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BLUES & GOSPEL

Rory Block -> Tiny Bradshaw

 

 
RORY BLOCK Rounder 3061 High Heeled Blues ● CD $15.98
 

 
RORY BLOCK Rounder 3085 Rhinestones & Steel Strings ● CD $15.98
 

 
RORY BLOCK Rounder 3117 Mama's Blues ● CD $15.98
 

 
RORY BLOCK Rounder 3126 Angel Of Mercy ● CD $15.98
 

 
RORY BLOCK Rounder 3139 When A Woman gets The Blues ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 39 min., Recommended This time out Block opts for a sparse, totally acoustic, sound, performing 13 covers of her blues mentors and influences and 1 original (Take My Heart Again), which manages to not fell out of place, no small feat. Not many (maybe not any) other white women have covered songs by Son House, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Skip James, and Kansas Joe McCoy on the same album and done so in such a traditional sounding way. The vocals on her version of Hellhound On My Trail reveal a blues fan who has listened intently and repeatedly to the original. The song picks up extra strength from being not-so-ironically juxtaposed to the adventurous Be Ready When It Comes. This album is just good enough so that her fans will forgive for omitting the fetching originals that usually add shine to her albums. Back to roots. (JC)

 
RORY BLOCK Rounder 3140 Tornado ● CD $15.98
 

 
MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD Columbia 57631 Don't Say That I Ain't Your Man ● CD $11.98
 

 
MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD Columbia 65688 Live At The Old Waldorf ● CD $11.98
 

 
MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD Shanachie 99007 Blues Gospel & Ragtime Guitar ● CD $15.98
MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD: At The Cross/ Blake's Rag/ Blues For Norman/ Farther Along/ Gonna Need Somebody On My Bond/ Hawaiian Guitar Waltz/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Memphis Radio Blues/ Mood Indigo/ Wheelchair Rag/ When I Need You

 
MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD Takoma 8905 The Best Of Michael Bloomfield ● CD $15.98
The tracks appearing on this posthumous compilation span from 1963 to 1983
MIKE BLOOMFIELD: Between The Hard Place And The Ground/ Effinonna Rag/ Frankie And Johnny/ Hitch-hike On The Possum Trot Line/ Michigan Water Blues/ Mr Johnson And Mr Dunn/ Orphan's Blues/ Papa-mama-rompah-stompah/ Pleading Blues/ See That My Grave Is Kept Clean/ The Gospel Truth/ Your Friends

 
LITTLE JOE BLUE Collectables 5744 The Very Best Of Little Joe Blue ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 49 mins, highly recommended Once you get beyond the uncanny resemblance of Joe's voice to that of B.B. King you realize that Joe has lot more to offer. Apart from that striking voice he was a powerful and funky guitar player that imitated no one and was an excellent songwriter. Such songs as Who's The Fool?/ Shopping Instead ("I've got a good mind to give up living/ And go shopping instead")/ Don't Tax Me In and We All Have The Blues show a philosophical and topical awareness that was not that common among his contemporaries. This set also includes a remake of his one R&B hit - the excellent Dirty Work Is Going On. These recordings were cut for Mel Alexander's Space and Kris labels in the early 70s and Joe is accompanied by various small groups with occasional horns or vocal group backup. Recording quality is bargain basement but Joe's singing and playing comes through loud and clear. (FS)

 
THE BLUES BUSTERS High Water/HMG 6512 Busted! ● CD $11.98
Recommended Expanded CD issue of High Water 1006 from 1987. By the time the LP had been released, the Busters had already busted up, only lasting about a year & a half, until the end of '84. Formed by seldom-recorded veterans of the Memphis blues scene by members of the blues group Hollywood Allstars & funk group PCI, this quintet featured the twin guitars of Earl "The Pearl" Banks & Lee Roy Martin, & play a combination of fine blues mixed with soul & funk, even a jumpin' cover of Jailhouse Rock along with covers of Little Milton's Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson, Willie Cobbs' classic You Don't Love Me, even the Clovers' Lovey Dovey, along with some nice originals. (GM)

 
BLUESTIME Rounder 3134 Bluestime ● CD $15.98
 

 
JIMMY BLYTHE RST Records JPCD 1510 In Chronological Order. 1924-1931 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 64 min., good
Blythe was a Kentucky-born pianist who moved to Chicago and cut various popular tunes during the 1920's. Here he is featured playing solo, with his Sinful Five, with vocalists Viola Bartlette and Alexander Robinson and in duets with Charlie Clark. Additionally, Blythe's work on this disc with the Midnight Rounders is notable for the free swinging ensemble playing it seems to spark (check out the upbeat Shake Your Shimmy). He also shines on Bull Fiddle Rag and Chicago Stomp. Blythe sounds most comfortable here with boogie woogie and blues tunes although his overall sound is fairly old- timey. Unfortunately, the sound quality is not all that great. Little known but pleasant enough, Blythe is probably due this, his fifteen minutes of fame. (PL)

 
DEANNA BOGART Blind Pig 73890 Out To Get You ● CD $14.98
 

 
DEANNA BOGART Flying Fish 601 Crossing Borders ● CD $14.98
 

 
SON BONDS & CHARLIE PICKETT Wolf WBCD 03 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, 1934-41 ● CD $11.98
 

 
JUKE BOY BONNER Arhoolie 375 Life Gave Me A Dirty Deal ● CD $12.98
23 tracks, 70 mins, essential
 Weldon "Juke Boy" Bonner was a fine singer who played both guitar and harmonica at the same time. Like his first musical influence Lightnin' Hopkins, Bonner was creative bluesman who in addition to the usual songs of lost love also wrote perceptive songs about his experiences, the dangers of the big city and the plight of the black man in America. If at times his lyrics sound like he's feeling sorry for himself (Life Gave Me Dirty Deal/ Hard Luck/ Life Is A Nightmare) - well the story of his life gave him good reason to feel that way and he expresses it all in his own poetic manner. Other songs deal with the dangers of riots in the cities (Going Back To The Country), the dangers of Houston's notorious Lyons Avenue (Stay Off Lyons Avenue), his excitement at the prospect of his first European tour (I Got My Passport), his slightly cynical view of the burgeoning black pride movement (Being Black And I'm Proud) and, of course, the joys and pain of love (Sad Sad Sound/ She Turns Me On/ Trying To Be Contented). The sides here were recorded between 1967 and '69, most of them in Houston, Texas and are probably the finest recordings of this sometimes underrated artist. Half the tracks feature Juke Boy accompanied by the solid and effective drumming of Alvin J. Simon. Juke Boy's music is the antithesis of "easy listening" but if you want hear one of America's true folk poets you won't go wrong with this exemplary set. (FS)
JUKE BOY BONNER: Being Black And I'm Proud/ Going Back To The Country/ Hard Luck/ Houston, The Action Town/ I Got My Passport/ I'm Getting Tired/ I'm In The Big City/ It Don't Take Too Much/ It's Time to Make A Change/ Just A Blues/ Life Gave Me A Dirty Deal/ Life Is A Nightmare/ My Blues/ Over Ten Years Ago/ Railroad Tracks/ Running Shoes/ Sad, Sad Sound/ She Turns Me On/ Stay Off Lyons Avenue/ Struggle Here In Houston/ Trying To Be Contented/ Watch Your Buddies/ When The Deal Goes Down

 
JUKE BOY BONNER Arhoolie 9040 Ghetto Poet ● CD $9.98
18 tracks, 59 mins, recommended. Complementing Arhoolie 375 ($12.98) this is a second collection featuring this brilliant Houston singer, guitarist, harmonica player and songwriter. Recorded between 1967 and 1974 all the tracks here are previously unissued and are another compelling selection of original songs dealing with Juke Boy's life and the world around him. Juke Boy's self pitying stance sometimes make for tough listening but always ring with an underlying truth that's hard to gainsay. This is not quite as strong as the first album - much of what Juke Boy has to say here has already been said in the previous release and there is some occasional sloppy playing. Nevertheless this is a worthwhile selection by a fine performer whose music is often underappreciated. (FS)

 
ROY BOOKBINDER Genes 1017 Travelin' Man ● CD $15.98
 

 
ROY BOOKBINDER Rounder 3121 The Hillbilly Blues Cats ● CD $15.98
The Hillbilly Blues Cats are Roy on acoustic guitar/ vocals, Florida's Rock Bottom (Cutaways leader) on harmonica, and his musical associate Billy Ochoa on bass. Bookbinder is something of a modern day country bluesman in the style of Pink Anderson and Willie McTell. And while he covers McTell's Statesboro Blues and Bo Carter's Babe, I Want You To Know, his originals are charming themselves. Other covers include Won't You Be Kind/ Mississippi John/ Tired Of Being Mistreated and more. Pleasant, even downright enjoyable. (JC)

 
ROY BOOKBINDER Rounder 3130 Live Book .. Don't Start Me Talkin' ● CD $15.98
 

 
JAMES BOOKER DJM 10010 The Lost Paramount Tapes ● CD $13.98
11 mins, 45 mins, highly recommended. Originally recorded in 1973 this would have been Booker's first full length album but the original 16 track tapes were lost and only recently a two track mixdown turned up which forms the basis of this exceptional disc. Recorded at the Paramount studios in Hollywood it features Booker accompanied by some great New Orleans musicians like Alvin Robinson/ guitar, John Boudreuax/ drums, David Lastie/ sax and others. The material is mostly Booker favorites like Goodnight Irene/ Junco Partner and So Swell When You're Well but it doesn't matter since Booker never played the same song the same way twice. Booker's eccentric genius was in great form both vocally and instrumentally and in addition to the above does a great medley of Stormy Monday and Hound Dog, Chuck Willis's Feel So Bad and a couple of dynamite instrumentals African Gumbo and Tico Tico. Even if you already have all of Booker's discs you'll want to add this one to your collection. (FS)

 
JAMES BOOKER Hannibal HNCD 1359 Junco Partner ● CD $13.98
10 tracks, 41 min., recommended. Though his first recording contract came in 1954, Junco Partner, recorded in New Orleans in 1976, is Booker's first album. Some consider him the finest pianist the Crescent City ever produced, and before taking exception to the superlative too quickly, give this collection of solo performances an ear. He explores his influences, from Chopin to Meade "Lux" Lewis to Professor Longhair to James Booker, Sr., his father. Sometimes, as on the original Pixie, the dexterous Booker plays as if he has an extra left hand. Earl King's Make A Better World and the title track reveal his considerable talent as a vocalist. A decade after his untimely death at the age of 44, it's a pleasure to have this out-of-print album available again. (JC)

 
JAMES BOOKER Rounder 2027 New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live! ● CD $15.98
Fine live set recorded in Switzerland in 1977 and originally issued on the Swiss Gold label. Booker gives his unique treatment to a selection of blues, soul, pop and jazz standards - nicely packaged with excellent notes by New Orleans music expert Almost Slim.
JAMES BOOKER: Black Night/ Come In My Hous/ Come Rain Or Come Shin/ Keep On Gwin/ Let Them Tal/ On The Sunny Side Of The Stree/ Please Send Me Someone To Lov/ Something Stupi/ Tell Me How Do You Feel

 
JAMES BOOKER Rounder 2036 Classified ● CD $15.98
Fine 1982 album is a mixture of blues & R&B along with bizarre oddities typical of Booker like Swedish Rhapsody or King Of The Road. Most cuts are solo but a few feature a small group with Alvin Red Tyler on tenor sax.
JAMES BOOKER: All Around The World/ Angel Eyes/ Baby Face/ Classified/ Hound Dog/ If You're Lonely/ King Of The Road/ Lawdy Miss Clawdy/ One For The Highway/ Professor Longhair Medley/ Swedish Rhapsody/ Three Keys

 
JAMES BOOKER Rounder 2118 Resurrection Of The Bayou Maharajah ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 72 min., recommended. Recorded on an upright piano at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans between 1977-82 (Booker died in '83), this set--and its companion volume Spiders On The Keys, Rounder 2119--offers an approximation of what it might have been like to catch the Piano Prince of New Orleans on a good night. The variety of songs here would be unusual for anyone but Booker, who melds elements of classical, jazz, blues, pop, and R&B whenever he damn well feels like it. Among the many highlights is the 9:40 opening medley Slow Down/ Bony Maronie/ Knock On Wood/ I Heard It Through The Grapevine/ Classified, which is a deranged and glorious ride through the musical wilderness that was Booker's mind. Other euphonious blessings include Papa Was A Rascal/ Minute Waltz/ All By Myself/ Gitanarias/ Junco Partner and more. A tragic man who was so tremendously talented it's spooky. (JC)
JAMES BOOKER: All By Myself/ Gitanarias/ Irene Goodnight/ Junco Partner/ Medley: Lawdy Miss Clawdy/Ballad At The Maple Leaf/ Medley: Life/Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/It Should Have Been Me/ Medley: Slow Down/Bony Maronie/Knock On Wood/Grapevine/Classified/ Medley: Tico Tico/Papa Was A Rascal/ Minute Waltz/ Pop's Dilemma/ Save Your Love For Me/ St. James Infirmary

 
JAMES BOOKER Rounder 2119 Spiders On The Keys ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 58 min., essential. Aside from a couple of minutes of Papa Was A Rascal/ Tico Tico, there's no duplication with the excellent Bayou Maharajah album--not that it would matter, since Booker never played a song the same way twice. Spiders is more from the 60 plus hours of tape of Booker at the upright in the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans. This time its all solo piano (no vocals) in front of a small, frequently uninterested audience. Booker's playing here is nothing less than real magic--no deception, just marvel after marvel. Shining moments include a tremendous covers of Eleanor Rigby/ Over The Rainbow/ Sunny Side Of The Street/ Besame Mucho/ A Taste Of Honey. (JC)

 
PAT BOYACK & THE PROWLERS Bullseye Blues 9557 Breakin' In ● CD $15.98

 
EDDIE BOYD Evidence 26051 Five Long Years ● CD $12.98
1965 L+R recordings - some live. With Buddy Guy, Jimmy Lee Robinson & Fred Below.

 
EDDIE BOYD Storyville 8022 Live In Switzerland ● CD $23.98
Solo recording cut live in Switzerland in 1968.

 
CALVIN BOZE Blue Moon BMCD 6014 The Complete Recordings, 1945-52 ● CD $13.98
28 tracks, 70 mins, recommended Excellent West Coast jump blues by fine and undeservedly obscure singer and trumpet player recorded between 1945 and 1952 with musicians like tenor saxist/ arranger Maxwell Davis, guitarist Chuck Norris and others. His recordings often are reminiscent of Louis Jordan with their easy going swing and slyly witty lyrics. Includes his 1950 hit Safronia B, his reworking of Big Bill Broonzy's Just A Dream and other like Waiting And Drinking/ Lizzy Lou/ Beale Street On A Saturday Night/ I'm Gonna Steam Off The Stamp/ Shamrock and others. Most enjoyable. (FS)

 
ALEX BRADFORD Specialty 7015 Rainbow In The Sky ● CD $15.98
Another welcome release in Specialty's Legends Of Gospel series, Rainbow In The Sky collects 24 riveting Bradford performances (and one studio conversation) between 1954-58. All but three of the selections - Steal Away/ It All Belongs To Him/ What Makes A Man Turn His Back On God? - are previously unreleased, including alternate takes of Bradford classics, many of which run longer than the originals. And initiates who have never heard, for example, the masterpiece Too Close To Heaven, may rest assured that in this case "alternate take" does not imply inferiority. Highlights include a duet with Bessie Griffin called Great Consolation/ Take The Lord Along With You/ I've Found Someone/ Captain Jesus and two sides with the Stone Temple Chorale. The demo of See If I Care provides a rare glimpse into Bradford's pop longings. Notes by The Gospel Sound author Anthony Heilbut. Recommended. (JC)

 
ALEX BRADFORD Specialty 7042 Too Close ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 74 min., recommended. Bradford recorded a vast and varying amount of material for Specialty during the 50's. Singer, pianist, songwriter, A&R man, and talent scout were all roles fulfilled by this highly talented artist through whom Ray Charles found his style. This collection includes his major selling Too Close, selections shared with Sallie Martin and Bessie Griffin, and the touching The Man Is Wonderful lead by Jonothan Jackson, all supported by The Bradford Specials or The Men Of Song. Bradford plays celeste, and whistles one of his softer numbers. His vision at Specialty was to front a male vocal group reminiscent of the Sallie Martin Singers, but borrowing rhythms from the Latin genre. (OLN)

 
TOMMIE BRADLEY/ JAMES COLE GROUPS Document DOCD 5189 Complete Works In Chronological Order, 1928-1932 ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 70 min., recommended. The liner notes invite us to speculate on whether the James Cole who fiddles on the 1928 cuts is the same James Cole on the '30s cuts. Similarly they question the accuracy of the list of musicians given on several tracks. However the argument goes, though, it could hardly be as enjoyable as just listening to the music. These songs feature singer/violinist Cole and/or singer/guitarist Tommie Bradley in various musical settings including blues, vaudeville, hillbilly, hokum, and jazz. High points include the songs that feature Clara Burston's bluesy vocals and the two fine tracks attributed to James Cole's Washboard Four, Runnin' Wild/ Sweet Lizzie. Sound quality is generally okay with some scratchy exceptions. (JC)

 

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