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BLUES & GOSPEL

Carey Bell -> Esther Bigeou

 
CAREY BELL Alligator 4828 Deep Down ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 52 min., recommended Chicago blues veteran Carey Bell is on the short list of Greatest Living Blues Harp Blowers -- not bad for a guy who used to pay his bills playing bass. A disciple of Little Walter -- a familiar refrain, to be sure -- Bell's style is by no means merely derivative and embraces the elements many styles, including country & western and funk. His Low Down And Dirty is 4:29 of aptly-titled funky blues coolness that could fill a dance floor faster than you can say "I've been listening to this guy for years." Ably backed on this outing by Carl Weathersby and Lurrie Bell (Carey's son) on guitar, the multi-talented Lucky Peterson on piano, Buddy Guy's Drummer Ray "Killer" Allison, and Johnny B. Gayden (from Albert Collins' band) on bass, Bell's proves himself a decent singer and songwriter too. So how come this guy isn't more famous? (JC)

 
CAREY BELL Alligator 4854 Good Luck Man ● CD $15.98

 
CAREY BELL & TOUGH LUCK Blind Pig 4291 Mellow Down Easy ● CD $15.98
First U.S. release in quite a while by Chicago singer/ harmonica player Carey Bell. On this disc he is accompanied by his road band of the last three years - Tough Luck, a Maryland based blues quintet. Bell is a good singer and an outstanding harmonica player who performs on both regular harp and chromatic. His playing has a crisp horn like quality which brings to mind the people who influenced him - Walter Horton and Little Walter. Six of the tracks here were written or co-written by Bell including a fine instrumental tribute to his mentor Walter Horton in Big Walter Strut plus other good songs like Just Like You and One Day. There are also covers of Little Walter's Mellow Down Easy, Muddy's Walkin' Through The Park, Jimmy Rogers Walkin' By Myself and others. The band provides solid, tasteful accompaniments with some nice guitar by Steve Jacobs. Excellent. (FS)

 
CAREY BELL Delmark 622 Carey Bell's Blues Harp ● CD $15.98
On these 1969 recordings brilliant harmonica player Bell is heard in the company of such fine musicians as Eddie Taylor or Jimmy Dawkins/ guitar, Pinetop Perkins/piano, and others. The songs are a mixture of originals along with songs from Willie Dixon, Elmore James, and Little Walter.
CAREY BELL: Blue Monday At Kansas City Red's/ Carey Bell's Blues Harp./ Come On Over Here/ Everything's Up Tight/ I Cry So Much/ I Got To Find Somebody/ I Wanna Will My Love To You/ I'm Gonna Buy Me A Train Ticket/ I'm Gonna Buy Me A Train Ticket (alternate)/ I'm Ready/ Last Night/ Rocking With A Chromatic/ Sad Dreams/ Walking In The Park/ You Know It Ain't Right

 
CAREY BELL Delmark 666 Heartaches And Pain ● CD $11.98
8 tracks, 38 min., recommended. Recorded in 1977 by veteran R&B/blues producer Ralph Bass, these tracks effectively capture the studio live feel and go a long way towards showing off Bell as the incredible harp talent that he is. His backup band includes son Lurrie Bell on guitar - his first studio work, apparently - Alabama Jr. Pettis (rhythm gtr.), Aron Burton (b.), Sam Lay (d.), and the nimble fingers of Rob Riedy on piano.As good as any harp blower in Chicago, maybe better. The guy is hot. Songs include Heartaches And Pain/ Black - Eyed Peas/ Stop That Train, Conductor/ So Hard To Leave You Alone/ and 4 others. (JC)

 
CAREY BELL'S BLUES HARP BAND Evidence 26055 Goin' On Main Street ● CD $12.98

 
ED BELL Document DOCD 5090 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, 1927-30 ● CD $15.98
The complete works of Alabama singer/ guitarist Ed Bell, who also recorded as Barefoot Bill and Sluefoot Joe, consists of these 24 tracks for Paramount, QRS, and Columbia. Unfortunately, half of the QRS tracks were taken from very rare and very worn 78's, and House Top Blues actually skips a lot. But Bell is talented enough to make you go back and listen to these again. Luckily, the other sides are remarkably good sounding, all things considered. His two duets with Pillie Bolling (I Don't like That/ She's Got A Nice Line) are excellent, and along with the two bonus Bolling cuts not mentioned on the cover, constitute that artist total catalog as well. (JC)

 
LURRIE BELL Delmark 679 Mercurial Son ● CD $15.98

 
LURRIE BELL Delmark 700 700 Blues ● CD $15.98
New album from fine Chicago singer/ guitarist.

 
LURRIE BELL Delmark 724 Kiss Of Sweet Blues ● CD $15.98
LURRIE BELL: After Hours./ Bad Dog/ Blues And Black Coffee/ Bring Yourself Back To Me/ Build Myself A Mansion/ Don't Ask Me Why/ Drivin' Through The Darkness/ Hiding In The Spotlight/ Kiss Of Sweet Blues/ Lonesome Guitar Man/ Lurrie's Funky Groove Thing/ Lurrie's Guitar Boogie/ Somebody Help Me/ Wicked Hearted Woman/ You're Gonna Be Sorry

 
LURRIE BELL Delmark 736 Blues Had A Baby ● CD $15.98

 
THE BELMONT SILVERTONE JUBILEE SINGERS Document DOCD 5371 PLUS SOUTHERN WONDER QUARTET : Complete Recorded Works ● CD $15.98
26 tracks, 70 min., essential
Superlative tight quartet harmony. The first 16 cuts belong to the obscure Belmont Silvertone Jubilee Singers, who probably hail from somewhere in North Carolina. They feature a high mournful tenor who haunts his way through such fine numbers as I Don't Know What I'd Do Without The Lord. But if the BSJS shine brightly, the Southern Wonder Quartet (perhaps of Cleveland) throw off a blinding light. Their 10 sides, models of control, beautifully restrained expressions of joy and melancholy, make this disc essential. The stunning Joe Davis cuts stand as some of the finest examples of the form. Not to be missed. (JC)
THE BELMONT SILVERTONE JUBILEE SINGERS: Brother My Way Seems Cloudy/ Don't Feel No Ways Tired/ Fire Down Yonder/ God Don't Like It/ How We Got Over/ I Don't Know What I'd Do Without The Lord/ I Want Two Wings/ I Wonder If My Name Is Written/ I'm Moving Up Home Someday/ I'm The Light Of The World/ In My Dying Room/ My Lord's A Rock In The Weary Land/ Somebody's Knockin' At Your Door/ Wade In The Water And Be Baptised/ Were You There When They Crucified My Lord/ When I Grow Old And Feeble/ THE SOUTHERN WONDER QUARTET: Go Wash In The Beautiful Stream/ He Will Remember Me/ His Eyes On The Sparrow/ I Will Ever Stand/ I'm A Pilgrim/ I've Anchored My Love/ Raphael/ Ride On King Jesus/ Shady Green Pastures/ When The Love Comes Twinklin' Down

 
BUSTER BENTON Evidence 26030 Blues At The Top ● CD $12.98
15 tracks, 74 mins, good. Reissue of French issue Blue Phoenix 59.001 recorded in France in 1983 and 1985 by Chicago singer/ guitarist Benton and previously issued on LPs Blue Phoenix 33.728 and 33.730. Benton is decent, if unexceptional performer and is accompanied by a couple of different groups. The 1983 session includes John Littlejohn and Lafayette and the '85 session includes Billy Branch on harp. Mostly original songs though all are pretty derivative. Nothing really special here. (FS)

 
CHUCK BERRY Ace CDCH 397 On The Blues Side ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 55 min., recommended
A different and interesting view of the career of this rock 'n' roll pioneer, but one that doesn't always play to the artist's strengths. That is, Berry is quite convincing as a blues/ballad performer on his early original cuts like Wee Wee Hours and Blues for Hawaiians. But when he covers the sides of better known and more accomplished bluesmen, for example with his version of Guitar Slim's The Things That I Used to Do or Joe Turner's Sweet Sixteen, he is pretty clearly out of his depth. Fortunately, even though there are no real Chuck Berry hits here, most of the numbers are worthy originals. Otherwise, this disc features typical Ace quality throughout with fine graphics, sound, and notes. (DH)
CHUCK BERRY: Ain't That Just Like A Woman/ Blue Feeling/ Blue On Blue/ Blues For Hawaiians/ Confessin' The Blues/ Deep Feeling/ Don't You Lie To Me/ Down The Road Apiece/ Driftin' Blues/ I Got To Find My Baby/ I Just Want To Make Love To You/ I Still Got The Blues/ Merry Christmas Baby/ No Money Down/ Run Around/ Stop And Listen/ Sweet Sixteen/ The Things That I Used To Do/ Wee Hour Blues/ Wee Wee Hours/ Worried Life Blues

 
THE BESSEMER SUNSET FOUR Document DOCD 5379 Complete Recorded Works, 1928-1930 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 66 min., recommended
Formed in 1925 when the legendary yet unrecorded Rolling Mill Four disbanded, allowing tenor Sam Riley to join vocal forces with Dave Brown (lead), Wash Ivey (baritone), and Pat Gaines (bass), the Sunset Four recorded many an excellent a cappella side during their 3 year career on wax. That Brunswick recorded them in 5 sessions during that time argues for the probable popularity of the outfit. The minor surface noise from the original rare 78's does almost nothing to mar the uniformly outstanding performances. Cuts include Heaven Is My View/ I'm Going Home To Rest/ Mighty Day/ I've Got A New Name/ My Lord's Coming Soon/ Are You Ready? and many others. Nearly essential (JC)
THE BESSEMER SUNSET FOUR: Are You Ready?/ Climbing Jacob's Ladder/ Don't You Want That Stone?/ Ham And Eggs/ He Brought Joy To My Soul/ Heaven Is My View/ I Feel Like My Time Ain't Long/ I Want To Go Home To See My Lord/ I Will Ever Stand/ I'm A Child Of God/ I'm Climbing Up Zion Hill/ I'm Going Home To Rest/ I've Got A New Name/ In The Valley Of Peace/ Lord I'm Troubled/ Mighty Day/ My Lord's Coming Soon/ Rollin' Down To Jordan/ Take This Ring With You/ That Wonderful Love The Father Has/ The Lord's Been Good To Me/ We're Going To Walk The Golden Streets/ When I Lay My Burden Down/ You're Going To Need That Pure Religion

 
THE BIDDLEVILLE QUINTETTE Document DOCD 5361 Complete Recorded Works, Vol 1 : 1926-1929 ● CD $15.98
22 tracks, 66 min., recommended
Named, apparently, after a black community on the north side of Charlotte, North Carolina, the Biddleville Quintette (led, apparently, by a laborer named Adam Brown) has long been admired by the few souls fortunate enough to have found the rare 78 rpms. Their collected works on CD are an overdue joy. And though little biographical information is known about this a cappella aggregation, your ears will educate you. Volume 1 (of 2) features group harmony as well as numbers approximating the church experience (Show Pity Lord/Oh Why Not To-night). Their Coming To Christ/ Receiving The Message are absolutely stunning and stand as the "first recordings of black shape note singing" in the pre-war era, according to gospel pundit Ray Funk. Also of interest is the BQ's version of This Train Is Bound For Glory, which is among the earliest on wax. A treasure. (JC)
THE BIDDLEVILLE QUINTETTE: Coming To Christ/ Didn't It Rain?/ Fight On Your Time Ain't Long (take 1)/ Heaven Is My View/ Holy Is My Name/ I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say/ In The Garden Of Gethsemane/ Jacob Sent Joseph/ Jesus Gonna Shake My Righteous Hand/ Jesus Is The Rock/ Oh Why Not To-night (take 2)/ Prodigal Son/ Receiving The Message (take 1)/ Receiving The Message (take 2)/ Show Pity Lord/ The Day Is Past And Gone/ This Train Is Bound For Glory/ Wasn't That A Mighty Day (2693)/ Wasn't That A Mighty Day (422)/ Way Down In Egypt Land (2690)/ Way Down In Egypt Land (427-a)/ Whosoever Will May Come

 
THE BIDDLEVILLE QUINTETTE Document DOCD 5362 Vol 2 + Birmingham Jubilee Singers, Siler Leaf Qt. ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 65 min., recommended
Volume 2 offers the last 16 sides (all from 1929) from this talented fivesome, blessed, if the ears may judge, with genuine religious fervor. The group sounds a touch smoother without giving up an ounce of the spontaneous exhortations of spiritual excitement that mark their performances. Titles include Pharaoh's Army Got Drowned/ Blessed Be The Tie That Binds/ I Stretch My Hand To Thee, and 13 others. The gang at Document has cleaned a little house here too, tacking on the 4 remaining Birmingham Jubilee Singers sides and the final Silver Leaf Quartette Of Norfolk number, worthy efforts all. Another winner. (JC)
THE BIDDLEVILLE QUINTETTE: As I Live Let Me Live In Love/ Blessed Be The Tie That Binds/ Coming To Christ/ Dip In The Beautiful Stream/ Goin' To Heaven Anyway/ Got The Heaven In My View/ Handwriting On The Wall/ I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say/ I Stretch My Hand To Thee/ I Wan't God's Bosom To Be Mine/ I'm Going To Serve God Till I Die/ I'm Going To Sit At The Welcome Table/ I'm Going Up To Live With God/ I'm Tormented In The Flame (gex-2294)/ Jesus Is A Rock In The Weary Land/ Jesus Is Gonna Shake My Righteous Hand (437-a)/ Join The Band/ Judas And Jesus Walked Together/ Pharaoh's Army Got Drowned/ The Lord Giveth/ THE SILVER LEAF QUARTETTE OF NORFOLK: Oh! Glory Glory

 
THE BIG DOOWOPPER Delmark 742 All In The Joy ● CD $15.98

 
BIG MACEO Arhoolie Folklyric 7009 The King Of Chicago Blues Piano ● CD $13.98
25 tracks, 71 mins, essential. My only complaint about this set is that it should have been two CDs and included everything this magnificent performer recorded since nothing he did was less than excellent and much of it was superlative. Maceo was a wonderful piano player with distinctive rolling style that has influenced many subsequent performers. He was also blessed with one of the great voices in blues - a gloriously smoky and expressive instrument. Joining him on almost all his recordings was the astringent guitar of Tampa Red and later on bass and drums. The songs here recorded between 1941 and '45 features one classic after another including the defintive version of Worried Life Blues, the achingly moving Cunty Jail Blues, the romping Chicago Breakdown and so much more. Sound is generally very good, though a little muzzy, and there are in-depth notes by Mike Rowe. I can say no more - this one will give you joy for a long time to come! (FS)
BIG MACEO: Anytime For You/ Big Road Blues/ Bye Bye Baby/ Can't You Read/ Chicago Breakdown/ County Jail Blues/ Detroit Jump/ I Got The Blues/ I'm So Worried/ Kidman Blues/ Maceo's 32-20/ My Last Go Round/ My Own Troubles/ Poor Kelly Blues/ Ramblin' Mind Blues/ Since You Been Gone/ So Long Baby/ Some Sweet Day/ Texas Blues/ Texas Stomp/ Things Have Changed/ Tuff Luck Blues/ Winter Time Blues/ Won't Be A Fool No More/ Worried Life Blues

 
BIG MACEO Document DOCD 5673 Volume 1: 1941-1945, Flying Boogie ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 61 mins, essential
The first of two volumes featuring the complete recordings of this utterly superb singer, songwriter and piano player. Nothing Maceo recorded was less than excellent and much of it was superlative. Maceo was a wonderful piano player with a distinctive rolling style that has influenced many subsequent performers. He was also blessed with one of the great voices in blues - a gloriously smoky and expressive instrument. Joining him on almost all his recordings was the astringent guitar of Tampa Red and later on bass and drums. The songs here recorded between June, 1941 and February 1945 features one classic after another including the definitive version of Worried Life Blues, the achingly moving County Jail Blues, the romping instrumental Macy Special (Flying Boogie), the tremendously exciting Kid Man Blues and more. The 12 page illustrated booklet includes extensive notes by Gillian George including the results of recent research. Sound quality is superb. If you missed out on the RCA Bluebird CDs of some years ago now's your chance to get some of the greatest piano blues ever recorded including tracks not issued by RCA. (FS)

 
BIG MACEO Document DOCD 5674 Volume 2: 1945-1950, Big City Blues ● CD $15.98
The rest of Maceo's great recordings including his post Bluebird recordings for Specialty and Fortune.

 
BIG MAYBELLE Columbia 53417 The Complete Okeh Sessions, 1952-1955 ● CD $11.98
Features all the sides recorded by this outstanding blues shouter for Okeh between 1952 and 1955. Accompanied by great New York session musicians like Sam "The Man" Taylor, Lee Anderson, Mickey Baker, Panama Francis she wraps her gravel voice around the original recording of Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On plus Just Want Your Love/ Gabbin' Blues/ Rain Down Rain/ Stay Away From My Sam/ Maybelle's Blues/ You'll Never Know, etc.

 
BIG TIME SARAH Delmark 659 Lay It On 'em Girls ● CD $11.98
Featuring 4 tunes written by Willie Dixon for this mainstay of the Chicago blues scene

 
BIG TIME SARAH Delmark 692 Blues In The Year One-O-One ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 64 min., recommended Chicago blues from a lady who sounds like she'll slam you right up against the wall when she gets her hips shakin'. She can belt 'em out with anybody on the current scene. Non-straight forward covers of Hound Dog, Little Red Rooster and Z.Z.Hill's Down Home Blues are three of the highlights of this release that cooks from the beginning and doesn't stop. The BTS Express is top shelf.... one of the reasons to like the CD is that the horns, keyboards and guitar all get featured and all of the players are up to the task (guitarist Emery Williams, to whom the disc is dedicated, gets to stretch out on the only instrumental track). The recording session only took two days and the spontaneity shows in a very positive way. (RS)

 
BIG TWIST & THE MELLOW FELLOWS Alligator 4732 Playing For Keeps ● CD $15.98

 
BIG TWIST & THE MELLOW FELLOWS Alligator 4755 Live From Chicago ● CD $15.98

 
ESTHER BIGEOU Document DOCD 5489 Plus Lillyn Brown, Alberta Brown and Ada Brown ● CD $15.98
The complete recordings of Esther Bigeou (1921-23), Lillyn Brown (1921) and Alberta Brown (1928) and the remaining titles of Ada Brown.

 

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