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BLUES & GOSPEL

Various Artists Collections - Pre War Alabama Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Wolf WSE 113 Alabama Blues, 1927-1930 ● CD $14.98

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5166 Alabama: Black Country Dance Bands (1924-49) ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 69 min., recommended. You can hear the medicine show past of Ben Curry (a.k.a. Blind Bogus Ben Covington, a.k.a., probably, Memphis Ben), when he sings amusing numbers like Adam And Eve In The Garden/ I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop/ Boodle-De-Bum Blues. And, accompanying himself on banjo, he turns in fine performances of the The New Dirty Dozen and others, 8 cuts in all. Daddy Stovepipe's early tracks are quite nice too, despite an excess of surface noise and some occasionally annoying whistling from Whistlin' Pete, but his 1930s recordings with his wife Mississippi Sarah are better. Comfortable in more than one setting, the pair sound equally convincing on Burleskin' Blues and the gospel song Do You Love Him?, with Sarah singing and blowing her jug and Daddy blowing his harmonica and strumming his guitar. Both sides of the Mobile Strugglers only 78 end the disc. (JC)
BEN CURRY: Adam And Eve In The Garden/ Boodle De Bum Bum/ Boodle-de-bum Blues/ Fat Mouth Blues/ I Heard The Voice Of A Pork Chop/ It's A Fight Like That/ The New Dirty Dozen/ You Rascal You/ DADDY STOVEPIPE: Black Snake Blues/ Stove Pipe Blues/ Sundown Blues/ Tuxedo Blues/ MISSISSIPPI SARAH & DADDY STOVEPIPE: 35 Depression/ Burleskin' Blues/ Do You Love Him?/ Greenville Strut/ If You Want Me, Baby/ Read Your A.b.c.'s/ Strewin' It Out/ The Spasm/ THE MOBILE STRUGGLERS: Fattenin' Frogs/ Memphis Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5165 Alabama: Black Secular & Religious Music (1927-34) ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 75 min., good. Of the secular stuff, the obscure blues man Edward Thompson is the strongest argument for picking this up. His singing and guitar work on Showers Of Rain Blues and others will make you wish he'd cut more than these 6 sides he left the world. Marshall Owens, Wiley Barner, and Tom Bradford each have two songs--all there is. (Bradford's are unissued Library of Congress items.) On the religious side, there's Moses Mason, whose 7 cuts (most of them, anyway) are mini-sermons without benefit of music. Interesting? Yes. Something to play frequently? Probably not. Slim Duckett & Pig Norwood's 4 sides, on the other hand, are simple and poignant songs of the spirit. Especially fine is Sister Mary Wore Three Lengths Of Chain. Sound is generally good with a brace of abrasive exceptions. (JC)
SLIM DUCKETT & PIG NORWOOD: I Want To Go Where Jesus Is/ Sister Mary Wore Three Lengths Of Chain/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ You Gotta Stand Judgement For Yourself/ MARSHALL OWENS: Texas Blues/ Try Me One More Time/ WILEY BARNER: If You Want A Good Woman - Get One Long And Tall/ My Gal Treats Me Mean (but I Can't Leave Her Alone)/ TOM BRADFORD: Going North/ I Can't Get No Hearin' From My Babe/ MOSES MASON: Christ Is Coming Again/ Go Wash In The Beautiful Stream (take 1)/ John The Baptist (take 2)/ Judgment Day In The Morning/ Molly Man/ Red Cross The Disciple Of Christ Today/ Shrimp Man/ The Horse Paweth In The Valley/ EDWARD THOMPSON: Florida Bound/ Seven Sister Blues/ Showers Of Rain Blues/ Up On The Hill Blues/ West Virginia Blues/ When You Dream Of Muddy Water

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