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BLUES & GOSPEL
The Pilgrim Travelers -> Queen Ida

TINY POWELL Withasongtoo ----- Heaven In My View - The Tiny Powell Gospel Collection ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 76 mins, essential
Fantastic collection of gospel quartet singing featuring the intense, soulful lead vocals of Vance "Tiny" Powell. He is featured with three of the groups he performed with - The Golden Harp Singers and The Paramount Singers from Tiny's home turf in the San Francisco Bay area and three tracks with the nationally renowned Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi where he shares lead vocal honors with the great Archie Brownlee. There's also a beautiful solo performance of Jesus Is A Friend Of Mine from a 1947 test pressing. There are also three more 1947 acapella test pressings by Tiny's first group The Golden Harp singers including the stunning I Love The Lord with its great "lining out" feel. Tiny spent most of his gospel career with the Paramount Singers who he worked with on and off between 1948 and 1960 who are featured on the bulk of the recordings here cut between 1948 and '55 - the earliest sides are acapella but subsequently added piano, guitar and, on the last session, organ. Among the highlights are the previously unissued Breathe On Me, a lyrical version of Peace In The Valley and the wonderful two part In That Awful Hour which just builds and builds to church wrecking fervor. Finally there are three tracks from 1950 from Tiny's brief tenure with the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi where he holds his own in the company of Archie Brownlee. Sound quality is generally excellent and there fine notes by Opal Nations who compiled with this collection with the co-operation of Tiny's daughter Victoria. (FS)

 
PREACHER JACK Solo Art SACD 97 At The Piano - Non Stop Boogie ● CD $13.98
9 tracks, 68 minutes, recommended
Back in '71, everybody was excited how Canned Heat was able to fill an entire LP with a single long boogie (Refreed Boogie from "Living The Blues"). Well Precher Jack jumps into the fray with both feet with the title track, a 32 minute tour-de-force stream of consciousness boogie that, along with his own stuff incorporates a few boogie classics especially by his heroes Jimmy Yancey & Albert Ammons. His love of these 2 geniuses is reflected on his other 8 tracks, all originals with references to his heroes, including Albert's Suitcase Blues/ Yancey's Bugle Blues/ Albert's Boogie Stomp. A great collection of solo piano. (GM)

 
JOHN PRIMER Earwig 4924 Stuff You Got To Watch ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 69 min., recommended
Former Muddy Waters' guitarist (he replaced Sammy Lawhorn) and present day Teardrop with Magic Slim, Primer offers up some rock-solid Chicago blues on his American solo album debut. The songs are about evenly divided between traditional-sounding originals (Inflation Blues/ I'm Gonna Ride Until I Get Satisfied/ Fed Up Baby) and covers, including a blistering version of J. B. Lenoir's The Mojo, Otis Rush's Double Trouble, and a reworking of the Lawrence Weiss-penned Glen Campell chart topper Rhinestone Cowboy that will make you actually like the song!--or as close to it as you're likely to come without the use of controlled substances. Primer gets the most from his voice and his guitar. Bandmates include fellow Magic Slim associates Nick Holt (b.) and Michael Scott (dms.), among others. (JC)

 
JOHN PRIMER Wolf 120.875 Blues Behind Closed Doors ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 60 mins, recommended
John Primer's third Wolf album, recorded in 1992 and '93 is another solid collection of Chicago blues ranging from the very traditional flavored Smoketsack with acoustic guitars and harp to the soul flavored Somebody Have Mercy by Sam Cooke with nice horn work from the Chicago Playboys Horns. Most tracks feature Primer accompanied by his regular band The Teardrops (Magic Slim, Nick Holt & Earl Howell) and a number feature harp work by Billy Branch. As always Primer's singing is powerful and expressive and he plays tough yet tasteful guitar. Material is a mix of originals like the title song, Don't Hear Me Crying For You and Yes I'm Crazy About My Baby and nicely done covers of Elmore James' 1839 Blues, Little Walter's Just Your Fool, Freddie King's Tore Down and others. (FS)

 
JOHN PRIMER Wolf 120.885 Chicago Blues Session Vol 39 - Cold Blooded Bluesman ● CD $15.98
13 tracks recorded between 1991 and 1994 by this excellent Chicago bluesman - half with electric bands and half acoustic.

 
JOHN PRIMER Wolf 120.899 It's A Blues Life ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 67 mins, recommended
Another fine set from talented Chicago singer/ guitarist Primer. Like his former boss Magic Slim, Primer is a master of stright ahead hard driving blues with tough vocals and gritty guitar. His band has a solid rhythm guitar, bass and drum section but is somewhat let down by the flabby harmonica and piano work. The songs are mostly covers including Wolf's I've Been Abused, J.B. Lenoir's Mama Talk To Your Daughter, Albert KIng's Can't You See What Your're Doing To Me and a particularly fine and heartfelt version of Little Walter's Last Night. There are also three originals including the powerful minor key Lonesome For Your Love. The disc ends with a couple of nice acoustic tunes - Lightnin's Give Me Back My Wig and Muddy's Rock Me. A worthwhile effort. (FS)

 
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR Alligator 4718 Crawfish Fiesta ● CD $17.98
Superb album recorded in 1979 just a few months before his death. Longhair's singing and playing are at its peak, the band is top notch and guest guitarist Dr. John adds some tasty licks. 12 songs, including It's My Fault, Darling/ Bald Head/ Whole Lotta Loving/ Big Chief/ Her Mind Is Gone. A must! (FS)

 
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR Atlantic 7225 New Orleans Piano ● CD $12.98
A beautiful collection featuring all but one of the songs recorded by Fess in New Orleans in 1949 and 1953 for Atlantic. This CD adds 3 tracks the the previous LP reissue including the other take of Fess's theme song Tipitina and two songs from 1949 - Mardi Gras In New Orleans and She Walks Right In which have not been on LP before. These are Fess in his prime singing with fire and playing his distinctive rhumba blues piano style. Accompanying musicians include Robert Parker/as, Charles Burbank/ts & John Boudreaux/d (1949) or Lee Allen/ts, Red Tyler/bs, Walter nelson/g (1953) so you know he's in good company. Essential! (FS)

 
SNOOKY PRYOR Blind Pig 72387 Snooky ● CD $16.98
Fine 1987 album by this veteran Chicago singer & harmonica player teams him with a tough small band featuring Steve Freund/ gtr, Bob Stroger/ bass & Willie Smith/ drums. Snooky is in good form on a selection of new songs, revamped versions of traditional items and remakes of some of his old recordings. The band do an excellent job complementing Snooky and Freund's Eddie Taylor flavored guitar is impressive. Songs include Broke & Hungry/ Judgement Day/ It Hurts Me Too/ Cheatin' & Lyin'/ Key To The Highway, etc. (FS)

 
SNOOKY PRYOR Electro-Fi 3359 Can't Stop Blowin' ● CD $15.98
New recordings from veteran Chicago blues harpist with band including guest guitarist Mel Brown.

 
SNOOKY PRYOR Electro-Fi 3373 Snooky Pryor & His Wrecking Crew ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, recommended
Regardless of his age, Snooky Pryor is showing little in the way of slowing down. Backed by the tandem guitars of Mel Brown and Jeff Healy, Pinetop Perkins on piano, and the rhythmic sense of Bob Stroger and Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith, Pryor is forceful and dynamic throughout the set. The slow and grinding Electro-Fi Blues with brittle guitar is a standout and Snooky is as potent as ever on Rock-A-While/ I Ain't Seen My Baby, and everything else here. Sound quality is sharp from start to finish and it's obvious that proper care was taken to give Snooky his rich harp tone. He may well be an octogenarian, but his youthful energy is still as apparent as it was decades ago. (CR)

 
QUEEN IDA GNP 2147 & Bon Temps Zydeco Band On Tour ● CD $15.98
1986 live recordings from Queen Ida's European tour, featuring Al Rapone. 13 good time songs, including La Louisiane, Frisco Zydeco, C'est La Vie .

 
QUEEN IDA & THE BON TEMPS ZYDE GNP 2158 In San Francisco ● CD $15.98
On this album Ida's singing and accordion is complemented by fine guitar by Douglas Dayson and fiddle by Pierre Allen. The material is a mixture of zydeco, old time cajun, pop, rhythm & blues and country. Fais Deaux Deaux/ Bad Moon Rising/ Every Now & Then/ Passe La Porte/ Zydeco Taco/ Back Door/ Raywood/ Vaporosa/ My Girl Josephine/ Jambalaya

 
QUEEN IDA GNP 2181 Caught In The Act ● CD $15.98
 

 
QUEEN IDA GNP 2197 Cookin' With Queen Ida ● CD $15.98
 

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