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BLUES & GOSPEL

Bob Merrill -> John Mooney

BOB MERRILL
HAZEL MEYERS
THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY
AMOS MILBURN
JOSIE MILES
LIZZIE MILES
AL MILLER
BIG MILLER
LUELLA MILLER
ROY MILTON
R.J. MISCHO
MISS ANGEL
MISSISSIPPI HEAT
THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS
MONKEY JOE
LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY
COCO MONTOYA
 

 
BOB MERRILL Blue Moon 6041 Complete Recordings, 1943-1961 ● CD $15.98
25 tracks from singer and trumpet player Merrill. Most of the recordings are from the period 1943 to 1949 with two tracks from around 1960/61. Several tracks feature him with his own small band while many find him with the larger orchestras of Jay McShann or Cootie Williams. Merrill is a decent singer though not a particularly expressive one and his echoing of the vocal mannerisms of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson gets a little tedious.

 
HAZEL MEYERS Document DOCD 5430 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1923-1924 ● CD $15.98
HAZEL MEYERS: 'tain't A Doggone Thing But The Blues/ (12050)/ (the Worst Lookin' Man In Town)/ Awful Moanin' Blues/ Black Star Line/ Bleeding Heart/ Blues/ Chicago Bound Blues/ Don't Know And Don't Care Blues/ Don't Mess With Me/ Down Hearted Blues/ Dream Blues/ Graveyard Dream Blues (12048)/ Graveyard Dream Blues (12049)/ He's Never Gonna Throw Me Down (12208)/ Heart-breakin' Joe/ I'm Every/ I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down/ Love Ain't Blind No More/ Low Down Papa/ Low Down Papa (12051)/ Man's Mama/ Mason-dixon Blues/ Papa Don't Ask Mama Where She Was/ Pipe/ Plug Ugly/ Wish I Had You (and I'm Gonna Get You Blues)/ You Better Build Love's Fire (or Your Sweet Mama's Gone)

 
EDNA HICKS, HAZEL MEYERS, LAURA SMITH Document DOCD 5431 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1923-1927 ● CD $15.98
EDNA HICKS: Cemetary Blues/ Hard Luck Blues/ I Don't Love Nobody So I Don't Have No Blues/ If You Don't Give Me What I Want/ Poor Me Blues/ Where Can That Somebody Be?/ HAZEL MEYERS: (i'm Gonna See You) When Your Troubles Are Just Like Mine/ Blackville After Dark/ Cold Weather Papa/ Frankie Blues/ Hateful Blues/ Heartbreaking Blues/ Lonesome For That Man Of Mine/ Lost My Sweetie Blues/ Maybe Someday/ War Horse Mama/ You'll Never Have No Luck By Quittin' Me/ LAURA SMITH: Fightin' Blues/ Lonesome Refugee/ Red River Blues/ The Mississippi Blues

 
THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY MCA Special Products MCAD 22022 Live ● CD $7.98
At the start of their decline in 1971, The Clouds performed and were recorded live at The Apollo Theater in Harlem. Led by the raspy pipes of Little Willie Joe Ligon the quintet stirred and quelled the audience through a program of gospel standards and personal hits. Boiling points include a devastating version of Amazing Grace and testimonial preaching between selections. Not quite as powerful as the group's 1966 Live At The Music Hall album, but chock full of excitement nevertheless. Neglectful lack of pics and sleeve notes on this otherwise good analog tape transfer. (OLN)
THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY: Amazing Grace/ Heavy Load/ I'll Be Alright/ I've Gone This Far By Faith/ Jesus/ Pray For Me/ Who's Going Down In The Grave With Me?

 
THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY MCA Special Products MCAD 22045 The Best Of The Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Vol. 1 ● CD $7.98
The Mighty Clouds Of Joy of L.A. started out in the late 50's as The Sensational Wonders, who recorded for Fabor. As The Clouds they canned a live performance of 1959 (later issued by JOB in 1966). In Sept. 1960, the group signed with Peacock and rose to become the nation's leading quartet in 1965. Original members included the dynamic lead Little Willie Joe Ligon, manager Ermant Franklin, Oakland's Elmer Franklin, Richard Wallace, Leon Polk, and the mighty pipes of Johnny Martin. This spirit-chasing collection contains album and singles cuts. Standouts include Family Circle/ The Bright Side/ Nearer To Thee/ I'll Go (sermonette), and None But The Righteous/ I Ain't Got Long Here from their live at The Music Hall album of 1966. Reissue of great 1973 album of the same name (Peacock 136). Disgraceful lack of book notes, but great fidelity. (OLN)
THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY: Ain't Got Long Here/ Bright Side/ Family Circle/ Friend In Jesus/ Glory Hallelujah/ He's Able/ I'll Go, Pt. 2/ Nearer To Thee/ Nobody Can Turn Me Around/ None But The Righteous/ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

 
THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY MCA Special Products MCAD 22050 The Best Of The Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Vol. 2 ● CD $7.98
Reissue of compilation of the same name circa 1973 (Peacock 154). A hotch-potch of album and singles sides from various dates of issue, all made before the brief period when the group crossed over to soul music. Magnificent feats of tonsil-twisting on Did You Stop To Pray This Morning/ When The Gates Swing Open/ Call Him Up led by the gospel equivalent of James Brown - Little Willie Joe Ligon. MCA in all their enthusiasm chose to include the inferior studio version of Stand By Me which comes nowhere close to the live effort caught on Peacock 134. The Clouds can still shake out a storm, and should also be seen on widely available videos. More failure to include notes or pics here - but many fine sides for lovers of fervent gospel quartet. (OLN)
THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY: Brighter Tomorrow/ Call Him Up/ Did You Stop To Pray/ Go Tell It On The Mountain/ He's Able/ He's Real To Me/ Let Jesus Lead You/ Man Can't Get No Satisfaction/ Nobody Can Turn Me Around/ Stand By Me/ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/ When The Gates Swing Open

 
JOSIE MILES Document DOCD 5466 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1922-1924 ● CD $15.98
JOSIE MILES: Awful Moanin' Blues/ Baby's Got The Blues/ Freight Train Blues/ Graveyard Dream Blues/ He Went Away And Left Me Blues/ He's My Man, Your Man/ He's Never Gonna Throw Me Down/ I Don't Want You/ I Want My Sweet Daddy Now/ If You Want To Keep Your Daddy Home/ Kansas City Man Blues/ Love Me In Your Old Time Way/ Lovin' Henry Blues/ Low Down 'bama Blues/ Pipe Dream Blues/ Please Don't Tickle Me Dear Blues/ Sweet Man Joe (9707)/ War Horse Mamma/ When I Dream Of Old Tennessee Blues/ When You're Crazy Over Daddy/ You Don't Know My Mind Blues/ You're Foolin' With The Wrong Gal Now

 
JOSIE MILES Document DOCD 5467 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1924-1925 ● CD $15.98
BLIND JOHN DAVIS: Alley Woman Blues/ Anna Lou Breakdown/ Booze Drinking Benny/ Davis Boogie/ Everybody Got The Blues/ Got The Blues So Bad/ Home Town Blues/ Honey Babe/ How Long Blues/ I Love My Josephine/ Jersey Cow Blues/ Magic Carpet/ My Red/ No Mail Today/ O Sole Mio/ Paris Boogie (Woogie Boogie)/ Rockin' In Boogie/ Sunrise Boogie/ Telegram To My Baby/ The Day Will Come/ Walkin' And Talkin'/ Your Love Belongs To Me

 
LIZZIE MILES American Music 73 Lizzie Miles ● CD $13.98
18 tracks from early/mid-50s with four different bands. Some tracks previously unissued.

 
LIZZIE MILES Document DOCD 5459 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1923-1928 ● CD $15.98
22 more tracks.
LIZZIE MILES: A Good Man Is Hard To Find/ Black Man (be On Yo' Way)/ Cotton Belt Blues/ Don't Let Your Love Come Down/ Family Trouble Blues/ Grievin' Mama Blues/ Haitian Blues (a Wild Weepin' Moan) (80987)/ If You Can't Control Your Man/ Keep Yourself Together Sweet Papa/ Lonesome Ghost Blues/ Mean Old Bedbug Blues/ My Pillow And Me/ Nobody Shows What My Baby Shows/ Police Blues/ Second Hand Daddy/ Shootin' Star Blues/ Slow Up Papa/ Triflin' Man/ Unless I Give It To You/ When You Get Tired Of Your New Sweetie/ You Can't Have It/ You're Always Messin' Round With My Man

 
AL MILLER Delmark 675 Wild Cards ● CD $14.98
Chicago singer, harmonica and guitar player with Dave Specter and Steve Freund. Guest vocals by Tad Robinson & Willie Kent.

 
AL MILLER Document DOCD 5306 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, 1927-36 ● CD $15.98
26 tracks, 72 mins, recommended
Al Miller is a biographical blank but a very entertaining one. The 26 tracks here recorded between 1927 and 1936 reveal Miller to be a distinctive singer and a fine mandolin player. The earliest sides with guitar have a vaudeville/string band flavor. His 1929 recordings are heavy on the hokum including three versions of what must have been his most popular song Somebody's Been Using That Thing. He has a nice way with lyrics - his Thirty First & State about an important intersection in Chicago's South Side entertainment district has lines like "The best looking woman that I ever saw/ Are runnin' round corners, dodgin' the law" and "You can get a get a nose full of coke and a belly full of booze". His 1936 recordings feature the clarinet of Odell Rand which give it a bit of a Harlem Hamfats feel though the four songs are almost indistinguishable. Nice stuff! (FS)
AL MILLER: Ain't That A Mess?/ Bone Blues/ Don't Be A Fool/ Gimme A Li'l Taste/ I Found A Four-leaf Clover/ I Found Your Key-hole/ I Would If I Could (21061)/ I Would If I Could (c-3083)/ It Ain't Killed Nobody Yet/ It Must Be Good/ It's Got To Be Done/ Juicy Mouth Shorty/ Let Me Put My Shoes Under Your Bed/ Maybe You'd Feel That Way Too/ Mister Mary Blues/ No Fish For Me/ On An Island All By Myself/ Saturday Night Hymn/ Somebody's Been Using That Thing (14799)/ Somebody's Been Using That Thing (c-3080)/ Somebody's Been Using That Thing Part Ii/ Someday Sweetheart/ That Stuff Ain't No Good/ That Stuff You Sell/ Thirty First And State/ Truckin' Old Fool

 
BIG MILLER Collectables 7453 Revelations & The Blues/ Big Miller Sings, Twists, shou ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Clarence "Big" Miller was a big voiced singer from Sioux City, Iowa. His voice is strongly reminiscent of Jimmy Witherspoon. His handful of recordings were made with jazz musicians and so he is not very well known to blues aficionados. This CD reissues two LPs recorded for Columbia in 1961 and '62. The first album was recorded with several different small groups and is mostly original blues written by Miller - particularly impressive is the rocking I Know with some hot sax by Plas Johnson. The second album features Miller with a large band and is mostly jazz and pop standards (Am I Blue/ I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues/ Near You), etc. Pleasant enough but nothing original. (FS)

 
LUELLA MILLER Document DOCD 5183 Complete Recordings In Chronological Order (1926-28) ● CD $15.98 $11.98
24 tracks, 70 min., good
A largely unknown performer, the St. Louis-raised Miller performs in a style generally unlike her classic blues contemporaries. Her voice is nasal, powerful, and suited to her choice of material. But the material itself, in spite of support from James Johnson and Lonnie Johnson, is rather unimaginative, with little variance in tempo. Over an hour of her material in one sitting can feel pretty monotonous. Specific tracks include Dago Hill Blues/ Down the Alley/ Peeping at the Rising Sun Blues and Tornado Groan. Generally good sound quality, brief notes, and typical Document graphics. (DH)
LUELLA MILLER: Brick House Blues/ Carrier Pigeon Blues/ Chicago Blues/ Dago Hill Blues/ Down The Alley (-40)/ Down The Alley (-41)/ Dreaming Of You Blues/ East St. Louis Blues/ Frisco Blues/ Jackson's Blues/ Muddy Stream Blues/ North Wind Blues/ Peeping At The Rising Sun Blues/ Pretty Man Blues (548)/ Pretty Man Blues (549)/ Rattle Snake Groan/ Smiling Rose Blues/ Through And Through Blues/ Tombstone Blues/ Tornado Groan/ Triflin' Man Blues/ Twelve O'clock Blues/ Walnut Street Blues/ Wee Wee Daddy Blues

 
ROY MILTON Specialty 7004 The Legends Of Specialty - Roy Milton & His Solid Send ● CD $15.98
Drummer/ vocalist Roy Milton, affectionately described as the Grandfather Of Rhythm & Blues hailed from Oklahoma and started out in the 20s as vocalist with the Ernie Fields Orchestra. The Solid Senders who were modelled on the Lucky Millinder Band included the great altoist Jackie Kelso and legendary boogie pianist Camille Howard who also recorded for Federal & Specialty. Camille and Jackie "spiced" the Milton band with tireless excitement. The album set includes hits like Milton's Boogie/ R.M. Blues/ Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket/ The Hucklebuck and others. 16 nuggets in all from the 1945 through 1950 period. The compact disc features 9 additional hits from the same period including Best Wishes/ T-Town Twist/ I Have News For You, etc. There is minimal duplication with Jukebox Lil 600 and 616. (OLN)
ROY MILTON: A Porter's Love Song To A Chamber Maid/ Bartender's Boogie/ Best Wishes/ Big Fat Mama/ Blue Turning Grey Over You/ Camille's Boogie/ Christmas Time Blues/ Everything I Do Is Wrong/ Hop, Skip And Jump/ I Have News For You/ Information Blues/ It's Later Than You Think/ Junior Jives/ Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket/ Milton's Boogie/ Night And Day (I Miss You So)/ Oh Babe/ R M Blues/ So Tired/ T-town Twist/ The Hucklebuck/ The Numbers Blues/ Thrill Me/ True Blues/ Where There Is No Love

 
ROY MILTON Specialty 7024 Vol. 2 - Groovy Blues ● CD $15.98
This disc continues in the mold of vol. 1 (#7004), proferrring picks from Roy's 1945-1953 reign as the Grandfather Of R&B (and Great Grandfather Of Rock). He was Specialty's first big hitmaker, fusing sophisticated jump blues with the raucous horn riffing of Basie and other Southwest bands. Top 10 hits fill the first volume, but there's plenty more uncharted juice here for early R&B fans. The riffing style is set on 1945's Rhythm Cocktail, and motivates many instrumentals - the unissued One O'Clock Jump/ Marie and features like Roy Rides/ Little Boy Blue/ Junior Jumps. The bands' bread and butter was midtempo blues, expertly sung by Roy on Cryin' And Singin' The Blues/ Waking Up Baby/ Playboy Blues/ That's The One For Me. Pianist Camille Howard graces the sassy 'Tain't Me/ Groovy Blues/ Pack Your Sack, Jack with her warm vocals. Other treats include an unissued I Want A Little Girl, a red hot sax break on the unissued Cold Blooded Woman, and, depending on your taste, Roy's pop covers of Sunny Side Of The Street/ My Blue Heaven/ Oh Marie. 25 in all. (MB)
ROY MILTON: Bye Bye Baby Blues/ Cold Blooded Woman/ Cryin' And Singin' The Blues/ Don't You Remember Baby?/ Groovy Blues/ I Stood By/ I Want A Little Girl/ Junior Jumps/ Little Boy Blue/ Marie/ My Blue Heaven/ Oh Marie/ On The Sunny Side Of The Street/ One O'clock Jump/ Pack Your Sack Jack/ Playboy Blues/ Rhythm Cocktail/ Roy Rides/ Short, Sweet And Snappy/ Sympathetic Blues/ T'aint Me/ That's The One For Me/ Unidentified Novelty Song No 1/ Unidentified Shuffle Blues No. 1/ Wakin' Up Baby

 
ROY MILTON Specialty 7060 Vol. 3 - Blowin' With Roy ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 68 min., recommended
Roy Milton and his Solid Senders were so damn good that Vol. 3 of their work at Specialty Records contains mostly b-sides, previously unreleased material (nearly half the tracks!), and only one real hit (Everything I Do Is Wrong) and it's still great. Some of the unreleased cuts (covers of Along The Navajo Trail/ Old Man River/ Blue Skies) sound like numbers Roy and company would dish out primarily to white audiences, but it doesn't matters since Camille Howard sounds perfect on the piano all the time. All cuts were recorded between 1947-53, and each is a cool slice of boogie 'n' blues. If you haven't picked up Vol. 1 or 2, you will after you hear this. (JC)
ROY MILTON: Along The Navajo Trail/ Believe Me Baby/ Blowin' With Roy/ Blue Skies/ Blues Ain't News/ Cool Down/ Coquette/ Everything I Do Is Wrong/ I've Had My Moments/ If You Don't Know/ If You Love Me Baby/ La Hop/ My Sweetheart/ New Year's Resolution/ Ol' Man River/ Practice What You Preach/ Sad Feeling/ The Song Is Ended/ Thelma Lou/ Them There Eyes/ There Is Something Missing/ Train Blues/ What's The Use/ When I Grow Too Old To Dream/ You Mean So Much To Me

 
R.J. MISCHO Crosscut 11075 Meet Me On The Coast ● CD $21.98
16 tracks, 52 minutes, recommended
Mischo's fourth outing for Crosscut and he's just as strong here as he has been in the past. Leaving the upper Midwest for California seems to have been a good move for this potent harp player as he's joined here by a number of heavies including Junior Watson, John "Juke" Logan, Ronnie James, and Eddie Clark. Watson hands in guitar chores for a few along with Frank Goldwasser, who plays on more than half the disc. Other friends include Jeremy Johnson, Mark Thijs, and Fillmore Slim. While You Think I'm Lying? sounds closer to a mid-80's T-Bird rocker, most of the disc is made up of romping blues like Take It Easy and Passing By Blues. Mischo might not be the strongest vocalist around, but his voice has blue-collar quality to it that perfectly matches with his rough-hewn harp. Bobsledding sounds like a slice of Chicago, circa 1957, and shows R.J.'s penchant for attacking an original with a decidedly vintage outlook. (CR)

 
R.J. MISCHO Crosscut 11087 He Came To Play ● CD $21.98
14 tracks, 49 minutes, recommended
R.J. Mischo pays homage to past heroes, their songs, influences, and their styles by fusing his own gifts as a songwriter, singer, and top-shelf harmonica player with the music he grew up loving. He's no newcomer either - he's been doing it so long that there's a seamless fit between nods to J.B. Hutto (20% Alcohol and Please Help), John Lee Williamson (Bluebird Blues), Louis "Mr. Bo" Collins (The Train), and Jimmy Dawkins (Hippie's Playground) with his own imaginative instrumentals such as The Switch/ The Pull, and The Waddle or his crafty ability with the turn of a phrase on Telephone Driver and I Came To Play. Recorded 'live' in one room with Frank Goldwasser and Kid Anderson on guitars and a spot-on rhythm section (with piano and sax) Mischo gets assistance of the highest caliber. He's one of the best around which should come as no surprise with him having been honing his craft for about three decades now. (CR)

 
R.J. MISCHO Mountain Top 356 West Wind Blowin' ● CD $11.98
U.S. issue of 1998 Crosscut album with Bob Welsh, Rusty Zinn, Steve Freund and others.

 
MISS ANGEL Electro-Fi 3389 That's The Way I Tumble ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 48 minutes, excellent
 Previously heard on Mel Brown's "Neck Bones & Caviar" disc, Mississippi-born Miss Angel steps forward on her first solo outing, and justifiably, Mel and his Homewreckers provide the backing throughout. Whether chugging through the shuffling Country Man, a funky That's The Way I Tumble, or the strutting 747 Blues, Angel's vocals are powerful and completely unaffected, if at times a bit unpolished and under-developed. Her power and conviction prove stronger on the 'live' and driving Hipshake with the rest of the album being a well-produced studio effort. Brown's stirring guitar proves a perfect foil from beginning to end while the small band locks into the grooves without missing a beat. (CR)

 
MISSISSIPPI HEAT Crosscut 11071 Footprints On The Ceiling ● CD $21.98
58 minutes, 14 tracks, good
Mississippi Heat's frontline consists of Pierre Lacouque's harp, tandem guitars of Chris Winters and Michael Thomas, plus Inetta Visor's vocals, but while marked as a traditional crew, a modern feel shows more often in their catalog. Lacoque's harp dominates while a number of guests raise the stakes as Billy Boy Arnold, Carl Weathersby and Peter 'Madcat' Ruth sit in and offer up solid efforts. Caribbean Sunshine has Weathersby trying to get corny lyrics across with soul and Hobo Blues has syrupy harp but Arnold struts his stuff on Gonna Leave Her Be and What Kind Of Man Is That, both excellent. Visor becomes the unheralded star of the core outfit, singing with feverish passion. The overdone liner notes are way too much. The Heat isn't spectacular here, but they could smolder if prodded. (CR)

 
MISSISSIPPI HEAT Crosscut 11085 Glad You're Mine ● CD $21.98
12 tracks, 54 min., recommended
The Ms. Heat is lead by harmonica master Pierre Lacocque, although its voice belongs to Inetta Visor, who can belt out a song with the conviction of a drill sergeant. On their third CD for the German CrossCut label, Lacocque does the song-writing, although he does cover the Leiber-Stoller number I'm A Woman and two from Denise LaSalle (Give Me Yo Most Strongest Whiskey. and Real Sad Story. At least some of the heat here comes from Steve Doyle's slide guitar, as well as from hired axe man Carl Weathersby. As usual with the Heat, this is not just a blues harmonica album where the songs are excuses for mad solos; this is a solid blues outing with harmonica in all the right places and none of the wrong ones. Why a US label doesn't pick them up is a mystery, probably involving test market research, demographic studies and business models. (JC)

 
MISSISSIPPI HEAT Delmark 783 One Eye Open - Live At Rosa's Lounge ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 67 min, recommended
The main MS. heating elements here are blues diva Inetta Visor and blues harpologist Pierre Lacocque. The band seems to be a Delmark artifact, featuring Lurrie Bell and Max Valldeneu on guitar and Kenny Smith on drums, all excellent players. But this show from Rosa's Lounge in Chicago from 2005 is all Lacocque, who's so good he doesn't have to show off. The DVD release contains a "bonus" track not included here, but Rock Steady, included here, is absent from the DVD. (JC)

 
MISSISSIPPI HEAT Delmark 1783 One Eye Open - Live At Rosa's Lounge ● DVD $22.98
DVD, 11 tracks, about 70 min, recommended
The show (live from Rosa's Lounge, Chicago in 2005) opens with star Pierre Lacocque blowing his harp in the audience, wending his way toward blues belter Inetta Visor on stage, but when he gets there his lead guitarist (the great Lurrie Bell) takes on lead vocal duties. Not until the third song (I've Got To Sleep With One Eye Open does Visor get to warm up her vocal chords. Throughout, Max Valldenue has a hot hand on his Fender. But the show belongs to Lacocque, who can make virtually and sound come out of his harmonica, and with an admirably pure tone. His playing is measured and judicious, aimed always at improving the song and not at stroking his ego. No noodling or showing off. The songs are a mix of originals and well-chosen covers. This DVD contains a track not on the CD release (Moanin' And Cryin') but it is also missing a song available on the CD (Rock Steady), no doubt an idea from the marketing department. This night was not full of magic, but it was full of solidly built blues nonetheless. (JC)

 
THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS Columbia CK 65709 Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down - Best Of The Mississippi Sheiks ● CD $7.98
20 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
The Sheiks were the most popular and influential of the black string bands of the 20s and 30s. Their line-up consisted of varied combinations of the famous Chatmon brothers from Mississippi - Sam (vcl & gtr), Lonnie (vcl & violin), and Bo (= Bo Carter/ vcl/gtr/violin) - with Walter Vincson (vcl/gtr) and, occasionally, Charlie McCoy. Their music is consistently fine and infectious. The 20 tracks here were recorded for Okeh in 1930 and '31 and in addition to recordings under their own name includes three tracks where they accompany the superb Texas singer Texas Alexander. It includes their two most famous (and frequently copied) songs - Stop And Listen Blues #2 and Sitting On Top Of The World as well as other fine tracks like Still I'm Traveling On/ The Jazz Fiddler/ Driving That Thing/ When You're Sick With The Blues/ Things About Comin' My Way/ Last Stage Blues (Texas Alexander vocal)/Your Good Man Caught The Train And Gone/ Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down/ West Jackson Blues. A great introduction to the work of this talented and important group. Document released their complete recordings some time ago but three of the four volumes are currently unavailable. Excellent sound and informative notes by compiler Larry Cohn. (FS)
TEXAS ALEXANDER: Frost Texas Tornado Blues/ Last Stage Blues/ Seen Better Days/ THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Bed Spring Poker/ Bootlegger's Blues/ Driving That Thing/ Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down/ I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You/ Jazz Fiddler/ Livin' In A Strain/ Please Don't Wake It Up/ Ramrod Blues/ Sitting On Top Of The World/ Still I'm Traveling On/ Stop And Listen Blues No. 2/ Things About Comin' My Way/ Unhappy Blues/ West Jackson Blues/ When You're Sick With The Blues/ Your Good Man Caught The Train And Gone

 
THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS Yazoo 2006 Stop And Listen ● CD $15.98
The Sheiks were a '20's black string band who were as popular with white audiences as black, perhaps because they incorporated white musical influences into their blues sound. Their line-up consisted of the famous Chatmon brothers - Sam, Lonnie, and Bo (= Bo Carter) - with help from Walter Vinson and Charlie McCoy. The lively interaction between guitar and violin gives the band a distinct and uplifting feel on songs like That's It/ She Ain't No Good/ Sitting On Top Of The World/ Stop And Listen Blues/ Shooting High Dice and 15 others. On the ever-relevant hokum song Sales Tax, the guys can hardly believe that such an egregious law has come into existence. But then who can? The oddly-titled Livin' In A Strain is previously unissued. Excellent music with reasonably good sound. (JC)
THE MISSISSIPPI SHEIKS: Bootleggers' Blues/ He Calls That Religion/ I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You/ Jail Bird Love Song/ Kind Treatment/ Livin' In A Strain/ Lonely One In This Town/ Please Baby/ Sales Tax/ She Ain't No Good/ She's Crazy About Her Lovin'/ Shooting High Dice/ Sitting On Top Of The World/ Somebody's Got To Help You/ Stop And Listen Blues/ Sweet Maggie/ Tell Me To Do Right/ That's It/ The World Is Going Wrong/ Too Long

 
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS Document DOCD 5493 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1934-36 ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 66 mins, essential
Stunning early gospel quartet singing by this group from Kinston, North Carolina who were discovered by J.B. Long who was also responsible for discovering Blind Boy Fuller. Originally known as the New Four Quartet they acquired their new name from their manager Willie Mitchell. Unlike many of their contemporaries who sound formal and polite the Mitchell's have a loose down home quality with an interplay of voices that brings to mind the sound of post war gospel quartets. Their material is mostly standard quartet fare like What Are They Are Doing In Heaven?/ Traveling Shoes/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Angels Will Roll The Stone Away/ Are You Working On The Building but their powerful versions are anything but standard. Highlights include the truly compelling opening cut When A Man Feels Discouraged, the lovely Here Am I and the mezmerizing Repair but it's all great. A few cuts are from worn 78s but most of it has very good sound. A must for gospel quartet enthusiasts. (FS)
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Angels Will Roll The Stone Away/ Are You Working On The Building/ Gonna Shout All Over God's Heaven/ Got My Ticket/ Here Am I/ Homey, Homey/ How About You?/ Lean Your Head Out The Window/ Mother, Where Was You?/ New Dry Bones/ On My Way/ Repair Me/ Somewhere In Heaven (you'll Find Me)/ Standing By The Bedside/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Them Bones/ They Scandalized My Name/ Traveling Shoes/ What Are They Doing In Heaven?/ What Kinda Shoes Do The Angels Wear/ What More Can Jesus Do/ When A Man Feels Discouraged/ You See The Sign Of Judgment

 
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS Document DOCD 5494 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1936-38 ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
More beautiful acapella gospel singing by this quartet from Kinston, North Carolina featuring William Brown/ lead tenor, Julius Davis/ tenor, Louis "Panella" Davis/ baritone and Sam Bryant/ bass. Perhaps not quite as consistently outstanding as the first volume there are still many fine gems - the third session here from August 1937 has some truly spine chilling songs including Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit/ My Time Ain't Long and I Don't Care Where You Bury My Body. Other songs include Lord I Can't Turn Back/ Count The Angels/ Hide Me Oh Lord/ I Swore To The Lord (I'm A Gideon)/ Walkin' With My Savior/ / Yes My LOrd I Don Done/ My Lord I'm Trampin' and others. (FS)
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit/ Come On Ezekiel Let's Go 'round The Wall/ Count Out The Angels/ Hide Me Oh Lord/ I Don't Care Where You Bury My Body/ I Got To Go To Judgement/ I Swore To The Lord (i'm A Gideon)/ I Want Somebody To Tell Me/ I'm Praying Humble/ Jesus Christ Of Nazareth/ Jesus Hear Me Praying/ Lord Have Mercy/ Lord I Can't Turn Back/ Lord's Gonna Trouble The Water/ My Lord I'm Trampin'/ My Mother Had To Kneel Down/ My Mother's Gone To Glory/ My Time Ain't Long/ Out On The Ocean Sailing/ Walkin' With My Savior/ We Want To Have A Talk With Jesus/ While He's Padding By/ Who Was John?/ Yes My Lord I Done Done/ You Got To Make A Change

 
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS Document DOCD 5495 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 : 1938-40 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
25 tracks, 67 mins, essential
After a slight drop in quality in the recordings featured on volume 2 the Mitchell's are back on form and actually better than ever. Their harmonies are rich and creative and there are some stunning performances here including an amazing The Saints Go Marching which is a far cry from the hoary old jazz standard most of us are familiar with. There is also an incandescent version of Thomas Dorsey's Precious Lord which they retitled Take My Hand. There are also a couple of songs from their appearance at the "Spirituals To Swing" concert in 1938. It's all wonderful - acapella gospel of the highest order. (FS)
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Ain't Gonna Lay My Receiver Down/ Are You Living Humble?/ Brother Come On In/ Drinkin' Of The Holy Wine/ I Got A Letter From Jesus/ I Have A Home In Yonder City/ I Heard The Preachin' Of The Elder/ I Need To Be More Like Jesus/ I Want Jesus To Be Around/ I'm Gonna Do What My Lord Said/ Jesus Goin' Make Up My Dyin Bed/ Judgment Is Coming/ Lead Me On/ Lead Me To That Rock/ Mother Dies A-shoutin' (concert)/ My Poor Mother Died Ashouting/ Rock My Soul/ Take My Hand/ The Bridegroom's Coming/ The Saints Are Marching/ Up On The Mountain (with My Lord)/ Way Down In Egypt Land/ What More Can My Jesus Do? (concert)/ Won't I Be Glad/ You Got To Stand Judgement

 
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS Document DOCD 5496 Vol.4 :1940 /WRIGHT BROTHERS GOSPEL SINGERS, 1940-48 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
24 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
The first 7 tracks here complete the reissue of the recordings of Mitchell's Christian Singers and find them in typically fine form on songs like Don't Drive Them Away/ Famine In The Land/ Kneel Down & Pray and others. The rest of the disc is devoted to the Wright Brothers a splendid group from Texas who settled in California in the late 40s and were active until the 80s. Their sound was, to some extend, inspired by the Golden Gate Singers though with a harder edge and with frequent use of soaring falsetto lines. Their first session of 9 songs from May 1940 is particularly fine with wonderful performances of the moving Walk Around, the Golden Gate inspired Gospel Train and the intense He's My Rock. There is also a fine session from 1941 and a slightly less interesting session from 1948 with a slightly different line up. (FS)
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Don't Drive Them Away/ Don't You Want That Stone?/ Famine In The Land/ Go Where I Send Thee/ Jesus Is Everything To Me/ Kneel Down And Pray/ Walk With Me/ THE WRIGHT BROTHERS GOSPEL SINGERS: After A While/ Blessed Quietness/ Cool Down Here/ Gospel Train (take 1)/ Gospel Train (take 2)/ Gospel Train (tr)/ He's My Rock/ Heavenly Father's Children/ I Go Where You Want Me To Go/ Jonah/ Jordan's Stormy Banks/ Mother Is Your Friend/ Shadows Of The Cross/ Shady Green Pastures/ Some Day/ Wake Me, Shake Me, Don't Let Me Sleep Too Long/ Walk Around

 
MONKEY JOE Document DOCD 5412 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1935-1939 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
26 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Jesse "Monkey Joe" Coleman was an outstanding performer - an excellent and distinctive singer and a powerful and flexible piano player. His first session of four songs from 1935 with guitarist Walter Vincson is as good as piano blues gets - Gonna Beat It Back To Memphis Tennessee is particularly fine. His next few sessions are almost as good though the presence of a bass or drum on these takes a little away from the looseness of the performances. He also provides sterling accompaniments to two songs by Lulu Scott. The last two sessions here from September, 1938 and March, 1939 add Buster Bennett on sax on a number of performances giving them a more urban feel and the 1939 session replaces Joe's own piano accompaniments with the ubiquitous Blind John Davis - a fine player but without Joe's light and loose touch. Nevertheless the singing and performances here are still fine. (FS)
GEORGE JEFFERSON: Blues For Six Nights/ Honey Bee/ MONKEY JOE: Ever Dream You Was Lucky?/ Gonna Beat It Back To Memphis, Tennessee/ Good Business No. 2/ Hair Parted In The Middle/ Hard Time Blues/ I Knocked Upon Your Door/ I Was Laying 'Em Down/ Just Out The Big House/ Monkey Joe Got The Blues/ Must I Break 'Em On Down?/ New York Central/ O.K. With Me Baby/ Preach, Pray And Moan/ Rabbit Foot Blues/ Some Sweet Day/ Sweet Patunia Stomp/ Tailor Made Woman/ Taxes On My Pole/ Three O'Clock Blues (take 1)/ Three O'Clock Blues (take 2)/ Trouble Comin' On/ Wise To The Jive/ LULU SCOTT: Everybody Do The Shag/ Baby Can I Holler

 
MONKEY JOE/ ROOSEVELT SCOTT Document DOCD 5413 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 ● CD $15.98
MONKEY JOE: B.v.d. Blues/ Bad Luck Man Blues/ Bitin' On Me/ Carry My Business On/ Headache Blues/ Just Give Some Away/ Mccomb City Blues/ Mobile And K. C. Line/ Mountain Baby Blues/ Old Man Blues/ That Same Cat/ We Can't Get Along/ You Don't Have To Tell Me/ ROOSEVELT SCOTT: Be My Baby/ Black Gal Blues/ Brown Skin Woman Swing/ Dark Road Blues/ Do You Call That Right?/ Doctor Bill Blues/ Down In The Gutter/ Look Up And Down/ Panama Special/ Send Me An Angel Down/ Suitcase Blues/ Tender Foot Blues

 
LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY Delmark 663 Goodbye, Mr. Blues ● CD $11.98
Late 70's jazz oriented sessions issued for the first time with Banjo Ikey Robinson, Oliver Alcorn, Truck Parham and others.
LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Boy In The Boat/ Glitsy's Blues/ Goodbye Mr. Blues/ Goodbye Mr. Blues Alternate/ I Must Get Mine In Front/ Old Maid Blues/ Panama Rag/ Riverside Blues/ Saturday Night Function/ South Rampart St. Parade/ Struttin' With Some Barbecue/ Tishomingo Blues/ Wailing Blues

 
LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY Earwig 4918 At Home ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, 47 mins, good
The great blues piano player and singer had a long recording career dating from 1930 until shortly before his death in 1985. These informal recordings were made in his twilight years between 1967 and 1982 - some solo and some with bass and drums accompaniment. The material includes old songs and tunes along with more recent compositions and all of it is performed skillfully though with little drive. Brother's vocals are quite pleasing though the same can't be said about the singing of wife Jan whose performance of the pop ballad Without You Sweetheart is pretty painful. Edith Wilson's vocal on Yankee Doodle Blues is much more impressive. In spite of the informal nature of the recordings the sound is excellent and there are detailed notes by Paige Van Vorst. Not an essential addition to the Montgomery canon but pleasant enough. (FS)

 
LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY Genes 9913 No Special Rider ● CD $14.98
Reissue of Adelphi 1003 from 1969 with two bonus unissued cuts. Several cuts feature vocals by Jeanne Carroll and many feature inappropriate guitar accompaniment by Mike Stewart. This, coupled with poor sounding piano makes for an unexpetional release.

 
LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY/ SUNNYLAND SLIM Wolf 120.296 The LaSalle Chicago Blues Recordings, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, 56 mins, recommended
Reissue of recordings originally issued on the 77 label featuring these two splendid piano players recorded at an informal session with occasional bass by Corky Robertson and drums by legendary Chicago drummer Jump Jackson who was also responsible for these recordings. Although the recording quality of these home recordings is unexceptional there are some fine performances of some of their most popular songs - Sunnyland does 7 songs including One Room Country Shack/ Brownskin Woman/ Devil Is A Busy Man & Everytime I Get To Drinkin'. Little Brother does 11 including Trembling Blues/ I Keep On Drinkin'/ Farrish Street Jive/ Cow Cow Blues & Pinetop's Boogie Woogie. Decent sound and brief notes by Ron Bartolucci who gets his name on the back liner 5 times! (FS)
LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Bob Martin Blues/ Chinese Man Blues/ Farrish St. Jive/ I Keep On Drinkin/ My Electrical Invention Blues/ New Vicksburg Blues/ No Special Rider/ Pinetop's Boogie Woogie/ That's Why I Keep On Drinkin'/ Trembling Blues/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: Brownskin Woman/ Devil Is A Busy Man/ Everytime I Get To Drinkin'/ Got The Blues About My Baby/ La Salle Street Boogie/ One Room Country Shack -

 
COCO MONTOYA Blind Pig 5020 Gotta Mind To Travel ● CD $16.98
Solo debut of singer/ guitarist who formerly played in the Albert Collins Band and with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.
COCO MONTOYA: Am I Losing You/ Gotta A Mind To Travel/ Love Jail/ Nothin' In The Streets/ Same Dog/ Someday After Awhile/ Talkin' Woman Blues/ Too Much Water/ Top Of The Hill/ You Don't Love Me

 
COCO MONTOYA Blind Pig 5033 Ya Think I'd Know Better ● CD $16.98
1996 album.
COCO MONTOYA: Big Boy Pete/ Can't Get My Ass In Gear/ Dyin' Flu/ Fool In Love/ Hiding Place/ Monkey See, Monkey Do/ Seven Desires/ The Heart Of Soul/ Too Much Of A Good Thing/ Tumbleweed/ You'd Think I'd Know Better By Now

 
JOHN MOONEY Blind Pig 779 Comin' Your Way ● CD $16.98
1977 album with Rich Lataille, Greg Piccolo, Doug James and others.

 

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