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Utica Institute Jubilee Singers -> Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson


18 tracks from the Utica Institute Jubilee Singers from 1927-29 and 6 by Harrod's Jubilee Singers (1922)

STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN & DOUBLE TROUBLE Epic 47390 The Sky Is Crying ● CD $8.98
A 10-cut compilation of finished studio tracks which were, for one reason or another, not included on Stevie Ray's previous 7 albums. This is no bottom of the barrel collection; in fact I like these blues cuts better than a lot of the stuff that Epic issued originally. Covers like The Sky Is Crying/ May I Have A Talk With You/ Close To You show off Vaughan's Albert King-derived chops. His other idol, Jimi Hendrix, is eulogized at length on Little Wing, and Lonnie Mack's instrumental Wham gets a punchy, but short updating. My favorites are the snarlin' slidin' opener Boot Hill, and the razor sharp Texas shuffles Empty Arms/ So Excited, both featuring that concise high-energy soloing that could only come from the Lone Star state. A couple of tracks don't quite fit in, but the rest rank among his most satsfying blues cuts. (MB)

STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN Epic-Legacy 86423 The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 33 tracks, very good
While there's nothing new here, "The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble" does offer great bang for the buck. With a good cross-section of studio and 'Live' performance recordings that feature wrenching vocals and muscular guitar, there are heavy doses of Texas thunder in Pride And Joy/ Love Struck Baby, and Texas Flood, Hendrix excursions in Voodoo Child and Little Wing, and some of Vaughan's later material after successfully overcoming his addictive nature where he sounded much more focused and grounded; Crossfire/ Tightrope/ Wall Of Denial, and Life By The Drop. For those new to Stevie Ray, there isn't a better introduction to his crushing abilities, and for those familiar with this material, remastering has improved the sonics considerably. (CR)

THE VAUGHAN BROTHERS Epic 46225 Family Style ● CD $8.98
As the finishing touches were being put on this long-awaited brotherly collaboration, a tragic accident ended Stevie Ray Vaughan's stellar career. And so, what should have been a joyous musical celebration is now a bittersweet memorial to his talent. To give it the standard reviewer's treatment seems pretty difficult under these circumstances, but that's my job, folks. Stevie Ray and brother Jimmie (of the Fabulous Thunderbirds) obviously had a ball in the studio, swapping vocals and guitar leads on a set that unfolds like a top-flight bar band kicking up their heels on a Friday night. Needless to say, the guitar-slinging is hot as a bowl of Texas chili, perhaps due to a little sibling rivalry that coaxes the best out of both men. I love the four tough instrumentals, each with its own memorable mood and series of masterful solos. Stevie deftly handles the lead vocal on four numbers, being especially effective on the understated soul of Tick Tock, and the blues rockers Long Way From Home/ Telephone Song. He completely overshadows his brother's capable but under-confident singing, which takes center stage on the least exciting two songs here. But Jimmie's licks, always my favorite part of any T-Birds album, are terse and tasteful as ever, an effective foil to Stevie Ray's expansive style. When the grieving is over, I think we'll all be glad to have a recording like this that's so full of life. (MB)

MAURICE JOHN VAUGHN Alligator 4763 Generic Blues Album ● CD $17.98
This is a fine debut album by a young Chicago blues singer/ guitarist and tenor sax player. Some fine singing and playing by Vaughn on a selection of mostly original songs and solid accompaniments by the small group with some particularly nice keyboard work by Leo Davis. Maurice is a fine and distinctive vocalist with a tough crisp electric guitar style - 6 of the 8 songs here are originals and are good intelligent compositions. (FS)

MAURICE JOHN VAUGHN Alligator 4813 In The Shadow Of The City ● CD $17.98
12 tracks, 56 min., recommended. Don't put Vaughn into that well-peopled category of competent-but-generic Chicago bluesmen, 'cause he won't fit. He wields now a guitar, now a saxophone, sings with sincerity, writes with intelligence. The solos are always there to support the song, never the other way around, as is often the case in contemporary blues. His I Want To Be Your Spy belongs next to Jamo Thomas and Edwin Starr's surveillance classics, and Game Over, in which Vaughn points out to some unfortunate, "you done lost all your men," is 5 minutes of utter coolness. Shadow misses occasionally but not often. Inspirational Admonition: "If you're not careful, you just my get some funk on you." (JC)

WALTER VINCSON Blues Documents 6017 Complete Recorded Works,  1928-1941 ● CD $15.98
Walter Vincson (or Vinson or Vincent or Jacobs) was a key member of the famed black string band The Mississippi Sheiks and an important musician on the Mississippi blues scene in the 20s and 30s. This disc presents recordings issued under is own name as well as accompaniments to Mary Butler and Leroy Carter (the latter might well be Vincson!). Walter had a warm vocal style and was a fine guitarist though much of his guitar playing is in the background. The one solo performance Overtime Blues has some particularly nice guitar work. Other accompaniments usually have the fiddle & guitar sound of the Sheiks while others find him in the company of rather chaotic pianist Harry Chatmon or harmonica player Robert Lee McCoy. Several tracks are from very worn 78s and are difficult listening. In all an interesting though not essential release. (FS)

EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON Ace CDCHD 877 Bald Headed Blues ● CD $18.98
The complete King recordings cut between 1949 and 1952 by this distinctive bluesman including a previously unissued (and thought lost) song Sittin' On It All The Time which was later recorded by Wynonie Harris.
EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON: Ashes On My Pillow/ Bald Headed Blues/ Big Mouth Gal/ Eddie's Bounce/ Featherbed Mama/ Good Bread Alley/ Home Boy/ I Need You Tonight/ I Trusted You Baby (but You Double Crossed Me)/ I'm Gonna Wind Your Clock/ I'm Weak But Willing/ If You Don't Think I'm Sinking (look What A Hole I'm In)/ Jump And Grunt/ Lonesome Train/ My Big Brass Bed Is Gone/ No Good Woman Blues/ Peas And Rice/ People On My Party Line/ Person To Person/ Person To Person (alternative Take)/ Queen Bee Blues/ Rainy Mornin' Blues/ Sittin' On It All The Time/ Somebody Done Stole My Cherry Red/ Time After Time/ Wineola

EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON Delmark 631 Kidney Stew Is Fine ● CD $11.98
Excellent late 60s set recorded in France - with T. Bone Walker/guitar, Hal Singer/ tenor, Jay McShann/piano and others

EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON Southland 29 Kidney Stew ● CD $14.98
Saxophonist/vocalist plays w. Ted Easton's Jazz Band in mid-70's

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