BILLY ADAMS Bear Family BCD 17116 Rock Me Baby ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, recommended
Drummer/ vocalist Billy Adams and his musical cohort Bill Yates (vocal and keyboards - see Bear Family 17277) ran a white band out of Memphis in the early 1960s. Unlike later groups there was no attempt to copy the styles of African-American performers but performed blues and R&B songs in their own style and frequently played in black clubs alongside such performers as Willie Mitchell and "Bowlegs" Miller. Adams was a fine singer and in addition to Yates on piano and organ included fine guitarist Lee Adkins and saxophonist Russ Carlton. Several different bass players and drummers are featured on these sides including Donald Dunn and Al Jackson who would later be part of Booker T. & The MGs and the Stax house band. This collection features all the sides issued by Home Of The Blues and Sun between 1966 and 1969 along with a couple of singles issued on Pixie in 1969 and 17 unissued tracks and alternate takes. The material is a mix of originals (Had The Blues/ Big M/ Ruby Jane, etc) and covers of blues and R&B songs from the reprtoire of Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Willie Mabon, Chuck Willis and others. They also do some country, rock 'n' roll and pop songs. Includes 48 page booklet with extensive notes and full discographical data. (FS)

BOBBY BARE Omni 169 The Real Thing ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
This is the year that Bobby Bare is going into the Country Music Hall of Fame, so this is a perfect time for a resurgence of his music and some appreciation for the long, great career that he has had. This superb CD features Bobby Bare in his prime during the early 1970s, with his 1970 album "The Real Thing" as well as his 1973 "I Hate Goodbyes / Ride Me Down Easy." Both were fine albums. "The Real Thing" is especially nice to finally get on CD, as it was an album that fell through the cracks on its initial release due to a soured relationship that Bare had with RCA, his soon to be ex-label of the time. Although Bare is a good songwriter in his own right, neither of these albums feature any of his own compositions. Instead you get a tasty selection of songs by the likes of Tom T. Hall. Dallas Frazier, Shel Silverstein, Mickey Newbury, Billy Joe Shaver, etc. On top of the two full albums, you get a handful of bonus tracks, which include the excellent Streets Of Baltimore, and A Rainy Day In Richmond. (JM)
BOBBY BARE: (Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn/ A Rainy Day in Richmond/ A Restless Wind/ A Train That Never Runs/ An Offer She Couldn't Refuse/ Barbara Joy/ California Dreams/ Come On Home and Sing the Blues to Daddy/ Homecoming/ I Hate Goodbyes/ I'll Love the Hurt Out of You/ Maggie (I Wish We'd Never Met)/ Poison Red Berries/ Ride Me Down Easy/ Send Tomorrow to the Moon/ Singer of Sad Songs/ Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down/ The Chicago Story/ The Real Thing (More Than a Memory)/ The Streets of Baltimore/ The Town that Broke My Heart/ Tulsa County/ What's Your Mama's Name, Child/ You Know Who

LURRIE BELL Delmark 829 Blues In My Soul ● CD $14.98
Solid set of straight ahead Chicago blues from this talented singer/ guitarist. Accompanied a solid small band he does a few fine originals like the minor key title song along with covers of songs from the rpertoire of T-Bone Walker, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann and others.

BOOKER T. & THE MGS/ THE MARKE Jasmine 758 YS Memphis Soul Beat ● CD $18.98
2 CD, 42 tracks, highly recommended
It is widely known by Soul fans that Booker T & the MGs were the Stax Records house band, while the Mar-Keys provided the house horn section. On this two CD set, the two groups are brought together Battle of the Bands-style. The first disc contains singles by both bands-including the Mar-Keys' hit Last Night and the MG's immortal hit Green Onions - which make up part of the groups' first albums, along with the other five tracks that constitute "Last Night," the Mar-Keys debut album released in 1961. Disc Two contains the Mar-Keys' follow up, "Do the Popeye" (1962) and the bulk of the MGs' Green Onions LP. This music is unpretentious, uncomplicated instrumental R&B played by master musicians-in fact, for a time, both groups shared members Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, and Donald "Duck" Dunn - and it sounds good coming out of the speakers. Owners of the recent Booker T. & the MGs box set "Time Is Tight" (Stax Europe 34118) will find this release redundant, but for newcomers and those who don't mind some overlap in their collections this set is a worthy purchase. (GMC)
BOOKER T. AND THE MGS: A Woman A Lover A Friend/ Behave Yourself/ Comin' Home Baby/ Green Onions/ I Can't Sit Down/ I Got A Woman/ Jellybread/ Lonely Avenue/ Mo' Onions/ One Who Really Loves You/ Rinky Dink/ Stranger On The Shore/ Twist And Shout/ THE MAR-KEYS: 'Cause I Love You/ About Noon/ All Right Ok You Win/ Diana/ Ebb Tide/ Foxy/ Hold It/ It's Gonna Work Out Fine/ Last Night/ Misty/ Morning After/ Muscles A Comin'/ Night Before/ One Degree North/ Po' Dunk/ Pop Eye Rider/ Pop Eye Stroll/ Sack-O-Woe/ Sailor Man Waltz/ Sit Still/ Squint Eye/ Sticks And Stones/ Straight From The Can/ Sweet-P Crawl/ Too Pooped To Popeye/ Whot's Happenin'/ Wimp-Burger/ You Got It/ THE TRIUMPHS: Burnt Biscuits

THE DRIFTERS Bear Family 17278 Rock ● CD $24.98
32 tracks, essential
One of the seminal 50's R&B vocal groups gets the "Rock" treatment from Bear Family. Don't look for There Goes My Baby or Save the Last Dance For Me here, these cuts are pure uptempo R&B that present the group at their best and represent classic lead singers Clyde McPhatter, Johnny Moore, and Ben E. King. Interestingly, the collection also includes tracks from the immediate post-McPhatter period during which the group floundered in the charts, featuring lead singers Bobby Hendricks and Bill Pinkney. Although the McPhatter-led Drifters-with songs like Money Honey/ Such a Night/ Let the Boogie Woogie Roll/ Honey Love, and What'cha Gonna Do - are without compare among R&B vocal groups, the Atlantic brain trust did manage to get some great tracks from the Hendricks (Drip Drop/ On Bended Knee) and Pinkney (No Sweet Lovin') eras. But it wasn't until Johnny Moore came on board that the group finally got its' mojo working again, as Ruby Baby/ I Gotta Get Myself a Woman, and Hypnotized will happily prove. But Moore got some competition from when Ben E. King hit the scene, and his numbers-"Hey Senorita" and "Baltimore"-show the promise of what was to come later. It goes without saying that this is yet another excellent and indispensible entry in the "Rock" series. (GMC)
THE DRIFTERS: Baltimore/ Bip Bam/ Bip Bam (take 13)/ Drip Drop/ Drip Drop (alt.)/ Hey Senorita/ Honey Love/ Honky Tonky/ Hot Ziggety/ Hypnotized/ I Feel Good All Over/ I Gotta Get Myself A Woman/ If You Don't Come Back/ Let The Boogie Woogie Roll/ Let The Boogie Woogie Roll (first version)/ Money Honey/ No Sweet Lovin'/ Ruby Baby/ Sadie My Lady/ Steamboat/ Such A Night/ Such A Night (take 5)/ Suddenly There's A Valley/ There You Go/ Three Thirty Three/ Try Try Baby/ What'cha Gonna Do/ Yodee Yakee/ THE FLYERS: On Bended Knee/ BOBBY HENDRICKS: Itchy Twitchy Feeling/ BILL PINKY: After The Hop/ Sally's Got A Sister

LT. JAMES EUROPE'S 369TH U.S. INFANTRY BAND Memphis Archives 7020 "Hell Fighter's" Band ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Available again. 24 tracks recorded in 1919 featuring one of the most important early black bandleaders James Reese Europe. He organized and led the all-black 369th U.S. Infantry "Hell Fighters" Band during World War I. They fought in the trenches and introduced an early form of jazz to the Continent. Tragically, Europe was murdered shortly after these recordings. Several tracks feature the vocals of Noble Sissle. Includes That Moanin' Trombone/ On Patrol In No Man's Land/ All Of No Man's Land Is Ours/ Dixie Is Dixie Once More/ St. Louis Blues/ Ja Da/ Missouri Blues/ Russian Rag/ Clarinet Marmalade/ Mirandy and others.Sound quality is excellent and set comes with 44 page booklet with extensive notes on Europe's life and career as well as information on the members of the band and a discussion of each performance. It also includes photos and other illustrations along with excerpts from newspaper reports of the time. (FS)

DAN GREER Kent CDKEND 396 Beale Street Soul Man - Sounds Of Memphis Sessions ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Regular customers will recall our having featured in the past various compilations from the Kent label that spotlight the Sounds of Memphis label and its' artists ("Can't Be Satisfied," Kent 283; "Play the Game," Kent 298; "Steppin' Stone," Kent 339). Kent also took the time to issue two CDs devoted to Sounds of Memphis' most popular artist, The Ovations (Kent 294 and 311); similarly, Kent has now devoted an entire CD to the company's fulcrum: A&R man, chief songwriter and producer, Dan Greer. While steering The Ovations to chart success, Greer found time to cut his own recordings and many of them never left the vaults until now. As these recordings show, Greer was equally at home with soulful ballads (You Can't Prove That), uptempo groovers (Voodoo Woman/ Mistaken Identity), and powerful political statements (When Will it All End). Greer only had three singles released-in 1971, 1972, and 1973-and all three should have been contenders, especially Hell Paso and Thanks to You Girl. Dan Greer was an important player in the Sounds of Memphis story, and although his recording career took a backseat to his company duties, we now have this conclusive proof of what might had been. (GMC)

THE JOHNSTONS BGO BGOCD 1086 The Johnstons/ Give A Damn/ The Barley Corn ● CD $21.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended
The Johnstons were an important early Irish group whose line up shifted over the years but on the three albums reissued here (from 1968 & '69) featured sisters Adrienne & Luci Johnston from the Boyne Valley on vocals with Mick Moloney/ guitar/ banjo/ mandolin & vocal, Paul Brady/ guitar/ fiddle/ mandolin & vocals plus Brian Brocklehurst or Daryl Runswick/ bass. "The Johnstons" and "The Barleycorn" features nearly all traditional songs along with a couple of songs from Ewan MacColl and Ian Campbell while "Damn" is all contemporary songs from the likes of Joni MItchell, Jacques Brel, Lenard COhen and others. Although the singing and arrangements on the traditional albums are restrained compared to what we have become familiar with in later years the singing and playing are excellent throughout with some exquisite two part and three part harmonies. Among the highlights for me from the first album are the a capella The Apprentices Song written by Ian Campbell about the first working days of an apprentice fitter in the gasworks, Adrienne's sensitive treatment of The Lambs On The Green Hills with subtle bowed bass and occasional duet vocals, a rare Gaelic song from Paul and a lovely version of O'Carolan's Concerto as a guitar duet. The second album features more assured singing and playing from all concerned and among the delights here are the lively The Coleraine Regatta sung by Paul, the instrumental set Joseph's Fancy/ A Trip To Durrow shows just how good a banjo can sound in the hands of a master like Moloney, the gorgeous The Flower Of Northumberland (is it possible to do a bad version of this song?) and Paul doing a slightly tentative version of the wonderful Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore - he later did the definitive version of this song on his first solo album ("Welcome Here KInd Stranger" - Paul Brady 18 - $21.98). Unlike the two traditional albums which have aged very well, "Damn" sounds very dated with it's mix of soft rock, folk pop and "sunshine pop" with rather "wimpy" arrangements. But the other two albums make this a very worthwhile purchase. The sound is crisp and puncy thanks to new remastering and the booklet has the original notes (with information on all the traditional songs) along with new notes by John O'Regan providing an overview of the group's career. (FS)

JIMMIE LOGSDON B.A.C.M. 416 Sings Midnight Blues & Other Classics ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of honky tonk country from this fine vocalist from Kentucky who is best known for his two Hank Williams tributes in 1953 (reprised here) and his late 50s rockabilly sides as by Jimmy Lloyd. This set features recordings from the early 60s - most of them issued on his own Jimmie Logsden Sings label on a series of E.P.s. Accompanied by a small honky tonk band he he performs a selection of gospel favorites (The Great Judgment Morning/ When They Ring The Golden Bells/ When God Comes To Gather His Jewels, etc.), sentimental songs (The Letter Edged In Black/ Silver Haired Daddy, country and bluegrass hits (Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ It Just Don't Matter Now/ Folsom Prison Blues, his Hank tributes and some songs that I think might be new (That's When I Love You Best/ The Beginning Of The End/ Midnight Blues, etc.). Performances are fine though there is a certain saminess about the arrangements but his perfomance of It Makes No Difference Now is exceptional. The last four sides are from a 1963 King session and are mostly original songs and these are all fine. (FS)
JIMMIE LOGSDON: As Long As We're Together/ Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ Daddy Don't Go/ Folsom Prison Blues/ Good Deal Lucille/ Hank Williams Sings The Blues No More/ I Guess I've Let You Down / I've Stepped Out Of Darkness/ It Just Don't Matter Now/ It's Different Now/ Life Is Like A Mountain Railway/ Loneliest Guy In Town/ Making Believe/ Midnight Blues/ Old Time Religion / Silver Haired Daddy/ Supper Time/ Take My Hand Precious Lord/ That's When I Love You The Best/ The Beginning Of The End/ The Death Of Hank Williams/ The Death Of Kathy Fiscus / The Great Judgement Morning/ The Letter Edged In Black/ When God Comes And Gathers His Jewels/ When They Ring Then Golden Bells/ Where The Old Red River Flows

MIRIAM MAKEBA Not Now 107 The Sound Of Africa ● CD $11.98
Three CDs, 60 tracks, very highly recommended
Those folks at Not Now do like to recycle. A couple of years ago they issued a two CD set of Miriam Makeba with 45 tracks. They have now added 15 tracks, shuffled things arround and come up with a three CD set. The good news is that those additional 15 tracks are all drawn from her recordings made in South Africa in the mid/ late 50s with her all girl group The Skylarks and at the low price is worth getting just for those tracks. The result is that this set contains just about all Miriam's recordings made though 1960 including those wonderful sides with The Skylarks with a jazzy feel blended with African melodies. They are accompanied by a small group which sometimes included the great tin whistle player Spokes Mashiyane. This set also includes her wonderful wordless rendition of Duke Ellington's Rockin' In Rhythm accompanied by a small group with Big Lemmy on tinwhistle. The rest of the set consists of the first two albums she recorded in the USA in 1960, produced by Harry Belafonte. This is where she introduced the unique sounds of the Xhosa language in The Click Song. The material and arrangements on these albums are varied ranging from vocal chorus to solo electric guitar to small bands with dramatic vocal effects and small group harmony. Her expressive voice was at its peak in these days - breathy, swooping, growling, warbling, and always lilting in the service of these traditional and original folk songs and Miriam sings in a number of South African languages as well as English. It includes a stirring version of Mbube (aka Wimoweh), House Of The Rising Sun, the calypso flavored The Naughty Little Flea and more. Sound quality is excellent and the brief notes are basically just a biography without much information on the recordings. (FS)

PAUL & ROY/ CURTIS MCPEAKE & BENNY WILLIAMS B.A.C.M. 417 The Tennessee River Boys ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
A splendid collection featuring two different groups called The Tennessee River Boys. The first 14 tracks are by Paul Boswell and Roy Pryor aka The Tennessee River Boys and are fabulous. The group occupies that space between old timey and bluegrass with great brother style vocal harmonies and superb accompaniments with particularly nice mandolin from Roy Pryor. REcordings were made in the early 1950s most of the songs are written by Pryor and are excellent. Curtis McPeake & Benny Williams aka The Tennessee River Boys are a fine mainstream bluegrass group featuring some time Bill Monroe banjo player McPeake. Material is mostly bluegrass favorites like Angel Band/ Rocky Road Blues/ Footprints In The Snow/ The Master's Bouquet, etc. Performances are fine but it's the Paul & Roy tracks that make this disc exceptional. (FS)
PAUL & ROY: You're All Alone Tonight/ Spring Of Love/ You've Been Cheatin' On Me Darlin'/ I Was Only Pretending/ The Shape My Heart's In/ You Made The Break/ The Way You Lied To Me/ Wicked Love/ Flower Of Old Tennessee/ I'm Lost Without You/ Meet The Lord Half Way/ There Will Be No Disappointments/ Every Dog Must Have It's Day/ CURTIS McPEAKE & BENNY WILLIAMS: Bluegrass Music's Really Gone To Town/ Angel Band/ Log Cabin In The Lane/ Rocky Road Blues/ Live And Let Live/ Footprints In The Snow/ Muleskinner Blues/ The Master's Bouquet/ Gathering Flowers From The Hillside/ Blue Moon Of Kentucky

DR. ROSS Bear Family 16939 Juke Box Boogie ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 87 mins, essential
We listed this in our last bulletin with an incorrect number. Dr. Isaiah Ross was certainly a one of kind artist - a terrific singer and a fine harmonica player and guitarist who sometimes added a drum for a full one man band sound and was able to generate a pile driving rhythm with these instruments. I would argue that Ross was the greatest blues one man band though it's a close contest between him and Joe Hill Louis. Although Ross only had two singles released on Sun, Sam Phillips loved his music and recorded him quite extensively and this collection includes one take of almost every songshe recorded for Sun between 1951 and 1955 including a dozen sides not included in the recent Sun Blues Box and features his great and much covered Chicago Breakdown and Boogie Disease. On some tracks the good Doctor is accompanied by guitarist Wiley Gatlin and/or washboard player Reubin Martin but the show is Ross's all the way and includes such great performances as Country Clown/ Little Soldier Boy/ Down South Blues/ Come Back Baby/ Shake A-My Hand/ My Be Bop Gal, etc. What is most surprising is that practically none of these titles were issued when they were originally recorded - they are all so good. In the mid 50s Ross relocated to Flint, Michigan and this CD also includes 10 sides recorded in the late 50s and early 60s for Fortune, Hi-Q and his own D.I.R. label including another all time classic Cat Squirrell as well as other gems like Industrial Boogie/ Call The Doctor/ Sugar Mama. Includes 44 page booklet with rare photos and liner notes by Martin Hawkins. Doctor Ross is a favorite of mine and I'm only sorry that they couldn't make this a double set and include all the Sun recordings including the tracks not included here plus some of the alternate takes.
DOCTOR ROSS: 1953 Jump/ Call The Doctor/ Cannonball/ Cat Squirrel/ Cat Squirrel (Mississippi Blues)/ Chicago Breakdown/ Come Back Baby/ Country Clown/ Deep Down In The Ground/ Doctor Ross Boogie/ Doctor Ross Boogie/ Down South Blues/ Downtown Boogie/ Feel So Sad/ Going To The River/ Good Thing Blues/ I'd Rather Be A Young Woman's Baby/ Industrial Boogie/ Juke Box Boogie/ Little Soldier Boy/ My Be Bop Gal/ New York Breakdown/ Numbers Blues/ Polly Put The Kettle On/ Shake 'Em On Down/ Shake A-My Hand/ Sugar Mama/ Texas Hop/ The Boogie Disease/ The Sunnyland/ Thirty-Two Twenty/ Turkey Bakin' Woman

TEXAS BILL STRENGTH B.A.C.M. 415 Vol. 2 - Please Don't Ever Forget Me ● CD $14.98
30 tracks, recommended
The second volume from this pleasing singer from Houston who recorded for a range of labels between 1949 and 1973 (the year he died). About half the tracks here are previously unissued including home recordings, informal sessions and radio recordings provided by Bill's son Dale. Among the radio recordings are duets with Carl Perkins on Carl's Turn Around which Bill had recorded for Capitol and with Betty Foley on Never. Arrangements are varied - usually with small groups but also including several with just guitar accompaniment. His version of Y'll Come has a Western Swing feel with some hot guitar from someone named Shorty. It includes his two issued Sun sides from 1961 which falls into the realm of pop country vocal accompaniment from The Gene Lowry Singers. Though not an exceptionally compelling singer Strength is a very pleasing one and, overall, this is an enjoyable selection. (FS)
TEXAS BILL STRENGTH: Actions Speak Louder Than Words/ Guess Iíd Better Go/ Heart Donít Complain/ I Was Only teasinĎ You/ If I Could Buy Your Love/ Itís Nice To be Living/ Iím Walking In Heaven/ King Size Broken Heart/ Little Red Wagon/ Million Memories/ Molly DarlinĎ (radio)/ Mr. Moon Sailing High/ Never (w. Betty Foley)/ Nobody Knows This More Than Me/ Picture Of My Heart/ Please Donít Ever Forget Me/ Post No Bills/ Prisonerís Song (w. Johnny Bond)/ Rain Or Shine/ Senorita/ Someday Youíll Call My Name (w. Melody Ranch Boys)/ Substitute Love/ Tears In My Beer/ That Lucky Old Sun (radio)/ Thereís No Way Out/ Try To Think How Lonesome I Would Be/ Turn Around (w. Carl Perkins)/ What More Can I Do (w. Jerry Reed)/ When I Lost My Baby/ YíAll Come (w. Melody Ranch Boys)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Aladdin 201 Aladdin Magic: The Early Years, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Another terrific collection of jump blues and R&B recorded for the Aladdin label between 1944 and 1949. It includes all four sides recorded in Chicago in 1947 by superb pre war bluesman Red Nelson as Dirty Red. Accompanied by pianist Memphis Jimmy Clark and superb guitarist Lonnie Graham he does lively version of the risque favorite Mother Fuyer and three others. Jimmy Mundy leads a tough band on three tracks including the two part song I Put You Down featuring vocalist JImmy Mundy and the rocking instrumental One O' Clock Boogie. Another fine band is that led by drummer Red Saunders with two cuts - the fine after hours instrumental 4 A.M. featuring the impressive baritone sax of McKinley Easton and the rocking song Take It Upstairs with fine vocal by Bunky Redding. Other artists featured include Jack Larue & His Quartet, Velma Nelson, Helen Humes & Her All Stars, Lady Blues & Her All Stars, Bobbie Robinson & His Tympani Six, Lil Green (excellent 1949 side from early 40s blues star), Sonny Parker & His All Stars and more. Excellent sound. (FS)
MARY DEPINA WITH MONTE EASTER & HIS BAND: Boogie Woogie Man/ I Love My Man/ DIRTY RED: Home Last Night/ Hotel Boogie/ You Done Me Wrong/ LIL GREEN & HER BAND: Running Around In Circles/ HELEN HUMES & HER ALL-STARS: Pleasing Man Blues/ LADY BLUES & HER ALL-STARS: Don't You Know? (I Want To Love You)/ JACK LARUE & HIS QUARTET (VCL. JIMMY YOUNG): Dark Eyes/ JACK LARUE & HIS QUARTET: Jammin' The Boogie/ JIMMY "BABY FACE" LEWIS WITH FLOYD CAMPBELL ORCH.: Riding With Jimmy/ MR. T. & HIS BAND: I'm Just A Lucky So And So/ JIMMY MUNDY & HIS ORCH.: One O'clock Boogie/ I Gotta Put You Down (Part 1)/ I Gotta Put You Down (Part 2)/ VELMA NELSON WITH WILL ROWLAND & HIS BAND: Something's Done Gone Wrong/ SONNY PARKER & HIS ALL STARS: Pretty Baby/ LA MELLE PRINCE WITH MAXWELL DAVIS BAND: Get High/ DIRTY RED: Mother Fuyer/ BUNKY REDDING WITH RED SAUNDERS' ALL-STARS: Take It Upstairs/ BOBBIE ROBINSON & HIS TYMPANI SIX: Meat Situation Blues/ RED SAUNDERS' ALL-STARS (FEAT. MAC EASTON BA: 4 A.M./ JOE TURNER & HIS BAND: Low Down Dog/ GEORGE VANN WITH BUDDY HARPER BAND: The Howling Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS De Luxe 1000 De Luxe Records, The R&B Years - Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of jump blues, R&B and vocal group sounds from the De Luxe label recorded between 1945 and 1949. Although not as well known as some of its contemporaries De Luxe was a significant early independent label formed by brothers David & Jules Braun in late 1944 and over the next seven years issued several hundred 78s until the label and all its masters were acquired by King Records in 1951. This disc is full of fine and rare sides, many making their first appearance on CD including sides by The Four Blues, Bill Campbell & His Harlem Eight (with a great vocal by Baby Dee), The Revelairs, Kirby Walker and others. De Luxe was one of the first labels to tap into the wealth of great blues talent in New Orleans with sessions cut there in 1947 and '49 and this set includes sides cut by Pleasant Joe (aka Cousin Joe), Chubby "Hip Shakin" Newsom, Earl Williams with The Paul Gayten Trio, Clarence Samuels, Eddie Gorman and Cecilia Kirsch. Sidemen on these sessions includes some favorite New Orleans musicians better known for their work in the 1950s like Dave Bartholomew, Herb Hardesty, Salvador Doucette, Paul Gayten, Edgar Blanchard and others. Sound quality is superb. There are no notes but full discographical data is included. (FS)
BILL CAMPBELL & HIS HARLEM EIGHT (VCL. BABY D: Boogie Me/ BILL CAMPBELL & HIS HARLEM EIGHT (VCL. LAURA: Good Doin' Daddy/ I Want A Man (With A Great Big Future)/ BILL CAMPBELL & HIS HARLEM EIGHT (VCL. BABY D: Used-To-Be-Daddy/ COUSIN JOE & HIS SEXTETTE: It's Dangerous To Be A Husband/ Little Woman Blues/ THE FOUR BLUES: Oh Daddy, Please Bring That Suitcase In/ The Blues Can Jump/ When The Old Gang's Back On The Corner (Singin' Sweet Adeline Again)/ EDDIE GORMAN: Beef Ball Baby/ Telephone Blues/ CECELIA KIRSCH WITH PAUL GAYTEN & HIS TRIO: I Dream/ CHUBBY "HIP SHAKIN'" NEWSOM & HER HIP SHAKERS: Back Bitin' Woman/ Bed Room Blues/ New Orleans Lover Man/ CHUBBY "HIP SHAKIN'" NEWSOM & HER HIP SH NEWSOME: Close To Train Time/ THE REVELAIRS: Just That Way/ Rumors Are Flying/ CLARENCE SAMUELS: Gimmie!/ Jumping At The Jubilee/ KIRBY WALKER: She Ain't No Saint/ When My Love Comes Tumbling Down/ EARL WILLIAMS WITH THE PAUL GAYTEN TRIO: Rainy Morning Blues/ Striking Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 164 Soul City Detroit - Motor City Labels And The Dawn Of Soul ● CD $19.98
2 CD, 60 tracks, highly recommended
The gang at Fantastic Voyage has put together this two disc set in order to illustrate the musical direction that Detroit took in the early 60's, before the Motor City became synonymous with Motown Records. Sure, early Motown is represented-mostly by acts from its' Tamla and Gordy sister labels, such as The Contours, and Marvelettes, along with big names like Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, and The Supremes-but room is left for the more obscure imprints Mel-O-Dy, Lu Pine, Fortune, Flick, Harvey, and Correc-tone. Some of this material has appeared on other recent compilations (the sharp customers know which ones), but the stuff that hasn't surfaced as often (Sherri Taylor & Singin' Sammy Ward, The Downbeats, Mack Rice, Geno Washington, Joe Stubbs, Gino Parks) is all very strong and along with the cuts from the better known artists (the aforementioned Gaye, Miracles, Supremes, along with Mary Wells and Martha & the Vandellas) provide a valuable window into the transition of R&B into Soul. This collection also gets bonus points for great sound quality and superb track by track liner notes. (GMC)
THE CONTOURS: Claudia/ Funny/ So Grateful/ The Old Miner/ The Stretch/ You Better Get In Line/ THE CORVELLS: Heís So Fine/ THE DOWNBEATS: Request Of A Fool/ Your Babyís Back/ LAMONT DOZIER: Dearest One/ Fortune Teller Tell Me/ THE FALCONS: Goddess Of Angels/ I Found A Love/ THE FIVE QUAILS: Been A Long Time/ Get To School On Time/ MARVIN GAYE: It Hurt Me Too/ Stubborn Kind Of Fellow/ HATTIE LITTLES: Here You Come/ Your Love Is Wonderful/ SAUNDRA MALLETT AND THE VANDELLAS: Camel Walk/ Itís Gonna Be Hard Times/ MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS: Iíll Have To Let Him Go/ My Baby Wonít Come Back/ THE MARVELETTES: All The Love Iíve Got/ Beechwood 4-5789/ Playboy/ Someday, Someway/ NATHANIEL MAYER AND THE FABULOUS TWILIGHTS: I Want A Woman/ Village Of Love/ THE MIRACLES: Happy Landing/ Youíve Really Got A Hold On Me/ GINO PARKS: For This I Thank You/ Thatís No Lie/ WILSON PICKETT: My Heart Belongs To You/ THE PIRATES: Iíll Love You íTil I Die/ Mind Over Matter, Iím Gonna Make You Mine/ THE PRIMETTES: Pretty Baby/ Tears Of Sorrow/ MACK RICE: Baby Iím Coming Home/ My Baby/ JOE STUBBS: Keep On Loving Me/ Whatís My Destiny/ THE SUPREMES: Let Me Go The Right Way/ Time Changes Things/ SHERRI TAYLOR AND SINGINí SAMMY WARD: Oh Lover/ Thatís Why I Love You So Much/ THE VELLS: There He Is, At My Door/ Youíll Never Cherish A Love So True, íTil You Lose It/ SINGIN' SAMMY WARD: Part Time Love/ Someday Pretty Baby/ What Makes You Love Him/ GINO WASHINGTON: Iím A Coward/ Puppet On A String/ MARY WELLS: Iím Gonna Stay/ Iím So Sorry/ Operator/ The One Who Really Loves You/ Two Lovers/ BOBBY WILLIAMS: Iím Depending On You/ Tell It To My Face

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 167 Midnight Steppers - 70 Masterpieces by 34 Blues Piano Hits ● CD $22.98
Three CDs, 70 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing Fantastic Voyage's surveys of post war guitar blues ("Screaming & Crying" - 3 CDs - Fantastic Voyage 137 - $22.98) and post war harmonica blues ("Just Wailing" - 2 CDs - Fantastic Voyage 157 - $19.98) we now have this splendid survey of post war piano blues. Compiled an annotated by British piano blues expert Mike Rowe each disc covers a different aspect of piano blues. The first disc is devoted to "The Bluebird Beat" referring to the style developed by RCA's Bluebird subsidiary in the 1940s bringing a more urbane styling to older blue styles using small combos frequently including piano, guitar, bass and drums with occasional use of horns or harmonica. In spite of the name other labels also worked within this framework. This disc includes tracks by one of the greatest of all piano blues performers Big Maceo accompanied by guitarist Tampa Red and various bass players and/or drummers including his seminal recordings of Worried LIfe Blues and Chicago Breakdown. The title song for this collection is a lively number from Big Bill Broonzy with Jsh Altheimer on piano and this disc also includes fine sides by Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, Curtis Jones, Walter Davis and others. The second disc is devoted to piano boogie primarly featuring the three giants of the style - Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons performing solo and in various combinations as well as other great sides by Cripple Clarence Lofton, Jimmy Yancey and Montana Taylor. The third disc is a miscellany of great recordings ranging from the late 40s to early 60s by a variety or rural and urban performers including Big Chief Ellis, Eddie Boyd, Little Johnny Jones (his Big Town Play Boyis truly sublime), Henry Gray (accompanying Morris Pejoe and Howling Wolf), Dr. Hepcat, Otis Spann (solo and accompanying Muddy Waters), Little Willie Littlefield, Willie Johnson and others. Sound quality is excellent and Mike's insightful notes puts it all into perspective. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 218 A Family Affair - Motor City Roots ● CD $18.98
2 CD, 57 tracks, highly recommended
This collection is for people who found the three volume sets documenting Detroit's Tri-Phi/Harvey Records a bit daunting. Disc Two highlights the best of those two labels, while Disc One is devoted to Anna Records-the label run by Berry Gordy's sister Gwen and Billy Davis, Berry's songwriting partner. Since the Anna sides were given short shrift on the earlier three CDs (Tri-Phi and Harvey were formed from the ashes of Anna by Gwen and Harvey Faqua), this collection is quite welcome. Included from Anna's vaults are doo wop by The Voicemasters (Needed is a highlight), sultry instrumentals from Paul Gayten (especially The Hunch), early Joe Tex and David Ruffin (with Tex killing on All I Could Do Was Cry), and more goodness from Ruben Fort, Herman Girffin & the Mello-Dees, and Lamont Anthony. Although there is definitely overlap with the Tri-Phi/Harvey volumes, there is enough new material to make this CD worth a purchase. (GMC)
LAMONT ANTHONY: Let's Talk It Over/ The Pop Eye/ EDDIE BURN: Thing To Do/ Hard Hearted Woman/ Mean And Evil/ Orange Driver/ THE CAP TANS: Tight Skirts And Crazy Sweaters/ LARRY DARNELL: I'll Get Along Somehow/ THE FIVE QUAILS: Get To School On Time/ It's Been A Long Time/ RUBEN FORT: I Feel It/ So Good/ PAUL GAYTEN: Hot Cross Buns/ The Hunch/ HERMAN GRIFFIN & THE MELLO-DEES: Do You Want To See My Baby/ HARVEY & THE SPINNERS: She Loves Me So/ Whistling About You/ HARVEY (FORMERLY OF THE MOONGLOWS): Anyway You Wanta/ TY HUNTER & THE VOICEMASTERS: Everything About You/ Everytime/ I'm Free/ JOHNNY & JACKEY: Do You See My Love For You Growing/ Hoy Hoy/ JOHNNY AND JACKEY: Carry Your Own Load/ Let's Go To A Movie Baby/ Lonely And Blue/ No One Else But You/ Someday We'll Be Together/ SHORTY LONG: Bad Willie/ I'll Be Here/ Too Smart/ THE MERCED BLUENOTES: Midnight Session Pt 1/ DAVID RUFFIN: I'm In Love/ One Of These Days/ BOBBY SMITH & THE SPINNERS: She Don't Love Me/ Too Young, Too Much, Too Soon/ THE SPINNERS: Heebie Jeebies/ I've Been Hurt/ I've Got Your Water Boiling, Baby (Gonna Cook Your Goose)/ Itching For My Baby/ Love (I'm So Glad) I Found You/ Sud Buster/ That's What Girls Are Made Of/ What Did She Use/ BARRETT STRONG: Money (That's What I Want)/ Oh I Apologise/ JOE TEX: Ain't It A Mess/ All I Could Do Was Cry Pt 1/ All I Could Do Was Cry Pt 2/ Baby You're Right/ I'll Never Break Your Heart Pts 1 & 2/ THE VOICEMASTERS: Hope And Pray/ Needed/ Needed (For Lovers Only)/ Oops I'm Sorry/ JUNIOR WALKER AND THE ALL STARS: Twist Lackawanna/ Willie's Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 757 Let's Go Surfin' - The Birth Of Surf ● CD $18.98
2 CD, 52 tracks, highly recommended
Surf music is one of the purest forms of instrumental music and this CD shows us how it came to be. Disc One kicks off with the king of surf guitar, Dick Dale's seminal 1962 debut album, "Surfers Choice," which is complimented by the singles Deltone Rock/ Jungle Fever, and the classic Miserlou. Although early surf music is mostly instrumentals - as proven by the assortment of early tracks featured on Disc Two-the Beach Boys proved it could stand a bit of vocalizing; hence, the second half of Disc One is given over to Brian and the boys' first album "Surfin' Safari," which included the usual surf songs, but also one of the first "car" songs that would expand the surf music lexicon, 409. Between these two LPs, surfing went from being a Southern California pursuit to a national craze. But it's Disc Two that has the gold, including the Beach Boys original recording of Surfin' for Candix Records (they re-recorded it for the "Surfin' Safari" LP) along with its' B-side Luau, and the single the group cut as Kenny and the Cadets, Barbie b/w What is a Young Girl Made of? which is rarely heard. As for the "early surf" tracks, they range from the great (Moon Dawg b/w LSD 25 by the Gamblers) to the moody (Richie Allen's Caveman [Surf Man] aka Richard Podolor, producer of Three Dog Night) to the silly (Bruce Johnston's Surfer Stomp) to the mesmerizing (The Hollywood Tornadoes' Bustin' Surfboards, memorably utilized in the movie "Pulp Fiction"). Anyone, who wants a good surfing compilation that covers most of the bases need look no further than this CD set. (GMC)
RICHIE ALLEN: Caveman (Surf Man)/ Room 304 (Malibu Run)/ Undercurrent/ THE BEACH BOYS: 409/ Chug A Lug/ County Fair/ Cuckoo Clock/ Heads You Win Tails I Lose/ Little Girl (You're My Miss America)/ Luau/ Moon Dawg/ Summertime Blues/ Surfin' (1961)/ Surfin' (1962)/ Surfin' Surfari/ Ten Little Indians/ The Shift/ THE BELAIRS: Little Brown Jug/ Mr. Moto/ BOB AND SHERRI: Humpty Dumpty/ The Surfer Moon/ DICK DALE & THE DELTONES: Death Of Gremmie/ Deltone Rock/ Eight Til Midnight/ Fanny Mae/ Jungle Fever/ Let's Go Trippin'/ Lovey Dovey/ Miserlou/ Misirlou Twist/ Night Owl/ Peppermint Man/ Shake 'N' Stomp/ Sloop John B/ Surf Beat/ Surfing Drums/ Take It Off/ THE GAMBLERS: Lsd 25/ Moon Dawg/ THE HOLLYWOOD TORNADOES: Bustin' Surfboards/ The Gremmie Pt 1/ The Gremmie Pt 2/ BRUCE JOHNSTON: Surfer Stomp/ KENNY AND THE CADETS: Barbie/ What Is A Young Girl Made Of/ THE MARKETTS: Balboa Blue/ Start/ Stompede/ Surfer's Stomp/ THE PILTDOWN MEN: Night Surfin'/ THE RUMBLERS: Boss/ DAVE YORK & THE BEACHCOMBERS: (Let's Have A) Beach Party

VARIOUS ARTISTS Not Now 097 Definitive Detroit Blues ● CD $13.98
Three CDs, 75 tracks, highly recommended
A no frills collection of fabulous Detroit blues recorded in the 1940s and 1950s - mostly down home blues with solo artists or small combos. If you already have JSP 7736 ("Detroit Blues" - now out of print) and Fantastic Voyage 070 ("Let Me Tell You About The Blues - Detroit" - 3 CD set - $22.98) then you have most of the tracks here though this does include a few not available elsewhere - most notably Brother Will Hairston's fabulous two part Alabama Bus about Martin Luther King and the Alabama bus boycott. Many of the sides were recorded by Joe Von Battle - some released on his own JVB or Von labels and others were licensed to a variety of other labels. Detroit's most well known bluesman John Lee HOoker is represented by eight tracks but most of the set is devoted to obscure performers who made a handful of cuts and then disappeared into obscurity like the sublime singer/ guitarist L.C. Green, one string guitarist One String Sam, superb dark voiced singer and guitarist Baby Boy Warren (including one track with fabulous harmonica by Sonny Boy "RIce Miller" Williamson), the idiosyncratic twin harp duo of Robert Richard and Walter Mitchell who each do vocals, singer/ guitarist Sylvester Cotton and others. It also includes the two early sides by Louisiana Red when he recorded in 1953 as Playboy Fuller including the amazing Gonna PLay My Guitar where he challenges Muddy Waters to a musical duel. There are also a number of jump blues recordings from artists like Paul Williams, Little Miss Sharecropper (early LaVern Baker - actually recorded in Chicago), T.J. Fowler and others. Sound quality is fine and there are brief notes in very tiny print. (FS)
JOE VON BATTLE: Lookin' For My Woman/ BIG MACEO: Big City Blues/ Worried Life Blues No.2/ JOHN BRIM: Mean Man Blues/ EDDIE "GUITAR" BURNS: Dealing With The Devil/ Hello Miss Jessie/ Papa's Boogie/ Where Did You Stay Last Night?/ SYLVESTER COTTON: Sak Relation Blues/ Ugly Woman Blues/ DETROIT COUNT: Hastings Street Opera (Part 1)/ Hastings Street Opera (Part 2)/ ANDREW DUNHAM: Hattie Mae/ Sweet Lucy/ T.J. FOWLER: Red Hot Blues/ Say Baby Say/ CALVIN FRAZIER: I'm In The Highway, Man/ Lily Mae/ Rock House/ She's Double Crossing Woman/ Sweet Lucy (Drinkin' Woman)/ PLAYBOY FULLER: Gonna Play My Guitar/ Sugar Cane Highway/ L.C. GREEN: Going Down The River/ Remember Way Back/ When The Sun Is Shining/ BROTHER WILL HAIRSTON: Alabama Bus/ ROBERT HENRY: Old Battle Ax/ Something's Wrong With My Little Machine/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Bumble Bee Blues/ I Do Like I Please/ I Got Eyes For You/ It Hurts Me So/ Love Money Can't Buy/ No More Doggin'/ Please Take Me Back/ Prison Bound Blues/ Rock Me Mama/ JOHNNY HOWARD: Dark Night Blues/ Natural Man Blues/ BOBO JENKINS: Baby Don't You Want To Go/ Nothing But Love/ Ten Below Zero/ SAM KELLY: Ramblin' Around Blues/ EDDIE KIRKLAND: It's Time For Lovin' To Be Done/ Mistreated Woman/ No Shoes/ That's All Right/ LITTLE MISS SHARECROPPER: I've Tried/ Take Out Some Time/ WALTER MITCHELL: Pet Milk Blues/ Stop Messin' Around/ WILD BILL MOORE: Burnt Toast/ We're Gonna Rock/ ONE STRING SAM: I Need $100/ My Baby Ooo/ SLIM PICKENS: Notoriety Woman/ SAMPSON PITTMAN: Highway 61 Blues/ ROBERT RICHARD: Root Hog/ Wig Wearing Woman/ DOCTOR ROSS: Industrial Boogie/ Thirty Two Twenty/ HENRY SMITH: Good Rockin' Mama/ Lonesome Blues/ KITTY STEPHENSON & TODD RHODES: Make It Good/ BABY BOY WARREN: Bad Lover Blues/ Forgive Me Darling/ My Special Friend Blues/ Nervy Woman Blues/ Sanafee/ Somebody Put Bad Luck On Me/ WASHBOARD WILLIE: Washboard Blues (Part 1)/ JOE WEAVER AND HIS BLUE NOTES: J.B. Boogie/ PAUL WILLIAMS: The Hucklebuck/ SONNY WILSON: The Rainy Day Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Numero 043 Eccentric Soul - The Dynamic Label ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 55 mins, highly recommended
Numero Records is one of those re-issue labels that always seems to get it right. Their releases are always full of style AND substance. You can usually expect a collection of rare music, stuff that needed to be re-issued (or in many cases issued for the first time after decades stored away in music industry vaults) accompanied by the deepest and most astute of liner notes. This CD, covering the Dynamic record label, ranks right up there with the best of Numero's releases to date. Dynamic released a whole lot of fine Soul music out of Texas in a rather short period in the mid 1960s. Sure, Don & Sal's Can't Get You Off Of My Mind is a pretty straight rip-off of James & Bobby Purify's I'm Your Puppet, and The Tonettes are trying really hard to be Mary Wells, but even at their most derivative, the tracks here are all pretty fantastic. Great cuts by The Commands, The Webs, Little Jesse Jr. and the Tear Drops, etc. (JM)

BILL YATES Bear Family BCD 17277 Blues Like Midnight ● CD $21.98
33 tracks, recommended
Complementing the Billy Adams album (Bear Fami BCD 17116 - see above) this contains all the singles made by Bill Yates in Memphis at the turn of the 1960's and a large number of unknown and unissued sides! Bill Yates had a background in gospel music and was a fine vocalist and a good pianist. During his time in Memphis, he worked on the edge between the emerging R&B/soul sound of the city and the late night blues and ballads of the day. Many of the tracks are from joint sessions with Adams with Adams on drums and the same sidemen. Includes his Sun singles 12(!) unissued Sun tracks! Plus the three very rare singles on IST and Pixie Records! In addition, there are seven unissued sides made for the Home Of The Blues label! In a 48- page booklet, Martin Hawkins brings together the untold story of Bill Yates and his music! (FS)


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