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NEWSLETTER #147
Blues & Gospel
J.B. Lenoir - > Wings Over Jordan Choir

 

 


J.B. LENOIR Classics 5184 The Chronological J.B. Lenoir, 1955-1956 ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, 50 min, highly recommended
Fine collection from legendary bluesman that gathers up the last of his recordings for Parrot records and some from his prime Chess output. In 1955 J.B. had a #11 hit on the national Rhythm & Blues charts with Mama Talk to Your Daughter, his only chart hit, which is featured on the first volume of his from this label (J.B. Lenoir 1951 1954 Classics 5128). On this collection we get the follow ups: Mama Your Daughter Is Going To Miss Me and What About Your Daughter? which didnt match the first success, but are fine cuts nonetheless. All in all, this contains lots of hot R&B from a truly unique performer. (JM)
J.B. LENOIR: Don't Dog Your Woman/ Don't Touch My Head/ Everybody Wants To Know/ Fine Girls/ Give Me One Mor Shot/ I Lost My Baby/ I've Been Down So Long/ If I Give My Love To You?/ If You Love Me/ J.B.'s Rock/ Let Me Die With The One I Love/ Lowdown Dirty Shame/ Mama Your Daughter Is Going To Miss Me/ Natural Man/ We've Got Both To Realise/ What Have I Done/ When I Am Drinking

 
LOUISIANA RED Wounded Bird 389 Sings The Blues ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 66 mins, recommended
Between 1965 and 1973 Louisiana Red cut more than 70 sides for Atlantic founder Herb Abramson and this album originally issued on Atco in 1972 features 12 of them. The performances feature Red with small groups including Tommy Tucker/ piano, Leonard Gaskin/ bass, Bill Dicey/ harp and others. Performances are generally excellent though the strong influence of Muddy Waters is readilly apparent. The material is a mix of covers (Rollin' Stone/ You Don't Have To Go/ The Same Thing, etc.) and originals I Am Louisiana Red/ The Story Of Louisiana Red/ Freight Train To Ride, etc.). It's a shame they didn't include some of the other sides from these sessions which have been available in the past but as it stands it's a worthwhile set of down home blues. (FS)

 
MAGIC SAM Fuel 2000 61692 An Introduction To Magic Sam ● CD $12.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
If you missed the now deleted Fuel 61104 which featured all of Sam's sides for Cobra (1957/58), Chief (1960) and Crash (1966) along with alternates this collection gives you the cream of those recordings. Chicago bluesman Magic Sam was one of the major contemporary blues talents to emerge in the 50s - a superb singer with a emotive gospel tinge to his vocals and a brilliant and imaginative guiitarist who made very effective use of tremelo in his playing. On these recordings he is accompanied by some of Chicago's finest - Little Brother Montgomery, Willie Dixon, Odie Payne, Syl Johnson, Johnny Jones, Louis Myers, etc. Includes All Your Love/ Everything Gonna Be Alright/ All Night Long/ Easy Baby/ LOve Me This Way/ Every Night About This Time/ You Don't Have To Work/ Out Of Bad Luck, etc. If you don't have any of Sam's early material then this absolutely indispensible. (FS)

 
PIANO RED Rev-Ola CRBAND 028 Diggin' The Boogie, 1950-1956 ● CD $15.98
33 tracks, essential
Fabulous CD set by the legendary Willie "Piano Red" Perryman AKA Dr. Feelgood. The Atlanta born & bred pianist was one of the founding fathers of rock'n'roll. Red had been playing piano since the 20's but except for a couple of unissued sessions with Blind Willie McTell he didn't really get started recording until 1950. Over the next 9 years he released numerous singles, EP's (and several LP's) on RCA and Groove. Although he had a fine bluesy voice almost every tune turned out to be a full tilt boogie with Red shoutin' out the lyrics. He was helped out by many of R&B's greats during this time including Blow Top Lynn, Big Al Sears, Rene Hall and his longtime sidekick, Wesley Jackson, a much underrated guitarist. The earliest sessions produced some of his most endearing tunes like Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo/ Jumpin' The Boogie/ Red's Boogie/ Diggin' The Boogie & Rockin' With Red, all proof enough that rock'n'roll was full blown in 1950! By 1961 he had changed his style for the times, adopting an early soul style, and changed his name (and the band) to Dr. Feelgood & the Interns. The first 24 tracks here are studio recordings made between 1950 and 1956 and the last is from a live concert in Atlanta in 1956. Excellent sound, informative booklet notes by Dave Penny and full discographical data. If you want the complete Piano Red story from the 50s and 60s you might want to check out Bear Family's wonderful four CD set "The Doctor Is In" (BCD 15685 - $99.98). (FS/AE)

 
RAY REED Dialtone 0018 Where The Trinity Runs Free ● CD $14.98
Solid set of down home blues from 67 year old Texas singer/ guitarist Reed with solid band including guitarist Clarence Pierce, Austrian piano player Christian Dozzler, harmonica player Hash Brown and others. A mix of originals and old favorites. Includes Lady Pearl's Cut Yu Loose/ Woke Up This Morning/ Lucy Mae Blue/ Two Trains Running/ Bad Sad/ Wonder Why/ Maypearl Rose, etc.

 
SUGAR CHILE ROBINSON Rev-Ola CRBAND 023 Go Boy Go! 1949-1952 ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
Sugar Chile Robinson was a child piano prot‚g‚e who was a bit of a sensation in the late 1940's to early '50s and retired from show biz at the stately age of 14. Sugar Chile was a fine Boogie Woogie piano player and entertaining singer, who was marginalized by the juvenile material provided for him. Songs like Numbers Boogie/ After School Boogie and I'll eat My Spinach are fun, but hard to listen to more than once. When just left to rip on the keys or given better material, he's great, so Caldonia and others hold up better. This collection rounds up all of his records and as a bonus has all the recordings from films that he appeared in at the time. (JM)
SUGAR CHILE ROBINSON: After School Blues/ After School Blues/ Baby Blues/ Bases Were Loaded/ Bouncing Ball Boogie/ Broken-down Piano/ Caldonia (from No Leave, No Love)/ Caldonia (what Makes Your Big Head So Hard?)/ Christmas Boogie/ Detroit Rag/ Donkey Song/ Frustration Boogie/ Go Boy Go/ Green Grass Grows All Around/ Hum-drum Boogie/ Hunkie Man (ice Cream Man)/ I'll Eat My Spinach/ Lazy Boy's Boogie/ Numbers Boogie/ Numbers Boogie/ Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer/ Say, Little Girl/ St Louis Blues/ Sticks And Stones/ Sugar Chile Boogie-hen House Door (somebody Done Changed The Lock On My Doo/ Vooey Vooey Vay/ Whop! Whop!/ Yancey Special

 
TERRANCE SIMIEN & THE ZYDECO EXPERIENCE AIM 5016 Live! Worldwide ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 64 min., highly recommended
On his eighth album, the musically eclectic and adventurous Simien collects live tracks from various locales worldwide and, as usual, unapologetically redefines zydeco. The opening cut Dance Everyday is steeped in African rhythms, while on the second song (the instrumental Zydeco Boogaloo) Simien offers more traditional zydeco sounds but can't resist throwing in chunks of the Jackson Five's I Want You Back. And by the time he gets to (one of two songs listed as track #4--they skipped track #6), it would be difficult to describe the music as mere zydeco but even more difficult not to find it enjoyable. Simien's Meters medley of (Hey Pocky Way/Fire On The Bayou/People Say) and Mardi Gras In The Country, fall into the funk domain as readily as any other. And Johnny Too Bad is essentially reggae. All of which is wonderful and a bit liberating in that Simien and Co. refuse to crank out zydeco retreads. This music is zydeco rebuilt from the ground up with whatever parts look particularly interesting. Dancable, contemporary, and fiery. Can't remember any recent live albums with so much screaming in the background. (JC)

 
SUGAR RAY & THE BLUETONES Severn 042 My Life, My Friends, My Music ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 61 min., highly recommended
Not quite like a musical time capsule but close enough. Reminiscent of Norcia's charming and long-out-of-print 1998 album "Sweet & Swingin'", only much better. The band, thanks to a horn section made up of (mostly) former members of Roomful of Blues, has a lush, full sound, much bigger than their numbers would indicate. Singer and harmonica boss Sugar Ray Norcia fronts the Bluetones, which includes as a "special guest" the great guitarist Duke Robillard on about half the tracks. Norcia must write with a old fountain pen, since his songs sound like long-lost originals written during the Eisenhower administration, which is no slight. His Last Words Of A Fool seems destined to be covered by every blues man standing. A swinging big band blues sound and no bad songs. If only it were available as a 10 inch LP. (JC)

 
SUNNYLAND SLIM/ JOHNNY SHINES Columbia/ Blue Horizon 719 217-2 The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions ● CD $18.98
23 tracks, recommended/ highly recommended
Two giants of Chicago blues recorded in 1968 and originally issued on two Blue Horizon LPs. Both sessions were recorded on the same day with the same backing musicians and a certain lack of rehearsal and preparation is apparent. Both Sunnyland and Johnny are in fine form with great vocals and top notch instrumental work but are somewhat let down by rather bland backing from Willie Dixon and Clifton James and the great Big Walter's harmonica playing is surprisingly restrained. Johnny's performances are less affected - his singing and guitar playing are very strong with some lovely slide guitar work on tracks like Solid Gold/ I Had A Good Home and Last Night's Dream and the band really comes together on Pipeline Blues which benefits from the presence of Otis Spann in the piano chair. While not among these artists' best recordings it is a most worthwhile release, particularly for the Shines cuts. (FS)

 
SONNY THOMPSON/ LULA REED Blue Moon 6058 Volume 5 : 1954-55 ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Another splendid collection of sides featuring pianist, bandleader and producer Sonny Thompson along with his talented wife Lula Reed. This discs opens with four fine gospel songs by Lula from February, 1954 accompanied by Sonny and a trio of musicians and, on a couple of the songs, a gospel quartet. The next four tracks from April of that year feature the same instrumental lineup accompanying Charles Brown imitator Junior Denby on four good, if not particularly memorable, songs. The rest of the tracks recorded between May, 1954 and March, 1955 alternate between blues ballads and jump blues from Lula and mellow, swinging instrumentals from Sonny & His band - this time including a horn section - all of it excellent. Sound quality is superb and the booklet has informative notes and full discographical data. This outstanding series devoted to this fine and important musician started in 1946 on Blue Moon 6024 and traced Sonny's career on 6030, 6037 and 6044 and there is enough material for a volume 6 which will be something to look forward to. (FS)
JUNIOR DENBY: If You Only Have Faith In Me/ I‘m Still Lonesome/ This Fool Has Learned/ With This Ring/ LULA REED: A Quiet Time With Jesus/ If The Sun Isn‘t Shining In Your Window/ I‘ll Upset You Baby/ I‘m Gone, Yes I‘m Gone/ Jealous Love/ Just Whisper/ Rock Love/ Sick And Tired/ What Could I Do But Believe In Jesus/ Without Love (ain´t It A Shame)/ Wonderful Love/ SONNY THOMPSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Behind The Sun, Part 1/ Behind The Sun, Part 2/ Cat On The Keys, Part 1/ Cat On The Keys, Part 2/ Caught Me When My Love Was Down/ Cotton Ball, Part 1/ Cotton Ball, Part 2/ First Base/ I‘m Giving All My Love/ Living In Misery/ Lonely Moon/ Why Don‘t You Come On Home

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1174 Yet More Mellow Cats 'n' Kitten ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Another terrific collection of, mostly West Coast blues and R&B recorded for the Modern group of labels between 1945 and 1951 including many making their first appearance on CD and eight previously unissued titles or alternate takes. Among the highlights are the great previously unissued instrumental No Steppin' Down by Felix Gross & His Orchestra with hot guitar from "Tiny" Webb, the original master take of Roy Hawkins' mournful masterpiece The Thrill Is Gone which was a big crossover hit for B.B. King in 1970 and I Got A Guy by Johnny Otis & His Orchestra from 1948 featuring the first recorded vocal of Little Esther when she was 14 years old! Lots of other fine sides from The Herb Fisher Trioo, Jesse Perry, The Nic-Nacs (actually the Robins featuring a lead vocal from Mickey Champion), Johnny Alston & His Orch., Joe "Papoose" Fritz (fine Texas sax man), Edna Broughton and others. Usual spectacular remastering from Ace making these 60 year old recordings sound like they were cut yesterday and in depth notes from Jim Dawson. (FS)
JOHNNY ALSTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA: I'm Feeling Fine/ Red Light/ FELIX GROSS AND HIS ORCHESTRA: No Steppin' Down/ LOUIS BARNETT AND HIS BOPPERS: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is/ EDNA BROUGHTON: Hambone Blues/ THE EBONAIRES: We're In Love/ HERB FISHER TRIO: Doggone Shame/ JOE 'PAPOOSE' FRITZ: If I Be Lucky/ JIMMY GRISSOM WITH BUDDY FLOYD'S ORCHESTRA: They Call It The Blues/ FELIX GROSS AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Cuttin' Out/ ROY HAWKINS: The Thrill Is Gone/ HAPPY JOHNSON AND HIS JIVE FIVE: Nursery Rhyme Boogie/ THE NIC-NACS: I'm Tellin' You Baby/ JOHNNY OTIS AND HIS ORCHESTRA: I Got A Guy/ JESSE PERRY: Jesse Boogie/ Mercy, Mercy/ WALTER ROBERTS: Airport Blues/ GEECHIE SMITH: I Ain't No Fool/ THE THREE BITS OF RHYTHM: I Used To Work In Chicago/ PEARL TRAYLOR WITH HOWARD MCGHEE'S ORCHESTRA: Around The Clock Blues Part 1/ Around The Clock Blues Part 2/ AL WICHARD AND HIS ALL STAR BAND: Did You Ever Love A Woman?/ BILLY WILLIAMS: I've Got That Snakey Feeling/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: I'm Just A Country Boy

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Blues Trust 1002 Live At The Boston Blues Festival, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
13 tracks recorded live at the Boston Blues Festival between 2001 and 2005. The first nine tracks are by nationally known blues performers - Chick Willis, Darrell Nulisch, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones, Hubert Sumlin, Louisiana Red, etc and the last four are by local Boston blues performers - Dennis Brennan, The Dwight Ritcher Band, Lydia Warren and The Hot Tamale Brass Band.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Calvin 235 Experience Gospel - Gospel Quiet Time ● CD $14.98
CD/ DVD combination. Another fine collection of gospel sounds and sights. The CD features 20 tracks from the 60s and 70s by artists like The Hallell SIngers, Willie Webb Singers, Cross Jordan Singers, Wooly Walker, The Messiahs Of Glory, Shirley Caesar, Beulah Baptish Church, Anne Moss and others and the DVD features two TV Gospel Time shows from 1963 with appearances by The Highway QCs, Marie Knight, Church Usher's Choir, The Gospel Seekers and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Calvin 236 Experience Gospel - Gospel Music Rarities ● CD $14.98
Another fine CD/DVD combination. The CD features 20 tracks - mostly recorded for Hob in the 60s and 70s including The Meditation Singers, Rev. Erikine Faush & REv. Dorosco Scarber, Rev. Claude Jeter (a mostly spoken word tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King), The Helen Holins Singers, Swan Silvertones, Maggie Bell & The M.B. Singers, Gertrude Bowman (her Elijah Rock is particularly fine), Wooly Walker, The Trumpets Of Jericho. Three tracks are early 50s recordings from Gotham - The Silveraires, Anne Graham and The davis Sisters. The DVD features two "TV Gospel Time" shows from 1965 featuring performances by J. Robert Bradley, The Gospel Challengers of Jamaica N.Y., Ethel Davenport, The Pilgrim Jubilee Singers and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Calvin 240 Experience Gospel - Gospel Collaborations ● CD $14.98
Another fine CD/ DVD set. The CD features 20 gospel collaborations - mostly from the 60s and 70s from Rev Erkine Faush with Rev. Dorosco Scarber, Louise McCord with The Faith Temple C.O.G.I.C. Radio Choir, Richard Roquemore with The Voices Of Tabernacle, Rev. James Cleveland with The Gospel All Stars Of Brooklyn, Deborah Thompson with The Echoes Of Zion and others. The DVD features two episodes of TV Gospel Time with performances by The Stars Of faith, Charles Taylor, The Harmonizing Four, Columbus Smith and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Calvin 241 Experience Gospel - Songs Of Unity ● CD $14.98
The CD here features 20 songs of unity like I Got Love For My Sisters And Brothers by The Phillipians Singers, Let Us Break Bread by The Brockington Ensemble, have You Got Good Religion/ by The Singing Disciples, Let's Run To Jesus Every One by The Hallel Singers and others. The DVD features two episodes of TV Gospel Time featuring performances by Youth Choirs, The Jewel Gospel Singers, The Dorothy Norwood Singers, Frank Davis and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Front Avenue 1 Rose City Blues Festival, 1987 ● CD $14.98
12 live performances from The D.K. Stewart Trio, Tom MCfarland Blues band, The Mayther Brothers, Paul deLay Band, Lloyd Jones Struggle, Terry Robb, John Lee Hooker (an 11 1/2 minute John Lee's Boogie) and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7798 A Richer Tradition - Country Blues & String Band Music ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, essential
A fabulous and varied collection or rural African-American music recorded between 1923 and 1942 including solo country bluesmen, songsters, jug bands, string bands and more. The majority of tracks are from the incredibly fertile period from 1924 through 1930 and most of the artists are obscure - many of them recording only a few tracks though the musical equal of artists who recorded more prolifically. In the case of Jim Thompkins and Freezone who are featured on two of the finest tracks here - each had only one track released. The most prolific artists here are Sylvester Weaver with his sublime slide guitar instrumental Guitar Blues and the wonderful singer/ banjo player Papa Charlie Jackson who deserves a box set of his own. Discs 1, 3 and 4 of this set features solo artists and duets while the second disc features mostly string bands, jug bands and washboard bands. The performances here are rarely less than excellent and many are truly superb. If you already have a very extensive blues collection you might have most of the cuts here otherwise this is just chock full of treasures from artists from the Southern states like Richard "Rabbit" Brown (his frequently reissued but always welcome masterpiece James Alley Blues), Papa Harvey Hull & Long Cleve Reed, Ed Bell (his stupendous Frisco Whistle Blues), Pink Anderson & Simmie Dooley, George "Bullet" Williams (incredible early harmonica player), William Harris, Willie Harris (a different artist), The Old Southern Jug band, Mississippi Mud Steppers, Mooch Richardson, Mae Glover, Jack Gowdlock, George Carter, Edward Thompson, Eli Framer and much more. Sound is fine considering the age and rarity of these recordings and there are informative notes from the ever reliable Neil Slaven. (FS)
THE ALABAMA SHEIKS: Travelin' Railroad Man Blues/ PINK ANDERSON: C.C. & O. Blues/ ED ANDREWS: Time Ain't Gonna Make Me Stay/ WILLIE BAKER: Weak Minded Woman/ ANDREW & JIM BAXTER: Bamalong Blues/ ED BELL: Frisco Whistle Blues/ Mean Conductor Blues/ THE BIRMINGHAM JUG BAND: Giving It Away/ LEWIS BLACK: Gravel Camp Blues/ Spanish Blues/ THE BLUE BOYS: Easy Winner/ TOMMIE BRADLEY: Adam and Eve/ Window Pane Blues/ RICHARD "RABBIT" BROWN: James Alley Blues/ JOHN BYRD: Billy Goat Blues/ BOB CAMPBELL: Starvation Farm Blues/ GENE CAMPBELL: Toby Woman Blues/ GEORGE CARTER: Ghost Woman Blues/ Hot Jelly Roll Blues/ Rising River Blues/ Weeping Willow Blues/ VIRGIL CHILDERS: Dago Blues/ BIG BOY CLEVELAND: Goin' to Leave You Blues/ Quill Blues/ JAMES COLE'S STRING BAND: I Got a Gal/ JAMES COLE'S WASHBOARD FOUR: Runnin' Wild/ JAYBIRD COLEMAN: Man Trouble Blues/ LONNIE COLEMAN: Old Rock Island Blues/ Wild About My Loving/ COLEMAN & HARPER: Old Hen Cackle/ Old Hen Cackle/ BOGUS BEN COVINGTON: I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop/ DADDY STOVEPIPE: Sundown Blues/ THE DALLAS JAMBOREE JUG BAND: Dusting the Frets/ MATTIE DELANEY: Tallahatchie River Blues/ TOM DICKSON: Death Bell Blues/ Labor Blues/ THE DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS: Boodle-Am-Shake/ ELI FRAMER: Framer's Blues/ God Didn't Make No Monkey Man/ FREEZONE: Indian Squaw Blues/ GITFIDDLE JIM: Paddlin' Madeline Blues/ EMERY GLEN: Back Door Blues/ Two Ways to Texas/ MAE GLOVER: I Ain't Givin' Nobody None/ JACK GOWDLOCK: Poor Jane Blues/ Rollin' Dough Blues/ WILLIAM HARRIS: Bull Frog Blues/ Early Mornin' Blues/ WILLIE HARRIS: Lonesome Midnight Dream/ Never Drive a Stranger From Your Door/ PAPA HARVEY HULL & LONG "CLEVE" REED: Hey Lawdy Mama-The France Blues/ PAPA CHARLIE JACKSON: Salt Lake City Blues/ WALTER JACOBS: The Jazz Fiddler/ JIM JAM (WALTER TAYLOR): Diamond Ring Blues/ ALEC JOHNSON: Miss Meal Cramp Blues/ ELIZABETH JOHNSON: Sobbin' Woman Blues/ THE JOHNSON BOYS: Violin Blues/ JOHNSON-NELSON-PORKCHOP: G. Burns Is Gonna Rise Again/ LUKE JORDAN: If I Call You Mama/ THE KANSAS CITY BLUES STRUMMERS: String Band Blues/ LOTTIE KIMBROUGH: Goin' Away Blues/ Rolling Log Blues/ CHARLIE KYLE: Kyle's Worried Blues/ No Baby/ LOUIE LASKY: Teasin' Brown Blues/ LEECAN & COOKSEY: Dirty Guitar Blues/ ALFRED LEWIS: Mississippi Swamp Moan/ LOUIE BLUIE & TED BOGAN: Ted's Stomp/ CARL MARTIN: Farewell to You Baby/ THE MISSISSIPPI MUD STEPPERS: Jackson Stomp/ EL MORROW: Beans/ THE NASHVILLE WASHBOARD BAND: Arkansas Traveler/ TOM "BLUE COAT" NELSON: Blue Coat Blues/ HAMBONE WILLIE NEWBERN: She Could Toodle-oo/ Way Down in Arkansas/ THE OLD PAL SMOKE SHOP FOUR: Black Cat Blues/ THE OLD SOUTHERN JUG BAND: Blues, Just Blues, That's All/ ARTHUR PETTIS: That Won't Do/ LONG "CLEVE" REED: Original Stack O'Lee Blues/ WILLIE REED: Dreaming Blues/ MOOCH RICHARDSON: Helena Blues/ T and T Blues/ TOMMY SETTLERS: Shaking Weed Blues/ THE SOUTH STREET TRIO: Cold Morning Shout/ Whiskey and Gin Blues/ HENRY SPAULDING: Cairo Blues/ STOVEPIPE NO. 1 & DAVID CROCKETT: A Chicken Can Waltz the Gravy Around/ TARTER & GAY: Unknown Blues/ THE TENNESSEE CHOCOLATE DROPS: Knox County Stomp/ JIM THOMPKINS: Bedside Blues/ EDWARD THOMPSON: Florida Bound/ Showers of Rain Blues/ GEORGE TOREY: Married Woman Blues/ WILLIE WALKER: South Carolina Rag/ SYLVESTER WEAVER: Guitar Blues/ WHISTLER & HIS JUG BAND: Jail House Blues/ The Jug Band Special/ WHISTLIN' PETE & DADDY STOVEPIPE: Tuxedo Blues/ GEORGE "BULLET" WILLIAMS: Middlin' Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Last Call 3126342 6 Blues Giants Live! Vol. 1 ● CD $22.98
First of two six CD sets featuring some great bluesmen recorded live. Each CD is housed in a cardboard sleeve inside a small box and is a reissue of a CD originally issued on the Fan Club label featuring live recordings of various great bluesmen - mostly from the 70s. This volume features Jimmy Reed and Johnny Winter (live at Liberty Hall, Houston, Tex in 1972), Hound Dog Taylor (in Boston, MA 1972), Howlin' Wolf (Cambridge, MA 1966), J.B. Hutto (Binghampton, NY - 1982), Eddie Clearwater (Chicago, 1978) and Luther "Snakeboy" Johnson (Boston, 1970). Some decent performances with generally satisfactory sound considering the informal nature of the recordings with the exception of the Howlin' Wolf set which is so badly recorded as to be well nigh unlistenable.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Last Call 3126352 6 Blues Giants Live! Vol. 2 ● CD $22.98
The second volume features Muddy Waters (in Paris in 1970 with Carey Bell, Sammy Lawhorn, Pinetop Perkins, etc), Professor Longhair (a particularly nice set with a fine band in Germany in 1978), Left Hand Frank (in Westerley, Rhode Island in the late 70s), J.B. Hutto (at the Shaboo Inn, Ct in 1979), Eddie Clearwater (this one's a studio session from 1979) and Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson (a fine 1976 radio broadcast).

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Spring Fed 104 John Work III - Recordings Black Culture ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 47 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of field recordings made by African-American musicologist John Work III in various Southern states in 1938 and 1941. Five of these were among recordings Work donated to the Library Of Congress and some have been reissued on CD. The rest are from Work's personal collection that were housed at the Center for Popular Music at MTSU and have never been issued before and are not even listed in "Blues & Gospel Records, 1890-1943." There are five beautiful tracks from gospel quartets - mostly obscure performers but one is by The Fairfield Four who later were to become one of the great quartets of the 50s. There are a couple of fiddle and banjo duets from Nathan Frazier & Frank Patterson which have a very haunting and primitive sound. There are also work songs, congregational singing and the rarely recorded Colored Sacred Harp. There is only one blues but it's a beauty - Joe Holmes was a singer and guitarist from Georgia who performs Ain't Gonna Drink No Mo' - a superb performances with more than a few echoes of Robert Johnson in his singing and playing. What a shame there isn't more by him. There is also an excerpt of interview of Muddy Waters by Work. Sound quality is not the greatest - the original acetates were in very poor shape and there was only so much that the sound restoration engineers could accomplish but all tracks are listenable. Includes a 28 page illustrated booklet with detailed notes by Bruce Nemerov. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sub Rosa 271 Dr. Boogie Presents Rarities Frm The Bob Hite Vaults ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, 51 mins, highly recommended
Bob "The Bear" Hite, original and long lasting singer for the band Canned Heat, was a legendary record collector as well. Unfortunately since his death in 1981, that famous collection has had pieces sold, stolen and lost, but there is still plenty of great rare stuff from which to make a compilation or two, starting off with the 1941 cut Death Ray Boogie by Pete Johnson to set that Boogie theme that for which the Heat for so famous. After that, all of the tracks come from releases mostly in the mid 1950's. Not so amazingly rare but great tracks from Johnny Otis - You Got Me Crying, Bill Haley - Birth Of The Boogie, Otis Rush - Jump Sister Bessie and Etta James - Good Rockin' Daddy. Then there are some really rare cuts like Mad Mel Sebastian's version of Pachuca Hop, Blue Nights by The Hot Shots and both the A&B sides Fool No More and Lost Child from Eddie Hope. After all of those fine cuts we get three records, both A&B side from Elmore James from the Flair, Checker and Meteor labels respectively. A fantastic set, but boy, I'd have loved to have checked out the original collection circa 1980 or so. (JM)

 
WINGS OVER JORDAN CHOIR King 5164 Amen! ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
First of two volumes featuring the complete Queen/ King recordings made by this superb choir in 1946. The group originally consisted of 19 members, male & female, and was formed by Reverend Glynn T. Settle in Cleveland, Ohio in 1935 (or 1937, depending on your source) and consisted of amateur performers - housewives, stenographers, porters and laborers. Shortly after their formation Settle was able to get them a spot on radio station WGAR and by 1940 were heard on 107 radio stations throughout the USA and were picked up by the BBC and rebroadcast throughout Europe. At times the group featured up to 35 members though the recordings here sound like the smaller group. Settle was a worker for racial equality and his programs usually featured a brief talk by a distinguished African-American on how the races could live in harmony. The songs are mostly traditional gospel favourites performed in a fairly formal way but the harmonies are beautiful and the music is hauntingly melodic. Some of the tracks feature brief spoken introductions (by Setttle?). This volume includes Tring To get Ready/ I'm Going To Sit At The Welcome Table/ When I've Done The Best I Can/ Amen/ He'll Understand And Say Well Done/ He's All And All To Me, etc. Includes informative notes on the history of the group. (FS)

 
WINGS OVER JORDAN CHOIR King 5165 Traditional Spirituals ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, highly recommended Another 12 moving performances - Deep River/ I Will Trust In the LOrd/ You Got To Stand The Test In Judgment/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ When You Come Out Of The Wilderness/ Take Me To The Water, etc. Same notes as previous volume. (FS)

 
 

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