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BLUES & GOSPEL

Etta Baker -> Robert Belfour

 

 

ETTA BAKER Rounder 2112 One Dime Blues ● CD $15.98
A lovely collection of mostly instrumental guitar tunes from this 78 year old performer from North Carolina. Etta's music first came to the attention of blues lovers with a half dozen highly regarded performances on the long out of print collection on Tradition "Instrumental Music Of The Southern Appalachians". A number of circumstances including family tragedies kept Etta off the music scene for many years. Her playing is in the traditional free flowing finger picked East Coast style, sometimes called Piedmont blues, which is also heard in the playing of musicians like Elizabeth Cotten and Blind Boy Fuller. The material is mostly traditional tunes like One Dime Blues/ Lost John/ Going Down The Road Feeling Bad/ Spanish Fandango/ Crow Jane/ Police Dog Blues and others. The feel is mostly gentle but Etta also plays more intense blues on the only vocal here, her own Broken Hearted Blues and on an instrumental version of the Ray Charles song But On The Other Hand Baby. On John Henry she plays some nice guitar and two cuts feature her on banjo with her sister Cora Phillips on guitar. Very fine music. (FS)
ETTA BAKER: Alabama Wagonwheel/ Broken Hearted Blues/ Bully Of The Town/ But On The Other Hand Baby/ Carolina Breakdown/ Crow Jane/ Dew Drop/ Going Down The Road Feeling Bad/ Going To The Racetrack/ John Henry/ Knoxville Rag/ Lost John/ Marching Jaybird/ Near The Cross I Watch And Pray/ Never Let Your Deal Go Down/ One-Dime Blues/ Police Dog Blues/ Railroad Bill/ Round My Back Door Selling Coal/ Spanish Fandango

 
LAVERN BAKER Atlantic 90980 Lavern Baker Sings Bessie Smith ● CD $10.98
Reissue of Atlantic 1281 featuring Lavern doing individualistic interpretations of 12 Bessie Smith classics (Gimme A Pigfoot/ On Revival Day/ I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle/ Empty Bed Blues/ Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out/ Young Woman's Blues, etc). She is accompanied by an all star group of jazz musicians including Buck Clyton/ tpt, Paul Quinichette/ ts, Nat Pierce/ pno, Danny Barker/ gtr and others.

 
MARCIA BALL Rounder 3078 Soulful Dress ● CD $15.98

 
MARCIA BALL Rounder 3131 Blue House ● CD $15.98
First album in five years from Austin blues favorite.

 
MARCIA BALL Rounder 3151 Let Me Play With Your Poodle ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 55 min., recommended. Born in Texas (Orange) and raised in Louisiana (Vinton), 48 year old singer/ pianist Marcia Ball Fowler has been recording since 1978. With this new CD, we get more of her Crescent city piano playing, especially on Tampa Red's "Let Me Play With Your Poodle" (ala Professor Longhair), Clarence Joseph Garlow's "Crawfishin'" (with Mark Kazanoff on baritone sax) and Delbert Ross McClinton's "Can't Trust My Heart". The soul-type tracks are particularly strong, including her version of Eddie & Ernie's "I Still Love You", Ed Harris-George Jackson's "I'm Just Your Prisoner", and her very own "For The Love Of A Man", done in the classic Laura Lee style with an outstanding guitar solo by Clarence Hollimon. For more about Marcia Ball, visit her web site at www.marciaball.com. (EL)
MARCIA BALL: American Dream/ Can't Trust My Heart/ Crawfishin'/ For The Love Of A Man/ How Big A Fool/ I Still Love You/ I'm Just A Prisoner/ Let Me Play With Your Poodle/ Louisiana 1927/ Something I Can't Do/ The Right Tool For The Job/ The Story Of My Life/ Why Women Cry

 
JIMMY BALLERO & THE RENEGADE BAND Southland 27 Jimmy Ballero & The Renegade Band ● CD $14.98

 
TOMMY BANKHEAD Fedora 5017 Message To St. Louis ● CD $15.98
New album from veteran St. Louis singer/ guitarist.

 
BUDDY BANKS Blue Moon BMCD 6015 The Complete Recordings, 1945-49 ● CD $13.98
20 tracks of swinging R&B from Los Angeles featuring tenor saxist Banks with his sextet including cuts backing vocalists Marion Abernathy, Fluffy Hunter and Bixie Crawford.

 
L.V. BANKS Wolf 120.887 Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear ● CD $15.98
 

 
BARBECUE BOB Document DOCD 5048 The Complete Recordings In Chronological Order, Vol. 3 ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, 61 mins, recommended
The third of three discs featuring the complete recordings of this superb Georgia singer and 12 string guitarist. This set presents 19 songs recorded between November, 1929 and December 1930 including four songs as a member of the Georgia Cotton Pickers with Curley Weaver (vocal/ guitar) and Buddy Moss (hca). Although there is not a great deal of variety in Bob's music he is rarely boring with his distinctive and very expressive voice and his masterful 12 string guitar playing sometimes playing very melodic slide. This disc also features the wonderful comic dialogue between Bob and his brother Charlie (who also recorded as Charlie Lincoln) called Darktown Gambling which also includes musical snatches. Good sound and notes by Chris Smith. (FS)
BARBECUE BOB: Atlanta Moan/ Darktown Gamblin' - Pt. 1 (the Crap Game)/ Darktown Gamblin' - Pt. 2 (the Skin Game)/ Doin' The Scraunch/ It Just Won't Quit/ Jambooger Blues/ Monkey And The Baboon/ New Mojo Blue/ She Moves It Just Right/ She Shook Her Gin/ Spider And The Fly/ Tellin' It To You/ Twistin' That Stuff/ We Sure Got Hard Times/ Yo Yo Blues No. 2/ THE GEORGIA COTTON PICKERS: Diddle-da-diddle/ I'm On My Way Down Home/ She Looks So Good/ She's Coming Back Some Cold Rainy Day

 
BARBECUE BOB Yazoo 2005 Chocolate To The Bone ● CD $15.98
Atlanta's Barbecue Bob Hicks was one of the most popular bluesmen of the late 20's, recording 68 sides before his death in 1931. Bob had a singular style that is summed up on the first of 20 cuts here - Motherless Chile Blues shows off his vigorous, almost hyperactive strumming (also used on It's Just Too Bad and others), along with his unique "breaking" voice. Yo Yo Blues features some unusual yodelling, and Hicks really whoops it up behind Nellie Florence on her Jacksonville Blues. His mastery of the Delta style shines on Atlanta Moan and Barbecue Blues, a catalog of blues themes and guitar techniques. We even get two unissued hokum sides, along with familiar numbers MS. Heavy Water Blues/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ Poor Boy/ Diddle Da Diddle/ Chocolate To The Bone. 6 cuts feature Curley Weaver and Buddy Moss. An outstanding collection with clear sound and detailed notes - superb even by Yazoo's high standards. (MB)
BARBECUE BOB: Atlanta Moan/ Barbecue Blues/ Black Skunk Blues/ California Blues/ Chocolate To The Bone/ Diddle-Da-Diddle/ Ease It To Me Blues/ Going Up The Country/ Good Time Rounder/ It's Just Too Bad/ Jacksonville Blues/ Mississippi Heavy Water Blues/ Motherless Chile Blues/ Poor Boys A Long Ways From Home/ She Shook Her Gin/ She's Coming Back Some Cold Rainy Day/ Spider And The Fly/ Twistin' Your Stuff/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ Yo Yo Blues

 
JOHN HENRY BARBEE Storyville 8003 Blues Masters, Vol. 3 ● CD $24.98

 
BARKIN' BILL Delmark 672 Gotcha ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 60 min, good
This is the 2nd CD by this Mississippi born, St. Louis raised, Chicago based singer. This baritone-voiced gentleman is described as influenced by Joe Williams, Percy Mayfield, Wynonie Harris & Brook Benton. The styles are eclectic, but unfortunately the voice barks more than croons or jumps. Backing by the Delmark crew led by Steve Freund. Mostly well-chosen covers, incl. Earl Hooker's Blue Guitar, Jimmy Witherspoon's No Rollin' Blues, & Little Johnny Taylor's Down The Line. (GM)
BARKING BILL: As Long As I Have You/ Blue Guitar/ Down The Line/ Get Your Kicks/ Hot Tomato/ I Got What I Wanted/ I Love To Love You/ No Rollin' Blues/ One Kiss/ Someday After Awhile/ Sufferin' Mind/ Too Fine For Cryin'/ What Makes These Things Happen To Me/ You're Too Much

 
BARRELHOUSE CHUCK The Sirens 5004 Prescription For The Blues ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 45 min, recommended
New recordings by pianomeister Chuck, mostly solos, but 3 with fellow-pianist Erwin Helfer. Chuck's solo playing & singing are fine as usual, with nods to Little Brother Montgomery, Leroy Carr & Sunnyland Slim (a particularly fine version of Johnson Machine Gun, as well as beautiful version of The Mississippi Shieks' Sitting On Top Of The World (credited to Howlin' Wolf). Each of the 3 duets are presented in a different way - a straight duet on the original tune Nutty Boogie, Chuck singing & Helfer playing the title track, but my fave on the set is a version of Ain't Nobody's Business with Helfer on piano & Chuck on Farfisa!! (GM)

 
DAVE BARTHOLOMEW Bayou 1005 The Very Best Of Dave Bartholomew ● CD $18.98
Great collection of 32 tracks - mostly from the 50s - classic New Orleans blues and R&B - Jump Children/ Carnival Day/ Country Boy/Would You/ No More Black Nights/ Messy Bessy/ The Ice Man/ Hard Times/Who Drank My Beer/ Nickel Wine/ I'm An Old Cowhand From A Blues Band/ The Monkey/ Turn Your Lamp Down Low, , etc.

 
JOHNNIE BASSETT Fedora 5004 Bassett Hound ● CD $15.98

 
JIMMY BEASLEY Ace CDCHD 872 Jimmy's House Party ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 76 mins, recommended
A considerably expanded version of the old Ace LP 190 featuring 30 sides recorded for the Modern label in the mid/ late 50s by this fine singer/ piano player. Although Jimmy, originally from Kansas City, was based in California, many of these tracks were recorded in New Orleans with top New Orleans sidemen. The combination of Jimmy's vocal style and the band results in a great similarity to Fats Domino though Jimmy didn't quite have the magic to emulate Fats's success. But nevertheless this is an enjoyable collection of romping R&B, tough slow blues and some nice R&B versions of standards. (FS)

 
BEAU JOCQUE & ZYDECO HIROLLERS Rounder 2120 Beau Jocque Boogie ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 63 min., recommended
 In the zydeco world, it's quite a feat to create a new sound that will please both youngsters and traditionalists. But singer/ accordionist Beau Jocque has done it, combining hard soul vocalizing with hip-twitching bayou beats, adding more than a pinch of old style rock 'n' roll. He credits everything from rap to John Lee Hooker as inspiration, funneling it all into an authentic dancehall mold. As an accordionist, his skills are basic, though ideally suited to the hypnotic groove-making of Richard's Club/ Shelly Shelly/ Beau Jocque Boogie and the voodoo-filled Damballah. The band gets lots of mileage out of its "double kicking" beat, tossing in a cajun two-step, a waltz, and even a slow blues for variety. Get it, then watch for more great things from this big guy. (MB)

 
BEAU JOCQUE & ZYDECO HIROLLERS Rounder 2129 Pick Up On This ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 61 min., recommended
It wasn't long ago this I gave high marks to Jocque's debut disc - the fact that he is back so soon bodes well for this "new Zydeco" accordionist. In front of his hard rockin' band, Beau Jocque's gruff vocals and muscular, bottom-heavy grooves may make him South Louisiana's answer to Bruce Springsteen! As with his first CD, honors go to the menacing, minor key numbers Give It To Me/ Mardi Gras Blues/ Pick Up On This, but there's no arguing with the traditional romps Don't Tell Your Mama/ Hucklebuck or the John Lee Hooker tribute Zydeco Boogie Woogie. Serious party fun from the land of bon temps. (MB)

 
BEAU JOCQUE & ZYDECO HIROLLERS Rounder 2134 Recorded Live ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 66 mins, recommended
Energetic set of performances from one of the top up and coming bands in the zydeco biz. Beau Jocques is not a great accordion player but he does a good job and his growling vocals are quite effective. The band lays down a great groove thanks to the solid drum and rubboard work from Steve "Skeeta" Charlot and Wilfred "Caveman" Pierre respectively. The band features two guitarist - Ray Johnson and Joseph "Cookie" Chavis who often have a rock feel in their solos but don't let them get too far away from the ensemble sound so important to this music for dancing. And dancing is just what you'll want to do when your hear the funky rhythms. Songs are mostly originals along with a couple of covers including an unexpected version of Lightnin' Hopkins' Mr Charlie. (FS)

 
BEAU JOCQUE & ZYDECO HIROLLERS Rounder 2150 Gonna Take You Downtown ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 56 min., recommended
With so many mediocre Zydeco albums out there, it's pure pleasure to find this superior issue. On his 4th Rounder release, Jocque offers up propulsive, funky, dance floor grooves and puts some soul into the mix. Anyone who can cover War's Cisco Kid and Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's Door and come away looking cool is someone to respect. And to make things better, the album is comprised mostly of such impressive originals as It's So Easy When You're Breezin' and Kinder 2 Step. A pleasure. (JC)

 
BEAU JOCQUE & ZYDECO HIROLLERS Rounder 2158 Check It Out, Lock It In, Crank It Up! ● CD $15.98
Recommended
High powered zydeco from the South Louisiana accordion ace & his Hi-Rollers. Most tunes are originals, including both zydeco & "party dip" mixes of Slide & Dip It, plus the 1st zydeco cover I've ever heard of archie Bell & The Drell's classic Tighten Up, even versions of Keep A Knockin' & Tequila! Plus Like A Pot Of Neckbones/ She Wants To Sell My Monkey/ Hi Rollers Ya'll (GM)

 
ELDER CHARLES BECK Document DOCD 5524 In Chronological Order, 1946-1956 ● CD $15.98
22 cuts by Beck plus 6 bonus cuts featuring 4 tracks from 1950 by Rev. J.B. Crocker and 2 from 1951 by Rev. M.E. Holmes.

 
ROBERT BELFOUR Fat Possum 80336 What's Wrong With You ● CD $12.98
9 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended
Although the blurb from Chris Morris that "it's difficult to distinguish Belfour's music from vintage blues records of the 20s and 30s" is going a bit far, Belfour is certainly a most worthwhile throwback. Originally from the Mississippi hill country his music has the insistent rhythmic intensity of fellow hill country performers like Fred McDowell, Jessie Mae Hemphill or R.L. Burnside. His playing is accomplished without being flashy and primarily provides a rhythmic underpinning to his vocals as well. Although he doesn't have a wonderful voice he sings with a dark and passionate conviction - mostly original compositions based around familiar blues themes. The couple of non-original songs become pretty much his own. Belfour is only 60 years old so it will interesting to hear what else he comes up with. The most interesting new old country blues performer to come along in years and the best Fat Possum release in a long time. (FS)

 

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