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BLUES & GOSPEL

Robert Cage -> The Carter Brothers

 
ROBERT CAGE Fat Possum 80316 Cant See What You're Doing ● CD $14. 98
 

 
CHRIS CAIN Blind Pig 5000 Can't Buy A Break ● CD $16. 98
Combination of sophisticated blues, jazz and funk

 
CHRIS CAIN Blind Pig 74090 Cuttin' Loose ● CD $16. 98
 

 
BIG AL CALHOUN Arcola 1003 Harmonica Blues ● CD $14.98
Previously unissued recordings by good singer and harmonica player Alvin "Big Al" Calhoun recorded in 1979 in St. Louis with Henry Townsend on electric guitar. Calhoun is a powerful singer and a good harmonica player strongly influenced by John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson and a number of the songs are drawn from Sonny Boy's repertoire. A number of the songs feature Townsend on vocal and he is joined by his wife Vernell on three songs.

 
BLIND JAMES CAMPBELL Arhoolie 438 And His Nashville Street Band ● CD $12. 98
23 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Delightful and unique collection featuring recordings of a Nashville street band made in 1962 and 1963. Originally issued on LP in 1963 the CD reissue adds 8 previously unissued cuts. Being a street band playing for the passing by public they were familiar with a wide variety of material including blues, hillbilly, jazz and more. The group is led by singer/ guitarist Campbell who is joined by Beauford Clay on fiddle and Bell Ray on second fiddle or guitar plus, on some cuts George Bell on trumpet and Ralph Robinson on tuba! The group is very loose and ragged but entertaining on songs like Have I Stayed Away Too Long/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken/ Baby Please Don't Go/ This Little Light Of Mine/ Gambling Man/ I Never Had Nothing/ Beauford's Boogie Woogie/ Pick & Shovel Blues and more. For some inexplicable reason the worst tracks with some really out of tune fiddle are put at the beginning of the CD which may discourage you from investigating further which is a shame as once you get past those the music is a lot of fun. (FS)
BLIND JAMES CAMPBELL: Baby Please Don't Go/ Beauford's Boogie Woogie/ Beauford's Breakdown/ Buffalo Gal/ Detroit Blues/ Detroit Jump/ Do You Remember/ Gambling Man/ Have I Stayed Away Too Long/ I Am So Blue When It Rains/ I Never Had Nothing/ I'm Crazy About You Baby/ Jam Piece (George's Boogie)/ Jimmy's Blues/ John Henry/ Monkey Man Blues/ My Gal Got Evil/ Pick And Shovel Blues/ Sittin' Here Drinking/ The Moon May Rise In Blood/ This Little Light Of Mine/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken

 
EDDIE C. CAMPBELL Evidence 26037 Let's Pick It ● CD $12. 98
 

 
EDDIE C. CAMPBELL Icehouse 9423 Gonna Be Alright ● CD $15. 98
Enjoyable collection of Chicago blues from Chi-Town veteran Campbell. Mostly original songs plus a few covers. Although there is no information on the cover this is actually a reissue of Eddie's 1987 Double Trouble album "Mind Trouble" which was recorded in Holland with a mix of Dutch and American musicians. The band does a good job though harmonica player Johnny Mars is a bit over the top for my liking.

 
GENE CAMPBELL Document DOCD 5151 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order ● CD $15. 98
22 tracks, 62 mins, good. Gene Campbell was a very obscure bluesman who recorded the 22 tracks here between 1929 and '31. Based on his songs and style he is thought to be from Texas. He is a decent singer with drawn out phrasing that brings to mind Texas Alexander. His guitar playing is mixture of styles featuring elements from guitarists as diverse as Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson though often his ideas outrun his abilities! His material is mostly based around traditional themes though there are a few more interesting personal observations in Lazy Woman Blues and Levee Camp Moan Blues. On the two part Freight Train Yodeling Blues he emulates Jimmie Rodgers! The best stuff here is very good indeed but quite a bit of the material is unexceptional and this CD is best listened to in small doses. (FS)

 
REV. E.D. CAMPBELL & OTHERS Document DOCD 5389 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, 1927 ● CD $15. 98
20 tracks, 68 min., recommended. On Campbell's 16 tracks he relies more on his singing voice than on his knowledge of the Bible -- which apparently is somewhat limited -- misciting or failing to cite scripture for most of his sermons. Assisted vocally by Sisters Watkins and Dunlop and Brother Griffin, Campbell's approach is untutored and a bit chaotic but not without its power, as he shouts and strains his way to fervor and excitation. The performance is the message. The Rev. Isaiah Shelton and the Rev. C. F. Thornton each offer a pair of cuts to end the disc, both offering sermons with congregational singing, neither of special interest. (JC)

 
THE CAMPBELL BROTHERS Arhoolie 461 Pass Me Not ● CD $12. 98
More gospel steel guitar music from Florida featuring the solo and dual steel guitar work of brothers Charles (pedal steel) and Derick Campbell (8 string lap steel) with vocals by Katie Jackson.
THE CAMPBELL BROTHERS: End Of My Journey (Praise Song)/ I Feel Good/ I've Got A Feeling/ It Won't Be Very Long/ Jump For Joy/ Mary Don't You Weep/ Medley Of Offertory Tunes/ Morning Train/ None But The Righteous/ Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Saviour/ There Is No Failure In God/ Walk With Me/ What A Friend We Have In Jesus/ What's His Name? . . . Jesus!

 
GUS CANNON Document DOCD 5032 Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1, 1927 - 1928 ● CD $15. 98
Now deleted - limited stock on hand. The first of two discs to present the complete recordings of Gus Cannon, his Jug Stompers and various affiliated musicians. The first 5 tracks from 1927 feature Cannon on vocal and banjo accompanied by Blind Blake on guitar. These songs, recorded under the name of Banjo Joe are delightful performances in the minstrel and ragtime tradition and also includes his remarkable version of the early blues Poor Boy with Gus playing bottleneck banjo - a truly incredible performance! The other 15 tracks are by Cannon's Jug Stompers with Gus playing jug with the utterly superb Noah Lewis on harmonica and Ashley Thompson or Elijah Avery on guitar and, on some tracks, Hosea Woods on kazoo. Thompson and Avery also take the vocal honors on several tracks. Cannon's Jug Stompers were probably the bluesiest of all the jug bands and their performances are consistently outstanding. Sound is decent and there are informative notes by Chris Smith. Sensational music! (FS)

  
LEROY CARR Document DOCD 5136 Complete Chronological Recordings Vol. 3 - 1930-32 ● CD $15. 98
22 tracks, 67 min., highly recommended Piano blues expert Francis Wilford-Smith has rightly observed that as Leroy Carr continued to record, his blues "grew sharper and more profound, his playing more varied". It's very revealing to hear recordings like "Jail House Cell Blues", and recognize his influence on, say, Peetie Wheatstraw. His 1931"Low Down Dog Blues" was covered during Champion Jack Dupree's 1940 recording session, followed by Big Joe Turner's 1945 Savoy version. This CD also contains his last two (of 6) versions of his "How Long - How Long Blues" classic. So different are the themes that they should not be dismissed as mere re-recordings : "New How Long How Long Blues" can be seen as metaphor for the Depression, and "How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone" expresses his (sexual?) inadequacies as he gives up on his woman. Also included are two more rare examples of his ballads, "Let's Make Up And Be Friends Again" and "Let's Disagree" - both without guitar accompaniment. (EL)

 
LEROY CARR Document DOCD 5137 Complete Chronological Recordings Vol. 4 - 1932-34 ● CD $15. 98
23 tracks, 73 min., highly recommended In writing about Leroy Carr's music, it's impossible not to be impressed by his guitarist Francis "Scrapper" Blackwell (1903-1962). Meeting up with Carr in the mid-1920s, his "string-snapping" solos would become an integral part of their 'duo' sound. For this volume, his solos on "Shady Lane Blues" (covered by Champion Jack Dupree), "Midnight Hour Blues", and the blues standard, "Blues Before Sunrise" are still being copied to this day (most recently by Eric Clapton!). They have a lucidity and depth that you also find in the work of that other Urban bluesman, Lonnie Johnson. Other highlights include "Hurry Down Sunshine", a clever version of the 1927 Memphis Jug Band tune "Sunshine Blues" (which was also covered by Champion Jack Dupree) ; and his very Fats Waller-ish sounding "Hold Them Puppies", done to the melody of "Corinna Corinna". Note that the issued version of "Stormy Night Blues" has yet to be reissued. (EL)

 
LEROY CARR Document DOCD 5138 Complete Chronological Recordings Vol. 5 - 1934 ● CD $15. 98
22 tracks, 65 min, highly recommended Six of the titles on this volume will be familiar to those of us who have the classic 1962 Columbia album - the album that introduced most of us to his/their music. Recordings like "Big Four Blues" (about the Cleveland-Cincinnati-Chicago- St. Louis Railroad), "Bo Bo Stomp" (with that wonderful Speckled Red-ish 'yas-yas' refrain!), and "I Believe I'll Make A Change", a song 1st recorded by Josh White, and later covered by the Harlem Hamfats. Also during this period, his producer J. Mayo "Ink" Williams was varying his repertoire by introducing influences like Big Bill Broonzy ("Don't Start That Stuff"), covering Joe Pullum's "Black Gal (What Makes Your Head So Hard?)", and asking guitarist Josh White to sit in with Scrapper Blackwell. Four & a half months after the last recording in this volume (Dec 14/34), Leroy Carr was dead at age 30. Volume 6 (Document 5139) in this series contains the rest of his Vocalion sides, plus his 8 exquisite Bluebird recordings. (EL)

 
LEROY CARR Document DOCD 5139 Complete Chronological Recordings Vol. 6 - 1934-35 ● CD $15. 98
21 tracks, 64 min., recommended. These are confusing - and expensive - times for fans of prewar blues. Everything seems to be coming out in half a dozen different forms. Leroy Carr's life was a mess - alcohol killed him when he was only 30 - and for a long time so was his catalog. Devotees of the great pianist have many options: Magpie, Yazoo, and now Document have put out many overlapping packages. This Document set of six individual CDs seeks to become the definitive collection: it includes all of Yazoo 1036, Matchbox 210, the two Magpie sets and probably several other LPs. This is unfair for those who have shelled out for previous sets, but that's typical nowadays. Anyway, the sound here is more than acceptable, almost comparable to the clear Magpies, and these six discs offer 136 reasons why the team of Carr and wry guitarist Scrapper Blackwell was as witty and rigorous as any pre-war pairing.  Needless to say, not every track here is great: the problem with multi-volume completist sets full of alternate takes and versions of every song a performer recorded is that nobody bats 1000. Still, at least half the tracks on each set are worth hearing, and the cumulative effect of hearing these recordings is to be impressed by how many times Carr and Blackwell would press new wrinkles into their mix. They were hardly ever complacent. Volume 1 is probably the best place to start, for qualitative as well as chronological reasons, but each of these packages offers some magnificent performances. (JG)

 
LEROY CARR/ BLACK BOY SHINE Document DOCD 5465 Unissued Test Pressings And Alternate Takes ● CD $15. 98
23 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended What a pleasant surprise - some really interesting unissued songs and alternate takes including 3 never before heard songs by the great Leroy Carr from August & December, 1934 when he was at his peak. Most of his cuts feature the twin guitars of Scrapper Blackwell and Josh White. There are two takes of Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child which bears only a passing resemblance to famous spiritual and one take each of The Stuff Is Here (a duet with Bobby Phillips) and the beautiful Bozetta Blues. There are also three fine alternate takes of songs previously issued on previous Document CDs. The rest of the CD is devoted to Black Shine featuring two takes each of seven songs and one take each of two others - none of these have ever been issued before in any form. Although not as well known as Carr Black Boy Shine (Harold Holiday) was an excellent and imaginative performer and a most worthwhile companion. He was a piano player in the "Santa Fe" style with a harmonically varied left hand and a "stride" feel to his approach. He was also a fine singer with a solemn style rather like that of Walter Roland. Like many Texas bluesmen his songs are above average with references to his lifestyle and enviroment. These significant recordings came from the archives of Art Satherly - the recording engineer on these sessions. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes by David Evans. (FS)

 
SISTER WYNONA CARR Specialty 7016 Dragnet For Jesus ● CD $15. 98
If you're thinking that no album called Dragnet For Jesus could be all bad, you're right. This, the first collection of Sister Wynona Carr's gospel recordings cut on Art Rupe's Specialty label between 1949-54, is an absolute delight. Included, of course, are underappreciated classics like The Ball Game/ In A Little While and Ms. Carr's first effort, the swinging Each Day. But what makes this set essential is the unreleased material (17 of 26 cuts), including the title track with Carr as Joe Friday, Operator, Operator/ 15 Rounds For Jesus/ I Heard The News, a religious rewrite of Good Rockin' Tonight, and three radically different versions of Our Father - one featuring Brother Joe May, one Rev. C.L. Franklin. Excellent notes by Opal Nations and Lee Hildebrand. Highly recommended. [JC]

 
CHUBBY CARRIER Blind Pig 5032 Who Stole The Hot Sauce ● CD $15. 98

 
CHUBBY CARRIER & THE BAYOU SWAMP BAND Blind Pig 5007 Dance All Night ● CD $15. 98
High-energy Zydeco party music
CHUBBY CARRIER & THE BAYOU SWAMP BAND: Cuyan/ Got to Make Her Mine/ I'm Coming Home/ Love You Right/ Old Time Zydeco/ Rock Me Baby/ Stay a Little Longer/ The Zydeco King/ They Want to Party Now/ Tule Ton Son Ton/ Turn On Your Love Light/ Zydeco Extravaganza/ Zydeco's The Way To Go

 
KAREN CARROLL Delmark 680 Had My Fun ● CD $15. 98

 
KAREN CARROLL Delmark 707 Talk To The Hand ● CD $15. 98

 
BO CARTER Document DOCD 5079 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order - Vol. 2 ● CD $15. 98
22 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended The second of five volumes presenting the complete recordings of that prolific and provocative perpetrator of prurient pap - Armenter Chatmon aka Bo Carter. Singer, guitarist and violin player Carter was a member of the very musical Chatmon family and recorded with some of them as a member of the black string band The Mississippi Sheiks as well as having an extensive solo career. This second volume features 22 songs recorded between June 1931 and March 1934. Often thought of as only a singer of risque songs Carter was an outstanding Mississippi singer and a terrific guitar player. There are some great performances here like So Long, Baby, So Long (a variation on Leroy Carr's How Long Blues Howling Tom Cat Blues (derived from J.T. Smith's Howling Wolf Blues), Blue Runner Blues/ What Kind Of Scent Is That (with some truly lyrical guitar playing)/ I Want You To Know/ Bo Carter Special and others including the imaginative Banana In Your Fruit Basket and the bizarre Beans - possibly the only song about the effect of over-indulgence in beans! Most of the titles are just Bo & his guitar - bother Lonnie joins in on fiddle of four cuts for a Mississippi Sheiks feel. Generally excellent sound and good notes by Ken Romanwoski. (FS)

 
BO CARTER Yazoo 1064 Banana in Your Fruit Basket: Red Hot Blues 1931-1936 ● CD $15. 98
Bo Carter was a fine guitarist and singer from Mississippi who played occasionally with the Ms. Shieks and frequently on his own. There are three Yazoo collections of his work, all of them worthwhile (#1014 - Greatest Hits 1930-1940 and #1034 - Twist It Babe may be unavailable until they emerge as CD's), but this straight reissue of the Banana LP is the most unbridled. The album is all double-entendres: you can tell half the story by reading some of the titles - Pig Meat Is What I Crave/ What Kind Of Scent Is This/ Mashing that Thing/ Don't Mash My Digger So Deep/ Pin In Your Cushion/ My Pencil Won't Write No More. Yet Banana In Your Fruit Basket is not a novelty record, just the honest ramblings of a wild, apparently one-track mind. Good sound; recommended. [JG]

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