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BLUES & GOSPEL
Saffire -> Ollie Shepard

SAFFIRE
KEN SAYDACK
E.C. SCOTT
SON SEALS
THE SELAH JUBILEE SINGERS
THE SENSATIONAL NIGHTINGALES
OMAR SHARIFF
CHARLIE SHAVERS
EDDIE SHAW
ROBERT SHAW
OLLIE SHEPARD
 

SAFFIRE Alligator 4780 The Uppity Blues Women ● CD $13.98
 

 
SAFFIRE Alligator 4796 Hot Flash ● CD $13.98
The uppity blues women strike again with 16 sassy originals and classics like Sloppy Drunk/ Why Don't You Do Right.

 
SAFFIRE Alligator 4811 Broadcasting ● CD $13.98

 
SAFFIRE Alligator 4826 Old New Borrowed & Blue ● CD $13.98

 
KEN SAYDACK Delmark 725 Foolish Man ● CD $14.98
Chicago keyboard player featured on many sessions with the first album under his own name.

 
E.C. SCOTT Blind Pig 5019 Come Get Your Love ● CD $14.98
 

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4703 Son Seals Blues Band ● CD $13.98
Tough set with rhythm section accompaniment only - Mother In Law Blues/ Look Now Baby/ All Your Love/ Hot Sauce, etc.

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4708 Midnight Son ● CD $13.98
Son's first album with horns - I Believe/ Four Full Seasons Of Love/ Don't Bother Me/ Don't Fool With My baby/ Going Back Home, etc.

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4712 Live & Burning ● CD $13.98
9 tracks, 45 min., recommended. Energetic live set recorded at Wise Fools Pub in Chicago, 1978. Son is joined by A.C. Reed on sax and Lacy Gibson on guitar - I Can't Hold Out/ Funky Bitch/ Help Me Somebody/ Last Night/ Call My Job, etc.

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4720 Chicago Fire ● CD $13.98
His note-bending guitar style is more or less borrowed from B.B. King by way of Albert, but that doesn't mean Son Seals isn't his own man. Still, if you wanted to prove what a great bluesman he is, you'd probably pick something off the excellent Midnight Son or Live And Burning albums before this 1980 reissue. The 9 songs here still make for solid blues listening, especially Landlord At My Door/ Crying Time Again/ Leaving Home, all composed by the guy on the cover. (JC)

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4738 Bad Axe ● CD $13.98
 

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4798 Living In The Danger Zone ● CD $13.98
Women. When will they treat Mr. Seals right? Not on this album, which is his sixth for Alligator. The sure-fingered Chicago blues guitarist covers familiar territory: woman as temptress, as deceiver, as danger, as obsession, as annoyance, as schemer. It's all here. He throws in a woman-as-refrigerator metaphor for good measure! Seals, who wrote five of the eleven songs and co-produced, is a fine if somewhat limited blues singer, but as always his guitar is king. If Tell It To Another Fool or Ain't That Some Shame doesn't convince, Bad Axe is sure to. (JC)

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4822 Nothing But The Truth ● CD $13.98
 

 
SON SEALS Alligator 4846 Spontaneous Combustion ● CD $13.98
 

 
THE SELAH JUBILEE SINGERS Document DOCD 5499 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1939-1941 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 69 min., highly recommended
According to gospel expert Ray Funk, who wrote the liner notes here, the Selahs were the preeminent New York jubilee quartet of the 30's. They had been together for over a decade before they actually recorded, so their style, which focuses on slow harmony singing, owes a greater debt to the groups of the 20's and early 30's than it does to the syncopated sound of groups like the Golden Gate Quartet. Featured numbers here include Royal Telephone, How Happy I Am, I Want Jesus to Walk Around My Bedside, They Kicked the Devil Out of Heaven, I'll Fly Away, Leak in the Building, How Will You Feel When You Come Out of the Wilderness, and Have You Any Time for Jesus. Soulful and often solemn music, beautifully rendered by this important early quartet. And music that I wouldn't miss for the world, but do note that the listening does get a little rough on a few tracks. (DH)

 
THE SELAH JUBILEE SINGERS Document DOCD 5500 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1939-1945 ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 65 min., highly recommended Volume two of Document's Selah retrospective finds leader Thurmon Ruth carefully strengthening his group's sound by replacing departing members with outstanding veterans of other polished ensembles. New members during this period include bass J. B. Nelson and former members of the Norfolk Jubilees, baritone Melvin Colden and tenor Norman "Crip" Harris. So, the early numbers here - like I Saw the Light, Just a Closer Walk with Thee, Let Us All Run to Jesus, and King Jesus Is a Rock in the Weary Land - are solid examples of jubilee harmony, but the latter part of the program - featuring Let the World See Jesus in My Life, Jesus Prayed Just Before He Died, I'll Fare Better in That Land, and When Was Jesus Born - is both stronger and more complex. Even with the variable sound quality that such a set as this presents, this is definitely not a disc to miss. (DH)

 
THE SENSATIONAL NIGHTINGALES MCA Special Products MCAD 22044 The Best Of The Sensational Nightingales ● CD $8.98
The best Nightingales material features the hard gospel lead of the amazing Julius Cheeks, a man who beat Wilson Pickett to his sound by 10 years. This reissue of Peacock LP #137 contains some earth-shattering vocal shouting from Cheeks, but not all of it - Cheeks left in 1960. Listen to Burying Ground/ Standing In The Judgement and just try not to be impressed. Other wonderful songs include the hit To The End, a startling version of A Closer Walk With Thee/ Never Said A Word/ I Want To Go. The lack of any notes or photos is regrettable, but this is essential gospel music and not to be missed. (JC)

 
OMAR SHARIFF Arhoolie 365 The Raven ● CD $12.98
Singer/ piano player Omar Shariff, who previously went under the name of Dave Alexander recorded two LPs for Arhoolie in 1972. Now, some 20 years later, he steps into the studios to record again for the same label. This 17 track disc features 10 new recordings along with 7 of the best of those earlier recordings. Shariff is a fine singer and player with an expressive husky vocal style and is also a fluent piano player who can turn out a neat boogie as on Omar's Boogie or The Rattler. He is also a good writer and the title song, a soul flavored blues, is for and about his younger brother who was beaten to death in Oakland in the early 70s. There are other good originals like House Built By The Blues/ San Francisco Can Be Such A Lonely Town/ The Hoodoo Man, etc. He is accompanied on most tracks by a bass player and drummer. His version of Jerry Lee Lewis's Great Balls Of Fire is fun though not particularly special and the cocktail lounge ballad This Is Love is pretty expendable. Still an enjoyable set from a fine performer who has been off the scene for too long. (FS)
OMAR SHARRIFF: Blue Tumbleweed/ Cold Feeling/ Fillmore Street Boogie/ Great Balls Of Fire/ House Built By The Blues/ Jimmy, Is That You?/ Just A Blues/ Love Is Just A Fool/ Omar's Boogie/ San Francisco Can Be Such A Lonely Town/ So You Want To Be A Man/ Stranded In St. Louis/ Suffering With The Lowdown Blues/ The Hoodoo Man/ The Rattler/ The Raven/ This Is Love

 
CHARLIE SHAVERS Timeless CBC 025 Charlie Shavers & The Blues Singers ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, 1938/39, remastered by John R.T. Davies - vocalists include Trixie Smith, Grant & Wilson, Rosetta Howard, Alberta Hunter and others.

 
EDDIE SHAW Evidence 26028 Movin' And Groovin' Man ● CD $12.98
10 tracks, 39 min., recommended. Excellent and powerful set by this fine Chicago singer and sax player, originally on Isabel LP 900.514. Mostly original songs - Shaw sings and plays very well and is accompanied by a fine band featuring some stunning guitar by Melvin Taylor, plus a guest appearance by Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson.

 
EDDIE SHAW & THE WOLF GANG Wolf 120.866 The Blues Is Good News - Chicago Blues Session Vol. 20 ● CD $15.98
 

 
ROBERT SHAW Arhoolie 377 The Ma Grinder ● CD $12.98
17 tracks, 71 mins, essential
Robert Shaw was one of the last of the great Texas piano players - member of an itinerant cluster of pianists loosely known as "the Santa Fe group" which included musicians like Pinetop Burks, Rob Cooper, Buster Pickens and many other unrecorded performers. When Shaw was discovered by Mack McCormick in 1963 running a food market and barbecue stand in Austin, Texas and playing just for fun he had all his faculties intact. Listening to him is to travel back in time to the 1930s when the style he kept alive was at its zenith. McCormick recorded him and 11 tracks were subsequently issued on two Arhoolie LPs. These are included here along with six previously unissued songs cut by Chris Strachwitz in 1973 and '77. Shaw's singing and playing is a joy to listen to throughout whether it's a stompin' instrumental like The Cows, a long introspective version of Black Gal or a bawdy romp like Whores Is Funky. I have very fond memories of Robert when he called me up out of the blue to let me know that he was taking a bus to California to attend the 20th anniversary celebration for Arhoolie Records and its owner Chris Strachwitz to show his appreciation to Chris for having done so much to bring his music to a wider audience. Wonderful music by a wonderful man. If you like piano blues you most certainly want to give this a listen. (FS)
ROBERT SHAW: Black Gal/ Fast Santa Fe (Bear Cat)/ Going Down To The Gulf/ Groceries On My Shelf (Piggly Wiggly)/ Hattie Green/ Here I Come With My Dirty, Dirty Duckings On/ Jim Nappy/ Mobile & K. C. Line/ People, People/ Put Me In The Alley/ Saturday Night Special/ She Used To Be My Baby (Ma Grinder #2)/ The Clinton/ The Cows/ The Fives/ The Ma Grinder/ Whores Is Funky

 
ROBERT SHAW Document 1014 The 1971 Party Tape ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
Delightful set of performances by this outstanding Texas singer and piano recorded at a house party at Ben Conroy's home in January, 1971. Shaw, who died in 1985, was one of the last of the great Texas piano players - member of an itinerant cluster of pianists loosely known as "the Santa Fe group" which included musicians like Pinetop Burks, Rob Cooper, Buster Pickens and many other unrecorded performers. Shaw was an immensly engaging performer and this informal set capture him in a relaxed and loose mood performing a wide range of material from his repertoire - Piggly Wiggly/ Black Gal/ Hattie Green #1/ Jim Nappy/ melody In E Flat/ Wood In My Woodhouse, etc. Sound quality is generally very good though the continual background chatter does get annoying. Set comes with an excellent 20 page booklet with lots of black and white and color photos from the session, a complete discography and an in depth discussion of Shaw's repertoire. (FS)

 
OLLIE SHEPARD Document DOCD 5434 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1937-1939 ● CD $14.98

 
OLLIE SHEPARD Document DOCD 5435 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1939-1941 ● CD $14.98

 

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