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CHARLES BROWN Ace CDCHD 589 Drifting & Dreaming ● CD $18.98 $14.98
21 tracks, 62 min., essential
Having already seen discs featuring his Aladdin tracks and a major slice of his Swingtime material, fans can now purchase a digital program of Brown's mid-40's numbers recorded with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers and originally issued by Modern Records. Program highlights include Travelin' Blues, It's the Talk of the Town, How Deep Is the Ocean, Warsaw Concerto (Parts 1 and 2), Make Believe Land, It Had to Be You, Sail On Blues, and When Your Lover Has Gone. Mellow music to be sure, suitable for both pursuing a lover and/or mourning her/his loss, produced with Ace's normal high standards. And do check out those great neckties on the necks of all three Blazers in the cover photo. I want one. (DH)
CHARLES BROWN: Blue Because Of You/ Copyright On Your Love/ How Deep Is The Ocean?/ I'll Get Along Somehow/ If You Ever Should Leave/ It Had To Be You/ It's The Talk Of The Town/ Make Believe Land/ More Than You Know/ Nutmeg/ Sail On Blues/ So Long/ Travelin' Blues/ Warsaw Concerto (Part 1)/ Warsaw Concerto (Part 2)/ What Do You Know About Love?/ When Your Lover Has Gone/ You Are My First Love/ You Left Me Forsaken/ You Showed Me The Way/ You Won't Let Me Go

CLARENCE "GATEMOUTH" BROWN New World 6223 Live From Austin, Texas ● CD $18.98
CD/ DVD combo, 10 tracks, 63 mins, recommended
The great and versatile singer, guitarist and fiddle player Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown recorded live on Austin City Limits in February 1996. Accompanied by a good sized band with a full horn section he performs a selection of mostly blues along with a country song (Dark End Of The Hallway) and some bluesy jazz (Bits And Pieces). Gate seems to be having some vocal difficulties and six of the 10 tracks are instrumentals with Gate playing some terrific guitar and taking out the fiddle for the country tune Up Jumped The Devil. Not among Gate's finest work this is, nevertheless, a worthwhile set of performances. The CD and DVD contain the same performances. (FS)

SOLOMON BURKE Rock Beat 3092 The Last Great Concert ● CD $25.98
2 CDs, 34 tracks, 99 mins, highly recommended
Solomon Burke was in great voice right until the end and although he might have been sitting down more often or not when he preformed in his last years, his performances were always impassioned and energetic. This excellent CD set captures the "King of Rock 'n' Soul" in concert in Switzerland in 2008. The CD is titled his "Last Great Concert," but considering that Burke still preformed all the way up till October of 2010 (he died right before a performance in Amsterdam), I like to think that there might have been a few more great ones. That said, this CD features a mighty, mighty show. You get fantastic versions of his big Soul hits like: Cry to Me/ Down in the Valley/ If You Need Me/ Everybody Needs Somebody to Love; tracks off of his fantastic "Nashville" album: That's How I Got To Memphis, and Atta Way To Go, great covers of other artists classic work, like Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come, and Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World, plus medleys of Country, Soul and Rock & Roll hits, basically Solomon Burke could and did sing the hell out of pretty much everything. Backed by a tight as hell band and accompanied by his lovely Granddaughter Candy Burke on backing and duet vocals, this by all accounts was a really special concert and a treat to listen to. The medleys were a bit too much for me, so that is the only thing holding me back from an essential rating, otherwise it's just about as good as it gets. (JM)

JOHNNY CASH Bear Family BCD 17308 Unseen Cash ● CD $21.98
12 tracks, 25 mins, highly recommended
This is an odd release. The main aspect of this CD isn't the rare music on the CD itself, but the previously unpublished photos in the accompanying 28 page booklet. Taken between 1955 - 58 by photographer William Speer in his Memphis studio, these photos capture the young man turning into the artist we all know and love. Accompanying these never before published photos are two early Johnny Cash performances, the first, "Country Style U.S.A. #18," features a intro and outro of Cash doing Bob Wills' Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer, plus Cash originals There You Go/ Give My Love To Rose, and Home Of The Blues, with a guest appearance by Carolee Cooper doing White Silver Sands. The second set; Country Music Time" #141 features another couple of Cash originals I Got Stripes, and Pickin' Time, with a guest spot by Johnny Western doing Jack Clement's Ten Years, then Cash and friends closing with Swing Low Sweet Chariot. I kind of can't believe I'm giving this a "highly recommended," but 20 mins or so of vintage Johnny Cash that I didn't have, plus the cool pics, suckered me. (JM)

JOHNNY CASH Columbia 98538 Bootleg Series, Vol. IV - The Soul Of Truth ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 51 tracks, 140 mins, highly recommended
Here's the latest volume in what has proved to be an absolutely fantastic series. Johnny Cash was certainly one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, somebody who lived to sing and loved to record as much of it as possible. One of J.C.'s other big loves of his life was the other J.C., and singing the gospels and praises to the lord was a lifetime passion for Cash. This set is comprised of three full albums, two that had limited releases -- "A Believer Sings the Truth" from 1979, and "Gospel Singer" from 1972 -- plus a full unreleased album recorded, but shelved, in 1975. For those of you who might turn away from these so-called gospel recordings, get over it; when it comes down to it, there is little difference between the Gospel and regular Johnny Cash recordings. Ring Of Fire/ Daddy Sang Bass, etc. and Wings In The Morning, or I've Got Jesus In My Soul, have got more in common than not, and He's Alive is pretty much Ghost Riders In The Sky with Biblical lyrics. Then when are talking about songs on this like Strange Things Happen Everyday/ I'm Just An Old Chunk of Coal/ Half Mile A Day, and This Train Is Bound For Glory, you are just talking classic Cash. Many fine artists, most that you would expect to be here join in on occasion: June Carter Cash, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Anita Carter, Jessie Coulter, etc. Even Johnny's longtime Bass man Marshall Grant makes a rare vocal appearance on I Was There When It Happened. So, yet another fantastic collection of rare and previously unreleased material that is essential for us Cash fans. Here's to the vaults being nowhere near emptied out yet! (JM)

THE CHARADES Collectables 5728 Please Be My Love Tonight ● CD $11.98 $8.98
19 tracks, 46 min., recommended
Growing up in California's Central Valley in the late 50's, the original members of this solid vocal group first recorded in 1962 according to the liner notes and had their greatest success with the title tune here, a fine 50's style ballad. Their recorded repertoire ranged from straight doo-wop to early soul stylings and even took in a few surf titles. The search for that elusive hit no doubt necessitated such flexibility. Featured numbers, in addition to Please Be My Love Tonight, include Turn Him Down, Delano Soul Beat, Surf & Stomp, Close to Me, Treasure of Love, Women, Promise Me Everything, Endless Love, Shake Shout & Soul, and Open Up Your Heart. Interesting transitional music, informative liner notes, a nice cover photo of the group, and excellent sound quality. (DH)

THE CLOVERS Winley 3073 The Winley Recordings, 1957-62 ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 43 min., recommended
The Clovers started turning out hits in 1950 and by 1957 their best days were behind them. So this is a post-hits collection that has as much to do with rock and roll and soul as it does doo wop. Most of the cuts here were released as 45's, and the "bonus songs," the last four, both sides of a single by New Souls and both sides of a single by Earl Knight & George Kelly, make their digital debut here. The latter is essentially a two-part instrumental, and may not be what vocal group fans are craving. And one of the New Souls songs is ostensibly about hot dogs. So, if you are unfamiliar with the Clovers, this disc is not the place to start. Dedicated fans, however, will surely feel fortunate to have this material available again. (JC)

GUIDO DEIRO Archeophone 5014 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 75 mins highly recommended
Another superb and varied collection of accordion music from Count Guido Pietro Deiro, the first star of the piano-accordion. Deiro was born in Italy in 1886 and immigrated to the United States in 1907 and became a vaudeville headliner in 1910 and for 20 years was the premier piano-accordionist in America. This second volume features recordings made between 1911 and 1917 during which time he met and married Mae West and helped boost her career as he was star earning $600 a week (around $50,000 in todays money!) and she was in the early stages of her career. Deiro's choice of material is varied including light classical, ragtime, popular songs of the day including Everybody's Doing It and Waiting For The Robert E. Lee, ethnic tunes - mazurkas, Neapolitan tunes, etc and even a version of Stars And Strips Forver. Deiro's playing is dazzling and inventive throughout and will surely prove an inspiration to modern accordion players. Most of the tracks feature Guido solo but on two tracks he is joined by his brother Pietro on second accordion. Sound quality from these century old recordings is outstanding and the beautiful 24 page booklet has extensive notes by Henry Doktorski and Deiro's son Count Guido Roberto Deiro who also supplies some reminiscences about his uncle Pietro and his father's relationship with Mae West . (FS)

JOHNNY DODDS Frog DGF 77 Johnny Dodds On Paramount ● CD $34.98
2 CDs, 49 tracks, 140 mins, highly recommended
This collection rounds up the great Jazz Clarinetist Johnny Dodds' classic recordings from the 1920's for Paramount records. Dodds is prominently featured accompanying such Jazz and Blues greats as King Oliver, Viola Bartlette, Jimmy Blythe, Blind Blake and many more. You get such gems as Freddie Keppard's Jazz Cardinals with Stockyard Strut, and Salty Dog, Ford and Ford's Skeeg-A-Lee Blues, and Blythe's Washboard Band with Bhunkus Blues. New remastered for the best ever sound this CD comes with in-depth liner notes that feature complete recording and discographic information for all of the tracks. All in all a real treat for fans of classic Jazz and a great collection to prove just how important the Clarinet was to Jazz music, especially in the hands of a master like Johnny Dodds. (JM)

GEORGE JONES Bear Family BCD 16858 Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight - Heartbreak Hotel ● CD $21.98 $17.98
This volume in Bear Family's "Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight" series features 35 up tempo recordings from the greatest living honky tonk country singer recorded for STarday and Mercury in the 1950s. It includes his first hity Why Baby, Why as well as rarities, obscurities, and shoulda-been-hits like No Money In This Deal/ Too Much Water/ Tall Tall Trees (written by Roger Miller and later a #1 hit for Alan Jackson), Nothing Can Stop Me/ That's The Way I Feel/ Revenooer Man (written by Donny Young, aka Johnny Paycheck)/ Who Shot Sam, and Sparkling Brown Eyes. There's Jones' only major pop hit (and #1 country hit) White Lightnin' (written by the Big Bopper). Starday Records persuaded Jones into recording several rockabilly tunes uder the name of Thumper Jones - the classics'Rock It and How Come It. Short of cash, Jones also covered other artists' hits for Starday's budget-priced series of Dixie EPs. These included Heartbreak Hotel and Johnny Horton's I'm A One-Woman Man (a 1988 hit when George re-recorded it for Epic).It also includes a rare radio spot from his Starday years. The 48 page booklet has extensive notes by country expert Rich Kienzle.
GEORGE JONES: Baby (You've Got What It Takes)/ Did I Ever Tell You/ Eskimo Pie/ Gonna Come Get You/ Heartbreak Hotel/ Hold Everything/ How Come It/ I'm Ragged But I'm Right/ If I Don't Love You (Grits Ain't Groceries)/ Jesus Wants Me/ Just Little Boy Blue/ Maybe Little Baby/ Mexican Boogie (Boogie Woogie Mexican Boy)/ No Money in This Deal/ Nothing Can Stop Me/ One Woman Man/ Please Take the Devil Out of Me/ Poor Man's Riches/ Revenooer Man/ Rock It (Alternate)/ Slave Lover/ Someone Sweet to Love/ Sparkling Brown Eyes/ Taggin' Along/ Tall Tall Trees/ That's the Way I Feel/ Time Lock/ Too Much Water/ Vitamins L-O-V-E/ White Lightnin'/ Who Shot Sam/ Why Baby Why/ You All Goodnight/ You Better Treat Your Man Right/ You Gotta Be My Baby

MIGHTY SPARROW Strut 90 Sparrowmania! Wit, Wisdowm & Soul From The King Of Caly ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 29 tracks, 115 mins, highly recommended
The Mighty Sparrow indeed! This collection follows the career of one of the greats (if not greatest) of Calypso music. Sparrow modestly referred to himself as "Calypso King of the World," and I can't say any other Calypso king could have taken his crown. All hyperbole aside, this is an excellent career-spanning collection, probably the best CD set that I have yet to see for Mr. Sparrow. You get his important political songs -- Kennedy & Krushchev/ Slave/ Renegades; his risqu‚ songs with double and triple entendres -- Sweet Loving/ Big Bamboo, etc.; then also simply great songs that are primarily just about Sparrow himself -- Sparrow Dead/ Sparrow Come Back Home, and so on. You also get a fine duet with Byron Lee on the cover of Try A Little Tenderness, a taste of the Island mysticism with Witch Doctor, and then what Mighty Sparrow collection would be complete without What's The Use Of Getting Sober, probably his best known song worldwide. Great packaging and stellar sound, this is an overall knockout of a collection. (JM)

GATEMOUTH MOORE Savoy Jazz 17327 Cryin' & Singin' The Blues ● CD $11.98 $7.98
20 tracks, 60 minutes, recommended
Gatemouth Moore's name might not come up as frequently as it should in discussions of great Post-war blues shouters, but his startling and booming voice is all over this well-done release. Nine of the twenty tracks are previously unissued (all recorded for the National label between May of 1945 and October of 1946) and stem from three separate sessions with either Dallas Bartley & His Smalltown Boys, Budd Johnson's Orchestra, or the Tiny Grimes Swingtet. Laced with buzzing and honking saxes and solid piano behind him, Moore's vocals soar above and dive below the jumping workouts. I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby/ Did You Ever Love A Woman/ Cryin' And Singin' The Blues, and much more. (CR)
GATEMOUTH MOORE: Bum Dee Dah Ra Dee/ Christmas Blues/ Cryin' & Singin' The Blues (unissued)/ Did You Ever Love A Woman/ Get Your House In Order (unissued)/ I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby/ I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby (alternate Take)/ I Put Her Out/ I Put Her Out (alternate Take)/ I'd Give It To You/ I'm Going Way Back Home/ Isabel (alternate Take)/ It Ain't None Of Me/ It Ain't None Of Me (alternate Take)/ Let's Go Back And Try One More Time (unissued)/ Love Doctor Blues/ Nobody Knows The Way I Feel (unissued)/ They Can't Do This To You/ They Can't Do This To You (alternate Take)/ Walking My Blues Away

JOE MORRIS ORCHESTRA Acrobat 4008 Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Available again. One of the first stars of Atlantic Records with hot sax instrumentals & having huge hits with his vocalists, including Laurie Tate with the title tune, which was Atlantic's 1st ever #1 R&B hit! Starting as a full fledged Bebop band with the big Texas tenor sax of Johnny Griffin (their 1st session, for Manor in '46, is here), the trumpeter/leader recorded without a contract for Atlantic in '47, with jazz-based tunes as Jump With Me/ Wow/ Weasel Walk/ Boogie Woogie March. With Griffin gone & Little Laurie Tate & Billy Mitchell on vocals the band moved into straight R&B & also to Decca, then back to Atlantic. Includes Can't Stop My Cryin'/ Midnight Grinder, etc. Classics recently issued the first volume of their comprehensive chronological reissue of Morris's recordings (Classics 5057) so there 18 tracks duplicated among the two discs. This one is probably the one to go with if you don't need everything. (GM)
JOE MORRIS & HIS ORCHESTRA: Anytime,anyplace,anywhere/ Bald Headed Woman/ Beans And Cornbread/ Boogie Woogie March/ Bottle Top/ Broken Hearted Blues/ Can't Stop My Crying/ Chuck-a-boogie/ Fly Mister Fly/ Ghost Train/ I Hope Your Satisfied/ Joe's Boogie/ Jump With Me/ Jump,everybody,jump/ Lowdown Baby/ Lowe Groovin/ Mad Moon/ Midnight Grinder/ Out Of The Night/ Pack Up All Your Bags/ Portia's Boogie/ The Applejack/ The Spider/ Weasle Walk/ Wilma's Idea/ Wow

MUZSIKAS Nascente 031 Fly Bird Fly - The Very Best Of Muzsikas ● CD $15.98 $12.98
Two CDs, 26 tracks, essential
Fantastic retrospective of traditional and original Hungarian folk music from Hungary's best and most long lived folk group featuring recordings ranging from the 1970s through the early 21st century. In the 1970s musicians in Eastern European nations were rebelling against the formalized "folk ensembles" that were required as part of Soviet Bloc culture and wanted to rediscover the authentic rural music that the formal ensembles only hinted at. Muzsikas were one of the first groups active in Hungary as part of the "Dance House Movement" that was beginning to take shape and rapidly rose to become the best and most well known. The core of the music is a stunning melding of violins, viola and string bass performed with verve and energy. The group used also additional traditional instruments - bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, long flute, hammered dulcimer, etc and over the years experimented with less instruments like blues harp and bouzouki but their music rarely strayed from the core values that they started with. In addition to their dazzling instrumental skills they were also blessed to work with East Europe's finest singer Marta Sebestyen. At times her singing will bring to mind Irish singers Mary Black or Dolores Keane but with an added quality of open throated Eastern European vocal technique. On the sad songs her vocals will raise goose pimples and possibly a tear in your eye. On this collection they perform dances, liturgical songs, and folk tunes and original tunes in traditional style. I used to listen to Muzsikas a lot but had almost forgotten about them until this great collection came along. The set was compiled and annotated by Joe Boyd who issued several of their albums on his Hannibal label, two of which are still available and there are others available as imports all of which we will be happy to get for you and I am so excited at this rediscovery that I will reviewing further releases by them in the future. After 35 years the group is still active with three of the original four members! (FS)

JUNIOR PARKER Snapper Blues 085 I'm Holding On ● CD $9.98
25 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
For those of you who didn't pick up the excellent Junior Parker collection that we just reviewed a few weeks ago (Fantastic Voyage 138 - $19.98,) this is this is essentially half of the music at half of the price, with most (not all) of Parker's best tracks from the mid 1950's to the early 1960's. Comprised of recordings done for the Duke record label, some of Parker's most successful records are here: Next Time You See Me/ Mother-In-Law Blues/ Sweet Home Chicago/ Dirty Friend Blues/ Barefoot Rock/ Backtrackin'/ Stand By Me/ In The Dark/ Driving Wheel, and so on. This would certainly be even better if it contained Parker's early Sun Records recordings, but you have to get the bigger set to get those. No matter how you slice it, Junior Parker was a fantastic Rhythm & Blues artist and everyone should have at least one collection like this one. (JM)
JUNIOR PARKER: Backtracking/ Barefoot Rock/ Can't Understand/ Dangerous Woman/ Dirty Friend Blues/ Driving Me Mad/ Driving Wheel/ How Long Can This Go On/ I Wanna Ramble/ I'll Forget About You/ I'm Holding On/ In the Dark/ Mother in Law Blues/ Next Time You See Me/ Please Baby Blues/ Pretty Baby/ Seven Days/ Sitting and Thinking/ Sometimes/ Stand By Me/ Stranded/ Sweet Home Chicago/ That's All Right/ Wondering/ You're On My Mind

SHAKURA S'AIDA Electro-Fi 3429 Time ... ● CD $16.98
2 CDs, 16 tracks, 68 min., highly recommended
Sure Shakura could have put 16 songs on just one CD, but then the cool concept of a rock and soul disc and a blues disc would vanish. (Though everything she sings sounds soulful.) It's like turning over an LP with one side jumps and the other ballads, back in the day. It doesn't hurt that Shakura seems to be good at everything. She even co-wrote most of the songs (with her guitarist, Donna Grantis). The term "strong female" would seem to have been invented for Ms. S'Aida. The musicianship is top notch, the songs refreshingly unpredictable, and Shakura is a show all by herself. Check out Devil Only Knows My First Name or anything else here and be convinced of Shakura's relentlessly upbeat power. (JC)

THE SHEPPARDS Solid Gold 8045 1956-1969 ● CD $17.98 $13.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
A superb collection of doo-wop, soul inflected doo-wop and straight soul from this terrific Chicago based group. Most of the tracks are from 1959 on and featuring the superb lead vocals of Murrie Eskridge or Millard Edwards. In spite of the quality of the group they never had a national hit though their gorgeous song Island Of Love from 1959 was a local success and is an acknowledged classics. The first 25 tracks were previously available on a long out of print Westside CD and this includes three excellent bonus tracks recorded in 1956 featuring a different line up with George "Sonny" Parker in lead including the great, bluesy Mozelle. Excellent sound and brief notes with bare bones packaging. (FS)
THE SHEPPARDS: Come Home, Come Home/ Come to Me/ Elevator Operator/ Every Now and Then/ Feel Like Lovin'/ Forgotten/ Give a Hug to Me/ Glitter in Your Eyes/ I'm Not Wanted/ Island of Love/ It's Crazy/ Just Let Me Love You (unreleased)/ Just Like You/ Just When I Needed You Most/ Loving You/ Meant to Be/ Mozelle/ Never Felt Like This Before/ Never Let Me Go/ Pretend Your Still Mine/ Queen of Hearts/ Sherry/ So in Need For Love/ Society Girl/ Steal Away/ Tragic/ What's the Name of the Game/ Your Love (Has Got a Hole in It)

IKE TURNER BGO BGOCD 1037 Blues Roots/ Bad Dreams ● CD $19.98
24 tracks, 78 mins, recommended
This volume in the series reissuing Ike & Tina's Liberty/ United Artists LP couples the two solo albums made by Ike in 1972 and '73. First off the bat we should note that Ike was not a particularly impressive vocalist which is why he usually had someone else do the lead vocals and although he was capable of writing some good songs he also wrote a fair share of dumb songs of which there are several here. The first LP is mostly straight blues - a mix of old favorites (Things I Used To Do/ Lawdsy Miss Clawdy/ That's All Right, etc.) along with several Ike originals. Backup is mostly fairly parse and Ike gets to play some of his distinctive whammy bar guitar. "Bad Dreams" is more of an R&B effort dominated by songs by Ike and having somewhat more elaboreate arrangements though Ike's fascination with synthesizer effects makes some of the songs sound silly. All in all an interesting selection with enough high points to make it worth a listen. Liner note writer John Tobler probably didn't think much of this since the 12 page booklet has only one paragraph on the albums here and much of that is a digression on Chuck Willis's career and Buddy Holly's cover of Willis's It's Too Late - really! (FS)

IKE & TINA TURNER'S KINGS OF RHYTHM BAND Collectables 5759 Dance ● CD $11.98 $8.98
12 tracks, 32 mins, highly recommended
Terrific, all instrumental set from 1962. Tina is nowhere in sight but there's lots of great bluesy guitar from Ike featuring some rapid fire picking and his distinctive use of the vibrato bar. There's hot instrumental work from the rest of the Kings including his nephew Jesse Knight on bass, Eddie Silvers & Rasheed Ishmael on tenor sax, Marvin Warwick on baritone sax and Mack Johnson on trumpet. The tunes are mostly dance flavored numbers like The Gulley/ Trackdown twist/ Prancing/ The Groove and others as well as a great instrumental version of the Ike & Tina hit It's Gonna Work Out Fine, an electrifying version of the country tune Steel Guitar Rag and some Duane Eddy sounding low guitar picking on The Rooster. Excellent notes from Bill Dahl round out a much better than average package from Collectables. (FS)

27 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Complementing B.A.C.M. 020 this disc features another 27 tracks from the mid/ late 40s by this fine and versatile group from Taylor County, Kentucky originally founded in 1928 by Henry Warren (Uncle Henry) as a family group which later added additional members. Their range of material is varied including old time string band tunes, more modern honky tonk sounds with steel guitar, duets and some harmonica/ guitar instrumentals. Vocalists were usually Henry's brother Grady, Grady's wife Sally or fiddler Casey Jones. The gospel song Would You Care If Jesus Loves You features the guest vocals of Karl & Harty. (FS)
UNCLE HENRY'S KENTUCKY MOUNTAINEERS: All Alone In This World/ Ben Dewberry's Final Run (instrumental)/ Blue Eyed Elaine/ Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain/ Casey Jones (instrumental)/ Dirty Shame/ Do You Wonder Why/ Don't Go Out Tonight Darling/ Fire On The Mountain (instrumental)/ Fisher's Hornpipe (instrumental)/ Gotta Get Rid Of My Worried Mind (instrumental)/ Have I Told You Lately That I Love You/ I Just Don't Care Anymore/ I'm Thinking Of You While I Cry/ Irish Washerwoman (instrumental)/ It's A Dirty/ Johnson's Old Gray Mule/ No Vacancy/ Ragtime Annie (instrumental)/ Swing The Ladies Up And Down/ The Love That We Once Knew/ Those Gone And Left Me Blues/ Trail To Mexico/ Train Whistle Blues (instrumental)/ Would You Care If Jesus Left You/ You Can't Break My Heart/ You Only Want Me When You're Lonely/ You Walked Away With My Heart

VAN AND SCHENK Archeophone 5016 Pennant-Winning Battery Of Songland ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
I have really been obsessing over two things lately: Old timey music (real old timey music!) and old time Baseball, so this CD is an absolute delight for me as it is recordings from 1916-1918 sung by two Brooklyn boys who would, on occasion, dress as Baseball players when they performed, going so far as to play on the field before games. Van and Schenck were a very popular Vaudeville act, officially a two man piano act with one playing piano and the other singing lead standing next to it. Like so many acts of the day, most of their repartee was made up of topical songs of far-off cultures or novelty songs. You get great songs like Hawaiian Sunshine/ Far Away In Honolulu/ In The Land Of Yamo, Yamo/ Beans, Beans, Beans, etc. Then of course there are the minstrel based numbers that vary in their offensiveness like There's Something Nice About The South, or If I Was Strong As Samson, and so on. Gus Van was the character singer of the act, who would put on different dialects from song to song, which I take with a grain of salt and in the context of their time. Tunes like Me And My Gal/ Mulberry Rose, and The Ragtime Volunteers Are Off To War, won't soon leave your brain after hearing them performed so classically here. As with all of Archeophone's releases, this CD comes with booklets full of notes and vintage pictures etc. that are almost worth the price of admission by themselves. (JM)

EARL VAN DYKE Hip-O Select 16212-02 The Motown Sound - The Complete Albums And More ● CD $29.98
2CD, 45 tracks, highly recommended, but not for everyone
Earl Van Dyke was the keyboard player/band leader of the 60s Motown Records house band, known collectively as the Funk Brothers. If you listen to just about any Motown hit from the mid to late 60s, chances are that's Van Dyke on the keys; the Funk Brothers can be heard on 22 number one pop hits and 48 number one R&B hits (according to Allmusic). The band played sessions 24-7, but what Van Dyke really wanted to do was cut an album of his own-preferably a jazz album. What he got to make was two albums-"That Motown Sound" (1965), credited to Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers, and the "Earl of Funk" (1970) - which were basically bone tossing gestures on the part of Berry Gordy, who wanted the band to focus on what they did (in his mind) best: endless recording sessions. On the former LP, Van Dyke plays organ lines over existing backing tracks of assorted Motown hits - his organ parts basically living where the vocals should-which allows the listener to really hear the amazing playing of the musicians without the "distraction" of the vocals. Songs like Nowhere to Run and Can I Get a Witness are seen in a whole new light; the driving power of these songs is something to behold. Among the first disc bonus tracks Soul Stomp/ Hot 'N' Tot/ All Day, All Night, and Opus and Funk are the standouts, each giving the Funk Brothers band a chance to stretch their chops a bit more than the usual session work grind. The "Earl of Funk" album on disc two is a live album recorded at Ben's Hi Chaparral, a Detroit nightspot, on Jan. 10, 1970; tracks include mostly covers of contemporary songs (Someday We'll Be Together/ Rainy Night in Georgia/ Wichita Lineman) and a sprinkling of originals (The Stingray). This album proves that the band had a good feel for the songs as they cut loose on Sly's Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin, and throw down the funk with the best of them. These instrumental versions of well known songs are classy, sassy and do justice to the vocal versions, and-perhaps because it's recorded live-but the playing is phenomenal, especially Earl on the organ and Uriel Jones on the drums. Among the disc two bonus tracks are collaborative efforts between Van Dyke, bassist James Jamerson, guitarists' Eddie Willis and Dennis Coffey - Fever in the Funk House and Behold - that are real finds for anyone who appreciates great musicianship. This CD is certainly not for everyone, but if you want to dig the Funk Brothers' tasteful playing "naked" in their prime, then this is the CD for you. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 124 Early Soul ● CD $11.98
19 tracks, 48 min, recommended
Back in print. This set would be worth it if only for the inclusion of one of my fave records, The Halos' only recording Nag "You're a nag, naggitty nag" (turns out the band has future solo artist JR Bailey who went on to write Everybody Plays The Fool!) What this disc does have is tunes from the years '60-64, when R&B transitioned into soul. Most of the artists here were stars at some point but not here. Chuck Jackson would have huge soul hits on Wand, but heard here on his Beltone single, Hula Hula. Esther Phillips also had later hits, as well as earlier as Little Esther; here's an early coupling on Warwick, Ooh Baby. Shirley & Lee were the Sweethearts Of Soul in the 50s. They're here with a tougher remake of Let The Good Times Roll. Wilson Pickett's heard on his recording for Lloyd Price's Double L label with 2 classics, If You Need Me & It's Too Late. Also tracks by Ted Taylor, Maxine Brown, The Bluebelles with Patti Labelle & The Genies. (GM)

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

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 374 Canadian Country - Lynn Russworm's Third Selection ● CD $14.98
Another fine and varied collection of Canadian country from the 1950s ranging from U.S. style honky tonk to story songs in the vein of Hank Snow and Wilf Carter to old time brother duet stylings. Artists include Eric & Johnny & The Lincoln County Pickers,, Billy Bushell, Oral Scheer, Irvin Preese, Andy Zacahry & His Jazz Cowboys, Rene Mathieu, Reg Smith & The Melody Four, Willie Lamothe (a nice French version of Jambalaya) and others.
ABBIE ANDRES & HIS RANCH BOYS: Lord Alexander's Reel (instrumental)/ CALGARY SLIM ARREX: When You're Fallin' In Love/ THE BUCKEYE BOYS: Little Liza Jane/ BILLY BUSHELL: I Bought A Rock For My Rocky Mountain Gal/ BOYD CAMERON & HIS WESTEMAIRES: I'm Scared To Go Home/ BETTY CODY: The Kiss That Made A Fool Of Me/ ERIC & JOHNNY & LINCOLN COUNTY PEACH PIC: Mansion Of Dreams/ KING GANAM & HIS SONS OF THE WEST: Four Strings Polka (instrumental)/ HAL LONE PINE & BETTY CODY & THE MOUNTAI: Columbus Stockade Blues/ JACK JENSON & HIS RHYTHM PALS: Lonely World/ WILLIE LAMONTHE ET SES CAVALIERS DES PINES: Jambalaya/ HENRY LARIVIERE: Northern Cannonball/ LUCKY AMBO WITH SLIM BUTCHER & THE GOLDE: Rocky Mountain Breakdown (instrumental)/ RENE MATHIEU WITH VIC VIRGILI & THE LAURENTIA: Let's Go/ BOB & TOM MCMULLEN WITH ABBIE ANDREWS' RANCH BOYS: Redheads, Blondes & Brunettes/ LAURIE MERSEY BUNKHOUSE BOYS: I'm Wasting My Tears Over You/ IRVIN PREESE: Short Time Love Affair/ ORAL SCHEER WITH CAMMIE HOWARD & THE WESTERN: Abdul The Bulbul Ameer/ Three Finger Bland/ REG SMITH & THE MELODY FOUR: Little Henry/ SCOTTY STEVENSON WITH THE EDMONTON ESKIMOS: Twelve Foot Davies/ WALLY TRAUGHT: Big Four Special (instrumental)/ ANDY ZACHARY & HIS JAZZ COWBOYS: Land Of Roses

VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP BGPCD 229 Shattered Dreams - Funky Blues, 1967-1978 ● CD $18.98 $14.98
21 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
While there is a tendency to think that the African-American audience had abandoned the blues as a popular music by the late 60s this is not completely true. As has been the case over the years, blues continually reinvents itself and in the late 60s it started adding elements of soul and funk to the blues sound and the result is most certainly still blues but with a somewhat different feel. This superb collection is mostly drawn from material from the archives of the Modern group of labels, Johnny Otis's studios and Stax and includes a number of previously unissued sides. There are tracks here by Albert King, Little Milton and Lowell Fulson who started succesful careers in the 40s and 50s and continued as stars in the 60s and 70s with their style adapted to the times. Johnny Otis and his band returned to the charts for the first time in 11 years in 1969 with his funky duet with Delmar Evans on Country Girl with son Shuggie on guitar. Other artists here include down home bluesman Slim Green with a funky 1971 remake of his 1959 song Shake 'Em Up, Al King, Icewater Slim, Smokey Wilson (underrated bluesman with the superb soul blues ballad You Shattered My Dreams), Larry Davis (the terrific, previously unissued The Whole World's Down On You), Arthur K. Adams, Little Sonny and more. The disc ends with a bit of a tease featuring the brilliant and underrarted L.A. bluesman Ray Agee with the great Tough Competition with superb soulful vocals and a great band with tough guitar but is the only track on the album not discussed in the notes. Ray recorded a song with that name for a couple of different tiny labels in the 60s and 70s but this version is listed as "unissued" - so what gives Ace? Do you have some more by him up your sleeve? I sure hope so! (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 141 A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended
Back in the 50s everybody was shaking - bluesmen (Champion Jack Dupree - Shake Baby Shake), R&B singers (Little Willie John - I'm Shakin'), rock 'n' rollers (Chan Romero - Hippy Hippy Shake), country singers (Wayne Raney - Shake Baby Shake) and instrumentalists (King Curtis - The Shake). These and 45 other songs with the words "shake," "shakin'" or "shook" in the title are featured on this immensely entertaining collection. It includes some familiar titles from Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Joe Turner and others but also including lots of great obscurities like Margeret Lewis (her spectacular Shake A Leg), Earlston Ford, The Hot-Toddys, Joe Griffith (the hot Walk, Spin, Shake And Rock), Donny Young (the fine country flavored Shakin' The Blues) and many more. Great sound and the 20 page booklet has extensive notes on every track. (FS)
DAVE ATKINS & HIS OFFBEATS: Shake-Kum-Down/ SIL AUSTIN: Everything's Shakin'/ MICKEY 'GUITAR' BAKER & HIS HOUSE ROCKERS: Shake Walkin'/ ROY BROWN: Hip-Shakin' Baby/ DORSEY BURNETTE: Great Shakin' Fever/ MIKE CAIN: Shake The Hand/ AL CASEY: She Gotta Shake/ THE COASTERS: Wake Me, Shake Me/ DON COVAY & THE GOODTIMERS: Shake Wid The Shake/ KING CURTIS: The Shake/ FRANKIE DEE WITH THE CARTER RAYS: Shake It Up Baby/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Shake Baby Shake/ THE FASCINATORS: Shivers and Shakes/ DERRELL FELTS: Shake It Up And Move/ GEORGE FLEMING: The Shake/ EDDIE FONTAINE: Nothin' Shakin'/ EARLSTON FORD: Ain't Nothin' Shakin'/ ROSCO GORDON: I'm Gonna Shake It/ JOE GRIFFITH & HIS TEEN AGE REBELS: Walk, Spin, Shake And Rock/ BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS: Shaky/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Shake That Thing/ THE HOT-TODDYS FEATURING BIG JOHN: Shakin' And Stompin'/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Shake For Me/ ELMORE JAMES: Shake Your Moneymaker/ THE JODIMARS: Rattle Shakin' Daddy/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: I'm Shakin'/ JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES: Shakin' All Over/ SID KING & THE FIVE STRINGS: Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight/ Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On/ MARGARET LEWIS: Shake A Leg/ THE MARK IV: (Make With) The Shake/ JOE MELSON: Shook Up/ AMOS MILBURN & HIS ALADDIN CHICKENSHACKERS: Ain't Nothing Shaking/ JOHNNY OTIS & HIS ORCHESTRA: Shake It Lucy Baby/ MIKE PEDICIN QUINTET: Shake A Hand/ ELVIS PRESLEY: All Shook Up/ D.C. RAND & THE JOKERS: Shake It Up/ WAYNE RANEY: Shake Baby Shake/ CHAN ROMERO: The Hippy Hippy Shake/ SANDY SCOTT: Shake It Up/ EDDY SEACREST: Shakin With A Flavor/ FRANK STARR: Knees Shakin'/ JACK TURNER: Shake My Hand (Meet Mr Blues)/ JOE TURNER & HIS BLUES KINGS: Shake, Rattle And Roll/ CONWAY TWITTY: Shake It Up/ T TEXAS TYLER: Shake Em Up Rock/ CHUCK WILEY: Shake Up The Dance/ BEVERLY WRIGHT & THE STUDENTS: Shake Till I'm Shook/ RUSTY YORK: Shake 'Em Up Baby/ Shake 'Em Up Baby/ DONNY YOUNG: Shakin' The Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Freedom 001 The Freedom Records Story ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, recommended
Not to be confused with the Texas blues label active in the late 40s this was a West Coast label active in 1958/59 recording rockabilly and rock 'n' roll and this collection features about 2/3 of the label's output - many of them appearing on CD for the first time. The label's main claims to fame are that it was the label that Johnny Burnette recorded for after leaving Coral and session guitarist on a number of the label's sessions was Eddie Cochran and he plays here on tracks by Burnette, The Four Dots, Sherman Scott, Jay Johnston and Larry O'Keefe though don't expect any exciting solos from him - his contributions are pretty much in the background. There are a few hot rockabilly cuts here (Bill Lawrence, Burnette, Sherman Scott) but most of it would fall under the category of "teen jivers" and other artists here includeJ JImmie Maddin, Johnny Ellis, Sonny Warner (fine R&B instrumental), John T. Webster III & Anna (their fine soulful ballad A Million Tears was written by Cochran), Smiley Wilson (a nice cover of Running Bear), JImmie Maddin, Terri & Jane (The excellent Oh, Baby Oh with nice guitar), The Four Troys, The Upperclassmen (the novelty Cha Cha With The Zombies), etc. Excellent sound but no notes. (FS)
JOHNNY BURNETTE: Gumbo/ I'm Restless/ Kiss Me Baby/ Me & The Bear/ Sweet Baby Doll/ DEE DEE DORETY: Billy Billy/ JOHNNY ELLIS: Balboa Bop/ Cinderella Doll/ THE FOUR DOTS: Don't Wake Up The Kids/ Pleading For Your Love/ THE FOUR TROYS: In The Moonlight/ Suddenly You Want to Dance/ JAY JOHNSON: Walk A Dog/ JAY JOHNSTON: Livin' Doll/ BILL LAWRENCE: Hey Baby/ JIMMIE MADDIN: I Just Can't Say Goodnight/ I'm Studyin' You/ LARRY O'KEEFE: Ain't A That Something/ Love's Dream/ SHERMAN SCOTT: How'Dja Do/ Way Out Far/ JERRY STONE & THE FOUR DOTS: My Baby/ TERI & JANE: Lonesome Lover/ TERRI & JANE: Oh, Baby Oh/ THE UPPERCLASSMEN: Cha Cha Cha With The Zombies/ WILLIE WALKER: Money Mad Man/ Three Hundred & Sixty-Five/ SONNY WARNER: Riff Runner/ JOHN T. WEBSTER III & ANNA: A Million Tears/ Gotta Make Love To You/ SMILEY WILSON: Running Bear/ JERRY WRIGHT: Yes Sir, That's My Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Not Now 076 The Newport Folk Festival, 1960 ● CD $11.98
3 CDs, 49 tracks, 139 mins, highly recommended
Although all three of these disks have been released as individual albums, as far as I know, this is the first issue with all three together on CD. Gathering up the historic recordings from the June 24-26th 1960 Newport Folk Festival, this set features fantastic performances by the likes of Pete Seeger, John Lee Hooker, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Cisco Houston, Bob Gibson, Tommy Makem, and many more. Not surprising due to his influence at the time, the Festival is heavy on Pete Seeger and family, with Pete solo as well as with Tommy Makem, Jimmy Driftwood, Oscar Brand, and more, plus Mike Seeger solo and with The New Lost City Ramblers, and also Peggy Seeger solo as well as a powerful duet with Ewan Maccoll on The Ballad Of Springhall. The most desirable tracks on the set are probably he John Lee Hooker cuts Hobo Blues/ Maudie, and Tupelo (Backwater Blues) all with Bill Lee. Then also the great set of Flatt & Scruggs tracks featuring such gems as Salty Dog Blues/ Cabin On The Hill, and more. Certainly one of the charms of the Newport fests was their variety and although the Oscar Brand and Theodore Bikel tracks might be scoffed at by many, there is definitely some nice stuff in those recordings as well. Featuring all in all excellent recording quality, so we can clearly hear this document of the brief time when Folk music was the biggest thing going. (JM)
THEODORE BIKEL: Al Harim (On The Mountain)/ Eres Alta (You Shan't Tell)/ Galveston Flood/ Mi Caballo (My Horse)/ Three Jolly Rogues/ OSCAR BRAND: Great Selchie Of Shule Skerry/ Horse With A Union Label/ Talking Atomic Blues/ JEAN CARIGNAN: Le Reel Du Pendu/ JIMMY DRIFTWOOD: The Unfortunate Man/ Old Joe Clarke/ LESTER FLATT & EARL SCRUGGS: Before I Met You/ Cabin On The Hill/ Jimmy Brown/ Salty Dog Blues/ BOB GIBSON: This Little Light Of Mine/ Warfaring Stranger/ You Can Tell The World/ Well, Well, Well/ WILL HOLT: Edward Ballad/ M.T.A./ Three Jovial Huntsmen/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Hobo Blues (or Dusty Roads)/ Maudie/ Tupelo (or Backwater Blues)/ CISCO HOUSTON: Railroad Bill/ The Cat Came Back/ EWAN MACCOLL: Lang A-Growing/ TOMMY MAKEM: Brian Boru (Instrumental - bagpipe solo)/ Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye/ The Whistling Gypsy/ ED MCCURDY: Blood On The Saddle/ Hush, Little Baby/ The Lavender Cowboy/ ALAN MILLS: I Know An Old Lady/ A Si Mon Moine Voulait Danser/ La Bastringue/ THE NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS: Foggy Mountain Top/ Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms/ ORANIM-ZABAR TROUPE FEATURING GEULA GILL: Ayil Ayil (The Ram)/ Bukhara/ Russian Spoof/ PETE SEEGAR: East Virginia Blues/ In The Evening When The Sun Goes Down/ Hieland Laddie/ MIKE SEEGER: The Man Of Constant Sorrow/ PEGGY SEEGER: Handsome Molly/ Willy Moore/ The Ballad Of Springhill

VARIOUS ARTISTS Not Now 435 The Joe Meek Story ● CD $9.98
2CD, 50 tracks, recommended
Joe Meek was one of those forgotten innovators who advanced the possibilities of what sounds could be achieved in the recording studio, while scoring hit records at the same time. This two disc set pays tribute to his far sighted production skills and way with a tune, which made him a leading light in U.K. rock and roll between 1960 and 1967. The names here only mean something if you're familiar with early 60's British rock, but that doesn't diminish the value of people like Screaming "Lord" Sutch, Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers, the Outlaws (who featured pre-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore), John Leyton, the Fabulous Flee Rekkers, and Mike Berry. While most of this stuff is typical of its' time and Meek's production might not seem so revolutionary to modern ears, all one has to do is take a listen to the Blue Men (or, for that matter, Night of the Vampire by the Moontrekkers) tracks to get an idea of what of Meek's place in history is: these Blue Men songs were part of a concept album that was never released, and they still sound like they are from another world. Orbit Around the Moon and Entry of the Globbotts, to name but two, are as well as among the weirdest music I've yet heard, perfect showcases for Meek's production techniques. So, apart from some great instrumentals from the Outlaws and the Fabulous Flee Rekkers and some mind blowing cuts from "Lord" Sutch, I'd say the attraction of this collection is limited to Brit-rock aficionados and Joe Meek fans. Or, put it another way, come for the historical curiosity, stay for the smoking instrumentals. (GMC)
CLIFF BENNETT & THE REBEL ROUSERS: I'm In Love With You/ That's What I Said/ When I Get Paid/ You've Got What I Like/ MIKE BERRY: Tribute To Buddy Holly/ What's The Matter/ My Baby Doll/ THE BLUE MEN: Entry Of The Globbotts/ Magnetic Field/ Orbit Around The Moon/ Valley Of The Saroos/ GEORGE CHAKIRIS: Heart Of A Teenage Girl/ CHRIS & THE STUDENTS: Ducks Away From My Fishin/ MICHAEL COX: Along Came Caroline/ Angela Jones/ Don't Want To Know/ Sweet Little Sixteen/ THE FABULOUS FLEE REKKERS: Hangover/ Isle Of Capri/ P.F.B./ THE FABULOUS FLEE-RAKKERS: Green Jeans/ THE FLEE-REKKERS: Blue Tango/ LANCE FORTUNE: Action/ Be Mine/ GEOFF GODDARD: Girl Bride/ IAIN GREGORY: Because/ IAN GREGORY: Time Will Tell/ PETER JAY & THE BLUE MEN: Just Too Late/ CARTER LEWIS & THE SOUTHERNERS: Two Timing Baby/ Will It Happen To Me/ JOHN LEYTON: Goodbye To Teenage Love/ I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine/ Johnny Remember Me/ Six White Horses/ Son This Is She/ Tell Laura I Love Her/ THE MOONTREKKERS: Night Of The Vampire/ THE OUTLAWS: Crazy Drums/ Indian Brave/ Last Stage West/ Rodeo/ Swingin' Low/ Valley Of The Sioux/ DANNY RIVERS: Can't You Hear My Heart/ My Baby's Gone Away/ SCREAMING LORD SUTCH: 'Til The Following Night/ Good Golly Miss Molly/ GERRY TEMPLE: So Nice To Walk You Home/ Tell You What I'll Do/ YOLANDA: Don't Tell Me Not To Love Him

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day DAY2CD 155 Essential Rockabilly - The RCA Story ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, highly recommended
 More great rockabilly, rock 'n' roll and rocking country - this time from the RCA label. It starts with Joe Clay's classic Duck Tail and other highlights include That's Love by David Hill, Hoyt Johnson's Little Boy Blue and Ric Cartey's bluesy Born To Love One Woman but just about all of it is excellent. RCA's biggest money maker Elvis is here with two songs and several country artists are here doing worthwhile attempts at rock 'n' roll including JImmy Rodgers Snow, Eddy Arnold and Hank Penny. Other artists include Gene Morris, Autry Inman, Joshnny Restivo, Art Wood, Milton Allen, Pee Wee King, David Houston, Janis Martin and others. Another low priced winner from One Day. (FS)
MILTON ALLEN: Don't Bug Me Baby/ EDDY ARNOLD: Hep Cat Baby/ RIC CARTEY: Born To Love One Woman/ I Wancha To Know/ My Babe/ Oooh-Wee/ JOEY CASTLE: That Ain't Nothin' But Right/ JOE CLAY: Sixteen Chicks/ FRANKIE DEE: Shake It Up Baby/ JIMMY DELL: She Won't Pet/ LEE DENSON: New Shoes/ CURTIS GORDON: Rompin' And Stompin'/ HAWKSHAW HAWKINS: Waitin' For My Baby/ DAVID HILL: That's Love/ DAVID HOUSTON: One And Only/ Sugar Sweet/ AUTRY INMAN: Mary Nell/ JOHNNIE AND JACK: Move It On Over/ HOYT JOHNSON: Little Boy Blue/ PEE WEE KING: Blue Suede Shoes/ Catty Town/ BENNY MARTIN: Hoebe Snow/ JANIS MARTIN: Barefoot Baby/ Drugstore Rock n' Roll/ Let's Elope Baby/ My Boy Elvis/ THE MCCOYS: Full Grown Cat/ THE MORGAN TWINS: TV Hop/ GENE MORRIS: Lovin' Honey/ HANK PENNY: Fan It/ ELVIS PRESLEY: Good Rockin' Tonight/ That's All Right/ JOHNNY RESTIVO: The Shape I'm In/ DAVE RICH: Tuggin' At My Heart Strings/ HANK SNOW: Music Makin' Mama From Memphis/ JIMMIE RODGERS SNOW: Milkcow Blues/ GORDON TERRY: It Ain't Right/ Trouble On Turnpike/ ART WOOD: Hey Jibbo

VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 166 The Willie Dixon Story ● CD $27.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended
A terrific collection of Chicago blues and R&B recorded between 1945 and 1960 - all featuring the diverse talents of Willie Dixon. Singer, songwriter, stand up bassist, record producer and promoter Willie Dixon was one of the most important movers and shakers on the Chicago blues scene from the 40s until his death in 1992. Each 25 tracks disc features a different aspect of Dixon's talents - the first disc is devoted to Dixon as performer featuring recordings from the mid 40s with jive groups The Four Jumps Of Jive, The Five Breezes and The Big Three Trio as well sides from the mid 50s with various groups including several with his long time associate Memphis Slim. The second disc features Willie as stand up bass player par excellence on recordings from the 40s and 50s by artists like Rosetta Howard, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson, John Brim, Little Walter (an alternate take of Last Night), Eddie Boyd, Washboard Sam and others. Disc three features Willie as songwriter on titles like Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy, Spoonful by Wolf, Pretty Thing by Bo Diddley, Do Me RIght by Lowell Fulson and others and the final disc features Willie as record producer - a role he held at the Cobra and affiliated Artistic labels and so we have tracks from Otis Rush, Walter Horton, Magic Sam, Sunnyland Slim an others along with a few sides produced for Chess. All the tracks here have been out before but it's nice to have then arranged in this way so one can gain a sense of the breadth of Dixon's talents and the 24 page booklet helps put it all into perspective. (FS)
REVEREND ROBERT BALLINGER: How I Got Over/ This Train/ CHUCK BERRY: Johnny B. Goode/ Maybellene/ THE BIG THREE TRIO: Big Three Boogie/ Don't Let The Music Die/ I Ain't Gonna Be Your Monkey Man/ If The Sea Was Whiskey/ My Love Will Never Die/ No One To Love Me/ Signifying Monkey/ Violent Love/ You Sure Look Good To Me/ EDDIE BOYD: 24 Hours/ Third Degree/ JOHN BRIM: Be Careful What You Do/ HAROLD BURRAGE: Satisfied/ CHARLES CLARK: Hidden Charms/ Row Your Boat/ BO DIDDLEY: Diddy Wah Diddy/ Mona/ Pretty Thing/ WILLIE DIXON: 29 Ways/ Crazy For My Baby/ Pain In My Heart/ Walkin'the Blues/ Beer Drinking Woman/ Built For Comfort/ Go Easy/ I Got A Razor/ Move Me/ Roll And Tumble/ Unlucky/ BETTY EVERETT: Killer Diller/ My Life Depends On You/ My Love/ THE FIVE BREEZES: Just A Jitterbug/ Minute And Hour Blues/ Sweet Louise/ Swinging The Blues/ LITTLE WILLIE FOSTER: Crying The Blues/ LITTLE WILLE FOSTER: Little Girl/ THE FOUR JUMPS OF JIVE: It's Just The Blues/ LOWELL FULSON: Do Me Right/ Tollin' Bells/ GUITAR SHORTY: You Don't Treat Me Right/ BUDDY GUY: Sit And Cry(The Blues)/ Try To Quit You Baby/ FREDDIE HALL: Can't This Be Mine/ WALTER HORTON: Have A Good Time/ Need My Baby/ ROSETTA HOWARD: Ebony Rhapsody/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Back Door Man/ Evil/ Forty Four/ Smokestack Lightnin'/ Spoonful/ The Red Rooster/ Wang Dang Doodle/ LEE JACKSON: Fishin' In My Pond/ ELMORE JAMES: I Can't Hold Out/ LITTLE WALTER: Last Night/ Mellow Down Easy/ My Babe/ WILLIE MABON: The Seventh Son/ MAGIC SAM: 21 Days In Jail/ All My Whole Life/ All Night Long/ All Your Love/ Love Me With A Feeling/ THE MOONGLOWS: Sincerely/ ROBERT NIGHTHAWK: Sweet Black Angel/ JIMMY REED: Meet Me/ JIMMY ROGERS: Walkin' By Myself/ OTIS RUSH: All Your Love/ I Can't Quit You Baby/ It Takes Time/ Keep On Loving Me Baby/ Sit Down Baby/ GUITAR SHORTY: Irma Lee/ ARBEE STIDHAM: When I Find My Baby/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: It's You Baby/ WASHBOARD SAM: Soap And Water Blues/ MUDDY WATERS: Close To You/ Got My Mojo Working/ I'm Ready/ I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man/ Just Make To Love To Me/ Mannish Boy/ Young Fashioned Ways/ JUNIOR WELLS: 'Bout The Break Of Day/ Cha Cha Cha In Blue/ Hoodoo Man/ I Could Cry/ Lovey Dovey Lovey One/ Tomorrow Night/ Two Headed Woman/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Fattening Frogs For Snakes/ Mellow Chick Swing/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: When The Lights Go Out

VARIOUS ARTISTS Radio 001 The Radio Story ● CD $15.98
34 tracks, good
A collection of sides recorded for Fabor Robinson's L.A. based Radio label in 1958 and 1959. Most of the material is fairly pedestrian rock 'n' roll and country along with some rockabilly and R&B. Highlights are the tracks by Robert Luke Harshman, Bobby Lee Trammell, country singer Billy Barton and R&B singer Bobby Starr - most available elsewhere. There are also some nice instrumentals from legendary country guitarist Roy Lanham. Other artists include Dickie Podolor, The Four Marksmen, Chuck Vedder, Ned Miller, Doye O'Dell, Bonnie Guitar, Gail & Sandra and others. (FS)
BILLY BARTON: Doorway To Heaven/ The Devil, My Conscience And I/ THE FOUR MARKSMEN: One Love/ The Birth Of Love/ GAIL & SANDRA: Bill/ I Mean, You Know/ BONNIE GUITAR: Love Is Over, Love Is Done/ Shanty Boat/ ROBERT LUKE HARSHMAN: Love Whatcha' Doin' To Me/ Stop Talkin', Start Lovin'/ ROY LANHAM: Altitude/ Boys Out Of School/ Klondike/ Middle Of A Dream/ NED MILLER: Gypsy/ With Enough Love/ NORMA & LINDA: Do Dee Oodle Dee Do I'm In Love/ DOYE O'DELL: Bring A Hammer & A Needle/ Strange Night/ DICKIE PODOLOR: I Love You Girl (And I Need You So)/ She's My Baby The One Over There/ JOHNNY RUSSELL: In A Mansion Stands My Love/ JEEP SMITH: Chemise/ Fiddler's Rock/ BOBBY STARR: Please Give Me A Chance/ Sweet Man/ RONNIE SUMMERS: Salt & Pepper/ BOBBY LEE TRAMMELL: My Susie J., My Susie J/ Should I Make Amends/ Uh Oh/ You Mostest Girl/ CHUCK VEDDER: Arriba/ Spanky Boy/ JOHNNY WILDCAR: Was I Just A Passing Fancy

VARIOUS ARTISTS Real Gone Music 0023 The Red Bird Girls Very First Time In True Stereo ● CD $17.98
20 tracks + 11 "hidden" tracks, 79 mins, essential
Yet another collection of female pop from the Red Bird vaults, this set differs from the one on Charly ("Go Girls With the Girls From Red Bird," Charly 268, $13.98) in that 1) there's less songs, 2) there's a couple of alternate versions of well-known songs, and 3) there's a quite different track selection. Also, as the title proudly proclaims, this is the first time these tracks have been presented in "true" stereo, which, for mono purists, might be considered heresy. Whether or not you care about such sonic quibbles, the fact remains that there are songs here not represented on the other compilation, and, as far as I'm concerned, there can't be too much Red Bird. Reasons to buy this (even if you already have the one on Charly): the even Jazzier alternate version of the Ab-Libs' The Boy From New York City; He's So Easy to Love by Roddie Joy; The Dixie Cups' No True Love; more tantalizing tidbits from Ellie Greenwich, Another Boy Like Mine and the previously unreleased Call Me His; Evie Sands' towering performance on Take Me For a Little While; and The Charmettes' infectious Sugar Boy. Unfortunately, the Shangri-Las are missing, but the real reason to own this collection is there's eleven hidden tracks of audio verite from the recording studio. This is fascinating stuff: we get to hear Evie Sands rehearsing I Can't Let Go; the Butterflys' practicing Gee Baby Gee and I Wonder; the Ad-Libs recording I'm Just a Down Home Girl; Ellie Greenwich working on Another Boy Like Mine and You Don't Know; and The Bouquets working on Welcome to My Heart. For these rare glimpses into the creative process alone, this CD ranks as essential listening. (GMC)
THE AD-LIBS: I'm Just A Down Home Girl/ The Boy From New York City (Prev. Unreleased Alt. Version)/ BESSIE BANKS: Go Now/ THE BOUQUETS: Welcome To My Heart/ THE BUTTERFLYS: Gee Baby Gee/ I Wonder/ THE CHARMETTES: Sugar Boy/ THE DIXIE CUPS: No True Love/ THE GOODIES: The Dum Dum Ditty/ ELLIE GREENWICH: Another Boy Like Mine/ Call Me His (Prev. Unreleased)/ You Don't Know/ THE JELLY BEANS: How Fine Can One Guy Be/ I Wanna Love Him So Bad (Prev. Unreleased Alt. Version)/ The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget/ RODDY JOY: He's So Easy To Love/ CHI CHI MCCAULEY: I Know He Loves Me/ EVIE SANDS: I Can't Let Go/ Take Me For A Little While/ THE YOUNG GENERATION: The Hideaway

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 001 History Of Rhythm & Blues, Vol 1: 1925-1942 ● CD $23.98
4 CDs, 97 tracks, 193 mins, essential
Wow, this is a hell of a set! We might already have a box set of the year contender right here. Sure, there are many tracks that you can find elsewhere, but the grand scope of this collection and the rarities that are included make it pretty hard to beat. Starting out in the 1920's and movin to about the middle of WW2, this set follows the journey that was the Blues. Much more than a compilation with a lot of great tracks on it, this set has a 32 page boklet that analyzes the Blues, studying not only the vast array of different musical genres that weave in and out of he music, but also the social, economic, political, and migratory factors that went in to making the various styles of the Blues. Broken down into four themed CDs, which are as follows;
CD 1. Country Blues, Spirituals, Jug bands & Hokum: Featuring such groundbreaking early Blues as Match Box Blues by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Diddie Wah Diddie by Blind Blake, Milk Cow Blues by Sleepy John Estes, Minglewood Blues by Gus Cannon, etc. Skip James, Memphis Minnie, Frank Stokes, and many more architects of the Blues are here sounding fantastic.
CD 2. Piano, Boogie Woogie, Ragtime and Jazz: Covering the likes of Louis Armstrong Knockin' A Jug, to Cow Cow Davenport Cow Cow Blues, to The Mills Brothers St. Louis Blues, and The Three Keys Someone Stole Gabriel's Horn. Leroy Carr, Cab Calloway, Cripple Clarence Lofton, Jimmie Lunceford, Pinetop Smith, Roosevelt Sykes, and so on.
CD 3. Urban Blues & Gospel: Big city sinners like Louie Lasky Teasin' Brown Blues and Arthur Crudup Mean Ol' Frisco, to sanctified and Saintly like Elder Otis Jones Holy Mountain, and, of course, Sister Rosetta Tharpe This Train. Bumble Bee Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Big Bill Broonzy rub shoulders with The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, and so on.
CD 4. After Hours, Swing, Boogie & Jive: Where we see how the trip from the Country to the big city, the wild Saturday nights and the holy Sunday mornings all come together and pave the path for Rock & Roll. The class acts that ruled the dance halls like Count Basie, Louie Jordon, Lionel Hampton, and the down & dirty Blues men whose legendary wild times have long outlived them; Peetie Wheatstraw will tell you himself in Gangster's Blues, Big Joe Turner's Roll Em' Pete, was heard loud and clear even in the cheap seats, and T-Bone Walker would invent guitar licks and stage moves that would be borrowed for decades. So you have quite an undertaking here, one that I can't say enough nice things about, and one that fans of the Blues and all sorts of Roots music should find Essential. (JM)
ROBERT JOHNSON: Preachin' Blues/ ALBERT AMMONS & HIS RHYTHM KINGS: Boogie Woogie Stomp/ LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Knockin' A Jug/ KOKOMO ARNOLD: Milk Cow Blues/ BARBECUE BOB: Ease It To Me Blues/ COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA: One O?Clock Jump/ BIG MACEO: Worried Life Blues/ SCRAPPER BLACKWELL: Kokomo Blues/ BLIND BLAKE: Diddy Wah Diddy/ WILL BRADLEY: Down The Road A Piece/ BIG BILL BROONZY: Barrelhouse When It Rains/ I Feel So Good/ Rockin' Chair Blues/ MILTON BROWN: Keep A Knockin'/ BUMBLE BEE SLIM: Policy Dream Blues/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS ORCHESTRA: Minnie The Moocher/ CAB CALLOWAY ORCHESTRA: Jumpin' Jive/ GUS CANNON'S JUG STOMPERS: Minglewood Blues/ LEROY CARR: Barrelhouse Woman/ How Long, How Long Blues/ Midnight Hour Blues/ THE CATS & THE FIDDLE: I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water/ DOCTOR CLAYTON: Ain't No Business We Can Do/ NAT KING COLE: I Like To Riff/ AUSTIN COLEMAN: My Soul Is A Witness/ ARTHUR "BIG BOY" CRUDUP: Mean Ol' Frisco/ COW COW DAVENPORT: Cow Cow Blues/ JED DAVENPORT: Beale Street Breakdown/ WALTER DAVIS: Sloppy Drunk Again/ PEARL DICKSON: Little Rock Blues/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Junker Blues/ SLEEPY JOHN ESTES: Milk Cow Blues/ BILL GAITHER: Naptown Stomp/ GEORGIA TOM: It's Tight Like That/ JAZZ GILLUM: Jockey Blues/ THE GOLDEN GATE JUBILEE QUARTET: Standing By The Bedside/ BENNY GOODMAN ORCHESTRA: Sing Sing Sing Pt1/ JIMMIE GORDON: Number Runner's Blues/ BLIND ROOSEVELT GRAVES AND BROTHER: Guitar Boogie/ LIONEL HAMPTON ORCHESTRA: Central Avenue Breakdown/ Flying Home/ THE HARLEM HAMFATS: Weed Smoker's Dream/ ERSKINE HAWKINS ORCHESTRA: After Hours/ JESSIE MAY HILL: The Crucifixion Of Christ/ JIM JACKSON: Kansas City Blues Pt 1/ PAPA CHARLIE JACKSON: Shake That Thing/ SKIP JAMES: If You Haven't Any Hay/ BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON: Match Box Blues/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: It's Nobody's Fault But Mine/ LIL JOHNSON: Press My Button/ LONNIE JOHNSON: Mr Johnson's Blues/ PETE JOHNSON: Death Ray Boogie/ ELDER OTIS JONES: Holy Mountain/ LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TIMPANI FIVE: What's The Use Of Getting Sober/ ANDY KIRK AND HIS CLOUDS OF JOY: Floyd?s Guitar Blues/ Take It And Git/ LOUIE LASKY: Teasin' Brown Blues/ LEECAN AND COOKSEY: Apaloosa Blues/ LEWIS BRONZEVILLE FIVE: Natchez Mississippi Blues/ CRIPPLE CLARENCE LOFTON: Strut That Thing/ JIMMIE LUNCEFORD & HIS ORCHESTRA: Flaming Reeds, Screaming Brass/ JIMMIE LUNCEFORD ORCHESTRA: T'Aint What You Do/ JAY MCSHANN: Confessin' The Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Goin' Back to Texas/ THE MILLS BROTHERS: St Louis Blues/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Vicksburg Blues/ ELLA MAE MORSE: Cow Cow Boogie/ BENNIE MOTEN'S KANSAS CITY ORCHESTRA: Get Low-Down Blues/ Lafayette/ HAMBONE WILLIE NEWBERN: Roll And Tumble Blues/ THE NORFOLK JUBILEE QUARTET: Didn't It Rain/ RUFUS & BEN QUILLIAN: Sweet Miss Stella Blues/ BLIND JOE REYNOLDS: Outside Woman Blues/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Train Whistle Blues/ JIMMY RUSHING WITH COUNT BASIE: Boogie-Woogie/ BESSIE SMITH: Backwater Blues/ CLARENCE "PINE TOP" SMITH: Pinetops Boogie Woogie/ MUGGSY SPANIER: Bullfrog Blues/ SPECKLED RED: The Dirty Dozen/ FRANK STOKES: It's A Good Thing/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: Dirty Mother For You/ Night Time Is The Right Time/ TAMPA RED: Don't You Lie To Me/ JOHNNIE TEMPLE: Lead Pencil Blues/ Louise Louise Blues/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: This Train/ THE THREE KEYS: Somebody Stole Gabriel's Horn/ THREE SHARPS AND A FLAT: That's The Rhythm/ BIG JOE TURNER & PETE JOHNSON: Roll 'em Pete/ T-BONE WALKER: Mean Old World/ WASHBOARD SAM: Diggin My Potatoes/ CURLEY WEAVER: No No Blues/ PEETIE WHEATSTRAW: Gangster's Blues/ GEORGIA WHITE: The Blues Ain't Nothing But/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl/ Jivin' The Blues/ Tell Me Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Soda Shop 1001 Rarest Of The Rare Girl Groups, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, 61 min., recommended
The issue here is not so much how one defines "rare" as it is how one defines "girl group." For example, several songs feature a female lead with male backup singers, as is apparently the case with the intensely mediocre I Found The Boy by Maralyn and the Jinks. And some of the better tracks feature female lead vocalists on material that is not particularly reminiscent of the classic girl group sound, as is the case with Anna King's So In Love With You. And sometimes the songs are more soulful than the classic girl group sound, as with the excellent This Love by Love Potion. And some of the material, such as the Sandells' Hit N Run Love is everything a person could want in a girl group record. Also of note is The Electrodes powerful Go Away, and the slow and likable Little Did He Know by Lyn Fitzgerald and group. And while it's nice to have Joni Mitchell singing the Teenagers' Why Do Fools Fall In Love live, it's hardly strictly girl groupish. But then what's in a label? Most of this is at least worth hearing, and some of it is wonderful. Occasionally, as with Idol Of My Life by Terri Wydro, nothing goes right. Either the vocals are merely unpleasant or else there is an issue with the source tape that makes Wydro sound as if she's singing at the bottom of a well. And give The Trueleers the award for strangest horn break in a girl group record. Overall, though, the good outweighs the mediocre. And no one is disputing the rarity claim. (JC)
ELOUISE BROOKS & Q TIPS: Call On Me/ I'll Be Your Girl/ THE CANDLE-LIGHTERS: Without A Boyfriend/ THE DARLETTES: To Reconcile/ THE DEVELLES: Misery/ THE ELECTRODES: Go Away/ LYN FITZGERALD & GROUP: Little Did I Know/ FLORENCE & NIGHTINGALES: In Your Loving Care/ BETTY FOSTER & GROUP: Never Before/ TERRI WYDRO GINO & JINKS: Idol Of My Life/ GLORIA GUNTHER & GROUP: Your Love Reminds Me/ THELMA HARPER & GROUP: At Last/ DONNA HIGHTOWER & GROUP: Love Me Again/ ANNA KING & GROUP: So In Love With You/ THE LEVERETTE SISTERS: Stop Think It Over/ LOVE POTION: This Love/ MARALYN & THE JINKS: I Found the Boy/ JONI MITCHELL & GROUP: Why Do Fools Fall In Love/ THE PROPHETS: Don't You Think It's Time/ THE SANDELLS: Hit N Run Lover/ THE SHERRYS: So Good/ SHOONIE: Sunset/ THE TRUELEERS: Forget About Him/ VARETTA & THOMASES: Breaking Hearts/ SANDY WILLIAMS & GROUP: He Won't Forgive Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Spectrum SPECXX 2080 Treasure Isle Presents Ska - 40 Jamaican Rude-Boy Class ● CD $17.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, highly recommended
Delightful compilation of classic Jamaican ska recorded for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label between 1964 and '67. Reid was one of the great "sound system" pioneers and started to record local musicians in the early 60s with the first recordings being very heavily influenced (an in some cases copies) of American R&B. By the time he opened his own Treasure Isle studio and its associated label ska had become more distinctively Jamaican though the influences of R&B can still be heard. Reid was a jazz fan and a perfection and worked hard to make his recordings as good as possible utilizing some of the island's greatest talent often featuring backing by such bands as The Bubba Brooks Orchestra and The Skatalites - both of whom are represented her with several instrumental tracks including Brooks' great take on Watermelon Man. There are also vocals here by Skatalite members Don DRummond and Roland Alphonso along with many other great artists like Stranger Cole, Eric Morris, Owen & Leon Silveras, Justin Hinds & The Dominos, Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis and others. Includes 12 page booklet with detailed background notes and a slew of label shots. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time 30 The Last Great Rockabilly Saturday Night, Vol. 3 ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 70 min., highly recommended
A lot of so-called rockabilly releases are about 20 percent rockabilly and 80 percent filler, but LGRSN3 is the real thing. Almost every cut is at least very good and most are better. And a reasonably high number contain the actual wild, rockabilly rawness that every fan of the form is hungry for. Benny Ingram's Jello Sal(1958) and Pat Cupp's Do Me No Wrong are two fine examples of the frantic energy that more than hints at sexuality and danger. Curley Jim and the Billey Rocks' Rock 'N' Roll Itch isn't far behind. Ditto for Jess Hooper's All Messed Up. And what's better than Tommy Spurlin trying to find "a kitten in tight blue jeans" in the 1956 mover Hang Loose? All tracks are drawn from CDs previously issued on the Ace label. This is the stuff. Audio moonshine. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sunrise 004 The Story Of Blue Beat - The Best In Ska, 1961 - Part 1 ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 144 mins, highly recommended
This ambitious collection (the second in the series so far,) features the first half of the groundbreaking year in Jamaican music that was 1961 in two CDS drawn from the legendary English Blue Beat label :CD one - the A sides, and CD two - the B sides, both of which are crammed full of all kinds of fantastic music. You can't quite call a lot of this Ska just yet, this is more the evolution of Ska. You get the melting pot of Jump Blues, New Orleans Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, and Memphis Rock & Roll, mixed with Calypso and other Island music, boiling over into something new and definitely exciting. Great tracks by artists that would become big names and by artists that would barely be heard from again like: Errol Dixon & The Blue Notes, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, The Wiggans, Girl Satchmo & The Swingin' Mashers, Titus Turner, Derrick Morgan, The Charmers with Hersan & His City Slickers, Bobby Kingdom & His Blue Beats, and much, much more. That, plus some pretty deep notes, makes for a hell of a compilation. I certainly hope this series covers all of the 1960's; they are certainly off to a fantastic start. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Vee-Tone 2017 R&B Humdingers, Volume 11 ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of rocking R&B and blues from the 50s - about 2/3 new to CD. It starts off in fine form with New Orleans vocalist "Sugar Boy" Crawford and hs obscure Round And Round and there is more fine New Orleans R&B from Joe Jones and Billy Tate. Other artists include Faye Adams, The Boulevards (the great Coasters flavored Chop Chop Hole In The Wall), Larry Darnell (the tough Ramblin' Man with hot guitar from Mickey Baker), Phil Flowers (the wild No Kissing At The Hop with ferocious guitar - Mickey Baker again?), The Stewart Brothers, H.B. Barnum (the excellent instrumental Tia Juana), Eddie Boyd, The Memos, Roy Gaines and others. Sound quality is excellent and booklet has full color label shots. Unfortunately we are not able to get the previous volumes in this series which were on a different label from a different compiler. (FS)
FAYE ADAMS: Witness To The Crime/ LAVERN BAKER: Love Me Right/ H.B. BARNUM: Tia Juana/ THE BOULEVARDS: Chop Chop Hole In The Wall/ EDDIE BOYD: Real Good Feeling/ SUGAR BOY CRAWFORD: Round And Round/ LARRY DARNELL: Ramblin' Man/ DONNIE ELBERT: Wild Child/ BILLY EMERSON: Holy Mackerel Baby/ PHIL FLOWERS: No Kissing At The Hop/ ROY GAINES: Isabella/ BUDDY GUY: Slop Around/ STERLING HARRISON: Working On Your Heart/ CHET "POISON" IVEY: The Slop/ JOE JONES: To Prove My Love To You/ THE MEMOS: The Biddy Leg/ TINY MORRIE: You're The Girl For Me/ JOE PERKINS & THE ROOKIES: Ain't You Glad Nature Did It/ RED PRYSOCK: What's The Word? Thunderbird!/ THE ROYAL JOKERS: You Tickle Me Baby/ THE STEWART BOTHERS: Sleep On The Porch/ BILLY TATE: Don't Call My Name

VARIOUS ARTISTS Vee-Tone 2018 Wild Streak, Vol. 1 ● CD $22.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of 50s rockabilly and rock 'n' roll - most of them have been out before but this is a particularly well chosen selection with truly outstanding tracks like the storming opening R&B rocker Ain't Nobody Gonna Take My Place by Red West followed by Chan Romero doing a great job of channeling Ritchie Valens on Hey Little Ruby and before you have time to catch your breath Myron Lee & The Caddies hit us with the frantic Homicide with hot sax and guitar solos and that's just for starters. We also have tracks by Denni Allen, David Ray (the great Jitterbugging Baby with ferocious guitar), Larry Dowd, Johnny Fallin (with this sets title songs), Paul Revere And The Raiders (the early instrumental track Orbit (The Spy)), Bob Vidone, Jerry Ross (the great unissued Sun tracks Everybody's Trying To Kiss My Baby which, I believe, is appearing on CD for the first time here), The Sonics (the super hot Marlene with out of the world guitar), Ronnie Hawkins, The Riptides, Kip Tyler, The Dazzlers and others. Just about every track is truly fine and booklet has notes by compiler Mark Lamarr (in teeny tiny print) and mouth watering label shots. A real winner. (FS)
STEVE ALAIMO: She's My Baby/ DENNI ALAN: Sixth Solid Baby/ JOHNNY AMELIO: Jo Ann-Jo Ann/ ANDY ANDERSON: Tough Tough Tough/ BUCKY & THE PREMIERS: Cruisin'/ BOB CALLAWAY & THE SPIRO HEP CATS: Tick Tock/ TONY CASANOVA: Yea Yea Come Another Day/ CARL CHERRY: The Itch/ LONNIE & LARRY COLLINS: Mercy/ DICK D'AGOSTIN: Nancy Lynne/ THE DAZZLERS: Somethin' Baby/ JIMMY DEE: Rock-Tick-Tock/ LARRY DOWD: Pink Cadillac/ DON DUNCAN: Something Special/ THE FABULOUS SWING TONES: You Know Baby/ JOHNNY FALLIN: Wild Streak/ THE FIVE SPOTS: Get With It/ THE FOUR TEENS: Go Little Go Cat/ JOYCE GREEN: Black Cadillac/ RONNIE HAWKINS AND THE HAWKS: Horace/ MICKEY HAWKS: Screamin' Mimi Jeanie/ JIMMY KING & LOU JOSIE: Knockin' On Your Door/ GENE LA MARR: You Don't Love Me Anymore/ MYRON LEE & THE CADDIES: Homicide/ JERRY MARTIN: Janet/ MEL MCGONNIGLE: Rattle Shakin' Mama/ CECIL MCNABB: Clock Tickin' Rhythm/ BUDDY MILLER: Teen Twist/ ALLEN PAGE: Dateless Night/ JIMMIE PATTON: Okie's In The Pokie/ CARL PERKINS: Where The Rio De Rosa Flows/ JETT POWERS: Go Girl Go/ DAVID RAY: Jitterbugging Baby/ PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS: Orbit (The Spy)/ THE RIPTIDES: Machine Gun/ ROBIN HOOD BRIANS WITH LEW DOUGLAS ORCHE: Dis A Itty Bit!/ THE ROCK-A-TONES: One More Chance/ CHAN ROMERO: My Little Ruby/ JERRY ROSS: Everybody's Trying/ THE SABRES: Puppet/ DOUG SAHM & THE KNIGHTS: Crazy Daisy/ THE SCARLETS: Stampede/ RONNIE SELF: This Must Be The Place/ DONALD SIMPSON: Save Me Your Love/ THE SONICS: Marlene/ THE THUNDERROCKS: What's The Word/ KIP TYLER: She's My Witch/ BOB VIDONE: Untrue/ GENE WATSON AND THE ROCKETS: Rockin' Baby/ RED WEST: Ain't Nobody Gonna Take My Place

GENE VINCENT Chrome Dreams 5075 The Capitol Years ● CD $19.98
4 CDs, 121 tracks, 288 mins, highly recommended
Here you have an instant Gene Vincent collection. With this you get what most big Vincent fans probably have already, all of his classic albums released on Capitol in his heyday of 1956 - 1960: "Blue Jean Bop," "Gene Vincent Rocks and The Blue Caps Roll, "Crazy Times," etc. Those by themselves, all in one affordable box, would certainly be enough to recommend, but on top of the original albums, you get a full CD comprised of all of the singles A & B sides, plus radio shows, Town Hall Party TV show appearances and E.P. tracks mixed in between the original albums. Over four hours of the coolest tunes ever recorded. Cool rockers like Be Bop A Lula/ Who Slapped John?/ Bop Street/ Cruisin'/ Woman Love/ Race With The Devil/ Crazy Legs, etc. Beautiful ballads like Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up The Dear Old Gang Of Mine,)/ Up A Lazy River, and many more, Gene did them all with his own unique style and flair. There were only a handful of Rock & Roll artists that were as great as Gene Vincent, and I am hard pressed to think of anyone but Elvis that was as cool, so if you don't have these recordings you are missing out. Sure, if you can afford the big Bear Family box sets, get those, but for a no-frills collection with all of the right tracks more than $100 less than the Bear Family sets, you can't beat this collection. (JM)
GENE VINCENT: Accentuate the Positive/ Ain't She Sweet/ Anna Annabelle/ B I Bickey Bi Bo Bo Go/ Baby Blue/ Be Bop Boogie Boy/ Be Bop a Lula/ Be Bop a Lula (Alan Freed Show 1957)/ Be Bop a Lula (Ampol Radio Show, Australia 1957)/ Be Bop a Lula (Town Hall Part, 9/25/58)/ Big Fat Saturday Night/ Blue Eyes' Crying In the Rain/ Bluejean Bop/ Blues Stay Away From Me/ Bop Street/ Brand New Beat/ By the Light of the Silvery Moon/ Cat Man/ Crazy Legs/ Crazy Times/ Cruisin'/ Dance In the Street/ Dance To the Bop/ Dance To the Bop (Town Hall Part, 9/25/58)/ Darlene/ Double Talkin' Baby/ Everybody's Got a Date But Me/ Five Days, Five Days/ Five Feet of Lovin'/ Flea Brain/ For Your Precious Love (Town Hall Part, 9/25/58)/ Frankie and Johnnie/ Git It/ Gonna Back Up Baby/ Green Back Dollar/ Hey Good Lookin'/ High Blood Pressure (Town Hall Part, 9/25/58)/ Hold Me, Hug Me, Rock Me/ Hot Dollar/ Hound Dog (Alan Freed Show 1957)/ I Can't Believe You Want To Leave/ I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)/ I Flipped/ I Got It/ I Got To Get To You Yet/ I Got a Baby/ I Love You/ I Might Have Known/ I Sure Miss You/ I'm Goin' Home (To See My Baby)/ If You Want My Lovin'/ Important Words [Version 1] [Version]/ In Love Again/ In My Dreams/ It's No Lie/ Jezebel/ Jump Back Honey, Jump Back/ Jumps, Giggles and Shouts/ Keep It a Secret/ Little Lover/ Look What You've Gone and Done To Me/ Lotta Lovin'/ Lotta Lovin' (Ampol Radio Show, Australia 1957)/ Love of a Man/ Lovely Loretta/ Maybe/ Maybelline/ Mister Loneliness/ Mitchiko From Tokyo/ My Baby Don't 'Low/ My Heart/ Now is the Hour/ Over the Rainbow/ Over the Rainbow (Town Hall Part, 11/7/59)/ Peace of Mind/ Peg O' My Heart/ Pink Thunderbird/ Pistol Packin' Mama/ Pretty Pearly/ Pretty Pretty Baby/ Race With the Devil/ Ready Teddy/ Red Bluejeans and a Pony Tail/ Right Here On Earth/ Right Now/ Rip It Up (Town Hall Part, 9/25/58)/ Rocky Road Blues/ Roll Over Beethoven (Town Hall Part, 11/7/59)/ Rollin' Danny/ Say Mama/ She She Little Sheila/ She She Little Sheila (Town Hall Part, 11/7/59)/ Should I Ever Love Again/ Somebody Help Me/ Summertime/ Teenage Partner/ The Night is So Lonely/ The Wayward Wind/ Time Will Bring You Everything/ True To You/ Unchained Melody/ Up a Lazy River/ Vincent's Blues/ Walkin' Home From School/ Waltz of the Wind/ Wear My Ring/ Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old/ Weeping Willow/ Well I Knocked Bim Bam/ Who Slapped John?/ Who's Pushing Your Swing/ Why Don't You People Learn How To Drive/ Wild Cat/ Woman Love/ Yes I Love You Baby/ You Are the One For Me/ You Belong To Me/ You Better Believe/ You Told a Fib/ You Win Again (Town Hall Part, 9/25/58)/ You'll Never Walk Alone/ Your Cheatin' Heart

ELDER ROMA WILSON & HIS HARMONICA Arhoolie 429 This Train ● CD $12.98 $9.98
20 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
What a wonderful album! Blues and gospel fans have long speculated about the incredible 1948 Gotham release Lily Of The Valley/ Better Get Ready by Elder Wilson & Family featuring gospel songs accompanied only by three harmonicas. Some years ago 4 unissued titles from the sessions turned up and then a few years ago Elder Wilson himself was found living in Mississippi and all became clear. The three harmonicas were Elder Wilson himself and his two sons aged 11 and 13. Not only is Elder Wilson still alive but he is singing and playing as well as ever at the age of 84! This wonderful album features all six cuts from 1948 along with 14 new recordings. Wilson's material is mostly traditional gospel though some of them have been given a topical edge as witness Ain't It A Shame. The new recordings are just Wilson and his harp and while I miss the intertwining of the three harmonicas, his singing and playing are stunning. The last couple of cuts feature Elder Wilson at his Church in Abideen, Mississippi - he plays amplified harp here and the singing and encouragement of the congregation results in some spellbinding music. (FS)
ELDER ROMA WILSON: Ain't It A Shame/ Amazing Grace/ Better Get Ready/ Climbing Jacob's Ladder/ Death Ain't Nothing But A Thief And A Robber/ Get Away Jordan/ Give Me My Flowers While I Live/ Gonna Wait Till A Change Come/ Got Just What I Wanted/ Have You Tried Jesus/ He's Alright/ I Don't Care What Skeptics Say/ I'm So Glad, Trouble Won't Last Always/ Lily Of The Valley (Stand By Me)/ Motherless Children/ My Lord's Gonna Move This Wicked Race/ The Lord Will Make A Way, Yes He Will/ This Train/ This Train Is A Clean Train/ This Train Is A Clean Train/ Trouble Everywhere

THE WOLVERINES Off The Record 3 The Complete Wolverines, 1924-1928 ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, 76 mins, essential
Though mostly remembered as the band that provided a launching pad for the great Bix Beiderbecke The Wolverines were also an outstanding band in their own right and this great collection features, for the first time, all their recordings - with and without Bix along with bonus cuts featuring some of the recordings Bix made after he left the band. When they started recording for Gennett in 1924 they were among the most sophisticated jazz bands on record with beautifully crafted arrangements which helped highlight the original and compelling cornet playing of Bix as well as the dynamic work of clarinetist Jimmy Hartwell and saxophonist George Johnson. The first 17 tracks features all the Wolverine tracks with Bix including two alternate takes. This is followed by two tracks from October 1924 by The Sioux City City with Bix teaming up for the first time with saxophonist Frankie Trumabuer with whom he would work with over the next few years resulting in some of his greatest recordings. This is followed by two tracks by Bix and his Rhythm Jugglers with Tommy Dorsey on trombone and Don Murray on clarinet. There are two more tracks from 1924 by The Wolverine Orchestra with Jimmy McPartland in the cornetist chair and doing a fine job. The remaining tracks as by The Original Wolverines are from 1927 and '28 with only McPartland and drummer Vic Moore from the original group but the group's playing is still exceptional. These tracks have all been newly restored and pitch corrected from best available 78s by Doug Benson and David Sagat who did such a stellar job on this label's King Oliver reissue (Off The Record 6-2 - two CD set - $27.98) and these gorgeous sides have never sounded better. Putting it all together is a copiously illustrated and thoroughly documented study of the musicians and the music in a 32 page booklet. (FS)

KIPORI "BABY WOLF" WOODS Louisiana Red Hot 1201 Blues Gone Wild ● CD $12.98
12 tracks, 47 min., recommended
Credit for writing his own material, especially the funky workout Free Flow, though most of the sparks come off the drum sticks rather than from Woods' guitar. And Full Circle builds into a nice groove, though it's the instrumental break that impresses. In fact, too often the lyrics are a forgettable excuse to hang a guitar solo from. And despite some respectable axe work on Woods' part, the songs themselves rarely rise above predictable. Still, the Baby Wolf is worth keeping an eye on. (JC)

SHEB WOOLEY Bear Family BCD 16894 White LIghtnin' - Gonna Shake THis Shack Tonight ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Years before he knew any Purple People Eaters of any type, or rode rough on "Rawhide," Sheb Wooly was a fine Country Western singer. Billed as Sheb Wooley and his Rip-Roarin' Redskins Of Rhythm The Calumet Indians, Sheb and co played the kind of rousing, rowdy and rambunctious brand of Country & Western swing that fans of this G.S.T.S.T. series are accustomed to. Mostly recorded between 1945 - 55, you get such great songs as Hot Owl Boogie/ Oklahoma Honky Tonk Girl/ Lazy Mazy/ Peepin' Through The Keyhole (Watching Jole Blon,)/ 38-24-25/ Humdinger, etc. All wrapped up in the fine packaging that Bear Family provides, including great, extensive biographical and discography notes by Todd Everett in this 32 page booklet. Fans of artists like Bob Wills, Hank Thompson, etc., will certainly enjoy this. (JM)

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