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BLUES & GOSPEL

John Cephas -> The Chosen Gospel Singers 
JOHN CEPHAS & HARMONICA PHIL WIGGINS
GRADY CHAMPION
MISS MICKEY CHAMPION
RAY CHARLES
ROCKIE CHARLES
SAM CHATMON
BOOZOO CHAVIS
C.J. CHENIER
CLIFTON CHENIER
THE CHICAGO ALL STARS
CHICAGO BOB & THE SHADOWS
THE CHOSEN GOSPEL SINGERS

JOHN CEPHAS & HARMONICA PHIL WIGGINS Evidence 26050 Sweet Bitter Blues ● CD $12.98
 

 
"BOWLING GREEN" JOHN CEPHAS & "HARMONICA" PHIL WIGGINS Bellaphon CDLR 713123 Living Country Blues USA, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended
Reissue of first sides issued by this excellent East Coast acoustic duo for the German L+R label in 1980 originally on L+R 42.031. Piedmont style blues with excellent flowing guitar and warm vocals from Cephas and fine harp from Wiggins whose playing beautifully weaves around Cephas's vocal and guitar. The songs are mix of old blues favorites given the duo's distinctive touch along with a handful of originals - Black rat SWing/ Guitar & Harmonica rag/ I'm A Pilgrim/ I Ain't Got No Lovin' Baby Now/ Richmond Blues/ Goin' Down the Road Feelin' bad, etc. The duo has recorded prolifically since these sides but these are among their best. (FS)

 
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS Smithsonian Folkways 40179 Richmond Blues ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 65 mins, recommended
New collection of 18 sides from this immensely appealing country blues duo who continue the Piedmont blues tradition with John's warm voice and fluid guitar work and Phil's fluttering harmonica playing weaving around the guitar and vocals. Most of the songs are the duo's distinctive versions of pre war country blues songs along with a couple of post war titles and one original. Many of the songs have been recorded before by the two but listening to their music is always rewarding. Includes Richmond Blues/ Black Rat Swing/ Dog Days Of August/ Prison Bound Blues/ Careless Love/ Step It Up And Go and others. Includes 32 page booklet with extensive notes by Barry Lee Pearson. (FS)

 
JOHN CEPHAS & HARMONICA PHIL WIGGINS Evidence 26093 Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad ● CD $12.98
14 tracks, 55 mins, recommended Welcome CD reissue of first sides cut by this excellent East Coast acoustic duo for the German L+R label in 1980. It includes all of L+R 42.031 plus 3 additional tracks from various other L+R album. Piedmont style blues with excellent flowing guitar and warm vocals from Cephas and fine harp from Wiggins. A mixture of blues oldies and original - Black Rat Swing/ Reno Factory/ Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad/ Louise/ Pony Blues/ I Ain't Got No Lovin' Baby Now/ Richmond Blues, etc. (FS)

 
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS Alligator 4838 Cool Down ● CD $13.98
 

 
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS Chesky JD 89 Bluesmen ● CD $15.98
 

 
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS Flying Fish 0394 Dog Days Of August ● CD $14.98
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS: Cherryball/ Dog Days of August/ Hard Time Killing Floor Blues/ I Saw the Light/ John Hentry/ Reno Factory/ Robert/ Staggerlee

 
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS Flying Fish 0470 Guitar Man ● CD $14.98
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS: Black Cat on the Line/ Brownsville/ Careless Love/ Corrine/ Guitar Man/ Police Dog Blues/ Richmond Blues/ Weeping Willow

 
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS Flying Fish 0580 Flip, Flop, And Fly ● CD $14.98
JOHN CEPHAS & PHIL WIGGINS: Banks Of The River/ Blue Day Blues/ Darkness On The Delta/ Devil Got My Woman/ Evil Twin Blues/ Flip, Flop, And Fly/ No Lovin' Baby Now/ One Kind Favor/ Standing At Judgement/ The Backbiter/ Today I Started Loving You Again/ Too Old To Dream

 
GRADY CHAMPION Shanachie 9020 Payin' For My Sins ● CD $14.98
Acclaimed new young bluesman. Champion is a singer and harmonica player who also wrote most of the songs her. Album was produced by Dennis Walker best known for his work with Robert Cray.

 
MICKEY CHAMPION Tondef 17973 What You Want ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 49 mins, very good
Mickey's second solo album is a big improvement over her first. This is studio session with her accompanied by a good sized band including some solid horn work. Although there a few warhorses here the choice of material is more interesting. I still find Mickey's voice a little one dimensional with very little dynamic range. One or two songs sound fine but after a while you long for some variety. Worth a listen though. (FS)

 
RAY CHARLES Ebony 2CD 8001/2 The Birth Of A Legend 1949-1952 ● CD $36.98
Hallelujah! A comprehensive, intelligent collection of this American immortal's 1949-1952 recordings for the Down Beat and Swing Time labels, including titles recorded for but not released by them. The full 41 tracks are here, on two discs in a hinged single CD case with a cardboard slipcover. A 32 page booklet includes a biography, discography with alternate titles, session notes, and complete lyrics. All in all, an attractive and detailed portrait of a major artist discovering his musical identity, moving from his early attempts to walk in the footsteps of Nat King Cole to the beginnings of genuine Ray Charles soul. Titles include Confession Blues/ Let's Have A Ball/ Don't Put All Your Dreams In One Basket/ She's On The Ball/ I'll Do Anything But Work/ All To Myself/ The Snow Is Falling/ Back Home. The sound, clearly dubbed from earlier discs, is generally quite good. A compilation of major importance to fans of blues, R&B, and jazz alike. Very highly recommended. (DH)

 
RAY CHARLES King 5011 The Early Years ● CD $9.98
14 late 40s sides recorded for the Hollywood Swingtime label. Cool West Coast jazzy/ blues vein strongly influenced by Charles Brown- Ray Charles Blues/ Jack, She's On The Ball/ I've Had My Fun/ Ain't That Fine/ St. Pete Florida Blues/ Sentimental Blues/ Can Anyone Ask For More, etc.

 
RAY CHARLES Night Train 2001 The Complete Swing Time And Down Beat Recordings ● CD $18.98
 

 
ROCKIE CHARLES Orleans 1911 Born For You ● CD $13.98
ROCKIE CHARLES: Born For You/ Don't Let Me Go/ Festis Believe In Justice/ I Just Called To Wish You A Merry Christmas/ I Like To Make Love When It's Pouring Down Rain/ I Need You Love So Bad, I'm About To Lose My Mind/ Oh My Darling Look What You're Doing To Me/ Old Black Joel/ Please Tell Me It Ain't For You/ Something Is Wrong With Our Love/ There's A Rainbow Hanging Over My Shoulder

 
SAM CHATMON Flyright 63 1970-1974 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Sam Chatmon, brother of Bo Carter, was a delightful person and an equally delightful performer. This fine collection was recorded in the early 70s when Sam made San Diego, California his home for part of each year. Like Bo he was more of an entertainer than a serious bluesman with a repertoire that encompassed blues standards (Prowlin' Groundhog/ St. Louis Blues/ Shake 'Em On Down, etc), songs from the repertoire of Bo or his family band, The Mississippi Sheiks (I Got The Whiskey/ She's My Baby/ Go Back Old Devil/ Sittin' On Top Of The World, etc), original blues (Hollandale Blues/ God Don't Like Ugly/ My Little Woman) and some very raunchy risque songs that Sam performed with a twinkle in his eye, rather than a leer (Ashtray Taxi/ Good Eatin' Meat/ P Stands For Push, etc). Though not a spectacular guitarist his playing throughout is fine and on a couple of tracks he is joined by fine San Diego mandolin player Kenny Hall. These recordings were cut live and the sound is generally excellent. The enclosed booklet has notes by Lou Curtiss who was responsible for publicizing the San Diego blues scene and making these recordings, CD producer Bruce Bastin and a lengthy interview with Sam. I had the pleasure and privilege of spending time with and working with Sam in the 70s and this collection brings back fond memories of this excellent entertainer. (FS)

 
BOOZOO CHAVIS Maison De Soul 1028 Zydeco Homebrew ● CD $15.98
 

 
BOOZOO CHAVIS Maison De Soul 1034 Zydeco Trail Ride ● CD $15.98
 

 
BOOZOO CHAVIS Rounder 2130 Live! At The Habibi Temple ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, 46 min., recommended Habibi Temple? No, Chavis isn't mixing religion with his zydeco. As one listen makes clear, Zydeco is his religion. And why not, he's frequently credited with being the father of modern zydeco for releasing Paper In My Shoe, a version of which is included here, in 1954. So along with the Majic Sounds (including sons Charles and Rellis), Boozoo punches out a dozen originals and a cover of Maceo Merriweather's Worried Life Blues. Recorded in 1993 in Lake Charles, Louisiana at a structure normally reserved for "Shriner events and automotive display shoes," this disc documents just how hot things can get at a Chavis show. And, for an added touch of realism, Charles notifies the owner of a blue-gray Caddy with Texas plates that his lights are on. I'll bet he didn't leave. (JC)

 
BOOZOO CHAVIS Rounder 11594 Johnnie Billy Goat ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, recommended
If Clifton Chenier was the King Of Zydeco with his keyboard based piano accordion, then Boozoo is the King of Rural Zydeco with his push-button based diatonic accordion. This set draws from 3 of his excellent Rounder CDs, from '93 there's "Boozoo, That's Who", produced by NRBQ's Terry Adams, as well as the "Live! From The Habib Temple St Charles Louisiana", also from '93, plus '98's "Who Stole My Monkey". His band here all feature his sons Charles on rubboard & Rellis on drums along with Classie Ballou Jr (son of his 1st guitarist from the 50s) on bass & Carleton "Guitar" Thomas, with the 2 '93 sets also including Nathan Fontenot on rhythm. As an added treat, there's 3 previously unissued performances from the "Live!" CD including Dog Hill & 41 Days. Other tunes here include the fine opener Dance All Night (a re-write of Bob Wills' Stay All Night)/ Boozoo, That's Who/Lula Lula Don't You Go To Bingo/ Who Stole My Monkey? and more. (GM)

 
C.J. CHENIER & RED HOT LOUISIANA BAND Alligator 4830 Too Much Fun ● CD $11.98

C.J. CHENIER: Bad Luck/ Give Me Some Of That/ Got You on my Mind/ I'm not Guilty/ Lost in the Shuffle/ Louisianna Down Home Blues/ Louisianna Two Step/ Man Smart, Woman Smarter/ Richest Man/ Squeaky Wheel/ Too Much Fun/ You Used to Call Me/ Zydeco Cha Cha

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 301 60 Minutes With The King Of Zydeco ● CD $12.98
Well, Chris's first CD is out and it is a winner. 15 great tunes from the one and only King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier. Essentially, it is Classic Clifton (Arhoolie 1082) with 3 added tunes - You're Fussing Too Much/ You're My Mule/ Colinda, all killer tunes, be it dance till you drop zydeco, propelled by brother Cleveland's washboard - Zydeco Cha-Cha, down and dirty blues - Black Gal/ I'm On The Wonder, or spirited waltzes - Big Mamou. And the sound! Close your eyes and you're in St. Marks Hall in Richmond or some funky club in Lafayette, La. stomping your feet, dancing up a storm and partying down to the zydeco. No party should be without one and no one should miss this hour with Clifton at his best. (JM)
CLIFTON CHENIER: Allons A Grand Coteau/ Big Mamou/ Black Gal/ Black Snake Blues/ Calinda/ I'm On The Wonder/ I`M A Hog For You/ Louisiana Blues/ Party Down At The Blue Angel Club/ Sa M'appelle Fou/ Tu Le Ton Son Ton/ You're Fussing Too Much/ You're My Mule/ Zydeco Cha-Cha/ Zydeco Sont Pas Sale

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 313 Live At St. Mark's ● CD $12.98
Expanded version of Arhoolie lp 1059, and is the only live recordings of Clifton in top form before an audience of Louisiana Creoles. 
CLIFTON CHENIER: Bad Luck And Trouble/ Cher Catin (Zydeco)/ Going Home Blues & Mess Around/ I'm A Hog For You (*)/ J'ai Conet, C'est Pas Ma Femme (*)/ Mama Told Papa (*)/ New Ma Negress/ Rock House (*)/ Tighten Up Zydeco/ Tu Le Ton Son Ton (Every Now And Then)/ You're My Mule/ Zydeco Cha Cha
(*)previously unissued selections

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 339 King Of The Bayous ● CD $12.98
Reissue of Arhoolie LP 1052 with 6 additional, previously unissued sides. Most of the recordings are from 1969 and 1970 with with Antoine Victor or Raymond Monett/ gtr, Robert Peter (St Judy) on drums, Joe Morris/ bass and brother Cleveland on rubboard or Elmore Nixon on piano. A nice mixture of blues, waltzes, pop songs, two steps and R&B. Two of the unissued tracks are from 1965 with slightly different line up and includes the lovely slow minor key blues Clifton's Blues. Typically fine performances from the king of zydeco. (FS)
CLIFTON CHENIER: Clifton's Blues (*)/ Coming Home Tomorrow (*)/ Going La Maison/ Grand Mamou (Big Mamou)/ Hard To Love Someone/ I Believe I'll Go Back Home/ I'm Coming Home (To See My Mother)/ It's Christmas Time/ Josephine Par Se Ma Femme (Josephine Is Not My/ Let's Rock A While (*)/ Me And My Chauffeur (*)/ Mo Veux Connaitre (Where She Slept) (*)/ Release Me/ Tired Of Crying Over You/ Ton Na Na/ Tu Le Ton Son Ton (Every Now And Then)/ Who Can Your Good Man Be (Brown Skin Woman)/ Zodico Two-Step (French Two-Step)

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 345 Bon Ton Roulet ● CD $12.98
Reissue of the 2nd Arhoolie LP (1031), from 1966 plus the other half of Black Snake Blues (1038), with the addition of 3 great unreleased cuts from 1964, the day after Chris and Clifton first met. With only Elmore Nixon on piano and Bob Murphy on drums, they include an early romping version of I'm On The Wonder, Jump The Boogie, & Houston Boogie. The 1966 session has Clifton's uncle Morris on a wonderfully funky fiddle, and some soulful playing and singing from Clifton. Beware of imitations, folks, this is the real stuff. (JM)
CLIFTON CHENIER: Ay, Ai, Ai/ Baby , Please Don't Go/ Black Gal/ Black Snake Blues/ Blues De Ma Negresse/ Bon Ton Roulet/ French Town Waltz/ Frog Legs/ Houston Boogie (*)/ I Got A Little Girl/ I'm On The Wonder (*)/ If I Ever Get Lucky/ Jole Blonde/ Jump The Boogie (*)/ Keep On Scratching/ Key To The Highway/ Let's Talk It Over/ Long Toes/ Sweet Little Doll/ Things Ain't Like They Used To Be/ Walking To Louisiana

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 347 Bogalusa Boogie ● CD $12.98
Clifton Chenier made many great recordings but these sides recorded at the Studio In The Country at Bogalusa, Louisiana in 1975 are possibly his very finest. Clifton is in great form - singing and playing accordion with consummate skill and even playing harmonica on one track. The band (Cleveland Chenier/ rubboard, John Hart/ tenor sax, Paul Senegal/ guitar, Joe Brouchet/ bass and Robert St. Julian/ drums) provide a solid, unfaltering rhythm. The songs are mostly blues and R&B along with some zydeco, a waltz and a two-step. 11 of the tracks here were previously on Arhoolie 1076, one on Arhoolie 1078 and one track I May Be Wrong is previously unissued. An essential release. (FS)
CLIFTON CHENIER: Allons A Grand Coteau (Let`S Go To Grand Coteau)/ Bogalusa Boogie/ Come Go Along With Me/ I May Be Wrong (*)/ Je Me Reveiller Ce Matin (I Woke Up This Morning)/ Je Suis En Recolteur (I`M A Farmer)/ M'appel Fou (They Call Me Crazy)/ Ma Mama Ma Dit (My Mama Told Me)/ One Step At A Time/ Quelque Chose Sur Mon Idee (There`S Something On CLIFTON/ Ride 'Em Cowboy/ Take Off Your Dress/ Ti Na Na

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 350 Out West ● CD $12.98
By 1973, when most of these recordings were made Clifton had, what was probably the best band of his career with Paul Senegal replacing Felix Benoit on guitar and the addition of the brilliant John Hart on tenor sax. From now on his music emphasized the blues and R&B elements in his music at the expense of the old time cajun two steps and waltzes. On most of the sides here they are joined by blues rock musicians Elvin Bishop on guitar and Steve Miller on piano who provide restrained, but effective accompanied. This album features two of Clifton's all time classics - the wonderful minor key blues I'm On A Wonder and the rocking I'm A Hog For You (the latter from an earlier 1971 session) plus Calinda/ The Hucklebuck/ You Know It Ain't Fair/ You're The One For Me/ You're Fussing Too Much/ Just Like A Woman/ All Your Love/ C.C. Special and others. For the CD reissue, four previously unissued sides from the 1973 session are added included a fine version of Ti Na Na plus 3 songs recorded in 1971 at San Francisco radio station KSAN where he performs in an older traditional French style. The cover states - "Over 60 Minutes Of Classic Zydeco Music" - and they're not kidding! Essential. (FS)
CLIFTON CHENIER: All Your Love/ Breaux Bridge Waltz (*)/ C. C. Special (Take 1) (*)/ C. C. Special (Take 2)/ Calinda/ Crawfish Jambalaya (*)/ I'm A Hog For You/ I'm On The Wonder/ Je Marche Le Plancher (You Know It Ain`T Fair)/ Just Like A Woman/ Louisiana Two-Step (*)/ Ma Negresse Est Gone (*)/ The Hucklebuck/ Ti Na Na (*)/ You're Fussin' Too Much/ You're The One For Me/ Zydeco Cha Cha (*)

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 355 The King Of Zydeco Live At Montreux ● CD $12.98
Recorded in 1975 in Switzerland, this captures Clifton and band at their dynamic best, if not quite as sweaty as 1972's Live At St. Mark's-(Arhoolie 313). Originally on Tomato, and then Arhoolie 1086, it includes 68 minutes of high-powered zydeco from Clifton, brother Cleveland on rubboard, Paul Senegal's fine guitar, and Robert St. Julian & Joe Morris on rhythm. Great versions of Hey, Tite Fille/ Cher Catin/ Black Gal/ I'm On The Wonder/ I'm A Hog For You a.o. from the ever-exciting accordion and voice of Clifton Chenier. (JM)
CLIFTON CHENIER: Black Gal/ Calinda/ Cher Catin/ Clifton's Boogie Woogie/ Hey , Tite Fille/ Hush, Hush/ I'm A Hog For You/ I'm On The Wonder/ Intro And Jambalaya/ Je Marche Le Plancher/ Louisiana Two Step/ Money/ Release Me/ Woo Woo/ You're Fussin' Too Much/ Zydeco Sont Pas Sale

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 474 The Best Of Clifton Chenier ● CD $12.98
18 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended This is a perfect introduction to the music of the King of Zydeco.

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 9001 Zydeco Son Pas Sale ● CD $9.98
First in a new series of budget priced releases this one features 15 zydeco tracks all sung Creole-French.
CLIFTON CHENIER: Blues De Ma Negress (Blues About My Black Gal)/ Breuax Bridge Waltz/ Cher Catin (Dear Baby)/ Going La Maison (Going To The House)/ J'ai Conet, C'est Pas Ma Femme (I Know She's Not My Woman)/ Je Marche Le Plancher (I Walk The Floor)/ Je Me Reveiller Le Martin (I Woke Up This Morning)/ Je Suis En Recolteur (I'm A Farmer)/ Jole Blonde (Pretty Blonde)/ Louisiana Two-Step/ Mo Veux Connaitre (I Want To Know)/ Tu Le Ton Son Ton (Every Now And Then)/ Weetee Ta Robe (Take Off Your Dress)/ Zydeco Sont Pas Sal (Snap Beans Not Salty)/ Zydeco Two-Step

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Arhoolie 9053 Louisiana Blues And Zydeco ● CD $9.98
19 tracks, 68 mins, essential
What a treat! Here we have all of Clifton's recordings for Chris Strachwitz cut in May, 1965 including two tracks previously available on Arhoolie CD 339 and six previously unissued tunes or alternate takes - all in stereo for the first time. Chris recently discovered the original three track master tapes and the stereo mix really opens up the sound and renders already great performances even greater. Eight tracks feature the traditional Zydeco sound with Clifton singing in French with his mighty piano accordion accompanied only by his brother Cleveland on rubboard and Maison Guidry on drums. They perform storming Zydeco tunes, blues and some lovely waltzes and a couple of these (Zydeco Et Pas Sale and the great Louisiana Blues became local hits when issued as singles. The rest of the tracks were in a more R&B vein with Clifton singing mostly in English and joined by guitarist Cleveland Keyes, pianist Elmore Nixon, bassist Fulton Antoine and drummer Robert St. Judy on songs like Hot Rod/ Ay-Tete-Fee/ I Can't Stand/ Accordion Boogie/ Ay, Ai, Ai and others. On a couple of these cuts Clifton plays some fine blues harmonica. Great music, great sound and informative notes from Chris Strachwitz. (FS)

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Just A Memory 9141 Squeezebox Boogie ● CD $12.98
10 tracks, 54 mins, fair With so many great Clifton Chenier recordings out there - live and in the studio this one can go near the bottom of your list. Recorded live in Montreal in 1978 with one of his best bands they perform a selection of mostly old favorites - Bon Ton Roulet/ In The Mood/ I'm A Hog For You/ Zydeco Cha-Cha, etc. The performances aren't bad but Clifton and the band sound pretty restrained. The biggest drawback is the shockingly poor sound balance - about the only thing you can hear with any clarity are Clifton's vocals and John Hart's sax. Nothing wrong with that but having Clifton's accordion so low in the mix and Cleveland's rubboard almost inaudible misses the whole point of zydeco music! (FS)

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Maison De Soul 105 Zydeco Legend ● CD $16.98
18 great sides from the late king of zydeco. The first 10 tracks are from his classic 1975 Maison De Soul album Boogie 'n Zydeco featuring Clifton and his band at thei peak on a selection of mostly R&B flavored items. The remaining 8 tracks are from his 1984 album Country Boy Now Grammy Award Winner which is not quite as strong as the earlier effort but still was head and shoulders above the work of most of his contemporaries and includes an effective horn section. (FS)

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Specialty SPCD 2139 Bayou Blues ● CD $12.98
CLIFTON CHENIER: All Night Long/ Boppin' The Rock/ Clifton's Squeeze-box Boogie/ Eh, Petite Fille/ I'm On My Way - Part 1/ I'm On My Way - Part 2/ Opelousas Hop/ The Cat's Dreamin'/ The Things I Did For You/ Think It Over/ Yesterday/ Zodico Stomp

 
CLIFTON CHENIER Specialty 7039 Zodico Blues & Boogie ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 50 min., recommended. In 1955, long before the king of Zydeco became the king and recorded for Arhoolie, he came to the attention of Specialty Records' owner Art Rupe. Chenier's brief affiliation with Specialty - one year - produced a handful of fine singles, the first and best being Boppin' The Rock/ Ay-Te Te Fee (SP 552). This CD collects the singles, draws material from the 1971 compilation LP, and adds 12 previously unreleased takes, Opelousas Hop/ Clifton's Dreaming/ Wherever You Go I'll Go/ All Night Long among them. Session musicians included guitarists Phillip Walker and Lonesome Sundown, not to mention Clifton's rubboard playing brother Cleveland. Informative liner notes and session info kindly provided by Ray Topping, who compiled this set for Ace. (JC)

  
CLIFTON CHENIER, MANCE LIPSCOMB, LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS Arhoolie 484 Live At Berkeley Blues Festival ● CD $12.98
23 tracks, 75 mins, recommended Three of Arhoolie's stars captured live in 1966 in Berkeley. This is a reissue of Arhoolie 1030 with 11 bonus unissued cuts. Mance & Lightnin' are in typically fine form, mostly performing familiar items from their repertoire. Clifton sounds pretty good but is hampered by only being accompanied by drummer Francis Clay. (FS)

 
THE CHICAGO ALL STARS Wolf 120.291 Chicago All Stars ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, fans only. The Chicago All Stars were a group formed in 1969 by Willie Dixon which, besides himself, included Sunnyland Slim/vocals & piano, Johnny Shines/ vocal and guitar, Walter Horton/ vocal & harmonica and Clifton James/ drums. The group had one album on the MPS label and this disc fetaures previously unissued recordings from 1970. In spite of the stellar line up the music is generally unexceptional - most of the songs the artists had recorded elsewhere in superior versions. Recording quality is generally mediocre with poor balance and the notes, as usual for Wolf, suffer from poor proof-reading. A collection for completists. (FS)

 
CHICAGO BOB & THE SHADOWS High Water/HMG 6506 Just Your Fool ● CD $13.98
Reissue of 1987 High Water LP plus one previously unissued cut. Chicago Bob is actually from Louisiana though he did spend a few years in Chicago. He is quite a good singer and harmonica though rather one dimensional in his approach. His accompanying band is competent though unexceptional. They perform a mixture of originals (Call My Landlady/ Your Time To Choose/ Bogaloosa Boogie) and covers Just Your Fool/ Mama, Talk To Your Daughter/ Sloppy Drunk, etc.

 
THE CHOSEN GOSPEL SINGERS Specialty 7014 The Lifeboat ● CD $14.98
In his carefully-researched notes for this issue, Lee Hildebrand paints the picture of a group, first organized in 1950, whose membership was so erratic that between sessions number one and four for Specialty, within a year and a half, all of the group's members had changed. Yet, in spite of this, the various Chosen Gospel aggregations who recorded between 1952 and 1955 produced a consistently interesting body of work. Worthy of note is the fact that their first and second sessions, producing 9 cuts, was done entirely a cappella, and that one of the leads for the third and fourth sessions, producing 11 cuts, was none other than a teenaged Lou Rawls. Highlights include Come By Here, One-Two-Three, No Room At The Hotel, and Prayer for the Doomed. Fine sound and a nice cover photo of one of the group's permutations. Well worth a listen. (DH)

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