THE BUCKAROOS Omnivore 065 Play Buck & Merle ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, recommended
The greatest performers-whether in Rock and Roll or Country music-had or have great backing bands: Gene Vincent had his Blue Caps, Springsteen has his E Street Band, Hank Williams had his Drifting Cowboys, and Buck Owens had his Buckaroos which at its peak in the mid-late 60s featured the talents of the brilliant Don Rich on lead, guitar, fiddle and mandolin and Tom Brumley on steel. It's not well known that the Buckaroos recorded albums of their own without their leader, and their first and last LPs appear here on CD for the first time. For their first album it was only natural that they would cover songs from their boss's songbook: "The Buck Owens Songbook" (1965) is a pleasant collection of instrumental renditions of Owens classics like I've Got a Tiger By the Tail/ Act Naturally/ Under Your Spell Again/ Love's Gonna Live Here/ I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me), and Only You (Can Break My Heart); expertly played and fun to listen to. In 1971, the Buckaroos with a different lineup, except for Rich, cut "The Songs of Merle Haggard" as a tribute to Owens' Bakersfield comrade in arms. As a change of pace from the first LP, this set adds harmony vocals to compliment their playing, which ends up giving the album a somewhat easy listening feel to it. But their talented picking is very much intact on lively versions of The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde and Swinging Doors. But elsewhere, Okie From Muskogee/ Hungry Eyes, and The Fightin' Side of Me are musically fine but vocally toothless. Still, these guys were a major influence on country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons and these two albums do give hints to what the band was capable of when left to their own devices. (GMC)

RAL DONNER Jasmine 240 Singles Collection, 1959-1962 ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, recommended
Ral is generally considered to be the first successful imitator of Elvis and parlayed his "talent" into a long career culminating in his voice being used in the documentary film "This Is Elvis" . Of course the Elvis Ral copies is early 60s Elvis which was heavy on the ballads and mid-tempo pop tunes. I wouldn't consider any of this rockabilly but there are some very good rockers here like his cover of the king's Girl Of My Best Friend , It's Been A Long, Long Time and Nine Times Out Of Ten. Actually Donner sounds more like Conway Twitty (with that little growl) on the better mid-tempo numbers like Pray For Me , I Don't Need You and She's Everything. His best record was probably his first rare 45 on Scottie from 1959 - Tell Me Why/ That's Alright With Me which is included here. All in all a worthwhile set from an artist who was a lot better than the tag "Elvis imitator" might lead you to suspect. (AE/ FS)
RAL DONNER: And Then/ Because We're Young/ Bells Of Love/ For Love Nor Money/ Girl Of My Best Friend/ I Didn't Figure On Him/ I Don't Need You/ It's Been A Long Long Time/ Lonely Star/ Loveless Life/ Nine Times Out Of Ten/ Please Don't Go/ Pray For Me/ School Of Heartbreak/ She's Everything/ She's My Baby/ So Close To Heaven/ Sweetheart/ Tell Me Why/ That's Alright With Me/ To Love/ Turn Back The Clock/ What A Sad Way To Love Someone/ Will You Love Me In Heaven/ With You Now/ You Don't Know What You've Got/ Your Skies Of Blue

SON HOUSE The Devil's Tunes 001 Clarksdale Moan ● CD $27.98
Two CDs, 28 tracks, highly recommended
Son House was one of the greatest of all Mississippi Delta blues singers with a ferocious vocal style and a stirring slide guitar technique. The first disc features all the recordings made for Alan Lomax of the Library Of Congress in 1941 and 1942. Son was still in his prime and the first 7 tracks are with a wonderful string band featuring Willie Brown/ gtr, Fiddlin' Joe Martin/ mandolin & Leroy Williams/ harmonica who urge Son along with joyous shouts and additional vocalising on lengthy performances of songs like Levee Camp Blues/ Walking Blues./ Fo' Clock Blues/ Delta Blues and others. The other 12 are just Son alone with his steel bodied National guitar doing Special Rider Blues/ Depot Blues/ American Defense/ Walking Blues/ The Pony Blues, the two part Jinx Blues and others. The second disc features all the existing performances from Son's session for Paramount Records in May 1930 which features some of the greatest Delta blues ever recorded including the two part My Black Mama, the part topical Dry Spell Blues, the test pressing of Walking Blues and others. Although all this material has been out before it's nice to have it all together though, unfortunately, the sound quality is somewhat muffled compared to previous reissues - otherwise it would have received an essential rating. Set comes with 16 page booklet with informative notes by Dick Porter and rare photos and label shots. (FS)

JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 17312 Southern Roots - The Original Sessions ● CD $41.98
Just arrived. Two CD set with 39 tracks. The legendary 1973 sessions from the Trans Maximus Studios in Memphis, Tennessee featuring Jerry Lee Lewis - voc/piano, backed by Stax studio cats and members of the Blues Brothers band, and Booker T. & The MGs (Steve Cropper - guitar, Donald 'Duck' Dunn - bass, Al Jackson Jr. - drums), Carl Perkins - guitar, Tony Joe White - guitar, The Memphis Horns, among others. For the first time here are the original session tapes that produced Jerry Lee Lewis' 1974 'Southern Roots' LP and a never originally released followup album. Produced by Huey Meaux, a fellow Louisiana wildman, the final results reveal what happens when two fiery, free-spirited forces lock horns in the studio. For three days in September, 1973 Jerry Lee Lewis and Huey Meaux went at it, and each other. Listen as Jerry Lee is turned loose in the studio by a producer who didn't try to rein in Jerry's ego. In fact, Meaux did everything he could to feed it. That ego is nowhere more evident than on Jerry's version of the Percy Sledge 1966 hit, When A Man Loves A Woman, which Jerry turns into a sermon on war between the sexes. This CD set lets you be a fly on the wall as Jerry and Huey square off at one another, laughing, arguing and making music late into the night. It's Jerry Lee as you've never heard him before.
CD 1: Meat Man/ When A Man Loves A Woman/ Hold On I'm Coming/ Just A Little Bit/ Born To Be A Loser/ Haunted House/ Blueberry Hill/ The Revolutionary Man/ Big Blue Diamonds/ That Old Bourbon Street Church/ Silver Threads AmongThe Gold/ Hold On I'm Coming (fast version)/ Take Your Time/ All Over Hell And Half Of Georgia/ I Sure Miss Those Good Old Times/ Raining In My Heart/ Honey Hush/ Cry
CD2: Cry (alternative 1)/ Studio Chatter #1/ Cry (alternative 2)/ Studio Chatter #2/ Margie (alternative 1)/ Margie (alternative 2)/ Studio Chatter #3/ Silver Threads Among The Gold (alternative 1)/ Silver Threads Among The Gold (alternative 2)/ Born To Be A Loser/ Studio Chatter #4/ When A Man Loves A Woman (alternative 1)/ Studio Chatter #5/ When A Man Loves A Woman (alternative 2)/ Meat Man (vocal/piano mix)/ Raining In My Heart (vocal/piano mix)/ Studio Chatter #6/ Creedence & Cajuns/ I Sure Miss Those Good Old Times (alternative 1)/ I Sure Miss Those Good Old Times (alternative 2)/ Studio Chatter #8/ Polk Salad Annie

TERRY MANNING & THE WILD ONES Norton 374 El Paso Rock Vol. 7 ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 28 mins, highly recommended
This set veers off from the compilations of the previous three volumes in this series to focus on one El Paso artist, the very cool Terry Manning, along with the Wild Ones. Lo-fi, primitive Rock & Roll recordings by unknown, or unappreciated, artists are kind of Norton records specialty, and Terry Manning & co. fit right in there. These clubhouse recording done in October of 1963 feature a host of great covers of well known and obscure songs, done with passion and plenty of teenage energy. Fine cuts like Eddie Cochran's Nervous Breakdown, Larry Williams' Boney Maronie, and the very first cover of a Bobby Fuller song You're In Love. Terry Manning would go on to a long and illustrious career behind the scenes in the music biz (his next stop after El Paso would be Memphis and Ardent studios.) The spirit of Rock & Roll is right here in these glorious 14 tracks, all of which are previously unreleased. (JM)
TERRY MANNING: Across The Bay/ Boney Maronie/ Forever Christine/ Hey Baby/ Just This Once/ Mathilda/ Memphis/ Nervous Breakdown/ Patty Baby/ Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)/ Sweet Little Sixteen/ The Dog/ Way Down Yonder In New Orleans/ Youíre In Love

Document DOCD 5493 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 : 1934-36 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
23 tracks, 66 mins, essential
Stunning early gospel quartet singing by this group from Kinston, North Carolina who were discovered by J.B. Long who was also responsible for discovering Blind Boy Fuller. Originally known as the New Four Quartet they acquired their new name from their manager Willie Mitchell. Unlike many of their contemporaries who sound formal and polite the Mitchell's have a loose down home quality with an interplay of voices that brings to mind the sound of post war gospel quartets. Their material is mostly standard quartet fare like What Are They Are Doing In Heaven?/ Traveling Shoes/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Angels Will Roll The Stone Away/ Are You Working On The Building but their powerful versions are anything but standard. Highlights include the truly compelling opening cut When A Man Feels Discouraged, the lovely Here Am I and the mesmerizing Repair but it's all great. A few cuts are from worn 78s but most of it has very good sound. A must for gospel quartet enthusiasts. (FS)
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Angels Will Roll The Stone Away/ Are You Working On The Building/ Gonna Shout All Over God's Heaven/ Got My Ticket/ Here Am I/ Homey, Homey/ How About You?/ Lean Your Head Out The Window/ Mother, Where Was You?/ New Dry Bones/ On My Way/ Repair Me/ Somewhere In Heaven (you'll Find Me)/ Standing By The Bedside/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Them Bones/ They Scandalized My Name/ Traveling Shoes/ What Are They Doing In Heaven?/ What Kinda Shoes Do The Angels Wear/ What More Can Jesus Do/ When A Man Feels Discouraged/ You See The Sign Of Judgment

ANN PEEBLES Music Club Deluxe 163 The Original Soul Sister ● CD $12.98
Two CDs, 44 tracks, 122 mins, very highly recommended
Back in stock at a lower price. Ann Peebles was one of the truly great soul singers of the 70s with a great gospel iunflected vocal style. Recording for Memphis based Hi Records she was teamed with the label's great rhythm and horn section under the guiding genius of Willie Mitchell. Between 1969 and '79 she had 18 R&B hits for the label and all these are included here featuring such all time soul classics as the spellbnding I Can't Stand The Rain, the wonderful deep soul ballad Walk Away (her first hit from 1969), her updating of the Little Johnny Taylor hit Part Time Love, the take no prisoners Breaking Up Somebody's Home plus Slipped, Tripped, And Fell In Love/ I'm Gonna Take Your Playhouse Down/ You Keep Me Hanging On/ Come To Mama and more. The rest of this set features superb non hit singles like her great cover of the Isley Brothers It's Your Thing, the beautiful soul ballad Troubles, Heartaches And Sadness, the hard driving self descriptive 99 Lbs ("99 pounds of natural born goodness, 99 pounds of Soul"), the wonderful flavored ballad I Needed Somebody and more. Some of the later tracks feature overly slick pop or disco arrangements but are saved by Ann's great vocals and are in the minority. Many of the songs were written by Ann, often in collaboration with Don Bryant who became Ann's husband not long after they started working together and duets with Ann on two songs. There have been a number of U.K. reissues of Ann's HI recordings but if you don't have much by her this is the perfect budget priced retrospective with informative notes by British soul expert David Nathan. (FS)
ANN PEEBLES: (You Keep Me) Hangin On/ 99 Lbs/ A Good Day For Lovin/ A Love Vibration/ Be For Me/ Beware/ Breaking Up Somebody s Home/ Come To Mama/ Do I Need You/ Doctor Love Power/ Fill This World With Love/ Generation Gap Between Us/ Give Me Some Credit/ Heartaches/ Heartaches, Heartaches/ I Can't Let You Go/ I Can't Stand The Rain/ I Don t Lend My Man/ I Needed Somebody/ I Pity The Fool/ I d Rather Leave While I m In Love/ I ll Get Along/ I m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down/ I m Leaving You/ I ve Been There Before/ If This Is Heaven/ If You Got The Time (I ve Got The Love)/ It Was Jealousy/ It s Your Thing/ Let Your Lovelight Shine/ Mon Belle, Amour (feat Donald Bryant)/ Old Man With Young Ideas/ Part Time Love/ Put Yourself In My Place/ Run Run Run/ Slipped Tripped And Fell In Love/ Solid Foundation/ Somebody s On Your Case/ Troubles, Heartaches And Sadness/ Until You Came Into My Life/ Waiting (feat. Donald Bryant)/ Walk Away/ When I m In Your Arms/ You've Got The Papers (I've Got The Man)

PROFESSOR LONGHAIR Jasmine 3036/7 Mardi Gras In New Orleans ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 49 tracks, essential
In the past few years there have been several reissues of the early recordings of the magnificent and New Orleans singer and piano player Roy Bird aka Professor Longhair but this is the most comprehensive featuring every track recorded between his first session for Mercury in 1949 to a 1962 session for the Rip label cut for half a dozen different labels. These are Fess in his prime singing with fire and playing his distinctive rhumba blues piano style. Accompanying musicians include the cream of New Orleans musicians like Robert Parker/alto or tenor sax, Lee Allen/ tenor sax, Alvin "Red" Tyler/ baritone sax, Walter "Papoose" Nelson/ guitar , Wardell Quezerque/ trumpet, Mac Rebenac/ guitar John Boudreaux/ drums and others. It includes his original recordings of songs that became staples of his repertoire and of New Orleans R&B in general like She Ain't Got No Hair/ Mardi Gras In New Orleans/ Bald Head/ She Walks Right In/ Tipitina and, of course, his 1959 recording of Go To The Mardi Gras which is still played regularly in New Orleans every year at Mardi Gras time. There are lots of other great songs like Her Mind Is Gone/ Been Foolin' Around/ Bye Bye Baby/ Boogie Woogie/ Rockin' With Fess/ In The Night/ No Buts No Maybes/ Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand/ Cuttin' Out and more including his own great New Orleans styled contribution to the twist craze Whole Lotta Twistin'. LOnghair was one of the greatest and most important musicians to emerge from New Orleans in the post war era and this collection does him proud with excellent sound and informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)

CHARLIE RICH Charly SNAJ 744 The Complete Sun Masters ● CD $24.98
3 CDs, 102 tracks, 235 mins, highly recommended
Back in stock at a lower price. Here we have riches of Charlie, certainly what any Charlie Rich fan has been waiting for. You get one CD of officially released material and then two full disks of "From The Vaults" goodies - including some never before released material. So you get his best known songs from the era like Lonely Weekends/ Midnight Blues/ Break Up,etc, plus a ton of lesser-known originals and covers. Rich was quite under-rated as a songwriter; one of the great aspects of this collection is how it showcases so many great Rich originals, with at least 2/3rds of the material featured here from his own pen. Yes Ma'am/ What's My Name?/ The Ways Of a Woman in Love, and so on, show an artist that should have been bigger long before he did make it big, but for whatever reasons it didn't happen that way. You do get some pretty impressive covers as well, with fine takes on Unchained Melody, and Blue Suede Shoes, just to name a couple put together in an attractive box that includes a richly detailed 36 page booklet with track by track annotation. (JM)
* = previously unissued
DISC ONE: Whirlwind/ Philadelphia Baby/ Rebound/ Big Man/ Lonely Weekends/ Everything I Do Is Wrong/ School Days/ Gonna Be Waitin' On My Knees/ Stay/ Who Will The Next Fool Be?/ Caught In The Middle/ Just A Little Bit Sweet/ It's Too Late/ Easy Money,/ Midnight Blues/ Sittin' And Thinkin'/ Finally Found Out/ There's Another Place I Can't Go/ I Need Your Love/ Sad News/ Red Man/ C.C. Rider/ Come Back/ Apple Blossom Time/ Break Up/ That's How Much I Love You/ Juanita/ Whirlwind (undubbed)/ School Days (undubbed)/ It's Too Late (undubbed)/ Come Back (undubbed)
DISC TWO: My Baby Done Left Me/ Charlie's Boogie/ Blue Suede Shoes/ Juicehead Baby/ Baby, I Need You/ Oh, Lonely Days/ Portrait Of My Love/ Seven Dreams/ Waiting All Alone*/ The Ways Of A Woman In Love/ Thanks A Lot/ It Hurt Me So/ Donna Lee/ Never Mind Little Girl*/ I Love No One But You/ Deep Freeze,/ Popcorn Polly/ Give In,/ Those Places Round Town,/ Sail Away/ Sail Away (demo)/ Am I To Be The One? (Duet with Jerry Lee Lewis)/ Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair/ Unchained Melody/ I've Lost My Heart To You/ My Heart Cries For You/ Right Behind You Baby/ The Loneliest Days/ Lonely Hurt Within/ Now Everybody Knows/ Don't Put No Headstone On My Grave/ That's Rich/ Time And Again/ Goodbye, Mary Ann/ Gentle As A Lamb/ You Never Know About Love/ Lonely Weekends (Alternate)
DISC THREE: Little Woman Friend Of Mine/ Time's A-Wasting/ You Made A Hit/ Yes, Ma'am/ Stop Thief/ What's My Name?/ How Blue Can You Be?/ I Said Baby/ Cloud Nine/ Ain't It A Shame ?/ The Wedding Is Over/ Unsuspecting Me*/ If You Knew/ Somehow We'll Find A Way*/ Every Day (And Evey Night)/ There Won't Be Anymore/ Closed For Repair*/ (We Belong To) Each Other*/ Untitled Instrumental/ Long Way From Tennessee/ Every Day (That You're Away From Me)/ Baby, I Need You/ When/ My Mountain Dew*/ Graveyardville/ Ballad Of Billy Joe (Undubbed)/ Since You Said Goodbye*/ Too Many Tears/ Little By Little*/ Life Is A Flower/ I'm Making Plans/ Stop Fakin' Your Love (Alternate)

CAL STEWART Archeophone 5009 The Indestructible Uncle Josh ● CD $14.98
30 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Here's another great historical outing from the folks at Archeophone records. Cal Stewart was a big name in his day, but like so many of his time (these recordings were all made in 1908), he is little known today outside of historian circles. His "Uncle Josh" character is a bit of a big city precursor to Grampa Jones. So on this you get some comedic songs, but mostly comedic routines. I love most of these Archeophone releases. They are usually quite a treat, with super rare recordings and fascinating notes, and this collection ranks up there with the best in their catalog. Also features quite impressive sound, especially considering that all of the tracks are taken off of cylinder releases. Fantastic job and an entertaining listen. (JM)

ROOSEVELT SYKES Document DOCD 5116 Complete Chronological Recordings, Vol. 1 - 1929-30 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
23 tracks, essential
Roosevelt Sykes ranks as one of the greatest blues piano players of all time and his recorded legacy is truly impressive. He remained a consistently worthwhile artist from his earliest recordings in 1929 to his last recordings made in the late 70s. This is the first of seven volumes documenting his pre war recordings and is consistently fine from beginning to end. It starts with his June 1929 recordings of "44" Blues, a blues piano classic and ends with a June 1930 recording featuring Sykes accompanying singer Ben Turner with Oliver Cobb on cornet. The emphasis here is on slow and mid tempo blues with mournful expressive vocals by Sykes and lovely thoughtful and imaginative piano accompaniments. Lest you think he is only comfortable with slow and mid tempo items his variation on Pinetop's Boogie Woogie called Boot That Thing shows he is capable of piano pyrotechnics when neccessary. Some tracks feature guitar accompaniments by Oscar Carter or Henry Townsend. With a few exceptions sound quality is excellent and there are good notes by Chris Smith. (FS)
MAE BELLE MILLER: Beale And Main Blues/ Long Tall Man Blues/ Trouble Everywhere Blues/ Working Man On The Seas/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: '44' Blues/ All My Money Gone Blues/ Black River Blues/ Boot That Thing/ Bury That Thing/ Fire Detective Blues/ Henry Ford Blues/ Home Of Your Own Blues/ I'm Tired Of Being Mistreated/ Little Sow Blues/ Lost All I Had Blues/ Poor Boy Blues/ Roosevelt's Blues/ Single Tree Blues/ Skeet And Garret/ Ten And Four Blues/ The Way I Feel Blues/ BEE TURNER: Jivin' Jelly Roll Blues/ Rough Treatin' Daddy

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1375 Foxy R&B - Richard Stamz Chicago Blues ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of blues, R&B, doo-wop and proto-soul recorded for larger than life disc jockey Richard Stamz for his Foxy, Paso and Queen label in the early 60s. Most tracks are making their first appearance on CD and six tracks are previously unissued performances. Highlights for me are Flora D with You're Gonna Cry and Harold Burrage with A Fool (For Hiding My LOve For Me) - two songs I had on 45s for a long time and couldn't figure out why they hadn't been reissued on CD but, finally, here they are in immaculate sound. Both are slow blues with a touch of soul featuring great vocals and absolutely stunning guitar playing from Freddy Robinson that are, alone, worth the price of admission. Freddy also provides stellar guitar on three tracks from superb female blues shouter Mary Johnson, two fine songs by B.B. King influnced vocalist Lee "Shot" Williams and singer/ piano player Detroit Jr. on his rocking seasonal song Christmas Day. He is also featured on two instrumentals including the fantastic The Buzzard. Talking of great guitarists, there are three previously unissued instrumentals from a group led by drummer Willie Williams including guitar from none other than Hubert Sumlin. There is some fine rocking doowop from Ze-Majestics (with steel guitar from Freddie Roulette), Robert & The Rockin' Robins and The Ideals. A superb collection with great sound and informative notes telling the fascinating story of Stamz along with deatils on all the artists and performances. (FS)
LORETTA BRANCH (TRIO): Just One More Time/ HAROLD BURRAGE: A Fool For Hiding My Love From You/ A Fool For Hiding My Love From You/ I Was Wrong/ Please Love Me/ Pretty Little Liddy/ Say You Love Me/ You Ought To Love Me/ FLORA D.: Way Out, Baby/ You Gonna Cry/ DETROIT JUNIOR: Christmas Day/ TONY GIDEON: I'm Gonna Put You To Work/ THE IDEALS: What's The Matter With You Sam/ MARY JOHNSON: Goin' Home/ Lost Love/ Those Tears/ ROBERT & THE ROCKIN' RAVENS: Romeo Joe Pt 1/ FREDDY ROBINSON: The Buzzard/ The Hawk/ LEE (SHOT) WILLIAMS: Hello Baby/ I'm Trying/ WILLIE WILLIAMS WITH HOWLIN' WOLF BAND: Gittin' Along (Green Onions)/ Going Back Home/ South Park Shuffle/ ZE-MAJESTICS: Garlen's Mambo?

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 421 Cowgirl Shuffle ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, 76 mins, recommended
Excellent collection of female country singers recorded between 1933 and the late 1950s with an emphasis of singers performing in the western or western swing style. It opens with two Jimmie Rodgers from 1933 performed by fine singer/ fiddle player Hazel Turner accompanied by her brother Harold Maas on guitar. Hazel returns 12 years later as Jill Turner with the western swing flavored I Wont Tell On You with Art West's Sunset Riders. Another fine singer and fiddle player is 17 year old Kitty Williamson who recorded two songs with W. Lee O'Daniels Hillbilly Boys in 1938 including a fine version of the Patsy Montana favorite I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart. Other artists include Sybill Hopkins (with Bob Dunn's Vagabonds), Gale Ryan (aka Georgia Young, with The Prairie Ramblers), Dale Evans, Colleen Summers (who later joined up with Les Paul as Mary Ford), Betsy Gay ( a fine yodeler), Ann Bond, Jean Davidson, Eva Summers (a late 50s demo with Roy Lanham/ guitar) and more. Good sound and detailed notes from Kevin Coffey. (FS)
JEANNIE AKERS W. AL WINTER TRIO: Boogie Barn Dance/ BECKY BARFIELD W. SPADE COOLEY & HIS ORCHESTRA: Anytime/ You Call Everybody Darlin'/ ANN BOND & CHARLIE ALDRIDGE -BLACK SHEEP BLA: Black Sheep, Black Sheep/ ANN BOND & CHARLIE ALDRIDGE: I'm A Plain Talkin' Gal From The West/ JEAN DAVIDSON: Downhearted Me/ Ft. Worth Boogie/ DALE EVANS: Vout Cowboy/ Will You Be My Darling/ BOOTS FAYE: I'll Keep On Loving You/ They Took The Stars Out Of Heaven/ BETSY GAY: Belle Of The Old Barn Dance/ Slam My Door On Your Way Out/ HAROLD & HAZEL: Pack My Things/ Texas/ SYBILL HOPKINS W. BOB DUNN'S VAGABONDS: Basin Street Blues/ GENE OGDENE W. LEAFORD HALL & HIS TEXAS VAGAB: After My Laughter Came Tears/ HELEN PHELPS: Here's Your Hat There's The Door/ You Can't Bother Me No More/ GALE RYAN W. THE PRAIRE RAMBLERS: Pool Playin' Papa/ COLLEEN SUMMERS: Is It Wrong/ That Pioneer Mother Of Mine/ EVE SUMMERS: I Can't Break The Habit Of You/ JILL TURNER WITH ART WEST'S SUNSET RIDERS: I Won't Tell On You/ CINDY WALKER WITH RED RIVER DAVE: Election Day/ KITTY WILLIAMSON W. W LEE O'DANIEL'S HILLBILLY: I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart/ I've Got The Blues/ ZORA & THE HOMETOWNERS: I'll Be Hanged (If They're Gonna Hang Me)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17328 Four Legends Of Rock 'n' Roll ● CD $21.98
Four great rockers from the 1950s recorded live in London in 1977 - Warren Smith, Buddy Knox, Charlie Feathers and Jack Scott. All four artists were accompanied by the Dave Travis band though Charlie brought his son Bubba to play lead guitar and Jack Scott brought his own lead guitarist (unnamed here). All four perform some of their most well known songs with Jack Scott being the most impressive.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly SNAJ 743 Sun Rockabilly Meltdown ● CD $24.98
Three CDs, 107 tracks, approx 4 hours, essential
Back in stock at a lower price. At first glance this is just another collection of rockabilly from THE rockabilly label - Sun, but it's more than that. Apart from the tracks by Elvis almost all the tracks on this wonderful collection were not originally issued by Sun - many not coming to light until the 70s and 80s including originally unissued songs and alternate takes and, from what I can tell, quite a few of the tracks here are making their first appearance on CD and a number appear to have never been reissued before in any format - some don't appear in any Sun discographies! It just never ceases to amaze me as to how good most of the unissued Sun recordings were and so if you love rockabilly you have to have this collection. In addition to Elvis and other familiar name like Jerry Lee Lewis, Warren Smith, Sonny Burgess, Carl perkins, Charlie Rich, Carl Mann, Johnny Cash, Ray Smith (all featured on originally unissued songs or alternate takes) we have great sides from lesser known artists like Dick Penner, Jimmy Williams, Alton & Jimmy, Tommy Blake, Ken Cook, Glenn Honeycutt, Jerry Arnold, Howard Chandler and others. Sound quality is splendid and 28 page booklet has informative notes by compiler Clive Anderson. The only negative is the lack of any discographical info and maybe another couple of CDs worth of material but you can't have everything! (FS)
ALTON & JIMMY: I Just Don't Know/ JERRY ARNOLD: Little Boy Blue/ ERNIE BARTON: She's Gone Away/ Whirlpool/ SMOKEY JOE BAUGH: Hula Bop/ TOMMY BLAKE: I Dig You, Baby (Alternate)/ You Better Believe It (Alternate)/ EDDIE BOND: This Old Heart Of Mine/ EDWIN BRUCE: Rock Boppin' Baby (Alternate)/ SONNY BURGESS: Little Town Baby/ Truckin' Down The Avenue/ We Wanna Boogie (Alternate)/ JOHNNY CASH: Folsom Prison Blues (Alternate)/ Two Timin' Woman (Alternate)/ HOWARD CHANDLER: Wampus Cat/ JEAN CHAPEL: Welcome To The Club/ KEN COOK: Problem Child/ Crazy Baby (Take 2)/ HAROLD DORMAN: To Be With You/ JACK EARLS: Crawdad Hole (Take 3)/ Slow Down/ CHARLIE FEATHERS: Corrine, Corrina/ MICKEY GILLEY: Thinkin' Of Me/ CLIFF GLEAVES: Your Cheatin' Heart/ ROY HALL: I Lost My Baby/ RAY HARRIS: Come On Little Mama/ Love Dumb Baby/ CURTIS HOBACK: Apron Strings/ GLENN HONEYCUTT: If It Wasn't For Love/ On Mobile Bay/ DICKEY LEE: Good Lovin'/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Cool, Cool Ways (Sexy Ways)/ Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ Friday Night/ I Don't Love Nobody/ Lewis Boogie/ Mean Woman Blues/ Milkshake Mademoiselle/ Ooby Dooby/ Rockin' With Red (She Knows How To Rock Me)/ Whole Lotta Twistin' Goin' On/ Wild One (Real Wild Child)/ CARL MANN: Baby, I Don't Care/ I Love You, I Adore You/ Pretend/ LUKE MCDANIEL: Go Ahead, Baby/ CARL MCVOY: A Woman's Love (The Thrill Of Your Love)/ Little Girl/ MISSISSIPPI SLIM: Try Doin' Right/ ROY ORBISON: Domino (Undubbed)/ It's Too Late/ KENNETH PARCHMAN: Treat Me Right (Alternate)/ TRACY PENDARVIS: Bop A Cha-Cha Baby/ Hypnotized/ Is It Me?/ Please Be Mine (Come To Me)/ Southbound Line/ DICK PENNER: Cindy Lou/ Don't Need Your Lovin' Baby (Alternate)/ Move, Baby, Move/ CARL PERKINS: Blue Suede Shoes (Alternate Take 3)/ Caldonia/ Dixie Fried/ Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby (Alternate)/ Glad All Over/ Her Love Rubbed Off/ I'm Sorry, I'm Not Sorry/ Pink Pedal Pushers (Alternate)/ Put Your Cat Clothes On (Take 3)/ BARBARA PITTMAN: Voice Of A Fool/ JOHNNY POWERS: Waitin' For You/ ELVIS PRESLEY: I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine/ Milkcow Blues Boogie/ Mystery Train/ Trying To Get To You/ JIMMY PRITCHETT: That's The Way I Feel/ SLIM RHODES: Gonna Romp And Stomp/ CHARLIE RICH: Blue Suede Shoes/ Lonely Weekends (Alternate)/ Yes, Ma'am/ BILLY LEE RILEY: (Come Back Baby) One More Time/ Flying Saucer Rock'n'Roll/ I Want You Baby/ Pearly Lee (Undubbed)/ GENE SIMMONS: I Done Told You/ Shake, Rattle And Roll/ RAY SMITH: Break Up/ I Want To Be Free/ Why, Why, Why (Alternate)/ Willing And Ready/ WARREN SMITH: Dear John/ Who Took My Baby?/ HAYDEN THOMPSON: Blues, Blues, Blues (Alternate Take 2)/ Fairlane Rock/ Mama, Mama, Mama/ One Broken Heart/ JESSE LEE TURNER: Put Me Down/ MACK VICKERY: Drive-In/ JIMMY WAGES: Miss Pearl/ SID WATSON: Don't You Worry/ ONIE WHEELER: That's All/ Walkin' Shoes (Alternate)/ JIMMY WILLIAMS: Fire Engine Red/ Sonny Boy/ MALCOLM YELVINGTON: Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ Have Myself A Ball/ Rockin' With My Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 1110 Country Music Pioneers On Edison, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, 64 mins, recommended
Volume 1 (Document 1102) was issued some years ago and now we have a second collection of rare and unissued recordings made for Thomas Edison's label. Many of the artists are returning from the first volume including the superb and prolific Ernest V. Stoneman and his string band The Dixie Mountaineers with great renditions of Hand Me Down My Walking Cane and Careless Love. Other fine string bands featured include Fiddlin' Powers & Family and Posey Rorer's North Carolina Ramblers. The ubiquitous Vernon Dalhart is featured on the excellent Zeb Turney's Gal with fine fiddle and harmonica. Singer/ guitarist Frankie Marvin is featured on fine renditions of two Jimmie Rodgers songs. Frank Luther is featured on four tracks - two with his lively group The Pards and two duets with Carson Robison as The Jimson Brothers including a fine version of Jimmie Rodgers' Waitin' For A Train. Carson Robison is featured with his group The Madcaps on the instrumental Stuff featuring fiddle, steel guitar, piano and trumpet! The set is rounded out by fiddlers Jasper Bisbee and John Baltzell. Generally fine sound though a little too much digital noise reduction is evident. Detailed notes from Larry Tedder. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5182 St. Louis Girls (1927-34) ● CD $15.98 $11.98
25 tracks, 70 min., highly recommended
Most of the cuts here, a baker's dozen, are by Lizzie Washington, whoever she was, recorded for Gennett in 1927. With a restrained, low key delivery, she sings of prostitution, alcohol, black eyes, men and other well-trodden blues turf, on songs that include Daddy Threw Me Down Blues/ Whiskey Head Blues. Her Working Man Blues is a real gem, accompanied by only celeste and eerie slide guitar she sings about the attributes of her man including the priceless verse "My Baby's Long, My Baby's Tall Built Just LIke A Radio Line (x2)/ He Keeps A good Wavelength, I Can Tune In All The Time." She is accompanied by some superb musicians led by violinist Henry Johnson with James Johnson switching between piano and celeste and two guitars listed in the files as Henry Moon and George Thomas, though one is almost certainly a pseudonym for Lonnie Johnson. Katherine Baker's 8 tracks, also from 1927, feature the same line up (Henry Johnson And His Boys, by name), and her voice is more powerful than Washington's, a fact especially noticeable on Daddy Sunshine Blues. There are two cuts by Elizabeth Washington who was thought to be the same as Lizzie Washington but almost certainly isn't. Her two sides from 1933 are superb with gorgeous piano accompaniment from Pinetop Sparks on one track and Jesse Bell on the other. The set is rounded out by two sides by gruff voiced Johnnie Strauss accompanied by pianist Henry Brown and an unknown violinist. Excellent sound and brief notes by Paul Garon (FS/ JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 121 Jazz Noire - Darktown Sleaze From The Mean Streets Of ● CD $19.98 $15.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 152 mins, very highly recommended
I've been dying for a collection like this for a long time; one full of great Jazz themes to 1940's and '50s Noir films and cool Jazz & R&B that the great characters in those movies would have hypothetically been listening to while they did their sordid deeds. You get big brassy horns backing big brassy dames, cool cats singing about shady deals, tracks that are so smoky they make your eyes water, so cool you need to put on a sweater. The highlights are far too many to mention, but some of my favorites include: Johnny Otis - Harlem Nocturne, Jimmy Witherspoon - Skid Row Blues, Amos Milburn - Money Hustlin' Woman, Baron Mingus & His Octet - This Subdues My Passion, themes from "The Killers," "Double Indemnity," and "High Sierra," plus Charlie Parker, Billy Holliday, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynonnie Harris, T-bone Walker, Percy Mayfield, Julia Lee, etc., etc. Cool Noir packaging, deep notes, this is pretty much the perfect stocking stuffer for any street hood, gun moll, crooked cop, or doomed lavers that might be on your naughty list this year. (JM)
CHARLES BROWN TRIO: How High The Moon/ WINI BROWN WITH LIONEL HAMPTON & HIS ORCH.: Gone Again/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS ORCH.: San Francisco Fan/ KING COLE TRIO: Blues In My Shower/ Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good To You?/ ADOLPH DEUTSCH: Theme from "High Sierra" (1941)/ BILLY ECKSTINE & HIS ORCH.: Jelly Jelly/ Prisoner Of Love/ ELLA FITZGERALD: I'm Just A Lucky So-And-So/ DIZZY GILLESPIE SEXTET: All The Things You Are/ LIONEL HAMPTON & HIS ORCH.: Midnight Sun/ WYNONIE 'MR BLUES' HARRIS & HIS ALL-STARS: Whiskey And Jelly-Roll Blues/ AL HIBBLER: I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)/ BILLIE HOLIDAY: Don't Explain/ Good Morning Heartache/ No Good Man/ Billie's Blues/ HELEN HUMES WITH BUCK CLAYTON & HIS ORCH.: Blue And Sentimental/ ILLINOIS JACQUET & HIS ALL STARS: Goofin' Off/ BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCH.: Far Cry/ If I Ever Find You, Baby/ ELLA JOHNSON WITH BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCH.: Since I Fell For You/ ELLA JOHNSON WITH BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCHEST: You Can't Tell Who's Lovin' Who/ ETTA JONES WITH JC HEARD & HIS ORCH.: I Sold My Heart To The Junkman/ ETTA JONES WITH LUTHER HENDERSON & HIS ORCH.: What Ev'ry Woman Knows/ LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY FIVE: Why'd You Do It, Baby?/ JULIA LEE: Marijuana/ NELLIE LUTCHER & HER RHYTHM: Fine And Mellow/ PERCY MAYFIELD WITH MONROE TUCKER & HIS ORCH.: Leary Blues/ AMOS MILBURN: Money Hustlin' Woman/ BARON MINGUS & HIS OCTET: This Subdues My Passion/ THELONIOUS MONK QUINTET: 'Round About Midnight/ ALFRED NEWMAN: Theme from "Cry Of The City" (1948)/ JOHNNY OTIS, HIS DRUMS & HIS ORCH.: Harlem Nocturne/ CHARLIE PARKER: Lover Man/ Dark Shadows/ LEO PARKER'S ALL STARS: Solitude/ ARTHUR PRYSOCK WITH BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCH.: I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone/ Serves Me Right/ ALICE ROBERTS WITH DIZZY GILLESPIE & HIS ORCH.: Good Dues Blues/ MIKLOS ROZSA: Theme From "The Killers" (1946)/ Theme from "Double Indemnity" (1944)/ CLAUDE TRENIER WITH CHARLES MINGUS SEXTETTE: Weird Nightmare/ SARAH VAUGHAN WITH DIZZY GILLESPIE & HIS ORCH.: Interlude/ T-BONE WALKER & HIS GUITAR: Call It Stormy Monday/ DINAH WASHINGTON WITH DAVE YOUNG & HIS ORCH.: You Satisfy/ DINAH WASHINGTON WITH LUCKY THOMPSON'S ALL STA: Pacific Coast Blues/ CROWN PRINCE WATERFORD: LA Blues/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON WITH JAY MCSHANN & HIS ORCH.: Skid Row Blues/ LESTER YOUNG & HIS SEXTET: No Eyes Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 61961 Jewel Records Gospel Story ● CD $17.98
Two CD set with 36 tracks featuring a cross section of gospel recordings made for Stan Lewis's Jewel label in the late 1960s and 1970s. With some of the major gospel labels going out of business or cutting back on gospel recordings Stan was able to pick up some of the leading gospel acts including The Soul Stirrers, The Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi, The Five Blind Boys OF Alabama, The Caravans, The Violinairs and others as well as nurturing newer performers like Willie Morganfield, Roscoe Robinson and Rev. Oris Mays. This set also features gospel tracks from a couple of artists best known for their secular recordings - Napoleon Brown (aka Nappy Brown) and Ted Taylor and also features two superb songs by Aretha Franklin from 1956 when she was still singing in her father's church in Detroit. Bill Dahl's informative notes puts it all into perspective.

VARIOUS ARTISTS History Of Soul 1 Chicago Soul - The Early Years ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 62 tracks, highly recommended
Chicago has always been a hotbed of Black music, but the focus is usually its' thriving blues scene; the R&B and Soul artists are often overlooked or forgotten. This fine collection brings together the cream of Windy City R&B from the years 1950 to 1961 on Disc One, and the year 1962 on Disc Two. As one would expect, Vee-Jay and Chess are the dominant labels and their performers are well represented-Jerry Butler (with and without the Impressions), Dee Clark, and Gene Chandler for the former, and Billy Stewart, Etta James, Mitty Collier, and Little Milton for the latter-but some of the smaller upstart imprints get a look in as well: Abner (The Impressions), Rene (Betty Everett), One-derful (McKinley Mitchell, Five Du-Tones, Everett), and Argo (Etta James, again). And the majors were hardly left out: Columbia and its' "black" imprint OKeh (Ted Taylor, Walter Jackson), ABC (The Impressions), Decca (Harold Burrage), and Mercury (Major Lance) all made their presence felt during the period. The tracks themselves range from the doo wop of The Sheppards and The Spaniels to female belters like Mary Johnson, Sugar Pie DeSanto, and Etta James. As is often the case with these types of compilations, it's the obscure cuts that make them worthwhile and this one is no exception with a 1956 Four Tops number cut for Chess, Could it Be You, Ted Taylor's dynamic Can't Take No More, McKinley Mitchell belting out I'm So Glad, Mary Johnson's epic These Tears, and Gerald Sims & The Daylighters' Cool Breeze being among the highlights. Helpfully sequenced in chronological order and sporting an informative 28 booklet with notes by Robert Pruter, author of the definitve book "Chicago Soul", this collection of vintage R&B is a winner by some margin. (GMC)
CICERO BLAKE: Could This Be Love/ JAN BRADLEY: We Girls/ HAROLD BURRAGE: Crying for My Baby/ Hi Yo Silver/ Master Key/ Satisfied/ JERRY BUTLER: He Will Break Your Heart/ Make It Easy on Yourself/ Message to Martha/ For Your Precious Love/ GENE CHANDLER: Tear for Tear/ THE CHAUNTEURS: New Rockin' Baby/ DEE CLARK: Your Friends/ MITTY COLLIER: Don't Let Her Take My Baby/ I Got to Get Away from It All/ JOYCE DAVIS: Stop Giving Your Man Away/ THE DAYLIGHTERS: Oh What a Way to Be Loved/ SUGAR PIE DESANTO: Ask Me/ I Want to Know/ THE DUKAYS: Nite Owl/ THE DUTONES: The Bird/ BETTY EVERETT: I Got a Claim on You Baby/ I'll Weep No More/ Please Love Me/ Your Love Is Important to Me/ THE FASCINATIONS: Mama Didn't Lie/ THE FIVE DU-TONES: Please Change Your Mind/ The Flea/ THE FOUR TOPS: Could It Be You/ DOBIE HICKS: Where Is She/ THE IMPRESSIONS: Can`t Work No Longer/ Gypsy Woman/ I'm the One Who Loves You/ Little Young Lover/ Say That You Love Me/ Senorita I Love You/ WALTER JACKSON: Don't Want to Suffer/ ETTA JAMES: Pushover/ Something's Got a Hold on Me/ Waiting for Charlie to Come Home/ If I Can't Have You/ MARY JOHNSON: These Tears/ MAJOR LANCE: Delilah/ I've Got a Girl/ LITTLE MILTON: So Mean to Me/ MCKINLEY MITCHELL: I'm so Glad/ The Town I Live/ DOROTHY PRINCE: I Lost a Love/ Why Not Tonight/ THE RADIANTS: Father Knows Best/ One Day I'll Show You/ THE SHEPPARDS: Forgotten/ Never Felt This Way Before/ Tragic/ GERALD SIMS & THE DAYLIGHTERS: Cool Breeze/ THE SPANIELS: Play It Cool/ THE STARLETS: Better Tell Him No/ BILLY STEWART: Billy's Blues, Pt. 2/ Fat Boy/ TED TAYLOR: Be Ever Wonderful/ Can't Take No More/ THE VIBRATIONS: Oh Cindy

VARIOUS ARTISTS History Of Soul 4 Soul Chronology 1 - Wade In The Water, 1927-1951 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 57 tracks, 159 mins, highly recommended
Here's a wonderful collection, the first volume in what is promising to be a great and ambitious new series chronicling the history of Soul music. In an effort to tell the whole story, this set goes way, way back to some of the earliest blues and spiritual recordings ever released and then takes you all the way up to 1940s and 1950s recordings by the likes of Roy Brown, Mahalia Jackson, and Percy Mayfield. Some examples of truly rare early gems featured here that get to the heart of the story are Honey In The Rock by Blind Mamie Forehand, Denomination Blues Part 1 by Washington Phillips, Judgment by Sister Mary Nelson, and Dough Roller Blues by Garfield Akers; tracks like these really do transport you to a different time and place, and are such a delight to hear. You get truly sublime Gospel like Them Bones by Mitchells Christian Singers, down and dirty blues like In My Girlish Days by Memphis Minnie, and tracks that seem to walk the line between Saturday night and Sunday morning like Cross And Evil Woman Blues by Reverend Gary Davis. All of this great music is accompanied by some wonderfully extensive liner notes, full of great photos, label reproductions, and much more. (JM)
GARFIELD AKERS: Dough Roller Blues/ BOBBY BLAND: Crying All Night Long/ ROY BROWN: Dreaming Blues/ Love Don't Love Nobody/ WYNONA CARR: Lord Jesus/ THE CHARIOTEERS: Wade In the Water/ ETHEL DAVENPORT WITH BROWNIE MCGHEE: I'm Tired/ REV GARY DAVIS: Cross And Evil Woman Blues/ RUTH DAVIS: When He Spoke/ THE DIXIE HUMMINGBIRDS: Book Of The Seven Seas/ THE DOMINOES: Do Something For Me/ ARIZONA DRANES: I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go/ THE FIVE BLIND BOYS OF MISSISSIPPI: He's My Rock/ Jesus Travelled This Road Before/ BLIND MAMIE FOREHAND: Honey In The Rock/ REV J.M. GATES: This Heart Of Mine Pt 1/ GEORGIA PEACH: Here Am I Do Send Me/ I'm Waiting For Jesus/ THE GOLDEN GATE JUBLIEE QUARTET: Every Time That I Feel The Spirit/ GOLDIA HAYNES WITH JOE LIGGINS: This Old World/ PROF J. EARLE HINES: How Sweet It Is/ MAHALIA JACKSON: Just Over The Hill/ Move On Up A Little Higher/ Oh My Lord/ JACKSON GOSPEL SINGERS: Heaven Bound Train/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Church, I'm Fully Saved Today/ REVEREND SAMUEL KELSEY: Little Boy/ MARIE KNIGHT: I Thank You Jesus/ LITTLE ESTHER: I'll Be There/ LUTHER MAGBY: Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit/ CORA MARTIN: There's a Place/ ROBERTA MARTIN SINGERS: Satisfied/ SISTER MATHEWS: Stand By Me/ JOE MAY: Search Me Lord Brother/ PERCY MAYFIELD: Please Send Me Someone To Love/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: In My Girlish Days/ MITCHELLS CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Them Bones/ MARY NELSON: Judgement Sister/ WASHINGTON PHILLIPS: Denomination Blues Pt. 1/ THE PILGRIM TRAVELERS: Good News/ I'm Standing On The Highway/ JESSE MAE RENFRO: In That Home By And By/ THE ROYALES: Give Me One More Chance/ BESSIE SMITH: Moan You Moaners/ THE SOUTHERN SONS: When They Ring Them Golden Bells/ JOHNNIE TEMPLE: Louise Louise Blues/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: How Far from God/ Beams Of Heaven/ THE TRUMPETEERS: Milky White Way/ T-BONE WALKER: Call It Stormy Monday/ CLARA WARD: Just One Moment/ Salvation Is Free/ DINAH WASHINGTON: Good Daddy Blues/ ERNESTINE B. WASHINGTON: We Shall Walk Through The Valley/ If I Could Just Make It In/ BILLY WRIGHT: Stacked Deck/ THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: Gospel Train

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 237 Night Sounds - The Genious Of Soul/ Jazz Organ Combos ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 27 tracks, highly recommended
The Hammond B-3 organ has long been a staple of both jazz and R&B and this collection spotlights some of the best known purveyors of the soul/jazz sub-genre. No compilation of this type would complete without representation from the Godfather of the organ, Jimmy Smith. Smith gets four songs that all show why he's mack daddy of this particular pack; The Champ/ Back at the Chicken Shack/ Midnight Special, and Walk on the Wild Side all illustrate the man's gift for melody and technique. Other talents represented here include Bill Doggett, Ernie Freeman (who contributes the dynamite title track), Hank Marr, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, and Shirley Scott, the only female member of the club who impresses with Hip Soul and Hip Twist, which feature her husband Stanley Turrentine on the sax. Among the other little known names are Big John Patton (heard here with Lou Donaldson on Funky Mama) who was a big influence on UK musicians Zoot Money and Georgie Fame, and Baby Face Willette, who cut a couple of albums for Blue Note and Chess before disappearing, and displays his chops on Face to Face and Something Strange. Perhaps fittingly, the collection finishes with a twin spin from Booker T. & the MGs - Green Onions and Behave Yourself - a group that features the only other organ player to rival Jimmy Smith for name recognition: Booker T. Jones. As a sample of a little documented sub sect of rock 'n' soul/jazz, this collection is pretty darn spiffy. (GMC)
CURTIS AMY & PAUL BRYANT: Meetin' Here/ BOOKER T. & THE MGS: Behave Yourself/ Green Onions/ BILL DOGGETT: After Hours/ Backwards/ You Can't Sit Down Pt 1/ LOU DONALDSON W/BIG JOHN PATTON: Funky Mama/ ERNIE FREEMAN: Night Sounds/ RICHARD "GROOVE" HOLMES: Morris The Minor/ HANK MARR: Ram Bunk Shush/ The Push/ Tonk Game/ BROTHER JACK MCDUFF: Brother Jack/ Honeydripper/ JIMMY MCGRIFF: I Got A Woman Pts 1&2/ SHIRLEY SCOTT: Hip Soul/ Hip Twist/ JIMMY SMITH: Back At The Chicken Shack/ Midnight Special/ The Champ/ Walk On The Wild Side/ JOHNNY HAMMOND SMITH: Ribs 'N'chips/ Sticks And Stones/ PHIL UPCHURCH COMBO: You Can't Sit Down/ BABY FACE WILLETTE: Face To Face/ Something Strange/ LARRY YOUNG: Wee Dot

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 241 Twistin' The Night Away ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 129 mins, highly recommended
Let's twist again like we did 53 summers ago. Personally, I can't stand Chubby Checker, but that doesn't mean that I don't love a good twist record. There are at least 25 great twistin' tracks on here that are better than anything the chubster ever did. Starting things off (as they should), with the first and greatest The Twist by Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, whose version was a big hit on the R&B charts, but was deemed too un-commercial (read too black) to really get a push from many of the Pop DJs (fuck Dick Clark!). From there we get many fine Twist records from the raucous Peppermint Twist by Joey Dee and The Starliters, the sublime Twistin Postman from The Marvelettes, the mighty Twist And Shout from the Isley Brothers, the far too under-rated Gary U.S. Bonds with Dear Lady Twist, and many, many more fine tracks. Some of my favorites on here have to be the more oddball Twist songs that are featured on disc 2, like The Twister by Bo Diddley, Twist Chango by Machito, and one I have a soft spot for: Whitehouse Twist by The Twistin' Kings. Only a handful of duplications with Fantastic Voyage 161 ("Twistin USA" - 2 CDs - 50 tracks - $19.98) (JM)
HANK BALLARD: Good Twistin' Tonight/ It's Twistin' Time/ The Twist/ COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Basie Twist/ BILL BLACK'S COMBO: Twist Her/ BLAZER BOY: New Orleans Twist/ GARY US BONDS: Twist Twist Senora/ CHUBBY CHECKER: Let's Twist Again/ The Twist/ Teach Me To Twist/ Slow Twistin/ THE CHIPMUNKS: The Alvin Twist/ JIMMY CLANTON: Twist On Little Girl/ CLAY COLE: Twist Around The Clock/ SAM COOKE: Twistin' The Night Away/ KING CURTIS & HIS NOBLE KNIGHTS: Soul Twist/ Twisting Time/ Wobble Twist/ DANNY AND THE JUNIORS: Medley: The Twist-Mother's Club Twist/ Twistin' All Night Long/ Twistin' Usa/ JOEY DEE: Joey Dee Teaches You How To Do The Peppermint Twist/ Hey Let's Twist/ Peppermint Twist Part One/ Peppermint Twist Part Two/ BO DIDDLEY: The Twister/ THE DOVELLS: Bristol Twistin' Annie/ FABIAN: A Kissin' And A Twistin'/ BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS: Spanish Twist/ BILLY HUHN & THE CATALINAS: Twist And Freeze/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Twist And Shout/ Twistin' With Linda/ MACHITO: Twist Chango/ THE MARCELS: Merry Twistmas/ Twistin' Fever/ THE MARVELLETTES: Twistin' Postman/ JOHNNY MORRISETE: Meet Me At The Twistin' Place/ MUDDY WATERS WITH EARL HOOKER'S ORCHESTR: Muddy Water's Twist/ THE OLYMPICS: The Twist/ ROBERT PARKER: Twistin' Out In Space/ DANNY PEPPERMINT & THE JUMPIN' JACKS: Peppermint Twist/ TOMMY RIDGLEY: Jam Up Twist/ FRANK SINATRA: Everybody's Twistin'/ JIMMY SOUL: Twistin' Matilda (And The Channel)/ WILD JIMMY SPRUILL: Scratch 'N' Twist/ THE TOPNOTES: Twist And Shout/ THE TWISTIN' KINGS: Whitehouse Twist/ Xmas Twist/ THE UNIQUE ECHOES: The Italian Twist/ GARY US BONDS: Dear Lady Twist

VARIOUS ARTISTS King 4403 King Blues & Gospel Kings, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Another splendid collection of, mostly obscure, jump blues and gospel from the mighty King label. There is fine blues shouting from Joe Turner inspired Harold Tinsley, pre war bluesman Jimmy Gordon and the great Walter Brown (including the second recording of his classic Confessin' The Blues) and others. From Detroit we have fine urban blues from Detroit Count and Doc Wiley and we have two excellent cuts from New Orleans born Cousin Joe with the Earl Bostic Band including his great You Ain't So Such A Much featuring the immortal line "I Wouldn't Give A Blind Sow An Acorn/ I Wouldn't Give A Crippled Crab A Crutch" - they don't write 'em like that anymore! The Jubilaires were a fine vocal group who switched between scared and secular and here are featured on three acapella secular songs including a fine rendition of the currently popular Sunday Kind Of LOve which was to be big R&B hit for the Harptones in 1953. On the gospel side we have the magnificent The World's Prayer from The Spirit Of Memphis as well as splendid cuts from SWan's Silvertone Singers, The Nightingales (a lovely acapella performance from 1949 from the group that was to later become The Sensational Nightingales) and The Jewel Jubilee Singers. Rounding out the set is a selection of hard driving instrumentals from George Hudson and His Modern Music, Joe Thomas and Al Sears & His Orch. (FS)
WALTER BROWN: New Four Day Rider/ Confessin' The Blues/ COUSIN JOE WITH EARL BOSTIC'S GOTHAM SEX: Little Eva/ You Ain't So Such A Much/ EDDIE "LOCKJAW" DAVIS (VCL. HENRY GLOVER): Mountain Oysters/ DETROIT COUNT: Little Tillie Willie/ JIMMIE GORDON & HIS BIP BOP BAND: Jumpin' At The Club Blue Flame/ GEORGE HUDSON & HIS MODERN MUSIC: Put It On The Cuff/ THE JEWEL JUBILEE SINGERS: What Are They Doing In Heaven/ BILL JOHNSON & HIS MUSICAL NOTES: What Can I Do/ THE JUBALAIRES: I've Waited (All My Life For You)/ Let It Rain/ THE JUBILAIRES: Sunday Kind Of Love/ LENNY LEWIS & HIS ORCH. (VCL. HAROLD TINSLEY): Good Lovin' Blues/ THE NIGHTINGALES: It's A Highway To Heaven/ JOHNNY O'NEAL: War Bound Blues/ AL SEARS & HIS ORCH.: Now Ride 'D' Train/ THE SPIRIT OF MEMPHIS QUARTET: The World Prayer/ SWAN'S SILVERTONE SINGERS: I'm Tired/ JOE THOMAS - HIS SAX & ORCH.: My Baby Done Left Me/ Tearing Hair/ HAROLD TINSLEY: Fan Your Fanny Blues/ CHARLES WATERFORD: Pow-Wow Boogie/ DOC WILEY TRIO: Big Four Boogie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Norton 371 El Paso Rock, Vol. 4 - Thunder - Border Town Rock n Roll ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 40 mins, highly recommended
"West Texas border town." The very phrase holds so much magic and mystery. It seems like the majority of the coolest things to ever come out of Texas came out of a West Texas, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, etc., and the most mysterious lands in West Texas were the West Texas border towns. El Paso is the biggest and, due to its proximity to Mexico and New Mexico, El Paso seems to have been quite the cultural melting pot over the years, especially back in the swinging 1960s. The last two volumes in this series covered the early recording career of Bobby Fuller (the first volume was on Rhythm & Blues great Long John Hunter). Now, Norton starts the rest of the story before, during, and after the late great Bobby Fuller. This volume features a heaping portion of fantastic Rock & Roll recorded for the legendary Yucca record label, like Bob Taylor & The Counts Taylor's Rock/ Thunder, etc., Jerry Bright And The Embers Be Mine, and Jim's Jive, and the highlight of the collection Green Gater Ater by Al Sims (a primal slab of Rock & Roll if there ever was one). Also features gems from the Listen, Missile, Caprock, and Remco labels, as well as a couple of fantastic previously unissued treats in Jill by Bob Taylor And The Counts, and Sarah Jane by Don Orr And The Original Rockets. All the volumes in this series feature fantastic notes with great stories, legends and tidbits from this magic scene in this magic West Texas border town. (JM)
MAX ALEXANDER AND THE HIFI COMBO: Little Rome/ JERRY BRIGHT AND THE EMBERS: Be Mine/ JOHNNY GARMON AND THE SHADOWS: Since I Found You/ The Shadows Dance/ Youíre Wrong/ DON GUESS AND THE ROCK KINGS: Finders Keepers/ DON ORR AND THE ORIGINAL ROCKETS: Sarah Jane*/ THE ROCK KINGS: Runaway/ AL SIMS: Green Gater Ater/ Party/ BOB TAYLOR AND THE COUNTS: Child Of Fortune/ Donít Be Unfair/ Jill*/ Taylorís Rock/ Thunder

VARIOUS ARTISTS Norton 372 El Paso Rock, Vol. 5 - Troubled Streets ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 37 mins, recommended
This continues the process of presenting a whole mess of previously unissued or painfully rare 45 tracks of Rockabilly and Rock & Roll (with a little Rhythm & Blues thrown in) out of the rockin' west Texas border town of El Paso in the early 1960s. Unfortunately, this volume is probably the weakest in the series. There are some cool tracks here by the likes of Night People, The Fortunes, and The Rhythm Heirs, but the over-wrought vocals of Frank Thayer, who's represented here with four tracks, tends to bring the collection down. Take out those four tracks and you would have a much better (if rather short) collection. (JM)
JERRY BELL AND THE ORIGINAL ROCKETS: Bacardi/ Jungle Bunny/ THE FORTUNES: Lonely Teardrops/ THE NIGHT PEOPLE: Lonely Before Dawn/ The Troubled Streets/ DON ORR AND THE ORIGINAL ROCKETS: Sarah Jane (alt)*/ Sarah Jane*/ THE RAVONS: I Love You Baby*/ THE RHYTHM HEIRS: Cradle Rock/ JOE RICHIE: Across The Bay/ BILL TAYLOR AND THE SHERWOODS: You Hold My Letters (Not Me) (demo version)*/ FRANK THAYER: The Glory Of Her Love*/ Yes Iíll Be Blue*/ Evening Shadows/ Long Grey Highway/ SONNY WALLACE: Black Cadillac

VARIOUS ARTISTS Norton 373 El Paso Rock Vol. 6 - Black Out, 1961-1964 ● CD $14.98
17 tracks, 40 mins, highly recommended
Here's another fine collection of Lone Star local legends, starting by dipping back into the seemingly bottomless well of recordings that Bobby Fuller did in the early 1960s, including the previously unissued Buddy Holly-esque nugget Say Honey, and the even more Holly-esque Guess We'll Fall in Love; derivative or not, both are fantastic tracks. You also get some primo instrumental burners like Tickler (Two Versions), Podunk and Black Out by The Sherwoods, The Pawn and South Bay by The Pawns. Clearly the years 1961-64 were great years for instrumentals, and El Paso was cranking them out with the best of 'em. Tracks culled from the Yucca, Eastwood, Exeter, Linjo, and F-G record labels, with reproductions of these rare record labels to be found in the liner notes. (JM)
THE CHANCELLERS: Judy/ D.Y. AND MOTIVATERS: Hot Rod Ford/ D.Y. AND THE MOTIVATERS: Hold It/ BOBBY FULLER: Eastwood High Dance Radio Spot*/ Guess Weíll Fall In Love/ Say Honey*/ Youíre In Love/ FRANK GONZALES AND THE PALISADES: Dance To The Palisades/ Sweet Surfiní Little Girl/ DAVID HAYES AND THE PAWNS: Lonely/ THE PAWNS: South Bay/ The Pawn/ THE SHERWOODS: Black Out/ Podunk*/ Tickler/ Tickler (demo version)*/ BILL TAYLOR AND THE SHERWOODS: You Hold My Letters (Not Me)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Peaksoft 18 Mercy Mercy Percy - Black Rock Pioneers In Britain ● CD $21.98 $16.98
23 tracks, 52 min., recommended
The subtitle, "Black rock pioneers in Britain" needs a bit of explaining. These artists were generally immigrants or U.S. transplants who picked up the rock and roll gauntlet more as a way to make some cash than as a musical passion. That's why the Deep River Boys are represented by their cover of Rock Around The Clock and Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie. And the word "pioneers" would seem to refer to the influence the performers had in England rather than any musically creative trend setting. And many of the cuts are apparently from the early 1960s rather than the middle 1950s, sounding like performers who are imitating the new and unfamiliar style that was in demand. And yet, the cuts here are oddly charming and, for all the calculation inherent in their production, posses a certain naive enthusiasm. Artists include Derry Wilkie, Neville Taylor, Cuddly Dudley, Davy Jones (no, not that Davy Jones), Emil Form & The Checkmates, Ray Ellington, and Neville Taylor. Seldom heard British rock and roll worth a spin. (JC)
CUDDLY DUDLEY: Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey/ Let's Rock While The Rockin's Good/ Sitting On A Train/ erry Boat Ride/ One That I Like/ THE DEEP RIVER BOYS: Rock Around The Clock/ Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie/ RAY ELLINGTON: Chip Off The Old Block/ Giddy-Up-A Ding Dong/ That Rock 'n' Rollin' Man/ EMILE FORD & THE CHECKMATES: Move Along/ You'll Never Know What You're Missin' Till You Try/ DAVY JONES: Don't Come Crying To Me/ Jezebel/ NEVILLE TAYLOR: House Of Bamboo/ I've Had It/ Rockeroo/ Crazy Little Daisy/ Good Good/ Mercy, Mercy, Percy/ Tears On My Pillow/ DERRY WILKIE (WITH THE SENIORS): Bony Moronie/ Yes Indeed

VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 177 Roll 'Em - 103 Rompin' Boogie Classics ● CD $25.98
Four CDs, 103 tracks, highly recommended
An excellent chronological survey of boogie woogie starting with what is porbably the first record in that style Honky Tonk Train Blues recorded by Meade Lux Lewis on solo piano in 1929 and ending in 1950 with brilliant West Coast pianist Lloyd Glenn and his Old Time Shuffle accompanied by a rhythm section. Along the way we hear lots of solo piano, piano duets and even piano trios along with small group arrangements, big bands and its use in R&B. Among the many artists featured are Clarence "Pine Top" Smith, Raymond Barrow, Speckled Red, Little Brother Montgomery, Albert Ammons, Count Basie, Pete Johnson, Joe Sullivan, Champion Jack Dupree, Buddy Johnson, Kenny Kersey, James P. Johnson, Lionel Hampton, The Red Caps, Big Maceo, Slim Gaillard, Wynonie Harris, Jack McVea, Cecil Gant, Milt Buckner, Camille Howard and many more. Sound quality is excellent and the set comes with a 32 page booklet with informative notes by Joop Visser and full discographical data. (FS)
ALBERT AMMONS: Bear Den Boogie/ Boogie Woogie/ Boogie Woogie Stomp/ Chicago In Mind/ Doin' The Boogie Woogie/ Rhythm Boogie/ Shout For Joy/ Suitcase Blues/ MEADE LUX LEWIS, ALBERT AMMONS & PETE JOHNSON: Boogie Woogie Prayer/ Cavalcade Of Boogie/ CHARLES AVERY: Dearborn St. Breakdown/ RAYMOND BARROW: Walking Blues/ COUNT BASIE: Basie Boogie/ Boogie Woogie/ The Dirty Dozens/ The Mad Boogie/ BIG MACEO: Chicago Breakdown/ Detroit Jump/ CLEO BROWN: Pinetop's Boogie Woogie/ MILT BUCKNER: Fatstuff Boogie/ BENNY CARTER & HIS ORCH. (SONNY WHITE/PNO): Boogie Woogie Sugar Blues/ BENNY CARTER & HIS ORCHESTRA (SONNY WHITE/ PNO: Back Bay Boogie/ BOB CROSBY & HIS ORCHESTRA (BOB ZURKE): Honky Tonk Train Blues/ COW COW DAVENPORT: Cow Cow Blues/ State Street Jive/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Cabbage Greens No. 1/ WILL EZELL: Pitchin' Boogie/ Playing The Dozen/ SLIM GAILLARD: Boogin' At Berg's/ Early Morning Boogie/ CECIL GANT: Screwy Boogie/ LLOYD GLENN: Old Time Shuffle/ Rockin' Boogie (Boogiology)/ EDMOND HALL (JAMES P. JOHNSON/PNO): Blue Note Boogie/ LIONEL HAMPTON: Beulah's Boogie/ Hamp's Boogie Woogie/ Two Finger Boogie/ WYNONIE HARRIS (HERMAN SONNY BLOUNT/PNO): Dig This Boogie/ ERSKINE HAWKINS (ACE HARRIS/PNO): Hawk's Boogie/ ERSKINE HAWKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA (AVERY PARRISH: After Hours/ EARL HINES: Boogie Woogie On St. Louis Blues/ CAMILLE HOWARD: Camille's Boogie Woogie/ X-Temperaneous Boogie/ HARRY JAMES (ALBERT AMMONS/PIANO): Woo-Woo/ HARRY JAMES (PETE JOHNSON/PIANO): Boo-Woo/ BUDDY JOHNSON: Boogie Woogie's Mother-In-Law/ JAMES P. JOHNSON: J.P. Boogie/ Mule Walk Stomp/ PETE JOHNSON: Baby Look At You/ Basement Boogie/ Death Ray Boogie/ Dive Bomber/ Holler Stomp/ Kaycee Feeling/ Foot Pedal Boogie/ Roll 'Em Pete/ LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE: Pinetop's Boogie Woogie/ KENNY KERSEY: Boogie Woogie Cocktail/ JULIA LEE: That's What I Like/ MEADE LUX LEWIS: Blues Whistle Boogie/ Celeste Blues/ Chicago Flyer/ Honky Tonk Train Blues/ Meade's Blues/ Yancey Special/ Twos And Fews/ JOE LIGGINS: Dripper's Boogie, Pt. 2/ CRIPPLE CLARENCE LOFTON: Strut That Thing/ JAY MCSHANN: Mcshann's Boogie Blues/ Vine Street Boogie/ Garfield Avenue Boogie/ JACK MCVEA: Bartender Boogie/ Groovin' Boogie/ AMOS MILBURN: Chicken Shack Boogie/ Pot Luck Boogie/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: No Special Rider Blues/ WILD BILL MOORE (WILBERT BARANCO/PNO): Boulevard Boogie/ ELLA MAE MORSE (FREDDIE SLACK/PNO): The House Of Blue Lights/ ROMEO NELSON: Head Rag Hop/ JOHNNY OTIS (LEVONIA WILLIAMS/PNO): Alimony Boogie/ SIDNEY DE PARIS (CLYDE HART/PNO): Change O'key Boogie/ RUFUS "SPECKLED RED" PERRYMAN: The Dirty Dozen/ The Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo/ SAMMY PRICE: Jumpin' The Boogie/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Boogie Woogie/ THE RED CAPS: The Boogie Beat'll Getcha/ MEMPHIS SLIM: Pacemaker Boogie/ CLARENCE PINE TOP SMITH: Jump Steady Blues/ Pine Top's Blues/ Pine Top's Boogie Woogie/ CHARLIE SPAND: Soon This Morning No.2/ JOE SULLIVAN: Boogie Woogie Maxixe/ ROOSEVELT SYKES: Boot That Thing/ ART TATUM: Tatum Pole Boogie/ MONTANA TAYLOR: Detroit Rocks/ FRANTIC FAYE THOMAS: Faye's Boogie/ SIR CHARLES THOMPSON: Sir Charles' Boogie/ SONNY THOMPSON: Screamin' Boogie/ Sonny's Boogie/ WESLEY WALLACE: No.29/ MARY LOU WILLIAMS: Mr Freddie Blues/ JIMMY YANCEY: The Rocks/ Yancey Stomp

VARIOUS ARTISTS Storyville 8612 The Chicago Blues Box - The MCM Records Story ● CD $69.98
8 CDs, 9 hours, almost highly recommended
Between 1975 and 1977 French blues enthusiast Marcelle Morgantini, wife of musical entrepreneur Jacques Morgantini, travelled to Chicago to document the blues scene with an emphasis on lesser known artists. She started the MCM label to issue these recordings and this resulted in the first LP recordings of artists like Magic Slim, Bobby King, Jimmy Johnson and Willie James Lyons as well as recordings of other artists who were better known at the time like Big Mojo Elem, John Littlejohn, Eddie Clearwater, Jimmy Dawkins (who helped Marcelle find artists and set up recordings), Hip Lankchan and others. The recordings met with comparitively little fanfare at the time, for a number of reasons - Marcelle lacked the resources to promote the albums, there were quite a lot of blues albums being issued at the time and so her albums got lost plus the response from the blues media was lukewarm. The recordings were made in empty blues clubs in an attempt to recapture the sound of the artists in a club but without the distractions of a live audience but as a result the recordings sounded hollow and thin. Most of the sessions were arranged without a lot of rehearsal and Marcelle took a hands off approach in producing and so a great deal of the material was covers of other artists recordings and some of the performances ended up being lengthy instrumental jams. For this new box set a selection has been made of some of best performances and the recordings have been remastered to "fatten up" the sound. The result is an entertaining selection of solid and unpretentious Chicago blues from a time and musical scene that is long gone and compared to a lot of what is being issued now sounds quite fresh. Other artists included and not mentioned above are Eddie Taylor, Luther Johnson Jr., Willie Kent, Andrew "Big Voice" Odom, Andrew "Blue Blood" McMahon and Joe Carter. Sidemen on the sessions include Wayne Bennett, Fred Below, Aaron Burton, Sylvester Boines, Tyrone Centuray and others. Magic Slim is accompanied by his great band The Teardrops and the two Joe Carter tracks feature him accompanied by The Aces. Set comes packaged in a 6"x12" box with with a 24 page booklet discussing the story of the MCM label and including photos of some of the artists. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Superbird 03 Rare Blues & Soul From Nashville - The 1960s ● CD $18.98 $10.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of sides recorded by Nashville artists in the 1960s and mostly released on small local labels. There's more soul than blues but it's nearly all excellent and mostly appearing on CD for the first time and includes few previously unissued songs and alternate. Artists include Sam Baker (the great B.B. King style blues Slow Down Baby with tough guitar from Johnny Jones and two soul songs), The Mighty Men (a fine blues/ R&B group with James Stuart on harmonica & trumpet and Arthur Adams on guitar - they do two excellent vocals and three instrumentals), Earl Gaines, Dee Brown, Gene Allison (the excellent and extremly catchy Walking In The Park), Rodge Martin (superb gospel flavored deep soul), Dottie Clark (a fine soul drenched rendition of the old favorite Since I Fell For You) and others. Compiled and annotated by the prolific Fred James who compiled a similar series of releases from the French Blue Label in the past couple of years. There's no duplication with those releases here. (FS)
GENE ALLISON: Walking In The Park/ LEVERT ALLISON: Can You Handle It/ The Shape I'm In/ You Made A World/ SAM BAKER: He'll Be Sorry (previously Unreleased)/ Slow Down Baby/ You'd Better Check What You Got/ DEE BROWN: Bad Habit (previously Unreleased Version)/ Heap Of People (previously Unreleased Version)/ DOTTIE CLARK: Since I Fell For You/ EARL GAINES: Let Me Down Easy/ Show Me Something/ RUDY GREENE: Oh Baby/ EDDIE JAMES: Reap What You Sow/ LUVENIA LEWIS: Let Me Be The On/ Not Strong Enough/ BOBBY LINDSEY: Sugar Booger Baby/ RODGE MARTIN: Close My Eyes/ When She Touches Me/ THE MIGHTY MEN: Don't Stop Now/ I Had A Dream/ No Way Out/ Somethin' Else/ You Too Much/ ROSCOE SHELTON: Yesterday's Mistake (previously Unreleased Version)

PEETIE WHEATSTRAW Document DOCD 5242 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, Vol. 2 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
24 tracks, 75 min., recommended
After a 2-year hiatus, Wheatstraw returned to recording in 1934 with a few refinements on his steady rolling piano rhythm formula. After 9 samey tunes, the jazz band instrumentation of Throw Me In The Alley is quite a shock, and a welcome one at that! A pair of guitar pieces Keyhole Blues/ Long Time Ago Blues add spice, and ace slide guitarist Casey Bill Weldon enlivens six more piano-guitar duets, including the superb Rising Sun and a pair of paeans to Good Whisky. Another ode to hooch, Whiskey Head Blues contains some uncommonly nimble solo piano, despite the artist's proclaimed state of inebriation. We also get the exemplary Long Lonesome Dive, two versions of C And A Train Blues, and many more. (MB)

ROBERT PETE WILLIAMS Original Blues Classics (Europe) 553 Free Again ● CD $11.98
10 tracks, 45 min., very highly recommended
Long deleted in the USA but available as an import. Reissue of Prestige 7808/ Bluesville 1026 by the always great Robert Pete Williams. Robert Pete had gained limited parole after serving time for murder at the infamous Angola prison where he was first recorded by Harry Oster and these recordings were also made by Oster in November 1960. As always Robert Pete's singing and playing is totally unique and idiosyncratic and his songs often deeply personal even when loosely based around traditional blues themes. The title song celebrates the occasional opportunities he has to into town on the town, Grown So Ugly reflects on the ravages of time and was covered by idiosyncratic rock band Captain Beefhear (!), Death Blues ponders on what would happen to his family if he were drop dead and <I>Hay Cutting Song<D> describes the backbreaking toil of farm labor with wry humor. But all of it powerful and moving music from a truly unique performer. (FS)

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