MAHALIA JACKSON Audio Fidelity 99028 The Immortal Mahalia Jackson ● DVD $11.98
Two DVDs, Black & White, 28 songs, 86 mins, highly recommended
Considering Mahalia's status as one of the greatest gospel singers of the 20th century it's pretty disgraceful that the producers of this DVD set couldn't give us even the barest minimum of information about the performances on this DVD set but I believe they were recorded for television in the mid 50s. In spite of these reservations the music here is superb with Mahalia in top form. The stage set is almost bare, the lighting minimal, thus focusing attention exactly where it belongs, on Jackson. She is accompanied sometime by piano, sometimes by organ, sometimes by small combo (unidentified but more than qualified). Mahalia does magnificent performances of songs like You'll Never Walk Alone/ Highway To Heaven/ The Rosary/ Somebody Bigger Than You And I/ I Ask The Lord/ How Much We Can Bare/ His Eye Is On The Sparrow and more. Video and audio quality are satisfactory but, obviously, no attempt has been made at restoration. Mahalia deserves better but, ultimately, it's the music that coun ts and that is superb. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Broke & Hungry/ Cat Head 1 We Juke Up In Here ● DVD $27.98
DVD 63 mins, + CD 49 mins, highly recommended
Here's an interesting movie and an excellent soundtrack CD. The people that brought you the documentary "M For Mississippi" are back with an in depth look at some of the remaining Jook-Joints of the Mississippi Delta region and the culture that still exists around them. I'm actually not a big fan of many modern Blues artists, but thankfully, most of the best ones that are still out there seem to be playing this small, but vital, circuit. The Jook-Joints are truly an important part of American history, and it's great to see people making a thoughtful documentary on them. Features interviews with Jook owners, performers, DJs, etc. plus many fine performances, with the DVD bonus material providing even more, with extended and deleted scenes. You get great performances by Big George Brock, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes (who not only is an artist, but owns a fantastic joint of his own,) Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early, Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood, and more. Definitely watch this if you are a fan of the Blues and if it's at all possible for you, get down to one of these great Jook-joints while they still exist. (JM)



BOOKER T. & THE M.G.S Stax 33960 Green Onions ● CD $11.98
14 tracks, 44 mins, essential
Two of the coolest things ever made their debut 50 years ago, Spider-man, and Green Onions by Booker T. & The M.G.s! Both would help usher in a decade's worth of amazing innovation, and new heights of artistic and commercial success in their respective fields of endeavor. Since Frank probably doesn't want me to spend too much time waxing nostalgically about Spider-man, I will focus on the greatest instrumental act of the 1960's B.T. & t. M.G.s. This fantastic reissue features the original 1952 album in its entirety, remastered and sounding as tasty as ever. That means along with the classic title cut, you get the great follow-up Mo Onions/ Behave Yourself, and versions of hits like I Got A Woman/ Can't Sit Down/ Lonely Avenue, and more. All that would certainly be enough to merit picking this up, but wait, there's more. You also get two absolutely smoking live recordings from 1965 - Green Onions and Can't Sit Down, which would have the better known Duck Dunn on bass, replacing the great original Bass-man Lewis Steinberg, who holds down the bottom end on the original album. Plus extensive new liner notes, as well as reproductions of original packaging and notes make for an irresistible and essential release. (JM)

EDDIE C. CAMPBELL Delmark 819 Spider Eating Preacher ● CD $14.98
15 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
At the age of 72 Eddie C.Campbell is still a vital and creative force on the Chicago blues scene. Not one to rehash all the old favorites he (frequently in collaboration with his wife Barbara) writes songs that feature witty and trenchant observations of contemporary life. The title song is a clever commentary on Barbara's blindness, Call My Mama sings about the joys of a young man learning from an older lady and My Friend is a tribute to his friend Jim O'Neal who founded Living Blues magazine in 1970 and has been instrumental in promoting the careers of many great blues artists. There are a few covers - a version of Ricky Allen's Cut You A-Loose, Jimmie Lee Robinson's All Your Love and, an unexpected but very effective version of The Ohio Players Skin Tight. Eddie is a warm, low key singer, and an excellent and economical guitar player and is accompanied by a superb band with horns on several tracks and Lurrie Bell guests on guitar and harmonica on a number of cuts. (FS)

THE CARAVANS Charly SNAP 187 Going Home ● CD $13.98 $7.98
28 tracks, 76 min., highly recommended
The Caravans produced many a gospel star in their day, and this Vee-Jay aggregation, might be the strongest. The solo duties are split between the amazingly spirit-filled Shirley Caesar and Cassietta George, although leader and contralto Alberta Walker takes top honors on To Whom Shall I Turn and a few others. Josephine Howard steps up to the plate vocally on What Will Tomorrow Bring. But its really Caesar who galvanizes listeners on cuts such as No Coward Soldier, Jesus Will Save, It's Jesus In Me (sometimes listed as Jesus And Me on other releases, It Must Not Suffer Loss, One Of These Old Days, and others. The Caravans parted ways in 1965, after five Vee Jay LPs issued between 1952-65, and their music is required listening for gospel fans. (JC)

ANDY IRVINE & DAVY SPILLANE Tara 3027 East Wind ● CD $14.98
8 tracks, highly recommended
Here's a labor of love from Irish bouzouki/ hurdy-gurdyist Irvine and uilleann piper Spillane--some of the best musicians in Ireland playing Bulgarian and Macedonian songs and dances, helped by Hungarian singing star Marta Sebestyen, and arranged and produced by former Planxty keyboardist Bill Whelan. If you like Moving Hearts, you'll flip over this. The production values are top-notch, and the Celtic-Balkan connection seems natural and effortless when these musicians play. It's as if the different cultures share the same mix of melodic romanticism and the joyfully spiralling dance forms. The only warning I'd offer is that Whelan has the occasional tendency to lapse into jazzy keyboard grooves which come off like Celto-Balkan lounge music. But that's a small complaint. This is really a lovely album. (DC)

WILLIS "GATOR TAIL" JACKSON Acrobat 4203 Later For The Gator ● CD $13.98 $8.98
26 tracks, 74 min, very highly recommended
This set has everything by Gator recorded before 1954. So for the 1st time, here's all the early recordings by one of the honkin'est of the honkin' saxes. Always one with a big ego, Willis scored a smash when featured on Cootie William's Gator Tail (Pts 1 & 2) done for Mercury in '49 when Jackson wasn't quite 17! Using that title as his new nickname, Jackson went solo in '50 starting with the Apollo label, which is where the majority of this set comes from, starting out with the title On My Own, & ends with three Atlantic sides in '54 backing his then-wife Ruth Brown. The titles will let you know what you're getting - Blow Jackson Blow/ Gator's Groove/ Rock! Rock! Rock! a cover of Harlem Nocturne, & a rousing Wine-O-Wine with vocal group The Four Gators! (GM)

THE KENDALLS Oh Boy 406 Oh Boy Classics Presents The Kendalls ● CD $9.98 $5.98
13 tracks, 35 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of songs recorded between 1978 and 1984 by this superb father/ daughter duo (Royce and Jeannie) who made a specialty of cheatin' songs and had massive hits with songs like Heaven's Just A Sin Away/ Pittsburgh Steelers and It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' To Me all included here. But the duo were capable of much more like the wonderful Mercury hit Thank God For The Radio and their versions of country standards Pick Me Up On Your Way Down and Blue Blue Day. Jeannie was a superb singer, a little bit like Dolly Parton, and the harmonies with her dad are gorgeous. Accompaniment is pure honky tonk and their recordings are in the top tier of coun try music in the 1970s and 80s. (FS)

SARAH MAKEM Topic TSCD 674 The Heart Is True ● CD $14.98
17 tracks, 69 mins, very highly recommended
A fabulous collection of traditional Irish singing recorded in the 1950s and 60s by this superb singer from Co. Armagh. Sarah, who was the mother of Tommy Makem, does lovely unaccompanied versions of songs like The Banks Of Red Roses/ The Canny Ould Lad/ The Factory Girl/ Jackets Greeen/ Mary Of Kilmore/ I Courted A Wee Girl and others. Beautifully remastered from the original field recordings the CD comes with a 52 page booklet with in depth notes about Sarah and the songs. (FS)

LIAM O'FLYNN Tara 3034 The Given Note ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 62 mins., essential
You know you're dealing with a heavyweight when Nobel poet Seamus Heaney writes the liner notes. I can't possibly beat Heaney's characterization of O'Flynn's uilleann pipe mastery: his "level, confident strength." The Planxty alumnus and student of Leo Rowsome has assembled an achingly beautiful collection of tunes and songs, played with immaculate clarity and sweeping emotion. Composer Shaun Davey produced this CD, giving it a luster and depth matching the musicianship. Andy Irvine and Paul Brady each step in to sing one song, while O'Flynn is joined throughout by the likes of Arty McGlynn on guitar and Sean Keane on fiddle. Members of Milladoiro help out on a stunning, hypnotic early 20th century Galician dance. The CD's showpiece may be Davey's original Romeo's Exile. O'Flynn's whistle and pipes interlacing on this gorgeous air is flawless. This is Celtic riches, folks. Not to be missed. (DC)

PRISCILLA PARIS Ace CDCHD 1343 Love, Priscilla - Her 1960s Solo Recordings ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, recommended
Priscilla Paris, the lead singer of The Paris Sisters (of I Love How You Love Me fame), had a fascinating life, from child prodigy to adult professional. This CD compiles two 60s LPs she cut in 1967 and 1969, "Priscilla Sings Herself" and "Priscilla Loves Billy" respectively, for the York and Happy Tiger labels. Priscilla was a complex person, and her story, as well as that of the group, is told in tragic detail in the enclosed booklet. As for the music, the first LP consists of mainly her own compositions and she comes off as a cross between Jackie DeShannon and Nancy Sinatra, with a hint of Petula Clark. She was an intense singer and her songwriting wasn't bad; Some Little Lovin' Lie and I Can't Understand are good examples of what she was capable of. The second album is a collection of Billie Holiday covers, complete with lush arrangements and string charts; Priscilla was no Billie, but she comes off well on songs like He's Funny That Way/ Tenderly, and Girls Were Made To. I'm not sure the world was exactly hoping beyond hope that these recordings would see the light of day, but they do give insight into one of the more pure, if troubled, vocalists in 60's pop. NB: Paris Sisters recordings are included on "Phil Spector, The Early Productions" (Ace 1253), "The Jack Nitzsche Story" (Ace 1030), and "Early Girls Vol. 5" (Ace 1181). (GMC)

MIMI ROMAN Bear Family BCD 17274 Juke Box Pearls - I'm Ready If You're Willing ● CD $21.98
A collection of 25 songs recorded for Decca between 1954 and 1958 by this atypical country singer - she was a young Jewish girl from New York! Her voice is more pop than country and she does a selection of country pop along with some rock 'n' roll numbers and this set includes four previously unissued sides. She was accompanied by top Nashville session musicians on songs like I'm Ready If You're Willing/ I Am The Heart (Of A Teenage Girl)/ Little LOvin'/ Mr. Opportunity/ Oh I Like It/ I'll Always Wonder/ Wrap It Up And Save It/ Weary Blues From Waitin' and more. Includes 30 page illustrated booklet with by Todd Everett and full discographical info.

THE ROUGH RIDERS B.A.C.M. 384 Vol. 2: Ride, Ride, Ride ● CD $14.98
A second collection of sides recorded for radio transcriptions in the 1940s by this fine and smooth Western trio. The earlier sides feature Scotty Harrell, Jimmy Wakely and Johnny Bond, Harrell left in 1940 to be replaced by Dick Reinhart who is featured on the later recordings. 29 songs in all - a number written by the prolific Bond. Includes My Old Home Town/ Ride, Ride, Ride/ Gallop O'er The Hill/ Weary Old Hills/ Blue Ridge Mountain Trail/ Navajo/ I've Been On The Range Too LOng/ Stars Of The Midnight Range/ Rainbow Valley/ It's The Desert In My Soul, etc.
THE ROUGH RIDERS: Aloha Means Farewell/ Bells Of San Juan/ Blue Ridge Mountain Trail/ Cowboy Serenade/ Down Where The Watermelon Grow/ Farewell To The Lone Prairie/ Gallop O'er The Hill/ Help Me Lose The Blues/ Hillbilly Town/ Home Trials/ I've Been On The Range Too Long/ It's The Desert In My Soul/ Lady Hoo I Love You/ My Cherokee Rose/ My Cross Eyed Gal/ My Old Home Town/ My Saddle Serenade/ Navajo/ Old Wagon Wheel/ Out On The Open Range/ Poor Little Rose/ Rainbow Valley/ Ride Ride Ride/ Roving Gambler/ Stars Of The Midnight Range/ There's A Round-Up Ahead For The Cowboys/ Weary Old Hills/ What Will I Tell Old Paint/ Wind Blows Free

THE SPINNERS Kent CDTOP 371 Truly Yours - Their First Motown Album With Bonus Track ● CD $21.98
26 tracks, very highly recommended
Nearly everyone remembers the Spinners (or Detroit Spinners, if you're on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean) for their run of 70's hits with producer Thom Bell: I'll Be Around and Could it Be I'm Falling in Love, among others. Yet few people remember that the group had been signed to Motown during the 60's and pop hits had been a bit thin on the ground (exception: It's a Shame in 1970). The gang at Kent have once more raided the Motown vaults and have unearthed the group's 1967 debut album, "The Original Spinners," along with bonus tracks including ten previously unissued masters. Like many Motown LPs, the set is comprised of singles - That's What Girls Are Made For (pre-Motown release on Tri-Phi, 1961); Sweet Thing b/w How Can I (1964); I'll Always Love You b/w Tomorrow May Never Come (1965); Truly Yours b/w Where is That Girl (1966); For All We Know b/w I Cross My Heart (1967)-and a couple of filler tracks. The singles are all solid formula Motown confections penned by pros like Ivory Jo Hunter, William Stevenson, Harvey Fuqua, and Johnny Bristol, with Truly Yours/ I'll Always Love You, and doo-wop throwback Tomorrow May Never Come the standouts. Among the album tracks, Like a Good Man Should - co-written and produced by Smokey Robinson-is the pick of the litter. As for the bonus tracks, the first three - Darling/ Words Can't Describe, and 12 O'Clock - are gorgeous doo wop style cuts from 1963-64, while Lonely Tomorrow is a glorious Harvey Fuqua ballad sung to perfection. Nobody Else But You represents the shift from Fuqua's lush gems to full on Motown assembly line pop; and the trend continues with This Feeling in My Heart, and We're Gonna Be More Than Friends. I, for one, have always wanted a comprehensive CD of the Spinners' Motown period; well, now we've got one and it was more than worth the wait. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDTOP 1339 Modern Music - The First Year - 1945 ● CD $21.98
25 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Now in stock. Almost 70 years have passed since Hollywood resident Jules Bihari decided to start his own record label with his brothers Joe & Saul in order to capitalize on the growing demand from jukebox operators for the new style of black American music tagged Rhythm & Blues. From modest beginnings, and via a handful of strong-selling titles featuring the boogie stylings of Hadda Brooks who JUles originally discovered playing classical piano, the Modern Music Company quickly grew into one of the premier sources of R&B, blues and jazz and introduced the world to B.B. King, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker and Etta James, among amny others, during its 30-year lifetime. This new compilation takes us back to the company's first year of operations and includes the A and B side of every 78 released during Modern's first year in business. Some of these incredibly rare items have been reissued on Ace before but nearly half of them have never appeared legitimately on CD until now. As well as Miss Brooks, other notable names appearing are be-bop trumpet maestro Howard McGhee, the superb vocalist Pearl Traylor (accompanied by Brooks and guitarist Tiny Webb on two tracks and by the Howard McGhee Orch. on one), the popular but pretty dull novelty act Three Bits Of Rhythm, jump blues vocalist Jesse Perry and others. A bonus track features Hadda Brooks rehearsing for her first Modern session. Includes a 16 page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Rounce and lavishly illustrated with some of the rarest label shots that any collector could wish to see. (FS)
HADDA BROOKS: Blue Mood/ Blusen The Boogie/ Just A Little Blusie (Sic)/ Rehearsing The Boogie/ Riding The Boogie/ Swingin The Boogie/ Nightmare Boogie/ Blues In B Flat/ Rocking The Boogie/ The Man I Love/ HAPPY JOHNSON SEXTETTE: Air Mail Special/ B Splat/ Jelly, Jelly/ HOWARD MCGHEE ORCHESTRA: 11:45 Swing/ Deep Meditation/ Play Boy Blues/ JESSE PERRY WITH HAPPY JOHNSON SEXTETTE: Jesse Boogie/ Lovin' Lover/ Mercy Mercy/ You're The Great One/ THE THREE BITS OF RHYTHM: I Used To Work In Chicago/ That's The Boogie Aka Brooklyn Stomp!/ PEARL TRAYLOR: Daddy, Somebody's Got To Go/ Lonesome Gal

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat ARCD 125 Macy's Texas Hillbilly ● CD $10.98 $8.98
Fine collection of 25 sides recorded between 1949 and 1951 for the Houston based Macy's label. It includes the four earliest sides by Jim Reeves from 1950 along with a couple of great Western Swing flavored sides by the great Cajun singer and fiddler Harry Choates. Most of the rest of the artists are obscure but generally excellent including Woody Carter & His Hoedown Boys, Tommy Dover & His Texas Rhythm Boys, The Raley Brothers & Woody carter (a great old timey instrumental with fiddle and mandolin), The Bar X Cowboys, Ramblin' Tommy Scott, Art Gunn & His Arizona Playboys (actually from Florida - they do a fine country boogie), Bob Greene & His Filling Station Swing band, The Vance Brothers and others. Good sound and 12 page booklet with notes by Dave Penney.
THE BAR X COWBOYS: Fair Weather Friend/ THE RALEY BROTHERS & WOODY CARTER: Hoedown Breakdown/ LAVERL CARRICO & THE ANGELINA PALS: Too Many Women Too Much Beer/ WOODY CARTER & HIS HOEDOWN BOYS: Sittin' On The Doorstep/ Who's Gonna Chop My Baby's Firewood/ HARRY CHOATES & HIS FIDDLE: Catn' Around/ Korea Here We Come/ TOMMY DOVER & HIS TEXAS RHYTHM BOYS: Blue Over You/ I Love You Because/ BOB GREENE & HIS FILLING STATION SWING BAND: Somebody Stole My Rag Mop/ ART GUNN & HIS ARIZONA PLAYBOYS: Boogie Woogie Blues/ Cornbread Boogie/ SONNY HALL & HIS MOONSHINERS: Just A Little Bit More/ CLAUDE HAM & HIS RADIO PLAYBOYS: That's All I'm Through/ MORRIS MILLS & THE RITHUMAKERS: I'd Like To Slip Around/ CURLY RASH & HIS SOUTH TEXAS PLAYBOYS: Humble Road Blues/ JIM REEVES: Chicken Hearted/ I've Never Been So Blue/ My Heart's Like A Welcome Mat/ Tear Drops of Regret/ COUSIN BOB RODGERS: Lonesome Freight Train Blues/ RAMBLIN' TOMMY SCOTT: Tennessee/ When A Man Gets The Blues/ THE VANCE BROTHERS: Draftboard Blues/ BARNEY VARDERMAN & HIS DRIFTING TEXANS: I'm Finding A New Heart

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 385 Custom Made Hillbilly ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, highly recommended
First in a series of CDs of country recorded by Starday Records and issued as custom pressings. Custom or vanity pressings were recordings that were produced, paid for and distributed by the artist themselves and Starday was probably the leading label in doing custom hillbilly recordings. Recordings were issued on Starday's 500 series or the artist could use a label of his own choosing. Because only small quantities were manufactured these recordings are very rare. In many cases the recordings here are the only recordings an artist made and yet most are far from amateurish with some very fine performances. Among the highlights are the great Streamliner Boogie by Jimmie O'Neal & The Oklahoma Hillbillies featuring some stellar steel guitar work, the catchy My Baby Is Gone by Clyde Beavers, the superb honky tonk ballad Goin' Crazy by Luke Gordon plus more from Jack Hammons, Roy Fisher & The Rhythm Riders, Frank Evans & The Western Hayriders, Don Redfield & The Sagedusters, Marty LIcklider and others. Most of these sides are making their first appearance on CD. Sound quality is fine and booklet has a discussion of the history of custome recordings by Phillip Tricker. (FS)
CLYDE BEAVERS: My Baby Is Gone/ JIMMY BLAKELY: Standing In Line (For Your Love)/ JIMMY & DOROTHY BLAKELY: No One But You/ JOE BROWN: Fishin' Fever/ TOMMY CASTLE: I've Done More Accidentally/ COUSIN ARNOLD: Be My Baby/ TEX DIXON: I'm Just Feeling Sorry For Myself/ DOLL & DOLL: Honey Dew/ FRANK EVANS: I'm Different/ What Is It (That I'm Too Young To Know)/ ROLAND FAULK: My Baby's Gone/ ROY FISHER: I've Got A Feeling/ JACK FROST: Crying My Heart Out/ LUKE GORDON: Baby's Gone/ Goin' Crazy/ JACK HAMMONS: Substitute For Love/ COTTON HENRY: Patent On My Gal/ KING STERLING: Slippin' Out Stealing In/ BUDDY LIVINGSTON: When You Stick Your Tongue Out At Me/ CURLEY MONEY: Playing The Game/ JACK MORRIS: Cooing To The Wrong Pigeon/ THE MUSICAL AIRES: Wildcat Boogie/ JAMIE O'NEAL: Streamliner Boogie/ THE OKLAHOMA MELODY BOYS: Wasted/ DON REDFIELD: I Can't Go Back/ ROY ROBINSON: Little Romeo/ HAROLD SMITH: Listen To Me Baby/ CARL TANNER: We're In Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus COLCD 8 Columbia Hillbilly, Vol. 8 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
Another superb collection of honky tonk hillbilly recorded for Columbia in the 1950s. There are some familiar names - The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Ray Price, Flatt & Scruggs and others, usually infrequently reissued titles. But its the obscure artists that really make this set exceptional - it opens in great form with Eddie Zac & Cousin Richie's exuberant rendition and is followed by Charlie Adams bluesy Black Land Blues followed by the solid honky tonk of Dusty Owens. Other artists include Bobby Lord (a fine version of Johnny Cash's So Doggone Lonesome), The Webster Brothers (superb honky tonk), The Mercer Brothers (fine, low key harmonies, a little reminiscent of the Delmore Brothers), Vin Bruce, The Callahan Brothers and others. Usual fine sound and no notes. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 111 Blue Hen Hillbilly, Rockabilly & Gospel ● CD $15.98
31 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent and varied collection of material from the obscure Blue Hen label from Harington, Delaware recorded between 1954 and 1961. I don't know very much about this label but it was active until at least 1961 and some of it's releases are highly collectable rockabilly titles including the hot Eenie Meenie Miney Mo by Lanie Walker and You're Gonne Treat Me Right by Jimmy Slayton which are included here. Lanie is also featured on the Jimmie Rodgers style blues Side Track Daddy. Denver Duke & Jeffrey Null - a duo with a rather unique vocal style that is based on the brother styles of the Louvin Brothers or Blue Sky Boys but with an original sound are featured on their excellent tribute Hank Williams, That Alabama Boy that was a regional hit. Other artists include Betty Coral (her Chilli Dippin' Baby is very risque), Tex Daniels & His Lazy H Ranch Boys (fine western swing sound), Mel Price & His Black Mountain Boys (excellent honky tonk), Millard Presley & The Presleys (in spite of the name they are an old time country gospel duo), Bill Price & Johnnie Collins (bluegrass flavored honky tonk) and more.
THE ALLISON SISTERS & BILL PRICE ORCH: There Is A Time/ CECIL (WHIT-TV Star) CLINE & THE SONS OF THE WEST: Big River, Big Man/ BETTY CORAL: Chilli Dippin’ Baby/ TEX DANELS & HIS LAZY H RANCH BOYS: Blue Hen Boogie/ TEX DANIELS & HIS LAZY H RANCH BOYS: Texaco Polka/ DENVER DUKE & JERRERY NULL: Hank Williams That Alabama Boy/ SANDY HARRISON & HIS STROLLING COWBOYS: A Package Of Heartaches/ HANK KING: Cry Like A Baby/ LARRY LEE & THE ECHO VALLEY KINFOLK: Time Just Flies/ TOMMY LLOYD & HIS STROLLING COWBOYS: Now I Know Why/ JIMMY MANSHIP & THE CHICKADEES: Teenage Sweetie/ MILLARD PRESLEY & HIS PRESLEYS: Denominations/ Jesus My Savior/ BILL PRICE & CUNNINGHAM BROTHERS: Stephie Gal/ BILL PRICE & DOWD PRICE: I’m Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes/ MEL PRICE & HIS SANTA FE RANGERS: Bill Baily/ I Ain’t Got Time/ Nothing Seems To Go Right Anymore/ Pleading/ BILL PRICE & JOHNNIE COLLINS: I’ll Be True Forever More To You/ DON REYNOLDS: Don’t Tell Me/ JIMMY STAYTON & COUNTRY CATS: You’re Gonna Treat Me Right/ JIMMY STAYTON WITH MORTON & HONEY: Hot Hot Mama/ RUDY THACKER & HIS STRINGBUSTERS: Mountain Guitar/ LANIE WALKER & HIS BLACK MOUNTAIN BOYS: Ennie Meenie Miney Mo/ Jumpin’ the Gun/ No Use Knocking On My Door/ Side Track Daddy/ Why Baby Why/ BILLY WALLACE: I Still Love You/ You Can’t Ride On My Train

VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly 645 Move With The Groove - Hardcore Chicago Soul, 1962-1970 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, very highly recommended
This set is a condensed version of three 1998 compilations - "Chicago Twine Time" (Charly 131), "Windy City Soul" (Charly 134), and "Chicago Soul Cellar" (Charly 136) - that collected tracks from the Windy City's Mar-V-Lus/One-Derfu!/M-Pac! group of labels. Although this collection contains cuts from those CDs, there are also 20 titles featured within that were not on the original CDs, including tracks from another imprint within the same group, Toddlin' Town. These discs contain selections of the "hard soul" genre that these labels were known for ("hard soul" was soul music influenced by the blues), including their biggest star Alvin Cash (Twine Time/ The Philly Freeze), the original version of Shake a Tail Feather by The Five Du-Tones, Lonnie Brooks (aka Guitar Junior, The Popeye), McKinley Mitchell (The Town I Live In), Harold Burrage (Got to Find a Way), Big Daddy Rogers (Be My Lawyer/ I'm a Big Man), Johnny Sayles (Don't Turn Your Back on Me/ You Did Me Wrong), and early Otis Clay (the outstanding That's How It is [When You're in Love] and A Lasting Love). The Toddlin' Town cuts (represented by Bull & the Matadors, Thomas East & the Fabulous Playboys, and Simtec & Wylie) are products of the late 60's/early 70's shift toward funk, but still manage to fit the overall "feel" of the collection. Make no mistake, this is mind-blowing stuff that has been difficult to find, so kudos to Charly for giving these songs a second life. And Charly also gets bonus points for the 16 page illustrated booklet with informative liner notes. (GMC)
THE ACCENTS: Spring Song (New Girl)/ THE ADMIRATIONS: Wait 'Til I Get To Know You/ CICERO BLAKE: Sad Feeling/ LONNIE BROOKS: Mr. Hot Shot/ The Popeye/ BULL & THE MATADORS: Move With The Groove/ The Funky Judge, Part 1/ HAROLD BURRAGE: Got To Find A Way/ Master Key/ More Power To You/ ALVIN CASH: Keep On Dancing, Part 1/ Twine Time/ The Philly Freeze/ OTIS CLAY: A Lasting Love/ That's How It Is (When You're In Love)/ BOBBY DAVIS: Damper Down/ WYLIE DIXON: Gotta Hold On/ THE DU-ETTES: Every Beat Of My Heart/ THOMAS EAST & THE FABULOUS PLAYBOYS: I Get A Groove/ BILLY "THE KID" EMERSON: The Whip, Part 1/ BETTY EVERETT: I've Got A Claim On You/ THE FIVE DU-TONES: Shake A Tail Feather/ That's How I Love You/ JOE & MACK: Don't You Worry/ STACY JOHNSON: I Stand Alone/ LIZ LANDS: One Man's Poison/ LUCKY LAWS: Who Is She?/ MISS MADELAINE: Behave Yourself/ MCKINLEY MITCHELL: Tell It Like It Is/ The Town I Live In/ JOSEPH MOORE: I Still Can't Get You/ WILLIE PARKER: You Got Your Finger In My Eye/ DOROTHY PRINCE: If I Could Live My Life/ BIG DADDY ROGERS: Be My Lawyer/ I'm A Big Man/ JOHNNY SAYLES: Don't Turn Your Back On Me/ You Did Me Wrong/ You Told A Lie/ BEVERLY SHAFFER: Where Will You Be, Boy?/ THE SHARPEES: Do The 45/ Tired Of Being Lonely/ SIMTEC SIMMONS & WYLIE DIXON: Socking Soul Power/ BIG DADDY SIMPSON: Give Me Back My Ring/ JOSEPHINE TAYLOR: Ordinary Guy/ What Is Love?/ ANDREW TIBBS: I Made A Mistake/ TODDLIN' TOWN SOUNDS: It's Your Thing/ BENNY TURNER: Come Back Home/ THE ULTI-MATIONS: Without You/ Would I Do It Over?

VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 1004 Vocal Blues & Jazz, 1921-1930 ● CD $15.98 $10.98
23 tracks, recommended
After you get past the first two awful tracks by Inez Richardson who is neither jazz nor blues, in spite of the presence of Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra the rest of this disc features some worthwhile vaudeville/ blues sides. There are two tracks from 1924 by the excellent singer Kitty Irvin accompanied by fine piano and clarinet. Star of this disc is Alberta Jones who is featured on 15 songs recorded between 1925 and 1930 with a variety of different instrumental settings including two tracks with "The Ellington Twins" (Duke Ellington/ piano, Otto Hardwicke/ alto sax). Jones is a fine singer and has some interesting songs. The CD ends with four tracks (two unissued) by Alma Henderson. She's a pretty drab singer but two of the tracks feature her accompanied by Lonnie Johnson and the other two feature Eddie Lang although neither of these musiciasn is at their best here. Still, a worthwhile disc for the Irvin and Jones tracks. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Duke 406 The Duke Of Soul, Volume 6 ● CD $16.98
More superb and under-reissued soul from the 60s and early 70s recorded the Duke, Peacock, Backbeat and Sure Shot labels - most of it on CD for the first time. This volume includes sides by The Malibus, Tennyson Stephens, Paulette Parker ( a great 1970 reworking of Bobby Bland's 1961 hit I Pity The Fool), The Augustine Twins, Little Frankie Lee (an answer to Johnny Taylor's hit Who's Making Love), LaVell Kamma, Bobby Williams, Mr. Lee & The Cherokees, Joe Hinton and others. Fine sound and booklet with informative notes.
BOBBY ADENO: I'll Give Up The World/ THE AUGUSTINE TWINS (DON & RON): My Place/ AL 'TNT' BRAGGS: I'm A Good Man/ JAMES DAVIS: I'm Gonna Tell It On You/ CLARENCE GREEN & THE RHYTHMAIRES: What Y'all Waiting On Me?/ JOE HINTON: Please/ JAY HOLMAN: Sounds, Sights And Feelings/ BUSTER JONES: I'm Satisfied/ LAVELL KAMMA: Begging/ LEE LAMONT: Happy Days/ LITTLE FRANKIE LEE: I'm Making Love/ THE MALIBUS: I Just Can't Stand It/ CHUCK MCLEAN: Let Me Hear It From You/ MISS LAVELL: Run To You/ LEE MITCHELL: You're Gonna Miss Me/ MR. LEE & CHEROKEES: Take Your Time/ PAULETTE PARKER: I Pity The Fool/ OSCAR PERRY: Fool From The Sticks/ JOHN ROBERTS: Something Reminds Me/ EDDIE SIMPSON: Big Black Funky Slave/ TENNYSON STEPHENS: Rain, Rain, Rain/ JACKIE VERDELL: Why Not Give Me A Chance/ BOBBY WILLIAMS: I'll Hate Myself Tomorrow/ JEANETTE WILLIAMS: You Gotta Come Through

VARIOUS ARTISTS EMI (France) 684 053-2 Black Rock 'n' Roll ● CD $24.98 $11.98
Three CDs, 58 tracks, recommended
Fine collection of mid and up tempo blues and R&B recorded between 1945 and 1957 and originally issued on the Aladdin, Imperial and Capitol labels. Most of the titles will be familiar to collectors though there are a number of obscurities and titles that are not currently available elsewhere on CD. Artists include T_Bone Walker, Pigmeat Markham, Gatemouth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Julia Lee, Cleo Brown, John Lee Hooker (from his great, originally unissued, sessions for Bernie Bessman), Calvin Boze, Peppermint Harris, Archibald, Jack Parker, Lowell Fulson, Pee Wee Crayton, Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, Shirley & Lee, Roy Brown and more.Fine sound and very brief notes in French. (FS)
JO JO ADAMS: When I'm In My Tea/ ARCHIBALD: Great Big Eyes/ DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: Jump Children/ CALVIN BOZE & HIS ALL STARS: Safronia B/ CHARLES BROWN: I've Been Savin' My Love For You/ Please Don't DRive Me Away/ CLEO BROWN: Cleo's Boogie/ GATEMOUTH BROWN: Gatemouth Boogie/ ROY BROWN: Let The Four Winds Blow/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Blues Before Dawn/ Do Unto Others/ Hurry Hurry/ You Know Yeah/ Your Truly/ FLOYD DIXON: Wine Wine Wine/ FATS DOMINO: Blueberry Hill/ THE FIVE KEYS: Hucklebuck With Jimmy/ She's The Most/ LOWELL FULSON: Chuck With The Boys/ Don't Leave Me Baby/ PEPERMINT HARRIS: I Got Loaded/ COLEMAN HAWKINS: Stuffy/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Crying All Night/ Out The Door I Went/ Snap Them Fingers Boogie/ Throw MY Money Around/ HELEN HUMES: He May Be Your Man/ ILLINOIS JACQUET: Flying Home, Part 1/ LOUIS JORDAN: Messy Bessy/ JULIA LEE: King Size Papa/ JIMMY LIGGINS: I Ain't Drunk/ NELLIE LUTCHER: Fine Brown Frame/ PIGMEAT MARKHAM: See See Rider/ BIG JAY MCNEELY: Deacon Rides Again/ AMOS MILBURN: Down The Road A Piece/ Jitterbug Fashion Parade/ Let Me Go Home Whiskey/ Let's Have A Party/ Let's Rock A While/ Sax Shack Boogie/ Wolf On The River/ JACK PARKER: I Need You, I Want You/ SHIRLEY & ROLL: Let The Good Times Roll/ GEECHIE SMITH: T Town Jump/ BIG JOE TURNER: Blues JUmp The Rabbit/ Jumpin' Tonight (Midnight Rockin')/ Love My Baby (Little Bitty Baby)/ Low Down Dog/ Lucille/ Roll 'Em Pete/ BIG T. TYLER: King Kong/ T-BONE WALKER: Bye Bye Baby/ Come Back To Me Baby/ Hard Way/ Party Girl/ Strollin' With Bone/ Teenage Baby/ Tell Me What's The Reason

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 106 Let's Have A Party - Girls Gone Rockin', Vol. 2 ● CD $23.98
3 CDs, 75 tracks, 174 mins, highly recommended
Here's a grandiose collection of the good Rockin' dames, honey drippin' honies, and long-legged lyrical ladies of the golden age of Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues. Multiple tracks by greats like Wanda Jackson, LaVern Baker, Janis Martin, Ruth Brown, Wynona Carr, and Brenda Lee. Some tracks you know and love, but many more are Rockin' rarities like Angel Face - I Can't Look Back, Tiny Topsy - Aw Shucks Baby, Janie Davids - Gonna Get Even (With Elvis Presley's Sergeant,) Jewel King - 3 x 7 = 21, Fluffy Hunter - My Natch'l Man, and too many more killer kuts to list off here. Etta James, Helene Dixon, Eartha Kitt, Shirley & Lee, The Davis Sisters, Dolly Cooper, Varetta Dillard, The Delicates, Connie Francis, Rose Maddox, and many, many more. Fantastic sound throughout, attractive packaging with solid notes, this is a quality collection, through and through. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 120 That's Your Last Boogie!The Best Of Johnny Otis,1945-60 ● CD $23.98
3 CDs, 83 tracks, 3 hours 55 min., very highly recommended
There was nobody like Johnny Otis. Not just present during the early R&B and rock and roll days, Otis was responsible for a truckload of hits and did more that his share of innovating. By the time Otis signed with Savoy Records in 1949 he had already recorded with Jimmy Rushing, Illinois Jacquet, Wynonie Harris, Johnny Moore's Three Blazes, Joe Turner, and many others. He left Savoy in 1952 but not before he chalked up no fewer that 14 national hits on the R&B charts. He had his own television show, several record labels, and by the mid 1950s signed with Capital Records. And he was white. This 3-disc set divides his career into "Barrelhouse Stomp," "Rockin' Blues," and "Going Crazy" and begins to do the man justice. Lots of Savoy hits, as well as stuff on Peacock, Philo, Excelsior, Regent, Score, Modern, Federal, Mercury, Duke, Ultra, and Capital labels. The booklet notes are informative, if relatively brief. Nice overview from 1945-60. (JC)
JOHNNY ACE: Pledging My Love/ Yes, Baby/ MR GOGGLE EYES AUGUST: Oh Ho Doodle Lu/ ROY “HAPPY™ EASTER: If You Ever Get Lonesome/ DOROTHY ELLIS: Drill, Daddy, Drill/ THE FOUR BLUEBIRDS: My Baby Done Told Me/ JOE “PAPOOSE™ FRITZ: Honey, Honey/ GENE & EUNICE: Ko Ko Mo/ HUNTER HANCOCK: “Harlematinee” Radio Show Theme/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Cock-A-Doodle-Doo/ Yonder Goes My Baby/ LINDA HOPKINS: Doggin' Blues/ ILLINOIS JACQUET: Uptown Boogie/ ETTA JAMES & THE PEACHES: The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)/ JUNIOR & MARIE: Boom Diddy Wa Wa/ PETE “GUITAR™ LEWIS: Going Crazy/ Louisiana Hop/ RICHARD LEWIS: Hey Little Girl/ LITTLE ESTHER: Better Beware/ Mean Ole Gal/ Misery/ Cupid's Boogie/ Deceivin' Blues/ Far Away Blues (aka Xmas Blues)/ Mistrustin' Blues/ Double Crossing Blues/ Lover's Lane Boogie/ The Deacon Moves In/ LITTLE RICHARD: Little Richard's Boogie/ PRESTON LOVE ORCHESTRA: Country Boogie/ LITTLE ARTHUR MATTHEWS: I'm Gonna Whale On You/ JOHNNY MOORE’S THREE BLAZERS: Groovy/ OLD MAN MOSE: Matchbox Blues/ JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA: Midnight In The Barrel House/ All Nite Long/ Barrel House Stomp/ Court Room Blues/ Goomp Blues/ Harlem Nocturne/ Jeff-Hi Stomp/ Mambo Boogie/ New Orleans Shuffle/ One Nighter Blues/ One O'Clock Jump-Omaha Flash/ Oopy-Doo/ Rock Me Baby/ Shake It/ The Turkey Hop, Part 1/ The Turkey Hop, Part 2/ Young Girl/ THE JOHNNY OTIS SHOW: Bye Bye Baby/ Castin' My Spell/ Crazy Country Hop/ Mumblin' Mosie/ Shake It, Lucy Baby/ Willie And The Hand Jive/ JOHNNY OTIS’ CONGREGATION: Wedding Boogie/ THE ROBINS: Around About Midnight/ If I Didn't Love You So/ If It's So, Baby/ THE ROYALS: Every Beat Of My Heart/ JIMMY RUSHING: Jimmy's Round The Clock Blues/ JUNIOR RYDER: Better Stop/ MARYLYN SCOTT: Beer Bottle Boogie/ SUGAR PIE: Please Be True/ JOE SWIFT: That's Your Last Boogie/ WILLIE MAE “BIG MAMA™ THORNTON: Hound Dog/ JOE TURNER: S K Blues/ MEL WALKER: Call Operator 210/ Dreamin' Blues/ Feel Like Cryin' Again/ Gee Baby/ Rockin' Blues/ Sunset To Dawn/ The Candle's Burnin' Low/ The Love Bug Boogie/ Cry Baby/ GEORGE WASHINGTON: Good Boogdi Googie/ FAYE WILSON: I Miss You So/ LESTER YOUNG: Jamming With Lester

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 199 The Road To Soul ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 55 tracks, 151 mins, highly recommended
It certainly seems that sometimes we are so busy seeking out the rarest, most obscure, oddball records, the unissued singles, the rare studio out-takes, that we forget about all of the wonderful music that actually were well-known hits. Especially now, when radio stations are playing less and less of the classic music from the 1950's to early '60s, it is a good time for collections just like this one. You get many of James Browns' biggest and best (with the exclusion of (I Got You) I Feel Good, which is totally fine,) ditto for Etta James, Ray Charles, Ike & Tine, Little Willie John, Mary Wells, etc. Then you get great cuts like Think by The Five Royals, The Teacher by The Falcons, Turn On Your Lovelight by Bobby Bland, Just Out Of Reach By Solomon Burke, Ta Ta by Clyde McPhatter, Doggin Around by Jackie Wilson, and so on, all hits to some degree in their day, but most rarely show up on any radio nowadays. I'm gonna buy a copy of this for sure, and probably another one for my sister; it is just plain good sense to have these all of these classic tracks easily accessible. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77156 The Bristol Sessions - Country Music's Big Bang,1927/28 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 94 tracks, essential if you don't have the Bear Family box
Last year Bear Family issued an amazing five CD box with 124 tracks with hard cover book (Bear Family 16094 - The Bristol Sessions - $149.98) documenting in depth a series of country music sessions held in Bristol, Tennessee in 1927 and 1928 that launched the careers of The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Now JSP has issued a trimmed down version of that set leaving out the familiar Rodgers and Carter Family sessions but including some of the very best sides that were cut at the sessions which rank among the greatest country music recordings of the era. Among the many artists featured were Ernest Stoneman (who had first recorded in 1925), Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet (absolutely superb old time gospel), The Johnson Brothers, vocalist and fiddler Blind Alfred Reed (the first recordings of this incredibly creative artist ), Alfred G. Karnes (the complete recordings of this incredible gospel singer accompanying himself on the rare harp-guitar), Henry Whitter, The Shelor Family, The Tenneva Ramblers (a string band that Jimmie Rodgers had previously been a member of), B.F. Shelton (all four sides recorded by this fantastic singer and banjo player including a spine chilling version of Pretty Polly) and many more. Sound is superb and there are informative notes by Pat Harrison. If you can't afford the Bear Family set then this is absolutely indispensible for any lover of old time country music. Stunning music from beginning to end. (FS)
THE ALCOA QUARTET: I’m Redeeemed/ Remember Me, O Mighty One/ MR & MRS J.W. BAKER: On The Banks Of The Sunny Tennessee/ The Newmarket Wreck/ DAD BLACKARD’S MOONSHINERS: Sandy River Belle/ Suzanna Gal/ THE BLUE RIDGE CORN SHUCKERS: Old Time Corn Shuckin’ Pt 1/ Old Time Corn Shuckin’ Pt 2/ THE BULL MOUNTAIN MOONSHINERS: Johnny Goodwin/ THE CAROLINA TWINS: I Sat Upon The River Bank/ Mr Brown Here I Come/ New Orleans Is The Town I Like Best/ She Tells Me That I Am Sweet/ When You Go A Courtin’/ Where Is My Mama/ E. DUNFORD: The Whip-Poor-Will’s Song/ UNCLE ECK DUNFORD: Angeline The Baker/ Barney McCoy/ Old Shoes And Leggin’s/ Skip To Ma Lou, My Darling/ What Will I Do, For My Money’s All Gone/ CLARENCE GREENE: Goodnight, Darling/ Little Bunch Of Roses/ HOWARD & PEAK (THE BLIND MUSICIANS): I Cannot Be Your Sweetheart/ Three Black Sheep/ THE JOHNSON BROS: Just A Message From Carolina/ The Soldier’s Poor Little Boy/ THE JOHNSON BROTHERS: The Jealous Sweetheart/ Two Brothers Are We (From East Tennessee)/ ALFRED G. KARNES: Called To The Foreign Field/ Days Of My Childhood Plays/ Do Not Wait ‘Til I’m Laid Beneath The Clay/ I Am Bound For The Promised Land/ To The Work/ We Shall All Be Reunited/ When They Ring The Golden Bells/ Where We’ll Never Grow Old/ J. P. NESTER: Black-Eyed Susie/ Train On The Island/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS CONGREGATION: A Little Talk With Jesus/ I Know That Jesus Set Me Free/ Shine On Me/ Went Up In The Clouds Of Heaven/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS: Bright Tomorrow/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS QUARTET: Don’t Grieve After Me/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS: Happy In Prison/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS QUARTET: I Want To Go Where Jesus Is/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS: If The Light Has Gone Out In Your Soul/ Jesus Is Getting Us Ready For That Great Day/ ERNEST PHIPPS & HOLINESS QUARTET: Do, Lord, Remember Me/ Old Ship Of Zion/ BLIND ALFRED REED: I Mean To Live For Jesus/ The Wreck Of The Virginian/ Walking In The Way With Jesus/ You Must Unload/ SHORTBUCKLE ROARK & FAMILY: I Truly Understand, You Love Another Man/ My Mother’s Hands/ THE SHELOR FAMILY: Big Bend Gal/ Billy Grimes The Rover/ B.F. SHELTON: Cold Penitentiary Blues/ Darling Cora/ O Molly Dear/ Pretty Polly/ THE SMITH BROTHERS: My Mother Is Waiting For Me In Heaven Above/ She Has Climbed The Golden Stairs/ THE SMYTH COUNTY RAMBLERS: My Name Is Ticklish Reuben/ ’Way Down In Alabama/ ERNEST STONEMAN & DIXIE MOUNTAINEERS: I Am Resolved/ The Resurrection/ ERNEST STONEMAN & HIS DIXIE MOUNTAINEERS: Are You Washed In The Blood?/ Sweeping Through The Gates/ THE STONEMAN FAMILY: Down To Jordan And Be Saved/ Going Up The Mountain After Liquor Pt 1/ Going Up The Mountain After Liquor Pt 2/ The Broken Hearted Lover/ The Spanish Merchant’s Daughter/ There’s A Light Lit Up In Galilee/ Too Late/ We Parted By The Riverside/ E. STONEMAN, E. K. BREWER, M. MOONEY: Dying Girl’s Farewell/ Tell Mother I Will Meet Her/ STONEMAN/FROST: Mountaineer’s Courtship/ STONEMAN’S DIXIE MOUNTAINEERS: I Know My Name Is There/ No More Good-Byes/ THE TENNESSEE MOUNTAINEERS: At The River/ Standing On The Promises/ THE TENNEVA RAMBLERS: Miss Liza, Poor Gal/ Sweet Heaven When I Die/ The Longest Train I Ever Saw/ EL WATSON: Pot Licker Blues/ THE WEST VIRGINIA COON HUNTERS: Greasy String/ Your Blue Eyes Run Me Crazy/ HENRY WHITTER: Henry Whitter’s Fox Chase/ Rain Crow Bill

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 013 The History Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, very highly recommended
First of two double CDs from the creative folks at Rhythm & Blues documenting the emergence and growth of New Orleans rhythm & blues. Unlike similarly themed anthologies a lot more thought has gone into this one. The first disc looks at the jazz influences. New Orleans is often considered the birthplace of jazz but rather than just pick a random selection of jazz the music on disc 1 has been chosen to reflect the factors that would be noticeable in New Orleans rhythm & blues - particularly the influence of Latin and Caribbean rhythms. It includes tracks by Sidney Bechet's Blue Note Jazzmen (a particularly fine version of the usually overdone When The Saints Go Marching Inm), Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Dodds, Luis Russell, Horace Eubanks with Zutty Singleton, The Creole Serenaders and others. Having started with Sidney Bechet's version of The Saints the first disc, appropriately end with a version of the same song by down home blues singer and harmonica player Papa Lightfoot. The second disc primarily emphasizes blues including jazz blues plus some Cajun music. Featuring recordings from the 20s through the 40s it includes Louis Armstrong, Richard Rabbit Brown, Willie Jackson, Victoria Spivey, Joe Falcon & Cleoma Breaux, Champion Jack Dupree, The Harlem HamfatsCousin Joe and others. Sound quality is generally excellent and the 28 page booklet has extensive notes putting the music into context including a discussion of the various rhythms empoyed along with photos and full discographical data. (FS)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Didn't He Ramble/ I'm Not Rough/ St. James' Infirmary/ LOVIE AUSTIN: Travelin? Blues/ PAUL BARBARIN: Eh La Bas/ DANNY BARKER: Chocko Mo Feendo Hey/ Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing/ BAUDUC & HAGGARD: Big Noise From Winnetka/ SIDNEY BECHET: Sidney's Blues/ When The Saints Go Marching/ MILTON BROWN: Keep A Knockin'/ RICHARD RABBIT BROWN: James Alley Blues/ THE CHICAGO HOTTENTOTS: Put Me In The Alley/ HARRY CHOATES: Hackberry Hop/ ANN COOK: Mama Cookie/ COUSIN JOE: Box Car Shorty And Peter Blue/ Just As Soon As I Go Home/ THE CREOLE SERENADERS: Mo Pas Lemme Ca/ BOB CROSBY'S BOBCATS: South Rampart Street Parade/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: Cabbage Greens No 1/ Junker Blues/ New Low Down Dog/ HORACE EUBANKS & ZUTTY SINGLETON: Runenae Papa/ THE EUREKA BRASS BAND: Just a Closer Walk with Thee/Lady Be Good/ JOSEPH FALCON: Lafayette/ CREOLE GEORGE GUESNON: Mississippi Town/ THE HAITIAN ORCHESTRA: Sous Les Palmiers/ EDMOND HALL: Besame Mucho/ THE HARLEM HAMFATS: I'm Cuttin' Out/ Root Hog Or Die/ WILLIE JACKSON: Old New Orleans Blues/ LONNIE JOHNSON & EDDIE LANG: A Handful Of Riffs/ KID STORMY WEATHER: Bread And Water Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Crazy Cryin' Blues/ JELLY ROLL MORTON: Maple Leaf Rag/ New Orleans Joys/ THE NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM KINGS: Tiger Rag/ THE NEW ORLEANS WANDERERS: Perdido Street Blues/ KING OLIVER: Black Snake Blues/ KID ORY & HIS CREOLE JAZZ BAND: Blanche Touquatoux/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: The Saints/ THE Q.R.S. BOYS: Wiggle Yo Toes/ THE RAYNE-BO RAMBLERS: Gran Prairie/ LUIS RUSSELL: Sweet Mumtaz/ BOB SCHAFNER AND HIS HOT SHOTS: Trouble In Mind/ ZUTTY SINGLETON AND HIS ORCHESTRA: King Porter Stomp/ NOBLE SISSLE WITH SIDNEY BECHET: Dear Old Southland/ VICTORIA SPIVEY: Funny Feathers/ CHARLEY TAYLOR: Louisiana Bound/ ANN TURNER: Deceived Blues/ ZUTTY & HIS BAND: Look Over Yonder

VARIOUS ARTISTS Secret Stash 288 Long Live Boogaloo ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, 74 min., highly recommended
Liner noter Izzy Sanabria recounts the curious and annoyingly incomplete story of how some promoters and radio DJs conspired with night club DJs to end the popularity of the Boogaloo. Luckily the music on this collection is first rate. The album's subtitle, "22 Rare Latin Boogaloos From Spanish Harlem '62-73," tells the story. More than a few of the tracks are drawn from Fania albums, and that's as it should be. But if the tracks are rare, several of the artists couldn't be more famous in the Latin music world, including Ray Barretto (who does Pretty Mama), Monguito Santamaria, Johnny Rodriguez, Willie Bobo, Pete Rodriguez, Bobby Valentin, Louie Ramirez, and others. If the demise of the boogaloo gave rise to a golden age of salsa, then it was worth the trade. But more likely, they peacefully coexisted until the limitations inherent in the boogaloo gave way to a more freeing form. Still, as this collection demonstrates, the boogaloo had its moments. And some of the best are collected here. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Varese 66382 The Sun Songbook ● CD $16.98 $4.98
18 tracks, 38 min, recommended
When you have a label that was indeed a powerhouse in the 50s into the early 60s, as great as it is, there comes a time where everything's been put out. What you need is a marketing gimmick. What we have here is a disc full of tunes written by Sun artists but recorded by other Sun artists. There are a few that were actually released at the time by Sun - there's a great version of Charlie Rich's Break Up done by Ray Smith, & of course there's Billy Lee Riley's classic take on Billy "The Kid" Emmerson's Red Hot, along with Jerry Lee Lewis' version of Roy Orbison's Rock House. But most of these tunes were unreleased at the time & include a few lesser tracks as Jeb Stuart's Just Walkin' In The Rain. But what may be most interesting is some demos done by the songwriters, my fave being Johnny Cash with Little Wooly Booger (You're My Baby), along with Harold Jenkins (later known as Conway Twitty) doing Rock House, a song he wrote with Roy Orbison, & a couple by Charlie Rich. (GM)
SONNY BURGESS: Feelin' Good/ JOHNNY CASH: I Forgot to Remember to Forget/ Little Woolly Booger (You're My Baby)/ KEN COOK: Problem Child/ HAROLD JENKINS: Rock House/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Down the Line/ Ooby Dooby/ Rock & Roll Ruby/ CARL MANN: Baby I Don't Care/ Ubangi Stomp/ ROY ORBISON: You Tell Me/ CHARLIE RICH: Right Behind You Baby/ Thanks a Lot/ BILLY LEE RILEY: Red Hot/ RAY SMITH: Break Up/ JEB STUART: Just Walkin' in the Rain/ VERNON TAYLOR: Mystery Train/ HAYDEN THOMPSON: Love My Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS World Music Network 1269 The Rough Guide To African Roots Revival ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 2 hours 9 min., recommended
This compilation offers a variety of bands from various African nations performing African roots music. while modernizing it at the same time. Many of the groups use instruments fashioned from garbage and junk, adding another level of creativity to the performances. The sounds here are as diverse as the groups, Staff Brenda Bilili's Je T'Aime would seem to borrow from American soul music, while Bedouin Jerry Can Band churns up Ya El Yaleladana, which mixes Middle Eastern and North African influences. But perhaps the finest cut belongs to Seprewa Kasa's Adowa (Otanfo), which weaves charming vocal harmony with lilting instrumentation. Also included in the package is a bonus CD of Kenge Kenge, a promotional push for a band that deserves one. It's not the reason to pick this up, but it more than welcome. (JC)

JIMMY WAKELY B.A.C.M. 380 Vol. 4: That Last Long Trail ● CD $14.98
B.A.C.M.'s fourth collection of recordings of this popular and engaging Western singer features 26 tracks recorded in the mid 40s for radio transcriptions. Jimmy is mostly accompanied by his Trio with the splendid guitar work of Jack Rivers plus fiddle and accordion plus steel guitar (probably Frank Marvin) on some tracks. Among the songs included (many of them Wakely originals) are What Will You Do When I'm Gone/ Texas Plains/ With Tears In My Eyes/ That Last Long Trail/ Long Lonesome Road/ You Brought Sorrow To My Heart/ Milk Cow Blues/ Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle/ Locked In My Heart, etc.
JIMMY WAKELY: A Melody From The Sky/ A Sailor's Prayer/ Don't Laugh At My Tears/ I'm Casting My Lasso Towards The Sky/ I'm Sorry I Met You/ Live And Let Live/ Locked In My Heart/ Lonesome Trail/ Long Lonesome Road/ Milk Cow Blues/ My Red River Rose/ Night After Night/ Nobody's Darling But Mine/ One More Tear/ Somebody's Lonesome For You/ Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle/ Tears In A Heart/ Texas Plains/ That Last Long Trail/ Those Gone And Left My Blues/ What Will You Do When I'm Gone/ With Tears In My Eyes/ You Brought Sorrow To My Heart/ You're Somebody's Rose/ You're The Answer To My Prayers

J.W. WARREN Fat Possum 1024 Life Ain't Worth Livin' ● CD $15.98 $8.98
12 tracks, 41 mins, recommended
1981/82 recordings by Alabama country bluesman Warren made by George Mitchell and previously available on a Swingmaster LP. Warren is a good singer and a decent guitarist and performs a mixture of traditional songs, original pieces and songs learned from the records of Blind Boy Fuller. He doesnt' quite have the ability to pull off the raggy Piedmont style of Fuller but his playing is quite good and he also plays some nice slide. Highlight of these recordings is the 6 minute story/ song The Escape Of Corinna with some particularly nice slide. Not an outstanding album but well worth a listen. (FS)


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