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BLUES & GOSPEL
Silas Hogan -> Earl Hooker

SILAS HOGAN
SMOKEY HOGG
THE HOKUM BOYS
THE HOLLYWOOD FATS BAND
NICK HOLT
HOMESICK JAMES
EARL HOOKER
 

 

SILAS HOGAN Wolf 120.927 Louisiana Swamp Blues, Vol. 6 - The Godfather ● CD $15.98
11 sides by this swamp bluesman recorded in 1988 and 1990 with his son Samuel on drums and guitar, Oscar "Harpo" Davis on harp and others. Also includes 4 solo sides from 1988 by Arthur "Guitar" Kelly. Generally unexceptional performances.

 
SMOKEY HOGG Ace CDCHD 780 Deep Ellum Rambler ● CD $18.98
27 track collection of sides recorded by this distinctive and idiosyncratic performer for Modern recorded between 1947 and 1951. Includes his two most popular recordings Little School Girl and Long Tall Mama and several previously unissued sides. Seven tracks duplicate P-Vine 3043 issued a couple of year ago.

 
SMOKEY HOGG Ace CDCHD 866 Serve It To The Right ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, recommended. Following Ace's fine Smokey Hogg collection on their Deep Ellum Rambler (CHCHD 780) CD, they continue with a superb offering in "Serve It To The Right" which compiles a couple dozen more tracks from the Hogg catalog. Often the unfortunate brunt of barbs and jokes among collectors, Smokey Hogg might have been a "country-time" player with his own sense of meter and rhythm, but there's little doubt that he could swing on some serious down-home blues. This collection gathers up a fine cross-section of alternate takes and delivers a stunning array of Hogg's approaches; solo tracks, small band cuts, jumping Texas R&B, and jazz-tinged swingers. Aided by Maxwell Davis, Willard McDaniel, Hadda Brooks, Jake Porter, and other top names, while perhaps not a schooled musician, Smokey Hogg was popular and important enough to the record buying public to appear on more than a dozen imprints that encompassed over two-hundred sides. "Serve It To The Right" serves up a fine selection. (CR)

 
SMOKEY HOGG Ace CDCHD 1019 Midnight Blues ● CD $18.98
Ace's third compilation of this distinctive bluesman features 24 tracks recorded for Modern and Combo in the late 40s and early 50s including 10 previously unissued songs and one previously unissued alternate take - You Can't Keep Your Business Straight/ Misery Blues/ Walking Dr. Bill/ Smokey's In Town/ It's Raining Here/ Pack Your Grip/ My Baby's Worrying Me/ Love Me With A Feeling, etc.

 
SMOKEY HOGG Specialty 7020 Angels In Harlem ● CD $14.98
Andrew "Smokey" Hogg was influenced vocally by Big Bill Broonzy, but musically he shared traits with Specialty artists Lightnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker. Of the three, Smokey's erratic guitar most often left his piano and bass accompanists in the dust. This unpredictable habit, combined with some very imaginative lyrics, made him one of the most eccentric post-war blues hitmakers. Listen to I Want A Roller/ I Want My Baby For Christmas/ Gonna Leave Town/ If It Hadn't Been For You/ Angels In Harlem/ Born On The 13th and you'll see what I mean. The Bo Diddley-inspired Good Mornin' Baby is one of the latest tracks, coming from a 1958 Ebb single. The first 15 of these 22 numbers are from 1949, and include several unreleased sides as well as Specialty singles. Fun! (MB)
SMOKEY HOGG: Angels In Harlem - (previously unreleased)/ Boogie All Night Long - (prev. unrel.)/ Born On The 13th/ Crawdad/ Every Mornin' At Sunrise - (prev. unrel.)/ Evil Mind Blues/ Goin' Back To Texas/ Gonna Leave Town/ Good Mornin' Baby/ I Ain't Gonna Put You Down - (prev. unrel.)/ I Want A Roller/ I Want My Baby For Christmas/ I'm Through With You/ If It Hadn't Been For You - (prev. unrel.)/ Little Fine Girl/ Low Down Woman Blues/ Nobody Treats Me Right/ Size 4 Shoe - (previously unreleased)/ Sure 'Nuff/ What's On Your Mind/ Worryin' My Life Away - (prev. unrel.)/ You Better Watch That Jive

 
THE HOKUM BOYS Document DOCD 5236 Complete Recordings June-December 1929 In Chronological Order ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 77 min., recommended The liner notes here point out that the first recordings issued under the name Hokum Boys are actually by Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. This disc, however, focuses on the later, largely double-entendre recordings by the group which featured at various sessions Alex Robinson, Dan Roberts, Alex Hill, Bob Robinson, Jimmy Blythe, and Banjo Ikey Robinson. They make up a solid jazz ensemble, though the thematic sameness of the material is something of an artistic limitation, as in Caught Him Doing It, Somebody's Been Using That Thing, You Can't Get Enough of That Stuff, Let Me Pat That Thing, and Ain't Goin' to Beg You for That Stuff. It's fun to listen to nonetheless, and the sound quality on most of the tracks is surprisingly good. (DH)

 
THE HOKUM BOYS & BOB ROBINSON Document DOCD 5237 Complete Recorded Works, 1935-37 ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 76 min., recommended During the ten year popular reign of the hokum blues style, no single group of musicians owned the name The Hokum Boys. Thus the works offered here by the indefatigable folks at Document feature a constantly shifting personnel roster. The first few numbers - including Caught Us Doing It, Keep Your Mind on It, and I Ain't Gonna Do It - feature Casey Bill Weldon accompanied by Big Bill Broonzy and others. Later sessions feature Bob Robinson performing Down in the Alley, She's a Mellow Thing, Crying for Love, and It Started in the Garden of Eden in the company of various accompanists. These tracks come at the end of hokum's popularity, but are not one bit less energetic or raunchy for that. Sound quality is quite good, as are the notes by Chris Smith. Good clean fun from start to finish. (DH)

 
THE HOKUM BOYS Wolf WBCD 11 Vol. 1, 1930 ● CD $14.98

 
THE HOKUM BOYS Wolf WBCD 12 Vol. 2, 1930-31 ● CD $14.98

 
THE HOLLYWOOD FATS BAND Crosscut 21069 The Definitive Collection ● CD $29.98
Two CD set, 24 tracks, 100 mins, recommended
Hollywood Fats is a blues guitar legend, now gone but immortalized on a handful of recordings with various Los Angeles pals like James Harman. This session was originally issued on an 11 track LP in 1979. Black Top reissued it on CD in the early 90s with 6 additional tracks from the session and now Crosscut has gone one better and added 6 altrenate takes from the session along with the previously unissued tune Fred's Blues. This, the only album under his name gives us something to remember him by - songs with a tight and right band that recalls the 50's Chicago sound with scary accuracy. These guys obviously spent many nights on the stand together, and pianist Fred Kaplan and drummmer Richard Innes keep things pumpin'. But Fats is the star of the show, playing with dynamic flash when needed, and unerring good taste and tone throughout. Most of these are covers (Rock This House/ Okie Dokie Stomp/ Red Headed Woman/ Lonesome/ Caldonia, etc) with average vocals by Al Blake, but the houserockin' ability of this band, and Fats' solo work, put most bands to shame. This reissue also features a reproduction of the comic book that came with the original LP along with extensive liner notes. (MB/FS)

 
NICK HOLT Wolf 120.883 Chicago Blues Session Vol. 37-You Better Watch Yourself ● CD $14.98

 
HOMESICK JAMES Evidence 26085 Juanita ● CD $11.98
10 tracks, 45 min., highly recommended Recorded in 1993 for Fred James' Bluesland Productions, John William Henderson is in excellent voice, and with his slide guitar featured on almost all the tracks, this will appeal to all your electric delta blues fans. Highlights include "Time Is Growin' Near", "Juanita", "Stop That Thing" and a moving version of his 1952 Chance recording "Lonesome Ol'Train". (EL)

 
HOMESICK JAMES Fedora 5006 The Last Of The Broomdusters ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 53 minutes, recommended. When he was a member of Elmore James' Broomdusters, William Henderson mostly played rhythm or bass guitar. Not so here. His slide playing is very upfront, and as Chris Miller states in his note, he's not the easiest to support. But with Ron Thompson at the helm, the session holds together. Thompson knows just exactly when to come in & fill in the spaces - just as he did when he worked with John Lee Hooker. The highlights include Crutch And Cane, Early One Morning, Truck Drivin' Woman, Elmore James' Shake Your Moneymaker, and the stellar 10-minute solo Woman I'm Lovin'"/"Two Days Before Christmas. (EL)

 
HOMESICK JAMES Official 5253 Chicago Slide Guitar Legend ● CD $17.98
26 tracks recorded between 1953 and 1964 by this distinctive performer - Johnnie Mae/ Lonesome Old Train/ Whiskey Headed Woman/ Homesick Blues/ The Woman I Love/ Lonesome Blues/ Williamson Shuffle/Long Lonseome Day/ My Baby's Sweet/ My baby's Gone/ Can't Afford To Do It, etc.

 
HOMESICK JAMES & SNOOKY PRYOR Wolf 120 409 Sad & Lonesome ● CD $14.98

 
EARL HOOKER Arhoolie 324 Two Bugs & A Roach ● CD $12.98
A collection of 14 tracks by this brilliant blues guitarist - 10 from 1968/69 and 4 from 1952/53. Most of later recordings feature him with a Chicago band including Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins/ pno, Geneo Skaggs/ bass and Willie Williams or Levi Warren/ drums. Hooker was a dazzling guitar player whether playing straight or with a slide. He was not confident as a vocalist and so there is a high proportion of instrumentals though the the couple of tracks he does sing on are quite appealing. There are also vocals by mediocre B.B. King imitator Andrew Odom and Carey Bell. Some fine performances though a few tracks feature rather heavy use of the wah-wah pedal. The early recordings feature a rawer Southern sound which also feature Pinetop Perkins on piano on 3 of the tracks along with Willie Nix on drums. There is a wonderful version of Sweet Black Angel from 1952 with intense harp from Little Sam Davis. Excellent sound and informative notes by Chris Strachwitz. (FS)
EARL HOOKER: Anna Lee/ Earl Hooker Blues/ Earl's Boogie Woogie/ Guitar Rag/ I'm Going Down The Line/ Love Ain't A Plaything/ New Sweet Black Angel/ Off The Hook/ Sweet Black Angel/ The Hook/ Two Bugs And A Roach/ Wah Wah Blues/ You Don't Love Me/ You Don't Want Me

 
EARL HOOKER Arhoolie 468 Moon Is Rising ● CD $12.98
14 tracks featuring this great and influential blues guitarist, eight tracks from a 1969 West Coast session with Steve Miller and Louis Myers, four cuts recorded live in Chicago in 1969 with Eddie Taylor and Dave Myers (two previously unissued) and two unissued cuts from Hookers first session for Arhoolie in 1968 with "Pinetop" perkins and Freddy Roulette.
EARL HOOKER: Can't Hold Out Much Longer/ Conversion Blues/ Earl's Blues/ Guitar Rag/ Hooker N' Steve/ I'm Your Man/ Improvisations On Dust My Broom/ Improvisations On Frosty/ Little Carey's Jump/ New Riviera/ Strung Out Woman Blues/ Swingin' At Theresa's/ Take Me Back To East St. Louis/ The Moon Is Rising

 
EARL HOOKER Blue City 1325 Earl Hooker And His Blues Guitar ● CD $17.98
32 tracks, 79 mins, very highly recommended
Earl Hooker was considered by many of his peers in Chicago to be among the finest blues guitarists in the city and this collection goes a long way to prove it. Whether playing his trademark and lyrical single string slide guitar or doing some fleet fingered picking he always played with style, taste and feeling. This set features most of the singles issued under his name between 1953 and 1965 along with several cuts accompanying vocalists like Johnny O'Neal and Harold Tidwell and originally unissued sides recorded for Sun in 1953. The Chicago recordings find him the company of sidemen like Junior Wells/ hca, A.C. Reed/ ts, Johnny "Big Moose" Walker/ piano and organ, Fred Below/ drums and others. Much of the set is instrumental since Earl wasn't much of a vocalist. This set includes Earl's moody slide instrumental Blue Guitar which Chess subsequently used as a backing track for Muddy Waters' You Shook Me! Also includes Wild Moments/ Blues In "D" Natural/ Do The Chicken/ Rockin' With The Kid/ Tanya/ Swear To Tell The TRuth/ Trying To Make A Living/ So Many Hard Times/ The Drive/ Chicken and much more. Considering Hooker's importance it's a shame there are no notes or discographical info but music is great and sound is fine. (FS)
EARL HOOKER: Blue Guitar Blues/ Blue Guitar-1/ Blue Guitar-2/ Blues In 'D' Natural/ Chicken/ Do The Chicken/ Dynamite/ Frog Hop/ Guitar Rhumba/ Happy Blues/ How Long Can This Go On/ Move On Down The Line/ Off The Hook/ Race Track/ Rockin' With The Kid/ Rocking Wild/ Senorita Senorita/ Shake 'Em Up/ So Many Hard Times/ Swear To Tell The Truth/ Sweet Angel/ Sweet Soosie/ Tanya/ That Man/ The Drive/ The Hucklebuck/ These Cotton Pickin' Blues/ Trying To Make A Living/ Universal Rock/ Wild Moments/ Win The Dance/ Yea Yea

 

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