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Bob Hall - Harmonica Slim




HALL NEGRO QUARTETTE Document 5415 Unissued Radio Programs, 1936 ● CD $15.98
29 tracks, 75 min., recommended. These 6 "planned program services" waxed in 1936 come from recently discovered discs originally intended for radio broadcast. No one has unearthed any information about the group, but the spoken introductions for the programs, made by a white announcer, apparently make it obvious that the intended audience was white. (Unfortunately, these intros have been deleted here, presumably because of time constraints.) Plenty of stereotypes are included in the songs (Watermelon Smilin' On The Vine) that modern listeners may find at least awkward if not offensive. Despite it all, the ultra-smooth a cappella performances make this disc a real find. If you can make it through the abundant references to chitlins, chicken, cornbread and the like, undoubtedly intended to reinforce common racist stereotypes and thus be acceptable to a larger white radio audience, fine quartet singing is your reward. (JC)

JOHN HAMMOND Charisma 92146 Got Love If You Want It ● CD $12.98
Produced by J.J. Cale and featuring mainly post-war covers, Hammond is in top form on this beguiling set. Charles Brown's Driftin' Blues is given a fifties Delta blues treatment with John Lee Hooker providing intensity and authenticity. Chuck Berry's Nadine is the only rocker, and Hammond scores successfully with his country blues rendition of Little Walter's You're So Fine. Plus the title track, You Don't Love Me/ No Place To Go and four more. (TR)

JOHN HAMMOND Vanguard 2148 John Hammond ● CD $14.98

JOHN HAMMOND Vanguard VMD 79153 Big City Blues ● CD $14.98
John's second Vanguard album from 1964 - one of the earliest electric white blues albums with accompaniments from Billy Butler, Jimmy Spruill, Bobby Donaldson and others.
JOHN HAMMOND: Baby, Won't You Tell Me/ Backdoor Man/ Barbecue Blues/ Barrelhouse Woman Blues/ I Live The Life I Love/ I'm A Man/ I'm Ready/ Midnight Hour Blues/ My Babe/ My Starter Won't Start/ No Money Down/ When You Got A Good Friend

JOHN HAMMOND Vanguard 79198 Country Blues ● CD $14.98

JOHN HAMMOND Vanguard VMD 79380 Solo ● CD $14.98
Live recording from 1976 - 11 blues favorites - I Can't Be Satisfied/ Drifting Blues/ Sky Is Crying/ Honest I Do/ Hellhound Blues/ Got My Mojo Working.

JOHN HAMMOND Vanguard 79555 Best Of The Vanguard Years ● CD $15.98

JOHN HAMMOND AND THE NIGHTHAWKS Vanguard 79424 Hot Tracks ● CD $14.98

HAMPTON INSTITUTE QUARTET Document 5628 Between 1937 & 1942 ● CD $15.98
Features 18 tracks by The Hampton Institute Quartet/ Sextette plus tracks by The Harmony Four, Richard Huey & His Sundown Singers/ Chorus and The Royal Harmonaires.

HOSEA HARGROVE Fedora 5011 I Love My Life ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 36 mins, very good. 69 year old Texas bluesman Hosea Hargrove is a very good singer and an interestingly eccentric guitarist who was, apparently, an inspiration for Jimmy Vaughan. He is accompanied by a decent rhythm section though the sound is very thin. Most of the material here is overly familiar songs (Hoochie Coochie Man/ Things I Used To Do/ Caress Me Baby, etc) along with a few originals. I'd like to hear Hargrove with a more interesting selection of songs and better arrangements. (FS)

THE HARLEM HAMFATS Blues Collection 158 932 Hamfat Swing, 1936-1938 ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 57 mins, highly recommended The Hamfats were an unclassifiable septet whose combination of sophistication and unpretentiousness embodied in the group's name is precisely what made the Harlem Hamfats (actually from Chicago) sound so fresh in 1936 and so welcome. A little jazz and blues, some swing, and songs about drinking and sex make for completely enjoyable listening almost 60 years later too. If you don't want to spring for the four volumes on Document (5271->5274) this is an excellent introduction to the groups entertaining music. It includes some of their most famous songs like Oh! Red and Weed Smoker's Dream as well as tracks where they accomopany singers Rosetta Howard and Johnny Temple. (FS)

THE HARLEM HAMFATS Document DOCD 5271 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, Vol 1 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 68 min., essential The combination of sophistication and unpretentiousness embodied in the group's name is precisely what made the Harlem Hamfats (they're from Chicago) sound so fresh in 1936 and so welcome. A little jazz and blues, some swing, and songs about drinking and sex make for completely enjoyable listening almost 60 years later too. The Hamfats' first hit came with their first release, Oh! Red, which, with its alliance of trumpet, clarinet, piano, guitar, mandolin, and string bass, was influential enough to have Chuck Berry borrow some of its essence during his first sessions two decades later when he cut Maybelline. Other efforts bear such inviting titles as Let's Get Drunk And Truck/ Sales Tax On It/ My Garbage Man/ We Gonna Pitch A Boogie Woogie and Weed Smoker's Dream, which Lil Green reworked in 1941 as Why Don't You Do Right? Ironic, eh? Historically important fun. (JC)
THE HARLEM HAMFATS: Bad Luck Man/ Growling Dog/ Hamfat Swing/ I Feel Like A Millionaire/ If You Want To Live/ Lake Providence Blues/ Let's Get Drunk And Truck/ Little Girl/ Live And Die For You/ Move Your Hand/ My Daddy Was A Lovin' Man/ New Oh Red!/ Oh! Red/ Sales Tax On It/ She's Gone Again/ She's Trickin' Me/ Southern Blues/ The Garbage Man/ We Gonna Pitch A Boogie Woogie (take C)/ We Gonna Pitch Boogie Woogie (take A)/ Weed Smoker's Dream/ What You Gonna Do?/ Who Done It?/ You Done Tore Your Playhouse Down

THE HARLEM HAMFATS Document DOCD 5272 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, Vol 2 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 68 min., recommended Most of these excellent tracks retain the group's original line up, including Pearlis Williams on drums, Horace Malcolm on piano, Herb Morand playing trumpet like Louis Armstrong, Joe McCoy (gtr/vc), Charlie McCoy (gtr/mand), Ransom Knowling (sb), and Odell Rand (cl). The brief "religious" period between Joe McCoy's split with Memphis Minnie and his joining the Hamfats is represented and laughed at in the the winning Hallelujah Joe Ain't Preachin' No More. But, generally, the subjects explored in these songs remain wine and women, though not necessarily in that order. Some of the most striking numbers, however, show off vocalist Rosetta Howard on her first recordings, including her paean to marijuana, If You're A Viper, its flip Rosetta's Blues, a cover of Bessie Smith's Empty Bed Blues and Let Your Linen Hang Low, featuring an anything but subtle lyric shared with with Joe. Liner notes contain mini bios. (JC)
THE HARLEM HAMFATS: Baby Don't You Tear My Clothes/ Down In Shady Lane/ Empty Bed Blues/ Hallelujah Joe Ain't Preachin' No More/ Hoodooin' Woman/ I Don't Want You Loving Me/ I Feel Like Going To Town/ I Love That/ I'm Cuttin' Out/ I'm So Glad/ If You're A Viper (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ It Was Red/ It's Your Turn (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Jam Jamboree/ Keep It Swinging Round And Round/ Let Your Linen Hang Low (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Let's Fall In Love Again (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ My Old Lady Blues/ Ooh-Wee Babe/ Rosetta Blues (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ She's A Mellow Mother For You/ What's My Baby Doin'?/ Worried Mind Blues (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ You Drink Too Much

THE HARLEM HAMFATS Document DOCD 5273 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, Vol 3 ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 63 min., recommended Seen as pioneers in keeping the bluesy jazz stylings of the New Orleans area alive during the 30's and as influential in making the vocal an important aspect of small combo jazz, the Hamfats in this third volume of their history are still led by the stellar trumpet and lowdown vocals of Herb Morand, with able back up provided by Odell Rand, Horace Malcolm Joe and Charlie McCoy, and John Lindsay. The vocals on the last seven tracks are provided by the great Rosetta Howard. Among the diverse highlights are Black Gal You Better Use Your Head, Toodle Oo Blues, Let Me Feel It, I Believe I'll Make a Change, Stay On It, and the mournful Delta Bound. Sound quality is solid, and the notes by David Evans of the University of Memphis are impressively knowledgeable. Highly recommended. (DH)
THE HARLEM HAMFATS: Black Gal You Better Use Your Head/ Broken Hearted Blues/ Delta Bound (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Don't Start No Stuff/ Harlem Jambouree (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ How Long Baby (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ I Believe I'll Make A Change/ I'd Rather Be With You/ I'm In So Much Trouble Now/ It Will Never Happen Again (R. Howard, vcl)/ Let Me Feel It/ Little Girl/ Rampart And Gravier Blues/ Root Hog Or Die/ Stay On It (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Tempo De Bucket/ Time's A-Wastin'/ Toodle Oo Blues/ Trading Old Love For New (R. Howard, vcl)/ What's On Your Mind?/ You Got The Devil To Pay/ You Got To Be Satisfied/ You Got To Go When The Wagon Comes (Rosetta Howard, vcl)

THE HARLEM HAMFATS Document DOCD 5274 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, Vol 4 ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 63 min., recommended This last volume finds group leader Herb Morand and and vocalist Rosetta Howard present on only the first seven tracks. When Morand left, Ann Cooper was recruited to take his place and Alberta Smith was added to the team to share vocal duties with guitarist Joe McCoy. For the Hamfats' last session, in September of 1939, Lil Allen took over as vocalist. Even with all of these personnel changes, the group's sound remained essentially identifiable. Featured numbers here include Mellow Little Devil, Stomp It Out Gate, Stay Away from My Door, Way Down That Lonely Road, Rockin' Myself to Sleep, and Take Me in Your Alley. Sound quality is best on the first seven numbers, which were recorded for Decca. The rest of the numbers were recorded for the less-quality-conscious Vocalion label. Solid notes by David Evans once again. (DH)
THE HARLEM HAMFATS: All On Account Of You (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Bartender's Blues/ Business Is Gone Away/ Mellow Little Devil/ Oh Babe, Has You Money Come?/ Oh Rider (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Ready For The River/ Rockin' Myself To Sleep/ Something Wrong With My Mind/ Stay Away From My Door (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Stomp It Out Gate (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Take Me In Your Alley/ That's Going To Ruin Your Beauty Spot/ The Barefoot Boy/ The Candy Man (Rosetta Howard, vcl)/ Way Down That Lonely Road/ What Was You Doing/ When My Love Has Come Down./ When The Sun Goes Down In Harlem/ You Brought Me Everything But Love/ You Can't Win In Here/ You Done Turned Salty On Me/ You've Had Your Last Good Time With Me

HARMONICA FATS & THE BERNIE PEARL BAND Bee Bump 02 I Had To Get Nasty ● CD $14.98
13 tracks from popular L.A. based singer/ harmonica player Fats accompanied by a solid band led by guitarist Bernie Pearl with Terry De Rouen/ lead guitar, Hollis Gilmore/ tenor sax, Leon Blue/ keyboards and others. Fats is not a great singer or harmonica player but his performance is energetic and engaging and the band provides good accompaniments on the mostly original songs - saxist Gilmore adds in some particularly nice fills. (FS)

HARMONICA FATS & BERNIE PEARL Bee Bump 05 Blow, Fat Daddy, Blow! ● CD $14.98
12 tracks, 50 min., very good What we have here is an unpretentious set of acoustic blues, a followup to their 1994 W. C. Handy nominated set Two Heads Are Better Than One (Bee Bump 04). Four of the titles are instrumentals including Blues For Mrs. B., West Side Boogie, The Funky Pony, and a solo guitar piece by Bennie Pearl, Blues Kaddish. As for Harvey (Harmonica Fats) Blackstone's vocals, he's at his best on You Got Your Mind In The Gutter - the highlight of this set of 12 original songs. (EL)
HARMONICA FATS AND BERNIE PEARL: Blow, Fat Daddy, Blow!/ Blues For Mrs. B./ Blues Kaddish/ Helicopter Blues/ House Going Round And Round/ I Get So Tired/ Looking For My Tools/ She's Way Out Of My Class/ The Funky Pony/ Westside Boogie/ Why Should I Holler?/ You Got Your Mind In The Gutter

HARMONICA SHAH Blue Suit 114 Motor City Mojo ● CD $14.98

HARMONICA SHAH South Side 4 Deep Detroit ● CD $13.98
11 tracks, 52 min, very good Gritty bar blues from a transplanted Texan (born in Oakland). Shah played with most of the blues greats coming through Detroit, is now on his own, with Howard Glazer on guitar & variety of bassists including 70s Detroit rock legend Gary Rasmussen of such bands as The Up, Sonic Rendezvous band & in the backing bands of Patti Smith & Iggy Pop. This is raw stuff , as can be told by the titles of the originals - Repo Man/ Don't Kick Me TO The Curb/ Dun Made My Getaway, & even in the choice of covers, especially his version of Lazy Lester's rarely covered Bloodstains Upside The Wall. Recorded live in the studio. Originally released in England last year on Bluetrack. (GM)

HARMONICA SLIM & HOSEA LEAVY Fedora 5023 Cold Tacos and Warm Beer ● CD $15.98
Two veteran bluesman based in the West Fresno area - singer/ harmonica player Harmonica Slim (aka Richard Riggins) and singer/ guitarist Hosea Levy originally from Arkansas do a set of very down home blues with a small grou.


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