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BLUES & GOSPEL

Georgia Tom Dorsey -> Johnny Dyer

 

GEORGIA TOM DORSEY Blues Documents BDCD 6021 Complete Chronological Recordings, Vol. 1 1928-1930 ● CD $15.98

 
K.C. DOUGLAS Arhoolie 475 Mercury Blues ● CD $12.98
22 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
Reissue of Arhoolie 1073 (recorded between 1960 and 1974) with 12 previously unissued tracks added! Mississippi bluesman Douglas, who settled in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1945 was a one time associate of the great Tommy Johnson and Johnson's influence can be heard on a number of the selections here. Douglas was a warm expressive singer and a good guitarist. Most of Douglas's recordings feature him as a country bluesman playing acoutsic guitar and 8 of the tracks here find him in that context. But the other 14 tracks takes us to a Mississippi juke joint with Douglas playing tough electric guitar, accompanied by a small combo with fellow Mississippian Richard Riggins on harp, Ron Thompson on guitar and Jim Marshall on drums. Most of the songs are Douglas originals though strongly rooted in traditional elements. His introspective My Mind's Going Back To 1929 is particularly nice. It also includes a remake of his 1948 classic Mercury Boogie which was a number one country hit for Alan Jackson in 1992. (FS)
K.C. DOUGLAS: Black Cat Bone/ Black Cat Bone/ Canned Heat/ Catfish Blues/ Country Girl/ Fanny Lou/ Fanny Lou/ Good Lookin' Women/ Good Looking Women/ High Water Rising/ I Don't Want No Woman To Love Me/ I'm Gonna Build Me A Web (Like A Spider)/ Make Your Coffee (Cut Your Kindlin' & Build Your Fire)/ Married Woman Blues/ Mercury Blues/ My Mind's Going Back To 1929/ Night Shift Blues/ Richard's Ride/ Somebody Done Stole My Gal/ Woke Up This Morning/ You Hear Me Howling/ Your Crying Won't Make Me Stay

 
JOHNNY DRUMMER Earwig 4948 Unleaded Blues ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 62 mins, recommended
Why would a keyboardist named Thessex Johns would call himself Johnny Drummer? He started out as a drummer! Johnny has been a fixture on Chicago's south side for some time. This is his 3rd CD, 2nd for Earwig, & is named for the club he holds residence at, Lee's Unleaded Blues. Johnny's in a R&B blues bag, & wrote all the songs, some with traditional blues (Stop Cheating/ I Feel So Good/ Born In The Delta), with some fine lead guitar work by both Luther "Slim" Adams & Chuck Kramer. But it's the opener & closer that I love I'm Gonna Sell My Cadillac/ Buy Myself A Mule, & especially Somebody Please Give Me a Job ("Tell me what can a man do/ When I'm not very well educated?/You know I tried to operate that computer/ but that darn thing is just too complicated")! (GM)

 
JOHNNY DRUMMER Earwig 4951 Rockin' In The Juke Joint ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 59 min., recommended
Born Thessex Johns, Drummer switches off between electronic keyboard and harmonica, turns in a series of impressive performances. A respectable singer, Drummer also wrote all but one song here, and he moves around among the bluesy , the soulful, the funky. Surprising that no one has covered Keep It A Secret yet. His third CD for the Chicago Earwig label, "Rockin'" further cements Drummer's reputation as a talented if underrated blues man. (JC)

 
MARY DUKES & THE 32-20 BAND South Side 6 Introducing The Divine Ms Mary ● CD $13.98
Decent contemporary blues featuring tough L.A. based vocalist Mary Dukes and her band. The songs are all from the pen of Jerry Rosen who also produced and plays some nice lead guitar on the set. South Side Slim guests on guitar on several tracks but his rock blues stylings are too over the top for my taste.

 
LITTLE ARTHUR DUNCAN Delmark 733 Singin' With The Sun ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 65 mins, recommended
Fine set of down home Chicago blues from fine singer/ harmonica player Duncan. He has been around for a while but has recorded very infrequently. He is a fine singer and a solid if not flashy harmonica player. He cites his influences as Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo and Howling Wolf and it shows in his singing and playing though he is certainly no slavish imitator. He is accompanied by a good band which includes guitarists Rockin' Johnny and Billy Flynn who occasionally get a little too busy but never tasteless. On his medley of Jimmy Reed songs he is joined on guitar by Eddie Taylor Jr. who puts in some nice licks derived from his dad. Most of the songs are originals though often are based on songs originated by his heroes. A most worthwhile effort. (FS)

 
LITTLE ARTHUR DUNCAN Delmark 793 Live At Rosa's Blues Lounge ● CD $14.98
15 tracks, 65 min., almost recommended
From a long line of Mississippi-born Chicago blues veterans comes Little Arthur Duncan, who has been haunting blues clubs in the Windy City since the 1950s. His band, which includes guitarists Rick Kreher (right speaker) formerly of the Muddy Waters Band and Illinois Slim (left speaker), offers better than respectable support for Duncan as he launches into a cover-heavy set (many from the Chess catalogue) including Howlin' Wolf's No Place To Go, Little Walter's I Got To Go and Blues With A Feeling, Willie Dixon's Little Red Rooster and Young Fashioned Ways, Jimmy Reed's Pretty Thing, and Roosevelt Sykes' 44 Blues, to name several. But ultimately the septuagenarian's vocals and harp lack some of the fire of days gone by, and the performances are a little tepid and only moderately pleasing. (JC)

 
LITTLE ARTHUR DUNCAN Delmark DVD 1793 Live At Rosa's Blues Lounge ● DVD $22.98
Includes two tracks not on the CD.

 
LITTLE ARTHUR DUNCAN Random Chance 3 Live In Chicago! ● CD $14.98
9 tracks, 50 mins, recommended
Good set of down to earth Chicago blues recorded live in 1999 featuring excellent singer and harmonica player Duncan accompanied by solid no nonsense band featuring guitarist Rockin' Johnny Burgin, basist Kar Meyer and Ashward Gates or Twist Turner on drums. Duncan is no great original - most of his songs are fairly familiar titles like Mama Talk to Your Daughter/ I Asked For Water/ Forty Four Blues and other covers along with a few originals but his performance is very appealing and this set makes for entertaining listening.

 
THE DUNHAM JAZZ & JUBILEE SINGERS Document DOCD 5498 Complete Recorded Works, 1927-1931 ● CD $15.98
 

 
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Collectables 2874 Walkin' The Blues - Very Best Of Champion Jack Dupree ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Most welcome reissue featuring all of Jack's King recordings in chronological order. His first session was in July 1951 and featured Jack with Brownie McGhee, a bass player and drummer and was issued under the name Big Tom Collins. The vocals were split between Jack and Brownie and only the tracks with Jack's vocals are featured here. The remaining tracks were recorded between 1953 and 1955 and issued under his own name. Jack is in fine form accompanied by small R&B combos with varying musicians often featuring the great guitarist Mickey Baker who plays some tasty slide on two 1955 sessions. One 1953 sessions features harmonica from Papa Lightfoot and the last session from November 1955 features dynamite harp by George Smith including the instrumental Sharp Harp. Some tracks feature sax work from Sidney Grant or Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson. On a few tracks he affects an annoying "tongue tied" vocal approach but there's enough fine singing and playing elsewhere to more than compensate. Sound quality is excellent and the booklet has informative notes by Victor Pearlin. (FS)

 
KING CURTIS & CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Collectables 6331 Blues at Montreux ● CD $11.98
6 tracks, 38 min., recommended
The pairing of a 61 year-old blues singer/ piano player with a 36 year-old sax session man may seem incongruous. But at Montreux in 1971, it was a match. Dupree pumps out a little piano, says something clever and then trades verses with Curtis's sax in a song about cheap wine and expensive women. The extrordinary rhythm section of Jerry Jermott (b) and Oliver Jackson (d) invigorates rather than just keeping pace. Songs include Junker's Blues/ Sneaky Pete/ Everything's Gonna Be Alright/ Get With It/ Poor Boy Blues/ I'm Having Fun. A minor find and one of Curtis's last recordings. (JC)

 
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Collectables 6818 Natural & Soulful Blues/ Champion Of The Blues ● CD $13.98
This CD reissues two Atlantic albums from 1960 & '61 featuring this great bluesman recorded in Europe. The first was recorded in London with bassist Jack Fallon and, on some tracks, guitarist Alexis Korner - the second is a completely solo set recorded in Copenhagen. Jack is in typically fine form with his powerful vocals and rolling New Orleans piano playing on a selection of excellent songs - some original and some blues favorites which Dupree made his own. As always, Jack's wit is strongly in evidence. Includes Seafood Blues/ Don't Leave Me, Mary/ How Long Blues/ Mother-In-Law Blues/ Dennis Rag/ I Had A Dream/ Reminiscin' With Champion Jack/ Daybreak Stomp/ Snaps Drinking Woman/ New Vicksburg Blues/ Johnson Street Boogie Woogie and others.

 
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Jasmine 3008 Jivin' With Jack ● CD $17.98
Two CD set featuring this great singer and piano player recorded live at the Manchester Sports Guild in England in 1966. Includes 15 tracks interspersed with Jack's amusing introductions. Includes Going Down To The Bottom/ Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer/ Income Tax/ Please Send Me Someone To Love/ How Long Blues/ Big Legged Mama/ Hey La Bas and others. Jack is in good form and sound quality is excellent.

 
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Magpie PYCD 53 1960 - New Orleans Barrelhouse ● CD $18.98
19 tracks, 73 min., recommended
The first half-dozen of Magpie's CD reissues of its much-heralded Piano Blues series have concentrated on pre-war styles; this entry jumps forward three decades. It finds barrelhouse master Champion Jack Dupree, recorded over two days in September 1960 by Francis Wilford-Smith. The sound quality is of course far purer than that of hoary Paramount and Vocalion sides, but what's most striking here is that nearly all of this material could have been recorded pre-war. Dupree became a star late in his life, but he did so with a style that went back to even before he began performing. And he does this without being anachronistic. There's great warmth in his voice as he declaims the influence of the New Orleans pianist known as Drive 'Em Down, and his broad repertoire ranges from straight blues to proto-R&B: in an earlier iteration, Tee-Na-Na provided the antecedent for Fats Domino's The Fat Man. This is pleasant and sometimes challenging stuff, a worthy member to Magpie's fine series. (JG)

 
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Rondolette 10645 Shake Baby Shake ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 60 mins, highly recommended
This great album features all 17 songs recorded by Jack Dupree for Vik and Groove in 1956 and '57 including eight songs not originally issued plus five alternate takes. Dupree had a long career starting in the late 30s and continuing unbroken up to his death in 1992. These are some of his most energetic performances - in addition to his great vocals and powerhouse piano he is joined by the brilliant Larry Dale on guitar, Al Lucas on bass, Willie Jones or Gene Moore on drums and Pete Brown/ts on a few cuts. The songs are mixture of slow intense blues (Down The Lane/ Story Of My Life/ My Baby's Like A Clock, whismsical semi novelty items (Just Like A Woman/ Woman Trouble Again/ Rocky Mountain) and a lot of hard driving rockers (Old Time Rock 'n Roll/ Shake Baby Shake/ You're Always Crying The Blues/ The Wrong Woman and even a country & western flavored piece Lollipop Baby. On a couple of the cuts he is joined on vocals by the gruff voiced Mr. Bear (Teddy McRae) for some witty repartee. Great music, excellent sound but, unfortunately, shoddy packaging. (FS)

 
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE Sonet 986 924-9 The Sonet Blues Story ● CD $13.98
Jack recorded in London in 1971 with a British band (guitar, bass, harmonica & drums). Originally issued in 1972 on Sonet & GNP this new version features five bonus unissued tracks including an alternate take of the topical song Vietname Blues. Also includes Found My Baby Gone/ Will It Be/ Down And Out/ The Life I Lead/ One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer/ Rolling And Tumbling, etc.

 
BIG JOE DUSKIN Arhoolie 422 Cincinnati Stomp ● CD $12.98
18 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Cincinnati based singer/ piano player Big Joe Duskin is one of the vanishing breed of old style blues and boogie piano players and this collection of recordings (an expanded version of the LP Arhoolie 1080) from 1977 & '78 captures him in fine form. His playing is solid, assured and imaginative and though not a great singer he does a good job. Two thirds of the tracks are solo and the rest (recorded in Chicago) find him with a small combo which included veteran blues drummer S.P. Leary and legendary jazz bassist Truck Parham. His material is mostly blues and boogie standards like Roll 'Em Pete/ Little Red Rooster/ Down the Road Apiece/ Honky Tonk Train/ Yancey Special/ Boogie Woogie Prayer, etc along with a few nice originals. A most worthwhile release. (FS)
BIG JOE DUSKIN: Beat Me Daddy, Eight To The Bar/ Betty And Dupree/ Boogie Woogie Prayer/ Cincinnati Stomp/ Dollar Bill Boogie/ Down The Road Apiece/ Honky Tonk Train/ I Met A Girl Named Martha/ Little Red Rooster/ Mean Old Frisco/ Roll 'Em Pete/ Slidell Blues/ Stoop Down Baby/ Stormin' In Texas/ Tender Hearted Woman/ The Tribute/ Well, Well Baby/ Yancey Special

 
BIG JOE DUSKIN Yellow Dog 1133 Big Joe Duskin Jumps Again ● CD $13.98
16 tracks, very good
New album from veteran Cincinnati singer and piano player - his first in over ten years. Joe sounds pretty good both vocally and instrumentally on a collection of blues standards (You're Gonna Miss Me/ get Out Of My Way/ Betty & Dupree/ Key To the Highway/ Beer Drinking Woman, etc) along with a version of Johnny Horton's North To Alaska and a couple of nice originals. He is accompanied by a solid rhythm section of Ed Conley/ bass & Philip Paul/ drums. Two tracks feature rock guitar "legend" Peter Frampton whose playing behind Joe is truly appalling - he may know rock but hasn't a clue about blues. The song Black Mountain Blues features a nice vocal by Shawna Snyder. Nothing special here but it's nice to know that Joe is still active. (FS)

 
JOHNNY DYER Blind Pig 5028 Jukin' ● CD $15.98
 

 

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