performers. When Jerry Leiber was asked about Phil Spector he responded "Phil made some good records, but I know a lot of people who made better records .... Maxwell Davis must have made a hundred hits, not 12 or 17. And nobody knows who Maxwell Davis is today!" When he was at Specialty, Percy Mayfield refused to record if Maxwell wasn't present. Disc 1 is devoted to Maxwell's own recordings as saxophonist and bandleader and show him to be a superb stylist which neatly straddles the line between jazz and R&B ranging from the mellow sounds of the 40s to the more hard driving sounds of the 50s always surrounded by the top musicians on the West Coast. Maxwell was a consummate musician who didn't need to indulge in over the top histrionics popular with some of his contemporariries. The other two discs features Maxwell's work as sideman, arranger or producer featuring contributions from performers like Jo Evans, Helen Humes, Gene Phillips, Joe Turner & Pete Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lowell Fulson, Mickey Cooper, Percy Mayfield, Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers, Rock Heart Johnson, Louis Jordan & His Tympani Five, The Cocoas, Young Jessie and many more. Although the emphasis is on blues and R&B recordings there are also a few examples of Maxwell's work in the jazz (Charles Mingus Sextet, Red Callnder Sextette, etc) and pop (June Christy, Ray Anthony). A superb collection with excellent sound and informative notes from Dave Penny. The only thing lacking is detailed discographical info. (FS)
JO JO ADAMS: Hard Headed Woman Blues/ PATTI ANNE: Shtiggy Boom/ RAY ANTHONY ORCHESTRA: Blow, Man, Blow!/ CALVIN BOZE: Waiting And Drinking/ GATEMOUTH BROWN: Without Me Baby/ RED CALLENDER SEXTETTE: Chico’s Boogie/ IKE CARPENTER ORCHESTRA: Pachuko Hop/ JUNE CHRISTY: Some Folks Do/ THE COCOAS: Flip Your Daddy/ MICKY COOPER: When I Had Money/ EARL CURRY: I Want Your Loving/ MAXWELL DAVIS: Belmont Special/ Blue Shuffle/ Blue Tango/ Bluesville/ Boogie Cocktails/ Bristol Drive/ Cool Diggin’/ Get Out/ Hey Boy/ Hey, Good Lookin’/ Honey Dripper/ Hot Point/ Hung Out/ I’ll Always Be In Love With You/ I’m Waiting Just For You/ Little White Lies/ Lonesome Road Blues/ Look Sharp - Be Sharp (The Gillette March)/ M T Boogie/ Ooh!/ Popsicle/ Resistor/ September In The Rain/ Side Car/ Strange Sensation/ Tempo Rock/ The Glory Of Love/ The Way You Look Tonight/ Thunderbird/ Th’ Adams Bop Hop/ Welcome Home Baby/ CORDELLA DE MILO: I Ain’t Gonna Hush/ MARY DE PINA: Boogie Woogie Man/ FLOYD DIXON: Real Lovin’ Mama/ JO EVANS: Goody Goody Baby/ LOWELL FULSON: Jimmy’s Blues/ CLARENCE GARLOW: I’m Hurt/ LLOYD GLENN ALL STARS: Jumpin’ With Lloyd/ FELIX GROSS: Peaceful Lovin’/ PEPPERMINT HARRIS: Let The Back Door Hit You/ MEREDITH HOWARD: Goodbye/ HELEN HUMES: He May Be Yours/ It’s Better To Give Than To Receive/ Riffin’ Without Helen/ YOUNG JESSIE: Mary Lou/ EDDIE JOHNSON: Mr Juice Head/ ROCK HEART JOHNSON: Rock Heart’s Blues/ PETE JOHNSON SEXTETTE: Half Tight Boogie/ BETTY HALL JONES: The Same Old Boogie/ LOUIS JORDAN: Hog Wash/ B.B. KING: I’m In Love/ JOE LIGGINS: Going Back To New Orleans/ LITTLE MISS CORNSHUCKS: Cornshucks’ Blues/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Kansas City/ PERCY MAYFIELD: Half Awoke/ Loose Lips/ BIG SPEED MCDANIELS: The Jumping Boogie Blues/ RUSTY MCDONALD: Dirty Pool/ OSCAR MCLOLLIE: Hot Banana/ AMOS MILBURN: Pot Luck Boogie/ CHARLES MINGUS SEXTET: Swingin’ An Echo/ JIMMY NELSON: Cry Hard Luck/ GENE PHILLIPS: Big Legs/ JAKE PORTER: Jump Safari/ Opus Five–Jake’s Jive/ LA MELLE PRINCE: Get High/ MABEL SCOTT: Gee/ Wailin’ Daddy/ EFFIE SMITH: Effie’s Boogie/ GEECHIE SMITH: T-Town Jump/ GEORGE SMITH: Cross-Eyed Suzie Lee/ JOE SWIFT: Alligator Meat/ JOE TURNER: Don’t Talk Me To Death/ T-BONE WALKER: Welcome Blues/ CROWN PRINCE WATERFORD: Love Awhile/ BOB WILLIAMS: Talk To Me/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Call My Baby/ LEE YOUNG BAND: Seeing Double

DEANTA Green Linnet GLCD 1147 Ready For The Storm ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, 53 mins, highly recommended
Deanta's debut album a year ago marked the arrival of an outstanding new Irish group and they consolidate their position as one of Ireland's best with this new release. The groups performances are moving and evocative and free of pretention. Singer Mary Dillon has one of those voices to die for and her singing of Lakes Of Pontchartrain can stand among the best versions of this magnificent ballad. The other songs include the title song written by Dougie McLean about the plight of a lonely storm-tossed sailor, the powerful and moving Culloden's Harvest about the tragic Scottish battle, the whimsical The Maid That Sold The Barley and the beautiful The Benedy Glen. The instrumental work work is superb - tight and melodic featuring flute, fiddle, keyboards, harp, guitar, bouzouki, and other instruments. The tunes are mixture of traditional and modern - several composed by group members. Not to be missed. (FS)

HAZEL DICKENS Rounder 11529 A Few Old Memories ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, 68 mins, essential
West Virginia singer/ songwriter Hazel Dickens is one of those wonderful singers whose voices have the ability to evoke an immediate and emotional response. She's not a pretty singer - but her singing has an honesty and directness that will send a chill down your spine. Many of her songs are originals though they have a timeless quality. They tell real stories about real people - often rural workers. The tracks here were recorded over an 11 year period and are drawn from six different albums. Accompaniments are varied from a bluegrass sound to a more electric country sound and also includes one unaccompanied vocal Pretty Bird. Other songs include the magnificent Working Girl Blues (with Alice Gerrard from their acclaimed "Hazel & Alice" album)/ A Few Old Memories/ Busted/ It's Hard To Tell The Singer From The Song/ Hills Of Home/ Only The Lonely (not the Roy Orbison song)/ Little Lenaldo/ Scars From An Old Love/ Mama's Hand/ West Virginia, My Home and others. This is the real thing, folks. I only hope that Rounder has the sense to get the rest of her recordings onto CDs - they're all great! (FS)

ROBIN DRANSFIELD Hux 097 A Lighter Touch ● CD $27.98
Two CDs, 25 tracks, very highly recommended
Fabulous two CD set featuring this brilliant English folk singer and guitarist best known for his work with his brother Barry in the 70s. They recorded some fabulous albums together, made a stab at folk rock, recorded solo albums and separated in the early 80s and pursued other occupations though usually involved with music. Barry returned to recording with three superb albums in the 90s. The first CD here is a reissue of Robin's only solo LP "Tidewave" issued by Topic in 1980 though recorded over a period of several years. The album is a fabulous mixture of traditional and contemporary songs with beautiful melodic vocals from Robin along with brilliant guitar wotk. He is joined by several other musicians on various tracks including brother Barry on cello, Christian Gourhan who plays hurdy gurdy on the eerie Cutty Wren, Lea Nicholson on concertina, Chris Stearn on bass trombone and euphonium whose creation of a brass section on Robin's spine chilling rendition of Spencer The Rover is possibly the highlight of the album and alone worth the price. The second disc features a never before issued live solo set by Robin from 1972 and features superb performances of traditional and contemporary songs drawn from his two albums with Barry and his, yet to be recorded solo album. Songs include Faithful Johnny/ Cold Blow & A Rainy Night/ Still He Sings/ Adam & The Beasts/ The Rigs O'Rye/ Tidewave and others. Although there is occasional flutter on the 35 year old tape the sound quality is generally excellent and is a valuable addition to Robin's all too small discography. The set includes a 20 page booklet with autobiographical notes from Robin, great vintage photos including one from 1962 wen Robin was in a bluegrass band and notes on all the songs. An indispensible release.(FS)

BILLY "THE KID" EMERSON Bear Family BCD 16937 Red Hot - The Sun Years, Plus ● CD $21.98
33 tracks, 88 mins, very highly recommended
Billy Emerson was a very talented performer whose lack of success is surprising - he was a powerful singer and an exceptional songwriter whose songs were covered by the likes of Elvis Presley (When It Rains It Pours), Billy Lee Riley (Red Hot), Ry Cooder (Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout Autombiles)) and others. These songs are here along with a whole lot more recorded for Sun, Vee-Jay, Chess & Mad between 1954 and 1957. The earliest Sun recordings find him accompanied by members of Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm (Billy was a member of the band at the time) and subsequent sessions found him with other fine groups including some songs with hot guitar from Calvin Newbern. The Vee-Jay, Chess & Mad sides, recorded in Chicago, have a more polished sound with larger groups but are equally fine with sidemen like Red Holloway, Lefty Bates, McKinley and others. This collection includes at least one take of every song he recorded during this period including a couple of prviously unissued alternate takes from his Sun sessions. Usual superb Bear Family sound and set comes with 44 page booklet with extensive notes by Martin Hawkins, rare photos and label shots and full discographical info. And talk about value for money - at almost 88 minutes this is the longest single CD I've ever seen! (FS)

SLEEPY JOHN ESTES WITH YANK RACHELL & OTHERS JSP JSPCD 7779 Legendary Country Blues Artists ● CD $28.98
4 CDs, 104 tracks, essential
Despite his limitations as a musician, John Estes produced some of the most memorable pre war blues. His high, thin voice with its strained, edge of despair quality, and the rhythms produced as band members like Jab Jones and Yank Rachel tried to accommodate his strummed guitar, turned simple songs like Milk Cow Blues and Whatcha Doin? into classics. Lyrically Estes was adept at making traditional material his own, but most of his songs were centered on his Brownsville world, encompassing social commentary (Down South Blues) and personal experience (as in Floating Bridge). (His fondness for beginning lines with "Now" can though become a little wearing.) After covering Estes' pre war work disc two closes with two bonus tracks from 1947 not issued on Document, including the autobiographical Stone Blind. Estes' early sessions were greatly enhanced by Yank Rachel's mandolin, as in the lovely opening to Expressman Blues, and it is fitting that the third disc features Rachel's solo career. Yank was a less interesting vocalist than Estes but a better musician, at his best on tracks like the beautiful Lake Michigan Blues. (Compared to the earlier reissue of his work on Wolf this disc omits Rachel's accompaniments to "Jackson" Joe Williams and Elijah Jones, but these tracks are being reissued on JSP 7797, Sonny Boy Williamson Volume 1 - due next month). The final disc starts with Rachel's last four titles and is then dedicated to Estes' associates "Brownsville" Son Bonds and Charlie Pickett, replicating the tracks on Wolf WBCD 003. It is a mixed bag, the blues and uptempo party songs separated by a gospel session with some nice jug, but there is plenty to enjoy. Highlights include Weary Worried Blues with its soundbite philosophy "once ain't for ever, and two times ain't but twice" accompanied by Hammie Nixon's honking harmonica, and Charlie Pickett's tremulous Down The Highway, which surely inspired the young Bob Dylan's song of the same title. Sound quality of the first two discs is excellent, with at least some of the transfers sounding like the work of the great John R T Davies. The sound of the third and fourth discs cannot match what has gone before but is generally still good, and a significant advance on previous reissues. All round this set represents a worthwhile upgrade for established collectors and a real treat for those new to the music. Neal Slaven's comprehensive biographical notes complete a reissue which is close to definitive. (DPR)
SON BONDS: 80 Highway Blues/ Ain't That News?/ All Night Long/ Back and Side Blues/ Black Gal Swing/ Come Back Home, Little Girl/ Every Time My Heart Beats/ Get Up and Go/ Give Me That Old Time Religion/ Hard Pill to Swallow/ I Want to Live So God Can Use Me/ I'll Work Up to You Someday/ In My Father's House/ Old Bachelor Blues/ She Walks Like My Woman/ Tennessee Worried Blues/ Trouble Trouble Blues/ Weary Worried Blues/ SLEEPY JOHN ESTES: Airplane Blues/ Black Mattie Blues/ Broken-Hearted, Ragged and Dirty Too/ Brownsville Blues/ Clean Up at Home/ Divin' Duck Blues/ Don't You Want to Know/ Down South Blues/ Drop Down (I Don't Feel Welcome Here)/ Drop Down Mama/ Easin' Back to Tennessee/ Everybody Oughta Make a Change/ Expressman Blues/ Fire Department Blues (Martha Hardin)/ Floating Bridge/ Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair/ Government Money/ Harlem Bound/ Hobo Jungle Blues/ I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More/ I Wanna Tear It All the Time/ Jack and Jill Blues/ Jailhouse Blues/ Lawyer Clark Blues/ Liquor Store Blues/ Little Laura Blues/ Little Sarah/ Mailman Blues/ Married Woman Blues/ Mary Come on Home/ Milk Cow Blues/ My Black Gal Blues/ Need More Blues/ New Someday Baby/ Poor John Blues/ Poor Man's Friend (T Model)/ Someday Baby Blues/ Special Agent (Railroad Police Blues)/ Stack O' Dollars/ Stone Blind/ Stop That Thing/ Street Car Blues/ Sweet Mama/ T-Bone Steak Blues/ Tell Me How About It (Mr Tom's Blues)/ Time Is Drawing Near/ Vernita Blues/ Whatcha Doin?/ When the Saints Go Marching In/ Who's Been Telling You Buddy Brown Blues/ Working Man Blues/ You Shouldn't Do That/ CHARLIE PICKETT: Crazy 'Bout My Black Gal/ Down the Highway/ Let Me Squeeze Your Lemon/ Trembling Blues/ YANK RACHELL: 38 Pistol Blues/ Army Man Blues/ Biscuit Baking Woman/ Blue and Worried Woman/ Bye-Bye Blues/ Disc: 4 She Loves Who She Please/ Gravel Road Woman/ Hobo Blues/ I'm Wild and Crazy as Can Be/ Insurance Man Blues/ It Seems Like a Dream/ It's All Over/ J.L. Dairy Blues/ Katy Lee Blues/ Lake Michigan Blues/ Loudella Blues/ My Mind Got Bad/ Night Latch Blues/ Peach Tree Blues/ Rachel Blues/ Rainy Day Blues/ Squeaky Work Bench Blues/ Stack O' Dollars Blues/ Sugar Farm Blues/ Tappin' That Thing/ Texas Tommy/ Up North Blues/ When You Feel Down and Out/ Worried Blues/ Yellow Yam Blues

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

ROSCOE HOLCOMB Smithsonian Folkways 40104 The High Lonesome Sound ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, 71 mins, essential
Many great traditional musicians were discovered in the late 50s and 60s but a few stand out above the rest - Roscoe Holcomb, discovered by John Cohen in Daisy, Kentucky in 1959, is just such a person. He was a superb singer, banjo player and guitarist with a high, intense vocal style that is drenched with emotion. His music was steeped in blues, traditional ballads and the Baptish church and carries an emotional charge that has few parallels - Robert Johnson is one that springs to mind! This wonderful collection features all the aspects of his diverse repertoire originally issued 3 Folkways LPs in the 60s and 70s and makes for spellbinding listening. His singing frequently sends shivers down my spine it is so affecting. The 24 page booklet includes detailed, informative and affectionate notes from Cohen along with some wonderful photos. If you love traditional music this is a must. (FS)

SOL HOOPII Grass Skirt 1002 Sol Hoopii In Hollywood - His First Recordings, 1925 ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, essential
These are great times for fans of Hawaiian steel guitar music and Sol Hoopii in particular. This is the third Hoopii CD released in the past year - all of them different and all of them great. This one features Hoopii's earliest sides recorded for the Sunset and Hollywood labels in Los Angeles in 1925 with Lani McIntyre on guitar and ukulele player Glenwood Leslie. These were only distributed in California and are extremely rare. The group perform a wonderful mix of Native Hawaiian tunes along with American pop and jazz tunes with Hoopii's dynamic steel playing well to the fore. his set features all 16 of the group's recordings for the label plus three alternate takes and the CD is filled out with all the remaining recordings of Hawaiian artists made for the label - Coppock's Hawaiins, Charles Frederick's Hawaiians and Charles Diamond who are superb musicians in their own right. Sound quality is superb and the 20 page booklet has four sets of notes discussing the Hollywood Record Company, Hoopi's early years, Hoopi's involvement with the entertainment industry and information of the other artists. (FS)

THE HURRICANES Dipper 202 "Priceless" Recordings ● CD $17.98
28 tracks, 68 min., essential
Another of the great and largely unheralded vocal groups of the 50's finally gets the digital compilation that it so richly deserves. Beginning its recording life as the Toppers of Baby Let Me Bang Your Box fame, this Henry Austin-led entourage laid down its best and its smoothest sides as the Hurricanes. Their numbers under that name include Poor Little Dancing Girl, Maybe It's All for the Best, Yours, Raining in My Heart, Dear Mother, and Fallen Angel. Also included are numbers that lead singer Austin is featured on that were released either as by Henry Alston, such as the delightful Once in a Beautiful Lifetime, and as by the Memos, such as I'm Going Home. All in all, not a disc to miss if you're a fan of the r&b vocal group sound. Sound quality is solid, as are the notes, and there's a great color photo of the group gracing the cover of the liner notes booklet. For what more could one ask? (DH)

MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT Rounder 1100 Legend ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, 44 mins, essential
Superb 1963 or '64 recordings originally issued on the Canadian Rebel label and unavailable for a long time. John is in exceptionally fine form and sounds very relaxed on a great selection of songs. Most of them he recorded elsewhere but these are some of the best versions I've heard. His version of Stack-O-Lee with it's delightful and whimsical spoken introduction is particularly fine. Also included are Trouble I've Had All My Days/ Pera Lee (A rare example of John's slide playing) See See Rider/ Coffee Blues/ Do Lord Remember Me/ Let The mermaids Flirt With me/ Casey Joens and others. Sound isn't as good as on the Vanguards but, to my ears, the music is more spirited and honest - there's an intimate quality to it that makes you feel that John is in the room with you. (FS)

THE INK SPOTS Mr. Music 8001 The Original Ink Spots Live ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 69 min., very highly recommended
Not quite the "original" Spots since Bill Kenny had already replaced Jerry Daniels, but these are the Ink Spots the way most remember them -- Charlie, Deek, Hoppy, and Bill. These four radio shows boast incredible sound and trade off between ballads and jumps. The first show (from 1938 in NYC) begins with some scat and jive on I'm Feelin' Like A Million and ends with no less a jive masterpiece than Slim Gaillard's Flat Foot Floogie. The second show (from Philadelphia 1939) is equally wonderful and includes Tiger Rag/ Pork Chops And Gravy and more. The other shows are from 1944 (one from Davenport, one from Milkaukee) feature the unforgettable Java Jive and a duet with Ella Fitzgerald on Cow Cow Boogie. The three bonus songs that adorn the end of the program find our men backed by the Cootie Williams Orchestra. Time travel for a song. Not to be missed. (JC)

WANDA JACKSON Ace CDCHD 776 Queen Of Rockabilly ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 69 mins, essential
his collection proves, if any proof were needed, that Wanda Jackson was the finest female rocker of the 50s and early 60s with this collection of 30 of her best rockin' sides. It's too bad that the market wasn't ready for a woman singer that was not only agressive but sensual too or she would have been a bigger name in rock - she had only one rock 'n roll hit, the all time classic Let's Have Party, and a whole slew of country hits. She had a wonderful voice that moved from sexy, breathy purr to country twang to raspy growl which she uses to great effect on the songs here. All her best rockin' sides are here - in addition to Party and the similarly themed follow-ups There's A Party Goin'On and Man, We Had A Party there's also her superb original song Mean Mean, Man, her great version of the R&B song Fujiyama Mama which was a monster hit in Japan where Wanda was treated like royalty and lots more. There's quite a few covers of rock and R&B standards like Money Honey/ Searchin'/ Kansas City/ My baby Left me/ Brown Eyed HandsomeMan/ Slippin' & Slidin' and others but Wanda gives them all her own individual stamp. She also shows her versatility with a superb version of the blues You Don't Know Baby. Accompaniments feature top West Coast sidemen like Joe Maphis, Merrill Moore, Buck Owens Roy Clark and others with one group of sessions that yielded Party featuring The Poe Kats from Arkansas with Vern Sandusky on guitar and Big Al Downing on piano. The disc is another high quality production with superb sound and a 12 page illustrated booklet with informative notes by Rob Finnis. (FS)

24 tracks, 74 min., highly recommended Woodrow Wilson (Buddy) Johnson (1915-1977) will always be remembered for his songs & arrangements, especially on titles like Since I Fell For You (1st covered by Paul Gayten), Please, Mr. Johnson, and Fine Brown Fame (covered by Nellie Lutcher) - all included on this new compilation of his first (and best) recordings. As a pianist & band leader, he was an important link between the swing era and early R&B. If the term Big Band Blues belongs to anyone, it belongs to Buddy Johnson. His sister Ella (b. 1923) is an early pioneer and influence on R&B divas like LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown and Etta James. She's represented here by 12 tracks, including Since I Fell For You ('45) and That's The Stuff You Gotta Watch ('44, Top 5 R&B hit) (covered by both Wynonie Harris and Muddy Waters). Of the three instrumentals, Boogie Woogie's Mother-In-Law ('41) should prove interesting to all you Elmore James fans, because it is this track where the Hawaiian Boogie slide guitar riff comes from, played here on steel guitar along with ex-Louis Jordan sideman Kenneth Hollon (1909-1974) on tenor sax. Shufflin' And Rollin' ('52) and Shake'em Up ('49) both feature the main tenor sax star of the band, Purvis Henson. As for the singers (other than Buddy himself), we have Arthur Prysock's They All Say I'm The Biggest Fool ('44, Top 5 R&B hit) and two by their alto saxophonist, Cuban-born Harold Geezil Minerve (1922-1992). The mastering is excellent, with a few taken from near-mint 78s. (EL)

BILL JONES Compass 4366 Two Year Winter ● CD $16.98
16 tracks, 55 mins, very highly recommended
Bill's best album since her wonderful debut album "Turn To Me" in 2000 (available on Compass 4338 - $16.98). Her subsequent albums were excellent but a little over-arranged and occasionally lacking in passion but this one is a joy from beginning to end. There are actually two CDs here - a full length CD featuring her latest U.K. release and a four track CD with various bonus cuts. Bill has a lovely voice with a clear, high, slightly breathy quality that brings to mind the great Anne Briggs. She accompanies herself on accordion and piano and is discreetly accompanied, at times, by various fine musicians on guitar, violin, cello, etc. The material is a superb blend of traditional and more contemporary songs - the latter often utilizing traditional melodies. I particularly like her setting of the the 19th century song Hey Away sung from the viewpoint of a keelman's wife which blends in some wonderful traditional melodies. Other highlights include the original Story Of Our Darling Grace, an exquisite treatment of the traditional The Lover's Ghost and others but it's all terrific. (FS)

DOLORES KEANE & JOHN FAULKNER Shanachie 78027 Sail Og Rua ● CD $16.98
10 tracks, essential
Previously issued in the USA on Green Linnet. I have always loved the singing of Dolores Keane and this 1983 recording is, I believe, her very finest moment. This album is perfect in every respect, beautiful singing from Dolores & astounding accompaniments by her husband John Faulkner on vocal harmonies, fiddle, bouzouki & guitar; Eamonn Curran/ uileann pipes; Jackie Daly/ button accordion; Sean Keane/ flute; James Kelly/ fiddle and others. Unlike her previous albums Dolores sings several songs in Gaelic - all of which are beautiful, highlighted by the stunning spine chilling duet with her aunt - the great traditional singer Sarah Keane. The other songs are all superb - I particularly like one of the other gaelic songs Dthuas ag Gort an Chornain and the disc is capped off by the achingly beautiful and moving Galway Bay - a dying emigrant's reminiscences of his homeland but every track is a gem. (FS)

B.B. KING Ace CDCHD 1150 The Best Of The Early Years ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 76 mins, essential
Always great to hear the young, hungry B.B. King, one still feeling out his place in music and experimenting with different sounds. So here you get (of course) some raw blues, but also some Jump Blues, R&B and Boogie, all of which landed heavy play in the jukeboxes of the day. Majority of tracks are from the 1950's to early 1960's with only one track as late as 1971. Starts with some of his earliest tracks recorded for the Bihari Brothers and their Modern record label, like the fantastic B.B.s Boogie (1950) and She's Dynamite (1951), which were both recorded at Sam Phillips' legendary Union Avenue studio. There's also his reworking of Blues classic Bottle Up and Go, presented here as Shake it Up and Go which would prove to be a big hit for King. Then there's the original recording of B.B. `s standard Woke Up This Morning, the Maxwell Davis arranged You Upset Me, classics like Everyday I Have The Blues/ Early In The Morning/ Catfish Blues/ Sweet Sixteen, on and on. So many great tracks! There's even a Lee Hazelwood number and a version of Why I Sing The Blues which is a unique take from original masters that is exclusive to this compilation. Only a handful of tracks on this are duplicated on the Classics BB King "1949 - 1952", the Ace would be coming off of master tapes and has superior sound quality as well as presentation. Superb. But I'm sure that's not a surprise considering the man and the era we are dealing with. (JM)

IRY LEJEUNE Ace CDCHD 428 Cajun's Greatest - The Definitive Collection ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, essential
At last, the glory and power of one of Cajun music's greatest and most influential performers heard without the bad sound and dubbed in bass that has dogged its U.S. issues for years. Born in 1928 to a musical family in Church Point, La., Iry's poor eyesight led him to perfect his skill on the accordion. The accordion and Cajun culture were at a low ebb, until, in 1948, Iry recorded Love Bridge Waltz & Evangeline Special with a voice so crying and soulful and an accordion so compelling and raunchy that the Cajuns realized that their music was indeed special and unique, worthy of preservation. For songs like Grande Nuit Special/ La Valse De Bayou Chene/ Bayou Pon Pon Specia & Grande Bosco could only come from one of theirs, and they responded with an affection that has outlasted Iry's untimely death in 1955. While the sound is still funky, the music has such stunning power that one cries out for more than these 25 gems this man left us with. Essential. (JMC)

JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 16396 Jerry Rocks ● CD $24.98
33 tracks, 80 mins, essential
Fabulous 33 track collection of Jerry Lee's finest rockers encompassing the best of his Sun and Mercury rockers. Includes all his most well known hits like Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ Great Balls Of Fire/ Mean Woman Blues/ Breathless/ High School Confidential/ Lovin' Up A Storm/ I'm On Fire along with lesser known gems like Real Wild Child/ Milkshake Mademoiselle/ Put Me Down/ Keep Your Hands Off It/ House Of Blue Lights and others. Newly remastered from original tapes. If you want only one collection of Jerry Lee's best rockers, this is the one to get. 80 minutes of dynamic piano pounding and raucous vocals with 36 page booklet by Colin Escott with notes, photos and full discographical info. (FS)
JERRY LEE LEWIS: Boogie Woogie Country Man/ Breathless/ Chantilly Lace/ Don't Boogie Woogie (When You Say Your Prayers Tonight)/ Down The Line/ Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ End Of The Road/ Good Rockin' Tonight/ Great Balls Of Fire/ High School Confidental/ I Believe In You/ I'm On Fire/ Jailhouse Rock/ Keep Your Hands Off Of It (Birthday Cake)/ Lewis Boogie/ Little Queenie/ Lovin' Up A Storm/ Maybellene/ Me And Bobby McGee/ Mean Woman Blues/ Milkshake Mademoiselle/ Old Black Joe/ Pink Pedal Pushers/ Put Me Down/ Real Wild Child/ Roll Over Beethoven/ Sweet Georgia Brown/ Tennessee Saturday Night/ The House Of Blue Lights/ Ubangi Stomp/ What'd I Say/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ Workin' Man Blues

SMILEY LEWIS Bear Family BCD 16676 Rocks ● CD $24.98
36 tracks, 86 mins, essential
There are a number of Smiley Lewis compilations out there but this is easily the one to get thanks to it's extensive track listing, superior sound and extensive documentation. If you can't afford the four CD Bear Family box set (BCD 15745 - $99.98) then this is absolutely indispensible. Smiley (Overton Amos Lemon) was one of the best singers in New Orleans with a powerful expressive vocal style. His Imperial recordings were mostly produced (and written) by the great Dave Bartholomew and Smiley was accompanied by the top musicians in New Orleans including guitarists Ernest McClean & Justin Adams, pianists "Tuts" Washington & Fats Domino, saxophonists Lee Allen, Herb Hardesty and Clarence Hall, bassist Frank Fields, drummer Earl Palmer and many others including Bartholomew on trumpet on most tracks. The set has one romping upbeat number after another with occasional breaks for an intense slow blues. It includes his 1953 recording of Blue Monday which would be a giant hit for fellow Imperial artist Fats Domino a couple of years later - if anything Smiley's version is superior! The set is bookended by two versions of the storming Shame, Shame, Shame! - it opens with the version on the Imperial single and ends with the version used in the film "Baby Doll" which is 30 second longer. Sound quality is spectacular and the 40 page booklet has extensive notes by Bill Dahl, rare photos and full discographical info. (FS)
SMILEY LEWIS: Ain't Gonna Do It/ Bad Luck Blues/ Bee's Boogie/ Big Mamou/ Blue Monday/ Bumpity Bump/ Caldonia's Party/ Can't Stop Loving You/ Come On/ Dirty People/ Down The Road/ Down Yonder We Go Ballin'/ Go On Fool/ Goin' To Jump And Shout/ I Hear You Knocking/ Jailbird/ Lil Liza Jane/ Lillie Mae/ Mama Don't Like/ My Baby Was Right/ No Letter Today/ Nothing But The Blues/ One Night/ Ooh La La/ Play Girl/ Please Listen To Me/ Queen Of Hearts/ Real Gone Lover/ Rootin' And Tootin'/ Sad Life/ School Days Are Back Again/ Shame, Shame, Shame (Imperial single)/ Shame, Shame, Shame! ("Baby Doll" soundtrack)/ She's Got Me Hook, Line & Sinker/ The Bells Are Ringing/ Where Were You

MANCE LIPSCOMB Arhoolie 398 You Got To Reap What You Sow - Texas Songster Vol. 2 ● CD $13.98
24 tracks, 78 mins, essential
Mance Lipscomb was one of the greatest musical discoveries of the 60s - a wonderful singer and guitarist with an extensive repertoire that encompassed not only blues but rags, dance tunes, pop songs, spirituals, childrens songs and more. This wonderful collection of 24 songs was all recorded in one afternoon in May 1964 - most in one take! The material is varied including old blues favorites (Come Back Baby/ Bumble Bee), regionally popular blues (Charlie James/ Hattie Green, the powerful Tom Moore Blues about a Washington county land owner and the exquisite Willie Poor Boy), popular and jazz songs (Long Way To Tipperary / You Rascal You) which become completely new songs in Mance's hands, instrumental pieces (Spanish Flang Dang/ Boogie In "A") and more. A couple of tracks feature some lovely slide guitar including a version of the topical ballad The Titanic and Joe Turner Killed A Man. He also sings a surprising unaccompanied version of the Anglo-American traditional ballad Lord Thomas. There are a lot more musical treasures featured here. Sound quality is superb and there are fine notes by Chris Strachwitz who discovered Mance and recorded the selection here. (FS)
MANCE LIPSCOMB: Boogie In A/ Bumble Bee/ Charlie James/ Cocaine Done Killed My Baby/ Come Back Baby/ Hattie Green/ I Looked Down The Road And I Wondered/ If I Miss The Train/ Joe Turner Killed A Man/ Long Way To Tipperary/ Lord Thomas/ Mama, Don't Dog Me/ Missouri Waltz/ Police Station Blues/ Sentimental Blues/ Silver City/ So Different Blues/ Spanish Flang Dang/ Tall Angel At The Bar/ The Titanic/ Tom Moore Blues/ Willie Poor Boy/ You Got To Reap What You Sow/ You Rascal You

LONNIE MACK Ace CDCHD 713 Memphis Wham! ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 63 mins, essential
At last Lonnie's classic album "The Wham Of That Memphis Man" is reissued on CD along with a slew of other cuts, some of them previously unissued. Lonnie was a double threat - a fantastic guitar player with a style deeply rooted in the blues and one of the best white soul singers in the business. Lonnie's guitar had a distinctive sound with a dense reverberant quality due to his feeding the sound through a Leslie rotating speaker and into a Magnatone amp.

JAY MCSHANN Sackville 5012 Solos & Duets - Featuring Don Thompson ● CD $25.98
2 CDs, 27 tracks, 2 hours 22 min., very highly recommended
McShann's credentials go back to the late 1930s and early '40s when his big band (which included a young Charlie Parker and Walter Brown) was second only to Count Basie's. He scored on shellac with Confessin' The Blues and Hootie Blues, the latter featuring a hot Charlie Parker solo. In 1943 McShann had a Top 10 hit with Get Me On Your Mind for Decca. In 1955 he took Hands Off, cut for Vee Jay, to #1. In the 1970s McShann signed with the tiny Canadian label Sackville and cut several albums' worth of piano jazz. This very welcome release reissues three complete Sackville albums (A Tribute To Fats Waller, Tuxedo Junction, and Kansas City Hustle) from 1978 and 1980 and adds two previously unreleased tracks (Baby Won't You Please Come Home and Keep Your Hands Off Her with McShann on vocals. He covers Monk, Waller, Ellington, Ivory Joe Hunter, Mary Lou Williams, Erskine Hawkins, and Hoagy Carmichael, among others, as well as performing a half dozen of his own compositions. On seven songs he is joined by bassist Don Thompson. There and throughout, McShann's virtuosity and improvisational skill demand admiration. These recordings are impressive and instantly pleasing. (JC)

THE MIGHTY HANNIBAL Norton 290 Hannibalism! ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
Retrospective of this fine and original R&B artist featuring recordings from 1958 through 1972 recorded for numerous labels. Originally recording as Jimmy Shaw (his real name), he subsequently recorded as Hannibal, Mighty Hannibal and King Hannibal and hit the charts two all time classics - the intense soul ballad Hymn No. 5 (1966) - a plea from a soldier in the trenches in Vietnam and the anti drug scorcher The Truth Shall Make You Free (1972). Although nothing else quite reached that standard there is lots of fine R&B and soul in a variety of styles with hot bands. Hannibal was a very active figure on the L.A. and New York music scene, as a musician and as a pimp, and he knew everybody. The 24 page extensively illustrated booklet is by Hannibal himself and is full of interesting and frequently hilarious stories about people like Larry Williams, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Ray Charles, T-Bone Walker, Johnny Taylor and many other great characters he ran across. Even if the music wasn't as good it is the booklet alone is worth the price! (FS)

THELONIOUS MONK Prestige 3PRCD 4428 The Complete Prestige Recordings ● CD $31.98
3 CDs, 33 tracks, essential
His 26 months with Prestige (10/52-12/54) had Thelonious in a number of different settings, as both a leader & sideman (with no less than Sonny Rollins & Miles Davis) & have been scattered over numerous budget CDs until now. As a bonus, the set starts off with Monk's 1st recording session, as a sideman to Coleman Hawkins on 4 '44 Joe Davis sides. Next up are a couple of trio dates with Art Blakey on the 1st, Max Roach on the 2nd including the 1st recordings of such classics as Bemsha Swing/ Trinkle Tinkle & Little Rootie Tootie. The next is a quintet session with Sonny on tenor & Julius Watkins on French horn which included the classic Friday The 13th, which, we learn in the note, was so long because the producer didn't have enough music for an LP side & needed the band to stretch. The next CD has a quintet session with future Basie-ite Frank Foster that has such classics as Hackensack & Nutty. A trio date with Percy Heath of the MJQ & Art Blakey has the spontaneous Blue Monk & Thelonious's gorgeous solo version of Just A Gigolo, followed by 3 standards from a quartet sessin that Rollins was the leader of. The final CD has the complete recordings done by Miles Davis & The Jazz Giants - this is the famous session where Miles refused to have Monk play behind his solos. A fine booklet has complete liner notes, discographical info & rare pics. (GM)

CARL PERKINS Bear Family BCD 15494 The Classic Carl Perkins ● CD $104.98
5 CD Box set, 135 tracks, essential
With his beautiful, soulful honky tonk voice and jangly, bluesy guitar Carl Perkins epitomized rockabilly like no other artists. Accompanied by the thumping bass and propulsive guitar of brothers Jay and Clayton and the steady drumming of W.S. Holland they produced exciting timeless music for Sam Phillips' Sun label between 1954 and '57. The first 2 1/2 CDs in this beautiful 5 CD set feature those recordings and although many of these tracks have been reissued before this collection features several previously unissued takes and in Carl's case the alternate versions are frequently very different to the more familiar ones - the three different versions of his most famous song Blue Suede Shoes are particularly revealing. These recordings have never sounded better thanks to the remastering wizardry of Bob Jones. The rest of this box is devoted to his recordings made for Columbia and Decca between 1958 and 1964 are generally less interesting, marred by assembly line Nashville production, thin sound and often mediocre songs. Nevertheless Carl's beautiful vocals often surmount the obstacles and he manages to get in a hot guitar solo here and there. Interestingly the best of these recordings are from a 1964 session in England with English group The Nashville Teens where Carl sounds more enthusiatic than had in a long time. The set is beuatifully packaged in a sturdy box with a beautiful full color photo and Carl and his band from the late 50s or early 60s. There is a 24 page LP sized booklet with notes by Colin Escott and Bill Millar, over 2 dozen photos and full discographical details on all the recordinsg included. Another essential winner from Bear Family. (FS)
CARL PERKINS: After Sundown/ All Mama's Children/ All Mama's Children/ All Mama's Children (alt)/ Any Way The Wind Blows/ Be Honest With Me/ Because You're Mine/ Big Bad Blues/ Blue Suede Shoes/ Blue Suede Shoes (alt 1)/ Blue Suede Shoes (alt 2)/ Boppin' The Blues/ Boppin' The Blues (alt)/ Caldonia/ Conversation With Bill Cantrell/ Dixie Bop (aka Perkins Wiggle)/ Dixie Fried/ Dixie Fried (diff Session)/ Down By The Riverside/ Drink Up And Go Home/ Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby/ Fool I Used To Be/ For A Little While/ Forever Yours/ Forget Me (next Time Around)/ Glad All Over/ Gone Gone Gone/ Gone Gone Gone (alt/ Good Rockin' Tonight/ Hambone/ Help Me Find My Baby/ Her Love Rubbed Off/ Hey Good Lookin'/ Highway Of Love/ Hollywood City/ Honey 'cause I Love You/ Honey Don't/ Honey Don't (alt 1)/ Honey Don't (alt 2)/ Honky Tonk Babe (gal)/ Honky Tonk Gal/ I Care/ I Don't See Me In Your Eyes Anymore/ I Don't See Me In Your Eyes Anymore (alt)/ I Got A Woman/ I Wouldn't Have You/ I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry/ I've Just Got Back From There/ Instrumental #1/ Instrumental #2/ Jenny Jenny/ Jive After Five/ Just For You/ Just Thought I'd Call/ Keeper Of The Key/ L-o-v-e-v-i-l-l-e/ Lend Me Your Comb/ Lend Me Your Comb (alt)/ Let My Baby Be/ Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing/ Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing (alt)/ Levi Jacket (and A Longtail Shirt)/ Lonely Heart/ Lonely Street/ Long Tall Sally/ Look At The Moon/ Look At The Moon (alt)/ Love I'll Never Win/ Mama Of My Song/ Matchbox/ Matchbox (alt)/ Monkey Shine/ Movie Magg/ Movie Magg (alt)/ One Of These Days/ One Way Ticket To Lonliness/ Only You/ Pink Pedal Pushers/ Pink Pedal Pushers (columbia)/ Pink Pedal Pushers (sun - Alt)/ Pink Pedal Pushers (sun)/ Please Say You'll Be Mine/ Pointed Toe Shoes/ Pop Let Me Have The Car/ Put Your Cat Clothes On/ Put Your Cat Clothes On (diff Session - Alt)/ Put Your Cat Clothes On (diff Session)/ Ready Teddy/ Red Wing/ Right String Baby But The Wrong Yo Yo/ Rockin' Record Hop/ Roll Over Beethoven/ Say When/ Shake Rattle And Roll/ Sister Twister/ Sittin' On Top Of The World/ Somebody Tell Me/ Someday Somewhere Someone Waits For Me/ Sure To Fall/ Sweethearts Or Strangers/ Sweethearts Or Strangers 9alt)/ Take Back My Love/ Tennessee/ That Don't Move Me/ That's Alright/ That's Right/ That's Right (alt)/ The Drifter/ This Life I Live/ Too Much For A Man To Understand/ Too Much For A Man To Understand (alt)/ Try My Heart Out/ Turn Around/ Turn Around (alt)/ Tutti Frutti/ Unhappy Girls/ Way You're Living Is Breaking My Heart/ What You Doin' When You're Cryin'/ When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain/ When The Right Time Comes Along/ Where The Rio De Rosa Flows/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ Y.o.u./ Y.o.u. (alt)/ You Can Do No Wrong/ You Can't Make Love To Somebody/ You Can't Make Love To Somebody (diff Session)/ You Were There/ Your True Love (issued Version)/ Your True Love (original Tempo)

PLANXTY Tara 3001 After the Break ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, essential
Joyful, sweeping, brilliantly conceived and performed, this is Planxty at their best--the first and greatest Irish neo-traditional super group. The cameraderie and musical passion expressed by these five masters when they played together on this 1979 recording has never been eclipsed. Christie Moore and Andy Irvine share vocal honors, while Liam O'Flynn, Donal Lunny, and Matt Molloy construct their intricate instrumental latticeworks of flute, pipes, bouzoukis, guitars, and more. The emotions are rich throughout, from Irvine's cocky, politically incorrect Rambling Si£ler to the dark, eerie, and inexorable Farmer Michael Hayes sung by Moore. The finish is a riotous Bulgarian dance that leaves the listener breathless. This is a classic--not to be missed! (DC)

BEN POLLACK Jazz Oracle 8015 Volume 1. ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 77 min, essential
Drummer/singer/leader Pollack led one of the most important of the early white jazz bands. With such future superstars as Benny Goodman & Glenn Miller, who was replaced by another future superstar Jack Teagarden, Pollack also bred such talents as Jimmy McPartland, Larry Binyon, Harry Goodman, Fud Livingston, Gil Rodin, Vic Breidis, Ray Baduc, etc. This amazing 5 vol series will collect all known recordings & most known (& previously unknown) alternate takes & test recordings, with the 1st 3 vols in this release. The liner notes are by Len Guttridge, a Jack Teagarden scholar who did painstaking research on the Pollack groups for some brand new & more historically accurate information. Interestingly, each vol is divided in 2, with 1st the original recordings played (or if a song was recorded at a session but not released, an unissued test is provided), after which are all known alternate takes, most coming from never before heard test pressings. Vol 1 starts off with the `26-28 Victor sides, with arrangements by trombonist Glenn Miller, followed by 3 '28 Harmony sides by the band as Jimmy McHugh's Bostonians. The Pollacks are by Ben Pollack & His Orch, & His Californians, & His Park Central Orch. These are followed by 10 unissued test pressing alternates. Songs include Singapore Sorrows/She's One Sweet Show Girl/ Memphis Blues/ Sweet Sue-Just You and others. Many very rare photos & label pics. (GM)

BEN POLLACK Jazz Oracle 8016 Volume 2, 1928-29 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, 77 min, essential
The 2nd vol continues with more Victor sides by Ben Pollack & His Park Central Orch, as well as another session for Harmony as Jimmy McHugh's Bostonians, all with Teagarden replacing Miller. Also here are some hot smaller group sides for Victor as Ben's Bad Boys with Miller back in the fold & Pollack only singing, giving the drum seat to Ray Baduc on Wang-Wang Blues/ Shirt Tail Stomp & Yellow Dog Blues. There's even some sides as by The Louisville Rhythm Kings done for Okeh, including a version of Shout Hallelujah! Cause I'm Home, which was only issued on the British Parlophone label. The set ends with 9 alternate takes from test pressings.. Other tunes include Futuristic Rhythm/ Sentimental Baby, & a piece of dreck called Let's Sit & Talk About You which is heard here by all the different labels & alternates for a total of 4 versions!! (GM)

RAY PRICE Jasmine 3505 In A Honky Tonk Mood ● CD $13.98
21 tracks, 48 mins, highly recommended
Although you'd never know it from the cover or liner notes this album is not studio recordings but an outstanding set of performances from radio performances from the mid/late-50s. The performances here are a million miles away from Ray's later pop flavored efforts with superb honky tonk singing from Ray and terrific backup from his band The Cherokee Cowboys - some featuring the groups unique triple fiddle sound. The songs here includes live versions of some of his early big hits I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)/ If You Don't Somebody Else Will/ City Lights/ You Done Me Wrong/ Release Me and others. He also does great versions of Hank Williams' Take These Chains From My Heart, Bob Wills' San Antonio Rose and others. There are a couple of beautiful gospel songs with vocal by the backup by The Jordaniares and a couple of fine instrumentals from the band. Ray's singing here is, if anything, even more impassioned than his studio recordings of the time. Sound quality is excellent. This is an indispensable collection for lovers of honky-tonk country. (FS)

WAYNE RANEY Ace CDCHD 857 That Red Hot Boogie Boy ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 68 mins, essential
At last, an indepth look on CD at the recordings of this outstanding harmonica player, singer and composer recorded for King records between 1947 and 1953. Wayne sings in his unique nasal twang, combining elements of honky tonk, blues, country boogie, and old time balladry, forming his own very effective style. Nearly all the recordings find him accompanied on guitars by The Delmore Brothers who also provide vocal harmonies. On a couple of sessions they are joined by harmonica player Lonnie Glosson for a twin harmonica sound and some of the later sessions feature occasional electric guitar, steel, guitar, fiddle and piano. It includes his hits Lost John Boogie, Jack & Jill Boogie and the classic Why Don't You Haul Off And Love as well as lots of other great songs like Fox Chase (his only solo harmonica piece), the lovely Lonesome Wind Blues with fine mandolin from Mac Luna, the delightful novelty Pardon My Whiskers, an excellent cover of Lefty Frizzell's If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time and lots more. Sound quality is superb (none of those horrible overdubs) and the 12 page booklet has extensive notes by Dave Sax plus photos and label shots. A winner all the way. (FS)

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

SONNY ROLLINS Riverside 4427 The Freelance Years ● CD $64.98
5 CD box set, essential
From 1956-59, between Sonny's Prestige years & his 3 year "retirement", the tenor titan recorded for a number of different labels as leader & sideman, producing some of the best material of his career. This 5 CD set contains 7 of those LPs, recorded for Contemporary ("Way Out West" - Contemporary 7530 from ‘57 - Sonny in a pianoless trio with Ray Brown & Shelly Manne - contains a few alternate takes, & "Sonny Rollins & the Contemporary Giants", Contemporary 7564 - Sonny leading an all-star quintet with Hamp Hawes, Barney Kessel, Leroy Vinnegar & Manne - includes alternate takes including one not on the CD reissue), for Period ("Sonny Rollins Plays" - Period 1204 from ‘57 in a quintet with Sonny joined on the front line with trombonist Jimmy Cleveland), and for Riverside as a leader (the classic "Freedom Suite", Riverside 258 from ‘58, a pianoless trio with Oscar Pettiford & Max Roach, including the nearly 20 minute title extravaganza, & "The Sound of Sonny" - Riverside 241 from ‘57 in a quintet with Sonny Clarke, Percy Heath, Paul Chambers & Roy Haynes), & as a sideman for Thelonious Monk ("Brilliant Corners", Riverside 226 from ‘56 with Sonny joined in the front line by Ernie Henry or Clark Terry), Kenny Dorham ("Jazz Contrasts" - Riveside 239 from ‘59 in an all-star quintet with Hank Jones, Oscar Pettiford & Roach), & vocalist Abbey Lincoln ("That's Him!" - Riverside 251 from ‘57, with another all-star quintet with Dorham, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers & Roach). With fine booklet with all discographical info, notes & rare photos. (GM)

STUFF SMITH Hep 1085 The Complete 1936-1937 Sessions ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, very highly recommended
Fabulous collection of small group swing featuring the great jazz violinist Hezekiah Leroy Gordon "Stuff " Smith. Paul Whiteman named Smith "The New King Of Swing" and he was greatly admired for his unique improvisational abilities by classical violinists Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz, who both played informally with him. The first 22 tracks feature all his commercial recordings made in 1936 and 1937 including a couple of alternate takes recorded with his Onyx Club Boys. Trumpeter Jonah Jones and drummer Cozy Cole are present on all sessions and other musicians that appear include pianist James Sherman, clarinetist Buster Bailey and others. The final three tracks feature the same group on tunes from radio transcriptions. In addition to his spectacular fiddle playing Stuff was also a great gravelly jive vocalist who does some occasional scatting. Includes I'se A Muggin/ I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket/ After You've Gone/ You'se A Viper/ It Ain't Right/ Here Comes The Man With The Jive/ Onyx Club Spree, etc. Sound quality is superb and the 16 page booklet has extensive notes by Anthony Barnett who authored a two volume bio-discography of Smith plus some great photos and full discographical info. (FS)

TAB SMITH Delmark 555 Crazy Walk ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 65 minutes, essential Jazz alto sax giant Tab Smith had more records on the United Label than anyone else in the stable. His considerable talents also delivered a smash hit for the label in the form of Because Of You. Of the twenty-four tracks on "Crazy Walk", ten are previously unissued, while the balance have never seen issue outside of the original 78 releases or hard-to-find United LPs from years ago. Smith's sax work was simply beautiful and his playing always exhibited immaculate feel, whether blowing through Fast Blues/ Bounce Blues or a delicious version of Caravan. Other highlights are the two-part Pick Up On Tab/ Yo Yo Blues/ Mean To Me, and the stunning deep blues of Feel Like I Wanna Die with Ray King belting out a superior vocal. Another highly satisfying disc from Delmark with notes from Frank Driggs. (CR)

THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS B.A.C.M. 078 Western Harmony & Hot Swing, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
The Sons of the Pioneers wasn't the first cowboy harmony ensemble, but was unquestionably the best. While some prefer the original group with Len Slye, many consider the 1937-1942 lineup of Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer, Lloyd Perryman, Hugh and Karr Farr, and Pat Brady to be the definitive Pioneers. Although it recorded for Decca in 1941-42, this group's reputation largely rests upon 200+ titles preserved on 18 NBC Orthacoustic radio transcriptions ex-member Slye produced under his new stage name, Roy Rogers. These 1940 ETs capture the diversity of the band's repertoire and abilities: buoyant contemporary cowboy songs (many penned by Nolan), minstrel-era tunes, sentimental ballads, sacred numbers, traditional fiddle tunes and hot swing instrumentals. At times their vocal arrangements are reminiscent of the Boswell Sisters. Though some Orthas later appeared on LP, relatively few titles migrated to compact disc. This collection and its companion volume feature a balanced cross-section of the Pioneers' 1940 repertoire, with 28 songs and four Farr Brothers instrumentals. The compilers wisely chose lesser-known material over the Pioneers' signature songs, which are available elsewhere. As with other B.A.C.M. issues, the sound quality varies but is generally good. Both volumes include Kevin Coffey's thumbnail sketch of this remarkable band. (DS)
THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS: A Cowboy's Prayer/ Blue Mountain Sweetheart/ Boggy Road To Texas (Instr.)/ Bon Ton Schottische (Instr.)/ Cielito Lindo/ Cody Of The Pony Express/ Come And Get It/ Cottage In The Clouds/ Curly Joe From Idaho/ Get Along Pinto Pony/ Great Big Taters In The Sandy Land (Instr.)/ I Belong To The Range/ Lone Buckaroo/ Moonlight On The Trail/ No Good Son Of A Gun/ On The Rhythm Range/ Ridin' On The Sunshine Trail/ Ridin' The Range With You/ Riding The Rocky Range/ Rise And Shine/ Rocky Road In The Rockies/ Sally Goodin' (Instr.)/ She's The Lily Of Hillbilly Valley/ Sunset On The Trail/ The Quilting Party/ We Sat Beneath The Maple On The Hill/ What Wonderful Joy/ What You Gonna Say To Peter/ When A Cowboy Starts To Courtin'/ When The Prairie Sun Says Good Morning/ Where The Rio Rolls Along/ Wonder Valley

THE STANLEY BROTHERS Starday 7000 The Early Starday King Years 1958-1961 ● CD $31.98
4 CD's, 109 tracks, 4 hrs., 33 min., essential
This is the one we Stanley Brothers fans have been waiting for. Although the Stanleys had been recording for twelve years and had recorded many classic sides for Columbia and Mercury by 1958, many feel that the recordings for King and Starday represent their finest work. There is no denying the wealth of great performances, including the eerie Rank Strangers and such bluegrass standards as Love Me Darling/ Just Tonight/ How Mountain Girls Can Love/ Clinch Mountain Backstep/ Another Night/ The Memory Of Your Smile and many others. The quality of the material remains high throughout the period, with the Starday sessions remaining more faithful to the traditional set-up of guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and bass. King Records boss Syd Nathan hated bluegrass fiddle; at his insistence the two guitar sound, often featuring the fancy crosspicking of Bill Napier and then George Shuffler, became more prominent. Napier's hot, punchy mandolin is also fetured on the sides for Starday and the early King sessions, along with the great Chubby Anthony on fiddle. The inimitable elements of the classic Stanley Bros. sound abound on this collection, from the sorrowful lead vocals and wonderful original songs of brother Carter to the bright banjo and quavering, intense singing of brother Ralph, whose voice epitomizes their timeless quality. Box includes a well researched, informative 20-page booklet and discography by Gary Reid, and the sound is fine, certainly better than on the myriad reissue LPs issued in the 70s. (RP)
THE STANLEY BROTHERS: A Few More Seasons/ A Little At A TIme/ Another Night/ Are You Afraid To Die/ Are You Tired Of Me, Darling/ Beneath The Maple/ Big Tilda/ Carolina Mountain Home/ Choo Choo Comin'/ Christmas Is Near/ Clinch Mountain Backstep/ Come All Ye Tenderhearted/ Daybreak In Dixie (Overdubbed Version)/ Daybreak In Dixie (Undubbed Version)/ Don't Go Out Tonight/ Finger Poppin' Time (Overdubbed Version)/ Finger Poppin' Time (Undubbed Version)/ Four Books In The Bible/ From The Manger To The Cross/ Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet/ God Gave You To Me/ Gonna Paint The Town/ Handsome Molly/ He Said If I Be Lifted Up/ Heaven Seemed So Near/ Hey, Hey, Hey/ Highway Of Regret/ Holiday Pickin'/ How Can We Thank Him For What He Has Done/ How Far To Little Rock/ How Mountain Girls Can Love/ I Saw The Light/ I'd Worship You/ I'll Just Go Away/ I'll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning/ I'll Not Be A Stranger/ I'll Take The Blame/ I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow/ I'm Ready To Go/ If I Lose/ In Heaven We'll Never Grow Old/ It's Raining Here This Morning/ Jacob's Vision/ Jenny Lynn/ Jordan/ Just Dreamin'/ Keep A Memory/ Let Me Love You One More Time/ Let Me Rest/ Let The Church Roll On/ Little Bennie/ Little Joe/ Little Maggie/ Little Willie/ Lonely Tombs/ Love Me, Darling, Just Tonight/ Lover's Quarrel/ Mastertone March/ Midnight Ramble/ Mother Left Me Her Bible/ Mother No Longer Awaits Me At Home/ Mother's Footsteps Guide Me On/ Mountain Dew/ My Lord's Gonna Set Me Free/ My Main Trial Is Yet To Come/ Next Sunday, Darling, Is My Birthday/ Old Daniel Prayed/ Old Love Letters/ Old Rattler/ Over In The Glory Land/ Pass Me Not/ Purple Robe/ Rank Stranger/ Rank Stranger (Previously Unreleased)/ Ridin' That Midnight Train/ Rock Of Ages/ Shackles And Chains/ She's More To Be Pitied/ Shenandoah Waltz/ Steel Guitar Rag (Previously Unissued)/ Sunny Side Of The Mountain/ Suwanee River Hoedown/ Sweet Thing/ Sweeter Than The Flowers/ That Happy Night/ That Home Far Away/ The Angel Of Death/ The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn/ The Drunken Driver/ The Memory Of Your Smile/ The Story Of The Lawson Family/ The White Dove/ The Wild Side Of Life/ The Window Up Above/ Think Of What You've Done/ This Wicked Path Of Sin/ Tragic Romance/ Train 45/ Trust Each Other/ Weeping Willow/ What A Friend/ What About You/ When Jesus Beckons Me Home/ Where We'll Never Die/ Wild Bill Jones/ Wildwood Flower/ Wings Of Angels/ You're Still To Blame/ Your Selfish Heart

BABE STOVALL Arcola 1005 The Old Ace - Mississippi Blues & Religious Songs ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 50 mins, essential
A most welcome release - the first ever CD release of fine New Orleans singer/ guitarist Babe Stovall. Babe was originally from Mississippi where he was born in 1907 and started playing music when 8 years old. He performed with his eight older brothers - all of whom played music. In his 20s he met legendary Mississippi bluesman Tommy Johnson and learned from him. He never become a full time musician though by the time he moved to New Orleans in the early 60s it became his primary source of income. Babe was more of a songster than a straight bluesman and played a wide variety of material drawing on both black and white musical traditions. He was a powerful singer with gruff voice and played some fine guitar usually on a steel bodied National. The recordings here were made by Bob West in 1968 and find Babe in fine form on a collection of mostly traditional blues and gospel songs including Good Morning Blues/ Going To Wear You Off My Mind/ Baby let Me Follow You Down/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken?/ Dirty Mistreater/ God's Word Shall Never Pass Away and others including a particularly nice version of Tommy Johnson's Big Road Blues which he neatly segues into a superb version of Careless Love. The disc ends with a couple of spoken word tracks where Babe talks about his family and playing music in New Orleans. Babe was recorded quite often between the late 50s and late 60s and it would sure be nice if some of those recordings were also to find their way on to CD. Includes 12 page booklet with some great photos and informative notes by David Evans who knew Babe well. An exemplarily and important release. (FS)

ALI FARKA TOURE Nonesuch 79569 Radio Mali ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, 72 mins, essential
Malian singer/ guitarist Ali Farka Toure is one of our favorite African musicians. He is a lovely singer who sings in the melismatic Islamic style and accompanies himself with a unique free flowing acoustic guitar style which brings to mind blues stylists from the American South. The result is music that is utterly enchanting and hypnotic. In recent years Ali has achieved the acclaim he so richly deserved. This collection of 16 tracks is selected from hours of recordings made in the 70s for Mali's national radio. Ali plays guitar and njarka violin and is occasionally accompanied by violin or guitar. Set is beautifully packaged with a 36 page booklet with biographical information, notes on and lyrics to all the songs and lots of great archival photos. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 816 Riot City! Rocking Northwest Instrumentals ● CD $18.98
31 tracks, 74 minutes, essential
The sound of the Northwest was unlike most of the rest of the country. Taking a cue from Dave Lewis' instrumental classic David's Mood, the sound not only had driving guitar, but plenty of sax & organ. This isn't a semi-bootleg of obscure tunes, but an exciting set of stuff from Jerry Dennon's Jerden label, taken from the master tapes, some with original studio chat. A real treat is finally having the flip-side David's Mood Pt 2 on CD. The biggest name here is probably Don & The Good Times with Don Gallucci, former Kingsman, future producer of Iggy & The Stooges' "Fun House", with original Paul Revere & The Raiders guitarist Pierre Oulette (future Raider Jim "Harpo" Valley was a later member) with such fine sides as Turn On & Straight Scepter. Other legendary bands heard here include Sir Raleigh & The Cupons (with Dewey Martin, future Buffalo Springfield drummer, former Bluecap Johnny Meeks & Sneaky Pete Kleinow!), The Chessmen, The Beachcomers & Rocky & His Friends who provide the jumpin' title tune. Compiled by liner note writer & El Cerrito Wonder Boy Alec Paleo. (GM)
THE ADVENTURERS: Excelsior/ THE BEACHCOMBERS: The Wheeley/ THE BELLINGHAM ACCENTS: Sampan/ THE CHECKERS: Black Cat/ THE CHESSMEN: Mr Meadowlands/ THE CLASSICS: Aces High/ THE COUNTS: Chitlins Etc Aka Chittlins Con Carne/ Clyde, Clyde, The Cow's Outside/ Feel Alright/ DANNY & THE SENIORS: Pipeline (live)/ DON & THE GOODTIMES: Straight Sceptre/ Turn On/ GENTLEMAN JIM & THE HORSEMEN: Soul Searchin'/ JAMES HENRY & THE OLYMPICS: Sticky/ THE IMPERIALS: Backyard Compost/ Chinese Checkers/ THE JESTERS: Alki Point/ JOHNNY & THE VELVETONES: Hitch Hiking Home/ Wop Sticks/ THE JUVENILES: I've Got A Woman/ LEROY & THE GALAHADS: Fidget/ Purple Peanuts/ DAVE LEWIS: David's Mood (pt 2)/ THE RAYMARKS: Backfire/ Work Song/ DOUG ROBERTSON & THE GOOD GUYS: Drivin' Home/ Quiet Riot/ ROCKY & HIS FRIENDS: Riot City/ SIR RALEIGH & THE CUPONS: Somethin' Or Other/ Whitcomb Street/ VINCE & THE VICTORS: Torquila

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 818 Shreveport High Steppers ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
A terrific collection of rockabilly and rocking country from the vaults of Mira Smith's Ram label in Shreveport recorded between 1956 and '59. This is the stuff I like with a raw stripped down sound - twangy vocals with mostly two guitars and bass with some occasional drums and piano and only two tracks with sax. Star of the set is Thomas Johnson (aka The Lonesome Drifter) who has ten tracks including the fabulous Eager Boy and Teardrop Valley which are justifiably considered rockabilly classics with their soulful bluesy vocals and hot guitar work. His other tracks are also fine - some not originally issued. James Wilson's two fine cuts from 1956 were Ram's first rockabilly issue and also marked the first appearance on record of James Burton who is also featured on several other cuts here. Buddy Sepaugh presumably figured his real name wasn't catchy enough so he adopted the pseudonym of Endom Spires (go figure!) - he does a great rockin' version of Johnny Bond's I Wonder Where You Are Tonight. Linda Brannon has one of the only ballads here Just Another Lie - with the stark backup of just two guitars she turns in a fabulously powerful and bluesy vocal. Lots of other fine sides here from Mack & Gwen & The Country Playboys, Joe Osborne (a hot previously unissued instrumental), Margaret Lewis, Leon Post, Toby Johnson (two superb previously unissued sides) and others. Usual high quality Ace sound and presentation. A real winner! (FS)
LINDA BRANNON: Just Another Lie/ CHARLOTTE HUNTER: I'll Be True/ Wherever You Are/ MARGARET LEWIS: Shake A Leg/ Goin' To St Louie/ LARRY LINCOLN: My Baby Went Away/ That'll Hold You/ THE LONESOME DRIFTER: Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues/ Eager Boy/ Honey Do You Think Of Me/ I Wished It Wasn't So/ I'll Be Lonesome When You're Gone/ I'll Take A Chance/ I'm Gonna Quit My Crying/ No Loving No Rocking Blues/ Teardrop Valley/ This Old World Don't Seem The Same/ MACK AND GWEN & THE COUNTRY PLAYBOYS: Baby I Want Another Date/ JOE OSBORNE: Rovin'/ LEON POST: Dollie In The Dirt Boogie/ ENDOM SPIRES: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight/ ROY WAYNE: Any Way You Do/ Honey Won't You Listen/ JAMES WILSON & THE JIMMIE CATS: Wilson's Blues No/ You Won't Know Why 'til I'm Gone

VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie 419 Angola Prisoner's Blues ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 79 mins, essential
When folklorist Harry Oster visited the infamous state penitentiary at Angola, Louisiana in 1959 he found a small group of older musicians performing traditional blues and spirituals. Foremost among these was the incredible Robert Pete Williams who, following his release in 1960, went on to great acclaim on the blues circuit and performed and recorded regularly up to his death in 1980. Oster released some of his prison recordings on a Folklyric album which was later reissued by Arhoolie - this CD issues seven of the tracks from that album and adds thirteen tracks never issued before. The three tracks left off the album are Robert Pete Williams cuts that are on Arhoolie 394. The three Williams cuts here include one of his greatest performances Prisoners Talking Blues where he speaks about his feelings to the background of a gently strummed 12 string guitar - the effect is hypnotic and incredibly moving. There are other fine artists here including the powerful singer and 12 string guitarist Matthew "Hogman" Maxey, the introspective singer and fine guitarist Robert "Guitar" Welch and others. There are also three unaccompanied and emotional affecting songs by three women prisoners - Odea Matthews, Clara Matthews and Thelma Mae Jospel. This beautiful release features a booklet with the original notes by Oster. Part of the royalties from this CD will go to the Inmate Welfare Fund at Angola which is responsible for recreation and providing musical instruments. (FS)
A CAPELLA WORK CREW: I'm Lonesome Blues/ BUTTERBEANS: Hello, Sue/ ROOSEVELT CHARLES: Have You Ever Heard A Church Bell Tone/ Strike At Camp I/ THELMA MAE JOSEPH: I'm Still In Love With You/ ODEA MATTHEWS: The Moon Is Rising/ HOGMAN MAXEY: Black Night Is Falling/ Fast Life Woman/ Stagolee/ Worried Blues/ VOCAL GROUP: I Miss You So/ OTIS WEBSTER: Careless Love/ GUITAR WELCH: 61 Highway/ Electric Chair Blues/ Josephine/ Some Got Six Months/ ROBERT PETE WILLIAMS: Angola Bound/ I'm Gonna Leave You, Mama/ Prisoner's Talking Blues/ CLARA YOUNG: Soldier's Plea

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 050 The Okeh Label Classic Old Time Music ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Fine collection of old time country recorded for the Okeh label between 1924 and 1930 - most of it making its first appearance on any kind of reissue. Includes a few relatively familiar names like The Scottdale String Band and Narmour & Smith but most of the artists are pretty obscure like Blind Andy Jenkins, Bill Chitwood's Georgia Mountaineers (the delightful When Married Folks Run Out Of Cash - also known as I'm S-A-V-E-D), Bela Lam's Greene County Singers (some lovely old time gospel singing), Ralph Richardson (the very strange Little Dog Yodel), J.D. McFarland & Daughter, Fiddlin; Bob Larkin's Music Makers (the nonsense song Women Wear No Clothes At All), Phil Pavey (fine bluesy yodeling with banjo and piano accompaniment), Roba Stanley (one of the first women country singers to record with a fine version of All Night Long from 1924). A few tracks are from pretty rough 78s but sound quality is generally fine and there are brief notes. (FS)
BILL CHITWOOD'S GEORGIA MOUNTAINEERS: When Married Folks Are Out Of Cash/ THE FOUR VIRGINIANS: New Coon In Town/ ANDREW JENKINS & CARSON ROBISON: Sidewalks Of New York/ BLIND ANDY JENKINS WITH MARY LEE: Alabama Flood/ BELA LAM'S GREENE COUNTY SINGERS: Little Maud/ Sweet Bye And Bye/ Tell It Again/ The Sweet Story Of Old/ FIDDLIN' BOB LARKIN'S MUSIC MAKERS: Women Wear No Clothes At All/ J.D. MCFARLAND & DAUGHTER: Devil In The Woodpile/ NARMOUR & SMITH: Dry Gin Rag/ Tequila Hop Blues/ Texas Breakdown/ Texas Shuffle/ NORTH CAROLINA COOPER BOYS: Daniel In The Lion‘s Den/ PHIL PAVEY (AKA ROY EVANS): Bronco Bustin‘ Blues/ RALPH RICHARDSON: Little Dog Yodel/ HUGH RODEN & ROY RODGERS: Hogs In The Tater Patch/ SCOTTDALE STRING BAND: Carolina Glide/ Chinese Breakdown/ My Own Iona/ Old Folks Better Go To Bed/ Scottdale Stomp/ ROBA STANLEY & BILL PATTERSON: All Night Long/ GEORGE WALBURN & EMMETT HETHCOX: Lee County Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 15622 That'll Flat Git It! Vol. 1 ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 68 minutes, essential
31 tunes covering many of the highlights of RCA's love affair with rockabilly. You'd be smitten too if your sweetheart (we're talkin' Elvis) stuffed millions into your bank account. Except for the brief novelty of a "female Elvis" (Janis Martin) the rest of the boppers here hardly made a ripple. That's not to say there wasn't plenty of talent though. Joe Clay wails on Sixteen Chicks and Duck Tail . Joey Castle tears it up on That Ain't Nothing But Right and Ric Cartey romps on Oooh-Wee . Even when the singer or the song is marginal, the RCA studio band of Chet Atkins(g), Hank Garland(g), Floyd Cramer(p), Bob Moore(b), etc. elevates the proceedings considerably. Other artists features include David Houston, Tommy Blake, Skeeter Bonn, Gene Morris, Lee Denson, etc. The beautiful photo filled 48 page booklet, written by Bill Millar is fantastic. (AE)
MILTON ALLEN: Don't Bug Me Baby/ TOMMY BLAKE: All Night Lon/ Honky Tonk Min/ SKEETER BONN: Rock-A-Bye-Baby/ MARTHA CARSON: Now Stop/ RIC CARTEY: Born To Love One Woma/ Heart Thro/ Oooh We/ JOEY CASTLE: That Ain't Nothing But Righ/ NAN CASTLE: Star Light, Star Bright/ JOE CLAY: Duck Tai/ Sixteen Chicks/ FRANKIE DEE: Shake It Up Baby/ JIMMY DELL: I've Got A Dollar/ LEE DENSON: New Shoes/ DICK GLASSER: Catty Town/ TED HARRIS: Just Thought I'd Set You Straight/ DAVID HOUSTON: One And Only/ Sugar Sweet/ AUTRY INMAN: Mary Nell/ HOYT JOHNSON: Little Boy Blue/ JANIS MARTIN: Barefoot Babe/ Drugstore Rock & Roll/ THE MCCOYS: Full Grown Cat/ GENE MORRIS: Lovin' Honey (1)/ Lovin' Honey (2)/ DAVE RICH: Rosie Let's Get Cozy/ JIMMIE RODGERS SNOW: Milkcow Blues/ THE SPROUTS: Teen Billy Baby/ MORGAN TWINS: TV Hop/ ART WOOD: Hey Jibb

VARIOUS ARTISTS Buda 82951-2 Ethiopiques, Vol. 1 - Golden Years Of Modern Ethiopian ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
Wonderfully exotic and exciting music recorded between 1969 and 1975 that has rarely been heard in the West. The music is a mesmerizing blend of the old and the new and features some of Ethiopia's finest singers with intesely emotional vocal style and distinctively Ethiopian warble. They are accompanied by hard-charging bands with wailing horns, swirling keyboards, and stuttering rhythms. The fascinating 28 page booklet has notes in French and English about the music, the musicians and the political climate out of which they emerged. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Buffalo Bop 55010 Teenage Doll ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 66 min., essential
If you dug the pioneering "Hot Boppin' Girls" series you oughta get a load of this rippin' set of wild women rockers that makes Wanda Jackson look like the tip of the iceberg! As usual, the first cut's an absolute stunner (Jim Dandy by Sara Lee) that sets the tone for the rest of the action. Brenda Darlin tells us she's a Rockin Lady, Freeda Boxx is Havin' A Ball, Miss Georgia does some Rockin' After School, Sandy Lee does Ballin' Keen, and Jan Moore's Play It Cool is so great it's on here twice! Also, some spectacular photos that would probably be illegal in some states. Don't miss this one. (GDR)
BOLEAN BARRY: Long Sideburns/ JANE BOWMAN: Mad Mama/ FREEDA BOX: Havin' A Ball/ IVEY BURNETT: It's All Your Love Or Nothing/ PATSY CLINE: Gotta Lot Of Rhythm/ ALVADEAN COKER: We're Gonna Bop/ BRENDA DARLIN: Rockin' Lady/ CHARLOTTE HARDEN: Loving You Baby/ KELLY HART: Boy Crazy/ SYLVIA HOGAN: Da-De Da/ KAY JOHNSON: Stagger Lee/ KAY CEE JONES: Shortnin' Bread/ LEE JONES: Cool Cool Daddy/ JOANNE KING: Hystory/ SUZIE LAWRENCE: Money Honey/ JUDY LAYNE: Hard Headed Woman/ SANDY LEE: Ballin' Keen/ SARA LEE: Jim Dandy/ PATTI MACK: Handy Andy/ RONNIE MALONE: Lightning Bug/ MISS GEORGIA: Rockin' After School/ JAN MOORE: Play It Cool/ Play It Cool/ NANCY & THE MILLIONAIRES: Atooka Okla/ BETTY NICKELL: Hot Dog/ DONNA RAE: Little Fool/ SHERREE SCOTT: Easy Payment/ SUZY Q. SCOTT: Boogie Woogie Rock/ PEGGY UPTON: Sweet Sugar Bugger/ SUE WINFROD: That's My Heart

VARIOUS ARTISTS Buffalo Bop 55092 Rockabilly Fever ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
A particularly fine set of rockabilly and rocking country though some of the choicest items have been reissued elsewhere. Ray Taylor & The Alabma Pals are superb - their Clocking My Card is pretty much straight country with a bluegrass flavor and great lyrics but Connie Lou & My Hamtramck Baby adds some rock 'n roll and blues to the mixture ending up with two real classic performances though they are also available on Collector 4438. Other gems include Don Wade's great Oh Love (also on Collector 4422), Jeff Johnson's terrific version of Jimmie Skinner's Doin' My Time done Johnny Cash style and the classic country boogie sound of Stoney Mt. Boogie by Bob Varney. There is also the amazing Lovers Hill by Trice Garner which has a very unusual structure. There are also two uptempo country sides by the intriguing Denver Duke & Jeffrey Null whose vocal style sound like they are either gay or pretending to be gay which was certainly unusual for the 50s. Lots of other goodies from Zeke Clements, Mike Miller, Curtis & The Melody Cowboys, The Ferrell Brothers, Art Ontario and others. A real winner! (FS)
LEON BASS: Country Hix's/ LYNN BILLINGSLEY: Childhood Boogie/ ZEKE CLEMENTS: I Don't Like It/ CURTIS & THE MELODY COWBOYS: Mr. Blues/ DENVER DUKE & JEFFREY NULL: Blue, Blue, Blue/ THE ECHOMORES: Cute Chick/ Little Chick/ What-cha-do-in/ DON FEGER: Date On The Corner/ Don't Be Mad/ THE FERREL BROTHERS: Oh! Moon/ DON FOWLER: Oklahoma Baby/ THE FRANKLIN BROTHERS: Oh, Laura/ TRICE GARNER: Lovers Hill/ JEFF JOHNSON: Doin' My Time/ JOE KOZAK: Hillbilly Rock/ TONY & JACKIE LAMIE: Sunset Blues/ Wore To A Frazzel/ JOHNNY MAC: The Tug Boat Song/ DICK MARQUIS: Walkin' Around In Circles/ MIKE MILLER: Don't Mess Up My Hair/ ART ONTARIO: Wiggle Walkin' Boogie/ MILLARD PRESLEY: Denominations/ RAY TAYLOR: Clocking My Card/ Conny Lou/ My Hamtramck Baby/ BOB VARNEY: Stoney Mt. Boogie/ LEE VOORHIES: Load Up My Blues/ DON WADE: Oh Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 702 Working The Road - The Golden Age Of Chicago Gospel ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 65 minutes, essential
For the first time we have the complete 1951-1952 United recordings of Robert Anderson and the first sides by Albertina Walker & The Caravans. As the consummate blues crooner and member of The Roberta Martin Singers, he (they) laid the foundation of 'delayed time' which is the basis of R&B & gospel music. These 10 sides (all 8 of his United sides plus 2 alternate takes) were produced by the legendary Lewis Conrad "Lew" Simpkins, co-founder of United Records and the producer of his earlier Premium/Miracle sides. With The (Gospel) Caravans providing the harmony background, these awesome recordings feature Anderson's majestic vocals, especially effective on Sow Righteous Seeds (with The Caravans) and his masterpiece Oh Lord, Is It I (with piano-organ accompaniment only). To fill out the CD, Delmark has included 8 tracks by Lucy Austin Smith & her singers (including 1 track by Singing Sammy Lewis), and an unissued 1955/6 rehearsal session by singer-pianist Rev. Robert Ballinger (1921-1965. Lucy Smith is joined here by singer Mrs. Gladys Beamon Gregory, the sweetest singer in the world according to Robert Anderson, especially evident on He's My Everything. These recordings are essential if you have an interest in early postwar gospel. (EL)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Frog DGF 71 Frogspawn - The First Batch - Red Jazz Rarities, etc. ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, very highly recommended
"Frogspawn "- what a wonderful title - and the music is even better. 25 tracks featuring alternate takes, unissued tracks and impossibly rare gems from the period 1924 through 1933 - most making their first appearance on CD, and the few that have been out before are in superior sound. The first six tracks feature alternate takes from King Oliver & His Orch, Earl Hines & His Orch., Thomas Morris & His Seven Hot Babies and Fletcher Henderson & His Orch. Then it's on to a whole batch of real obscurities including Paul Davis & His Orchestra (a real mystery man with a fine version of Elllington's Black And Tan Fantasy), The Texas Blues Destroyers (a remarkable duo featuring Bubber Miley / cornet and Arthur Ray/ accordion!), The Blue Rhythm Orchestra, Frankie Franko & His Louisianans (the superb Golden Lily Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Grapevine 3009 William Bell Presents Atlanta Soul - Peachtree Records ● CD $19.98
20 tracks, 57 min., essential
The Peachtree label (started by William Bell and his manager Henry Wynn) existed between 1968-71 and has acquired near mythical associations among soul 45 collectors because of the high quality of music and the scarcity of available copies. This welcome collection represents thousands of dollars in vinyl. The Four Dynamics' Things That A Lady Ain't Supposed To Do b/w That's What Girls Are Made For (Peachtree 129) is probably the rarest, though as Emory And The Dynamics their Let's Take A Look At Our Love b/w It Sure Would be Nice (Peachtree 107) isn't far behind. All four tracks are here, as is the northern soul classic by James Fountain Seven Day Lover. The label's biggest seller and, arguably greatest talent, Mitty Collier, is represented by four cuts, including the stunner Share What You Got. The CD offers nearly half the label's output, including Susie Rainy's You Hurt So Good, issued as a vanity record. Most tracks have never been on CD or anywhere else since their initial release. Gorgeous George's foray into deep soul It's Not A Hurting Thing is previously unreleased. Informative booklet notes but unfortunately no discography. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 923 Away From Base - Basie Sidemen With Other Leaders ● CD $28.98
4 discs, 100 tracks, essential
They could have called this a Billie Holiday box, as it seems that the singer of choice here is Lady Day, hard on over half the tunes here & singing at her peak. These vacationing Basie-ites (which also includes many Ellingtonians & Goodmaniacs) are often heard on small group recordings initially done to fill jukeboxes, with the nominal leader being Billie or Teddy Wilson. There are other singers featured here, including Mildred Bailey, Helen Humes, Joe Turner & Una Mae Carlisle, guesting with Lionel Hampton, Harry James, & Benny Goodman, as well as bands put together for labels such as Commodore including the Kansas City 5 & 6, & Joe Sullivan's Caf‚ Society Orch. Recorded between '36 & '41, all these cats are DEFINITELY in their prime! Some of the Wilson sides have Teddy with the other _ of the All-American Rhythm Section (Freddie Green, Walter Page, Jo Jones). Besides Teddy & Bille, the most-often heard voice is Lester Yong, but there are plenty of others including Herschal Evans, Buck Clayton, Don Byas, Eddie Durham, Sweets Edison, along with other greats as Benny Carter, Cozy Cole, John Kirby, Edmund Hall, Buster Bailey & Johnny Hodges. Small group jazz at its peak! (GM)
MILDRED BAILEY & HER ORCHESTRA: Heaven Help This Heart Of Mine/ If You Should Ever Leave/ It's The Natural Thing To Do/ The Moon Got In My Eyes/ UNA MAE CARLISLE: Beautiful Eyes/ Blitzkrieg Baby (you Can't Bomb Me)/ It's Sad But True/ There'll Be Some Changes Made/ BENNY GOODMAN & HIS ORCHESTRA: He Ain't Got Rhythm/ Make Believe/ The Blue Room/ Ti-pi-tin/ LIONEL HAMPTON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Any Time At All/ I'm In The Mood For Swing/ Muskrat Ramble/ Shoe Shiner's Drag/ GLENN HARDMAN & HIS HAMMOND FIVE: China Boy/ Exactly Like You/ Jazz Me Blues/ On The Sunny Side Of The Street/ Upright Organ Blues/ Who?/ BILLIE HOLIDAY: All Of Me/ Georgia On My Mind/ I'm Pulling Through/ Laughing At Life/ Let's Do It/ Night And Day/ Romance In The Dark/ Tell Me More/ The Man I Love/ Time On My Hands/ You're A Lucky Guy/ You're Just A No Account/ A Sailboat In The Moonlight/ Back In Your Own Back Yard/ Born To Love/ Getting Some Fun Out Of Life/ He's Funny That Way/ I Can't Get Started/ I've Got A Date With A Dream/ Me Myself And I/ Now They Call It Swing/ On The Sentimental Side/ The Very Thought Of You/ Trav'lin' All Alone/ When A Woman Loves A Man/ Who Wants Love?/ Without Your Love/ You Can't Be Mine/ HARRY JAMES & HIS ORCHESTRA WITH HELEN HUMES: (i Can Dream) Can't I?/ It's The Dreamer In Me/ Jubilee/ Life Goes To A Party/ One O'clock Jump/ Song Of The Wanderer/ Texas Chatter/ When We're Alone (penthouse Serenade)/ THE KANSAS CITY SIX: 'way Down Yonder In New Orleans/ Countless Blues/ THE KANSAS CITY FIVE: Good Mornin' Blues/ I Know That You Know/ THE KANSAS CITY SIX: I Want A Little Girl/ THE KANSAS CITY FIVE: Laughing At Life/ Love Me Or Leave Me/ THE KANSAS CITY SIX: Pagin' The Devil/ Them There Eyes/ JERRY KRUGER & HER ORCHESTRA: Rain, Rain, Go Away/ Summertime/ SAM PRICE & HIS TEXAS BLUSICIANS: Just Jivin' Around/ The Goon Drag (gone Wid De Goon)/ TIMME ROSENKRANTZ & HIS BARRELHOUSE BARONS: A Wee Bit Of Swing/ Is This To Be My Souvenir?/ JOE SULLIVAN & HIS CAFE SOCIETY ORCHESTRA: Oh, Lady Be Good/ Solitude/ TEDDY WILSON & HIS ORCHESTRA WITH BILLIE HOLID: April In My Heart/ Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man/ Easy Living/ Everybody's Laughing/ Foolin' Myself/ He Ain't Got Rhythm/ Here It Is Tomorrow Again/ TEDDY WILSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me/ I Must Have That Man!/ I'll Get By/ I'll Never Be The Same/ I'll Never Fail You/ I've Found A New Baby/ If Dreams Come True/ Mean To Me/ My First Impression Of You/ My Man (mon Homme)/ Nice Work If You Can Get It/ Say It With A Kiss/ Sun Showers/ They Say/ Things Are Looking Up/ This Year's Kisses/ When You're Smiling/ Why Was I Born?/ Yours And Mine

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 6201 Virginia Rocks ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 61 tracks, 142 mins, very highly recommended
Although it may be news to some, Virginia was an early hot-bed of Rock 'n' Roll and when it came to Rockabilly, the great state of Virginia held up the torch higher and longer than most of the other 49. This fantastic collection features a whole mess of great acts from the "Cavalier state," from proto-Rockabilly-Country and Western through Rock 'n' Roll and beyond. The R&R legends like Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Janis Martin, and The Rock A Teens are all here with known and rare tracks as well. You also get hot numbers from less likely sources like Patsy Cline with Stop Look and Listen, and a fiery young Roy Clark with Please Mister Mayor, and Puddin'. Most importantly, though, are probably the great acts that most haven't heard of, with drop dead killer tracks from the likes of The Dazzlers, Robert Williams & The Groovers (the awesome Loud Mufflers) Darnell Miller, The Downbeats, The Hi-Tombs, The Lancers, Carl Tyndale, Gene Criss & The Hep Cats, and many, many, more. You also not only get Link with his Ray Men, but also with his brothers Lucky and Doug Wray on Teenage Cutie. Unlike a lot of JSP sets, this one comes with an outstanding 72 page booklet full of all kinds of rare pictures and lengthy info on the artists and the scenes throughout the state that fostered all of this talent. This is easily one of my favorite collections of the year so far and I know that Rock & Roll/ Rockabilly fans will love it as well and also discover some killer cuts that they never knew about before. (JM)
BARBARA ALLEB: Sweet Willie/ THE AMBITIONS: That's My Baby/ BILLY BARNETTE AND THE SEARCHERS: Stomp, Shake and Twist/ JAY CHEVALIER: Rockin' Roll Angel/ ROY CLARK: Please Mr. Mayor/ Puddin'/ PATSY CLINE: Gotta Lot of Rhythm in My Soul/ Stop, Look and Listen/ EARL CRAIG & THE DOWNBEATS: Saki, Pt. 2/ GENE CRISS & THE HEP CATS: Hep Cat Baby/ I Don't Know/ BARRY DARVELL: Geronimo Stomp/ DON DAY & THE KNIGHTS: Mexicali Roll/ THE DAZZLERS: Gee Whiz/ Somethin' Baby/ RONNIE DOVE & THE BELL TONES: Lover Boy/ THE DOWNBEATS: Craig's Crazy Boogie/ PHIL GRAY & THE GO BOYS: Bluest Boy in Town/ Pepper Hot Baby/ ROY HALL: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ BOB HARMON'S COMBO: Do You Ever Think of Me, Rock/ THE HI-TOMBS: Sweet Rockin' Mama/ Weepin' Willow Rock/ ALDEN HOLLOWAY & HIS TRI-CITY BOYS: Blast Off/ JIMMY HUFTON: Shiver and Shake/ TONY AND JACKIE LAMIE: Sunset Blues/ Wore to a Frazzel/ THE LANCERS: My Little Girl/ JUDY LAYNE & THE RUMBLERS: Hard Headed Woman/ JEANIE LEE: Tic-Toc-A-Boogie/ LEON & CARLOS: Rock Everybody/ JOE MAPHIS: Guitar Rock & Roll/ JANIS MARTIN: Drugstore Rock 'N' Roll/ Let's Elope Baby/ CLINT MILLER: Bertha Lou/ DARNELL MILLER: Royal Flush/ WARREN MILLER: Everybody's Got a Baby But Me/ THE MILLER BROTHERS: Don't Break My Heart/ MOON MULLINS & THE NIGHT RAIDERS: Bip Bop Boom/ JERRY & WAYNE NEWTON: Baby, Baby, Baby/ THE NEWTON BROTHERS FEATURING WAYNE NEWTON: Little Jukebox/ *BUSTER PACK & THE LONESOME PINE BOYS: Indian Boogie/ DOUG POWELL: Jeannie with the Dark Blue Eyes/ Lord Made a Woman/ NAT ROBERTSON: Country Boy/ THE ROCK-A-TEENS: Janis Will Rock/ Woo-Hoo/ HENDER SAUL: I Ain't Gonna Rock-Tonite/ GENE SIMPSON & THE ROCKABILLIES: Blue Baby Boogie/ RANDY SPANGLER & THE COUNTRY KATS: Rock 'N Roll Baby/ THE SPORTSTERS: Johnny's Rip/ THE TRAILBLAZERS: Grandpa's Rock/ CARL TYNDALL: Hillbilly Rock/ GENE VINCENT & THE BLUE CAPS: Be-Bop-A-Lula/ Bluejean Bop/ BUDDY WATSON: If I Had a Woman/ ROBERT WILLIAMS & THE GROOVERS: Cranberry Blues/ Loud Mufflers/ MAC WISEMAN: Step It Up & Go/ LINK WRAY & HIS RAY MEN: Rumble/ LUCKY WRAY WITH LINK & DOUG WRAY: Teenage Cutie

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7726 Cajun Early Recordings - Important Swamp Hits Remastere ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 102 tracks, highly recommended
Four CD box set featuring a wonderful cross section of 102 recordings of Cajun music recorded between 1928 and 1938 by some of the music's great pioneers. The first disc features 16 tracks by Cajun accordion pioneer Joe Flacon including his first recording from 1928 of Lafayette. It also includes tracks by fiddler Leo Soileau with singer and accordion player Mayuse LaFleur from 1928, 1929 recordings of Dennis McGhee and Sady Courville on twin fiddles and two sides by African-American Creole musician Amede Ardoin. The second volume is devoted to the Breaux family featuring 11 tracks featuring the vocals of the wonderful Cleoma Breaux accompanied by her husband Joe Flacon plus 14 tracks by Cleoma's brother Amedee Breaux with brother Orphy Breaux on fiddle and Cleoma on second fiddle or Clifford Breaux on guitar. 20 of the tracks on the third volume are devoted to the great Cajun fiddler Leo Soileau in a variety of settings including duos with accordion player Moise Robin or fiddler Allus Soileau as well as various small groups with guitars and occasional piano. This volume feature all six of the early recordings from 1929 and 1935 of the fine and influential singer, accordion and fiddle player Lawrence Walker. The fourth disc features 25 tracks recorded between 1935 and 1938 by the brilliant and versatile Hackberry Ramblers. (FS)
AMEDEE & CLEOMA BREAUX: Les Tracas Du Hobo/ Ma Blonde Est Partie/ Vas Y Carrement/ CLIFFORD & AMEDEE BREAUX: Fais Do Do Negre/ Home Sweet Home/ La Valse Du Vieux Temps/ Le One Step A Martin/ Le Valse D'Utah/ Mazurka De La Louisiane/ One Step A Marie/ T'As Vole Mon Chapeau/ Tiger Rag Blues/ Valse D'Auguste Breaux/ JOE FALCON & CLEOMA BREAUX: Acadian One Step/ C'Est Si Triste Sans Lui/ En Route Chez Moi/ Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/ Ils La Volet Mon Tracas/ It's A Sin To Tell A Lie/ La Fille Oncle Elair/ La Valse Crowley/ La Valse De Madam Sosten/ La Valse De Marie Bulle/ La Valse J'Aime/ La Vieux Soullard Et Sa Femme/ Lafayette/ Lulu's Back In Town/ Ma Valse Prefere/ Mon Coeur T'Appele/ Mon Vieux D'Autrefois/ Ossen One Step/ Pauvre Garcon/ Poche Town/ Prenez Courage/ Raise My Window High/ Raise Your Window/ She Has Forgotten Me/ The Waltz That Carried Me To My Grave/ To Love And To Lose/ When I Left Home For Texas/ THE HACKBERRY RAMBLERS: Cajun Crawl/ Crowley Waltz/ Dans Le Grand Bois/ Darbone's Breakdown/ Dissatisfied/ Eh La Bas/ Faux Pas Tu Bray Cherie/ French Two Step/ Hackberry Trot/ J'Ai Passe Devonde Ta Porte/ Jolie Blonde/ Jolie Petit Fille/ La Valse De La Prison/ Louisiana Breakdown/ Ma Chere Belle/ Mermentau Stomp/ Oh Josephine, My Josephine/ One Sweet Letter/ Pas Allez Vite/ Quitter La Maison/ Tickle Her/ Une Pias Ici Une Pias La Bas/ Vinton High Society/ Wondering/ You've Got To Hi-De-Hi/ DENNIS MCGEE & SADY COURVILLE: Madame Young Donnez Moi Votre Jolie/ Mon Chere Bebe Creole/ Myself/ Vous Avez Donne Votre Parole/ ALIUS & LEO SOILEAU: Allons Boire Un Coup/ LEO SOILEAU & HIS FOUR ACES: Atrape Moi Je Tombe/ LEO SOILEAU & MAYEUS LAFLEUR: Basile/ LEO SOILEAU & MOISE ROBIN: Demain C'Est Pas Dimanche/ Easy Rider Blues/ Je Veux Marier/ LEO SOILEAU & HIS FOUR ACES: Le Blues De La Louisiane/ LEO SOILEAU & HIS THREE ACES: Le Gran Mamou/ LEO SOILEAU & MAYEUS LAFLEUR: Les Valse Criminale/ LEO SOILEAU & MOISE ROBIN: Ma Cherie 'Tite Fille/ LEO SOILEAU & MAYEUS LAFLEUR: Mama Where You At/ LEO SOILEAU & HIS THREE ACES: Petit Ou Gros/ LEO SOILEAU & HIS FOUR ACES: Quand Je Suis Bleu/ LEO SOILEAU & HIS THREE ACES: Si Vous Voudrais Ame/ LEO SOILEAU & MAYEUS LAFLEUR: Ton Pere A Mit D'Eor/ LEO SOILEAU & HIS THREE ACES: Trois Jours Apres Ma Mort/ LEO SOILEAU'S RHYTHM BOYS: Embrace Moi Encore/ In Your Heart You Love Another/ La Bonne Valse/ Le Blues De Port Arthur/ Ma Jolie Petite Fille/ Personne N'Aime Pas/ Promets Moi/ Valse D'Amour/ LAWRENCE WALKER: La Breakdown La Louisiane/ La Vie Malheureuse/ Alberta/ What's The Matter Now/ La Femme Qui Jouvait Les Cartes/ Mon Dernier Bonsoir

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7755 Mountain Gospel ● CD $28.98
Four CDS, 100 tracks, essential
Fabulous collection of old time gospel music featuring 100 tracks recorded between 1926 and 1941 - the first in depth look at this genre. It includes the complete recordings of the fantastic singer/ guitarist Alfred G. Karnes and the great and terrifically exciting Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet previously available on the now out of print Document CD "Kentucky Gospel." It includes many sides not previously on CDs and the music is tremendously varied including unaccompanied quartets, string bands, brother duets, sacred harp groups and even some novelty gospel numbers. Apart from the aforementioned Karnes and Phipps, highlights include 12 gorgeous sides by Ernest V. Stoneman with harmony vocals accompanied by guitar, fiddle and organ; three tracks by The Bush Family/ Brothers; a lovely duet by The Anglin Twins featuring Jack Anglin who later became half of Johnnie & Jack, the delightful Virginia Dandies featuring vocal by Walter Smith who also appears as Kid Williams on two songs with fine steel guitar, groups led by J.E. Mainer and his brother Wade, the terrific Bill Carlisle and much more. Sound quality varies but generally excellent and there brief notes on many of the artists and discographical information. This is one of those sets you'll return to again and again because of the variety and everywhere you look you'll find an obscure gem. (FS)
ALABAMA SACRED HARP SINGERS: Cuba/ I Belong To This Band/ Old Ship Of Zion/ THE ALCOA QUARTET: I'm Redeemed/ THE ANGLIN TWINS: Just Inside The Pearly Gates/ THE AVONDALE MILLS QUARTET: Rejoicing All The Way/ BIRD'S KENTUCKY CORN CRACKERS: Crossed Old Jordan's Stream/ THE BLUE RIDGE SINGERS: Glory Is Rising In My Soul/ I Want To Go There Don't You/ THE BUSH BROTHERS: On The Glory Road/ When The Gates Of Glory Open/ THE BUSH FAMILY: Music In My Soul/ BILL CARLISLE: He Will Be Your Savior Too/ The Heavenly Train/ THE CAROLINA GOSPEL SINGERS: My Prayer/ THE CAROLINA RAMBLERS: I Got A Home In The Beulah Land/ That Lonesome Valley/ THE CHUMBLER FAMILY: Jacob's Ladder/ EDITH & SHERMAN COLLINS: I Can't Feel At Home In This World Anymore/ THE COON CREEK GIRLS: Sowing On The Mountain/ PHIL & FRANK CROW: Abraham/ PHIL CROW TRIO: I'm A Gittin' Ready To Go/ THE CROWDER BROTHERS: The Sailing Ship/ DANIELS-DEASON SACRED HARP: Coronation/ THE DEAL FAMILY: Everybody Will Be Happy Over There/ He Is Coming After Me/ Joy Among The Angels/ ‘Twill Be All Glory Over There/ THE DIXIE REELERS: I Shall Not Be Moved/ Lonesome Valley (Part 2)/ THE EVA QUARTETTE: Bringing In The Sheaves/ THE GARLAND BROTHERS & GRINSTEAD: Beautiful/ Just Over The River/ THE GIDDENS SISTERS: I'm Going Home To Die No More/ MR & MRS R .N. GRISHAM: We'll Be At Home Again/ ELDER G. P. HARRIS: My God The Spring Of All My Joys/ GOLDEN. P. HARRIS: I'll Lead A Christian Life/ THE HILL BROTHERS WITH WILLIE SIMMONS: I Am On My Way To Heaven/ REV. CALBERT HOLSTEIN & SISTER BILLIE HOLSTEIN: Ring The Bells Of Freedom/ ALFRED G. KARNES: Called To The Foreign Field/ Do Not Wait ‘Till I'm Laid Beneath The Clay/ I Am Bound For The Promised Land/ The Days Of My Childhood Plays/ To The Work/ We Shall All Be Reunited/ When They Ring The Golden Bells/ Where We'll Never Grow Old/ THE LAUREL (MISSISSIPPI) FIREMAN'S QUARTET: What A Change/ THE LUBBOCK TEXAS QUARTET: Turn Away/ WADE MAINER & THE SONS OF THE MOUNTAINEERS: Home In The Sky/ Life's Ev'nin' Sun/ Mansions In The Sky/ The Precious Jewel/ THE MCCRAVY BROTHERS: Dip Me In The Golden Sea/ No Hidin' Place Down There/ Sometimes/ Sunrise/ MCVAY & JOHNSON: Ain't Gonna Lay My Armor Down/ I'll Be Ready When The Bridegroom Comes/ THE MORRIS BROTHERS & EUNICE: Gabriel's Trumpet/ J.E. MAINER’S MOUNTAINEERS: In A Little Village Churchyard/ Just Over In The Gloryland/ Lights In The Valley/ This World Is Not My Home/ BYRON PARKER & HIS MOUNTAINEERS: He Is My Friend And Guide/ I Love My Saviour/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS – A LITTLE: A Little Talk With Jesus/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS – BRIGHT T: Bright Tomorrow/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS QUARTET: Do, Lord Remember Me/ Don't Grieve After Me/ Happy In Prison/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS – I KNOW T: I Know That Jesus Set Me Free/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS QUARTET: I Want To Go Where Jesus Is/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS – IF THE L: If The Light Has Gone Out In Your Soul/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS QUARTET: Jesus Getting Us Ready For That Great Day/ Old Ship Of Zion/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS – SHINE ON: Shine On Me/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS – WENT UP: Went Up In The Clouds Of Heaven/ WILLIAM REXROAT'S CEDAR CREST SINGERS: What Kind Of Shoes You Going To Wear/ RIDGEL'S FOUNTAIN CITIANS: Hallelujah To The Lamb/ ROSWELL SACRED HARP: Odem/ THE SOUTHERN MELODY BOYS: Tribulation Days/ ERNEST STONEMAN: Down To Jordan And Be Saved/ Going Down The Valley/ Hallelujah Side/ I Am Resolved/ I Remember Calvary/ Know My Name Is There/ No More Goodbyes/ Sweeping Through The Gates/ Tell Mother I Will Meet Her/ The Sinless Summerland/ There's A Light Lit Up In Galilee/ THE VAUGHAN QUARTET: In Steps Of Light/ THE VIRGINIA DANDIES: God's Getting Worried/ There's A Beautiful City Called Heaven/ KID WILLIAMS: I'm Glad I Counted The Cost/ When He Died He Got A Home In Hell/ WILLIAMS & WILLIAMS: Though Your Sins Be Scarlet/ IRA & EUGENE YATES: You'll Never Go To Heaven With Your Powder And Paint

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP 7776 Rembetika ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 89 tracks, approx five hours, essential
This is one of THE reissues of 2006. Rembetika is often thought of as the Greek equivalent of the blues - a creation of the underclass and dealing with the realities of their life - smoking hash, thieving, jail, addiction, desire and betrayal sung with incredible soul and feeling. The music is thought to have originated with Greeks who had to leave Asia Minor at the beginning of the 20th Century. The earliest form is the Smyrnaic style (after Smyrna in Turkey) where the musicians first played the style and had a strong Turkish flavor to it. The usual accompaniment included violin, santouri/ cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), guitar and oud. The first volume is mostly devoted to recordings in this style and includes such legendary performers as Marika Papagika (who recorded in the USA), Achilleas Poulus (who sang in Turkish), the prolific and popular Andonios Dhiamandidhis (aka "Dalgas"), the sublime female singers Roza Eskenazi and Rita Abadzi. In the early 30s a new style of rembetica began to appear in the port city of Piraeus with a less ornamented style of singing and the extensive use of the bouzouki and its smaller cousin the baglama. The second disc is devoted to this style featuring sides by the gruff voiced Markos Vamvakaris - another extremely popular performer who recorded hundreds of songs as well as Stratos Payioumidzis, Yiorgis Batis and others. The third volume is strongly dominated by the guitar though the bouzouki and other instruments are also featured. It includes five gorgeous instrumental sides - two of them featuring bouzouki master Jack Halikias, one a rare example of a lute instrumental in rembetika and a dazzling guitar instrumental from the mysterious K. Kostis. This disc also features a track by the amazing George Katsoras whose modal singing and guitarist almost has the feel of a Mississippi hill country blues. In April, 1936 a right-wing government took power in Greece and censorship was introduced resulting in the banning of lyrics with an "undesirable" content as well as "Eastern style" music. The fourth disc features recordings from this period of censorship and while the lyrics are more concerned with romance than with dope or crime the performances are still powerful and moving featuring artists like Rirta Abadzi, Stellakis, Vassilis TsitsanisYiorgos Kavouras and others. The sound quality is superb and the only drawback to this set is that only 12 pages were allocated to the notes and compiler and annotator Charles Howard has done his best to give an overview of the music, brief biographies of the performers, a glossary and very brief excerpts or descriptions of the songs. Unfortunately there is no discographical information. (FS)


VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent KENTBOX 10 Take Me To The River - A Southern Soul Story, 1961-77 ● CD $49.98
3 discs, 75 tracks, essential This is the nicest CD package I've seen so far this year! Kent has out done themselves this time: this 3 disc set comes in book form with attached sleeves for the CDs, with beautiful pictures and extensive notes. Very stylish! A fitting package for a compilation that aims to "tell the story of the golden era of Southern Soul". Does it succeed? Well, it does cut quite a swath, managing to represent nearly every big (and little) name in Memphis, Nashville, Muscle Shoals, and Miami (to name a few places where recording happened): William Bell, Otis Redding, Joe Simon, Clarence Carter, Johnnie Taylor, Millie Jackson, Ann Peebles, Al Green, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Candi Staton.the list goes on. Heck, even white boys Eddie Hinton and Charlie Rich represent, and prove that Soul was a feeling and a being rather than just the color of one's skin. Although one could quibble about the tracks selected for the artist in question (why Do Right Woman, Do Right Man over I Never Loved a Man for Aretha, for example) or omission of certain other artists (where's Isaac Hayes, Jean Knight, or Betty Wright), this is a solid history lesson for the Soul novice and there's just enough alternate takes (Otis' Try a Little Tenderness, for instance) to keep the collector's and diehards happy. In short, no home is complete without this set, and to answer my earlier question: does it succeed in telling the Southern Soul story? Yes, I'd say it does. (GMC)
ARTHUR ALEXANDER: Go Home Girl/ KIP ANDERSON: I Went Off And Cried/ THOMAS BAILEY: Wish I Was Back/ BARBARA & THE BROWNS: If I Can't Run To You I'll Crawl/ WILLIAM BELL: I Forgot To Be Your Lover/ You Don't Miss Your Water/ REUBEN BELL WITH THE BELTONES: You're Gonna Miss Me/ WILLIAM BOLLINGER: Tell Him Tonight/ TONY BORDERS: Polly Wally/ BILL BRANDON: Rainbow Road/ JIMMY BRASWELL: I Can't Give You My Heart/ CHUCK BROOKS: Love's Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (part 1)/ DON BRYANT: I'll Go Crazy/ JAMES CARR: That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me/ The Dark End Of The Street/ CLARENCE CARTER: Heartbreak Woman/ Slip Away/ CHET DAVENPORT: Take One Step (i'll Take Two)/ GEATER DAVIS: I'll Play The Blues For You/ SAM DEES: We Always Come Back Strong/ DORIS DUKE: To The Other Woman (i'm The Other Woman)/ JUNE EDWARDS: You Ain't Woman Enough (to Take My Man)/ EDDIE FLOYD: Got To Make A Comeback/ KING FLOYD: Groove Me/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Do Right Woman, Do Right Man/ EDDY GILES: Losin' Boy/ AL GREEN: Take Me To The River/ Tired Of Being Alone/ CLAY HAMMOND: I'll Make It Up To You/ Z.Z. HILL: Faithful And True/ EDDIE HINTON: Cover Me/ JIMMY HUGHES: Steal Away/ LUTHER INGRAM: (if Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right/ GEORGE JACKSON: How Can I Get Next To You?/ JARVIS JACKSON: Something I Never Had/ MILLIE JACKSON: It Hurts So Good/ ETTA JAMES: I'd Rather Go Blind/ AL JOHNSON: Bless Your Little Sweet Soul/ PAUL KELLY: Stealing In The Name Of The Lord/ FREDERICK KNIGHT: I've Been Lonely For So Long/ DENISE LASALLE: Breaking Up Somebody's Home/ LAURA LEE: Dirty Man/ THE MASQUERADERS: Let's Face Facts/ MAURICE & MAC: You Left The Water Running/ TOUSSAINT MCCALL: Let's Do It Over/ GWEN MCRAE: Lead Me On/ MEL & TIM: Starting All Over Again/ BOBBY NEWSOME: Jody, Come Back And Get Your Shoes/ FREDDIE NORTH: She's All I Got/ OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES: A Smile Can't Hide (a Broken Heart)/ BOBBY PATTERSON: I Get My Groove From You/ ANN PEEBLES: I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down/ WILSON PICKETT: Ninety-nine And A Half (won't Do)/ JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: She Ain't Gonna Do Right/ QUIET ELEGANCE: You've Got My Mind Messed Up/ OTIS REDDING: These Arms Of Mine/ Try A Little Tenderness (take 1)/ CHARLIE RICH: When Something Is Wrong With My Baby/ SAM & DAVE: I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down/ JOE SIMON: My Adorable One/ PERCY SLEDGE: When A Man Loves A Woman/ THE SOUL CHILDREN: I'll Be The Other Woman/ CANDI STATON: Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man/ MARCELL STRONG: Mumble In My Ear/ TOMMY TATE: If You Got To Love Somebody/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone/ JOE TEX: Buying A Book/ PAUL THOMPSON: What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me/ OSCAR TONEY JR: Without Love (there Is Nothing)/ SHIRLEY WALTON: The One You Can't Have (all By Yourself)/ SPENCER WIGGINS: I Can't Be Satisfied/ Uptight Good Woman/ BOBBY WOMACK: I'm Through Trying To Prove My Love To You/ O.V. WRIGHT: You're Gonna Make Me Cry/ TOMMIE YOUNG: Take Time To Know Him

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 180 Sanctified Soul ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection featuring 26 slabs of gospel inflected soul featuring some of the genre's finest exponents drawn from the Atlantic Catalog. It opens with That's How It Feels, the slower and more soulful flipside of the Soul Clan's hit Soul Meeting Who are the Soul Clan? An all star group o Arthur Conley, Ben E.King, Solomon Burke, Don Covay and Joe Tex! Among the other highlights are the brilliant James Carr with I'll Put It To You, Jackie Moore's gorgeous Cover Me, the powerful anti-drug song Signed, Miss Heroin by Sam Dees, Ted Taylor's Feed The Flame, Judy Clay with The Greatest Love, the doo-wop flavored Love Have Mercy by Mike Williams & The Tempest Band and more goodies from great names like Don Covay, Otis Clay, Solomon Burke and Wilson Pickett and superb obscurities like Fern Kinney, J.P. Robinson, Jeff Dale, Walter Rhodes and others. 12 page booklet has notes by deep soul expert Dave Godin. (FS)
BEN & SPENCE: Get It Over/ SOLOMON BURKE: He'll Have To Go/ JAMES CARR: I'll Put It To You/ JUDY CLAY: The Greatest Love/ OTIS CLAY: Is It Over?/ ARTHUR CONLEY: You Don't Have To See Me/ DON COVAY AND THE GOODTIMERS: I Stole Some Love/ JEFF DALE: A Suffering Pain/ SAM DEES: Signed, Miss Heroin/ HERMAN HITSON: Too Much For A Human Heart/ LEE JACKSON: Ad For Love/ FERN KINNEY: Your Love's Not Reliable/ RUDY LEWIS: I've Loved You So Long/ THE MAD LADS: You Mean So Much To Me/ RUDY MOCKABEE: Cheer Up (Daddy's Coming Home)/ JACKIE MOORE: Cover Me/ WILSON PICKETT: For Better Or Worse/ WALTER RHODES: Message To My Woman/ J.P. ROBINSON: George Jackson/ ROSCOE ROBINSON: Leave You In The Arms (Of Your Other Man)/ THE SOUL BROTHERS SIX: Can't Live Without You/ THE SOUL CLAN: That's How It Feels/ BETTYE SWANN: Time To Say Goodbye/ TED TAYLOR: Feed The Flame/ PERCY WIGGINS: They Don't Know/ MIKE WILLIAMS & THE TEMPEST BAND: Love Have Mercy

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 226 A Soldier's Sad Story ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Powerful and moving collection of soul songs recorded between 1966 and 1973 showing the anticipation, action and aftermath of the years of the Vietnam war, as seen through the eyes of Black America. The mood ranges from resignation and patriotism in the earlier sides to anger and opposition as the war raged on and the casualties increased and the realization came upon many African-Americans that they were being asked to fight and die for country that had oppressed and abused them for hundreds of years. The recordings are arranged chronologically starting with The Monitors 1966 recording of Greeting (This Is Uncle Sam) and ending with Swamp Dogg's chilling 1973 rendition of John Prine's Sam Stone. Other artists featured include William Bell, Big Amos, Joe Tex, Jimmy Holiday, Zerben R. Hicks & The Dynamics, Tiny Watkins, Gloria Edwards, The O'Jays, Edwin Starr, Carla Whitney, Bill Withers (the powerful I Can't Write Left Handed), Curtis Mayfield and others. The 16 page booklet includes essays by Tony Rounce and James Maycock discussing the music and the situation of African-Americans in the conflict. (FS)
RICHARD BARBARY: When Johnny Comes Marching Home/ WILLIAM BELL: Marching Off To War/ BIG AMOS: Going To Vietnam/ BRILLIANT CORNERS: Three Lonely Guys/ JAMES CARR: Let's Face Facts/ SWAMP DOGG: Sam Stone/ GLORIA EDWARDS: Something You Couldn't Write About/ EDDY G. GILES: While I'm Away (Baby Keep The Faith)/ ZERBEN R. HICKS AND THE DYNAMICS: Lights Out/ JIMMY HOLIDAY: I'm Gonna Help Hurry My Brothers Home/ JOHNNY AND JON: Christmas In Vietnam/ EMANUEL LASKY: A Letter From Vietnam/ CURTIS MAYFIELD: Back To The World/ MEL AND TIM: Mail Call Time/ THE MONITORS: Greetings This Is Uncle Sam/ THE O'JAYS: There's Someone (Waiting Back Home)/ FREDA PAYNE: Bring The Boys Home/ THE PLAYERS: He'll Be Back/ EDWIN STARR: Stop The War Now/ JOE TEX: I Believe I'm Gonna Make It/ TINY WATKINS: A Soldier's Sad Story/ THE WHISPERS: P.O.W-M.I.A/ MIKE WILLIAMS: Lonely Soldier/ BILL WITHERS: I Can't Write Left Handed

VARIOUS ARTISTS Relic 7136 Golden Era Of Doowops - Groups Of Lupine Records ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 66 min., highly recommended
A fine collection of gospel-tinged vocal group and single artist numbers laid down for the myriad of labels in which Detroit's Robert West had either a production or a leasing interest. Those labels include West's own LuPine, plus Flick, Contour, Bumble Bee, Kudo, and Puff. Among the many worthwhile cuts are West's major claims to fame - You're So Fine and I Found a Love by the Falcons - and Once Upon a Time by Marv Johnson (his first record), Please Let It Be and Please Don't Go by the Bumble Bees, Geni in the Jug by the Tornados, Bubble Gum by Little Joe & the Moroccos, It's All My Fault by Billy Kope & the Quardells, the crude but infectious Geraldine by Bob Hamilton & group, We Are Like One by the Five Masters, and (Where's the Joy) In Nature Boy by Briant Holland (later of the Motown song writing team of Holland, Dozier, Holland). The good stuff, as usual, from the dedicated crew at Relic. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Shanachie 6064 When Gospel Was Gospel ● CD $16.98
28 tracks, 74 min., essential
What we have here is the best of all possible gospel worlds. The producer and booklet noter is Anthony Heilbut, author of "The Gospel Sound: Good News And Bad Times", the single finest book on the subject, period. Heilbut has also selected some of the most important recordings from the finest performers on record, including Mahalia Jackson, The Spirit Of Memphis, The Davis Sisters, The Sensational Nightengales, The Soul Stirrers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to name a few. But instead of merely compiling hits, Heilbut choses powerful and significant works (from 1946-63) and explains their relevance to gospel music and music in general. Eight tracks are previously unreleased, including Brother Joe May's Mercy Lord and The Swan Silvertones' Thank You Jesus and I Have A Friend, all three from 1954. A superb offering. (JC)
QUEEN C. ANDERSON: I Never Heard Of A City-these Are They/ ROBERT ANDERSON: Jesus/ THE ANGELIC GOSPEL SINGERS & DIXIE HUMMINGBI: Standing On The Highway/ PROFESSOR ALEX BRADFORD: Leak In The Building/ J. ROBERT BRADLEY: Amazing Grace/ DOROTHY LOVE COATES & THE ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: Dot's Testimony/ You Better Run/ MADAME EDNA GALLMON COOKE & THE RADIO FOUR: Walk Through The Valley/ THE DAVIS SISTERS: Jesus Steps Right In/ Too Close To Heaven/ PROFESSOR J. EARLE HINES: Look For Me In Heaven/ MAHALIA JACKSON: Mahalia Moans/ Power Of The Holy Ghost/ THE ROBERTA MARTIN SINGERS: The Old Ship Of Zion/ Yield Not To Temptation/ BROTHER JOE MAY: Mercy Lord/ You're Gonna Need Him/ THE SENSATIONAL NIGHTINGALES: How About You/ Sinner Man/ THE SOUL STIRRERS: His Eye Is On The Sparrow/ The Lord Will Make A Way/ SPIRIT OF MEMPHIS QUARTET: Here Am I Send Me/ THE SWAN SILVERTONES: Thank You Jesus-i Have A Friend/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE & MARIE KNIGHT: Beams Of Heaven/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE & THE DEPENDABLE BOYS: Little Boy, How Old Are You/ CLARA WARD & THE WARD SINGERS: Leave It There/ Time Is Winding Up/ MARION WILLIAMS: Traveling Shoes

VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time 17 Fernwood Rhythm 'n' Blues From Memphis ● CD $18.98
32 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of sides recorded between 1959 and 1966 for Ronald "Slim" Wallace's Fernwood label and subsidiaries Pure Gold, Saviour and others. The material is varied and includes blues, R&B, doo-wop, gospel and swamp pop. Among the highlights are nine tracks by Arkansas bluesman Willie Cobbs including his classic You Don't Love. There are also two fine 1966 sides by Earl Forest - the last by this drummer/ vocalist who got his start as a member of the legendary Beale Streeters. Jeb Stuart is another fine artist - one songs is blues and the other is superb early Southern soul - both with terrific guitar. There are four sides by the excellent vocal group The Lyrics whose music overlaps doo-wop and Southern soul - they later went on to record for Goldwax. There are two fine instrumentals by a band led by baritone saxist Donnie Williams (aka Don Nix) - the rest of the band are probably members of the Stax house band. Prophet G. Lusk is a terrific and powerful gospel vocalist. Other artists here include O'Henry & Barbara, Barbara Perry (who has the only real dud here), The Memphis Sounds, Eddie Carroll, Kenneth Rice and gospel duo The Bogard Brothers. Excellent sound and booklet includes photos, discography and informative notes by dave Travis. (FS)
THE BOGARD BROTHERS: Just Over There/ Stop And Let Me Ride/ EDDIE CARROLL: Golden Door Night Club/ I've Never Met An Angel Before/ WILLIE COBBS: Big Boss Man/ Come On Home/ Here Is My Heart/ Kiss Me One More Time/ Lonely Boy/ Mistreated Blues/ My Little Girl/ Too Sad/ You Don't Love Me/ EARL FOREST: Don't Leave Me/ Now It's Alright/ PROPHET G. LUSK: Everybody Ought To Serve The Load/ Going Home To Jesus/ THE LYRICS: Crying Over You/ Down In The Alley/ Let's Be Sweethearts Again/ You And Your Fellow/ THE MEMPHIS SOUNDS: Girl Of My Dreams/ Millionaire Without Love/ O'HENRY: Wanna Jean/ Why Do I Leave You/ BARBARA PERRY: Bobby Is A Bad Boy/ KENNETH RICE: Carol/ I Feel Blue/ JEB STUART: A Big Blue World/ A Whole Lot Of Tears/ DONNIE WILLIAMS: Boogie Chilluns Playhouse/ Mister B

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 2020 How Can I Keep From Singing, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 69 min., essential
A dynamite two volume collection of 1920's American religious music, performed by both professional and semi-professional performers, some white, some black. Volume 1 opens with My Heart Keeps Singing by Elder Burch and Congregation, then offers Woke Up This Morning by Roosevelt Graves and brother, followed by Standing on the Promises by the Tennessee Mountaineers, Walking in Sunlight by Uncle Dave Macon and the Fruit Jar Drinkers, I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan by Jaybird Coleman, the delightful I Can the World About This by Laura Henton, He's Got Better Things for You by the Memphis Sanctified Singers, I Want to Go Where Jesus Is by Slim Ducket and Pig Norwood, and Bringing in the Sheaves by the Mountain Singers Male Quartette. Great, reverential music, offered here in surprisingly good sound quality and with informative but minimal notes. (DH)
ALLISON'S SACRED HARP SINGERS: Weeping Pilgrim/ REV. AND MRS. EDWARD BOONE: Will David Play His Harp For Me/ ELDER BURCH AND CONGREGATION: My Heart Keeps Singing/ REV. BURNETT: Trus Friendship/ REV. JOSEPH CALLENDER: God Leads His Dear Children Along/ REV. E.D. CAMPBELL AND CONGREGATION: Come Let Us Eat Together/ THE CAROLINA LADIES QUARTETTE: My Loved Ones Are Waiting/ JAYBIRD COLEMAN: I'm Gonna Cross The River Of Jordan/ DANILES-DEASON SACRED HARP SINGERS: Coronation/ SLIM DUCKET AND PIG NORWOOD: I Want To Go Where Jesus Is/ BLIND ROOSEVELT GRAVES: Woke Up This Morning/ REV. J.O. HANES AND CHOIR: The Great Transaction's Done/ ELDER GOLDEN HARRIS: My Christian Friends In Bonds Of Love/ LAURA HENTON: I Can Tell The World About This/ REV. H.B. JACKSON: Everytime I Feel The Spirit/ UNCLE DAVE MACON AND FRUIT JAR DRINKERS: Walking In Sunlight/ LONNIE MCINTORSH: Sleep On Mother, Sleep On/ MEMPHIS SANCTIFIED SINGERS: He's Got Better Things For You/ THE MIDDLE GEORGIA SINGING CONVENTION NO. 1: This Song Of Love/ THE MOUNTAIN SINGERS MALE QUARTETTE: Bringing In The Sheaves/ NAZARENE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH CHOIR OF: Who'll Join This Union/ WALTER SMITH AND NORMAN WOODLIEFF: It Won't Be Long Till My Grave Is Made/ THE TENNESSEE MOUNTAINEERS: Standing On The Promises

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 2021 How Can I Keep From Singing, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 67 min., essential
No less wonderful than the first installment in this series, Volume 2 features a similar mix of 1920's fundamentalist modal hymns, gospel quartet selections, and guitar accompanied songster numbers drawn from both the black and white communities. And all featuring solid sound quality. Program highlights include What Shall Our Answer Be by George Long and His Singers, Rock of Ages by Blind Willie Davis, He Rose Unknown by the Morris Family, the particularly rocking Memphis Flu by Elder Curry and Congregation, Will My Mother Know Me by L. V. Jones and his Virginia Singing Class, Job by the Golden Gate Quartet, There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood by the Copperhill Male Quartet, Shine on Me by the Cliff Carlisle Quartet, Thou Carest Lord by the Holy Ghost Sanctified Singers, and Goin' to Rest Where Jesus Is by Blind Joe Taggart. Powerful, eloquent music from start to finish. Not to be missed. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 7002 Mysteries Of The Sabbath:Classic Cantorial Songs-1907- ● CD $16.98
16 sides, 61 min, essential
Lovely, spellbinding vocal performances by various Jewish cantors from 1905-47. Cantors sang various prayers and religious texts in the synagogue, using virtuoistic vocal technique and impassioned singing to underscore the prayer's impact. When sound recording turned its attention to music, European khazonim such as Gershon Sirota and Yeshaya Meisels were natural candidates to appeal to the Jewish market, despite the controversial aspect of such profane manifestations of religious art. Later, in America especially, cantors such as Yossele Rosenblatt, Mordechai Hershman, & Zavel Kwartin became almost stars, with their vocal ornamentations and the pathos of their sighs debated by their aficionados. With organ and choral accompaniment, rare in temple, these recordings give testimony to an impressive art that has lost none of its emotional power. All these cantors are featured, as well as the fine Leib Glantz, Samuel Malavsky, a rare woman cantor- Sophie Kurtzner, & Joseph Shapiro. With mostly fine sound and detailed notes by compiler Henry Sapoznik. JM

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 7003 Music Of Madagascar: Classic Recordings Of The 1930s ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, 60 min, essential
Marvelous traditional mpililao music from rare 78s recorded in the 1930s, when Madagascar's music was in vogue in Europe as an exotic music from the colonies. Mpililao music was primarily lovely choral music with young, often female voices, high-pitched and pleasantly piercing, answered by resonant, deeper-voiced choruses. These spirited vocals were backed by concertina, violin, and, most of all, by the valiha, the wondrous, harp-like national instrument of Madagascar. Groups like Hiran'ny Tanoran'ny Ntao Lo, the Choeur Malgache, & Hiran-d Razafimahefa, mostly from the Central Highlands, perform songs of courtship, praise, or humour with sweetness and dignified grace, giving us a music unique in its charm and power. With fine sound and good notes from Pat Conte, this is an essential addition to our world's music. JM

25 tracks, 60 min., very highly recommended
The Hearts line up was so subject to personnel change that this collection is really a various artists compilation. The Hearts name was applied to whatever girls producer/label owner Zell Sanders could find at the moment she need them for a tour or studio date. (Sanders regularly fired entire Hearts line ups on the spot for breaking one of her many rules of conduct.) The same ladies (some of them) recorded as The Click-etts and The Jaynetts. That said, The Hearts most famous ex-member was Justine "Baby" Washington, who sings lead on You Needn't Tell Me, I Know, Congratulations Honey, Ah Ha, There Must Be A Reason, and I Hate To See You Go. This wonderful collection samples the J&S, Zells, and Tuff labels between 1957-70 (although 16 tracks are from the 1950s and only two are later than 1965), and varying styles from R&B, doo wop, soul, and girl-group sound. Quality is the common denominator. The sound (master tapes were used when available) is excellent, especially considering the less than state of the art facilities available to small labels at the time. Fans may also applaud the upcoming Ace release of the heretofore mysterious Jaynetts. Informative liner notes. (JC)

HANK WILLIAMS Time Life 25567 The Complete Mother's Best Recordings .. Plus ● CD $169.98
15 CD + DVD, 222 musical performances, worth selling your soul for
This is the Holy Grail of country music - 145 unissued recordings from the greatest country music singer and songwriter of all time including 45 songs he never recorded anywhere else and another 35 that were never recorded commercially - many of them previously only available as acoustic demos. In 1951 Hank recorded a series of 72 15 minute radio shows with his Drifting Cowboys sponsored by Mother's Best Flour. These recordings were almost lost but a couple of sets of the original 16" acetates used for the shows survived and have been embroiled in legal entanglements for many years though copies of these shows have circulated underground among Williams collectors. Time LIfe previously issued a couple of three CD sets featuring mostly just songs by Hank but this set is complete with each 15 minute show which usually consisted of a song by Hank, an instrumental by The Drifting Cowboys and a gospel number - usually sung in close harmony with the Cowboys. On about 20 of the shows the Cowboys instrumental is replaced by a vocal by Hank's wife Audrey. In between we hear Hank chatting and joking with announcer Louis Buck and members of the band and while the sadness of many of Hank's songs might incline one to think of him as morose individual he comes over here as warm and witty and, obviously, having a great time. Although only one of the never before released songs is a Hank original his performances of other artists songs redefine that song for all time. In addition to covers of other artists' hits there are traditional gospel songs and obscure old songs that indicate the depth of Hank's musical knowledge. Every performance is a gem so it's impossible to really pick out highlights but I'll mention a few titles of particular interest. On Top Of Old Smokey is familiar to everyone as a jolly campfire song but Hank sings it as it was originally written as a slow tragic love ballad and the result is simply spine chilling as is his performance of another old warhorse Cool Water which features one of his most intense performances. Of course he does many of his MGM favorites but often with differing arrangements and it's a real treat to hear Hank sing Cold Cold Heart on one of the shows just a few days he wrote it. Backing is, of course, by The Drifting Cowboys featuring sensitive accompaniments from Jerry Rivers on fiddle, Don Helms on steel, Sammy Pruett on guitar and Cedric Rainwater on bass who are also featured on a great selection of instrumentals. As to the songs by Hank's wife Audrey - as one wag involved in the production of this set pointed out "that's why God created the "skip" button." And talking about the skip button the shows have been programmed so if you just want to hear the songs you can use the skip button to take you to the next song and, certainly, after a while the endless plugs for Mother's Best flour, farm feed and corn meal get a bit repetitive. The Mother's Best shows are featured on the first 14 discs with the 15th featuring an Aunt Jemima audition show plus a remarkable short play about Venereal Disease featuring Hank singing part of it. The DVD features a conversation between Hank's daughter Jett, two members of Hank's band - Don Helms and Big Bill Lister and former WSM engineer Glenn Snoddy. The sound quality, thanks to mastering engineer Joe Palmaccio is incredible and, in many cases, sound better than the MGM studio recordings of the same songs! Set comes packaged in a simulated old time radio which makes storing it a bit of challenge but does look very cool and it includes a 108 page hard cover book with extensive notes and great photos. Easily the best and most important release of 2011 and I don't think anything will come close to equaling its significance for a very, very long time. (FS)

JODY WILLIAMS Evidence 26120 Return Of A Legend ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, 56 mins, essential
Jody Williams is back .. with a vengeance! As Bill Dahl points out in his excellent notes the term "legend" is bandied about too freely these days but in the case of Jody Williams it's justified. He was among the most influential guitarists on the Chicago scene in the late 50s and early 60s but his name is not too well known as most of his work was as a session guitarist and he quit music in 1964 for a more secure job working for Xerox. Chances are you've heard him though as he has played on sessions by Howling Wolf, Jimmy Rogers, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Witherspoon and many others. The handful of singles issued under his own name are prized by collectors and held in awe by blues guitarists. After retiring from his day job in 1995 he finally allowed himself to be persuaded to perform and record again and under the expert guidance of his long time friend Dick Shurman who produced this album he has come up with what surely is going to be the new blues album of 2002. He is backed by solid rhythm section, occasional horns and occasional guest musicians (Billy Boy Arnold, Rusty Zinn, etc). The songs and tunes are all originals including remakes of some of his classic singles and a whole slew of new compositions. Jody is a tremendous singer with a powerful and warm quality and the slightly offhand approach is particularly suited to some of the wry songs he writes. His guitar playing is dazzling - not flashy, though he can play fast when necesarry, but full of wonderfully constructed solos loaded with invention. If some of his licks sound familiar from other guitarists playing chances are Jody originated them! An exceptional release. (FS)

LARRY WILLIAMS Ace CDCH2 1021 At His Finest - The Specialty Rock 'n' Roll Years ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 47 tracks, highly recommended
New Orleans born Larry Wiliams is from the hard-driving "upsetting" school of R&B whose fellow classmates include Little Richard & Robert Parker. The first disc features 22 sides issued on singles and LPs including all his great hits like Short Fat Fannie/ Bony Moronie (an extended version with additional whistling on the outro)/ Dizzy Miss Lizzie and Slow Down. The second disc features 25 unissued songs and alternate takes, 18 never released on CD before - often featuring lyric changes and different instrumental breaks! It also includes studio chatter. These recordings cut in Los Angeles and New Orleansin 1957 and '58 feature a virtual who's who of great session men including Lee Allen, Earl Palmer, Plas Johnson, Irving Ashby, Roy Montrell, Harold Battiste, Frank Fields, Rene Hall and others. Includes 20 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes by Stuart Coleman. Black rock 'n' roll at its finest. (FS)

BILLY JACK WILLS Joaquin 2503 Billy Jack Wills & His Western Swing Band ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, 46 min. essential
It's been 14 years since this groundbreaking set appeared on the defunct Western label created a stir. This wasn't Bob Wills's swing, but a next- generation style that took into account such postwar phenomena as bebop and urban jump blues. The band, based at Bob Wills's Wills Point Ballroom in Sacramento, owned the town before Bob snatched it away in 1954. They recorded for 4-Star, but nothing there matched this material, recorded to fill in on the band's daily KFBK radio show when they were out of town. With Billy Jack and Tiny Moore vocalising (Tiny doing the lion's share here), and Tiny using the arranging skills he'd learned in the Texas Playboys, they created synergy with steel guitar kid whiz Vance Terry that drove the band as hard as Billy Jack's drumming. The numbers here have an unrelenting energy, from Lonesome Hearted Blues and an instrumental version of the old big-band fave Dipsy Doodle that sounds even better here though George Morrow's capable remastering than it did on the first album. Tiny does Willie Mabon's I Don't Know proud and such big band chestnuts as Tuxedo Junction, Summit Ridge Drive and C Jam Blues let the band stretch out. The album has one track from the second BJ Wills Western LP (Steel Guitar Stomp) and two unheard gems. Billy Jack's Get Along Home Cindy takes another old Playboy favorite in different directions and Caravan, propelled by Dick McComb's hot trumpet, are worthy additions. Rich Kienzle's original liner notes (part of which were reproduced without credit on the TRG 505105 Wills reissue) have been expanded and updated. Now, all Joaquin, home of Ray Condo and one of the hottest new labels on the West Coast for a long time, has to do is give us an expanded version of "Crazy, Man, Crazy!" the second Billy Jack LP, and all will be well. (AK)
BILLY JACK WILLS: Air Mail Special/ Basin Street Blues/ Blue Guitar Stomp/ C Jam Blues/ Caravan/ Dipsy Doodle/ Get Along Home Cindy/ I Don't Know/ Johnson Rag/ Lonesome Hearted Blues/ Mr. Cotton Picker/ Roch City Boogie/ St. Louis Blues/ Steel Guitar Stomp/ Summit Ridge Drive/ Teardrops From My Eyes/ Tuxedo Junction/ Twin Guitar Special/ Woodchapper's Ball

PEARL WOODS Night Train 7147 Sippin' Sorrow (With A Spoon) ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, 47 min., highly recommended
Woods spent much of her early musical career as an in-demand demo singer for other artists to copy, and her handful of solo releases demonstrates why. Blessed with a gifted voice and an ear for phrasing, Woods never gained the success her talent called for, even though she did appear in the popular 1950s film Rockin' The Blues. Also a fine songwriter, Woods has had her words recorded by such musical heavy hitters as Ray Charles, Etta James, Dinah Washington, and Bobby "Blue" Bland, to name but a (famous) few. This release includes four songs with the Wanderers (for vocal group fans), a pair with The Upsetters (Little Richard's Band), and wonderful originals such as the up-tempo Fool Like Me and the sweet and slow I'm Gonna Stick With You . That Let Him Go never climbed the Billboard charts throws the very concept of a justice into question. Woods, seemingly the only soul singer not raised singing in the church, gave up secular music in 1970 in favor of gospel, so there won't be any more like these. A soul discovery worth making. (JC)


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