Since our Second Time Around listings are so popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them.To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added  asterisks (**) after these particular titles.



THE FROG BLUES & JAZZ ANNUAL #5 The Musicians, The Records & The Music Of The 78 Era ● BOOK $57.98
216 pages, soft cover, essential
Counts as seven CDs for shipping
Now in stock and what a beauty it is - almost 40 pages more than the previous volume. Chock full of original research on jazz and blues from the 78 rpm era - copiously illustrated with over 350 beautifully reproduced photographs, vintage advertising and other illustrations - many not seen since the 78rpm era. The highlight for me is the 30 page, previously unpublished, interview of Son House from 1964 conducted by David Evans and Al Wilson with copious commentary. It also includes 18 pages of news clippings from the 20s and 30s about blues and jazz artists and also 14 pages of blues and jazz advertisements from the 20s and 30s. There are articles on Boyd Atkins, the Atlanta field recordings of 1923-27, from "Kokomo" to "Sweet Home Chicago," Scrapper Blackwell & Leroy Carr, Paramount talent scout Harry Charles, Brownie McGee, Bix Beiderbecke, DeFord Bailey, Eddie Lang, Oscar Woods, Emmet Hardy and much, much more. The book is not only a joy to look at and read it comes with a 26 track CD featuring rare jazz and blues recordings by Blind Willie McTell, Warner's Seven Aces, Jelly Roll Morton, Roosevelt Sykes, Willie Walker, The Dixeland Jug Blowers, Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight, The Shreveport Home Wreckers, LouIs Armstrong's Hot Seven, Romeo Nelson, Son House and more which thanks to the impeccable remastering by Nick Dellow have never sounded better. If you love old blues or jazz this is indispensible. (FS)



AMERICAN EPIC PBS DVD 600 American Epic ● DVD $24.98
Two DVDs, 5 hours 10 mins, essential
This is the complete series of documentaries by filmmakers Bernard MacMahon and Alison McGurty exploring the early days of recording of vernacular music following the development of electrical recording in 1925, in particular focusing on the recording trips made by the record companies of the day to record rural musicians. They interviewed family and friends of the musicians and of the personnel involved in the scouting and recording itself. Each of the first three programs (3 hrs 10 mins) focus on the music of several performers and one of their recordings but also covering other performances by the artist and also artists who were part of their environment. Among the artists covered are The Carter Family, Will Shade (a founding member of The Memphis Jug Band), Elder J.E. Burch (fabulous pre-war black preacher), Charley Patton, Joseph Kekuku (inventor of the Hawaiian steel guitar), The Breaux Family (pioneering Cajun family of musicians) and more. In addition to interviews with family members there is much vintage footage from the era (not of the musicians) and rare photos - much presented for the first time along with lots of musical clips remastered using the newly developed technology and with an incredible clarity belying the fact that most are more than 80 years old. The fourth program is a selection of new sessions recorded using the vintage recording machine reconstructed by Nick Bergh. Such artists as The Alabama Shakes, Ashley Monroe, Bettye Lavette, Elton John (?), Frank Fairfield, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Jack White, Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard perform songs featured in the original documentary along with some new ones. As an old fogey I found this considerably less compelling than the first three programs but if it helps pay the bills for the rest of the series it's fine with me and even without this episode this DVD is incredible value for the money. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS PBS BLU-RAY 600 American Epic ● DVD $28.98
Blu-ray version of the documentary series. This will only play in a Blu-Ray player or Blu-Ray drive on a computer and offers superior video quality to the regular DVD.

DEVIL GOT MY WOMAN Vestapol DVD 13049 Blues At Newport** ● DVD $23.98
14 songs, 60 mins, essential
Talk about a supersession! At the 1966 Newport Folk Festival Alan Lomax recreated a Southern juke joint at the rooming house where several of the musicians were staying and invited some of the bluesmen who were at that years festival perform. The result is a series of loose, informal performances that what they occasionally lack in technical prowess is more than compensated by the atmosphere. We get to see some of the only footage available of the unique Skip James performing three songs including his most famous Devil Got My Woman. Bukka White shows that country blues was not just for listening and a number of people get up and dance to his irresistible rhythms including a tipsy Son House who later on goads Howling Wolf while he is getting ready to perform his three songs with his band. Son's own performance is a typically ferocious and moving Forever On My Mind and the video includes three fine performances by the less well known but excellent spiritual singer Rev. Pearly Brown. The camera roves around among the performers and their friends and capture the spirit of the occasion as a rare piece of "cinema verite" and the closest most of will ever come to the juke joint experience. Buy two copies - one for yourself and one as a present to someone who loves the blues - they'll thank you for it. Truly priceless! (FS)



TEXAS ALEXANDER JSP JSPCD 77203 Texas Alexander and His Circle ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 97 tracks, highly recommended
Algernon "Texas" Alexander was a superb country blues singer whose vocals seem to be strongly rooted in the older field holler tradition. He recorded 66 tracks between 1927 and 1934 which are reissued on the first three discs along with two cuts recorded in 1950. Since Alexander did not play an instrument he was recorded accompanied by a variety of musicians and many of his earliest sides fine in the company of the great guitarist Lonnie Johnson. Though Johnson is a considerably more sophisticated guitarist than Alexander is a vocalist the tension generated between Alexander's vocals with his flexible approach to timing and Johnsons' sinuous melodic guitar work makes for some truly powerful performances. On a couple of cuts Johnson is joined by his occasional musical partner - guitarist Eddie Lang. Other tracks feature Texas country blues guitarists Little Hat Jones or Willie Reed who lack Johnson's ability to accommodate Alexander's timing resulting in performances that tend to sound rather "samey." Eight tracks find him accompanied by The Mississippi Sheiks and these are very effective though a number of these are from worn 78s which detracts somewhat from the listening experience. His last two cuts from 1950 find him accompanied by electric guitarist Leon Benton and pianist Buster Pickens - their sound is a bit chaotic but rather appealing and it's intriguing to hear Alexander doing a variation of Robert Johnson's Cross Roads Blues. Most of the rest of the set features other Texas country blues artists - pre war singer/ guitarists Bo Jones, Little Hat Jones (a particularly fine artist with some great songs and a lovely guitar style - his Bye Bye Baby Blues is a personal favorite), Willie Reed and Coley Jones. There is also some fine postwar Texas country blues from Johnny Beck and Sam "Suitcase" Johnson with their only recordings. Inexplicably the set is rounded out by the three extant tracks of St. Louis bluesman Lane Hardin who is superb but out of place here. These three tracks were reissued a couple of years ago on one of John Tefteller's Calendar CDs and there's no shortage of pre or postwar Texas country blues they could have included. Except as noted the sound quality is excellent and notes by Neil Slaven are informative but too brief. (FS)
TEXAS ALEXANDER: 'Frisco Train Blues/ Awful Moaning Blues Pt 1/ Awful Moaning Blues Pt 2/ Bantam Rooster Blues/ Bantam Rooster Blues Take B/ Bell Cow Blues/ Blue Devil Blues/ Blues In My Mind/ Boe Hog Blues/ Bottoms Blues/ Broken Yo Yo/ Corn-bread Blues/ Cross Roads/ Days Is Lonesome/ Death Bed Blues/ Deceitful Blues/ Deep Blue Sea Blues/ Don't You Wish Your Baby Was Built Up Like Mine/ Double Crossing Blues/ Easy Rider Blues/ Evil Woman Blues/ Farm Hand Blues/ Frost Texas Tornado Blues/ Gold Tooth Blues/ Good Feelin' Blues/ I Am Calling Blues/ Johnny Behrens Blues/ Justice Blues/ Katy Crossing Blues/ Last Stage Blues/ Levee Camp Moan Blues/ Lonesome Blues/ Lonesome Valley Blues/ Long Lonesome Day Blues/ Mama's Bad Luck Child/ Mama, I Heard You Brought It Right Back Home/ Mistreatin' Woman/ Ninety Eight Degrees Tk B/ Ninety-Eight Degree Blues Tk A/ No More Woman Blues/ Normangee Blues/ One Morning Blues/ Peaceful Blues/ Penitentiary Moan Blues/ Polo Blues/ Prairie Dog Hole Blues/ Range In My Kitchen Blues/ Rolling And Stumbling Blues/ Rolling Mill Blues/ Sabine River Blues/ Section Gang Blues/ Seen Better Days/ She's So Fair/ Sittin' On A Log/ Someday, Baby, Your Troubles Is Gonna Be Like Mine/ St. Louis Fair Blues/ Stealing To Her Man/ Tell Me Woman Blues/ Texas Special/ Texas Troublesome Blues/ The Risin' Sun/ Thirty Day Blues/ Water Bound Blues/ West Texas Blues/ When You Get To Thinking/ Work Ox Blues/ Worried Blues/ Yellow Girl Blues/ JOHNNY BECK (THE BLIND BOY): Locked In Jail Blues/ You've Gotta Lay Down Mama/ LANE HARDIN: Cartey Blues/ Hard Time Blues/ Rhythm Saved The World/ SAM 'SUITCASE' JOHNSON: Sam's Boogie/ Sam's Comin' Home/ 'BO' JONES: Back Door Blues/ Leavenworth Prison Blues/ COLEY JONES: Army Mule In No Man's Land/ Drunkard's Special/ The Elder's He's My Man/ Traveling Man/ LITTLE HAT JONES: Bye Bye Baby Blues/ Cherry Street Blues/ Corpus Blues/ Cross The Water Blues/ Hurry Blues/ Kentucky Blues/ Little Hat Blues/ New Two Sixteen Blues/ Rolled From Side To Side Blues/ Two String Blues/ WILLIE REED: All Worn Out And Dry Blues/ Dreaming Blues/ Goin' Back To My Baby/ Leavin' Home/ Some Low Down Groundhog Blues/ Texas Blues

CURT BARRETT & THE TRAILMEN B.A.C.M. 559 Texas Jubilee ● CD $14.98
A `Cowboy singer' with a distinctive, easy-going jaunty voice, Barret played bit parts in several cowboy movies in the late `40s and with a bit of luck could have made the big time. He had a big following in and around the Los Angeles area in the late 40s. Our CD has a selection of his recordings, mainly from the mid to late 1940s and mostly with his superb Trailsmen group. Plus a couple of tracks from the early 1930s with Tim Dix as `"Tom & Jerry" - 30 years before Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel called themselves that for their first recordings. Nice versions of some familiar songs like Ridin' Down The Canyon and Frankie & Johnny plus several of Barret's original compositions.
CURT BARRETT & THE TRAILSMEN: Bear In Mind/ Confessin' That I Love You/ Detour/ Foolish Pride/ Frankie And Johnny/ Hey Bartender/ Honey Let's Go Out And Dance/ I Might Have Known/ I’m On My Way Back Home To Oklahoma/ Keep The Lovelight Burning/ My Conscience Never Bothers Me/ My Darling Clementine/ Night Train To Memphis/ Ridin' Down The Canyon/ San Fernando Valley Blues/ Serenading My Lucky Star/ Shadows On The Window/ Share A Little Of The Blame/ Smoky Moon/ Steel Guitar Boogie/ Texas Jubilee/ Trails To Santa Fe/ You Should Know/ You Sure Let Me Down (Little Darling)/ You'll Regret

BILLY BARTON B.A.C.M. 557 AKA Johnny Grimes & Hillbilly Barton ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, strongly recommended
Kentucky born singer/ songwriter John Grimes recorded under a number of stage names - mostly Billy Barton but also as Billy Boy Barton, Hillbilly Barton and Laurel London. As a songwriter he wrote hundreds of songs including hits for Ferlin Huskey, Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, Loretta Lynn and others. Barton had a distinctive high voice, a little like Webb Pierce and is given solid honky tonk accompaniments with fiddles and steel guitar on the 28 tracks here recorded between 1952 and 1954 for a number of labels. Most of the songs are original compositions - mostly mid or uptempo with a number being novelty items. Several cuts feature vocals by his wife Wanda Wayne who is unexceptional but the tracks with vocals by Barton are fine. Sound quality is excellent and there are notes by Bryan Chalker. (FS)
BILLY BARTON: Bawlin' Baby/ Blues In The Blue Of The Night/ Catch Your Lover/ Do You Love Me, Do You Love Me/ Don't Forget To Write/ I Cried My Eyes Out Over You/ I Gotta Go Get My Baby/ I'm Turning Over A New Leaf/ My Darlin' Liza Lou/ Never Satisfied/ No Interest/ Pardon Me, Old Buddy/ She's A Good Ole Gal/ Somebody's Rockin' My Broken Heart/ Strange Affection/ Take Your Tears (To The One Who Took Your Kisses)/ That Word Called Love/ The Light Across The River/ The Song You Just Played/ These Three Little Words/ Turn Your Fire Down/ What God Has Put Together, Let No Man Tear Apart/ What's The Matter With Me/ Who Would You Cry To/ Why Don't They Leave Her Alone/ You Made Me Love You (With A Twinkle In Your Eye)/ You Will Always Be In My Heart/ You're You

CHARLES BROWN Rev-Ola CRBAND 13 Groovy ● CD $15.98 $11.98
30 tracks, strongly recommended
A bit of a different Charles Brown album. Though Charles is best known for his mournful blues ballad stylings, which were his biggest hits, this collection focuses on his up-tempo recordings which were also a substantial part of his repertoire. 30 tracks recorded between 1945 and 1956. The earliest sides were by Charles as a member of Johnny Moore's Three Blazers with Charles' fine vocals and piano accompanied by the superb guitar of Johnny Moore and the bass of Eddie Williams. In 1948 he left the group to pursue a solo career and Williams joined him for a while. His first solo sides were in the familiar trio format but as the 50s approached a sax and drummer were added and the last session here from 1956 finds him in New Orleans recordings with top NOLA musicians like Lee Allen, "Red" Tyler, Justin Adams, Frank Fields and Earl Palmer. Includes It Ain't Gonna Be Like That/ Groovy/ Jukebox Lil/ Don't get Salty Sugar/ So There/ Alley Batting/ I Want To Fool Around With You/ Walk With Me/ Knock Me A Kiss/ There Is No Greater Love and more. (FS)

HOYT "SLIM" BRYANT B.A.C.M. 178 And His Wildcats** ● CD $14.98
31 tracks, 70 minutes, highly recommended
A cowboy-flavored ensemble that evolved from Clayton McMichen's Louisville-based Georgia Wildcats, Slim Bryant and His Wildcats were staples on Pittsburgh radio and television during the '40s and early '50s. Taking its vocal cues from California's close-harmony Western trios, the Wildcats were particularly notable for their hot take-off guitar, fiddle and accordion solos. The group made precious few recordings, but a healthy sampling of its music survived via 16" NBC Radio Thesaurus transcriptions cut around 1946-47. Slim Bryant was - and at age 98, still is - one of the country and jazz guitar's unsung heroes. His leads are smart and dazzling; his fills are a primer in how to accompany a vocalist. Sharp-eared listeners will recognize some familiar licks; Les Paul was a Bryant fan. Of the two instrumentals on this disc, Walking the Pup best showcases Bryant's skill. Fiddler Ken Newton, accordionist Al Azzaro and bassist Loppy Bryant all could swing, as does an unidentified rhythm guitarist. The trio harmonies compare to early Sons of the Pioneers; Newton and Bryant's brother Loppy share vocal leads. Though recommended listening to anyone who appreciates Pee Wee King/ Whippoorwills-styled music, this disc is a must for serious country guitar aficionados. Sound is better than usual for B.A.C.M.; Bryan Chalker penned a brief appreciation. (DS)
HOYT "SLIM" BRYANT & HIS WILDCATS: Answer To Rainbow At Midnight/ Back To Old Smokey Mountain/ Barnyard Band/ Deep Water/ First Rose/ Got A Gal In A Town Way Out West/ He Holds The Lantern/ I Ain't Gonna Worry No More/ I Hate To See You Go/ I'll Never Make The Same Mistake Again/ I'm A Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Patch/ Lone Star Moon/ My Little Texas Gal/ My Saddle My Bronco And You/ Nag Oh Nag Oh Nag/ New San Antonio Rose/ Oklahoma City/ Penny Ante Polka (instr.)/ Sioux City Sue/ Slow Train Through Arkansas/ Someday You'll Want Me To Want You/ Ten To One/ That's How Much I Love You/ The Letter I Forgot To Mail/ Thunder Storm/ Train Whistle Boogie/ Tweedle O Twill/ Walking The Pup (Instr.)/ Where The Mountains Meet The Sky/ Whistle/ Winter Fell On The Range

HARRY CHOATES Bear Family BCD 16355 Devil In the Bayou** ● CD $46.98
Two CDs, 57 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific two CD set featuring all the recordings made by this great and influential Cajun fiddler and singer for Gold Star Records and Cajun Classics between 1946 and 1950 along with the sides he recorded in 1940 as a member of Happy Fats & His Rayne-Bo Ramblers. Harry Choates, along with Iry LeJeune, was a prime mover in the revival of Cajun music after World War 2. Choates, with his swinging, dramatic fiddle style and exuberant vocals captured the hearts and dancing feet of Cajun and Western swing fans with his huge hit Jole Blon in 1946. Popular both in Cajun country and East Texas, and singing in both Cajun French and English he played the dancehalls and recorded these cuts in Houston, until his death due probably alcoholism in 1951. With his jumping fiddle, the steel guitar of either "Papa Cairo" or Pee Wee Lyons, piano & drums backing his crying voice, such songs as Basile Waltz/ Louisiana/ Poor Hobo/ Te Petite and Hackleberry Hop remain Cajun classics. This wonderful set also includes four previously unissued Gold Star recordings from 1947. Sound quality is superb and the set includes an incredible 112 page book with extensive notes by researcher Andrew, loads of rare photos and full discographical details. (FS)

DAVID ALLAN COE Real Gone 566 The Complete Hits ● CD $22.98
2 CDs, 31 tracks, 98 mins, strongly recommended with reservations
David Allan Coe is certainly the thorniest of all of the "Outlaw Country" artists. He is a great songwriter, a good singer, an entertaining mimic, and a divisive, obnoxious asshole at times. That said, I'll keep my opinions to the work on hand: Coe's complete charted singles, covering 1973-1987, so basically from around his third album up until the major record labels seemed to stop caring about his career. So you get his epic version of Steve Goodman (and secretly John Prine's) You Never Even Called Me By My Name, great takes on Stand By Your Man, and Tennessee Whiskey, and his great compositions that he had the hits with, like Longhaired Redneck/ Willie, Waylon, and Me/ Just To Prove My Love To You/ Jack Daniel's If You Please, and The Ride, plus many more quality tracks that aren't as well known. CD also includes duets with no less than Bill Anderson, George Jones, and Willie Nelson. Sound is fantastic throughout, and overall Real Gone records have done a fine job putting it all together. (JM)

HOWARD CROCKETT Omni 189 The Many Moods Of The Mysterious Howard Crockett ● CD $18.98
32 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended
Who is Howard Crockett? Well, sometimes he was his alter-ego Howard Hausey, but his two biggest claims to fame are probably that he wrote Honky Tonk Man and that he was a curmudgeonly singer-songwriter that got fed up with Nashville, left, and turned down potentially lucrative deals in order to maintain his credibility. Howard Crockett certainly could write a quirky, if not downright eccentric, Country song. From the haunted recitation of Man With No Face, to the children's song The Story of Bango (Bango was a monkey, so you get the painful rhyming couplet of "Bango the orango,") to The Law Says which is basically a love song to someone who has a restraining order against him (yikes!) The little slice of predatory Pop aside, there are plenty of great tracks here. Highlights include the woozy Your Messing Up My Mind, the rollicking Where Were You (When The Lights Went Out,) a rather wooly version of Folsom Prison Blues that is easily among my top three versions, a powerful performance of Slue-Foot, and a fiery take on Honky Tonk Man that seems like a bit of an F.U. to Johnny Horton's hit version. If you are familiar with Omni records, you know the kind of psychotronic Country that they specialize in, and this fits nicely next to their J.D. Loudermilk, and Henson Cargill releases. (JM)

MAXWELL DAVIS Fantastic Voyage 130 Wailin' Daddy, The Best Of Maxwell Davis, 1945-1959 ● CD $22.98 $16.98
Three CDS, 89 tracks, essential
A wonderful tribute to one of the unheralded geniuses of blues, R&B and rock 'n' roll - West Coast saxophonist/ writer/ arranger and producer Maxwell Davis whose talents in one or more of those capacities was responsible for many blues, R&B and rock 'n' roll hits. He worked for all the important West Cost record companies (Aladdin, Swing Time, Modern, Speciaty, etc.) and was involved with hundreds of different performers. When Jerry Leiber was asked about Phil Spector he responded "Phil made some good records, but I know a lot of people who made better records .... Maxwell Davis must have made a hundred hits, not 12 or 17. And nobody knows who Maxwell Davis is today!" When he was at Specialty, Percy Mayfield refused to record if Maxwell wasn't present. Disc 1 is devoted to Maxwell's own recordings as saxophonist and bandleader and show him to be a superb stylist which neatly straddles the line between jazz and R&B ranging from the mellow sounds of the 40s to the more hard driving sounds of the 50s always surrounded by the top musicians on the West Coast. Maxwell was a consummate musician who didn't need to indulge in over the top histrionics popular with some of his contemporaries. The other two discs features Maxwell's work as sideman, arranger or producer featuring contributions from performers like Jo Evans, Helen Humes, Gene Phillips, Joe Turner & Pete Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lowell Fulson, Mickey Cooper, Percy Mayfield, Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers, Rock Heart Johnson, Louis Jordan & His Tympani Five, The Cocoas, Young Jessie and many more. Although the emphasis is on blues and R&B recordings there are also a few examples of Maxwell's work in the jazz (Charles Mingus Sextet, Red Callender Sextette, etc) and pop (June Christy, Ray Anthony). A superb collection with excellent sound and informative notes from Dave Penny. The only thing lacking is detailed discographical info. (FS)
JO JO ADAMS: Hard Headed Woman Blues/ PATTI ANNE: Shtiggy Boom/ RAY ANTHONY ORCHESTRA: Blow, Man, Blow!/ CALVIN BOZE: Waiting And Drinking/ GATEMOUTH BROWN: Without Me Baby/ RED CALLENDER SEXTETTE: Chico’s Boogie/ IKE CARPENTER ORCHESTRA: Pachuko Hop/ JUNE CHRISTY: Some Folks Do/ THE COCOAS: Flip Your Daddy/ MICKY COOPER: When I Had Money/ EARL CURRY: I Want Your Loving/ MAXWELL DAVIS: Belmont Special/ Blue Shuffle/ Blue Tango/ Bluesville/ Boogie Cocktails/ Bristol Drive/ Cool Diggin’/ Get Out/ Hey Boy/ Hey, Good Lookin’/ Honey Dripper/ Hot Point/ Hung Out/ I’ll Always Be In Love With You/ I’m Waiting Just For You/ Little White Lies/ Lonesome Road Blues/ Look Sharp - Be Sharp (The Gillette March)/ M T Boogie/ Ooh!/ Popsicle/ Resistor/ September In The Rain/ Side Car/ Strange Sensation/ Tempo Rock/ The Glory Of Love/ The Way You Look Tonight/ Thunderbird/ Th’ Adams Bop Hop/ Welcome Home Baby/ CORDELLA DE MILO: I Ain’t Gonna Hush/ MARY DE PINA: Boogie Woogie Man/ FLOYD DIXON: Real Lovin’ Mama/ JO EVANS: Goody Goody Baby/ LOWELL FULSON: Jimmy’s Blues/ CLARENCE GARLOW: I’m Hurt/ LLOYD GLENN ALL STARS: Jumpin’ With Lloyd/ FELIX GROSS: Peaceful Lovin’/ PEPPERMINT HARRIS: Let The Back Door Hit You/ MEREDITH HOWARD: Goodbye/ HELEN HUMES: He May Be Yours/ It’s Better To Give Than To Receive/ Riffin’ Without Helen/ YOUNG JESSIE: Mary Lou/ EDDIE JOHNSON: Mr Juice Head/ ROCK HEART JOHNSON: Rock Heart’s Blues/ PETE JOHNSON SEXTETTE: Half Tight Boogie/ BETTY HALL JONES: The Same Old Boogie/ LOUIS JORDAN: Hog Wash/ B.B. KING: I’m In Love/ JOE LIGGINS: Going Back To New Orleans/ LITTLE MISS CORNSHUCKS: Cornshucks’ Blues/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Kansas City/ PERCY MAYFIELD: Half Awoke/ Loose Lips/ BIG SPEED MCDANIELS: The Jumping Boogie Blues/ RUSTY MCDONALD: Dirty Pool/ OSCAR MCLOLLIE: Hot Banana/ AMOS MILBURN: Pot Luck Boogie/ CHARLES MINGUS SEXTET: Swingin’ An Echo/ JIMMY NELSON: Cry Hard Luck/ GENE PHILLIPS: Big Legs/ JAKE PORTER: Jump Safari/ Opus Five–Jake’s Jive/ LA MELLE PRINCE: Get High/ MABEL SCOTT: Gee/ Wailin’ Daddy/ EFFIE SMITH: Effie’s Boogie/ GEECHIE SMITH: T-Town Jump/ GEORGE SMITH: Cross-Eyed Suzie Lee/ JOE SWIFT: Alligator Meat/ JOE TURNER: Don’t Talk Me To Death/ T-BONE WALKER: Welcome Blues/ CROWN PRINCE WATERFORD: Love Awhile/ BOB WILLIAMS: Talk To Me/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Call My Baby/ LEE YOUNG BAND: Seeing Double

ZANI DIABATE & LES HERITIERS Sterns 1113 Tientalaw ● CD $18.98
12 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Not a new release but not reviewed before. Zandi Diabate was one of Mali's greatest guitarists and over the years led several superb bands. Unfortunately he only made a handful of recordings and this album recorded at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 was his last and, in fact, he died, following a stroke, while finishing up this album. He is accompanied by a superb band of musicians featuring several of his sons on lead vocals and including a mix of traditional and contemporary instruments with some particularly nice balafon work from Amadou Koita. Diabate's guitar is not quite as prominent as it might be - presumably because the album wasn't fully complete but there is enough t make one realize what a loss his death was. The music is hypnotic and compelling with brilliant vocals by Zani's sons "Papa", "Vieux" and "Sikasso" - it's a shame the booklet doesn't include lyrics or descriptions of the songs for those of us who don't speak the language. Still that shouldn't stop your enjoyment of this gem. (FS)

RICHARD DOWLING Rivermont 2240 The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin ● CD $34.98
3 CDs, 54 tracks, 201 mins, essential
This is a beautiful release. It is beautiful in packaging, execution, content, and intent. Pianist Richard Dowling plays everything on this collection from Scott Joplin's original annotated music, without any embellishments of his own in his determination to replicate exactly how Joplin wanted everything to sound. You would think that wouldn't be too big of a deal, but even as a relative Joplin novice, I could immediately tell the difference from the famous renditions of Joplin's work from the 1970s and these wonderful recordings. In fact, you can take just one of Joplin's most famous songs, The Entertainer, which was used as the theme song for "The Sting," and the performance here is downright revelatory, with sublime touches that actually made me a bit emotional when I listened to it the second time. This collection could easily come off as a bit old-timey, but instead it is a masterwork from a brilliant pianist performing the work of one of America's greatest composers. I think it should be, and maybe given time it will be, seen in the same light as Janos Starker's Bach Suites, or maybe more accurately Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations. I know that is some pretty lofty company, and I certainly know that I am no where near an expert opinion; I just found this collection to be terribly moving, and it seems like an important release. On top of all of this fabulous music, you get an absolutely gorgeous booklet with excellent notes, accompanied by rare photos, and dozens of restored reproductions of original sheet music art, that look fantastic. I'll stop gushing now, I know that not all of you are interested in over three hours of piano music, but if you are so inclined, you have something really special here. (JM)

RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOT Klondike 5030 San Francisco Bay Blues - Live ● CD $11.98
9 tracks, 50 mins, recommended for ramblers
Ramblin' Jack Elliot was out a ramblin' through America in 1979 and found himself ramblin' through the San Francisco Bay Area in November of that year, specifically The Keystone club in Palo Alto. The good folks at KFAT-FM broadcast that show, and now it has been remastered and released for all of you ramblers out there to enjoy. You get ramblin' versions of San Francisco Bay Blues/ Buffalo Skinners/ Old Shep/ Barbara Allen, and (ugh!) If I Were A Carpenter, among others, plus lots of plain old folksy, down-home, aw-shucks, rambin' banter in-between ("Golly gee, to think this is all going out on the raaaaaadio.") The sound here is excellent, and there are lots of good liner notes and pictures that fans will surely enjoy. (JM)

DUSTY ELLISON & THE SADDLE DUSTERS B.A.C.M. 558 Trail Of Dreams ● CD $14.98
28 tracks recorded in 1947 featuring vocalist Dusty Ellison. The first four tracks recorded for 4 Star find Ellison accompanied by a small group including the brilliant Porky Freeman on guitar. The rest features him with his group The Saddle Dusters - a western oriented group with Hi Duffy on bass and vocals and Buddy Woody on accordion and vocals. Some of their songs feature western harmony in the vein of the Sons Of The Pioneers (but nowhere near as good) and others are just pop songs. The last 10 tracks are from a radio aircheck.
DUSTY ELLISON & THE SADDLE DUSTERS: Ain’t You Ashamed/ Choo Choo Blues/ Footprints In The Snow/ Footprints In The Snow Live/ Goofus/ Highways Are Happy Ways/ Hurry Hurry Hurry/ I Cant Find The Keyhole (Tonite Dear)/ I Threw My Heart Away/ I'm Tying The Leaves/ Intro and Puttin’ You Out Of My Mind/ It Would Only Hurt Me If I Knew/ Judy/ Little Big Dry/ More Than Words Can Say/ My Best To You/ My Life’s Been A Pleasure/ Prunella/ Rose Of The Hills/ Sparkling Blue Eyes And Closing/ Sundown In Santa Fe/ Trail Of Dreams/ Trail of Dreams/ Who Built The Toolhouse (On Gran’Pappy’s Grave)/ Who Put The Nickel In The Slot/ You Can Always Find A Sweetheart/ You Can Depend On Me/ You Can't Snap Your Fingers At Love

JIMMIE GORDON Document DOCD 5648 Complete Recordings, Vol. 1, 1934-1936 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
22 tracks, 68 mins, recommended
First of three discs presenting the complete recordings of this fine singer and piano player who has been overlooked by most blues researchers. Although he recorded more than 60 sides between 1934 and '41, and so must have been fairly popular, his life is a total mystery. He has generally been associated with St. Louis but liner note writer Dave Evans makes a good case for Gordon being based in Chicago. He was a good singer in the vein of Bumble Bee Slim or Bill Gaither but a bit more intense. He played his own piano on some of his recordings or was accompanied by the piano of Charles Segar, Horace Malcolm or Dot Rice. Other musicians featured include Charlie McCoy, Scrapper Blackwell, Carl Martin, John Lindsey and others. His songs are a mixture of popular songs of the day and some good originals like Louise Louisa Blues/ Yo Yo Mama Blues/ Graveyard Blues/ Mother Blues and the topical Don't Take Away My P.W.A. Sound on a few tracks is a bit rough but most sound good and there are excellent notes by David Evans. (FS)
JIMMIE GORDON: Baker Man/ Bed Springs Blues/ Bed Springs Blues No. 2/ Big Four Whistle Blues/ Black Gal Blues (what Makes Your Head So Hard)/ Bye Bye Baby Blues/ Don't Take Away My P.w.a./ Drive Me Away Blues/ Drunken Woman Blues/ Gone Gal Blues/ Graveyard Blues (dead And Gone Blues)/ I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water/ I'll Take You Back/ Little Red Dress (mary Usta Wear)/ Louise, Louisa Blues/ Mean Mistreatin' Blues/ Mother Blues/ Neck Bone Blues/ She Sells Good Meat/ Soon In The Morning/ Sweet Jelly Rollin'/ Yo Yo Mama Blues

HARMONICA SHAH Electro-Fi 3413 If All You Have Is A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A Na** ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Very fine new set from down home Detroit singer and harmonica player Harmonica Shah. Seward Shaw is a powerful singer and expressive harmonica player who goes for feeling in his playing rather than flash. He is accompanied by a solid trio including spot on guitar from Jack DeKeyzer. On Don't You Feel Like A Dog Covered In Fleas he joined by pianist Julian Fauth. Apart from his fine version of John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom all the rest are Shah originals and although there is the occasional nod to an old favorite the lyrics are original and at times topical. Harmonica Sha's music takes you down in the alley and keep you there! (FS)

SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS Hallmark 702852 This Is All ● CD $7.98
16 tracks, 43 mins, sorta recommended
I sure would love it if a trove of unknown Screamin' Jay Hawkins recordings were unearthed someday, but unfortunately that never seems to happen. Instead, we get a lot of the same Screamin' Jay tracks repackaged by a different label seemingly every year or so. This compilation only really shows that Hallmark seems to have acquired the rights to some of Hawkins' catalogue, and have put little effort in presenting a batch of his classic (and some later) recordings. So, this is only really worth getting if you don't have a collection (and you really should have one) of Screamin Jay Hawkins, because this is a solid starter pack. Includes classic gems that only Screamin Jay Hawkins could give you, like The Whammy/ Baptize Me In Wine/ She Put The Wammee On Me/ I Hear Voices/ Sweet Ginny, his cover of Paul McCartney's Monkberry Moon Delight, etc. Good sound, no notes. (JM)
SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: All Night/ Baptize Me in Wine/ I Hear Voices/ Just Don't Care/ Monkberry Moon Delight/ Not Anymore/ Please Try To Understand/ Poor Folks/ She Put The Wammee On Me/ Sweet Ginny/ Talk About Me/ The Whammy/ This Is All/ Well I Tried/ You're All Of My Life To Me/ Your Kind Of Love

MAHALIA JACKSON Real Gone 508 Mahalia Jackson Sings - The Great Television Performanc ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 49 mins, strongly recommended
Here is a collection of rare TV performances from 1961 featuring accompaniment from Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, and Barney Kessel. Mahalia Jackson was certainly a great talent and an important person in American history, but personally I think she could get a bit stodgy at times (Sister Rosetta Tharpe never made me feel like I was sitting on a wood bench wearing a suit with an itchy collar.) This collection has a few of those stiff and staunchly reverent performances, but is overall rather enjoyable. Highlights for me included Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho/ Didn't It Rain/ Lord Don't Move The Mountain, and Somebody Bigger Than You and I. These recordings have never been released on an audio format, and the story behind them is certainly interesting, so Gospel fans will definitely want to pick this up. Due to the nature of the setting of these recordings, the audio can be a bit echo-y at times, and the organ can occasionally overwhelm everything else, but overall sound is o.k. (JM)

JEANETTE JONES Playback 007 Dreams All Come True ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, recommended
San Francisco in the 60's was a hot bed of music activity, and Leo Kulka was poised to get in on the action when he opened his recording studio Golden State Recorders in 1965. In November 1965, Kulka's operation pressed up LPs for a local gospel choir, Voices of Victory, and that's when Jeanette Jones came to his attention. Jones was the lead vocalist for the choir, and as Kulka was always on the hunt for talent he could sign and pitch to larger labels, he tried to sign her as a solo star. She refused his offer at first, but later changed her mind. And that's how she cut a handful of recordings-including a couple with the likes of Michael Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites, and Barry Goldberg-which are all included on this CD. Jones had a great voice-it's easy to hear what Kulka saw in her-but the material she was given to record was mediocre for the most part. Among the exceptions are the two sides she cut with The Mill Valley Bunch, the ad hoc group put together by Bloomfield and Gravenites: What Would I Do Without My Baby and Ooh Ooh Ooh, La, La, La, a couple of slices of blues/soul written by Bloomfield; and she does acquit herself well on I Want You Mine and What Have You Got to Gain By Losing Me. But to get the complete picture of what Kulka heard in Jones in the first place, the compilers thoughtfully included here six Voices of Victory cuts with Jones on lead vocals. On these tracks, her powerful, commanding and passionate voice is on full display and showed her potential in a way most of her secular recordings do not. Just listen to Lord I'll Go/ He'll Understand, and Lord I'll Cry Out for real proof of her abilities. As a lost talent, Jeanette Jones is definitely a worthy find and her handful of late 60's and early '70s recordings show what, with more luck, better material, and a label that cared (Kulka finally got Modern to release her recordings, but they put little effort into promoting them) she could have achieved. (GMC)

FREDDIE KING Klondike 5061 Ebbet's Field Denver 1974 ● CD $14.98
2 CDs, 12 tracks, 97 mins, highly recommended
Recorded not at the Ebbet's Field that the Dodgers called home in Brooklyn, but Ebbet's Field, the funky little club in Denver Colorado that played host to many legendary shows in the 1970s. Ebbet's Field usually booked Rock acts, but by 1974 Freddie King was more often than not playing for adoring Rock audiences, many of whom got hipped to King via Eric Clapton's own adoration of the Blues King. Originally a radio broadcast for station KCUV FM, the preserved tapes have now been re-mastered and sound fantastic. Certainly fans of Freddie King need this release, for he is on top of his game: King's playing is absolutely brilliant throughout, and he is in top form as a performer. Highlights include a searing performance of B.B. King's Ghetto Woman, a nice funky version of Bill Wither's Ain't No Sunshine, Big Joe Turner's Wee Baby Blues, and a great take on Earl King's Let The Good Times Roll, which foreshadows the next great Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn, who certainly picked up an idea or two from Freddie King. Though the cut that steals the show has to be King's epic 12 minute performance of his 1960 R&B hit Have You Ever Loved A Woman. (JM)

LITTLE MILTON Varese Vintage 66359 Anthology, 1953-1961** ● CD $17.98
27 tracks, 73 mins, essential
Fabulous collection of Milton's early work for Sun and Bobbin. Although he didn't have any hits until he joined Checker in 1961 it certainly wasn't because of lack of quality in his earlier sides. The Sun recordings made in 1953 in Memphis are incredibly raw and powerful sides with great singing and band work (including Ike Turner on piano) and ferocious, slashing guitar playing in the Willie Johnson/ Matt Murphy vein. His work for the St. Louis based Bobbin label recorded between 1958 and 1961 is less intense with more polished arrangements courtesy of St. Louis genius Oliver Sain but there are many wonderful performances including some great original songs that have become blues standards like I'm A Lonely Man and I Found A New Love. His guitar playing isn't as ferocious as on his earlier sides but is powerful and imaginative. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes from Bill Dahl. (FS)
LITTLE MILTON: Alone And Blue/ Beggin' My Baby/ Cross My Heart/ Dead Love/ Hey Girl!/ Hold Me Tight/ Homesick For My Baby/ I Found Me A New Love/ I Love My Baby/ I'm A Lonely Man/ I'm In Love/ I'm Tryin'/ If Crying Would Help Me/ If You Love Me/ Let It Be Known/ Long Distance Operator/ Lookin' For My Baby/ My Baby Pleases Me/ My Mind Is Troubled/ Oo-wee, Wee Baby/ Re-beat/ Running Wild Blues/ Same Old Blues/ She's My Queen/ Somebody Told Me/ Strange Dreams/ That Will Never Do

A.L. LLOYD Topic TSCD 496 English Drinking Songs** ● CD $9.98
14 tracks, 36 mins, highly recommended
Now available at a lower price. Absolutely delightful collection of traditional drinking songs originally issued on Riverside in 1961. The distinctive voice of Lloyd is joined by long time playing partner Alf Edwards on concertina, Al Jeffrey on banjo and harmonica and an unidentified chorus on some songs. Lots of great songs like the Derby Ram/ Maggie May/ The Butcher & The Chambermaid/ The Parson & The Maid/ All For Me Grog/ Rosin The Beau/ John Barleycorn and others. Lloyd sings with such spirit and good humor that you feel like you're in The Eels Foot pub on a Saturday night joining in on the choruses. (FS)

THE LONESOME PINE FIDDLERS Bear Family BCD 16351 Windy Mountain** ● CD $22.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Previously available as a limited edition on a Bear Family subsidiary label. This album features The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers during their transition from old time music to bluegrass, and contains some of the finest early bluegrass recorded in the 50's. The first four cuts feature Bobby Osborne, Larry Richardson, Ezra Cline, and Ray Morgan playing some exceptional traditional bluegrass, including the original version of Pain In My Heart. The next twenty-two cuts were made for RCA and feature various combinations of Melvin and Raye Goins, Ezra, Curly Ray, and Charlie Cline as well as Paul M. Williams, Charles Parker, James Carson, James Roberts, and Albert Punturi. The Goins Brothers, Williams, and the Clines form the core group, and the music is outstanding. Curly Ray has gone on to fame with Ralph Stanley and is one of the finest fiddlers in the business, as is his brother Charlie, who also plays banjo on some selections here. Ezra Cline does most of the bass work and is ostensibly the band leader. These twenty-six cuts, which were unavailable until this reissue, comprise some of best bluegrass ever. Highly recommended. (RP)

DARLENE LOVE Ace CDCHD 1169 So Much Love - A Darlene Love Anthology, 1958-1998** ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
The incomparable Darlene Love, captured throughout her fabulous career, solo or with the Blossoms, and with many well known artists who records she graced. Darlene and the Blossoms where known mostly for backing up (and in some cases singing lead) on many of Phil Spector's great Girl Group hits of the '60s, but Soul fans have long loved Love and the Blossoms on their own merits. Of course, her story is Love-ingly presented here by the fine Ace records company, with copious notes, rare pics, etc. On top of the classic Love/ Blossoms material, That's When The Tears Start, To Late To Say You're Sorry, So Much Love, No Other Love, etc, there is a host of even more obscure cuts. Tracks like 3625 Groovy Street by The Wildcats, He's a Rebel by Moose and The Pelicans, TV Commercials by Barney Kessel. Some Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans tracks would have been a welcome addition to this collection; I guess that they had so much material to work with it might not have fit, so maybe there will be a volume 2? Fans of '60s Soul, especially of that great Girl Group sound, should really enjoy this one. (JM)
HAL BLAINE & THE YOUNG COUGARS: The Drummer Plays For Me/ THE BLOSSOMS: Cherish What Is Dear To You (while It's Near To You)/ Good, Good Lovin'/ I Gotta Tell It/ Lover Boy/ So Much Love*/ Something So Wrong/ That's When The Tears Start/ The Gospel Truth*/ The Search Is Over/ Touchdown/ No Other Love/ AL CASEY & THE K-C-ETTES: What Are We Gonna Do In '64?/ DICK DALE & THE DEL TONES: King Of The Surf Guitar/ DUANE EDDY & THE REBELETTES: Boss Guitar/ BARNEY KESSEL: Tv Commercials/ DARLENE LOVE: A Change Is Gonna Come/ All Alone On Christmas/ Let Him Walk Away*/ Mr Fix-it/ Ooh-wee Baby/ Too Late To Say You're Sorry/ MOOSE & THE PELICANS: He's A Rebel/ THE WILDCATS: 3625 Groovy Street

THE MARCELS EMI Gold 331360-2 The Best Of The Marcels ● CD $12.98 $9.98
25 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
A fine collection by this excellent group best known for their dadaistic interpretations of pop standards including their #1 hit in 1961 Blue Moon and my favorite Heartaches but they were an excellent all round doo-wop group featuring the expressive baritone lead of Cornelius Harp and the all important bass of Fred Johnson. In addition to standards they also did fine covers of doo wop classics like Sweet Was The Wine/ Peace Of Mind and Sunday Kind Of Love as well as songs written for them. Fine true stereo remastering and notes by groups original producer Stu Phillips. (FS)
THE MARCELS: A Fallen Tear/ Alright Okay You Win/ Blue Heartaches/ Blue Moon/ Crazy Bells/ Find Another Fool/ Flower Pot/ Footprints In The Sand/ Friendly Loans/ Give Me Back Your Love/ Goodbye To Love/ Heartaches/ I'll Be Forever Loving You/ Most Of All/ My Melancholy Baby/ Over The Rainbow/ Peace Of Mind/ Summertime/ Sunday Kind Of Love/ Sweet Was The Wine/ Teeter Totter Love/ That Old Black Magic/ Twistin' Fever/ Two People In The World/ You Are My Sunshine

ROBERT MCCOY Delmark 759 Bye Bye Baby** ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, 69 mins, essential
Fabulous collection of barrelhouse piano blues from Birmingham, Alabama singer & piano player Robert McCoy. McCoy started his musical career in the mid 20s inspired by the playing of his older brothers as well such artists as Clarence "Pinetop" Smith, "Cow Cow" Davenport, Jabo Williams and Leroy Carr. He performed regularly and although he never recorded under his own name he played on recordings by the likes of "Jaybird" Coleman, "Peanut The Kidnapper" and Guitar Slim. Like many others, economic conditions put an end to his musical careerin the 30s. He was discovered by 14 years old blues enthusiast Pat Cather in 1961 who recorded him on a number of occasions over the next few years and issued two now extremely rare albums on his own Vulcan label. The first 14 cuts here are beautifully recorded studio sides, five of them previously unissued, and the remaining seven tracks (6 of them previously unissued) were recorded "on location" and have inferior sound though featuring fine performances. On the basis of these recordings McCoy was a major talent - a wonderful and expressive singer and a sensational piano player with a rolling style that is both energetic and sensitive - you can hear the influences of some of the people he associated with but he is very much an original. His material is a fine mix of traditional based originals and original takes of songs from the repertoire of St. Louis Jimmy, Leroy Carr, Pinetop Smith and others. The opening cut Bye Bye Baby is a real stunner as is his take on Luke Jordan's Church Bell Blues and Leroy Carr's Gone Mother Blues. That McCoy didn't become a regular on the blues circuit is a real shame. A second CD of McCoy's recordings for Cather is in the works for which I can only say "hallelujah"! (FS)

MEMPHIS SLIM Delmark 762 The Come Back** ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
Delmark's second compilation of Slim's recordings for the United label in 1952 and '53 features the first two sessions for that label in their entirety plus two auditions. It includes 11 previously unissued tracks which are every bit as good as the issued sides. Throughout Slim's singing and piano work are powerful and expressive joined by the magnificent guitar work of Matt Murphy and hot sax work from Jim Conley. This set includes the first recorded vocal by Matt Murphy - the superb Cool Down Baby featuring a stunning guitar intro and outstanding vocals - too bad he didn't record any more vocals for many years. The two audition songs are fascinating and include an unusual and very effective treatment of the traditional Stewball. Superb sound and insightful notes by Dick Shurman round out an exceptional package. (FS)
MEMPHIS SLIM: 5 O'clock Blues/ 5 O'clock Blues (alternate Take)/ Back Alley/ Call Before You Go Home/ Cat Creeps (unissued)/ Come Back/ Come Back (alternate Take)(unissued)/ Cool Down Baby (unissued)/ I Love My Baby/ Living The Life I Love/ Midnight (unissued)/ Nat Dee Special/ Only A Fool Has Fun(unissued)/ She's Alright (alternate Take)(unissued)/ Shuffleboard (unissued)/ Smooth Sailin'/ St. Louis Woman (alternate Take)(unissued)/ Stewball (unissued)/ This Is My Lucky Day/ Two Of A Kind (alternate Take)(unissued)

24 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
The first 7 tracks here complete the reissue of the recordings of Mitchell's Christian Singers and find them in typically fine form on songs like Don't Drive Them Away/ Famine In The Land/ Kneel Down & Pray and others. The rest of the disc is devoted to the Wright Brothers a splendid group from Texas who settled in California in the late 40s and were active until the 80s. Their sound was, to some extend, inspired by the Golden Gate Singers though with a harder edge and with frequent use of soaring falsetto lines. Their first session of 9 songs from May 1940 is particularly fine with wonderful performances of the moving Walk Around, the Golden Gate inspired Gospel Train and the intense He's My Rock. There is also a fine session from 1941 and a slightly less interesting session from 1948 with a slightly different line up. (FS)
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Don't Drive Them Away/ Don't You Want That Stone?/ Famine In The Land/ Go Where I Send Thee/ Jesus Is Everything To Me/ Kneel Down And Pray/ Walk With Me/ THE WRIGHT BROTHERS GOSPEL SINGERS: After A While/ Blessed Quietness/ Cool Down Here/ Gospel Train (take 1)/ Gospel Train (take 2)/ Gospel Train (tr)/ He's My Rock/ Heavenly Father's Children/ I Go Where You Want Me To Go/ Jonah/ Jordan's Stormy Banks/ Mother Is Your Friend/ Shadows Of The Cross/ Shady Green Pastures/ Some Day/ Wake Me, Shake Me, Don't Let Me Sleep Too Long/ Walk Around

MUDDY WATERS Klondike 2041 Live '76 At Paul's Mall, Boston ● CD $11.98
15 tracks, good
Here's Muddy and his band (Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Calvin Jones, Luther Johnson, Jerry Portnoy and Willie Smith) from a radio broadcast on June 15, 1976 at Paul's Mall in Boston. After a station id and several warm up numbers by the band we get a representative from the mayor's office declaring that henceforth June 15th would be Muddy Waters Day in Boston. The material is pretty much MUddy's standard fare from the period - Caldonia/ I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man/ Baby PLease Don't Go/ Mannish Boy/ You Don't Have To Go, etc. Muddy and the band do a decent job but it's nothing you haven't heard before and I really don't care for Paul Oscher's harmonica playing. Muddy plays slide on Long Distance Call but as he was wont to do at the time his playing would get excessive and lose all its subtlety. If you're a Muddy completist you might want this but if not there are many better recordings. (FS)

JOHNNY OTIS Rev-Ola CRBAND 9 Rock Me Baby - The Mercury & Peacock Sides ● CD $15.98 $9.98
29 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
What a fine collection of tracks from Johnny Otis' early 1950's, a period that brought on a whole lot of hot R&B. Some of my favorite Johnny Otis recordings come from this era. Recordings represent output for the Mercury and Peacock record labels. Considered a bit of a down time before his big resurgence with Capitol records and the "Johnny Otis Show" that was a hit on TV and radio starting around 1957, there was still a lot of great stuff coming out from him at this time, it's just that the charts and sales didn't reflect it. Most of the vocals on this are by Johnny Otis, Mel Walker, or Junior Ryder with the great exception of Yes Baby, a Lieber & Stoller number, which features vocals from Johnny Ace and Big Mama Thorton, both of whom Otis was very busy with promoting and producing as part of his tenure as an A&R man and leader of the house band for Duke/ Peacock records. Great throughout. (JM)

JUNIOR PARKER BGO BGOCD 1278 Like It Is/ Honey-Drippin' Blues ● CD $17.98
24 tracks, strongly recommended
This CD reissues two LPs by this fine artist recorded for Mercury and its subsidiary Blue Rock in 1967 and 1969. "Like It Is" was recorded n Memphis and produced by Bobby Robinson and is a mix of blues and soul with superb vocals by Junior and fine backup from top Memphis session men. "Honey-Drippin' Blues" is more soul than blues and in spite of the harmonica on the cover Junior plays very little harmonica on either album. The latter album is a lot slicker and in addition to horns also includes girl choruses and some, less than welcome, strings on three tracks. An enjoyable set that would have been better with less cluttered arrangements. (FS)

CHARLIE RICH Jasmine 3698 Midnight Blue - The Early Recordings, 1958-1960 ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Good ole' Charlie Rich: Rock & Roll trailblazer, misunderstood Country music giant, and someone we lost too early. Charlie Rich was a great singer, an innovative songwriter, a dynamic performer, and the common reaction people have after listening to his early recordings is, "Why wasn't this guy a big star way earlier?" This collection gathers up all of Rich's singles from 1958 to 1962, as well as album tracks that were exclusive to his 1960 debut long player. Includes winners like Whirlwind/ Philadelphia Baby/ Rebound/ Lonely Weekends/ Everything I Do is Wrong/ Who Will The Next Fool Be/ Break Up, and many more gems, even two fine instrumental tracks that Rich released under the pseudonym Bobby Sheridan. Sound is excellent, notes are solid, lots here to dig for Charlie Rich fans and Rock & Roll fans in general. (JM)
CHARLIE RICH: Apple Blossom Time/ Big Man/ Break Up/ C.C. Rider/ Caught In The Middle/ Come Back/ Easy Money/ Everything I Do Is Wrong/ Gonna Be Waitin'/ I Finally Found Out/ It's Too Late/ Juanita/ Just A Little Bit Sweet/ Lonely Weekends/ Midnight Blues/ On My Knees/ Philadelphia Baby/ Rebound/ School Days/ Sittin' And Thinkin'/ Stay/ That's How Much I Love You/ Whirlwind/ Who Will The Next Fool Be/ BOBBY SHERIDAN: Red Man (Instrumental)/ Sad News (Instrumental)

ROSCOE SHELTON Sunset Blvd 7908 The Best of Roscoe Shelton ● CD $16.98
28 tracks, very highly recommended
Roscoe Shelton is known as influential voice that bridged R&B/Blues and Soul, who paved the way for Soul legends Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. Shelton started out in gospel as a member of the Fairfield Four and spin off group, the Skylarks. The Skylarks recorded for Nashville's Nashboro label, and label boss Ernie Young heard something in Shelton's voice that convinced him that Shelton had secular potential. Shelton recorded four singles for Nashboro offshoot, Excello, in 1960 before moving on to various small labels until he ended up issuing singles on John Richbourg's Simms label. This collection contains the entirety of the "Soul in His Music, Music in His Soul" LP, issued on the Sound Stage 7 label, and produced by Richbourg. Assorted tracks cut for Simms and Ref-O-Ree during the late 60's round out the compilation. In any case, it's this music from the mid to late 60's that forms Shelton's reputation: from hits Strain in My Heart and Easy Going Fellow to Love Comes and Goes and Keep Your Mind On Me, the man puts a song over like no one else and one can truly hear his influence in Otis Redding. This stuff is the real deal: the meeting place between Bluesy singing, R&B grit, and Soul passion. Even though this stuff has been out before ("Deep in My Soul," a 2005 collection on AIM), I can't recommend this set highly enough for any R&B/Soul fan that hasn't yet succumbed to the dazzling sides cut by Roscoe Shelton. (GMC)
ROSCOE SHELTON: A Man's Love/ Easy Going Fellow/ I Can't Stand to Be Without You/ I Know Your Heart Has Been Broken/ I Want to Keep You (If You Want to Stay)/ I'm Ready (To Love You Now)/ I'm Still the Man/ I'm Tryin' to Quit/ I'm in Way Too Deep/ Keep Your Mind on Me/ Love Comes and Goes/ Love Is the Key/ Master Mind/ My Best Friend/ My Eyes/ Roll with the Punch/ Running for My Life/ Soon As Darkness Falls/ Strain on My Heart/ The Fire Still Burns/ There's a Heartbreak Somewhere/ Tonight's My Night/ Wedding Cake/ Who Walks In (When I Walk Out)/ Worry/ You Ought to Take Time Out For Your Love/ You're Living Too Fast/ You're the Dream

JIMMIE SKINNER Bear Family BCD 16827 One Dead Man Ago - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight** ● CD $22.98
34 tracks, 81 mins, highly recommended
Here's another great volume in the "Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight" series. Jimmie Skinner was definitely a bit of a rebel--or dare I say, "outlaw"--for his time. You get a whole mess of upbeat '50s Honky Tonk like The Ramblers Call/ There's Nothing About You Special/ By Degrees/ Too Hot To Handle/ Another Saturday Night/ I Found My Girl In The U.S.A./ Don't Give Your Heart To A Rambler/ You Don't Know My Mind, plus a couple dozen more. Recordings span 1949-1962 for labels, Radio Artists, Capitol, Decca and Mercury, including a couple rare demo cuts. Informative notes by Dave Samuelson fill the booklet, but you also get great audio snippets of Skinner himself reading from his unfinished biography. When you add it all up, what you have here is a great chronicle of a unique Country artist, one that can easily be seen as a pre-curser to the Rockabilly cats that would soon shake up the world. (JM)

TABBY THOMAS/ LONESOME SUNDOWN Jasmine 3088 Tabby Thomas Meets Lonesome Sundown Down In Louisiana ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
This splendid collection features two of the Louisiana artists recorded by master producer Jay Miller of Crowley, Louisiana in the 1950s and early 60s. The first 18 tracks feature the excellent Tabby Thomas - a fine urban stylist, unlike the many down home bluesmen Miller produced. The set opens with two sides Tabby recorded for the Mississippi based Delta label in 1953 and find him very much influenced by Roy Brown. The rest of his sides were recorded for Miller between 1954 and 1961 and features him in a variety of settings from hard rocking blues to swamp pop ballads and even a gospel flavored song! There are several originally unissued tracks including an alternate take of his most famous song Hoodoo Party with fine harmonica from Lazy Lester. The remaining 10 tracks feature the great Lonesome Sundown who is deserving of a full CD. Sundown was a superb vocalist with a warm and soulful vocal style, an excellent songwriter and fine guitarist and is accompanied by brilliant studio musicians like Katie Webster, Leroy Washington, Lazy Lester, Fats Perrodin and others. There are gorgeous slow blues like the fantatsic My Home Is A Prison and Lonesome Lonely Blues and rolling rockers like Leave My Money Alone and I'm A Mojo Man but with only 10 tracks they left out such classics as I Stood By and I Woke Up Cryin'. Excellent sound and informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)
LONESOME SUNDOWN: Don't Go/ Gonna Stick To You Baby/ I'm A Mojo Man/ I'm Glad She's Mine/ Learn To Treat Me Better/ Leave My Money Alone/ Lonesome Lonely Blues/ My Home Ain't Here/ My Home Is A Prison/ You Know I Love You/ TABBY THOMAS: 'Popeye' Train/ Boogie Woogie Children (Hoodoo Party Alt Take)/ Brother Brown/ C.C. Rider/ Church Member's Ball/ Don't Say/ He's Got The Whole World In His Hands/ Hoodoo Party/ I'd Love To Tell/ Mmmmm I Don't Care/ My Baby's Got It/ Roll On Mule (Alt Take)/ Roll On Ole Mule/ So Hard To Bear/ Thinking Blues/ Tomorrow/ Tomorrow I'll Be Gone/ Too Late Blues

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

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDTOP2 1452 Jon Savage's 1966 The Year The Decade Exploded ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 48 tracks, 127 mins, very highly recommended
I've been a big fan of Jon Savage's work ever since I read his unequaled work on the original British Punk scene "England's Dreaming." Savage has done a number of great pop culture projects over the years, and last year he wrote the book that this CD is a companion to. You get a deeper dive into the music and culture of 1966 in the book, but this compilation and its extensive liner notes are fabulous on their own. Track lists weave seamlessly through Rock, Pop, Soul, and Folk, ranging from Joe Tex to The Velvet Underground. About one third of this set are pretty well known tracks by The Who, James Brown, Lee Dorsey, The Yardbirds and the like, another third made up of well loved Nuggetts tracks, with the other third comprised of much rarer (especially to American ears) tracks that help tell the story of that momentous and revolutionary year of our lord, 1966. Highlights are far too many to list, but here are some points of interest: The Quiet Explosion by The Uglys, The Spy by The Guys from U.N.C.L.E., a heartbreaking Soul tale about being sent off to war - Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) by The Moniters, a great late period Olympics track - Secret Agents, Sock It To 'Em J.B. Parts 1 & 2 by Rex Garvin And he Mighty Cravers, People, Let's Freak Out by Freaks Of Nature, plus a melancholy early David Bowie B-side gem The London Boys. (JM)
? AND THE MYSTERIANS: 96 Tears/ THE ASSOCIATION: Along Comes Mary/ THE BLUE THINGS: One Hour Cleaners/ DAVID BOWIE: The London Boys/ JAMES BROWN: Tell Me That You Love Me/ I Got You (I Feel Good)/ THE CAPITOLS: Cool Jerk/ CHRIS CLARK: Love's Gone Bad/ COUNT FIVE: Psychotic Reaction/ LEE DORSEY: Working In The Coalmine/ THE ELECTRIC PRUNES: Ain't It Hard/ THE FOUR TOPS: Reach Out I'll Be There (Mono Single Version)/ FREAKS OF NATURE: People! Let's Freak Out/ REX GARVIN AND THE MIGHTY CRAVERS: Sock It To Em JB Pt 1/ Sock It To Em JB Pt 2/ THE GUYS FROM U.N.C.L.E.: The Spy/ TIM HARDIN: Hang On To A Dream/ THE HUMAN EXPRESSION: Love At Psychedelic Velocity/ LOVE: Seven And Seven Is/ THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL: Summer In The City/ THE MARVELETTES: The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game/ THE MONITORS: Greetings This Is Uncle Sam/ THE OLYMPICS: Secret Agents/ THE OXFORD CIRCLE: Foolish Woman/ ROBERT PARKER: Barefootin/ PAUL AND RITCHIE AND THE CRYING SHAMES: Come On Back/ WILSON PICKETT: Land Of 1000 Dances/ OTIS REDDING: I Can't Turn You Loose/ THE ROOSTERS: One Of These Days/ THE SAN REMO GOLDEN STRINGS: Festival Time/ THE SEEDS: The Other Place/ RAY SHARPE WITH THE KING CURTIS ORCHESTRA: Help Me (Get The Feeling) Part 1/ SANDIE SHAW: Nothin' Comes Easy/ DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: Little By Little/ THE STRANGELOVES: Night Time/ THE SUPREMES: You Keep Me Hangin On/ NORMA TANEGA: Walkin' My Cat Named Dog/ JOE TEX: You Better Believe It, Baby/ THE TORNADOS: Do You Come Here Often?/ THE UGLYS: The Quiet Explosion/ THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: I'll Be Your Mirror (Mono Single, Alt Ending)/ WE THE PEOPLE: In The Past/ THE WHEEL-A-WAYS: Bad Little Woman (US Version)/ THE WHO: I'm A Boy/ Substitute/ LINK WRAY: Batman Theme/ THE YARDBIRDS: Happenings Ten Years Time Ago

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDTOP2 1495 Jon Savage's 1967 The Year Pop Divided ● CD $24.98
2 CDs, 48 tracks, 135 mins, very highly recommended
If you are like me, you are already sick of hearing about the 50th anniversary of the so called "Summer of Love." Jon Savage offers up his own take on that special year, and I am happy to report that there is absolutely no Scott McKenzie or Jefferson Airplane here. This volume has almost the same mix of rare to well-loved tracks as the previous set, with the balance tipping towards fantastic lesser known songs this round. The Rock songs definitely outnumber the Soul here as well with Psyhedelic sounds taking over the set in large swathes. I love this volume as much, if not more, than 1966's; there are a whole lot of songs here that I wasn't familiar with before that I now love. Highlights include Hold On by Sharon Tandy which sounds to me like Dusty Springfield fronting Blue Cheer, the wonderfully twee At The Third Stroke by The Piccadilly Line, Slim Jenkin's Place by Booker T and the M.G.s, I See The Rain by The Marmalade, Yellow Brick Road by the mighty Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, I Can Hear The Grass Grow by The Move, Suzanah's Still Alive by Dave Davies from the Kinks, the pipe organ heavy Dream Magazine by Svensk, and one of my favorite tracks by The Supremes Reflections. Deep, Deep, Deep, notes with all kinds of fantastic photos and the like. Dig it! (JM)
THE ACTION: Never Ever/ THE ATTACK: Try It/ THE BAR-KAYS: Soul Finger/ CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & HIS MAGIC BAND: Yellow Brick Road/ THE BLOSSOM TOES: Look at Me I'm You/ BOOKER T & THE MG'S: Slim Jenkin's Place/ KEN BOOTHE: The One I Love/ JAMES BROWN & THE FAMOUS FLAMES: Cold Sweat PT 1/ I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)/ BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD: Mr Soul/ THE BYRDS: So You Want to Be a Rock N' Roll Star/ GENE CLARK: So You Say You Lost Your Baby/ DAVE DAVIES: Suzanah's Still Alive/ THE SPENCER DAVIS GROUP: I'm a Man/ DYKE & THE BLAZERS: So Sharp/ WILLIAM E: Lazy Life/ THE EASYBEATS: The Music Goes Round My Head/ ANDY ELLISON: It's Been a Long Time/ THE FORTUNES: The Idol/ THE FOUR TOPS: You Keep Running Away/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Chain of Fools/ Respect/ REX GARVIN & THE MIGHTY CRAVERS: Believe It or Not/ GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Take Me in Your Arms and Love Me/ THE MARMALADE: I See the Rain/ THE MICKEY FINN: Garden of My Mind/ THE MONKEES: Alternate Title (Aka Randy Scouse Git)/ THE MOVE: I Can Hear the Grass Grow/ THE PICADILLY LINE: At the Third Stroke/ TERRY REID WITH PETER JAY'S JAYWALKERS: The Hand Don't Fit the Glove/ DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES: Reflections/ THE SANDPEBBLES: Love Power/ THE SEARCHERS: Western Union/ THE SEEDS: The Wind Blows Your Hair/ THE SHADOWS OF KNIGHT: The Behemoth/ THE SHAG: Stop and Listen/ THE SOFT MACHINE: Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin'/ SONNY & CHER: The Beat Goes on/ SVENSK: Dream Magazine/ SHARON TANDY: Hold on/ JOE TEX: Show Me/ THE THIRD BARDO: I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time/ THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS: I've Got Levitation/ TINTERN ABBEY: Vacuum Cleaner/ TOMORROW: Revolution/ THE TROGGS: Night of the Long Grass/ THE YOUNG RASCALS: Groovin'/ LES YPER SOUND: Psyche Rock

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1499 Swamp Pop By The Bayou - Let's Get Together Tonight ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 68 mins, strongly recommended
It is hard not to have a good time listening to a collection of vintage Swamp Pop, even the sad songs are too charming to bring you down. Ace records do their usual fine job here with great sound and notes. On this you get a bunch of great Warren Storm tracks, one of which never before released, four fine tracks from Rocket Morgan with two that are also making their debut here, plus winners like Do You Take Me For A Fool by Chuck Hiller, Crazie Baby by Texas Guitar Slim (aka Johnny Winter,) a great take on I Got Loaded by Ken Lindsey, The Snake by Merton Thibodeaux, and many more fine cuts. (JM)
VINCE ANTHONY & THE BLUE NOTES: Lonely Street/ DOUG ARDOIN & THE BOOGIE KINGS: Want to Go Home/ ROD BERNARD: I'm Too Tired to Rock/ Let Me Walk with You/ EVERETT DAIGLE & THE TUNE TONES: Love Lost/ GABE DEAN: Searching for Love/ SIDNEY ESTER & THE DREAMERS: If You Don't Want Me/ CHUCK HILLIER: Play a Song for My Baby/ CHARLOTTE HUNTER: I Know It's a Sin/ JIVIN' GENE: The Snake/ KEN LINDSEY: Let's Get Together Tonight/ AMERY LYNN: Go on, Go On/ ROCKET MORGAN: Crazie Baby/ I'm Falling for You Darling/ Lucy Lou/ Whatcha Gonna Do?/ ROBERT OWENS & THE OWENS SINGERS: Jailhouse Blues/ CHARLES PAGE & THE ROCKIN' "ACES": I Got Loaded/ JAY RANDALL & THE ELECTRAS: Now Is the Time/ STORM: Never Let Her Go/ WARREN STORM: Do You Take Me for a Fool/ It's Too Late/ This Life I Live/ GENE TERRY & HIS DOWN BEATS: I'll Be Coming Home to You/ TEXAS GUITAR SLIM AKA JOHNNY WINTER: I've Got My Heart in My Hand/ MERTON THIBADEAUX: Where Should I Go/ HAL YOUNG & THE ELECTRAS: Walking Alone/ What Ya' Gonna Do?

VARIOUS ARTISTS Blaze 104 Sumpin' Jumpin' - California R&B Obscurities ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 67 mins, very highly recommended
Outstanding collection of jump blues and R&B recorded for independent California labels between 1945 and 1953 - most of it making it's first appearance on CD. It's all excellent and among the highlights ae four great tracks from guitarist Teddy Bunn - though best known as a jazz guitarist the tracks here are blues and features some sensational guitar work particularly on the slow instrumental One A.M. Blues. Another great guitarist is Chuck Norris who is featured on three tracks - two of them with vocals by Chuck but he really stretches out on the instrumental Blue Strings which was issued as by Buddy Colette and His Band. Mitchell "Tiny" Webb is an underappreciated West Coast session guitarist who is featured on three tracks by the excellent instrumental combo Bumps Myers Sextet - two of them focus on Myers' excellent tenor sax playing while Memphis Hop gives Tiny a chance to show his chops. Other artists include Red Mack & His All Stars (four fine sides from the very obscure Gold Seal label), The Great Gates and seven cuts from tenor saxist Que Martin leading several different groups on a selection of instrumentals and vocals by Leona Gray, Helen Wilson and Del Graham. Sound quality is excellent and there is full discographical info. (FS)
TEDDY BUNN: I've Come A Long Way Baby/ Irritatin' Blues/ Jackson's Nook/ One A.M. Blues/ BUDDY COLLETTE & HIS BAND: Blue Strings/ DEL GRAHAM WITH QUE MARTIN'S ORCH.: Your Money Ain't Long Enough/ LEONA GRAY WITH QUE MARTYN & HIS ORCH.: Boogie Woogie Daddy/ THE GREAT GATES: Change Your Ways/ Race Track Blues/ RED MACK & HIS ALL-STARS: 'Tain't Me/ Gimme Some Skin - Mah Friend/ Hit The Jive, Jack/ The Joint Is Jumpin'/ QUE MARTYN'S SEXTET: Sumpin Jumpin/ Dianne/ BUMPS MYERS SEXTET: Bumpin' With Bumps/ Forty-Nine-Fifty/ Memphis Hop/ CHUCK NORRIS & HIS BAND: Let's Get A Little Taste/ SHIFTY HENRY (CHUCK NORRIS VCL): No Better For Me/ HELEN WILSON WITH QUE MARTYN'S SEXTET: Looking For My Man/ There's Nothing You Can Do

VARIOUS ARTISTS Columbia 30503 Columbia Records - The R&B Years, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, strongly recommended
Another excellent collection of obscure blues and R&B recorded for the Columbia label between 1947 and 1951. There are four cuts from the versatile Four Scamps including the honking instrumental Gone Home and an interesting take on Chicken Shack Boogie. Other highlights include the rocking Love Me by the superb New Orleans singer Mr. Google Eyes, Johnny Moore's brother Oscar with his band The Rhythm Aces do the hot Slow Train Through Arkansas and the tepid You're Getting Tired and Pearl Bailey and Jackie "Moms" Mabley jave a good time at the Saturday Night Fish Fry. Other artists include Happy Johnson & His INternational Jive Five, The Naturals, Red Saunders & His Orch. (tough blues with a vocal by Jumpin' Joe Williams), Wini Brown and more. Excellent sound and full discographical details. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5601 Too Late, Too Late, Vol. 10 : 1926-1951 ● CD $15.98 $10.98
25 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Another collection of newly discovered titles, alternate takes and supplements unearthed by Johnny Parth and his dogged team of investigative reporters. Includes an intriguing recording from the mid 20s of a commercial for Simplex Piston Rings in a bluesy style by the group Three Bad habits with guitar & banjo! It also includes alternate takes from Blind Blake, Hattie Burleson, Ramblin' Thomas, Charlie Spand, Big Joe Williams and others. There's an intriguing version of Stagolee from a cylinder recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter for the Library Of Congress in 1933 - sound is very grim but what a neat find! There are some wonderful field recordings from 1942 by The Nashville Washboard Band featuring guitar, mandolin and washboard plus tracks from The Jacksonville Harmony Trio, Bill Williams, Stanford Mosby, Sonny Terry, Thomas James Carroll and more. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 08 75 Pumpin' Piano Greats ● CD $22.98 $14.98
Three CD set with 75 tracks featuring rock 'n' roll, boogie Woogie, blue and country boogie all sharing one thing in common - hot piano work. Among the many artists here are Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Miller, Champion Jack Dupree, Janis Martin (with Floyd Cramer on the ivories), Moon Mullican, Cecil Gant, Lloyd Glenn, Roy Hall, Camille Howard, Amos Milburn, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Merrill E. Moore, Piano Red, Tennessee Ernie Ford (with Moon Mullican). No real rarities - just lots of hot piano pounding. Excellent sound and 16 page booklet has informative notes by Stu Coleman.
CHUCK BERRY (FEATURING JOHNNIE JOHNSON): Rock And Roll Music/ Roll Over Beethoven/ You Can't Catch Me/ JACKIE BRENSTON & HIS DELTA CATS (FEATURING IKE: Rocket 88/ GUNTER LEE CARR (AKA CECIL GANT): We're Gonna Rock/ RAY CHARLES: Hallelujah I Love Her So/ It Should've Been Me/ Mess Around/ DON COLE (FEATURING AL CASEY): Snake-Eyed Mama/ FATS DOMINO: All By Myself/ Please Don't Leave Me/ The Fat Man/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Bad Whiskey & Wild Women/ Daybreak Rock/ Shake Baby Shake/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD (FEATURING BILLY LIEBERT): Shot Gun Boogie/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD (FEATURING MOON MULLICAN): Country Junction/ CECIL GANT: Cecil Boogie No. 2/ Cecil's Googie/ LLOYD GLENN: Chica Boo/ Honky Tonk Train/ Old Time Suffle/ ROSCO GORDON: T Model Boogie/ HARDROCK GUNTER (FEATURING HUEL MURPHY): Birmingham Bounce/ Gonna Dance All Night/ ROY HALL: All By Myself/ Don't Stop Now/ She Sure Can Rock Me/ CAMILLE HOWARD: Fire-Ball Boogie/ Instantaneous Boogie/ X-Temporaneous Boogie/ WANDA JACKSON (FEATURING MERRILL MOORE): Cool Love/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee- O-Dee/ It'll Be Me/ Pumpin' Piano Rock/ LITTLE RICHARD: Long Tall Sally/ Slippin' And Slidin'/ Tutti-Frutti/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Jim Wilson's Boogie/ DICK LORY (FEATURING OWEN BRADLEY): Ballroom Baby/ JANIS MARTIN (FEATURING FLOYD CRAMER): Let's Elope Baby/ Will You, Willyum/ JANIS MARTIN (FEATURING SHORTY LONG): Barefoot Baby/ AMOS MILBURN: Amos Boogie/ Chicken Shack Boogie/ Down The Road Apiece/ CHUCK MILLER: Boogie Blues/ Chuck's Boogie/ House Of Blue Lights/ Miller's Boogie/ Vim Vam Vamoose/ MERRILL E. MOORE: Fly Right Boogie/ Red Light/ Rock-Rockola/ ELLA MAE MORSE (FEATURING GERRY WIGGINS): Rock Me All Night Long/ ELLA MAE MORSE WITH FREDDIE SLACK: House Of Blue Lights/ Pigfoot Pete/ MOON MULLICAN: Country Boogie/ I Done It/ I'll Sail My Ship Alone/ I'm Mad At You/ Pipeline Blues/ Seven Nights To Rock/ CARL PERKINS (FEATURING JERRY LEE LEWIS): Put Your Cat Clothes On/ PIANO RED: Rockin' With Red/ Wildfire/ Woo-Ee/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Hey Little Girl/ Ball The Wall/ Walk Your Blues Away/ FREDDIE SLACK: Blackout Boogie/ HUEY 'PIANO' SMITH: The Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu'/ BIG JOE TURNER WITH PETE JOHNSON: Roll 'Em Pete/ DON WOODY (FEATURING OWEN BRADLEY): Barking Up The Wrong Tree/ Bird Dog

VARIOUS ARTISTS Finbarr 19 The Finbarr Rock 'n' Roll Party, Vol. 5 ● CD $12.98
24 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended
We are steadily going through the excellent Finbarr Rock 'N' Roll Party series, volume five finds them still firing on all cylinders, this time with more liner notes! Some tracks here will be familiar to those of you who dig these kind of wild & wooly Rock & Roll comps, classic burners like Long Blonde Hair by Johnny Powers, The Fire of Love by Jody Reynolds, classic DooWop from The Del-Vikings- Cool Shake, and the brutal Jo Ann, Jo Ann by Johnny Amelio - all have made many appearances over the years, but that's all right; it's a party and they are old friends. Other highlights include Doing Alright by Eddie Cash & The Cashiers playing Rock & Roll exactly right; followed up by another proper Rocker, You're Gone Baby by Jimmy Lloyd; G.L. Crockett's Look Out Mabel with Louis Myers on guitar; and of course, a little Esquerita is always a good thing, his Good Golly, Annie May certainly shows a little of his influence on Little Richard. Though my favorite track here has to be You Don't Love Me Anymore by Gene LaMarr & His Blue Flames, a short shock of a song with 16-year-old LaMarr wonderfully slurring, mumbling and screaming his way through the lyrics, only briefly interrupted by a blistering guitar solo that lasts about 20 seconds. Beautiful stuff! (JM)
JOHNNY AMELIO: Jo Ann, Jo Ann/ EDDIE CASH & THE CASHIERS: Doing Alright/ THE CHAMPS: Gone Train/ G.L. CROCKETT: Look Out, Mable/ THE DEL-VIKINGS: Cool Shake/ RONNIE DOVE & THE BELLTONES: Lover Boy/ ESQUERITA: Good Golly, Annie Mae/ TONY FERGUSON: At The Jamboree/ EDDIE FONTAINE: Fun Lovin' Baby/ THE HOLLYWOOD FLAMES: Strollin' On The Beach/ JOHNNY HORTON: All Grown Up/ THE JIANTS: Tornado/ KING GEORGE: Woke Up This Morning/ GENE LA MARR & HIS BLUE FLAMES: You Don't Love Me Anymore/ JIMMY LLOYD: You're Gone, Baby/ OSCAR MCLOLLIE & JEANETTE BAKER: Hey Girl-Hey Boy/ THE MOONLIGHTERS: Broken Heart/ JOHNNY OTIS: Can't You Hear Me Callin'?/ JOHNNY POWERS: Long Blonde Hair/ JODY REYNOLDS: Fire Of Love/ BOBBY LEE TRAMMELL: My Susie J-My Susie J/ JERRY WALLACE: Diamond Ring/ GEORGE WESTON: Hey, Little Car Hop/ Well, Don't You Know

VARIOUS ARTISTS Frog DGF 85 Frog Spawn - The Fourth Batch ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
The latest in Frog's series of "red hot jazz rarities, alternate takes, sleepers & unissued tests" features 26 hot sides recorded between 1922 and '29. Although most of the tracks here have been reissued before the sound quality here is superior to any previous reissue thanks to the incredible remastering by Nick Dellow and the notes and discographical information benefit from the most up to date research. Artists include Friars Society Orchestra (actually The New Orleans Rhythm Kings), Handy's Orchestra, Jimmy O'Bryant's Washboard Band, Austin & His Musical Ambassadors, Lequimes's Gran Hotel Orchestra (a multi national group recorded in Calcutta, India in 1926!), Fletcher Henderson & His Orch., Duke Ellington & His Orch. (alternate takes from rare tests), Happy Holmes, Tiny Parham & His Musicians, Eddie Dean & His Boston Brownies and more. As mentioned above the sound quality is magnificent and the 16 page booklet has detailed notes by Brian Goggin, full discographical details of the tracks and a handful of rare photos. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 453 The Arock-Serock-Sylvia Soul Story Continued ● CD $18.98 $14.98
25 tracks, recommended
This is the long time coming follow up to The Arock/Sylvia Soul Story (Kent 212 - $18.98) which contains more tracks from noted saxophonist Al Sears' family of labels. All three labels lived their short lives during the early to mid Sixties, and all issued obscure and/or semi-obscure R&B. The biggest act were The Diplomats (who have one contribution here, I Really Love You) and noted producer Van McCoy appears under his own name and as The D.C. Playboys (It Ain't No Big Thing and You Were All I Needed, respectively). Sprinkled among the single releases are demos recorded for Sylvia Music, Sears's publishing company, such as Don Covay's Did You Hear, as well as demo versions of singles like Garrett Saunders' I Keep Comin' Back For More and Marie Knight's Nothing in the World. Also included is the follow up to the company's biggest hit record - Theola Kilgore's The Love of My Man from 1963 - an alternate version of Kilgore's This is My Prayer. Although, like the first compilation, there's nothing earth-shaking here, there is some solid early 60's R&B for die hard fans. (GMC)
GENE BURKS: Take My Hand/ VIVIAN COLLINS: Hey Officer/ THE CORVAIRS: Love Is Such A Good Thing/ DON COVAY: Did You Hear/ THE DC PLAYBOYS: You Were All I Needed/ THE DIPLOMATS: I Really Love You/ GARY & GARY: I'm Leavin' (For Parts Unknown)/ TUTTI HILL: When The Goin' Gets Rough/ CHET "POISON" IVEY & HIS FABULOUS AVENGERS: Something Else/ THEOLA KILGORE: This Is My Prayer/ EDDIE KING: Kindness, Love & Understanding/ MARIE KNIGHT & JUNIOR LEWIS: Nothing In This World/ THE LARKS: Another Sleepless Night/ JUNIOR LEWIS: It Won't Work Out/ Where You Are/ STERLING MAGEE: Get In My Arms Little Girlie/ VAN MCCOY: It Ain't No Big Thing/ ANSLER MONTELL: Chained Am I/ JOAN MOODY: I Can't Stay Away/ Music To My Ears/ GARRETT SAUNDERS: Easier Said Than Done/ I Keep Comin' Back For More/ FREDDIE SOLOMON: I Don't Care/ SINNER STRONG: Nobody But Me/ BILLY WASHINGTON: I Wanna Come In

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDTOP 462 More From The Other Side Of The Trax ● CD $19.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
When Atlantic issued The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-68 box set in 1991, they included all the A-sides, but left out most of the B-sides. While these omitted B-sides have found their way onto various compilations since '91, notably Kent's "The Other Side of the Trax" (Kent 442 - $19.98), there's still plenty missing in action. Fortunately, Kent has created a follow up to its' first collection and it does not disappoint, even if the songs don't quite match up to the previous collection. With jams from William Bell, Rufus and Carla Thomas (both together and solo), the Mar-Keys, Eddie Floyd, and more, there's plenty to enjoy. Rufus and Carla get the most disc time, and their Deep Down Inside together and Rufus' Fine and Mellow and Carla's It's Starting to Grow are among the standout cuts. Other highlights: Bell's What'cha Gonna Do and Don't Make Something Out of Nothing, The Mar-Keys' The Dribble, and Sir Mack Rice's instrumental version of Mini-Skirt Minnie. I wish the compilers hadn't put so much emphasis on Rufus and Carla and William Bell, and had spread the love around a bit more; perhaps then this collection would have been great instead of merely very good. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Lucky Stars 70040 Jazz & New York ● CD $28.98
3 CDs, 60 tracks, 237 mins, very highly recommended
You can thank Lucky Stars for putting together this fabulous set of songs. Some compilations are just cooler than others, and this three CD set is just oozing cool. If you are in black & white, it's the 1950s, and you are prowling the city streets at night with a horn under your arm and a dame on your mind, then this is the music playing behind you. This has one sultry, scrappy, crazy cool song about New York after another. You get two CDs of instrumentals and one CD with vocals. You start off uptown with the Illinois Jacquet Sextet's fabulous take on Harlem Nocturne, from there you go all around the town from Sax Fifth Avenue by Phil Woods, to Chinatown, My Chinatown by Jack Teagarden, to Grand Central by the John Coltrane-Cannonball Adderley Quintet, all the way over to Long Island Sound by the Stan Getz Quartet. Along the way are fantastic tracks by Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Blue Mitchell, Zoot Sims, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Charlie Parker and many more. Some of my favorites on the vocal side of things are Annie Ross with Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker doing How About You?, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong doing Stompin' At The Savoy, and Puttin' On The Ritz by Fred Astaire with the Oscar Peterson Sextet. No surprise that Frank Sinatra has a few tracks here as well, one that I didn't know, but really enjoyed was The Brooklyn Bridge from 1946 with the Alex Stordahl Orchestra. (Fun fact: Alex Stordahl later composed and orchestrated the theme to "McHale's Navy.") This collection has excellent sound throughout and Lucky Stars did an overall top notch job. Take this audio trip to New York; it's a lot cheaper than flying, and you don't have to see Trump tower. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Narro Way 1601 Best Of Proverb & Gospel Corner Records ● CD $27.98 $22.98
Two CDs, 52 tracks, strongly recommended
Another excellent release of 60s black gospel from the Swedish Narro Way label. This features a cross section of recordings made between 1959 and 1969 for the Proverb and associated Gospel Corner labels run by Los Angeles entrepreneur Brother Henderson (former R&B singer Duke Henderson) who is featured on two performers - the powerful I Made Up My Mind accompanied by his Spiritual Lambs and the moving poem with organ accompaniment Eleven-Twenty Two Nineteen Sixty Three about the assassination of President Kennedy. Among its more well known artists are The Mighty Clouds of Joy with one of their first recordings - the highly energetic Jesus Is Real recorded live in a local church. The label also issued the first single by The Chambers Brothers - one side issued here. The label also recorded a mostly new version of The Pilgrim Travelers. Paul Foster, a member of the Soul Stirrers for many years, is featured on a fine version of A Closer Walk with his group the Golden Crowns. There are several tracks by the fine singer/ pianist/ organist Prince Dixon whose large frame led to his nickname "The Small One."Other artists include The Singing Corinthians, The Vocal-Aires of Birmingham, Ala., Melvin Boyd & The Ohio Wonders, The Los Angeles Angels, THe Hampton-Aires of Memphis, Tn., The Spiritual Fiuve Of Sacramento, Ca., Madame Nellir Robinson (a powerful song about the war in Vietnam), Lady Bird, Rev. Willie T. Snead and others. Excellent sound and the 20 page booklet has informative notes by Per Notini. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7067 Free At Last - Gospel Quartets From Stax Records' Chalice Label ● CD $15.98 $9.98
24 tracks, 78 min., highly recommended
These 1965/1966 modern gospel recordings (14 unissued) feature 4 male groups : The Dixie Nightingales (9), The Jubilee Hummingbirds (6), The Pattersonaires (5) and The Stars Of Virginia (4). Sure enough soul fans will know that The Dixie Nightingales feature the lead tenor of Ollie Braxton Hoskins (1936-1997) of Ollie & The Nightingales fame. Influenced by Ira Tucker & Kylo Turner, his leads remind me a little of O. V. Wright, especially on The Assassination and the near 6 minute This Is Our Prayer. The Pattersonaires, formed by pianist/arranger/songwriter Willie Louis Gordon (1927-1997), feature the lead tenor of James Shelton, especially effective on God's Promise. As for the 2 remaining groups, little is known about them, which is a shame as they put in good performances. The original notes by Chris Smith have been updated by Grammy Award-winner, Rob Bowman. (EL)
THE DIXIE NIGHINGALES: Hush Hush/ THE DIXIE NIGHTINGALES: All I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life/ Forgive These Fools/ I Don't Know/ It Comes At The End Of The Race/ Nail Print/ The Assassination/ There's Not A Friend/ This Is Our Prayer/ THE JUBILEE HUMMINGBIRDS: Give Me One More Chance/ He's A Friend Of Mine/ Jesus Will Fix It/ Our Freedom Song/ Press My Dying Pillow/ Stop Laughing At Your Fellow Man/ THE PATTERSONAIRES: A Child Of God/ God's Promise/ He's Worthy/ I Learned To Pray/ Till Jesus Comes/ THE STARS OF VIRGINIA: All These Things To Me/ Even Me/ Son Of God/ Wade In The Water

VARIOUS ARTISTS Stomper Time 36 Memphis Rockabillies, Hillbillies & Honky Tonkers Vol 6 ● CD $18.98
40 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
Well, this has pretty much everything I like, and have come to expect, in a good Rockabilly/ Hillbilly collection: wacked out topical songs like Kruschev and the Devil by Jay Chevalier (Jay actually has a few quality tracks here); dorky teen Rock - Going Steady Ring by Tommy Jay, up-tempo Country that's not quite Rockabilly - Cotton Patch Hop by Sonny Williams; stellar instrumentals - I Don't Love Nobody by Slim Rhodes featuring John Hughey, and Roby Ramble by Jimmy Roby; a Hank Williams cover - Honky Tonk Blues by Sonny Williams; and an actual Rocker or two like Every time I See You by Sylvia Mobley, and Ira Pierce's cover of White Lightnin'. Though, when it comes down to it, this is mostly just a collection of rare Country music, with the hint of Rockabilly to draw you in. That doesn't mean that there's not plenty of great stuff here; I especially dug Jimmy Roby's instrumentals, and the tracks by Jay Chevalier, plus there is a fun radio promo ad from the time at the end of the collection. Deep liner notes, with rare pics, and as complete recording session info as there is to be found for these recordings. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Sublime Frequencies 1025 Choubi Choubi - Folk & Pop Songs From Iraq, Vol. 1 ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 20 tracks, 85 mins, highly recommended
This one is a couple years old, but we thought it looked interesting. Sublime Frequencies do a great job of covering music from around the world, and they have done well covering the underappreciated Iraqi music and musicians. I don't claim to know much of anything about Iraqi music, but according to Sublime Frequencies web site - Choubi is "a driving rhythmic style that can include fiddles, double reeded instruments, percussion, bass, keyboards and oud over its signature beat." Choubi seems to be the most popular style of Iraqi music, but many styles are represented here, with recordings spanning from the 1970's through the 2000s. The four tracks of Ja'afar Hassan's 1970s Folk Rock are probably the most accessible to western ears, but there is plenty here that I enjoyed. I definitely feel this is one that will grow on me the more I listen to it, and I think that other musically adventurous souls will certainly dig it. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Third Man 334 Why The Mountains Are Black - Primeval Greek Village Mu ● CD $19.98
Two CDS, 28 tracks, very highly recommended
This is some of the wildest and most exciting music you are likely to hear - almost out of control but never chaotic. This is some of the earliest form of Greek music with origins dating back to the 4th century. Over the years, as Greek culture spread, it absorbed elements from the countries it spread to as well as elements from the Ottoman Empire that ruled Greece in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many of the lyrics in in the music date from the 19th century. The music is rawer, less polished and more varied than the more familiar Rembetika. It is rural music with many different regions of Greece being represented. Instrumentation includes violin, Cretan lyre (a type of violin unique to Crete), floghera (a primitive form of flute), santouri (hammered dulcimer), gaida (bagpies), zourna (double reed folk oboe), clarinet and other instruments. Some of the recordings here were made in Athens, Greece while others were made in the USA by Greek immigrants and the recordings range from 1906 to the1960s with the majoritty being from he 1920s and 1930s. The music is a mix of vocal and instrumental performances - mostly the latter - and there is a wide variety - if you have heard the JSP Demotika collection or the two volumes of Greek music on the Angry Mom label you will have an idea what to expect as, apart from its connection to Balkan music, it is pretty unique and utterly mezmerizzing. Sound quality is superb and there are extensive and excellent notes by compiler Christopher King though his occasional philosophical musings lost me. (FS)

GENE VINCENT Bear Family BCD 16846 The Ballads Of Gene Vincent** ● CD $24.98
28 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Gene Vincent wasn't just a great rock 'n' roll singer - he was a great singer, period - as this collection eloquently shows. His soulful high voice was beautifully suited for ballads and this collection presents a wide selection of material ranging from vintage standards like Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine) to great contemporary compositions like Gene's own Important Words and James Bracken's bluesy Peace Of Mind. The first 17 sides are from his Capitol years featuring Gene accompanied by his wonderful band The Bluecaps with occasional added instrumentation or choruses and often featuring lovely guitar work from Cliff Gallup or Tommy Meeks. The remaining tracks are drawn from the rest of his too short career and while usually not as compelling as the Capitol sides features some gems like the gorgeous Weeping Willow and a tremndous version of the country standard Lonely Street. Though these are ballads they are not pop music - they are infused with a soulful rock sensibility. A wonderful and imaginative collection from Bear Family with superb sound and beautiful packaging in a digipack with informative notes and full discographical info. (FS)
GENE VINCENT: Distant Drums/ Hi-Lili Hi Lo/ I Sure Miss You/ Important Words (vers. 1)/ In My Dreams/ Keep It A Secret/ Lavender Blue/ Lonely Street/ Lonesome Boy/ Love Of A Man/ Maybe/ My Heart/ Now Is The Hour/ Over The Rainbow/ Peace Of Mind/ Scarlet Ribbons/ Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)/ The Night Is So Lonely/ The Rose Of Love/ There I Go Again (Whoops I'm Dreaming)/ Unchained Melody/ Up A Lazy River/ Wear My Ring/ Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old...)/ Weeping Willow/ Where Have You Been All My Life/ You Are The One For Me/ You Belong To Me

THE WATERSONS Topic TSCD 564 Sound, Sound Your Instruments Of Joy** ● CD $12.98
14 tracks, essential
Now available at a lower price. Newly repackaged reissue of one of THE great albums of the British folk revival. The Watersons were England's greatest acapella group and this is one of their very finest albums (not that anything they recorded was less than superb). Mike, Norma and Lal Waterson together with Norma's husband Martin Carthy perform a selection of 14 religious oriented songs drawing on rare English and American songs - wassail songs, vernacular carols, meeting house hymns, Sacred Harp and more. Performances are stunning with glorious harmonies as well as interplay between the individual voices. Songs include God Bless The Master/ Windham/ Christian's Hope/ Emmanuel/ Sound, Sound Your Instruments Of Joy/ Green Fields/ Morning Trumpet and others. Disc is packaged in digipack with 16 page booklet with endlessly informative notes by A.L. Lloyd and full lyric transcripts. Whatever your religious persuasion you can't help but be moved by these magnificent performances. (FS)

KATIE WEBSTER Topcat 2152 The SWamp Boogie Queen Live ● CD $14.98
15 tracks, 68 mins, recommended
Katie Webster was a superb singer and piano player from Louisiana. She got her start in the 1950s working as house pianist for Jay Miller and Goldband as well as other Louisiana labels. In the 1960s she worked in Otis Redding's band and then retired to raise her family. She returned to performing regularly in the late 70s and for the next 20 years she was a popular performer traveling all over the world - mostly performing solo but sometimes with a band. She also made a fair number of recordings during this period. This previously unissued solo set was recorded live in Greece in 1990. Katie's singing and playing are fine and she performs a wide spectrum of material ranging from her own Katie's Blues, to the gospel classic Precious Lord Take My Hand to Jimmy Reed's Honest I Do to pop favorite I Can't Give YOu Anything But Love to Mark Knopfler's So Far Away to her old boss Otis Redding's Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay. Her performances are fine but, somehow, lacking in passion. As my wife Nancy said "it sounds like her Vegas act." If you've never heard Katie before you'll probably enjoy it but if you already have some of her albums it may be a bit too predictable. (FS)

BIG JOE WILLIAMS Rock Beat 3383 Southside Blues ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, 30 mins, highly recommended
There's something about Big Joe Williams - there are probably more CDs available by him then any other country blues artist and although he had a pretty extensive repertoire he inevitably repeated his songs - yet his performances rarely sounded stale or boring and that his certainly the case here. These tracks were recorded live at the Fickle Pickle in Chicago in June, 1963 by Norman Dayron with Joe pounding away at his nine string guitar, stompin' his feet and hollerin' great blues like Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out/ Baby Please Don't Go (of course!)/ Put On Your Nitecap Baby/ Don't Want No Big Fat Woman/ Goin' Away Won't Be Back Till Fall/ Sugar Mama/ Terraplane Blues and others. These tracks were originally issued on a Stack-O-Hits LP back in the 1980s but this marks their first LP release. Sound quality is superb. There are no notes of any consequence and the back liner lists accompanying musicians on piano, guitar, bass and washboard who must have been playing very, very quietly as I only hear Big Joe. Wouldn't it be nice if record labels had enough respect for the music they issue to at least listen to it and not list totally erroneous information? (FS)


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