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BLUES: Philosphy For Everyone









675 pages, paperback
The long awaited second volume in a series of three volume to attempt to document every soul recording made between 1960 and 1980 is now available. The date boundaries listed above are very flexible and artists whose career started in the earlier blues & R&B era are covered in their entirety as are artists whose career extended beyond 1980. Doo-wop is not included but artists who started as doo-wop artists and switched to soul are included in their entirety. In order to make the project manageable only African-American artists are featured - so no blue eyed soul. This first volume cover the letters G through M including all the major artists along with many who only released one or two singles. Artists are listed alphabetically with session information listed chronologically including titles recorded, location, session personnel (where known) and original issue on 78, 45, cassette, LP or CD. The book is nicely laid out in a two column format on 8.5 x 11" pages. Compiled by Bob McGrath with the assistance of hundreds of researchers throughout the world this is the first such discography ever attempted and will be invaluable addition to the bookshelf of anyone who loves blues, R&B and soul.
To expedite shipping the book will be shipped directly from the publisher in Canada.
Rates are as follows
In Canada : $12.00, 2-3 days - $20.00
To U.S.A. : 10 days - $23.00, 3-4 days - $32.00
Rest Of The World : Surface (4 to 8 weeks) - $23.00, Airmail (5-10 days) - $53.00
When ordering on line please indicate in comments field how you would like the book to be shipped.

BLUES: Philosphy For Everyone Edited by Jesse Steinberg & Abrol Fairweather ● BOOK $19.98
Paperback, 211 pages, counts as four CDs for shipping
Subtitled "Thinking Deep About Feeling Low" this is a thought provoking collection of essays looking at the connections between blues and philosophy. Not for the casual reader the book covers such topics as "A Dialogue On The Evolution Of The Blues," "Wittgensteinian Reflections On The Blues","The Artistic Transformation Of Trauma, Loss And Adversity In The Blues,"" Blues And Catharsis", "Doubt And The Human Condition,"" Blues As Musical Therapy","A Woman's Perspectve On Authenticity," "Distributive History - Did Whites Rip-Off The Blues" and more.

Paperback, counts as four CDS for shipping
We've turned up some copies of this great out of print book featuring rare photos taken by Hollywood photographer whose work appeared regularly in the legendary 1950s magazine Rhythm & Blues. The photos presented here in duotone features a variety of R&B and rock 'n' roll artists from the 50s and 60s. Most of the 50s photos are of African-American artists, usual performing, including Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, The Treniers, Johnny Otis, Cab Calloway, Esquerita, The Sparks and more. The 60s photos are mostly posed studio shots of white performers including Roy Orbison, Jan And Dean, The Byrds, Gen Clark, Bob Dylan and others.

SATAN IS REAL The Ballad Of The Louvin Brothers by Charlie Louvin with Benjamin Whitmer ● BOOK $22.98
Hardback 297 Pages, Essential   Counts as five CDs for shipping
This is easily one of the best music biographies I have read in years, absolutely essential for fans of real Country music. After reading about 20 pages or so, I was struck by two thoughts: 1. An awful lot of the Louvin's childhood stories involve axes (!), and 2. Why the hell wasn't this written decades ago? (!!). As Charlie Louvin wrote this in the last years of his life (with co-writer Benjamin Whitmer,) it allowed him the freedom to say whatever the hell he wanted to say, which he certainly does, pulling no punches talking about his brother Ira and everyone else in his life, without having to worry about it hurting his career or caring who it might piss off. Louvin lays it out there, without seeming too much like he is trash-talking, although one of my favorite quotes has to be in reference to Little Jimmy Dickens: "He was an agitating little prick!" As you can tell, Charlie Louvin's language is a bit salty throughout, so if that kind of thing bothers you. So many music bios give you about 50 pages of what you want and about another 150 of stuff from their life that you just don't give a crap about, one bio I read literally spent five pages talking about a vacation the guy was on ten years after he retired from the music business, then spent another ten pages talking about his grandkids; this is fine if I am related to you and we are talking over a Thanksgiving dinner, but it's not what I spend my hard earned money on to read. Charlie Louvin gives you exactly what you want, a detailed history of The Louvin Brothers and the classic days of Country music. An entertaining book full of one great story after another, told in an honest voice, with a no B.S. kind of attitude. If there is any complaint to be had with this book (and it certainly isn't much of one,) I would say that Charlie comes across a little clean, but when you have out-lived most of the people that could say any different, than that gives you the prerogative to slant it how you want. What the hell, he earned it and you will enjoy it. The book also features some fantastic packaging that will no doubt make it stand out on your bookshelf. (JM)



VARIOUS ARTISTS Vestapol 13103 Four American Roots Music Films by Yasha Aginsky ● DVD $23.98 $18.98
104 mins, very highly recommended
Four superb documentaries made by San Francisco Bay Are filmmaker Yasha Aginsky. "Homemmade American Music" is a 42 minute film from 1980 that visits Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard who talk about how they were affected by traditional music and travels with them to visit some of the people that influenced them and whose careers they helped promote like Tommy Jarrell, Roscoe Holcomb, Lily May Ledford, Elizabeth Cotten and others and looks at some of the young artists influenced by old time music like Jody Stecher, Stefan Senders, Will Spires and others.. "Sonny Terry, Shoutin' The Blues" is a six minute short from 1969 with Sonny talking about his appearance in the 1947 hit Broadway show "Finian's Rainbow" and performs a dynamic Shoutin' The Blues. "Les Blues de Balfa" is a 27 minute documentary about the great Cajun group The Balfa Brothers. Tragically just after this film was undertaken in 1979, brothers Rodney and Will were killed in a car crash. The surviving member of the group Dewey Balfa, tells the history of the family and demonstrates the role of their musical tradition in his life. The fourth film "Cajun Visits" is a 29 minute film from 1983 that visits six masters of traditional Cajun music - Dennis McGee, Wallace "Cheese" Reed, Canray Fontenot, Leopold Francois, Robert Jardell and Dewey Balfa who sings and play traditional songs and tunes and talk about their lives, work and their environment. All four films are full of great traditional music. (FS)



JAMES ARMSTRONG Catfood 014 Blues At The Border ● CD $11.98
11 tracks, recommended
First album in more than 11 years by this talented singer/ songwriter and guitarist who was one of the more impressive new blues artists to emerge in the 1990s. He's a fine and expressive vocalist and creative guitar player though he had to relearn how to play after a vicious attack in 1997 nearly killed him and left his hands severely damaged. Armstrong's approach is a mix of blues and Southern soul and he's a fine songwriter as he shows on several of the songs here including the soulful Young Man With The Blues - a tribut to his father who was a jazz guitarist. Other songs include the great opener Everything Good To Ya (Ain't Good For Ya) written by Sam "Bluzman" Taylor and the cynical title song about the difficulties of foreign travel. An excellent collection from a talented performer. (FS)

JIM BOYD B.A.C.M. 369 Texas Moon Waltz ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Though not as well known as his brother Bill, Jim Boyd was a fine performer who started off his career in the 1930s working as a sideman with Bill, Roy Newman & His Boys and The Light Crust Doughboys. In 1949 he was signed by RCA and together with his band The Men Of The West recorded a varied selection of material over the next couple of years - honky tonk, western swing, pop, country boogie, jazz and blues. His band varied over the years and included such fine musicians as Paul Blunt on steel guitar, Marvin Montgomery on banjo and Art Davis on fiddle. The first 21 tracks features his RCA recordings including a number of originals - One Heart, One Love, One Life/ Dust On The Telephone (a secular reworking of the gospel song Dust On The Bible)/ Dear John (also recorded by Hank Williams)/?Truck Drivers Boogie/ The Girl In The Picture/ Bear Creek Boogie/ The Big "D" Boogie/ When I'm Beside You, etc. There are also seven cuts from mid 40s radio transcriptions with a smller group including classically trained fiddler Gar Austin which includes a couple of hot instrumentals and the set ends with the jazz instrumental Jig In G from a 1940s acetate featuring Boyd and fiddler Freddie Casares - cousin of jazz fiddler Emilio Caceres who wrote the tune. A fine and varied set with good sound and notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
JIM BOYD: Bear Creek Boogie/ Bill Bailey (instr)/ Birmingham Rose/ Boogie Bottom Boogie/ Boogie Woogie Square Dance/ Dear John (I Brought Your Saddle Home)/ Dixieland Boogie/ Down By The Riverside/ Dust On The Telephone/ El Rancho Grande (instr)/ From Here On (It's All Up To You)/ I Got Along Before I Met You/ Jig In G (instr)/ Mule Boogie/ Oh Susannah/ One Heart One Love One Life/ Ridin'Down The Canyon/ Save The Next Waltz For Me/ Sweetheart Of Hawaii/ Take Time To Pray/ Texas Moon Waltz/ The Big 'D' Boogie/ The Girl In The Picture/ Truck Driver's Boogie/ Waxahachie Boogie Woogie Dishwasher Boy/ We Were Married/ When I Find My Dear Daddy Is Waiting/ When I'm Beside You/ Will You Be Mine

CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN Acrobat ACRCD 216 Dirty Work At The Crossroads, 1947-1953 ● CD $11.98
28 songs, 76 mins, highly recommended
Available again. Excellent early material from this sadly, recently departed blues guitar hero. The tracks here are from his earliest sessions for Aladdin, up through his legendary early singles for Peacock records. Legend has it that "Gatemouth" bum-rushed the stage at the Houston Blues club the Bronze Peacock when T-Bone Walker got sick and had to rush off of the stage leaving his guitar behind. Brown was such a success that night that club owner (and owner of the Buffalo Booking agency) Don Robey took him on as his main act. When the deal that Robey got for him with Aladdin only garnered two poor-performing 78s (backed by a band led by Maxwell Davis), Robey started up Peacock records and R&B history was made: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown became a huge success in the blues community. Even though Clarence stayed with Peacock until the early 1960's, this release only covers his material up until 1953, with one cut each from '54 and '56. All in all an exceptional collection from one of the most influential electric blues players of all time. (JM)
CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN: After Sunset/ Atomic Energy/ Baby Take It Easy/ Boogie Rambler/ Boogie Uproar/ Didn't Reach My Goal/ Dirty Work at the Crossroads/ Gate Walks to Board/ Gatemouth Boogie/ Guitar in My Hand/ I Live My Life/ Just Got Lucky/ Mary Is Fine/ My Time Is Expensive/ Okie Dokie Stomp/ Pale Dry Boogie, Pt. 1/ Pale Dry Boogie, Pt. 2/ Please Tell Me Baby/ Sad Hour/ September Song/ She Walks Right In/ She Winked Her Eye/ Taking My Chances/ Too Late Baby/ Two O'Clock in the Morning/ Win with Me Baby/ Without Me Baby/ You Got Money

JOHNNY CASH Columbia 93033 Bootleg, Vol. III - Live Around The World ● CD $17.98
2 CD's, 2 hours 27 min., very highly recommended
These tracks are taken from live shows between 1956-1979, and one thing that comes out of the stage banter between songs is Cash's sense of humor ("I was in the air force for 12 years, from '50 to '54"). Another thing is just how talented Cash was as he covered a wide variety of material. Great songs seemed to seek him out, though by the end of his lengthy career, he seemed to have trouble finding material worthy of him. The early cuts here are full of Luther Perkins guitar greatness, and the 1970 White House appearance, which is mostly made up of religious stuff, kicks off with an introduction from President Nixon, who seems to genuinely respect Cash, who was used to performing for criminals. In a cut from a '64 show, Cash refers to Bob Dylan as "the best song write-off the age." Sound quality differs from one performance to the next, but it's always at least pretty good, and the performances themselves are consistently fine. Seventeen tracks are previously unreleased, and the booklet notes are by rock scholar Dave Marsh. What more is there to want? Perhaps the best of the first three volumes in this series. Volume 4 is due out soon. (JC)

THE CASS COUNTY BOYS B.A.C.M. 368 Vol. 2 - More Western Classics ● CD $14.98
32 tracks from 1940s radio transcriptions from this popular Western trio who are perhaps best known for their accompaniments to Gene Autry in the 40s and 50s. They perform in a smooth Western style in the same vein as the Sons Of The Pioneers and accompany themselves on guitar, bass and accordion. They perform a mix of old favorites (Don't Fence Me In/ Hannah Lee/ Across The Alley From The Alamo/ I Ride An Old Paint, etc) and originals (Where's Your Horse?/ When I Climb Down From My Horse/ See That You're Born In Texas, etc.)
THE CASS COUNTY BOYS: A Gay Ranchero (instr)/ According To The Evidence/ Across The Alley From The Alamo/ Along The Navajo Trail/ Bow Your Head And Pray/ Cool Water/ Cucamnonga/ Don't Fence Me In/ Going Back To My Good Old Texas Home/ Gotta Get Me Somebody To Love/ Hannah Lee/ He's Just A Dude Cowboy/ Headin' For The Rio Grande/ Hold That Critter Down/ How I Love Those Saddle Songs/ I Ride An Old Paint/ I'm Blazin' The Trail To My Home/ In My Ten Gallon Hat/ Moonlight On The Sunset Trial/ Move Along Lazy Cattle Move Along/ My Texas Home/ Press Along To The Big Corral/ Ragtime Cowboy Joe/ Ride Ranger Ride/ See That You're Born In Texas/ There's A Gold Mine In The Sky/ There's A Roundup In The Sky/ Trail To Mexico/ Wayward Wind/ When I Climb Down From My Saddle/ When It's Springtime Down In Texas/ Where's Your Horse

RAY CHARLES Jasmine 191 Soul + Jazz = Genius ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 47 tracks, 151 mins, highly recommended
This collection gathers up Ray Charles' first four albums released for ABC records in the first years of the 1960s: "The Genius Hits the Road", "Dedicated to You," "Ray Charles and Betty Carter," and "Genius + Soul = Jazz," all in their entirety and then you also get the original single version of Charles' all time classic Hit The Road Jack, for a cherry on top. With these four records Ray Charles took his career to all-time new commercial success, and made him a household name in mainstream America. Only to be topped by his next record "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music," which though not featured here should kick off the next volume that Jasmine should put out. On these recordings you get the swingin' Big Band version of Ray Charles with all-time classics like Georgia On My Mind/ Basin St. Blues/ Moonlight In Vermont/ Ruby/ Josephine/ I've Got News For You/ One Mint Julep/ Birth Of The Blues, and so much more. Certainly "The Genius Hits the Road," and" Genius + Soul = Jazz" are absolutely essential recordings, but I am hard pressed to find any fault in the others, other than if you don't like the big band orchestration, or aren't a fan of Betty Carter, you might not like them as much. All in all essential stuff for Ray Charles fans and highly recommended for everyone else. (JM)
RAY CHARLES: Alabamy Bound/ Basin Street Blues/ Birth Of The Blues/ Blue Hawaii/ California, Here I Come/ Candy/ Carry Me Back To Old Virginny/ Chattanooga Choo Choo/ Cherry/ Deep In The Heart Of Texas/ Diane/ From The Heart/ Georgia On My Mind/ Hard Hearted Hannah/ Hit The Road Jack/ I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town/ I've Got News For You/ Josephine/ Let's Go/ Margie/ Marie/ Mississippi Mud/ Mister C/ Moanin'/ Moon Over Miami/ Moonlight In Vermont/ Nancy (With The Laughing Face)/ New York's My Home/ One Mint Julep/ Rosetta/ Ruby/ Stella By Starlight/ Stompin' Room Only/ Strike Up The Band/ Sweet Georgia Brown/ RAY CHARLES & BETTY CARTER: Alone Together/ Baby, It's Cold Outside/ Cocktails For Two/ Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye/ For All We Know/ Goodbye/We'll Be Together Again/ Just You, Just Me/ People Will Say We're In Love/ Side By Side/ Takes Two To Tango/ Together/ You And I

CHUBBY CHECKER Jasmine 189 Twist It Up ● CD $15.98
All the twistin' you could want in one place and then some. This two CD set features Chubby's first four LPs from 1960 and '61 plus his first single - The Class. Besides The Twist (the only song ever to go to #1, completely drop off the chart, then climb again to #1) & all it's sequels - Let's Twist Again (which was a British chart hit on three separate occasions/ Twistin' USA/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (he sings "twistin'" instead of "shakin'") there's also Chubby's take on other dance fads - The "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" Shimmy/ The Hucklebuck/ The Slop/ Pony Time/ The Mess Around/ Continental Walk/ The Ray Charles-Ton, etc. and even a few songs not related to a dance!
CHUBBY CHECKER: At The Hop/ Ballin' The Jack/ Blueberry Hill/ But Girls!/ Continental Walk/ Dance With Me, Henry/ Dance-A-Long/ Fishin'/ Hi Ho Silver/ Hold Tight/ Hound Dog/ I Almost Lost My Mind/ I Could Have Danced All Night/ Let's Dance, Let's Dance, Lets Dance/ Let's Twist Again/ Mashed Potatoes/ Mister Twister/ Peanut Butter/ Pony Express/ Pony Time/ Quarter To Three/ Rock Around The Clock/ Shake Rattle And Roll/ Takes Two To Tango/ The 'C.C.Rider' Stroll/ The 'Love Is Strange' Chalypso/ The 'Mexican Hat' Twist/ The 'Ooh Poo Pah Doo' Shimmy/ The Charleston/ The Chicken/ The Class/ The Hucklebuck/ The Hully Gully/ The Jet/ The Madison/ The Mess Around/ The Pony/ The Ray Charles-Ton/ The Shimmy/ The Slop/ The Strand/ The Stroll/ The Twist/ The Watusi/ Twist Train/ Twistin' Usa/ We Like Birdland/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ Your Feet's Too Big

KING CURTIS JSP JSPCD 8812 With Al Casey - Live In New York Plus .. ● CD $16.98 $11.98
14 tracks, 78 min., recommended
Originally released on LP in 1985, this live set was recorded in 1961 at Small's Paradise in New York but should not be confused with the Atlantic album called Live at Small's Paradise. The sound here, although not of studio quality, and filled as it is with noise from the club patrons, is good enough, and documents the King Curtis at a critical point in his development. The set is part jazz, part R&B; part sax, part singing. And Curtis sounds most at home, most free on How High The Moon and Canadian Sunset, where he just blows his tenor sax for all he's worth, which is plenty. He sounds most forced and awkward on the uninspired reading of his hit The Twist, where he puts down his ax and sings. The original club date has been supplemented with 5 bonus tracks recorded in 1985 by Al Casey and band. A worthwhile addition to King Curtis' eclectic and all to brief catalogue. (JC)

DUANE EDDY Bear Family BCD 17249 Rocks ● CD $24.98
32 tracks, 72 mins, highly recommended
The best collection available featuring the distinctive twangy guitar work of Duane Eddy particularly for rock 'n' roll fans since, except for the two last tracks, this concentrates on his more rocking sides recorded for Jamie between 1957 and 1961. All his rocking hits are here - Rebel Rouser/ Cannonball/ Moovin' n' Groovin'/ Peter Gunn Theme/ Forty Miles of Bad Road/ Ramrod/ / Yep/ Kommotion/ Some Kinda Earthquake and others as well as lesser known titles and flipsides. Many of the cuts were produced by Lee Hazelwood and feature his fine backup band The Rebels with tough sax from Steve Douglas, piano by Larry Knechtel and guitar from Al Casey. The disc ends with two of his more pop flavored titles Beacuse They're Young and Pepe included since they were such big hits. Sound quality is stunning and the 54 page booklet booklet includes appreciative notes by current guitar ace Deke Dickerson along with a clutch of wonderful vintage photos. (FS)

ALEC FINN Alec Finn 001 Innisfree ● CD $21.98 $13.98
13 traditional Irish tunes played on bouzouki, guitar and harmonica by Alec Finn - long time member of the great band De Dannan. With varying accompaniments (bass, bones, piano, keyboard, mandolin, etc.

WILBERT HARRISON Acrobat ACRD 103 Let's Work Together ● CD $11.98
10 tracks, 35 mins, highly recommended
Back in print. Wilbert Harrison was one of a kind with his distinctive vocal style and approach to songs which seemed to change from session to session. He recorded quite prolifically and with so little of his material currently available on CD this reissue of his 10 of his 1969 Sue recordings is most welcome though I wished they'd included all the Sue sides. For this album Wilbert played guitar, harmonica, piano and drums with "Thunder Thumb" on bass. The wonderfully catchy title song which was a reworking of his 1961 recording Let's Stick Together became something of a hippy anthem after being covered by Canned Heat. There's a remake of his biggest hit Kansas City, some great R&B covers like Louie Louie/ Blue Monday and Stand By Me plus some typical Harrison oddities like Tropical Shakedown and Soul Rattler. Great stuff but it all ends too soon - I think it's time for Bear Family to do a complete Wilbert Harrison box set. I don't know if anyone else would buy it but I certainly would! (FS)

PAUL KELLY Kent CDKEND 367 Hot Runnin' Soul ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
R&B singer/songwriter Paul Kelly's name is not very well known outside of collector's circles, except for his 1970 Top 20 hit Stealing in the Name of the Lord. But the gang at Kent taken steps to rectify that situation by releasing this collection of Kelly's early solo 45s (all gathered together for the first time) recorded for the Dial, Lloyd, Philips, and Happy Tiger labels. Don't let the singer/songwriter tag fool you; this stuff is down 'n' dirty Southern Soul, most of which was recorded in Nashville with Buddy Killen (who ran Dial) in the chair. Apart from the groundbreaking Stealing, the highlights include all of the Happy Tiger sides - especially The Day After Forever/ Sailing/ Poor But Proud/ It's My Baby/ I Need Your Love So Bad, and Call Another Doctor (On the Case). If you like Joe Tex or Johnnie Taylor, then Paul Kelly just might be the guy for you. (GMC)

BEN E. KING & THE DRIFTERS Jasmine 202 Dance With Me, 1958-1961 ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 126 mins, essential
There are two perfect Drifters CD collections that you should get: Jasmine's JASCD 526, which collects all of the best Drifters tracks from 1953-1958 lead by the majestic Clyde McPhatter or the mighty Johnny Moore, and then this CD right here which features all the best Drifters tracks with Ben E. King on lead, plus all of King's best solo work from the early 1960's. Sure, the Drifters were two groups that were pretty much completely different in all but a name, but both incarnations made a lot of essential music. On this collection you get Under The Boardwalk/ There Goes My Baby/ Dance With Me/ This Magic Moment/ Save The Last Dance For Me/ Spanish Harlem/ Stand By Me, and so many more fantastic songs. On top of all the hits we all know, there are also some rarities like two songs by The Crowns (the group that basically became to new Drifters), and then also a great duet between Ben E. King and Laverne Baker: A Help Each Other Romance. You get all of that and more on these two CDs, sounding as great as ever! (JM)
THE CROWNS: I'll Forget About You/ Kiss And Make Up/ THE DRIFTERS: (If You Cry) True Love, True Love/ Baltimore/ Dance With Me/ Hey Senorita/ I Count The Tears/ Jackpot/ Loneliness Or Happiness/ Lonely Winds (Alt Take)/ Lonely Winds (Single Version)/ Mexican Divorce/ Nobody But Me/ Oh My Love/ Please Stay/ Room Full Of Tears/ Save The Last Dance For Me/ She Never Talked To Me That Way/ Some Kind Of Wonderful/ Somebody New Dancing With You/ Sometimes I Wonder/ Sweets For My Sweet/ There Goes My Baby/ This Magic Moment/ When My Little Girl Is Smiling/ BEN E. KING: Amor/ Besame Mucho/ Brace Yourself/ Come Closer To Me/ Ecstacy/ First Taste Of Love/ First Taste Of Love (Single Edit)/ Frenesi/ Granada/ Here Comes The Night/ I Promise Love/ Love Me, Love Me/ On The Horizon/ Perfidia/ Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps/ Show Me The Way/ Souvenir Of Mexico/ Spanish Harlem/ Stand By Me/ Sway/ Sweet And Gentle/ Yes/ Young Boy Blues/ A Help Each Other Romance/ How Often

GENE MCDANIELS Jasmine 188 Look To Your Heart - The GEne McDaniels Story, 1959-61 ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, 136 mins, recommended
Gene McDaniels took A Hundred Pounds Of Clay and made a pretty big career for himself. Although that great big Pop-Soul hit is featured on this collection, it isn't necessarily indicative of what you get overall. More often than not Gene McDaniels sounded a lot more like Johnny Mathis than, say, Sam Cooke, with most of these recordings featuring lavish orchestration, lush strings and smooth vocals. This CD collection features Gene's first four albums ("In Times Like These" - Liberty (1960), "Sometimes I'm Happy, Sometimes I'm Blue" - Liberty (1960), "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay" - Liberty (1961), and "Gene McDaniels Sings Movie Memories" - Liberty (1962)) in their entirety, plus a handful of bonus tracks. With "Sometimes I'm Happy ."being the most swingin' of the original albums. So you get his other early hits like A Tear/ Tower of Strength, and Chip Chip, plus versions of classics like Autumn Leaves/ Mona Lisa/ Three Coins In A Fountain, etc. So if you are a fan of artists like Johnny Mathis or Nat King Cole, you will find a lot to love on this set. (JM)
GENE MCDANIELS: A Hundred Pounds Of Clay/ A Tear/ All The Way/ And The Angels Sing/ Angels In The Sky/ Another Tear Falls/ Are You Sincere/ Around The World/ At The End Of A Rainbow/ Autumn Leaves/ Chip Chip/ Cry/ Eternally/ From Here To Eternity/ Golden Earrings/ Gone With The Wind/ Green Door/ How Long Has This Been Going On/ In A Sentimental Mood/ In Times Like These/ It Might As Well Be Spring/ It's All In The Game/ Like Someone In Love/ Look For The Silver Lining/ Look To Your Heart/ Love Is A Many Splendored Thing/ Love Is Here To Stay/ Love Me Tender/ Make A Present Of You/ Mona Lisa/ Never Like This/ Next Spring/ Portrait Of My Love/ Secret Love/ Send For Me/ Sometimes I'm Happy/ Take Good Care Of Her/ Tammy/ The Facts Of Life/ The High And The Mighty/ The Long Hot Summer/ The River And I/ The Sound Of Music/ Three Coins In The Fountain/ Tower Of Strength/ When I Fall In Love/ When I Was A Child/ Yesterdays/ You Belong To Me/ Young At Heart/ ‘deed I Do/ ‘til There Was You

RED NICHOLS Membran 222464 Jazz Edition - Quadromania ● CD $10.98
Four CDs, 84 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine, low price, introduction to an important jazz figure from Membran - this time devoted to recordings by bands led by popular and incredibly prolific cornetist Red Nichols. The first three discs features recordings made between 1927 and 1931 while the fourth disc features 18 tracks from a 1949 sessions with completely different musicians backing Red. Many of the tracks were issued as by Red Nichols Five Pennies though some appeared as by The Charleston Chasers, The Redheads and other names. The Five Pennies was a generic name for the cornetists' studio bands, ranging anywhere from 5 pieces to a full orch. Band members are the cream of the New York session musicians playing in a style somewhere between dance music and hot jazz. Some of the fine musicians appearing on these sessions include Miff Mole, Jimmy Dorsey, Eddie Lang, Fud Livingston, Adrian Rollini, Carl Kress, Manny Klein, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jack Teagarden and many others. On their earlier sessions they would often do two versions of a number - an instrumental and a vocal with the vocal honors going to the mellifluous tones of Scrappy Lambert. (FS)

LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER Fantastic Voyage 138 Ride With Me Baby - The Singles, 1952-1961 ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 55 tracks, essential
Finally an extensive look at the early career of this superb and important bluesman. Herman "Junior" Parker started his career in Memphis making his first recording for the Modern label in 1952 including a wonderful originally unissued duet with his fellow performer in the legenadry Beale Streeters, Bobby Bland with Johnny Ace on piano and Matt Murphy providing great slashing guitar. He then moved to Sun where he made more great sides - this time Matt's brother Floyd providing the superb guitar work. At his first session he recorded Feelin' Good which was his first R&B hit chart hit - a song that has since become a blues standard. His second session yielded Mystery Train - a song that never made the charts by Junior but was covered by up and coming Sun artist Elvis Presley. In 1953 he signed with Duke bringing with him another Memphis guitar legend Pat Hare and pianist Bill "Struction" Johnson and made several more sides with that same loose Memphis feel before being teamed up with larger bands which gave the music a more uptown feel but never straying too far from Junior's down home roots and the presence of his fine harmonica playing on many of his Due numbers added to that down home quality. Parker had a sweet clear voice that is unforgettable, even on overworked numbers like Five Long Years. His bands, usually with horn sections, had that Texas toughness, but Jr.'s presence added a special touch of soul to the mix. This set includes all his most famous songs from this period - I Wanna Ramble/ Next Time You See Me/ That's All Right/ Driving Wheel/ Sweet Home Chicago/ Stand By Me/ In The Dark and Annie Get Your Yo - many of them R&B hits. On Stand By Me and the uptempo showstopper Seven Days he adds a gospel flavor that works just perfectly. In spite of the title this collection is not just the singles but pretty much everything he recorded during this period including unissued songs and alternate takes. Superb sound, informative notes by Dave Penny and full discographical details round out at an exceptional package of this superb artist who has been poorly represented on CD in the past 10 years. (FS)

WILSON PICKETT Acrobat 100 If You Need Me - The early Years ● CD $11.98
11 tracks, 27 mins, highly recommended
Back in print. Short but mighty sweet collection featuring all the sides that the Wicked Mr. Pickett recorded for Lloyd Price and Harold Logan's Double L in 1963 and 1964 prior to joining Atlantic and racking up 35 R&B and pop hits. Three of the fine songs here reached the R&B charts including the great If You Need Me (covered with greater success by soon to be Atlantic stable mate Solomon Burke), the yearning I'm Down To My Last Heartbreak and the intense ballad It's Too Late. Solid deep soul throughout with great singing from Wilson and tough band accompaniment. (FS)

WADE RAY Bear Family BCD 17219 Idaho Red - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Fine collection of sides recorded between 1951 and 1957 for RCA and Fabor by this jazzy vocalist and brilliant fiddler whose fiddling showed the influence of the great jazz fiddler Joe Venuti. Ray's vocal style influenced Willie Nelson (Ray subsequently played bass in Willie's band). His recordings were mostly cut in Hollywood with top sessions musicians like Jimmy Bryant, "Speedy" West, Noel Boggs, Jimmy Wyble, Tommy Allsup and others. Although Ray never had any hits his recordings were very popular particularly the title song and his repertoire was varied with Wade doing songs from writers as varied as Cindy Walker, Irving Berlin, Jimmie Rodgers and Earl Hines! Three tracks are previously unissued including a great version of Charlie Adams' Cattin' Around and an instrumental version of the jazz favorite Perdido which gives Wade a chance to show his jazz chops. Sound quality is, of course, immaculate and the 46 page booklet has extensive notes by Rich Kienzle, rare photos and full discographical information. (FS)

JIMMY ROGERS Chess (Europe) 10399 The Complete Chess Recordings, Vol. 1 ● CD $10.98
25 tracks, essential
The first volume of the complete Chess recordings of this great Chicago bluesman cut between August, 1950 and October, 1956. With his warm, mellifluous vocals and melodic guitar he was one of the most outstanding performers to emerge from the Muddy Waters Band in the 50s. His recordings often featured fellow Muddy Waters band members like Little Walter, Big Crawford, Elgin Evans, Willie Dixon, Otis Spann and others but there were also some remarkable tracks with other musicians. These includes 9 tracks from 1951 & '52 featuring the incredible and underrated piano work of Eddie Ware - a mystery man who I would like to know more about. Two of these feature some amazing guitar by Little Walter - yes, Little Walter on guitar! Other musicians who pop up include J.T. Brown, Henry Gray, Odie Payne, Walter Horton, and other Chicago masters who contribute to the incredibly tight ensemble playing. There is just one classic song after another - That's All Right/ Ludella/ Today, Today Blues/ The World's In A Tangle/ Money, Marbles & Chalk/ Chance To Love (some stunning harp from Little Walter on this)/ Back Door Friend/ Out On The Road/ Chicago Bound/ Sloppy Drunk and more. Several of the songs were not originally issued on 78s but are as good as the issued sides. If you missed the original 1997 double set don't miss this! (FS)

JIMMY ROGERS Chess (Europe) 10423 The Complete Chess Recordings, Vol. 2 ● CD $10.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
The second disc features the remainder of Jimmy's master recordings recorded between 1956 and 1959 along with a selection of alternate takes. The opening track from an October 1956 session is Jimmy's magnificent Walking By Myself - a great song with a devastating harmonica solo from Walter Horton. The subsequent recordings are not quite as strong as the earlier recordings - most of the problem appears to be the prevalence of undistinguished material - it's as if the producers wanted to try and move Jimmy into a more rock 'n' roll flavored direction which doesn't really come off. However all is not lost as Jimmy's warm vocals are still a delight and with accompaniments from the likes of Little Walter, Walter Horton, Otis Spann, Jody Williams, Luther Tucker and others the tracks are usually worth a listen. The alternate takes includes a gorgeous though incomplete alternate take of one of Jimmy's greatest performances - Ludella with some different lyrics to the familiar version. There is also a superb alternate of 1953's Act Like You LOve Me. The rest of the alternates are from the later less interesting sessions but, as always, worth a listen. (FS)

THE SHADOWS Smith & Co. 2480 Just About As Good As It Gets - Original Recordings ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 66 tracks, recommended
The Shadows were a British group that initially found fame as Cliff Richard's backing band (known originally as the Drifters). They were Tony Meehan (d), Hark Marvin(lead guitar), Bruce Welch (g) and Jet Harris (b), and enjoyed some incredible success in England with 35 hit instrumental singles. This features a cross section their early recordings including all their early hits like Apache/ Man Of Mystery/ F.B.I./ Kon-Tiki/ The Frightened City and The Savager. Although most of the tracks are instrumental there are also a handful of vocals which are quite pleasing. Several of the tunes are presented in both mono and stereo versions. 17 of the tracks are live featuring them mostly doing tunes issued as singles. Although not as energetic as their American counterparts the group had a distinctive slant that makes their music very appealing. (FS)
THE SHADOWS: 36-24-36 (stereo)/ All My Sorrows/ Apache/ Apache (stereo)/ Baby My Heart/ Baby My Heart (stereo)/ Back Home/ Be Bop A Lula (Live)/ Big Boy/ Big Boy (stereo)/ Blue Star/ Blue Star (stereo)/ Bongo Blues/ Chinchilla/ Do You Want To Dance (Live)/ Don't Be A Fool (With Love)/ Driftin'/ Driftin' (Live)/ F.B.I./ F.B.I. (Live)/ Feelin' Fine/ Find Me A Golden Street/ Find Me A Golden Street (stereo)/ Gonzales/ Gonzales (stereo)/ Guitar Boogie (Live)/ Guitar Boogie (Live)/ Guitar Boogie (Live)/ Jean Dorothy/ Jet Black/ Jet Black (Live)/ Kon-Tiki/ Kon-Tiki (Live)/ Lonesome Fella/ Man Of Mystery/ Man Of Mystery (Live)/ Midnight/ Midnight (Live)/ Mustang/ My Resistance Is Low/ Nivram/ Nivram (Live)/ Nivram (stereo)/ Peace Pipe/ Quartermaster's Stores/ Saturday Dance/ See You In My Drums/ Shadoogie/ Shadoogie (stereo)/ Shazam (Live)/ Shazam (Live)/ Shotgun/ Sleep Walk/ Sleepwalk (Live)/ Stand Up And Say That/ Stand Up And Say That (stereo)/ Stranger On The Shore (Live)/ Teenage Love/ That's My Desire/ The Frightened City/ The Frightened City (Live)/ The Savage/ The Stranger/ Theme From A Filleted Place/ Theme From Giant/ Theme From Shane

THE SOLITAIRES Jasmine 180 Walking Along ● CD $15.98
2 CD's, 40 tracks, 1 hour 45 min., very highly recommended
One of the great black vocal groups of the 1950s, the Solitaires were, in respect to the distribution of records, more talented than their little label (Old Town) could handle. So they produced plenty of great songs but never did have a national hit record-- Walking Alone was as close as they came, and it's about as perfect as anything is likely to get. But it's no matter now. This 2-disc set, which covers songs released between 1954-1960, is a complete joy and outstrips the competing collections if only in offering more songs, including a few that were not originally issued (i.e., Come Back My Love, How Long, Stranger In Paradise, Silent Grief). The Solitaires lead with their hearts and eventually fell victim to the public's changing musical taste and to an ever-shifting line up. But before that happened, they made some of the smoothest, sweetest sounds ever. (JC)
THE SOLITAIRES: At Night/ Big Mary's House/ Blue Valentine/ Chances I've Taken/ Chapel Of St.Clair/ Come Back My Love/ Don't Fall In Love/ Embraceable You/ Fine Little Girl/ Girl Of Mine/ Give Me One More Chance/ Helpless/ How Long/ I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance/ I Really Love You So (Honey Babe)/ Later For You Baby/ Light A Candle In The Chapel/ Lonely/ Lonesome Lover/ Magic Rose/ My Dear/ No More Sorrow/ Nothing Like A Little Love/ Please Kiss This Letter/ Please Remember My Heart/ Pretty Thing/ Round Goes My Heart/ Silent Grief/ South Of The Border/ Stranger In Paradise/ The Angels Sang/ The Honeymoon/ The Wedding/ Thrill Of Love/ Walkin' And Talkin'/ Walking Along/ What Did She Say/ Wonder Why/ You're Laughing Cause I'm Crying/ You've Sinned

IKE & TINA TURNER BGO BGOCD 1002 Delilah Power/ Airwaves ● CD $19.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
BGO continues their twofer reissues of Ike & Tina's Liberty LPs with their last two albums for the label from 1977 and 1978. "Delilah's Power" is a mix of material including a number of Tina originals including the title song - an ode to women power. It also includes her great cover of Hoyt Axton's Mevber Been To Spain, Sly Stone's I Want To Take You Higher and a sensational rendering of the pop standard Stormy Weather. "Airwaves" is all Ike originals including the deep soul gem Too Many Ties To Bind along with hard driving R&B numbers like Strange/ Flee Flee Flee/ We Need And Understanding and more. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1317 Smash Boom Bang! The Songs & Productions Of Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Here's another installment in Ace's great songwriters series. This time you get the team of Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer, no, they weren't one of the competing advertising firms on "Mad Men," but a fine songwriting and producing trio who were responsible for a few of the greatest popular Rock & Roll songs of the mid 1960's. We're talking Night Time and I Want Candy, by The Strangeloves, My Boyfriend's Back by The Angels, and Hang On Sloopy by The McCoys. On top of those absolute gems, you get some fun nuggets like Lets Stomp by Bobby Comstock, Hide & Seek by The Sheep, and Don't Monkey With Tarzan by The Pygmies. So you can tell that Gottehrer and co. Didn't take themselves too seriously and had a lot of fun with what they were producing. Other songs of note are Sorrow also by The McCoys, a killer cut and probably their second best song, Chubby Checker's At The Discotheque, and Gonna Make It Alone by Ronnie Dio & The Prophets, a fine rocker in the mode of Dion, by a great group whose singer would be better known years later as Ronnie James Dio. A ton of informative notes accompany all this fine music and make for a overall hit, even if a couple of the tracks are painfully corny. (JM)
THE ANGELS: My Boyfriend's Back/ THE BEACH-NUTS: Out In The Sun (Hey-O)/ JERRY BUTLER: Giving Up On Love/ CHUBBY CHECKER: (At The) Discotheque/ THE CHIC-LETS: I Want You To Be My Boyfriend/ DIANE CHRISTIAN: Wonderful Guy/ BOBBY COMSTOCK: I'm A Man/ Let's Stomp/ RONNIE DIO & THE PROPHETS: Gonna Make It Alone/ DION: Swingin' Street/ THE JIVE FIVE WITH EUGENE PITT: What Time Is It?/ PATTY LACE & THE PETTICOATS: Girls Don't Trust That Boy/ THE MCCOYS: Hang On Sloopy/ Sorrow/ DEAN PARRISH: Tell Her/ THE PIN-UPS: Lookin' For Boys/ RAY POLLARD: The Drifter/ THE POWDER PUFFS: (You Can't Take) My Boyfriend's Woody/ THE PYGMIES: Don't Monkey With Tarzan/ THE SHEEP: Hide And Seek/ GILES STRANGE: You're Going Up To The Bottom/ THE STRANGELOVES: I Want Candy/ Night Time/ DEBRA SWISHER: You're So Good To Me/ RON WINTERS: Snow Girl/ Back In The Usa

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 107 High On The Hog: Small Label Hillbilly Bop & Honky Tonk ● CD $15.98
29 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Another terrific collection of up-tempo country from small labels recorded in the 50s and early 60s. It opens with the great Haywire Jones by Freddie Frank - a ballad about an oil well tragedy and is appropriately followed by a story about the Oilwell Girls by Slim Willett from an obscure Winston LP. Other artists include Leon Tassin (the fine talking blues Get A Move On Baby), Rex Rineheart (the great bluesy rocker Going Back To My Baby with acoustic guitar, fiddle and steel guitar), Voni Morrison (the fine Bakersfield sounding Too Broke To Break), The Echomores, Chuck Ray, Frank Ole'shay, Lee Voorhies, The Stoltz Brothers ( a fine version of the Cowboy Copas favorite Alabam), Rocky Harper and others. I've heard of very few of the artists but it reveals how much great music was being made by independent labels that was a lot more honest than much of what was coming from big labels. (FS)
ROY ALDRIDGE: It's Not Easy To Forget/ BILL ANDERSON: No Song To Sing/ RAY BEACH: Walking Blues/ THE ECHOMORES feat JOHNNY SKILES: What-Cha-Do-In'/ GENE EUFIELD: The Big Tree/ FREDDIE FRANK: Haywire Jones/ HARLEY GABBARD: You've Got Your Man/ KEN GALLOWAY: Bayou Lou/ ROCKY HARPER: Show Me Love/ JAMIE HILLIARD: I'm Going Back To My Indian Maiden/ ED LYNCH: Cornfed Country Girl/ JACK MORRIS: Cooing To The Wrong Pigeon/ VONI MORRISON: Too Broke To Break/ LEE NICHOLS: Baby You Got Everything/ FRANK OLE'SHAY: Love, Love, Love Me, Honey Do/ ERNIE OLEACHEA: Drifting Vagabond/ NORMAN PHELPS: Good-Bye Blues/ CHUCK RAY: I May Not Be Able But I'm Willing To Try/ REX RINEHART: Going Back (To My Baby)/ JON ROLLINS: I Got Wheels/ JOHNNY ROWLAND: Ohio Baby/ ROY SHEPARD: Blue Days & Nights/ GENE SMITH: Privacy/ OTT STEPHENS: Oh Broken Hearted Me/ THE STOLTZ BROTHERS: Alabam/ CARL TANNER: Sweet Talking Baby/ LEON TASSIN: Get A Move On, Baby/ LEE VOORHIES: Load Up My Heart/ SLIM WILLET: Oil Patch Girls

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 108 High On The Hog: Small Label Hillbilly Bop & Honky Tonk ● CD $15.98
29 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Another great collection of uptempo hillbilly rarities. Freddie Frank and Slim Willet return from Volume 6 with two more songs about life in the oilfields - Tool Pusher From Snyder and Roughneck. The disc opens with the remarkable Cactus Kid's Talkin' Bues by Gene Parson with lyrics that border on the surrealistic. Other artists include Bill Bradley (the fascinating Drunkard's Diary), Nelson Riddle (fine bluegrass from Starday), Larry Edwards (a terrific reworking of the old favorite Hand Me Down My Walkin' Cane), Eddie Collins (the soulful I've Been Around Too Late with some innovative guitar (or is mandolin?) work), Bob Bartmess, Cuzin Roscoe, Victor Friese, Tommy Vaughn, Richard Tallpine (the offbeat Inhuman Woman with a rhythm that sounds like hillbilly reggae!), Jimmy Heath and many other fine artists you've probably never heard of! (FS)
CARROT TOP ANDERSON: Mope Along/ HAL ANDREWS: Darlin'/ BOB BARTMESS: Girl Crazy/ Model-T-Heart/ JOE BEE: What Good Would It Do/ AL BENNETT: It's In The Cards/ BILL BRADLEY: Drunkard's Diary/ EDDIE COLLINS: I've Been Around Too Long/ LARRY EDWARDS: Walkin' Cane/ FREDDIE FRANK: Tool Pusher From Snyder/ VICTOR FRIESE: Let's Pitch A Little Woo/ DON HAGGARD: Somebody Has Clipped Your Wings/ JIMMY HEATH: I Quit/ DON HESS: I'm Getting Nowhere With You/ PAT KINGERY with JENNIE COOK: Volcano/ EARL LEE: I'll Be Waiting/ GENE PARSON: Cactus Kid's Talkin' Blues/ BILL PENCE: Too Late To Cry/ NORMAN PHELPS: Don't Bother Me With Your Troubles/ TOMMY RIDDLE: When You Kiss Me Darling/ BOB ROACK: Have A Talk With Your Heart/ CUZIN ROSCOE: Sing Me A Song/ BOB STANLEY: Heartaches & Tears/ Your Triflin' Ways/ RICHARD TALLPINE: Inhuman Woman/ TOMMY VAUGHN: Don't Make A Fool Out Of Me/ SLIM WILLET: Roughneck/ EDDIE WRIGHT: Somebody's Got To Lose/ NELSON YOUNG: Sunrise

VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly SNADCD 561 Southern Soul Shake! ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended
Two seminal collections of deep 60's Southern Soul from the Memphis based SSS International label and its affiliates, Silver Fox and Minaret, originally released in 1978 and 1982 respectively on Charly. Disc one contains the first LP, Music City Soul, while disc two contains the other LP, SSS Soul Survey, and both discs feature bonus tracks along with the original LPs' track listing. SSS International was owned by Shelby Singleton and issued some of the best deep soul singles of the late 60's, even though Singleton made most of his money reissuing the Sun catalog, which he had purchased from Sam Phillips in 1969. The first disc boasts the bigger guns: Big Al Downing, Bettye Lavette, T-Bone Walker, Wilbert Harrison, Robert Parker, Johnny Adams, and Hank Ballard (duetting with Lavette) all provide some smoking cuts, eg Harrison's original version of Let's Stick Together, Adams' Reconsider Me (the follow up to earlier hit Release Me, which is on disc two), and Lavette's He Made a Woman Out of Me. The second set has its highlights too: Mickey Murray's Lonely Room, Big John Hamilton's I Have No One and How Much Can a Man Take?, Danny White's One Way Love Affair, and, from the bonus tracks, Hank Ballard's version of Sunday Morning Coming Down. And the soul masterpiece Crying In The Streets by George Perkins belongs in the collection of anyone who loves soul. In addition, many of these tracks are new to CD, so the question is: what are you waiting for? (GMC)
JOHNNY ADAMS: Georgia Morning Dew/ If I Could See You One More Time/ Reconsider Me/ Release Me/ DORIS ALLEN: A Shell Of A Woman/ Hanging Heavy In My Mind/ HANK BALLARD: Sunday Morning Coming Down/ REUBEN BELL: Action Speaks Louder Than Words/ Too Late/ TOMMY BUSH: (I Just Want) Some Leaving Alone/ CLIFFORD CURRY: Soul Ranger/ BIG AL DOWNING: Cornbread Row/ Medley Of Soul/ These Arms You Push Away/ JOHNNY DYNAMITE: The Night The Angels Cried/ GEORGIE BOY: The Pleasure Of My Woman/ EDDIE GILES: That’s How Strong My Love Is/ WILLIE CHARLES GRAY: I've Really Got Something To Be Proud Of/ My Ancestors/ BIG JOHN HAMILTION: How Much Can A Man Take?/ BIG JOHN HAMILTON: Before The Next Teardrop Falls/ I Have No One/ Lift Me Up/ Take This Hurt Off Me/ Them Changes/ BETTY HARRIS: There’s A Break In The Road/ WILBERT HARRISON: From The Bottom Of My Heart/ Let’s Stick Together/ WILLIE HOBBS: The Game Of Love/ Yes, My Goodness, Yes/ BETTYE LAVETTE: He Made A Woman Out Of Me/ My Train’s Coming In/ Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go/ CALVIN LEAVY: Cummins Prison Farm/ CLARENCE MURRAY: Baby, You Got It/ MICKEY MURRAY: Lonely Room/ Shout Bamalama/ ROBERT PARKER: You See Me/ You Shakin’ Things Up/ GEORGE PERKINS & THE SILVER STARS: Cryin’ In The Streets/ PEGGY SCOTT: Every Little Bit Hurts/ Big City Blues/ Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries/ Soulshake/ JOHNNY SOUL: I Almost Called Your Name/ Lonely Man/ GLORIA TAYLOR: You Gotta Pay The Price/ T-BONE WALKER: All Night Long/ DANNNY WHITE: Natural Soul Brother/ DANNY WHITE: One Way Love Affair

VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly SNADCD 664 Mr. Joe's Jambalaya - Loaded Down With The Blues ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 46 mins, highly recommended
If you missed out on the now out of print three CD Charly set "The Instant Minit Story" this is a chance to get a goodly number of titles from that set featuring a geat selection of New Orleans blues and R&B recorded for Joe Banashak's Minit, Instant, Alon and Seven-B between 1959 and 1971. These tracks were originally on a single and double LP originally issued in the 1980s. "Loaded Down" is an excellent collection of 14 straight blues cuts. There are four cuts by fine singer/ guitarist Boogie Jake including his often reissued Bad Luck & Trouble. There are two down home cuts from noted New Orleans guitarist Edgar Blanchard and two wonderfully raucous tracks from singer harmonica player Polka Dot Slim. Diamond Joe's soulful double sided Screamin' & Moanin' is featured in its unedited 6 minute version. There is a fine previously unissued cut by The Pitter Pats featuring the high pitched vocal of Alex Scott and some excellent guitar which is rather buried in the mix. The album is rounded out by two tracks by Nolan Pitts and two previously unissued tracks by the excellent Eddie Lang. "Mr Joe's Jambalaya" was a double LP featuring R&B sides including some of the labels big hits like Ooh Poo Pah Doo by Jessie Hill, Mother-In-Law by Ernie K.Doe, I Like It Like That by Chris Kenner and others along with great lesser known cuts from Roy Montrell, Lee Diamond, Willie Harper, Eldridge Holmes and others. Like other Charly re-reissue packages it seems that they have not newly remastered the recordings and the resulting sound is a little on the dull side though perfectly listenable. Includes new notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)
ALLEN & ALLEN: Beverly Baby/ JOE ’MR GOOGLE EYES’ AUGUST: Everything Happens At Night/ EDGAR BLANCHARD: Somebody's Doin' Me Wrong/ Tight Like That/ EDDIE BO & INEZ CHEATHAM: Lover And A Friend/ CHICK CARBO: In The Night/ LARRY DARNELL: Son Of A Son Of A Slave (Aka Stomp Down Soul) Part 1/ THE DEL ROYALS: Always Naggin'/ LEE DIAMOND: I Need Money/ DIAMOND JOE: Moanin' And Screamin' (Parts 1 & 2)/ LEE DORSEY: Lottie Mo/ SKIP EASTERLING: I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man/ BARBARA GEORGE: Something You Got/ WILLIE HARPER: New Kind Of Love/ JESSIE HILL: Ooh Poo Pah Doo Parts 1 & 2/ ELDRIDGE HOLMES: The Sooner You Realize/ MATTHEW "BOOGIE JAKE" JACOBS: (If I Only Had A) Chance For Your Love/ Bad Luck And Trouble/ Early Morning Blues/ Loaded Down/ ERNIE K-DOE: Mother-In-Law/ CHRIS KENNER: I Like It Like That Part 1/ EDDIE LANG: I'm Gonna Make You Eat Those Words/ The Fooler Parts 1 & 2/ The Sad One/ CALVIN LEE: Valley Of Tears/ RAYMOND LEWIS: I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt On You/ LITTLE BUCK: Whisper My Name/ ROY MONTRELL: Mudd/ OLIVER MORGAN: The La La Man Part 1/ AARON NEVILLE: Over You/ ART NEVILLE: All These Things (Full-Length Version)/ THE PITTER PATS: It Do Me Good/ Nervous Condition/ NOLAN PITTS: Way In The Middle Of The Night/ What Is Life?/ POLKA DOT SLIM: A Thing You Gotta Face/ Ain't Broke, Ain't Hungry/ ESKEW REEDER: Green Door/ ROGER & THE GYPSIES: Pass The Hatchet Part 1/ THE SHOWMEN: It Will Stand/ BENNY SPELLMAN: Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)/ THE STOKES: Whipped Cream/ IRMA THOMAS: Ruler Of My Heart/ ALLEN TOUSSAINT & THE STOKES: Go Back Home/ Poor Boy, Got To Move

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chess (Europe) 10398 Chess Blues Guitar : Two Decades Of Killer Fretwork, Volume 1 ● CD $10.98
23 tracks, highly recommended
The first disc of Chess 9393 surveying some of the great blues guitarists who recorded or Chess and affiliated labels between 1949 and 1969 including rare and unissued sides. This first disc covers the period 1949 through 1958. It opens with Robert Nighthawk's slide guitar masterpice Anna Lee and includes sides from Johnny Shines, John Lee Hooker (an alternate of Walkin' The Boogie without the overdubbed speeded up guitar), Morris Pejoe, John Brim, Eddie Boyd (with Robert Lockwood on guitar), Howlin' Wolf (the great Willie Johnson on guitar), J.B. Lenoir, Bo Diddley, Jody Williams (two tracks including the originally unissued What KInd Of Gal Is That?), Lafayette Thomas and more. Sidmen on these sessions is a who's who of great Chicago musiciasn including Little Walter, Big Crawford, Henry Gray, Elgin Evans, Louis Myers, Ernest Cotton, Eddie Chamblee, Lafayette Leake and others. (FS)
CHUCK BERRY: Guitar Boogie/ BLUE SMITTY & HIS STRING MEN: Date Bait/ EDDIE BOYD: Just a Fool/ JOHN BRIM: It Was a Dream/ BO DIDDLEY: Who Do You Love?/ LOWELL FULSON: Reconsider Baby/ Rollin' Blues/ EARL HOOKER: Frog Hop/ Guitar Rumba/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Walkin' the Boogie (alternate take)/ HOWLIN' WOLF: I've Got a Woman/ J.B. LENOIR: Give Me One More Shot/ JOE HILL LOUIS: When I Am Gone (Treat Me Mean and Evil)/ ROBERT NIGHTHAWK: Anna Lee/ DANNY OVERBEA: Forty Cups of Coffee/ MORRIS PEJOE: Tired of Crying over You/ JIMMY ROGERS: That's All Right/ JOHNNY SHINES: So Glad I Found You/ LAFAYETTE THOMAS: Old Memories/ MUDDY WATERS: Loving Man/ Sad, Sad Day/ JODY WILLIAMS: Lucky Lou/ What Kind of Gal Is That?

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chess (Europe) 10400 Aristocrat Of The Blues - Best Of Aristocrat Records 1 ● CD $10.98
25 tracks, 73 mins, very highly recommended
Originally half of Chess 9387. The first of two discs exploring recordings made for the Aristocrat label which was founded by Charles & Evelyn Aaron in April 1947. They were bought out by Leonard & Phil Chess the following year who ran the label until 1950 when they changed the name to Chess. Although many of the artists recorded for the label were jump blues the emphasis on the two CD set is on the label's down home blues recordings with only a taken representation of jump blues performers. The two disc include all the recordings made for the label by Muddy Waters including originally unissued titles and includes titles under his own name as well as his accompaniments to other artists. This disc starts with five jump blues sides including Tom Archia's outrageously risque Fishin' Pole and Andrew Tibbs ironic tribute to the recently deceased Mississippi governor - Bilbo Is Dead. In September 1947 Sunnyland Slim and Muddy Waters entered the studios and together with bassist Big Crawford cut two songs each. The following April they did a six song session adding Alex Atkins on alto sax for four songs. Muddy also did two songs accompanied by only Crawford - remakes of songs he had recorded for the Library Of Congress in 1942. The success of the resulting 78 encouraged the Chess brothers to record Muddy in this format for a number of years. Altogether this disc has 10 sides by Muddy himself along with four cuts backing Sunnyland Slim, two providing some stellar slide work on songs by St. Louis Jimmy and two providing accompaniment to the superb voclist Leroy Foster. This disc also includes one track from the superb piano player Forrest Sykes and one track from the first session by the great vocalist and slide guitarist Robert Nighthawk. (FS)
TOM ARCHIA: Fishin' Pole/ Ice Man Blues/ THE FIVE BLAZES: Chicago Boogie/ LEROY FOSTER: Locked Out Boogie/ Shady Grove Blues/ ROBERT NIGHTHAWK: My Sweet Lovin' Woman/ CLARENCE SAMUELS: Boogie Woogie Blues/ ST. LOUIS JIMMY: Florida Hurricane/ So Nice and Kind/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: Fly Right, Little Girl/ Johnson Machine Gun/ My Baby, My Baby/ She Ain't Nowhere/ FORREST SYKES: Forest Sykes Plays the Boogie/ ANDREW TIBBS: Bilbo Is Dead/ MUDDY WATERS: Down South Blues/ Good Looking Woman/ Gypsy Woman/ I Can't Be Satisfied/ I Feel Like Going Home/ Kind Hearted Woman/ Little Anna Mae/ Mean Disposition/ Sittin' Here and Drinkin' (Whiskey Blues)/ Train Fare Home

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chess (Europe) 10413 Chess Blues Guitar: Two Decades Of Killer Fretwork, Vol. 2 ● CD $10.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
This disc brings us recordings from 1958 through 1969 and includes a number of tracks not originally issued as singles - many that first made their appearance on Japanese P-Vine LPs. Artists include Muddy Waters, Lafayette Thomas (the originally unissued Claim On You from West Coast guitar giant), Otis Rush, Chuck Berry (the fine I Still Got The Blues from his "Chuck Berry On Stage" LP but without the phony dubbed on applause), Elmore James (the all time classic Talk To Me Baby), Albert Kin, Howlin' Wolf (the dumb song Hidden Charms rescued by spectacular Hubert Sumlin guitar), Little Milton, Robert Nighthawk (the great originally unissued Someday from 1964 - no slide but great guitar from Buddy Guy on guitar and harp by Walter Horton), Buddy Guy, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (a splendid originally unissued version of Sonny Boy Williamson's Cross My Heart from 1965), Hound Dog Taylor (one side of his obscure 1967 Checker single with great slide and fine harp by Walter Horton), Lonnie Brooks, JOhnny Littlejohn (the originally unissuied She's Too Much) from 1969. (FS)
CHUCK BERRY: I Still Got the Blues/ LONNIE BROOKS: One Sunny Day/ CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN: Cross My Heart/ EDDIE "GUITAR" BURNS: Treat Me Like I Treat You/ BO DIDDLEY: I Can Tell/ My Babe/ BUDDY GUY: Broken Hearted Blues/ Buddy's Boogie/ Leave My Girl Alone/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Hidden Charms/ Killing Floor/ ELMORE JAMES: Talk to Me Baby/ ALBERT KING: Won't Be Hanging Around/ LITTLE MILTON: I Can't Quit You Baby/ What Kind of Love Is This?/ JOHN LITTLEJOHN: She's Too Much/ ROBERT NIGHTHAWK: Someday/ JIMMY ROGERS: Rock This House/ OTIS RUSH: I'm Satisfied/ HOUND DOG TAYLOR: Watch Out/ LAFAYETTE THOMAS: Claim on You/ MUDDY WATERS: Walkin' Thru the Park

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chess (Europe) 10442 Aristocrat Of The Blues - Best Of Aristocrat Records 2 ● CD $10.98
26 tracks, essential
This volume features 15 tracks by Muddy - many with just Big Crawford providing great slap bass accompaniment to Muddy's fabulous vocals and slide guitar and some with Leroy Foster on rhythm guitar. One session features songs with his then current band with Johnny Jones on piano, Jimmy Rogers on second guitar and Leroy Foster on drums. This session also features two sublime vocals from Jones including the original Big Town Playboy. There are seven more cuts from the magnificent Robert Nighthawk including two songs forever associated with him - Sweet Black Angel and Anna Lee. The disc is rounded out by tracks from down home singer and harmonica player Forest City Joe and one jump blues from Duke Jenkins. Some truly magnificent music! (FS)
FOREST CITY JOE: Memory of Sonny Boy/ DUKE JENKINS' ARISTOCRATS: Baby, I'm Sick of You/ JOHNNY JONES: Big Town Playboy/ Shelby County Blues/ ROBERT NIGHTHAWK: Anna Lee/ Jackson Town Gal/ Prison Bound/ Return Mail Blues/ She Knows How to Love a Man/ Six Three O/ Sweet Black Angel/ MUDDY WATERS: Burying Ground Blues/ Canary Bird/ Hard Days/ Last Time I Fool Around With You/ Little Geneva/ Mean Red Spider/ Muddy Jumps One/ Rollin' and Tumblin', Pt. 1/ Rollin' and Tumblin', Pt. 2/ Screamin' and Cryin'/ Standin' Here Tremblin'/ Streamline Woman/ Where's My Woman Been/ You're Gonna Miss Me/ You're Gonna Need My Help

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chess (UK) 9830153 Chess Northern Soul ● CD $14.98 $10.98
Fine selection of 20 cuts of soul sides popular in the British Northern Soul clubs recorded for Chess, Checker and Cadet between 1965 and 1972. Includes quite a few tracks not readily elsewhere. Includes tracks from Marlena Shaw, The Radiants, Denise LaSalle, The Gospel Classics, Tony Clarke, Little Milton, The Dells, Tommy & Cleve, Ramsey Lewis & others. Includes 16 page booklet with notes, photos & label shots.
FONTELLA BASS: Leave It In The Hands Of Love/ TERRY CALLIER: Look At Me Now/ Ordinary Joe/ TONY CLARKE: Landslide/ The Fugitive Kind/ THE DELLS: Make Sure/ Run For Cover/ Wear It On Our Face/ MAMIE GALORE: It Ain't Necessary/ THE GEMS: I Can't Help Myself/ THE GOSPEL CLASSICS: More Love That's What We Need/ DENISE LASALLE: A Love Reputation/ RAMSEY LEWIS: Wade In The Water/ LITTLE MILTON: More And More/ You Colored My Blues Bright/ BOBBY MCCLURE: Peak Of Love/ THE RADIANTS: Hold On/ MARLENA SHAW: Let's Wade In The Water/ TOMMY & CLEVE: Boo Ga Loo Baby/ THE VALENTINOS: Sweeter Than The Day Before

VARIOUS ARTISTS Clifton 3016 Ladies First ● CD $17.98 $11.98
A collection of recordings made in the 1990s of 50s and 60s doo-wop songs featuring male groups with female lead. Includes Ami Ortiz with The Clif-Tones, Fellas & Cliftonaires, Lisa Vitti with The Luvables and The Cliftonaires, Pamela Cartagena with The Valentinos, Sandra Italiano with The Cliftoniares, Blue Stars and more.. Songs include Whadaya Want?/ I'm So In Love/ Blue Moon/ Beat In My Heart, etc.
AMI & HER FELLAS: My Birthday Wish/ AMI & THE CLIF-TONES: Charles My Darling/ AMI & THE CLIFTONAIRES: I Do Believe/ AMI & THE CLIF-TONES: Sitting Here/ Somewhere In Life/ CHERIE & THE CROSSTONAIRES: Cherie (dottie)/ JOANNE & THE I-DEALS: Beat In My Heart/ LISA & THE LUVABLES: Blue Moon/ LISA & THE CLIFTONAIRES: We Kissed In The Shadows/ PAM & THE VALENTINOS: Kingdom Of Love/ PATTY & THE CLIFTONAIRES: I'm So In Love/ My Baby's Gone/ SANDRA & THE GLEAMS: Come Home/ SANDRA & THE BLUE STARS: It's Only A Paper Moon/ SANDRA & THE CLIFTONAIRES: Mi Gram Amor (my Great Love)/ Whadaya Want?

VARIOUS ARTISTS Light In The Attic 81 Listen Whitey! The Sounds Of Black Power, 1967-1974 ● CD $18.98
16 tracks, 76 mins, essential
Described (by the sticker on the front) as "the definitive Black Power aural document", this collection of political and social rabble rousing from both Black and white instigators is nothing if not provocative. How could it not be with stuff like speeches from Stokely Carmichael and Eldridge Cleaver, comedy from Dick Gregory, spoken word from the Original Last Poets, and inflammatory music from Bob Dylan (the semi-obscure George Jackson), Roy Harper, Gil Scott-Heron, and John and Yoko on display. This CD is basically the 'soundtrack' to Pat Thomas' book "Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power"; compiled with an ear to diversity and selection, the author is keen to point out that the people featured on this album "didn't necessarily speak for or to each other." (italics his) The selections are not only diverse, but also rare: at least seven tracks have not appeared on CD before, several more are currently "out of print", and the rest haven't been anthologized before. Although nearly every track is of its' time, there are a couple of timeless moments deservedly preserved; this compilation is worth it for Dylan's acoustic version of George Jackson - only available as the B-side of the original 1971 single-alone. In addition, the liner notes-by Thomas himself-are outstanding. Just remember, this CD is a reminder of a time when people spoke their minds and demanded action.for good or ill. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sony (UK) 91875-2 Be My Baby - The Girls Of The Sixties ● CD $29.98
3 CD set, 70 tracks, highly recommended
This is a curious collection because not only do the compilers admit that not all the tracks are from the 60's (the disclaimer says "although all of the artists included were active in the 1960s, a small number of the tracks were taken from the 1950s and 1970s") - for example, the Three Degrees are represented by When Will I See You Again, a song from 1974 - but there's no rhyme or reason to the track sequencing. Still, as compilation of girl power, it's pretty strong and various genres and sub-genres are showcased; everything from girl groups (The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Shirelles, The Shangri-Las) and R&B (Millie Jackson, Ike & Tina Turner, Bettye Swann, Carla Thomas) to Pop (Doris Day, Lesley Gore, Jackie DeShannon, Peggy Lee) and Motown (Mary Wells, The Marvelettes, Martha & the Vandellas, The Supremes). There's room for 60's icons like Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Laura Nyro, and Aretha Franklin. Even country music is touched on through Lynn Anderson and Skeeter Davis. Of course, since this is a European released CD, there's the usual British talent that might (or might not) be familiar to Americans: Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Clodagh Rodgers, and Cilla Black. In essence, there's something for everyone on this thoroughly entertaining CD set. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Tompkins Square 2653 Aimer Et Perdre: To Love And Lose, Songs 1917-1934 ● CD $25.98
Two CD set with 36 tracks of vintage vernacular music recorded in America between 1917 and 1934. The emphasis here is on the music of Ukrainian and Polish immigrants but also includes Cajun music, old time country and one cut by African-American songster Richard Rabbit Brown. Comes beautifully packaged with 60 page copiously illustrated including three new drawings by R. Crumb along with several of his older illustrations. Artists include Cleoma & Joe Falcon, Leo Soileau & Moise Robin, Jozef Brangel & The Wiejska Orkestra, Kandel's Orchestra, Dennis McGee & Sady Courville, Lewis McDaniel & Gid Smith, Orchestra Michala Thomasa and others. There is very little duplicaton with the recently issued JSP box of Ukrainian music.
AMEDE ARDOIN & DENNIS MCGEE: Two Step De Maman [Mama's Two Step]/ EMRY ARTHUR: She Lied To Me/ DOUGLAS BELLARD: La Valse La Prison [the Prison Waltz]/ DOCK BOGGS: False Hearted Lover's Blues/ JOZEF BRANGEL: Oberek Z Migroda [Oberek From Migroda]/ BRATIA ORKIESTRA "HOLATIKY-KUZIANY": Obertana Z Molodom [Hoedown With the Bride]/ THE BREAUX FRéRES: One Step a Marie [Mary's One-Step]/ BRODER KAPELLE: Chernovitzer Bulgar [Dance From Chernovitz]/ RICHARD RABBIT BROWN: Never Let the Same Bee Sting You Twice/ THE CARTER FAMILY: I Never Will Marry/ FRANCISZEK DUKLI WIEJSKA BANDA: Uwiedziona Dziewczyna [the Cheated Girl]/ JOSWELL DUPUIS: L'abandonnér [The Forsaken]/ CLEOMA FALCON: Aimer Et Perdre [To Love and To Lose]/ BLIND UNCLE GASPARD: Assi Dans Les Fenetre De Ma Chambre [Sitting In the Window of My Room]/ DELIN T. GUILLORY: Quelqu'un Est Jalous [Someone is Jealous]/ HAPPY HAYSEEDS: Ladies Quadrille/ PAWLO HUMENIUK: Peresuqyny [a Reception For the In-Laws]/ ILRAINSKA ORCHESTRA PAWLA HUMENIUKA: Ukrain-Ske Wesilla W Ameryci, Pt. 1 [Ukrainian Wedding In America, Pt. 1]/ Ukrain-Ske Wesilla W Ameryci, Pt. 2 [Ukrainian Wedding In America, Pt. 2]/ KANDEL'S ORCHESTRA: A Freilachs von Der Chuppe [a Happy Dance From the Wedding Ceremony]/ LEWIS MCDANIEL: I Went To See My Sweetheart/ DENNIS MCGEE: Vous M'avez Donne Vôtre Parole [You Gave Me Your Word]/ Madam Young Donnez Moi Vôtre Plús Jolie Blond [Madam Young, Give Me Your Sw/ MUZYKA KAROLA STOCHA GóRALSKA ORCHESTRA: Po Cos Dziewce Powiedziala [Girl, Why Did You Tell?]/ SAMUIL PILIP'S LEMKIWSKA ORCHESTRA: De Tuy Bew Yamiezku? [Where Were You Johnny]/ MOISE ROBIN: Je Veux Marier [I Want To Marry]/ STEFANA SHKIMBY I CYGANSKA ORCHESTRA: Cyganske Vesilia, Pt. 3 [a Gypsy Wedding, Pt. 3]/ Cyganske Vesilia, Pt. 4 [a Gypsy Wedding, Pt. 4]/ THE STONEMAN FAMILY: Too Late/ MICHALA THOMASA: Kolomyika Buczacka [Kolomyika Dance From Buczack]/ Tanec Husar [Hussar Dance]/ UKRAINSKA ORCHESTRA MICHALA TOMASA: Hutzulka W Semerczyni [Hutzulka From Semerczyni]/ UKRAINSKA SELSKA ORCHESTRA: Holubka Polska/ Marusia [Little Mary]/ Polka Mazurka/ Wesilny Kozak [Wedding Breakdown]

VARIOUS ARTISTS Triple Crown 110 Before They Were Hits - We Did It First, Vol. 10 ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, 66 min., recommended
In which listeners are treated to the original version of a song, rather than the hit that most know. As usual, sometimes the hit beats the miss, as it does in the case of Jan and Dean's take on The Todds Popsicle. More often than not, however, the original version cuts its revenue-producing offering, as with The Arrows' I Love Rock And Roll, which Joan Jett covers almost note for note, without ever touching the energy of the original. Of particular interest is the original version of the Drifters' hit Up On The Roof, which is listed as by Unknown. It's clearly a demo, with one voice and one piano. And those who have never heard the Village Callers' original Evil Ways may be surprised at the debt Santana owes. And Jay Wiggins' original of Sad Girl is at least as cool as the Intruders' hit. Interesting too that Larry Weiss' original Rhinestone Cowboy never sold as well as Glen Campbell's version, though the latter is more about imitation than re-imagining. Plenty of fun here, though the complete lack of booklet notes and session info (not even dates) is a real weakness. (JC)

TONY JOE WHITE Universal (NL) 533 767-0 Collected ● CD $27.98
3 CD set, 54 tracks, highly recommended (for fans), recommended (for everyone else)
This compilation of the original swamp pop king, Tony Joe White, is either fascinating or frustrating depending on your point of view. This chronological three disc set gives short shrift to his late 60's/early 70's recordings (which some feel is his greatest period) in favor of his 90's wilderness years when his recordings weren't even released in the U.S. For fans, a glimpse into this little known era of his career (spread out over discs two and three) is a godsend-especially when one gets to hear things like Steamy Windows (originally written for and recorded by Tina Turner), (You're Gonna Look) Good In Blues, and the epic Closer to the Truth. But music lovers less familiar with TJW might be more interested in hearing a collection more centered on his Monument/Warner Brothers period, when he was arguably at his creative peak. And for those folks, one disc might not be enough to warrant the price of admission, even though the key tracks from that era - Rainy Night in Georgia/ Polk Salad Annie/ Roosevelt and Ira Lee (Night of the Mossacin) and Soul Francisco - are present and accounted for. However, no matter which side of the fence you fall on, the fact remains that this is stunning music deserving of a hearing from anyone who will pay attention. (GMC)

JIMMY WITHERSPOON Chess (Europe) 10401 Spoon So Easy ● CD $10.98
14 tracks, recommended
Fine selection of sides recorded by the great blues shouter for Chicago's premier blues label. 10 of the tracks were recorded in Chicago in 1954, '55 and '56 with great Chicago musicians like Lafayette Leake, Willie Dixon, Lee Cooper, Harold Ashby and others and includes several Dixon compositions. The remaining four sides were recorded in Kansas City in 1959 with a band led by his old bopss Jay McShann. Though not among Spoon's best recordings there's lots of fine singing ad playing. Includes It Ain't No Secret (a secular reworking of the old gospel song)/ Live So Easy/ I Can Make It With You/ When The Lights Go Out/ T.W.A., etc. (FS)


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