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BLUES & GOSPEL
Big Mama Thornton -> Luther Tucker

BIG MAMA THORNTON
REV. H.R. TOMLIN & REV. S. J. WORRELL
HENRY TOWNSEND
SONNY TREADWAY
T.N.T. TRIBBLE
BESSIE TUCKER
JOHN "BROADWAY" TUCKER
LUTHER TUCKER & THE FORD BLUES BAND

 
BIG MAMA THORNTON Ace CDCHD 940 The Original Hound Dog ● CD $18.98
A 22 track collection of Big Mama's best Peacock sides leading off with her classic Hound Dog and including My Man Called Me/ Willie Mae's Trouble/ I Smell A Rat/ They Call Me Big Mama/ I Ain't No Fool Either/ Let Your Tears Fall Baby/ Rock-A-Bye Baby/ Nightmare/ Laugh, Laugh, Laugh/ The Fish, etc.

 
BIG MAMA THORNTON Arhoolie 305 Ball N' Chain ● CD $12.98
One of the great voices in modern blues recorded in her prime with Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Buddy Guy, Fred McDowell, etc. with the best from Arhoolie 1028, 1032, & 1039. Includes Ball N' Chain/ Hound Dog/ My Heavy Load and more than 60 minutes of music.
BIG MAMA THORNTON: Ball N' Chain/ Black Rat/ Bumble Bee/ Gimme A Penny/ Hound Dog/ I'm Feeling Alright/ Life Goes On/ Little Red Rooster/ My Heavy Load/ School Boy/ Sometimes I Have A Heartache/ Sweet Little Angel/ Swing It On Home/ Unlucky Girl/ Wade In The Water/ Your Love Is Where It Ought To Be

 
BIG MAMA THORNTON Arhoolie 9043 With The Muddy Waters Blues Band, 1966 ● CD $9.98
17 tracks, 63 mins, highly recommended
One of the great voices in the blues joins forces with one of the great blues - both in top form. At that time the band line up included Muddy, James Cotton, Otis Spann, Sammy Lawhorn, Luther Johnson, Francis Clay. Originally issued on LP as Arhoolie 1032 this CD includes seven bonus unissued songs and alternate takes. Although at times the sound is a bit ragged due to lack of rehearsal there is some great singinga dn playing throughout on a collection of mostly original songs by Big Mama - I particularly like the intense slow blues Gimme A Penny which in addition to the great vocal includes some stellar playing from Spann and Cotton. Other songs includes I'me Feeling Alright/ Black Rat/ Everything Gonna Be Alright/ Looking The World Over/ Wrapped Tight/ Big Mama's Shuffle (with Big Mama and Cotton duetting on harmonica)/Big Mama's Blues, etc. (FS)

 
BIG MAMA THORNTON MCA MCAD 10668 Hound Dog - The Peacock Recordings ● CD $10.98
The cover photo is the same as the Ace UK collection (CD 940, 22 tracks), and 17 of the 18 songs here are also on Ace, the extra track being Big Mama's rollicking 1953 duet with Johnny Ace on Yes, Baby. If you missed the Ace disc, don't pass this one up. Willie Mae Thornton was one of the last of the blues belters, adapting the booming tone of the 20's big mamas to the roadhouse sound of the 50's Johnny Otis and Billy Harvey bands. Prime tracks include They Call Me Big Mama/ You Don't Move Me No More/ Rock A Bye Baby/ The Big Change/ Stop A-Hoppin' On Me/ Just Like A Dog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree and of course Hound Dog, a song that did a lot for Elvis, and even more for the legal profession. I Smell A Rat is a classic of proto-rock n'roll, with savage rhythm, gritty guitar and a fearsome vocal delivery. In fact, if Big Mama wasn't such a great singer, I would still recommend this one for all the great guitar work by Pete Lewis, Roy Gaines and others. Another essential purchase in the Peacock reissue series. (MB)

 
BIG MAMA THORNTON Vanguard 175 Vanguard Sessions: Best Of The Vanguard Years ● CD $23.98
Three CD set featuring all of Big Mama's Vanguard recordings from the 70s.

 
BIG MAMA THORNTON Vanguard 79351 Jail ● CD $13.98
Live recordings from prison shows in Washington and Oregon. Little Red Rooster/Ball'N'Chain/Hound Dog/Rock Me Baby and 4 more. With George Smith on harmonica.

 
BIG MAMA THORNTON Vanguard 79354 Sassy Mama! ● CD $13.98
A straight reissue of her Vanguard LP from 1975, Sassy Mama! is not on par with her best work from the 50's and mid-60's, but her vocals are nonetheless powerful. Her style draws on Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, and is shown off here on the slow blues of Private Number and the uptempo title track. Her band is made up of quality sidemen like Buddy Lucas (t sax), Cornell Dupree (gtr), and Jimmy Johnson (dms), but despite such talent, they sound a bit sterile playing together. Most of the songs are Thornton originals, but she does do an interesting cover of Muddy Waters' Rolling Stone. Other tracks include Lost City/ Mr. Cool/ Everybody's Happy (But Me). (JC)

   
REV. H.R. TOMLIN & REV. S. J. WORRELL Document DOCD 5406 Complete Recorded Works, 1926-1927 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 74 min., recommended Less famous than fellow Atlanta recording artist Rev. J. M. Gates, Mosley was nonetheless considered bankable enough for Columbia to take him into the studio again and again over a 6 year period. (Alas, the Great Depression ended many a Reverend's recording career and Mosley was no exception.) These sides find W. M. to be a powerful preacher with considerable ability as a singer, much more so than most of his competition. When he spends his shellac singing, as he does on Drinking Shine, I've Been Redeemed, and elsewhere, he's at his most accessible and impressive. Of special interest is his lone Paramount recording (Watch And Pray) cut in Grafton, Wis., with the Delta Big Four vocal quartette (Mosley's brother will was a member), and his sermon You Preachers Stay Out Of Widow's Houses. Other titles includeHell Is In The People/ The Monkey Is On The Main Line/ The Gambling Man/ Sin No More/ If You Follow Jesus, and more. (JC)

 
HENRY TOWNSEND Arcola 1002 The Real St. Louis Blues ● CD $14.98
Previously unissued recordings from 1979 by this magnificent St. Louis bluesman. Lovely introspective and mournful songs featuring Henry on acoustic and electric guitars, piano and harpsichord. Henry is still playing today in his 90s but when these sides were made he was a spry youngster of 70 and singing and playing are superb.

 
HENRY TOWNSEND Genes 9916 Cairo Blues ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 45 mins, recommended
A fine collection from this brilliant St. Louis based bluesman that could have been even better. Townsend is a beautiful singer and a splendid and distinctive guitar player and piano player and sings powerful introspective lyrics - some original, some from the repertoire of his friend Henry Spaulding and some of his distinctive takes of blues standards. One cut features Henry duetting with his wife Vernell on the fine Why Do We Love Each Other? and he accompanies the great St. Louis piano player Henry Brown on Deep Morgan Stomp. My main criticism is the presence of second guitarist Mike Stewart on most of the tracks. Stewart's playing is by no means bad but he is also playing lead and the balance is such that his playing is at the level as Townsend and the two don't really mesh making for a messy sound and lessening of the intimacy and intensity of Townsend's performance who is the person we really want to hear! It's still worth a listen. Some of these tracks were issued on Adelphi LPs in the early 70s. (FS)

 
SONNY TREADWAY Arhoolie 462 Jesus Will Fix It ● CD $12.98
Sacred steel guitar instrumentals.
SONNY TREADWAY: Blessed Assurance/ Create In Me A Clean Heart/ Hallelujah, Anyhow/ Holy, Holy, Holy/ How I Got Over/ Jesus Will Fix It For You/ Lord, I Put My Trust In You/ No, Never Alone/ Praise In Remembrance Of Bishop L. Harrison/ Precious Lord, Lead Me On/ There Is Room At The Cross

 
T.N.T. TRIBBLE Collectables 5309 T.N.T. Tribble ● CD $11.98

 
BESSIE TUCKER Document DOCD 5070 Complete Recordings In Chronological Order 1928-29 ● CD $15.98
Bessie Tucker was an obscure but superb singer from Texas. The 24 tracks here (including 8 alternates) are her entire recorded output and feature her accompanied by the excellent piano of K.D. Johnson recorded in Memphis & Dallas in 1928 & '29. She was an incredibly soulful singer with a loose flowing style that bring to mind work songs. Some of her songs like Key To The Bushes and Penitentiary Blues are powerful and chiling evocations of the environments where work songs flourished. Most of the songs are intense and mournful with intriguing lyrics. They lack the frivolity of some of her contemporaries. Johnson's piano accompaniments are excellent providing lovely rolling underpinnings to the vocals. On some cuts they are joined by guitarist Jesse Thomas. The sound is generally very good and the music is sensational. (FS)

 
JOHN "BROADWAY" TUCKER Blue Movie 7014 Impromptu Blue ● CD $15.98
New album from West Coast bluesman Tucker with a small band with Bill Heid on piano and organ, Dave Workman/ guitar and others plus horns on some tracks. Tucker is a good, powerful singer and he performs a mix of blues and soul favorites (The Woman I Love/ I'm A Jealous Man/ Help Me/ Tin Pan Alley, etc.) and the band does a good job though Heid's organ work is sometimes abit intrusive..

 
LUTHER TUCKER & THE FORD BLUES BAND Blue Rock'It 122 Luther Tucker & The Ford Blues Band ● CD $14.98

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