LATEST ADDITIONS  03/06/2016

DVD
FATS DOMINO

COMPACT DISCS
BIG SLIM ALIFF

BILL BOYD
BROTHER BONES & HIS SHADOWS
BILL BROWNING
HAZEL DICKENS
FLOYD DIXON
THE DRIFTERS
CHARLIE FEATHERS/ MAC CURTIS
FRANK "SPRINGBACK" JAMES & GEORGE CURRY
JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES
DOUG KERSHAW

EARL KING
LORETTA LYNN
JAY MCSHANN
THE MILLER SISTERS
JOHNNY OTIS
BLIND ALFRED REED
HUEY "PIANO" SMITH
OTIS SPANN
SONNY THOMPSON
REV. H.R. TOMLIN & REV. S. J. WORRELL
BIG JOE TURNER WITH THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA
CONWAY TWITTY
VARIOUS ARTISTS
SHORTY & SMOKEY WARREN
THE WATERSONS
JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON

 

 
Since our Second Time Around listings are so popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them.To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added  asterisks (**) after these particular titles. We have also included some choice sale items.
 

COMPACT DISCS

 

FATS DOMINO Shanachie 999 The Big Beat - Fats Domino & The Birth Of Rock 'n' Roll ● DVD $17.98
90 minute 'director's cut/ 60 minute American Masters Version plus 13 minutes extras, highly recommended
A most enjoyable documentary on one of legendary rock 'n' roll pioneers - the great Antoine "Fats" Domino. It traces his career from growing up in a poor neighborhood of New Orleans to his learning to play and having an R&B hit with his first record The Fat Man in 1949 through to his breakthrough into rock 'n' roll stardom in 1955 with Ain't That A Shame followed by hit after hit in the charts and becoming one of the most in demand live performers. Though the hits dried up with the new sounds emerging in the mid 60s he continued to be a much in demand live performer. The story is told through narration by actor Clarke Peters along with commentary from Fat's biographer Rick Coleman, his long time producer, co-writer and trumpet player Dave Bartholomew, his long time sax player Herb Hardesty, his road manager Billy Diamond - who gave Fats his nickname, Allen Toussaint and others. Fats is not featured in on screen interviews but we hear several excerpts from a taped interview. Along the way we hear lots of Fats's music including live clips - some in their entirety, including ones I've never seen before. The DVD has two versions of the documentary - the one that showed on PBS in their "American Masters" series and an expanded "Director's Cut" with more interviews and music. There are also 13 minutes of extras including a couple minutes of Fats doodling on the piano at home in 2010 (and sounding pretty darned good) and three performances from a live show in France in 1962. Although I would have liked more - we learn very little about Fats the man and there are a couple of interesting subjects that are touched on and then dropped - this is still a very worthwhile documentary and any lover of Fats's music will be sure to enjoy it. (FS)

   

COMPACT DISCS

 
BIG SLIM ALIFF B.A.C.M. 515 Footprints In The Snow ● CD $14.98
23 tracks, recommended
Enjoyable collection of western and country songs from West Virginia performer Big Slim Alff (Harry C. McAuliffe). The first four cuts are Western songs recorded for Decca in 1936 with Slim accompanying himself on guitar including a fine early version of Footprints In The Snow (not the first version as indicated on several web sites). There are five tracks from an obscure 50s EP on the GeeGee label with Slim doing nice versions of five JImmie Rodgers songs though the overuse of an echo chamber is a bit annoying. The rest of the tracks were released on the Canadian ARC label featuring Slim accompanied by a small honky tonk group doing and enjoyable mix of original songs and recent favorites - Blue Velvet Band/ Sunny Side Of The Mountain/ Patano The Pride Of The Plains/ Tragic Romance/ What Is Life Without Love and others. (FS)
BIG SLIM ALIFF: A Drunkard's Child/ Billy Venero/ Blue Velvet Band/ Brakeman's Blues/ Cowboy Dance/ Daddy And Home/ Footprints In The Snow/ Great Speckled Bird No. 4/ I Thought I Heard You Call My Name/ Jimmie's Mean Mama Blues/ Jole Blon/ Little Joe/ Little Old Rag Doll/ New Birmingham Jail/ PatanioThe Pride Of The Plains/ Put Me In Your Pocket/ Put My Little Shoes Away/ Sunny Side Of The Mountain/ Tragic Romance/ Train Whistle Blues/ What Is Life Without Love/ Where The Old Red River Flows/ Will You Love Me When I'm Old

 
BILL BOYD B.A.C.M. 512 Vol. 3 - When They Play Rural Rhythm ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing B.A.C.M. 049 and 362, this is the third CD from B.A.C.M. featuring one of the best and most prolific western swing bands - Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers. The material here covers the period 1934 through 1950 with the majority being from the 1934-1938 period. Vocals are mostly by Bill or his brother Jim with great musical accompaniments from Walter Kirkes (banjo), Lefty Perkins (steel), Cecil Brower (fiddle), Marvin Montgomery (banjo), Zeke Campbell (guitar), Butch Gibson (clarinet), John Boyd (steel) and others. They perform a varied selection including blues, pop songs, western songs and more including Ridin' The Hump Back Mule/ St. Louis Blues (a particularly fine version)/ Jesse Blues/ Somebody's Been Using It/ Van Buren (a hot instrumental with great fiddle)/Annie Laurie Swing/ One Thing At A Time/ Bill Boyd Rag and more. A few tracks are a bit rough but, generally, sound quality is excellent and there are detailed notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
BILL BOYD: Ain't She Coming Out Tonight/ Alice Blue Gown/ An Old Watermill By A Waterfall/ Annie Laurie Swing/ Bill Boyd Rag (instr.)/ Black and Tan Rag (instr.)/ Broken Man/ Closed For Repairs/ Here Comes Pappy/ I'll Take You Back Again/ I'm In Love With You Honey/ I’m Jealous Of The Twinkle In Your Eye/ Jesse Blues/ My Baby Loves Me I Know/ Oh No She Don't/ One Thing At A Time/ Ridin' The Hump Back Mule/ Somebody's Been Using It/ Song Of The Waterfall/ St Louis Blues/ Van Buren (instr.)/ Weeping Blues aka Jeep’s Blues (instr.)/ When The Sun Sets On My Swiss Chalet/ When They Play Rural Rhythm/ Why Do You Punish Me/ Yes I do Yes I Do

 
BROTHER BONES & HIS SHADOWS Acrobat ACMCD 4081 Globetrottin' With Bones** ● CD $15.98
17 tracks, recommended
Back in print. The first ever CD release devoted to this unique performer, Freeman Davis aka Brother Bones - one of the few artists to make commercial recordings featuring his bones playing. His 1949 recording of Sweet Georgia Brown featured him whistling the old standard, accompanying himself on bones, joined by clarinetist Joe Darensbourg and an unknown organist. It became a top 10 pop and R&B hit and in 1952 was adopted by The Harlem Globetrotters basketball as their theme song and at the beginning of each game would enter the auditorium whistling along with Bones' meaning that in spite of its obscurity has been heard by millions of people worldwide. Most of his recordings are pretty much in the same vein, sometimes with a larger backing group. Tunes include Red Wing/ China Town/ Jada/ Rosetta/ Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blues/ Listen To The Mockingbird/ Poor Butterfly/ Lou-Easy-An-I-A, etc. Sound is excellent and booklet has information on the history of bones playing and brief biographical notes on Davis. (FS)

 
BILL BROWNING B.A.C.M. 517 Dark Hollow ● CD $14.98
31 tracks, very highly recommended
This one is a real treat and one of my favorite British Archive releases in a long while. Over the years I've heard a number of songs by Bill Browning on various and always enjoyed them so a whole CD with most of his recordings is particularly welcome. Browning was from West Virginia and had a really appealing voice and wrote some truly catchy songs. His great Wash Machine Boogie and Don't Push, Don't Shove have long been favorites with rockabilly fans though his biggest claim to fame was for writing the song Dark Hollow based around the traditional song which has been covered by many country artists as well as being a favorite with The Grateful Dead. These three are here along with other gem like Borned With The Blues/ Ramblin' Man (not the Hank Williams song)/ Hula Rock/ Breaking Hearts (totally irresitible)/ Lay Me Low/ Let The Bible Be Your Guide/ Sinful Woman and more. Most of the sides were recorded for the small Cleveland, Ohio based Island label between 1957 and 1960 with Bill backed by his Echo Valley Boys - a superb honky tonk group with electric and acoustic guitars, steel guitar and sometimes fiddle, mandolin, piano or drums. There are also sides recorded for Starday, Enola, Salem and Marbone (the latter three probably Bill's own labels). Some of the later sides have more of a mainstream country feel - excellent, but not out of the ordinary like those wonderful early sides. Unreservedly recommended. (FS)
BILL BROWNING: Answer Your Telephone/ Back Against The Wall/ Borned With The Blues/ Breaking Hearts/ Country Strings/ Dark Hollow/ Dark Valley Walls/ Dear Mom/ Don't Push Don't Shove/ Don't Wait Too Late/ Down In The Hollow/ First Prayer/ Glass Of Wine (For My Broken Heart)/ Gonna Be A Fire/ Hula-Rock/ I Heard That Train A Comin'/ It's A Long Long Way/ Just Because You Say You're Sorry/ Lay Me Low/ Let The Bible Be Your Guide/ Look Out Girl/ Losers Blues/ Love Left Over/ Makes You Feel So Good/ Marbone Swamp/ My Darling/ One Day A Month/ Ramblin' Man/ She's Not Such A Bad Girl/ Sinful Woman/ Washing Machine Boogie

 
HAZEL DICKENS Rounder 11529 A Few Old Memories** ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, 68 mins, essential
West Virginia singer/ songwriter Hazel Dickens is one of those wonderful singers whose voices have the ability to evoke an immediate and emotional response. She's not a pretty singer - but her singing has an honesty and directness that will send a chill down your spine. Many of her songs are originals though they have a timeless quality. They tell real stories about real people - often rural workers. The tracks here were recorded over an 11 year period and are drawn from six different albums (sadly, now mostly out of print). Accompaniments are varied from a bluegrass sound to a more electric country sound and also includes one unaccomapnied vocal Pretty Bird. Other songs include the magnificent Working Girl Blues (with Alice Gerrard from their acclaimed "Hazel & Alice" album)/ A Few Old Memories/ Busted/ It's Hard To Tell The Singer From The Song/ Hills Of Home/ Only The Lonely (not the Roy Orbison song)/ Little Lenaldo/ Scars From An Old Love/ Mama's Hand/ West Virginia, My Home and others. This is the real thing, folks. (FS)

 
FLOYD DIXON Ace CDCHD 740 Cow Town Blues** ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 78 min., highly recommended
Born in Marshall in 1928 or 1929, Floyd Dixon's first solo recordings (1949-1951) have finally been reissued.. We have here nearly all his Modern sides (except for Precious Lord and maybe a few as-yet-reported takes or sides). Seven unissued sides have been included, containing early versions of Prairie Dog Hole and Houston Jump that he would record for the African-American record owner Al Patrick (1910-1973). Influenced by the piano playing of Charles Brown, Eddie Heywood Jr. and Jay McShann, the highlights include Mississippi Blues, Dallas Blues, and Baby Come Home, a 1950 rewrite of the Walter Davis standard, Come Back Baby with a Chuck Norris guitar solo. Norris is also heard on I'll Be Lonely, People Like Me, and the instrumental Shuffle Boogie, while Mitchell "Tiny" Webb handles the guitar solos on most of the other tracks, particularly strong on Roamin' Around, and the gospel track, Milky White Way. As for the occasional tenor sax break (mostly by Maxwell Davis) on Baby Baby Will You Mary Me, Doin' The Town, and Freightening Poor Me, these early show (again) the influence Amos Milburn had at the time on Westcoast Blues. Carefully remastered, I highly recommended this CD if you're a fan of Johnny Moore & The Three Blazers' club-style blues. (EL)
FLOYD DIXON: Baby Baby Will You Marry Me?/ Baby Come Home/ Cow Town/ Dallas Blues/ Doin' The Town/ Drafting Blues/ Forever And Ever/ Frightening Poor Me/ Gloomy Baby/ Helen/ Houston Jump/ I'll Be Lonely/ It's Getting Foggy/ Johnny Katherine/ Milky White Way/ Mississippi Blues/ People Like Me - tk 2/ Playboy Blues/ Prairie Dog Hole/ Rita/ Roamin' Around/ Shuffle Boogie/ That'll Get It/ That's All I Care/ Till I Grow Old/ You Made A Fool Out Of Me

 
THE DRIFTERS Acrobat 9055 The Complete Releases, 1953-1962 ● CD $19.98
3 CDs, 71 tracks, essential
From the label that brought us definitive collections of The Platters (Acrobat 9045 - $19.98 - now deleted), The Cadets & The Jacks (Acrobat 3132 - $16.98), and The Five Satins (3144 - $16.98), comes a comprehensive compilation of Atlantic Records' premiere vocal group's first decade. Whether fronted by Clyde McPhatter or Ben E. King, the Drifters racked up classic side after classic side on both the R&B and Pop charts during the 50's and early 60's. Of course this set includes immortal cuts like Money Honey/ Such a Night/ There Goes My Baby/ This Magic Moment/ Save the Last Dance For Me, and Up on the Roof - how could it not? - but there's also little-heard tracks with Ruth Brown (with the group backing her as Her Rhythmakers), and collectable recordings by Harmony Grits, who were actually Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters, and lead singer Johnny Moore under the name Johnny Darrow, on which he's backed by The Original Drifters. Every record the Drifters cut-with their name on the label or backing others-during this decade is here, the sound quality is superb, and there's a detailed booklet included-in short, everything the dedicated R&B fan could possibly want. (GMC)
THE DRIFTERS: (If You Cry) True Love, True Love/ Adorable/ Another Night With The Boys/ Baltimore/ Bip Bam/ Chew Tobacco Rag/ Dance With Me/ Don't Dog Me/ Drifting Away From You/ Drip Drop/ Everyone's Laughing/ Fools Fall In Love/ Gee/ Gone/ Hey Senorita/ Honey Bee/ Honey Love/ Honky Tonky/ Hot Ziggety/ Hypnotized/ I Count The Tears/ I Gotta Get Myself A Woman/ I Know/ It Was A Tear/ Jackpot/ Let The Boogie Woogie Roll/ Loneliness Or Happiness/ Lonely Winds/ Lucille/ Mexican Divorce/ Money Honey/ Moonlight Bay/ No Sweet Lovin'/ Nobody But Me/ Oh My Love/ Oh What A Dream/ Old Man River/ Please Don't Freeze/ Please Stay/ Room Full Of Tears/ Ruby Baby/ Sadie My Lady/ Santa Claus Is Coming To Town/ Save The Last Dance For Me/ Soldier Of Fortune/ Some Kind Of Wonderful/ Somebody New Dancin' With You/ Somebody Touched Me/ Someday You'll Want Me To Want You/ Sometimes I Wonder/ Souvenirs/ Steamboat/ Stranger On The Shore/ Such A Night/ Suddenly There's A Valley/ Sweets For My Sweet/ The Bells Of St. Mary's/ The Spider Walk/ The Way I Feel/ There Goes My Baby/ There You Go/ This Magic Moment/ Try Try Baby/ Up On The Roof/ Warm Your Heart/ What To Do/ What'cha Gonna Do'/ When My Little Girl Is Smiling/ White Christmas/ Yodee Yakee/ Your Promise To Be Mine

 
CHARLIE FEATHERS/ MAC CURTIS Ace CDCHD 1053 Rockabilly Kings** ● CD $18.98
Classic rockabilly featuring the complete King recordings of Charlie Feathers and Mac Curtis including a previously unissued alternate take by Curtis and several alternate takes by Feathers. Newly remastered from original session tapes for best ever sound and including between song session chat and false starts.

 
FRANK "SPRINGBACK" JAMES & GEORGE CURRY Document DOCD 5289 Complete Recorded Works, 1934-1938 ● CD $15.98 $10.98
21 tracks, 63 tracks, recommended
Frank "Springback" James was a fine singer and piano player who was obviously inspired by Leroy Carr. His first four sides are solo and most of the rest features guitar accompaniment by Willie B. James which really accentuates the Carr influence. Still James has some good original songs like Snake Hip Blues/ Rusty Can Blues/ Poor Coal Loader/ I'm On My Way and others. George Curry is another fine singer and piano player listed in the company files as "Leroy's best friend" so you can guess who influenced him. The three sides here were never actually issued though they are very good and I particularly like his Back In My Cell Again. (FS)
GEORGE CURRY: Back In My Cell Again/ My Last Five Dollars/ You're Forever On My Mind/ FRANK "SPRINGBACK" JAMES: Forsaken Blues/ Frank's Lonesome Blues/ Hard Driving Mama/ Hellish Ways/ I'm On My Way/ Lonesome Love Blues/ Mistreated Blues/ New Red Cross Blues/ Poor Coal Loader/ Poor Coal Passer/ Rusty Can Blues/ See For Yourself/ Snake Hip Blues/ Springback Papa/ Stingaree Mama Blues/ Texas Heifer Blues/ Unkindness Blues/ Will My Bad Luck Ever Change?

 
JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES Ace CDLUX2 015 Hurricane Force - Rare & Unreleased ● CD $28.98
Two CD set of rarities and live performances by one of the most popular rock 'n' roll instrumental groups of the 1960s. Disc one has 26 rare tracks, nine previously unissued, including their first recordings from 1959 as backing group for Freddie & The Parliaments and The Dream Girls. It also includes tracks by The Fascinators which was The Hurricanes after trhey left Johnny Paris in 1961 and brought in another sax man to replace him. It includes two rare sides from 1965 from the band's guitarist Dave Gordo as Dave & The Orbits. It includes previously unissued alternate takes of Rockin' T and Sand Storm, a studio rehearsal version of Rocking Goose and more. The second disc is all live material including the group's rare live German LP from 1981 never released anywhere else in the world and has never been on CD along with other live recordings - 11 of them previously unreleased The 40 page booklet includes extensive notes from Dave Burke and Alan Taylor who run the British magazine Pipeline devoted to instrumental rock 'n' roll along with loads of rare photos, label shots and other memorabilia.

 
DOUG KERSHAW Goldenlane 109 Rare Masters Anthology; 1959 to 1969 ● CD $19.98
Two CD set of 52 demos recorded by this versatile and talented singer, songwriter and fiddle player. Most of them were recorded at home and a number feature his brother Rusty and, according to the notes, none were recorded commercially. The first disc finds Doug accompanied by various small groups - mostly country flavored but sometimes more rock oriented. The second disc is just guitar accompanied demos. The material is a mix of country and rock 'n' roll songs - some with a Cajun flavor. Some of the songs are pretty good - others are not and two CDs worth is a bit indulgent - picking the best songs for a single CD would be better though I suppose if I were a diehard Doug Kershaw fan I might think differently.

 
EARL KING Jasmine 3060 Let The Good Times Roll: Singles As & Bs, 1955-1962 ● CD $15.98
31 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended
Earl King was a superb New Orleans singer, guitarist and songwriter and this splendid release is the only currently available retrospective of his early recordings. This set features all the singles issued by King on Ace (and its subsidiaries Vin and Rex) and Imperial between 1955 and 1962. The material, almost all originals, is a mix of soulful blues ballads and uptempo R&B with soulful vocals by Earl abd tough Guitar Slim influenced guitar. He is accompanied by top New Orleans musicians like Huey Smith/ piano, Roland Cook/ bass, Lee Allen/ tenor sax, Alvin "Red" Tyler/ baritone sax, James Booker/ piano and others. Although he only had one hit with the great blues ballad Those Lonely Lonely Nights he recorded lots of other great sides like Mother Told Me Not To Go/ Everybody Got To Cry/ Is Everything Alright/ Darling Honey Angel Child and others including a great cover of his hero Guitar Slim's The Things That I Used To Do and the original recordings of Come On and Trick Bag - two songs that have been much covered by other artists. Sound quality is superb and there are informative notes by Bob Fisher and full discographical details. (FS)

 
LORETTA LYNN B.A.C.M. 513 I'm A Honky Tonk Girl ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, very highly recommended
From the late 60s to early 80s Loretta Lynn was the most popular female country artist - often singing powerful feminist oriented material (mostly self composed) but this superb collection goes back to the beginning of her recording career featuring sides cut between 1960 and 1963. The earliest sides were recorded for Decca but were only issued on the Canadian Zero label eventually moving to Decca in 1961. These performances are pure honky tonk with Loretta's gorgeous voice backed by spare arrangements with steel guitar, fiddle, guitar, piano, bass and drums. Loretta Lyn started off writing her own songs and while her earliest compositions (<>Blue Steel/ Whispering Sea/ New Rainbow, etc.) are not particularly memorable she pretty soon her stride with some superb songs like the album's title song (her first country hit), Gonna Pack My Troubles and World Of Forgotten People. She also has fine songs from other writers like Cindy Walket and Betty Sue Perry and there are several fabulous covers including George Jones's Color Of The Blues and Justin Tubb's Lonesome 7 7203. This one's a keeper! (FS)
LORETTA LYNN: A Hundred Proof Heartache/ Act Naturally/ Alone With You/ Blue Steel/ Colour Of The Blues/ Get Set For A Heartache/ Girl That I Am Now/ Gonna Pack My Troubles/ Heartaches Meet Mr Blues/ I Walked Away From The Wreck/ I'm A Honky Tonk Girl/ Lonesome 7 7203/ My Angel Mother/ My Darkest Day/ My Life Story/ My Love/ New Rainbow/ Stop/ Success/ The Minute You're Gone/ The Other Woman/ Whispering Sea/ Who’ll Help Me Get Over You/ Why I'm Walking/ World Of Forgotten People

 
JAY MCSHANN Acrobat 126 Kansas City Blues ● CD $9.98 $6.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
A fine collection featuring the great jazz pianist and bandleader in a blue mood leading small groups and mostly accompanying blues singers like Julia Lee, Jimmy Witherspoon, Numa Lee Davis, Crown Prince Waterford and Maxine Reed as well as some bluesy and boogie instrumentals. Session musicians include Tommy Douglas, Walter Page, Eddie Gregory (later Sahib Shibab), Al "Cake" Wichard, Jesse Price, Tiny Webb and others. A complete delight. (FS)

 
THE MILLER SISTERS Charly SNAM 952 Got You On My Mind - The Sun Recordings, 1954-1957 ● CD $15.98 $8.98
28 tracks of rock 'n' roll and country recorded for Sun between 1954 and '57 by sisters-in-law Elsie Jo Wages-Miller and Mildred "Millie" Miller. It includes all their issued sides, originally unissued sides, alternate takes and tracks backing up Gene Simmons, Glenn Honeycutt and Cast King. Includes booklet with detailed notes by Sam Szczepanski.

 
JOHNNY OTIS Ace CDCHD 855 Cold Shot/ Snatch & The Poontangs** ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, highly recommended
Two classic Otis albums from 1969 combined along with two previously unissued sides. "Cold Shot" was recorded in 1968 with Delmar "Mighty Mouth" Evans and Otis on vocals, Johnny's 15 year old son Shuggie making his first appearance on record and session musicians on bass and drums. A fine mixture of new and old blues songs. A single from that session Country Girl gave Otis his first R&B chart hit in more than 10 years. The opening cut of "Cold Shot" was Signifying Monkey a version of the traditional African American toast complete with totally unexpurgated lyrics and given a blues arrangement. The "Snatch & The Poontangs" album expanded on that concept with part 2 of "Signifying Monkey" and seven more bawdy songs - some of them also drawn from the African-American oral tradition. This was some of the raunchiest music put out as a commercial recording until rap achieved popularity. The two bonus songs are taken from the Snatch & The Poontangs session and includes a version of The Dirty Dozens. The enclosed booklet has rather bland notes by Dean Rudland and includes a copy of the wonderful and very graphic painting done by Otis for the inside jacket of "Snatch." (FS)

 
BLIND ALFRED REED Dust-To-Digital 048 Appalachian Visionary ● CD $29.98
22 tracks, essential
Blind Alfred was one of the greatest of all old time country performers. Ever since Document issued a CD of his "complete" recordings in 1998 I've been hoping that someone would give him the deluxe treatment with top of line remastering and full documentation and now, thanks to our good friends at Dust-To-Digital my wish has come true and they have included two tracks that Document missed as they were issued as by The West Virginia Night Owls. Reed, who was first recorded in 1927 at the same sessions as the first Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers recordings, was a truly wonderful performer. A great singer and fiddle player he was also one of the greatest composers of the era whose witty songs of social commentary have entered the repertoire of many a performer since. Many of his songs are as timely today as they were almost 90 years ago - How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live has been recorded by many performers in recent decades and it's almost eerie how relevant the lyrics are today. Other gems include There'll Be No Distinction There (about racial and religious equality), Always Lift Him Up And Never Knock Him Down (sympathy for the unfortunate), You Must Unload (religious hypocrisy) and more including several tongue in cheek attacks on women (Why Do You Bob Your Hair Girls? / Womens Been After Man Ever Since). What elevates these songs to pure genius is their irresitably catchy melodies. Alfred is accompanied on guitar by Arthur Wyrick or his son Arville. The two West Virginia Night Owls sides are duets with guitarist Fred Pendleeton with Pendleton taking the lead and are nowhere near as interesting as the sides by Reed alone though he does play some lovely fiddle. The sound quality on this reissue is stunning and the CD comes packaged in an 84 page 7"x6" hardbound book with detailed notes by Ted Olson and loaded with rare photos and memorabilia. This is a must for any lover of old time music whether or not you have the Document CD or not. (FS)

 
HUEY "PIANO" SMITH Jasmine 3059 Don't You Just Know It ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
If you missed out on the Westside CDs that came out in the late 1990s here's your chance to pick up the most extensive currently available collection featuring the classic Ace recordings made by Huey "Piano" Smith and His Clowns. Huey was an outstanding pianist who played behind artists like Smiley Lewis, Little Richard, Earl King and others. On the recordings he made under his own name he occasionally sang but mostly left the vocals to two of the Clowns - Bobby Marchan or Gerri Hall. With the exception of a few soulful ballads it's rockin' all the way - Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu, Pts 1 &2/ Free Single And Disengaged/ High Blood Pressure/ Don't You Just Know It/ Don't You Know Yockamo/ Little Liza Jane/ Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas And The Sinus Blues and lots more. Sidemen includes the likes of Lee Allen, Earl King, Robert Parker, Red Tyler and others top NOLA musicians. Sound is superb and this set includes a six page booklet with notes by Bob Fisher and full discographical data. New Orleans R&B is frequently good time music and the times don't get any gooder than with Huey and his gang. (FS)
HUEY AND JERRY: I Think You're Jiving Me/ Little Chickee Wah Wah/ HUEY 'PIANO' SMITH & THE CLOWNS: Beatnik Blues/ Dearest Darling (You're The One)/ Don't You Just Know It/ Don't You Know Yockomo/ Everybody's Whalin'/ For Cryin' Out Loud/ Free Single And Disengaged/ Genevieve/ Havin' A Good Time/ High Blood Pressure/ I Didn't Do It/ If It Ain't One Thing It's Another/ Just A Lonely Clown/ Little Liza Jane/ Mean, Mean, Man/ Pop-Eye/ Rocking Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu (Part 1)/ Rocking Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu (Part 2)/ Scald Dog/ She Got Lowdown/ Talk To Me Baby/ They Kept On/ Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas And The Sinus Blues/ We Like Birdland/ Well I'll Be John Brown/ Would You Believe It (I Have A Cold)

 
OTIS SPANN Floating World 6255 Live The Life/ Chicago Blues ● CD $21.98
Two CDs, 31 tracks, highly recommended
U.K. reissue of two Testament CDs that are now out of print in the USA "Chicago Blues" is a reissue of Testament LP 2211 (with one additional cut) and shows off Spann's immense talent in a variety of settings. Seven tracks have him alone at his piano, one (Vicksburg Blues) matches him with drummer Robert Whitehead, and most of the rest feature Spann on piano or organ with other members of Muddy Waters' Band, including the great James Cotton an harp. On the instrumental extra cut, Spann is joined by Johnny Shines on guitar and Big Walter Horton on harp. About the only rub is the occasionally muffled sound quality. "Live The Life" features all originally unissued material . 12 of the cuts find Otis recorded live with his former boss Muddy Waters. There are five from a 1968 tribute concert to Martin Luther King with Muddy on acoustic guitar and an acoustic bass. Sound balance on these is not very good but there is beautiful singing and playing by Spann particularly on Tribute To Martin Luther King. There are seven cuts with the full Waters band with much better sound - Spann takes two vocals including a splendid version of the West Coast favorite Tin Pan Alley and Muddy does four excellent vocals and plays some fine slide on Can't Lose What You Never Had. There are two superb solo performances by Spann from around 1965 and a couple of accompaniments to Johnny Young and Slim Willis. If you missed the Testament CDs when they first came out now is your chance to get this excellent material from a giant of the blues who died far too young. (FS)

 
SONNY THOMPSON Sequel 900 Jam Sonny Jam ● CD $15.98 $10.98
20 tracks, 55 min., essential
Sonny Thompson will always be remembered for his instrumental standard, Long Gone (Miracle,'48). He began recording for Morton Sultan's Sultan Records in 1946, then moving on to Miracle, King, Federal & Deluxe Records. This, the first ever CD devoted to Sonny Thompson, contains his 1st two #1 R&B hits, Long Gone, Part 1 (featuring guitarist Arvin Garrett) and Late Freight (Creeping) (featuring Eddie Chamblee on tenor sax. The other tenor saxophonists featured on this set - David "Bubba" Brooks, Tina Brooks and King Curtis - plus the inclusion of 6 unissued & 3 alternate takes, makes this release essential. Highlights include Flying Home (with Bubba Brooks), Gum Shoe (with King Curtis), and Smoke Stack Blues (with Tina Brooks & guitarist Bill Johnson before he joined The Moonglows). (EL)

 
REV. H.R. TOMLIN & REV. S. J. WORRELL Document DOCD 5406 Complete Recorded Works, 1926-1927 ● CD $15.98 $10.98
22 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
The complete recordings of two obscure but fine preachers and singers. The first six performances by Tomlin from 1926 are relatively staid with vocal accompaniments from the rather formal Rigoltto Quintette of Morris Brown University. It includes a cover of the Rev. Gate s"hit" Death's Black Train Is Coming and the fascinating Come Ye That Love The Lord where Tomlin compares some Christians to canned fruit ("they spoil in the summer and freeze in the summer"!). The last two sides by him from 1927 are much more energetic and are mostly sung with very little preaching and exciting vocals fromTomlin and two female singers with harmonium accompaniment. Harlem based preacher Rev. S.J. Worell, aka "Steamboat Bill", is a powerful and exciting preacher of the "straining" school who titles usually open with a sung chorus followed a sermon usually based on theme drawn from the bible and includes The Prodigal Son/ Zacharias The Tax Colector/ Daniel In the Lion's Den/ What A Man Soweth So Shall He Reap and others. Powerful and moving music. (FS)

 
BIG JOE TURNER WITH THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA Original Blues Classics 1053 Flip, Flop & Fly ● CD $12.98 $7.98
The mighty blues shouter Big Joe Turner recorded live in Europe in 1972 accompanied by the mighty Count Basie Orchestra. Mostly familiar Turner favorites like the title song plus Corrine Corrnia/ Shake, Rattle and Roll and others along with songs made famous by former Basie vocalists Jimmy Rushing (Good Morning Blues) and Joe Williams (Everyday I Have The Blues). Joe is obviously happy to be in such distinguished company.

 
CONWAY TWITTY B.A.C.M. 514 You'll Never Walk Alone ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, strongly recommended
A fine collection of sides recorded by Conway Twitty for MGM between 1958 and 1961. It's a bit of an oddity in the B.A.C.M. catalog since most CDs on the label avoid duplication with other reissues but most of the tracks here are available on RPM 246 ("Looking Back: The Very Best of The MGM Recordings" - two CDs - 40 tracks - $21.98) or Jasmine 571 ("Lonely Blue Boy" - 33 tracks - $15.98). Also, B.A.C.M. usually only issues country albums and while Conway became a country superstar the material here is is rock 'n' roll and rock ballads. Still this is a good collection of his MGM recordings including some of his big hits like It's Only Make Believe/ The Story of My Love/ Mona Lisa/ Danny Boy and Portrait Of A Fool and a selection of dramatic rock ballads, a few rockers and some covers of country songs - done in a more popor rock than country style. (FS)
CONWAY TWITTY: A Fallen Star/ A Tree In A Meadow/ Blue Moon/ Blueberry Hill/ Danny Boy/ First Romance/ Halfway To Heaven/ I Can Hear My Heart Break/ I'd Still Play The Fool/ I'm In A Blue Blue Mood/ It's Only Make Believe/ Just Because/ Live Fast Love Hard Die Young/ Long Black Train/ Man Alone/ Mona Lisa/ My Heart Cries/ My One And Only You/ Portrait Of A Fool/ Sentimental Journey/ Story Of My Love/ That's Where My Lovin' Goes/ Tower Of Tears/ Turn Around/ Walk On By/ What A Dream/ You Win Again/ You'll Never walk Alone

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 743 Floyd's Early Cajun Singles** ● CD $18.98
Fantastic collection of sides recorded between 1957 and 1960 by famed Cajun music producer Floyd Soileau for his Big Mamou, Vee-Pee, Jin and Swallow labels. Includes such legendary Cajun performers as Lawrence Walker, Aldus Roger, Rodney LeJune, Adam Hebert, Austin Pitre and others.
SIDNEY BROWN & HIS FRENCH ACCORDION: Font Kee-Lot Two-Step/ ANDREW CORMIER & THE RAMBLING ACES: Lacassine Two-Step/ Seventy-Three Special/ Two-Step De Vieux Temps/ LOUIS CORMIER & THE MOONLITE PLAYBOYS: Drunkard's Blues/ One Step De Duson/ LEO FONTENOT & THE VILLE PLATTE PLAYBOYS: Jole Basete/ Ville Platte Playboys Special/ ADAM HEBERT & THE COUNTRY PLAYBOYS: Cette La J'Aime/ Country Playboys Special/ Every Nite When It's Dark/ North Side Door/ RODNEY LEJUNE & THE RAMBLING ACES: 99 Year Waltz/ Dans Les Misere/ La Fille De La Veuve/ MILTON MOLITOR WITH AUSTIN PITRE BAND: Manuel Bar Waltz/ Midway Two-Step/ AUSTIN PITRE & THE EVANGELINE PLAYBOYS: Flumes Dans Faire/ Opelousas Waltz/ Rainbow Waltz/ Rene's Special/ ALDUS ROGER & THE LAFAYETTE PLAYBOYS: Midway Waltz/ O.S.T Special/ JOEL SONNIER & THE DUSON PLAYBOYS: Tee Yeaux Bleu/ LAWRENCE WALKER & THE WANDERING ACES: Bon Ton Rouley/ Midnite Waltz/ Osson Two-Step/ Walker Special

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Buried Treasures 1006 Columbia Soul Diamonds ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
We've had "Decca Soul Diamonds" (Buried Treasures 1001 - $16.98) and "Atlantic Soul Diamonds" (Buried Treasures 1005 - $16.98) and now we get soul diamonds from Columbia Records. Columbia's history with R&B/Soul music is patchy until Clive Davis dragged the label kicking and screaming into the Soul market in the 70's. This compilation collects songs from the 60's, 70's and 80's to illustrate the label's history with Soul music. Starting off strong with Jackie Moore's Personally from 1979, the continues with choice sides from Don Covay, Johnnie Taylor, Walter Jackson, Twentie Grans, Chambers Brothers, Tyrone Davis, Gwen McCrae, and Bobby Harris. All and all, this is another fine entry in the Soul Diamonds CD series. (GMC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Honest Jon's 069 Let No One Judge You - Early Recordings From Iran, 1906 ● CD $26.98
Two CDs, 34 tracks, very highly recommended
Gorgeous collection of vocal and instrumental music from Iran recorded between 1903 and 1933 in London and Tehran. Most of the music features traditional instrumentals (the tar, ney, various percussions instrumentations) but several use Western instruments to great effect - the use of the organ on a couple of tracks is particularly haunting. There are a number of tar solos by Jewish-Iranian musician Morteza Ney-Davud who also provides accompaniment to a number of the vocals. Recordings of women singers were strongly dissapproved of but there are a number of magnificent female vocals here by singers who had to use psuedonyms to hide their real identity. The songs by Iran-od-Dowleh Helen are utterly spellbinding. Sound quality is superb and the 26 page booklet includes notes and rare photos though the discographical information is buried in the notes rather than presented separately which would have been more useful. A minor criticism of an otherwise magnificent collection. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77196 Head Rag Hop - Piano Blues, 1925-1960 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 101 tracks, essential
Although there have been an abundance of reissues of guitar oriented blues, piano blues has been somewhat neglected and so this introductory collection is particularly welcome. While this collection has no real overarching theme, hopefully it will do well enough that further, more focused collections, will be more forthcoming. Texas is particularly rich in great piano players and this set opens with Hersal Thomas's wonderful 1925 recording of Suitcase Blues - Hersal is also heard accompanying his niece Hociel. Another member of the Thomas family is Moanin' Bernice Edwards who accompanies herself on the gorgeous Moaning Blues. Also from Texas is Bessie Tucker whose Penitentiary Blues, accompanied by an unknown piano player harkens back to field holler and Bobbie Cadillac's (also accompanied by an unknown pianist) is featured on the grim Carbolic Acid Blues . St. Louis was another hotbed of great piano bluesmen including Henry Brown who is featured on three instrumentals including the glorious Stomp 'Em On Down To The Bricks which lives up to its title and features some wonderful spoken commentary from guitarist Lawrence "Pape Eggshell" Casey. Brown is also heard accompanying Mary Johnson and Alice. Also based in St. Louis was the enigmatic "Jabo" Williams whose two tracks are sheer piano genius ad Wesley Wallace with his masterful No. 29. We don't know who accompanies St. Louis Bessie but it's a gem with some wonderfully caustic humor ("I don't have no husband but I have a dozen married men"). And there's so much more including the wonderful title tune by Chicago based Romeo Nelson, Meade Lux Lewis with the first version of his pioneering boogie piece Honky Tonk Train Blues two tracks by the shamefully neglected Walter Davis including his stunning Sweet Sixteen plus tracks by Cow Cow Davenport, Pine Top Smith, Will Ezell, Speckled Red, Montana Taylor, Skip James, The Sparks Brothers, Walter Roland, Black Boy Shine, Champion Jack Dupree, Lee Hunter (brother of Ivory Joe) and so many more. There's not a single track that's less than superb. Sound quality is excellent and the notes by Neil Slaven gives us brief profiles of many of the artists. (FS)
MOZELLE ALDERSON: Tight Whoopee/ ALBERT AMMONS: Shout For Joy Tk 2/ CHARLES AVERY: Dearborn Street Breakdown/ BARRELHOUSE BUCK: Weeping Willow Blues/ RAYMOND BARROW: Walking Blues/ BAT THE HUMMING BIRD: Humming Blues/ BIG MACEO: Chicago Breakdown/ BLACK BOY SHINE: Brown House Blues/ BLACK IVORY KING: The Flying Crow/ BLIND MACK: Rootin Ground-hog Blues/ EDDIE BOYD: Five Long Years/ HENRY BROWN: Eastern Chimes Blues/ Henry Brown Blues/ Stomp Em Down To The Bricks/ LEE BROWN: Little Girl Little Girl/ BUMBLE BEE SLIM: Who's Been Here Today/ BOBBIE CADILLAC: Carbolic Acid Blues/ BOB CALL: 31 Blues/ LEROY CARR: Suicide Blues Tk 2/ JIM CLARKE: Fat Fanny Stomp/ COW COW DAVENPORT: Cow Cow Blues/ Mooch Piddle/ Slum Gullion Stomp/ WALTER DAVIS: L & N Blues/ Sweet Sixteens/ DICK DAVIS ORCHESTRA: Screamin Boogie/ DIRTY RED (NELSON): Mother Fuyer/ HERVE DUERSON: Avenue Strut/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Junker Blues/ MOANIN BERNICE EDWARDS: Moaning Blues/ PIANO KID EDWARDS: Gamblin Man s Prayer/ WILL EZELL: Heifer Dust/ Mixed Up Rag/ Pitchin Boogie/ BLIND LEROY GARNETT: Louisiana Glide/ JIMMIE GORDON: That Woman's A Pearl Diver/ THE HOKUM BOYS & JANE LUCAS: Hokum Stomp/ CAMILLE HOWARD: X-Temporaneous Boogie/ HATTIE HUDSON: Doggone My Good Luck Soul/ LEE HUNTER: Lee's Boogie/ SKIP JAMES: If You Haven't Any Hay Get On Down The Road/ JAMES STUMP JOHNSON: The Duck's Yas-Yas-Yas/ LIL JOHNSON: House Rent Scuffle/ LONNIE JOHNSON: She Don't Know Who She Wants/ LOUISE JOHNSON: All Night Long Blues Alt Tk/ MARY JOHNSON: Black Men Blues/ I Just Can't Take It/ Rattlesnake Blues/ STUMP JOHNSON: Money Johnson/ PETE JOHNSON & ALBERT AMMONS: Boogie Woogie Man Tk 1/ WILLIE JOHNSON & HIS ORCHESTRA: Sampson Street Boogie/ MEADE LUX LEWIS: Honky Tonk Train Blues/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Little Willie's Boogie/ CRIPPLE CLARENCE LOFTON: Brown Skin Girls/ Strut That Thing/ BERT MAYS: Michigan River Blues/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: My Life Depends On You/ WILLARD MCDANIEL: 3 A.M. Boogie/ MEMPHIS SLIM: Beer Drinking Woman Tk 2/ AMOS MILBURN: Chicken Shack Boogie/ EDDIE MILLER: Freight Train Blues/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Vicksburg Blues/ ALICE MOORE: Push Cart Pusher/ WHISTLIN ALEX MOORE: They May Not Be My Toes/ RED NELSON: Streamline Train/ ROMEO NELSON: Gettin Dirty Just Shakin That Thing/ Head Rag Hop/ TURNER PARRISH: The Fives/ Trenches/ PIANO RED: Red's Boogie/ PINETOP: Tell Her About Me/ I Believe I ll Make A Change/ MACK RHINEHART & BROWNIE STUBBLEFIELD: Dirty No Gooder/ WALTER ROLAND: Piano Stomp/ Red Cross Blues/ CHARLIE SEGAR: Cuban Villa Blues/ PINE TOP SMITH: Jump Steady Blues/ Pine Top s Blues/ OTIS SPANN: Otis In The Dark/ THE SPARKS BROTHERS: Chicago's Too Much For Me/ SPECKLED RED: The Dirty Dozen/ The Right String But The Wrong Yo-Yo/ ST LOUIS BESSIE: Sweet Black Woman/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: Down Home Child/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: 3, 6 And 9/ Blues N Boogie/ CHARLEY TAYLOR: Louisiana Bound/ MONTANA TAYLOR: Detroit Rocks/ HERSAL THOMAS: Suitcase Blues/ HOCIEL THOMAS: Fish Tail Dance/ BESSIE TUCKER: Penitentiary/ WESLEY WALLACE: No. 29/ BARREL HOUSE WELCH: Dying Pickpocket Blues/ PEETIE WHEATSTRAW: Don t Feel Welcome Blues/ Pete Wheatstraw/ Throw Me In The Alley/ BOODLE IT WIGGINS: Evil Woman Blues/ JAMES WIGGINS: Gotta Shave Em Dry/ JABO WILLIAMS: Jab Blues/ Pratt City Blues/ JIMMY YANCEY: The Rocks

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 395 Sweet Dreams - Where Country Meets Soul, Vol. 2 ● CD $18.98 $14.98
23 tracks, very highly recommended
The second volume of Southern Soul artists recording songs primarily identified with country music picks up where the first ("Behind Closed Doors: Where Country Meets Soul", Kent 375) left off. Kicking off with a swinging version of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition's But You Know I Love You from The Sweet Inspirations, the set finds its' groove instantly and keeps the momentum up with stunning turns from William Bell, Hank Ballard (a near-gospel take on Sunday Morning Coming Down), Otis Redding, Bobby Hebb, Millie Jackson, Bobby Bland, David Ruffin, Etta James, and Isaac Hayes (with an outstanding version of Hank Williams' I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)). The track selection spans the 60's, 70's, and 90's (!), but the album plays with seamlessness that doesn't happen very often with random compilations; the Orquestra Was track that closes the disc, with its' hip hop-ish beats fits the mood very well. All told, this is a very strong argument for there being a thin line that separates Soul and country music. (GMC)
HANK BALLARD: Sunday Morning Comin' Down/ WILLIAM BELL: Please Help Me, I'm Falling/ BOBBY BLAND: I Hate You/ JAMES CARR: Tell Me My Lying Eyes Are Wrong/ CLARENCE CARTER: Bad News/ THE FACTS OF LIFE: Sometimes/ ISAAC HAYES: I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)/ BOBBY HEBB: A Satisfied Mind/ MILLIE JACKSON: Sweet Music Man/ EDDIE JAMES: All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)/ ETTA JAMES: When I Stop Dreaming/ RALPH LAMAR: Don't Let Me Cross Over/ PAT LUNDY: Only Mama That'll Walk The Line/ DOROTHY MOORE: Funny How Time Slips Away/ ORQUESTRA WAS FEATURING SWEET PEA ATKINS: Forever's A Long, Long Time/ ESTHER PHILLIPS: Sweet Dreams/ OTIS REDDING: Tennessee Waltz/ DAVID RUFFIN: Statue Of A Fool/ JOE SIMON: Help Me Make It Through The Night (Mono Single Mix)/ BETTYE SWANN: Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me/ THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS: But You Know I Love You/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Sixteen Tons/ TED TAYLOR: I'll Release You

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Renair 129 Chekhov's Band - Eastern European Klezmer Music ● CD $19.98
24 tracks, essential
Wow - what a great discovery - a whole CDs worth of the earliest klezmer music ever recorded. Most vintage recordings of klezmer music we have had heard were made in America in the 1920s but this wonderful CD takes us back to Eastern Europe and previously unreissued recordings of klezmer bands mostly made in Russia between 1908 and 1913 and made by EMI for the local market with copies still existing in the EMi Archives in Britain. The music is similar yet different to what we are familiar in American recordings with a lack of the elements of jazz we hear in some of the American recordings and instead we hear elements of brass band music and classical elements too but that lively joyous sound is very evident. The instrumental line up is similar with violins, clarinets and brass instruments along with the occasional cymbalom though there is no drum, saxophone or piano on these recording. Several of the titles feature virtuoso fiddle or clarinet playing. Though most of the performances are up tempo dance music there are several slower pieces including the utterly exquisite Ukrainian Fantasy (A Cossack Was Riding Beyond The Danube) by Titunshayder - a truly spine chilling performance which is alone worth the price of admission. Sound quality on these 100 plus year old recordings is astounding and the 36 page booklet with notes by Michael Aylward and Joel Rubin is fantastic with extensive details on the genesis of these recordings, the development of klezmer music, a discussion of every track with biographical details on the performers and information on the tunes along with rare photos, label shots and more. This CD is on track to be my favorite release of 2016! (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Retrieval 79074 Unissued on 78s - Vocals & Instrumentals, 1927-1934 ● CD $11.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
The latest in this superb series of reissues of jazz, dance band and blues recordings not originally issued 78s - mostly alternate takes along with some unissued tune and songs. This one has some supreb blues performances from Edna Winston, Genevieve Davis, Mamie Smith and Eva Taylor (with her Southernaires featuring her husband Clarence Williams on jug). There are jazz vocals from Adelaide (two with the Duke Ellington Orch and two with The Mills Blue Rhythm Band), Lee Wiley (with the Dorsey Brothers Orch.), Mae West (two great songs from a promotional disc for the 1934 movie "Belle Of The Nineties" with accompaniment by the Duke Ellington Orch.), Leon Rene (future R&B hit songwriter) and Wingy Manone & His Orch. On the instrumental side we have Jean Goldkette & His Orch, Arthur Schutt & His Orch, Frank Trumbauer & His Orch and four cuts from 1934 from the intriguing Candy & Coco featuring excellent guitarist Leo "Coco" Dunham and bassist Candy Candido with Gen Austin on piano and Monk Hazel on drums and cornet. Consistently fine music with stunning sound and booklet with informative notes from Nick Dellow and full discographical info. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soul Jazz SJR 323 Coxsone's Music - The First Recordings Of Sir Coxsone ● CD $27.98
Three CDs, 46 tracks, recommended
A fine collection of the early recordings produced by pioneering Jamican music entrepreneur Clement Seymour "Coxsone" Dodd made between 1960 and '62. The music is a mix of early ska and Jamaican jazz featuring artists like Don Drummond, Derrick Harriott, Busty & Cool, Owen & Millie (Owen Gray and Millie Small), The Blues Busters, The Jiving Juniors, Clancy Eccles, The Mellow Larks (two songs including the wonderful gospel song Time To Pray), The Cecil Lloyd Quintet, Clue J & His Blues Blasters (the fine R&B flavored instrumental Silky with tough guitar from Ernest Ranglin) and more. The recordings were released on a plethora of small labels including Coxsone, D Darling, Worldisc, Supreme and many more. Sound quality is as good as can be expected considering the original primitive recording quality and this set comes with a 30 page full color booklet with background, details of the musicians involved in the sessions and a discussion of each tracks along with rare photos and label shots. (FS)

 
SHORTY & SMOKEY WARREN B.A.C.M. 516 And The Western Rangers ● CD $14.98
A 30 track collection of western, country and pop featuring the groups led by Shorty & Smokey Warren - stalwarts of the Northeastern country music scene for several decades starting in the 1940s. The tracks here are taken from commercial recordings and radio transcriptions and features a variety of vocalists including Arelene Wright & Her Prairie Maids, Sonny Carroll, Coy McDaniels and others including the Warrens themself.
SHORTY & SMOKEY WARREN: (It's Too Late) I Found Somebody Else/ 25 Chickens-35 Cows/ Ain't Got The Time/ Always Late/ Arizona/ Bundle Of Southern Sunshine/ Crying Heart Blues/ Ding Dong Polka/ Give Me More/ Hey Good Lookin'/ Hillbilly Heart/ Hot Rod Wreck/ I Still Have A Picture Of You/ I Thought She Was Local (But She Was A Fast Express)/ I Wonder Where You Are Tonight/ It's No Secret What God Can Do/ Jersey Central Special/ Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way/ Mom And Dad's Waltz/ Necessary To Me/ Over And Over Again/ Please Have A Talk With Your Heart/ Prisoner's Dream/ She's Gone, Gone, Gone/ Silver And Gold/ Slow Poke/ Stop That Weddin'/ Too Old To Cut The Mustard/ Wondering

 
THE WATERSONS Topic TSCD 574 For Pence and Spicy Ale** ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, essential
Originally consisting of siblings Mike, Lal and Norma Waterson with cousin John Harrison, family commitments caused the Watersons to disband in 1967 after producing several wonderful and highly acclaimed albums. They reformed in 1973 with Martin Carthy replacing Harrison. The Watersons produced some of the most compelling and moving unaccompanied harmony singing in the English tradition. This 1975 album "For Pence And Spicey Ale" was issued to universal acclaim and became the Melody Maker album of the year. Not too surprising as it was the high point of their already distinguished career and remains one of the finest folk albums of the 70s. This disc opens with the magnificent Country Life - as beautiful a paean to rural life as you are ever likely to hear and winds to a glorious close with the folk hymn The Good Old Way. Along the way we hear seasonal and ceremonial songs (Swinton May Song/ Malpas Wassail), old music hall songs (Barney, an Irish song that became beter known as My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean) and much more including a Mike Waterson original, the whimsical Three Day Millionaire. Whether singing solo, duets or as the whole group the performances are consistently spine. CD sound is superb and booklet has the original notes by A.L. Lloyd on the background of the songs. (FS)

 
JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON Ace CDCHD 621 Hot Just Like TNT** ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 74 min., highly recommended
Johnny "Guitar" Watson's mid 50s recordings for RPM features some of the most exciting electric blue guitar of the era as well as superb singing. After a couple of years recording for Federal he joined RPM where he developed an immediately recognizable clipped and very exciting approach to his guitar playing. These sides include such all time classics as Hot Little Mama, Too Tired and his first R&B chart hit - a fabulous cover of Earl King's Those Lonely, Lonely Nights. These are all included here along with a couple of unissued songs (including an early attempt at Gangster of Love) , alternate takes and accompaniments to vocalist Cordelio de Milo, Jeannie Barnes and Devonia Williams. In 1957 he signed to Keen where he had two singles released including the first issued version of his most famous song Gangster Of Love and a superb version of Mercy Dee's One Room Country Shack along with two forgettable rock 'n' roll songs. This great set ends with and unissued session for Johnny Otis recorded in 1960 where he's assisted by a vocal group & sings very much like Ray Charles. Indispensible. (FS)
JOHNNY 'GUITAR' WATSON: Ain't Gonna Hush/ Come On Baby/ Deana Baby/ Dee's Boogie/ Don't Touch Me (i'm Gonna Hit The Highway)/ Gangster Of Love/ Give A Little/ Honey/ Hot Little Mama/ I Got A Girl (that Lives Over Yonder)/ I Love To Love You/ Lonely Girl/ Love Bandit (gangster Of Love)/ Love Me Baby/ My Baby And Me/ Next Disc/ Oh Baby/ One Room Country Shack/ Ruben/ She Moves Me/ Someone Cares For Me/ Telephone Boogie/ Those Lonely, Lonely Nights/ Three Hours Past Midnight/ Too Tired/ You've Been Gone Too Long

 
JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON Ace CDCHD 1180 Untouchable - The Classics 1959-1966 Recordings** ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, strongly recommended
Fine collection of sides by this versatile performer after he left Keen in 1960. It includes all his sides recorded for King recorded between 1961 and 1963 along with sides for labels like Class, Arvee, Escort, Jowat, Highland and Magnum. By this time was expanding his repertoire beyond blues to include R&B, soul, pop ballads with strings and even a version of Hank Williams' Cold Cold Heart done as a soul song! But whatever he sang it came out pure Johnny "Guitar" Watson - drenched with soul. Although only a handful of these tracks feature his dynamic guitar work there are some great performances here like The Eagle Is Back/ Cuttin In/ Gangster Of Love/ Those Lonely, Lonely Nights and others. (FS)

 

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