MUDDY WATERS & THE ROLLING STONES Eagle Rock 30552 Checkerboard Lounge - Live Chicago 1981 ● DVD $18.98
DVD 16 tracks, CD 11 tracks, 75 mins
Here you get a fantastic Muddy Waters club performance from 1981, enhanced by the likes of the great Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, and pretty much not at all improved by the addition of Mick, Keef, and Ronnie of The Rolling Stones. Sure, I love classic Stones as much as the next guy, and I understand that it was a thrill for them to join in, but Muddy would have been just fine without them and they kind of look like sloppy, snot-nosed kids on stage next to the Blues greats. Recorded in an intimate club setting in Chicago November of 1981, you get a lively and loose set of Muddy's classics and other Blues numbers. Highlights include Country Boy/ Hoochie Coochie Man/ Baby, Please Don't Go, and Champagne and Reefer. Bonus footage includes Stones performance of Black Limousine from the Hampton Coliseum show of 1981. Blues fans will dig it even if they get annoyed by the Brits, and Rolling Stones completists will also need it due to the rarity of the performances and the quality of the presentation. (JM)



CLASSIC BLUES ARTWORK FROM THE 1920S - 2013 Calendar Blues Images 213 ● CALENDAR $17.98
It's that time of the year again when renowned collector John Tefteller delves into his phenomenal collection of blues graphics and rare 78s to present another sensational calendar and CD. This calendar (the tenth) features reproductions of original artwork for advertisements printed in African-American newspapers in the late 20s and early 30s, mostly by the Paramount Record Company advertising their latest blues releases.
This calendar features fullsize ads for records by artists like Blind Willie Johnson (with an almost complete version of the only known photo of him), Memphis Minnie, Lil McClintock (with a previously unpublished photo), Blind Blake, Ardelle Bragg, Charley Patton, Rev. Emmett Dickinson (the amazing artwork for his "The Devil & God Meet In Church" is worth the price of admission!) and others. The calendar also includes small reproductions of another 20 ads, sample song lyrics, brief biographies and birth and death dates for many blues artists.
The calendar itself would be easily worth $17.98 but in addition you get a 21 track CD featuring all the records advertised in the full sized ads plus nine superb and incredibly rare bonus cuts from Blind Willie Davis, Hi Henry Brown, Laura Rucker (from the only known surviving copy), Freddie Spruell(a 1933 recordings only discovered last year) and Charley Patton. All tracks are newly remastered from the best or only surviving copies and have never sounded better. Also included are full color inserts to enable you to make your own Classic Blues Artwork CD with a jewel case (jewel case not included) Since these would make such a great gift if you buy five or more calendars you can get them for $15.98 each! Calendar/ CD set counts as four CDs for shipping purposes. (FS)
Note: All previously released calendars are available since the artwork never dates and the CDs are also available separately for $8.98 each.



THE BAILES BROTHERS Bear Family BCD 17132 Remember Me - The Legendary King Sessions, 1946 ● CD $21.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
The Bailes Brothers were one of the great brother groups - originally consisting of three brothers with Walter and Johnnie Bailes on the lovely harmony vocals and guitars and Homer on fiddle with Ernest Ferguson on mandolin and "Shot" Jackson on steel guitar. Some tracks feature brother Kyle on bass while Ramona Jones plays bass on the others. They had a lengthy career performing in various combinations from the early 40s through the 70s. Between 1945 and '49 they recorded for Columbia and those sides have been reissued on Bear Family 14973 ("Oh So Many Years" - $21.98). While recording for Columbia they also found time to do a couple of sessions for King Records in 1946 and this gorgeous set features all those recordings - 8 of them previously unissued. Most of the tracks are gospel songs - many of them written by group members including Building On The Sand/ We're Living In The Last Days/ Ashamed To Own The Blessed Savior/ Down In The Valley Of Shadow and others along with a few non gospel songs like Broken Marriage Vows/ Laughing Through The Tears/ Crying Over You, etc. Sound quality, of course, exemplary and the 58 page booklet has extensive notes by Dick Spottswood along with a host of rare photos. (FS)

STEVIE BARR WITH FRIENDS Arhoolie 531 Along The Crooked Road ● CD $12.98 $8.98
21 tracks, 65 min., very highly recommended
The multi-instrumentalist Stevie Barr is the amazing banjo player of No Speed Limit (Arhoolie 521) and, true to the album's title, plays here with his neighbors and friends around the Fries area of Grayson County, Virginia. Recorded informally at various locations (such as people's houses) and with a single microphone by Chris Strachwitz, this album is a full-blooded bluegrass marvel. It helps that Barr's friends include Martha Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band and mandolin ace Spencer Strickland, but in general the "friends" are people in his area who grew up with bluegrass and old timey music and play it out of a true love of the form. The results are an incredibly joyous outpouring of life-affirming bluegrass. There's nothing amateurish sounding about these recordings, despite their humble origins. The songs are largely drawn from the public domain, including Lonesome Road Blues, Sally Ann, It's Sinful To Flirt, At Calvary, Old Jimmy Sutton and others, while originals such as Viagra Blues by guitarist Jessie Lovell remind listeners what century it is. A real pleasure from start to finish. (JC)

JOHNNY BOND Bloodshot 807 Standard Transcriptions ● CD $14.98
31 tracks, 75 minutes, recommended
We've turned up a couple of copies of this long out of print album. A very nice collection of radio transcriptions made in 1944-45 by Johnny Bond with a great band including Jimmy Wakely, Westley Tuttle, and (on a few numbers) Noel Boggs. The result is a stylistically mixed bag, with cowboy songs like Out on the Open Range, Red River Valley, and Twilight on the Trail, country material including Have I Stayed Away Too Long and Tomorrow Never Comes and traditional tunes like Birmingham Jail and When the Work's All Done This Fall. 13 of the tunes were penned by Bond such as Sad and Blue, I'll Step Aside, and The First Rose. While many of the Western numbers are heavy on the accordion and cowpoke harmonies, there's also a lot of hot jazzy picking, including Bond's own respectable rhythm guitar work. (DP)

KING CURTIS Fantastic Voyage 088 Wail Man Wail! The Best Of King Curtis, 1952-1961 ● CD $22.98
Three CDs, 96 tracks, highly recommended
A terrific tribute to one of the true giants of the R&B tenor sax and one of the most in-demand session men of the 1950s and 60s. The first disc features 32 sides issued under his name between 1953 and 1961 for various labels - usually in the company of some of New York's top session musicians. His main label had him record some mushy pop tunes but the majority is hard driving R&B. The other two discs are devoted to his session work starting with his first appearance on record in 1952 backing Texas blues singer Melvin Daniels and continuing with him lending searing licks to songs by well known and obscure artists Doc Pomus, Solomon Burke, Roy Gaines, The Cues, Mickey & Sylvia, Sammy Lowe, The Twin-Tones, Joe Turner, The Del-Larks, The Coasters, The Stone Crushers, Bobby Darin, Waylon Jennings, Roy Hamilton, Wilbert Harrison and others. Excellent sound and informative notes from Dave Penny (FS)
THE ARCADES: Fine Little Girl/ THE AVONS: Our Love Will Never End/ BIG MAYBELLE: Blues, Early Early, Pts. 1 & 2/ THE BOBBETTES: Rock And Ree-Ah-Zole/ RUTH BROWN: Takin' Care Of Business/ This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'/ SOLOMON BURKE: Why Do Me That Way/ THE COASTERS: Besame Mucho, Pt. 2/ Charlie Brown/ Shoppin' For Clothes/ That Is Rock & Roll/ The Shadow Knows/ Yakety Yak/ BIG CONNIE: Mumbles Blues/ THE CUES: Yes Sir!/ KING CURTIS: Battle Royal [with Count Hastings]/ Beatnik Hoedown/ Birth Of The Blues/ Castle Rock/ Chili/ Dynamite At Midnight/ Heavenly Blues/ Honeydripper, Pt. 1/ Honeydripper, Pt. 2/ Hot-Rod/ Ilfic/ Jay Walk/ Jest Smoochin'/ King Neptune's Guitar/ King's Rock/ Movin' On/ My Babe/ No More Crying On My Pillow/ Open Up/ Peter Gunn/ Restless Guitar/ Rockabye Baby/ St Louis Blues/ Steel Guitar Rag/ Tenor In The Sky/ The Count And The King [with Count Hastings]/ The King/ The Lone Prairie/ The Stranger/ Wicky Wacky, Pt. 1/ Wicky Wacky, Pt. 2/ You Made Me Love You/ MELVIN DANIELS: Boogie In The Moonlight/ I'll Be There/ BOBBY DARIN: I Ain't Sharin' Sharon/ Keep A Walkin'/ HUTCH DAVIE: In The Mood/ THE DEL-LARKS: Lady Love/ VARETTA DILLARD: If (You Want To Be My Baby)/ Just Multiply/ BRACEY EVERETT: The Lover's Curse/ THE FIVE KEYS: Handy Andy/ ROY GAINES: Dee Dat Dee Dum Dum/ RUDY GREENE: Juicy Fruit/ You're The One For Me/ ROY HAMILTON: Your Love/ LIONEL HAMPTON: More Juice/ WILBERT HARRISON: Off To Work Again/ WAYLON JENNINGS: Jole Blon/ When Sin Stops/ BOB KENT: Korea, Korea/ BOBBY LEWIS: Tossin' And Turnin'/ SAMMY LOWE: Wail Man Wail/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: I'm Going Home/ MR BEAR & HIS BEARCATS: Mr Bear Comes To Town/ THE NITECAPS: Bamboo Rock 'n' Roll/ Oh! You Sweet Girl/ THE PEARLS: Ice Cream Baby/ DOC POMUS: Work, Little Carrie, Work/ PRETTY BOY: Switchen In The Kitchen/ SAM PRICE: Rib Joint/ NEIL SEDAKA: Stupid Cupid/ You Gotta Learn Your Rhythm And Blues/ THE SHELLS: Better Forget Him/ THE SPARKS OF RHYTHM: Woman, Woman, Woman/ THE STONE CRUSHERS: Crawfish/ THE STROLLERS: Crowded Classroom/ THE STROLLS: Madisonville, Pt. 1/ Madisonville, Pt. 2/ SONNY THOMPSON: Gum Shoe/ THE TIBBS BROTHERS: I'm Going Crazy/ THE TOP NOTES: Hearts Of Stone/ JOE TURNER: (We're Gonna) Jump For Joy/ SAMMY TURNER: Always/ THE TWIN-TONES: Before You Go/ WASHBOARD BILL: In The Morning/ Pot Likker/ CHUCK WILLIS: Keep A-Driving/ THE WILLOWS: Don't Push, Don't Pull, Don't Shove

THE DRIFTERS & BEN E. KING Music Club Deluxe 536 Their Greatest Hits ● CD $13.98
2CDs, 50 tracks, highly recommended (with reservations)
This two disc set of the Drifters' and Ben E. King's Atlantic recordings is a bit of a mixed bag; while it does contain most of the group's signature songs both early-with Clyde McPhatter (Money Honey/ Such a Night) - and later with Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis, and Johnny Moore (There Goes My Baby/ Save the Last Dance For Me/ On Broadway/ Under the Boardwalk), the set also contains 70's material (which owes a lot to Thom Bell's work with the Spinners), some of which were admittedly chart hits in England where this set originate. And while featuring a generous helping of King's solo tracks, the set omits his 1975 comeback hit Supernatural Thing (which was cut for Atlantic!). If one can get past that omission and the random order of the tracks, then this budget priced set does a fine job of collecting most of the major moments of both acts. Bonus points for including the "uncensored" version of Under the Boardwalk and excellent sound quality. (GMC)
THE DRIFTERS: (If You Cry) True Love, True Love/ 20. Hello Happiness/ Adorable/ At The Club/ Can I Take You Home Little Girl?/ Come On Over To My Place/ Down On The Beach Tonight/ Drip Drop/ Everyone's Laughing/ Fools Fall In Love/ Honey Love/ Hypnotized/ I Gotta Get Myself A Woman/ I Know/ Kissin' In The Back Row Of The Movies/ Like Sister And Brother/ Lucille/ Memories Are Made Of This/ Money Honey/ On Broadway/ Please Stay/ Ruby Baby/ Saturday Night At The Movies/ Save The Last Dance For Me/ Some Kind Of Wonderful/ Someday You'll Want Me To Want You/ Stranger On The Shore/ Such A Night/ Sweets For My Sweet/ There Goes My First Love/ Under The Boardwalk/ Up On The Roof/ Vaya Con Dios/ When My Little Girl Is Smiling/ You're More Than A Number In My Little Red Book/ BEN E. KING: Amor, Amor/ Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear/ Don't Play That Song (You Lied)/ First Taste Of Love/ How Can I Forget/ I (Who Have Nothing)/ I Could Have Danced All Night/ Spanish Harlem/ Stand By Me/ That's When It Hurts/ There Goes My Baby/ This Magic Moment/ What Now My Love/ Whatcha Gonna Do/ Young Boy Blues

THE DU DROPPERS Acrobat ACRCD 214 Boot 'Em Up ● CD $10.98 $7.98
23 tracks, 61 mins, highly recommended
Great 23 track collection of this superb New York based group that excelled in rocking up tempo numbers. It includes everything they recorded between 1952 and 1954 including several titles originally unissued. Formed in 1952 by music/gospel veterans already in their 40's, the Du Droppers began their recording days under their new name for Bobby Robinson's Red Robin label, but switched to RCA in 1953 where they remained until the group folded in 1955. This set opens with their first four sides for Red Robin including their answer to The Dominoes Sixty Minute Man, their great Can't Do Sixty No More (the poor guy can only manager 30 minutes!) which they follow with the great blues ballad Chain Me Baby which shows that weren't only great at up tempo numbers. Lots of other great sides here like I Wanna Know/ Get Lost/ I Found Out/ Ten Past Midnight/ Don't Pass Me By/ Speed KingI Only Had A Little / How Much Longer and more. They are accompanied by top New York session musicians like Mickey Baker, Ben Webster, Sam "The Man" taylor, Bud Johnson and others. Sound is excellent and 8 page booklet has informative notes by Bob Fisher and full discographical info. (FS)
THE DU-DROPPERS: Bam Balam/ Boot 'em Up/ Can't Do Sixty No More/ Chain Me Baby/ Come On And Love Me Baby/ Dead Broke/ Don't Pass Me By/ Drink Up/ Get Lost/ Go Back/ Honey Bunch/ How Much Longer/ I Found Out/ I Only Had A Little/ I Only Had A Little (fast Version)/ I Wanna Know/ If You Just Don't Leave/ Laughing Blues/ Let Nature Take Its Course/ Little Girl Little Girl (you'd Better Stop Talking In Your Sleep)/ My Thrill Girl/ Speed King/ Ten Past Midnight

THE FLATLANDERS New West 6259 The Odessa Tapes ● CD $24.98
14 tracks, CD 38 mins, DVD 27 mins, essential
This is easily the best Country music release that I have heard so far this year and one that I feel will be revered for years to come. The core of The Flatlanders was / is Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock. The recordings that they made in the 1970's were stuff of legend. The best collection of those records, 1990's "More a Legend than a Band" on Rounder, was a cornerstone of the Alt. Country movement. The newly unearthed recordings from early 1972 that make up this CD are a delight and will certainly thrill fans of the group and the genre. These tracks, recorded in an obscure, but excellent, recording studio in Odessa Texas, on a three track machine, so impressed the guys in the group when they recently unearthed them that they went through the trouble to find a compatible system to get them mixed and mastered for a proper release. So, with this you get much different versions of a lot of the great songs that fans will know: a mournful, tragic take on Dallas, a radically different arrangement of Tonight, I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown, etc, plus some wonderful songs that didn't make it on the Rounder release. The playing is loose; the sound is warm and inviting, old timey yet trippy and of their times. Jimmie Dale Gilmore himself says that he doesn't think he ever sounded better on a recording and I can hear that, although I have always thought he sounded great. The bonus DVD features the guys sitting around taking about the recordings and the times around them. Interwoven with that are lots of great old photos, a far too brief vintage filmed performance, as well as a performance of one of the classics by the three of them with just their acoustic guitars. All this is tied up with some gorgeous packaging, featuring excellent notes by Michael Ventura. (JM)

STEVE GIBSON & THE REDCAPS Jasmine 222 Boogie Woogie Roll, 1943-1955 ● CD $15.98
2 CD's, 57 tracks, 2 hours 34 min., very highly recommended
Gathering tracks recorded between 1943-1955, this excellent compilation shines a bright light on one of the best pre-doo wop black vocal groups. Steve Gibson and company occupy a similar musical realm as Cats and the Fiddle and the Ink Spots, bridging the sound of the 1940s and 1950s before the flood of rock and roll inundated America. Disc 1 collects their Beacon sides, includes 3 tracks as by The Toppers and is a complete pleasure all around. Disc 2 collects later, generally tamer sides for Mercury and RCA, including their 1949 recording of Blueberry Hill, a song Fats Domino would later turn into a monster hit. And though the second CD isn't quite up to its mate, it is a solid good time nonetheless. Better sound that on the earlier compilation on the Acrobat label, more tracks too.(JC)
STEVE GIBSON & THE REDCAPS: Always/ Am I To Blame/ Atlanta G.A./ Big Game Hunter/ Blueberry Hill/ Bobbin'/ Boogie Woogie Ball/ Boogie Woogie On A Saturday Night/ Boogie Woogie On A Saturday Night/ D'ya Eat Yet Joe/ Danny Boy/ Do I, Do I, I Do/ Feelin Kinda Happy/ Freehearted/ Gabriel's Band/ Get Off That Kick/ Grand Central Station/ How I Cry/ I May Hate Myself In The Morning/ I Want A Roof Over My Head/ I Went To Your Wedding/ I'm Living For You/ I'm So Crazy About You/ I'm To Blame/ I've Got A Hole In It/ I've Learned A Lesson I'll Never Forget/ If Money Grew On Trees/ It's So Good Good Good/ Jack Your Dead/ Just For You/ Lenox Avenue Jump/ Mama Put Your Britches On/ Mary Had A Little Jam/ Monkey And The Baboon/ My Tzatskele (My Little Darling)/ No Fish Today/ Nuff Of That Stuff/ Palace Of Stone/ Scratch And You'll Find It/ Shame/ Sidewalk Shuffle/ Somebody's Lyin'/ Strictly On The Safety Side/ Sugar Lips/ The Thing/ Three Dollars And Ninety Eight Cents/ Truthfully/ Tuscaloosa/ Two Little Kisses/ Wait/ Was It You/ Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine/ When You Come Back To Me/ Why Don't You Love Me/ Win Or Lose/ Would I Mind/ You Can't See The Sun When You're Crying

GEORGE JACKSON Kent CDKEND 380 Let The Best Man Win - The Fame Recordings, Vol. 2 ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
The second collection of Soul man Jackson's recordings for Rick Hall's Fame Records operation brings us twenty-four previously unreleased slices of primo Southern Soul. The first set ("Don't Count Me Out", Kent 363 - $18.98) focused on Jackson's versions of his songs recorded by other artists, as well as his compositions that were never placed; this one picks up where the first set left off, with more songs made popular by the likes of Clarence Carter, Candi Staton, and Wilson Pickett from Jackson's pen. From Get it When I Want It and I'm Just a Prisoner (originally recorded by Staton) to Mini Skirt Minnie and Save Me (both cut by Pickett for his Hey Jude album), Jackson proves that he was a perfectly great interpreter of his own material. Elsewhere, songs that were pitched to Pickett - Looking For Some Action/ It's Not Safe To Mess On Me/ Soul Lovin'-jump out of the speakers as one wonders at the missed opportunity of what could have been. Once again, Jackson's artistry is on full display and this compilation is a worthy companion for Don't Count Me Out. (GMC)

LAURA LEE Harmless BACK 002 Supreme Soul Diva ● CD $11.98
20 tracks, highly recommended
Previously, the Backbeats series of CDs had turned their attention to various artist collections of assorted sub-genres of R&B and Soul. Now they've moved into what they call "The New Artist Series", with this Laura Lee collection as the second in the series. Essentially a single CD condensed version of a 2CD set previously issued on Edsel (Edsel 2050), this set covers the cream of Lee's recorded output for Holland/Dozier/Holland's Hot Wax and Invictus labels. Including her 1971 hit Women's Love Rights, her other hits Rip Off and Wedlock is a Padlock, and a torrid version of Buddy Johnson's Since I Fell For You (including monologue) this collection makes an excellent companion to an earlier release of Lee's Chess recordings (Chess (UK) 983 229-2 - $13.98). (GMC)

JERRY LEE LEWIS Hip-O Select 16749-02 The Killer Live, 1964-1970 ● CD $59.98
Three CDs, 60 tracks, very highly recommended
Nobody could give a live show like Jerry Lee and this fabulous, limited edition (2,000 copies) three CDs features all the live recordings cut for Mercury and Smash between 1964 and 1970. The first two discs features his four live albums starting with one of the greatest of all live rock 'n' roll albums "Live At The Star Club, Hamburg" from 1964 then continuing with the same year's "The Greatest Live Show On Earth" (Birmingham, Alabama) and then on to "By Request - More Of The Greatest Live Show On Earth" from 1966 and finally on to "Live At The International Hotel, Las Vegas" from 1970. The third disc features five outtakes from the "By Request" and ten from the "International Hotel" - the latter previously unissued in any form. The 1964 and '66 recordings are mostly rockers with Jerry Lee doing hot versions of his own and other artists' hit including Mean Woman Blues/ Matchbox/ Great Balls Of Fire/ Hound Dog/ Memphis/ High Heel Sneakers/ Little Queenie/ What'd I Say/ Blue Suede ShoesYour Cheatin' Heart/ Together Again/ How's My Ex Treating You/ Crazy Arms and others. By 1970 when he performed at the International Hotel he was a big country star and the majority of the tracks are country with a few hot rockers thrown in for good measure. These performances include She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye/ San Antonio Rose/ Take These Chains FRom My Heart/ Down The Line/ Homecoming/ Got You On My Mind Again/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On and more. On a number of tracks from the "International" set he duets with his sister Linda Gail. Superb sound and set includes booklet with notes and discographical info. (FS)

A.C. LITTLEFIELD & THE ORIGINAL BELLS OF JOY Dialtone 001 Second Time Around ● CD $14.98
11 tracks, 43 mins, recommended
Available again. The Texas based Bells Of Joy were among the top gospel groups of the 50s and 60s, recording for, among others, Peacock, Checker and Nashboro and having a hit with their version of Let's Talk About Jesus. A few years ago the groups leader A.C. Littlefield decided to reform the group with another original member A.D. Watson and the addition of several other fine singers. The result is a fine collection of old time gospel quartet singing with accompaniments by guitars and drums. The excellent Littlefield is featured on lead on five songs including a remake of Let's Talk About Jesus and other tracks feature leads by Alton Cyphers or Al Brown. Fine leads with strong harmony work making for an enjoyable collection. (FS)

EDNA MCGRIFF Bear Family BCD 17276 Start MOvin' In My Direction - The Bell Recordings Plus ● CD $21.98
29 tracks, 75 mins, good
R&B/ pop singer Edna McGriff started recording for Jubilee in 1951 and the following year had her only hit with the R&B ballad Heavenly Father but continued recording some fine R&B for Jubilee and Josie. This set features her recordings made between 1954 and 1959 - the majority of them made for the Bell label - a label that specialized in doing budget priced covers of current hits and so the majority of the performances here are covers of then current R&B and rock 'n' roll hits like the title song plus Confidential/ Mr. Lee/ Just Walking In The Rain/ Sh-Boom/ Born To Be With You/ Pledging My Love, etc. THese are all done adequately but with a lack of conviction that seems endemic to this genre. There are also four tracks from a pop session held for the New Disc label plus cuts for Brunswick, Felsted and Savoy - the latter, duets with Buddy Lucas are probably the most interesting tracks here. Being Bear Family the sound quality is superb and the documentaton is extensive - it's too bad the music isn't more interesting. (FS)

MEMPHIS SLIM & ALEXIS KORNER Blues Boulevard 250312 Two Of The Same Kind ● CD $19.98
Two CD set, 34 tracks, recommended
34 tracks by the blues piano giant recorded in England in 1960 on his first trip to Europe accompanied by Alexis Korner on guitar and Stan Grieg on drums on most cuts. Slim is in fine form on a selection of mostly old favorites - Pinetop's Blues/ Blues This Evening (Better known as "If You See Kay")/I'm Going To Kansas City/ Rock Me Baby/ Memphis Slim U.S.A. / Slow And Easy, etc. and Korner and Grieg provide tasteful and discreet accompaniments. (FS)

WILLIE MITCHELL Harmless BACK 004 Memphis Rhythm King ● CD $11.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
The fourth volume in Backbeat's new Artist Series is devoted to producer/label owner/some-time bandleader Willie Mitchell. Issued through his own Hi Records label, Mitchell's instrumentals blared out of Memphis clubs during the 60's and U.K. discos in the 70's. With an alluring mix of Memphis soul and jazz, Mitchell created plenty of memorable dance numbers between 1963 and 1970: Everything's Gonna Be Alright/ That Driving Beat/ The Champion, and 20-75 to name a few. Even his cover versions have a spark of the unique to them: Grazin' in the Grass/ The Horse, and My Babe. Since Mitchell released 12 albums this collection is merely the tip of the iceberg, but it's certainly a good place to start. (FS)

JACK NEWMAN Document DOCD 5351 1938 Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order ● CD $15.98 $15.98
24 tracks, 68 min., recommended
Given that literally nothing is known about the four artists on this CD, except that they all recorded on the same date (May 26/1938, Chicago), Document has decided to issue the set collectively under Jack Newman's name, the one artist that is identifiable as being present on all the tracks playing piano on all 24 tracks with Charlie McCoy on guitar or mandolin. James Hall was a powerful and expressive vocalist who sang some imaginative lyrics. Frankie Jones is a relatively undistinguished female singer who does six songs - a couple of them risque. Jack Newman was the 3rd artist recorded that day and is a fine singer and piano player whose style owes a debt to the popular Leroy Carr - his Way Late In The Evening is based on Carr's 1935 When The Sun Goes Down. Black Bottom McPhail is a fine vocalist who sounds somewhat like Newman and is quite eclectic in his repertoire - in addition to stright blues he does fine versions of the folk ballads Boll Weevil and John Henry. With 24 songs recordedin one day with the same personnel there is not a whole lot of variety but, individually, the performances are all very worthwhile. (FS/ EL)
JAMES HALL: 15th Street Woman/ Coal Man Blues/ My Jivin' Woman/ Street Walkin' Woman/ Sweet Woman/ West Helena Blues/ FRANKIE JONES: Bring Your Mud And Let's Dob/ Gamblin' Man/ Jockey Blues/ L Stands For Lucky/ My Lincoln/ Solid Man/ BLACK BOTTOM MCPHAIL: Boll Weavil/ Don't Go Down In Black Bottom/ John/ Lonesome Chain Blues/ New Whiskey Man/ Wee Wee Woman/ JACK NEWMAN: 38 Special/ Black And Yellow Woman/ Blackberrry Wine/ My Woman Out West/ New Prison Blues/ Way Late In The Evening

HUEY "PIANO" SMITH Charly 647 It Do Me Good - The Banashak & Sansu Sessions, 1966-78 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 45 tracks, 141 mins, highly recommended
Though best known for his classic recordings for Ace in the 1950s Huey "Piano" Smith made many other fine recordings and this two CD set features all his recordings made between 1966 and 1978 when he finally retired from music to pursue his life as Jehovah's Witness. Two thirds of the tracks are sides recorded for Joe Banashak's Instant label between 1966 and 1970 - some not originally issued at the times. Lots of good time New Orleans rocking R&B with with lead vocals from Gloria Franklin, Alex Scott, Pearl Woods and others. The sound is very much in the vein of his earlier sides with occasional nods to more contemporary soul and funk sounds - most of the songs are new songs along with a few remakes of older Ace recordings. Huey quit music in 1970 but in 1978 was persuaded to go back into the studio to record and album for Marshall Seahorn and Allen Touissaint's Sansu label which eventually appeared the Charly label in 1980. Huey is accompanied by a larger band than usual on a selection that includes some fine Ace remakes (Rockin' Pneumonia/ Don't You Just Know It/ Little Chickee Wah Wah), some new songs and fine covers of The Coasters' Young Blood and Hank Williams' Jambalaya. Huey Smith made music to entertain and to be dance to, not to be analyzed, and that's just what you get here. Like other recent Charly issues this is packaged in a sturdy little book with a 12 page booklet. (FS)

BENNY SPELLMAN Shout 78 Fortune Teller - A Singles Collection ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 77 min., highly recommended
New Orleans transplant Benny Spellman hit the charts in 1962 with Fortune Teller for the Minit label, included here along with various singles released between 1960-67 for independent New Orleans labels. Allen Toussaint's hands are all over these cuts and Spellman's career, directly and indirectly. Nine tracks are from Toussaint's own Alon label; 11 are from Minit; two from Ace and two from Sansu, another Toussaint label. Five tracks here were recorded for Minit but unreleased, including I'll Never Leave You and Love Is Universal. One of the standout tracks on this collection is the hauntingly slow and spare Life Is Too Short, apparently about the death of Spellman's mother. Talk About Love featuring the line "Whatcha gonna do with the love I gave you?" is another winner, as is Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)/ It Must Be Love, and Spirit Of Loneliness. The Alon side Taint It The Truth is mere B-side filler, but most everything else makes for rewarding listening. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 505 The Baton Label ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Back in stock. Terrific collection of 50s recordings from Sol Rabinowitz's feisty New York label recorded between 1953 and '57. There are 8 songs by the superb Ann Cole including her version of a song usually associated with Muddy Waters Got My Mojo Working (she taught the song to him!), the upbeat gospel flavored Each Day with hot guitar from Mickey Baker and others including the previously unissued ballad The Clock Of Love. There's doo-wop from New York favorites The Hearts (featuring Johnnie Richards who later became Johnnie of Johnnie & Joe fame), The Rivileers (with the original version of A Thousand Stars) and others. It also includes Noble "Thin Man" Watts great instrumental Hard Time (The Slop) and more. Great sound and notes by Rabinowitz himself.  (FS)
ANN COLE: I've Got Nothing Working Now (but My Real Old Fashioned Love)/ My Tearful Heart/ No Star Is Lost/ The Clock Of Love/ You're Mine/ Are You Satisfied/ Easy Easy Baby/ Each Day/ Got My Mo-jo Working (but It Just Won't Work On You)/ The Fidelity's/ The Things I Love/ THE HEARTS: Gone Gone Gone Aka Four O'clock Blues/ Lonely Nights/ Oo-wee/ Until The Real Thing Comes Along/ MARIE KNIGHT WITH TEACHO WILTSHIRE ORCH: I Thought I Told You Not To Tell Them/ Pepper-hot Baby/ The Belvederes/ We Two/ THE MELLO-MAIDS: I Remember, Dear/ Will You Ever Say You're Mine/ THE PILGRIMS: Careless Love/ THE RIVILEERS: (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons/ A Thousand Stars/ Deep Down Inside/ THE SUBURBANS: I Remember/ I Told Them/ Tv Baby/ NOBLE "THIN MAN" WATTS AND HIS RHYTHM SPARKS: Hard Times (the Slop)/ My Wish/ The Lonely Ones

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1345 Boppin' by The Bayou ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 65 mins, very highly recommended
Fabulous collection of rare and previously unissued Louisiana rockabilly and rock and roll. Ace have gained acess to the vaults of the late Jay Miller that were first explored in the 1980s by Bruce Bastin for Flyright Records and this phenomenal collection includes newly remastered versions of some of the recordings Bruce discovered along with previously unissued sides and alternate takes from those vaults along with issued sides from Miller's Zynn and Rocko labels along with incredibly rare and incredibly good sides from labels like Carl, Moon, Jin and others. Among the highlights of this collection is a wonderful unissued Cajun cover of Elvis's version of That's All Right Mama by Nathan Abshire and his Pine Grove Boys with vocal by Robert Bertrand. We have more Cajun rock 'n' roll from Lawrence Walker with his 1953 recordings of the risqué blues Keep Your Hands Off It. Possibly the most familiar song here is Rocket Morgan's great Tag Along - featured here in a alternate take along with a terrific version of the same song by Tommy Todd with a scorching guiar solo. Among the other artists here are Johnny Jano, Gil Gilroy & The Jolly Rockers (the wild sax led rocker Laura Lee), Vince Hunter & The Blues Notes, Al Ferrier (two previously unissued alternate takes), Arnold Broussard (the fine, previously unissued Some Other Time), Rod Bernard & The Twisters, Nathan & The Sparks, Wiley Barkdull with Rusty & Doug, The Playboys with John Fred (a 1964 medley of Boogie Chillun and Walking With Frankie) and more. Great music, great sound and a 16 page booklet with notes on all the artists, photos and label shots. (FS)
NATHAN ABSHIRE & THE PINE GROVE BOYS (VOCAL ROB: That's All Right Mama/ VINCE ANTHONY: Watch My Smoke/ WILEY BARKDULL WITH RUSTY & DOUG: Rattlesnake/ RONNIE BENNETT: Just You Wait And See/ ROD BERNARD & THE TWISTERS: All Night In Jail/ Linda Gail/ Little Bitty Mama/ BILL & CARROLL & THE NECHES VALLEY BOYS: Feel So Good/ ARNOLD BROUSSARD: Some Other Time/ JAY CHEVALIER: Big Cloud (Pt.1)/ AL FERRIER: Indian Rock'n'roll (Tk4)/ Kiss Me Baby/ BONNIE FUSSELL & THE JIVES: Too High Class/ GIL GIROY: Laura Lee/ JOHNNY JANO: I'd Make A Good Man For You (Alt)/ She's Mine/ JIVIN' GENE: I'm In Love With You/ My Need For Love/ ROCKET MORGAN: Release Me/ Tag Along/ NATHAN & THE SPARKS: Don't Say No/ THE PLAYBOYS (VOCAL JOHN FRED): Boogie Children-Walking With Frankie/ WARREN STORM: Kansas City/ TOMMY TODD: I Got A Great Big Love V2/ I'll Be There/ Tag Along/ LAWRENCE WALKER: Keep Your Hands Off Of It/ HUNTER WATTS & HIS SOUTHERN PALS: Wild Man Rock

VARIOUS ARTISTS Acrobat 4015 Hillbilly Honeymoon ● CD $13.98 $8.98
Subtitled "Manhaters, Misogynists & Marital Mayhem" this is a fun collection of country songs from the late 20 through the early 50s dealing with the perils and pitfalls of marriage - mostly from the male perspective. Many of the tracks have been on CD before bt not in this context includes Beware by Blind Alfred Reed, White Shotguns by Hank Penny, Faithless Husband by Jimmie Tarlton, I Can't Tame Wild Women by Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers, Philadelpha Lawyer by The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Seven Years With The Wrong Woman by Cliff Carlisle and others. Excellent sound and whimsical notes from Keith Briggs.
THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN SINGERS: Christine Leroy/ BILL BOYD'S COWBOY RAMBLERS: I Can't Tame Wild Women/ CLIFF CARLISLE: Pay Day Fight/ Seven Years With The Wrong Woman/ Wild Cat Mama & Tom Cat Man/ THE CARTER FAMILY: Single Girl, Married Girl/ Stern Old Bachelor/ AL DEXTER: Pistol Packin' Mama/ RED FOLEY: Never Trust A Woman/ UNCLE DAVE MACON: My Daughter Wished To Marry/ THE MADDOX BROTHERS AND ROSE: Philadelphia Lawyer/ BILLIE MAXWELL: Cowboy's Wife/ DAVE MCCARN: Everyday Dirt/ BYRON PARKER: Married Life Blues/ HANK PENNY: White Shotguns/ BLIND ALFRED REED: Beware/ THE SHELTON BROTHERS: Hang Out The Front Door Key/ EARL SONGER: Mother-in-law Boogie/ JIMMIE TARLTON: Faithless Husband/ MERLE TRAVIS: Divorce Me C.o.d./ HANK WILLIAMS: Dear John/ First Year Blues/ You're Gonna Change (or I'm Gonna Leave)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Charly SNAJ 702 Gems From Treasure Isle ● CD $29.98 $13.98
Three CD set in small box featuring 54 tracks of classic ska and rock steady from the catalog of the famed Treasure Isle label run by the legendary Duke Reid. Includes the original version of The Tide Is High by The Paragons (later a big hit for Blondie), Phyllis Dillon's reworking of the pop standard Perfidia and the Alton Ellis anthem Rock Steady plus sides by The Skatalites & Margarita, Eric Morris, Baba Brooks, Shenley Duffus, Tommy McCook, Joya Landis (a great cover of the R&B hit Kansas City), The Three Tops, The Termites, The Ethiopians, The Techniques, The Melodians, U.Roy and others. Includes 20 page illustrated booklet.
BABA BROOKS: Twilight Zone/ THE CONQUERORS: I Fell In Love/ DEREK & PATSY: Housewife's Choice/ PHYLLIS DILLON: Don't Stay Away/ Don't Touch Me Tomato/ Perfidia/ Rock Steady/ DON DRUMMOND: Corner Stone/ Street Corner/ SHENLEY DUFFUS: Rukumbine/ ALTON ELLIS: Baby I Love You/ Chatty Chatty People/ Cry Tough/ I Can't Stand It/ Remember That Sunday/ Willow Tree/ Rock Steady/ THE ETHIOPIANS: Conditions Bad A Yard/ JUSTIN HINDS & THE DOMINOES: Save A Bread/ THE JAMAICANS: Dedicated To You/ JOYA LANDIS: Kansas City/ THE MAYTALS: John James/ TOMMY MCCOOK: Flying Home/ Starry Night/ Strolling In/ FREDDIE MCKAY: Love Is A Treasure/ THE MELODIANS: Hey Girl/ You Don't Need Me/ ERIC MORRIS: Penny Reel/ THE PARAGONS: Maybe Someday/ Mercy Mercy/ My Best Girl/ On The Beach/ Only A Smile/ Tide Is High/ Wear You To The Ball/ KEN PARKER: True True True/ DUKE REID'S GROUP: Rude Boy/ Soul Style/ THE SENSATIONS: Those Guys/ THE SKATALITES & DON DRUMMOND: Eastern Standard Time/ THE SKATALITES & MARGARITA: Woman A Come/ VIC TAYLOR: Heartaches/ THE TECHNIQUES: Drink Wine/ How I Wish It Would Rain/ My Girl/ Queen Majesty/ Travelling Man/ You Don't Care/ THE TERMITES: Love Up, Kiss Up/ THE THREE TOPS: Do It Right/ It's Raining/ U. ROY: Midnight Hour/ Rock Away

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chief 02 Ultra Rare Teen Rockers, Vol. 2 ● CD $15.98
Professional CD-R,26 tracks, 55 min., recommended
Remastered from original 45 rpm's, which deserve the "ultra rare" classification they've been given, so the sound is just okay but certainly nothing to write to Phil Spector about. And forget about booklet notes with this one; just be glad the cover photo is of the actual 45 rpm labels. Most of these come from small labels (with varying degrees of obscurity), including Skyway, Hanover, Comet, Spangle, Arc, Session, Dale, Galaxy, and Candix. But the majors are represented proudly by Gene Montgomery's Slow Motion single of Columbia, The Syllables' I've Been Jilted on Imperial, and Budd Albright's Adrienne on RCA, among others. The music itself is pretty good, with the usual Elvis- and Buddy Holly-influenced singers, references to malt shops, and a general lack of corporate slickness in favor of slightly out of control amateurishness, a hallmark of the finest early rock and roll. That said, there isn't much here that's life-altering in terms of its greatness, but there's plenty to smile about. Artists include Jim Ford, Ronnie Diamond, Chico Holiday, Roger And The Tourains, Kip Tyler, Jimmie Helms, Chuck Reed, Ronnie McBee, and many others. Not as much fun as finding all the 45's yourself, but this collection will save you thousands of dollars and years of searching. (JC)
BUDD ALBRIGHT: Adrienne/ ASHLEY BEAUMONT THE 18TH: Fair Sex/ BOBBY BRISTOL: School's Out/ JIMMY CARTER: Let Me Know/ NICK DARROW: Run Joe/ FRANK DEAN: Bubblin'/ RONNIE DIAMOND: Candy Store/ MARK DINNING: Cutie Cutie/ JIM FORD: College Queen/ RON FURY: Long Long Time/ JIMMIE HELMS: It Was Ours/ CHICO HOLIDAY: Cuckoo Girl/ WALLY LEWIS: White Bobby Socks/ JOHNNY MACRAE: Betcha Johnny Knows/ PETE MANN: So Help My Heart/ RONNIE MCBEE: My Bow Tie/ SKIP MILO: What's Wrong With Me/ GENE MONTGOMERY: Slow Motion/ LOU PICARDI: Make Up Your Mind/ CHUCK REED: Females/ ROGER & THE TOURAINS: Searchin' For A Girl/ JOHNNY SARDO: Take A Ride With Me/ THE SYLLABLES: I've Been Jilted/ KIP TYLER: Hali-Lou/ DICK WOLF: Spine Tingalin' Love/ EDISON YOUNGBLOOD: Summertime Fool

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 113 Three Months To Kill - West Coast Rock 'n' Roll ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 60 tracks, 131 mins, highly recommended
A whole lot of amazing Rock & Roll happened in California between the release of Eddie Cochran's Twenty Flight Rock and Ritchie Valens' La Bamba and this compilation looks to present all of that fine American music in a time line that helps to tell a hell of a story. A story of transplanted Okies and Arkies, migrant farm workers, Hollywood hot-shots, Bakersfield bad-asses and many more fantastic characters, all making a glorious noise and tearing up studios up and down the great Pacific coast. Rock & Roll may have been invented in places like New Orleans, Cleveland, and Memphis, but we out here in California, we sure made it look cool! Tracks ranging from King Kong by Big T. Tyler, Chicken Rock by Fat Daddy Holmes, Bertha Lou by Dorsey Burnette, and She's My Witchby Kip Tyler, to Long Tall Sally by Wanda Jackson (still the best!,) Sweet Thing by Buck Owens, and Aladdin Boogie by Amos Milburn. We have Bob Luman, The Collins Kids, Dick Dale, Gene Vincent, Johnny Otis, Roy Brown, Ricky Nelson and many other legends rubbing shoulders with lesser-known heroes like Bobby Norris, Jackie Lee Cochran, The Rio Rockers, Don Cole, The Addrisi Brothers and many more, so much great stuff is on here, its almost obscene. All this great stuff, accompanied by fine notes, composing the credo of the coast, by Lucky Parker, that could and should be expanded into a full length book. Dig it! (JM)
THE ADDRISI BROTHERS: Cherrystone/ BOB & LUCILLE: What's The Password/ BONNIE BLUE BELL: Let's Go/ CHARLIE BOP TRIO: Mr Big Feet/ ROY BROWN: Hip Shakin' Baby/ DORSEY BURNETTE: Bertha Lou/ SAM BUTERA: Bim Bam/ BOBBY & TERRY CARAWAY: Ballin' Keen/ THE CHAMPS: Midnighter/ CHRIS CLAY: Shot Rod Lincoln/ KIMBALL COBURN: Boo-Be-Ah-Be/ EDDIE COCHRAN: Twenty Flight Rock/ JACKIE LEE COCHRAN: Pity Me/ DON COLE: Snake Eyed Mama/ SONNY COLE: Robinson Crusoe Bop/ THE COLLINS KIDS: Hoy Hoy/ PAT CUPP: Do Me No Wrong/ DICK DALE: Jessie Pearl/ BOB DENTON: Skinny Minnie/ HUELYN DUVALL: Three Months To Kill/ SCOTT ENGEL: Good For Nothin'/ THE FOUR TEENS: Spark Plug/ GLEN GARRISON: Lovin' Lorene/ GLEN GLENN: Blue Jeans And A Boy's Shirt/ RON HARGRAVE: Latch On/ FAT DADDY HOLMES: Chicken Rock/ WANDA JACKSON: Long Tall Sally/ JESSE JAMES: South's Gonna Rise Again/ JIM & ROD: Didn't It Rock/ JOHNNY & JONIE: Kee-Ro-Ryin'/ PLAS JOHNSON: Blue Jean Shuffle/ JOHNNY KNIGHT: Rock'n'Roll Guitar/ ALIS LESLEY: He Will Come Back To Me/ KENNY LORAN: I Chickened Out/ DICK LORY: Cool It Baby/ JIM LOWE: The Crossing/ BOB LUMAN: Red Hot/ SAMMY MASTER: Pink Cadillac/ SKEETS MCDONALD: You Oughta See Grandma Rock/ BOBBY MILANO: Life Begins At Four O'Clock/ AMOS MILBURN: Aladdin Boogie/ MERRILL MOORE: Down The Road A Piece/ RICKY NELSON: I'm Walkin'/ BOBBY NORRIS: I Went Rockin'/ JOHNNY OTIS SHOW: Willie And The Hand Jive/ BUCK OWENS: Sweet Thing/ WHITEY PULLEN: Walk My Way Back Home/ JERRY REED: When I Found You/ THE RIO ROCKERS: Mexicali Baby/ CHAN ROMERO: The Hippy Hippy Shake/ TOMMY SANDS: The Worryin' Kind/ KID THOMAS: Rockin' This Joint Tonight/ BIG T TYLER: King Kong/ KIP TYLER: She's My Witch/ RITCHIE VALENS: La Bamba/ LEROY VAN DYKE: Chicken Shack/ GENE VINCENT: Lotta Lovin'/ JACKIE WALKER: Only Teenagers Allowed/ GEORGE WESTON: Hey Little Car Hop/ LEW WILLIAMS: Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop, Classroom Hop

VARIOUS ARTISTS Nascente NSBOX 095 The Beginner's Guide To English Folk ● CD $15.98
A nice introduction to English folk music and folk rock on three CDs with 42 recordings ranging from the 1960s to the present day with material ranging from traditional to original. Among the artists featured are Blue Murder (an amazing collaboration of The Watersons and Coope, Boyes & Simpson), Nic Jones, John Kirkpatrick, Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band, Young Tradition, Martin Simpson, Peter Bellamy, Shirley Collins, Spiers & Boden, The Imagined Village, Billy Bragg, Dave Burland, Jim Moray, Steeleye Span and many more. Obviously a collection of this size can only scratch the surface but will hopefully encourage the listener to further exploration.
ALISTAIR ANDERSON: Green Ginger/ BELLA ARDY: Three Black Feathers/ PETER BELLAMY: Australia/ BELLOWHEAD: Yarmouth Town/ BLUE MURDER: Rubber Band/ BILLY BRAGG: Danny Rose/ BRASS MONKEY: Brisk Young Widow/ ANNE BRIGGS: Hills Of Greenmor/ DAVE BURLAND: Shape Of A Girl/ ELIZA CARTHY: Little Bigman/ MAWKIN CAUSLEY: George's Son/ SHIRLEY COLLINS: Sweet England/ THE COPPER FAMILY: Good Ale/ BOB DAVENPORT: Jerusalem/ FOTHERINGAY: John The Gun/ FAY HIELD: The Old ‘Arris Mill/ HOME SERVICE: Alright Jack/ THE IMAGINED VILLAGE: My Son John/ NIC JONES: Barrack Street/ IAN KING: Four-Loom Weaver/ JOHN KIRKPATRICK: March Of The Siamese Children/ JIM MORAY: Seven Long Years/ O’HOOLEY & TIDOW: A Day Trip/ JANET PENFOLD: Won't You Buy/ MADDY PRIOR & THE CARNIVAL BAND: Ring The Bell, Watchman/ JOHN RENBOURN & DORRIS HENDERSON: God Bless The Child/ SIMON RITCHIE: Anarchy In The Uk/ CECIL SHARP PROJECT: Ghost Of Songs/ SHOW OF HANDS: Keys Of Canterbury/ MARTIN SIMPSON: Never Any Good/ SPIERS & BODEN: Bold Sir Rylas/ STEELEYE SPAN: Horkstow Grange/ JUNE TABOR: A Place Called England/ Love Will Tear Us Apart/ JOHN TAMS: Harry Stone/ TARRAS: Rising/ SCAN TESTER: I Wish They'd Do It Now/ KATHRYN TICKELL: The Wedding/ TIM VAN EYKEN: Gypsy Maid/ LAL WATERSON & OLIVER KNIGHT: Some Old Salty/ THE WATERSONS: Pace-Egging Song/ CHRIS WOOD: One In A Million/ YOUNG TRADITION: Boar's Head Carol

VARIOUS ARTISTS One Day DAY2CD 174 Essential Rockabilly - The Dot Story ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 40 tracks, highly recommended
Another great collection of mid/ late 50s rockabilly and rock & roll - this time from Randy Wood's Dot label - best known as the home of Pat Boone! Though the label originated in the heart of rockabilly territory, Tennessee, in 1950 by the time these recordings were made the label had moved to Hollywood. Although Dot made some of its own recordings in Hollywood, many were brought in from independent producers in Texas, Arizona and elsewhere and the result is a splendid and varied selection featuring artists like Bob Denton (with Eddie Cochran on guitar), Al Reed & The Blue Notes (hot sax rocker), Earl Henry (aka Earl Sinks who sang with The Crickets), Ray Sharpe, Gene Brown (the fine blues rocker Big Door), Howard Crockett, Ray Campi (one of his earliest issued sides from 1957), Mac Wiseman (bluegrass giant with a fine rendition of the blues standard Step It Up And Go), Sanford Clark (four fine sides with Al Casey on guitar), Mickey Gilley (two great early sides in the style of his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis), Billy Adams (tough blues), Niki Sullivan (fine 1958 side by former member of Buddy Holly's Crickets), Jimmy Dee & The Offbeats (the all time classic Henrietta), Billy Joe Tucker (hot piano rocker) and others. An exceptional selection with excellent sound and brief notes. (FS)
BILLY ADAMS: You Heard Me Knocking/ JOHN ASHLEY: Born To Rock/ Pickin On The Wrong Chicken/ TOM BLAIR: Rock It/ JAY BRINKLEY: Crazy Crazy Heart/ GENE BROWN: Big Door/ RAY CAMPI & THE SNAPPERS: It Ain't Me/ SANFORD CLARK: Lonesome For A Letter/ Nine Pound Hammer/ Ooh Baby/ Usta Be My Baby/ LLOYD COPAS: Circle Rock/ KEN COPELAND: Where The Rio De Rosa Flows/ KEITH COURVALE: Trapped Love/ HOWARD CROCKETT: If You'll Let Me/ TOMMY DANTON & THE ECHOES: Oh Yeah/ JIMMY DEE: You're Late, Miss Kate/ Henrietta/ BOB DENTON: Playboy/ Skinny Minnie/ MICKEY GILLEY: Call Me Shorty/ Come On Baby/ EARL HENRY: My Suzanne/ Whatcha Gonna Do?/ WALLY LEWIS: Kathleen/ JIM LOWE: Blue Suede Shoes/ Rock-a-Chicka/ WINK MARTINDALE: All Love Broke Loose/ JIMMY NEWMAN: Carry On/ THE PHANTOM: Love Me/ AL REED & THE BLUE NOTES: I Love Her So/ RAY SHARPE: Oh My Baby's Gone/ That's The Way I Feel/ JIMMY SPELLMAN: Doggonit/ NIKI SULLIVAN: It's All Over/ VERNON TAYLOR: I've Got The Blues/ BILLY JOE TUCKER: Boogie Woogie Bill/ MAC WISEMAN: Step It Up And Go/ DANNY WOLFE: Let's Flat Get It/ Pucker Paint

VARIOUS ARTISTS Queen 4100 The Best Of Queen Records, 1945-1947 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 70 mins, recommended
Fine collection of jump blues, R&B and a bit of jazz recorded for Syd Nathan's Queen label between 1945 and 1947. Syd had started the legendary King label in 1943 to issue recordings of country music. Realizing there was also a market for black music he started the Queen label in 1945. In 1945 he folded Queen into KIng and reissued many of the Queen titles on King with the same numbers. Artists featured here include two bluesmen who got their start in the 1930s - Jimmie Gordon and Johnny Temple. The indefatigable Slim Gaillard is here with three tracks including the unusual but fascinating Travelin' Blues. The Al (Stomp) Russell Trio has the nice topical blues World War 2 Blues with fine vocals and mellow guitar work from Joel Cowan. Other artists include Robie Kirk, David Green (an early reference to "Jodie"), Harry Dial & His Bluesicians, Charlie White & His Orch. (the jivey Pots And Pans +1), Deacon Lem Johnson, The Jubalaires (smoth vocal group), Gay Crosse & His Orch and others. Quite a few of the tracks are pretty "tame" but there is much to enjoy. Sound quality is decent and there is full discographical data though no notes. (FS)
GAY CROSSE & HIS ORCH. (VCL. GAY CROSSE): Gay's Blues/ GAY CROSSE & HIS ORCH. (VCL. WALTER CARSON): My Heart/ HARRY DIAL & HIS BLUSICIANS: I Like What I Like Like I Like It/ Wedding Day Blues/ PANAMA FRANCIS & HIS MIAMIANS: Three Bones/ SLIM GAILLARD & HIS BOOGIEREENERS: Slim Gaillard's Boogie/ Travelin' Blues/ SLIM GAILLARD & HIS ORCH.: Harlem Hunch/ SLIM GAILLARD TRIO: Sighing Boogie/ JIMMIE GORDON & HIS BIP BOP BAND: Rock That Boogie/ DAVID GREEN WITH MELBA POPE TRIO: Jodie-Jodie Blues/ BEN HOLTON: Ain't I Losing You/ DEACON LEM JOHNSON: Walkin' The Boogie/ THE JUBALAIRES: Jube's Blues/ ROBIE KIRK: Mix The Boogie (With The Woogie)/ Where Is The Groove/ Let's Go Upstairs/ AL (STOMP) RUSSELL TRIO: World War 2 Blues/ AL RUSSELL TRIO (VCL. DOC BASSO): Holiday Blues/ SAM TAYLOR & HIS ALABAMA SWINGSTERS: Big Foot Sam From Birmingham/ JOHNNY TEMPLE: (Baby Give Me Some Of That) Yum Yum Yum/ I Believe I'll Go Downtown Again/ CHARLIE WHITE & HIS ORCH. (VCL. DUCKY RICE): Pots And Pans/ Takin' Up Where I Left Off

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 017 Rumba Blues - Vol. 3 Guitar Cha-Cha-Cha ● CD $16.98
32 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Another terrific collection from the Rhythm & Blues label giving us an opportunity to listen to some of our favorite blues and R&B from a new perspective - namely the influence of Latin American rhythms. This is the third volume devoted to blues and R&B (plus some rock 'n' roll) and there are also equally enlightening volumes to devoted to the Latin influence on doo-wop (two volume - $16.98 each) and jazz (one volume - $16.98). Once the connections are explained you'll think "of course" - Slim Harpo's Got Love If You Want It has a rumba rhythm, Guitar Junior's The Crawl is a Charleston (yes the charleston originated with Latin rhythms), Art Neville's Arabian Love Call has a son clave rhythm, Eddie Cochran's Summertime Blues has a tumbao rhythm and so on. Other artists featured include Lazy Lester, Dale Hawkins, Big "T" Tyler, Bobby Feeman, Fats Domino, Smokey Hogg, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Leonard Carbo, The Champs, Memphis Slim and many more. Sound quality is superb and the copiously illustrated booklet discusses the artists, the songs and the Latin connections. Like all the others in this and the related series this is a perfect example of a well thought out release. (FS)
LAVERN BAKER: It's So Fine/ HARRY BELAFONTE: Star-O/ RICHARD BERRY: Louie, Louie/ LEONARD CARBO: Pig Tails And Ribbons/ WYNONA CARR: Jump Jack, Jump!/ THE CHAMPS: Tequila/ EDDIE COCHRAN: Summertime Blues/ ALBERT COLLINS: The Freeze/ BO DIDDLEY: Hush Your Mouth/ BILL DOGGETT: Ram Bunk Shush/ FATS DOMINO: I'm Walking/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: The Wrong Woman/ BOBBY FREEMAN: Do You Wanna Dance/ PAUL GAYTEN: For You My Love/ GUITAR JUNIOR: The Crawl/ SLIM HARPO: I've Got Love If You Want It/ DALE HAWKINS: Susie Q/ SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: Frenzy/ SMOKEY HOGG: Good Mornin' Baby/ B.B. KING: Ruby Lee/ EDDIE LANG: She's Mine All Mine/ LAZY LESTER: I'm A Lover Not A Fighter/ MEMPHIS SLIM: Guitar Cha Cha Cha/ SCREAMIN' JOE NEAL: Tell Me Pretty Baby/ ART NEVILLE: Arabian Love Call/ TOMMY RIDGLEY: When I Meet My Girl/ OTIS RUSH: All Your Love/ CHARLES SHEFFIELD: Wicked Old Fever/ BIG "T" TYLER: King Kong/ MUDDY WATERS: Got My Mojo Working/ ANDRE WILLIAMS: The Greasy Chicken/ LARRY WILLIAMS: Bad Boy (Junior Cha Cha Cha)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Tri-Phi 1001 The Complete Tri-Phi/ Harvey Records, Volume 1 ● CD $16.98
22 tracks, very highly recommended
Recently, I reviewed a compilation of the 60's recordings of Detroit R&B group The Spinners (Kent 371) which included their hit for Tri-Phi, That's What Girls Are Made For. Tri-Phi was the brain child of Gwen Gordy (sister of Motown-man Berry Gordy) and Harvey Fuqua, who had been the leader of harmony group The Moonglows, and The Spinners became the label's main act after Fuqua discovered them. For those interested in more pre-Motown Spinners cuts, then check out the ones included here: Love (I'm So Glad) I Found You/ What Did She Use, and Heebie Jeebies. The Spinners weren't the only first-class act on the label; other notables include Johnny & Jackey (aka Johnny Bristol and Robert Beavers and who's Baby Don'tcha Worry owes quite a bit Ben E. King's Stand By Me), Shorty Long, and Jr. Walker All Stars, all of whom went on to greater fame with Motown. Fuqua even managed to cut a side: the cha cha instrumental Any Way You Wanta. As for the rest, well we have other tasty slices of doo wop (The Five Quails' Get To School On Time), blues (Eddie Burns' Hard Hearted Woman and Mean and Evil Baby), vocal group R&B (The Challengers' Stay), and the odd instrumental (besides Jr. Walker and Fuqua, there's The Merced Blue Notes' Midnite Session). Bottom line: if this is what Volume One sounds like, then bring on Volume Two. (GMC)
EDDIE BURNS: Hard Hearted Woman/ Mean And Evil (Baby)/ THE CHALLENGERS: Stay/ THE DAVENPORT SISTERS: Hoy Hoy/ THE ERVIN SISTERS: Every Day's A Holiday/ THE FIVE QUAILS: Been A Long Time/ Get To School On Time/ HARVEY (FORMERLY OF THE MOONGLOWS): Any Way You Wanta/ JOHNNY & JACKEY: Baby Don'tcha Worry/ Carry Your Own Load/ THE JORDAN HARMONIZERS: Do You Know Him/ LOE & JOE (LORRI RUDOLPH & JOE CHARLES): Little Ole Boy - Little Ole Girl/ SHORTY LONG: Bad Willie/ Too Smart/ THE MERCED BLUE NOTES: Midnite Session (Part 1)/ Whole Lotta Nothing/ LORRI RUDOLPH: Don't Let Them Tell Me (Tell Me Yourself)/ THE SPINNERS: Heebie Jeebie's/ Love (I'm So Glad) I Found You/ That's What Girls Are Made For/ What Did She Use/ JR. WALKER ALL STARS: Brain Washer

LIL JOE WASHINGTON Dialtone 008 Houston Guitar Blues ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 45 minutes, highly recommended
Available again. If you thought they couldn't make records today that recalled the efforts of Cal Green, early Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and other Texas wizards, you'll need this disc just to see how wrong you've been. Lil Joe Washington may never get much further than he is currently, but his guitar playing is thankfully stuck in a time warp that dates back four decades. Hard Way 6 and 5 Spot are sweltering guitar instrumentals with loads of wild fretwork and vocally, Washington is no slouch either. His singing is unadorned and matches his playing with plenty of grit, sweat, and a no-frills approach. Unfinished Business and How Long are roughshod slow blues with careening guitar. They don't get much more stripped-back and simple than this. Another winner from Fort Horton studios. (CR)

BOBBY WOMACK Charly 648 Across 110th Street - 40th Anniversary Edition ● CD $18.98
2CD, 41 tracks, essential
Bobby Womack has had a long and illustrious career that stretches back to the early 60's. This set contains complete versions of his three most celebrated albums: the soundtrack to cult-Blaxploitation film "Across 110th Street" (1972), "Facts of Life" (1973), and "Lookin' For a Love Again" (1974). Standing right alongside "Shaft" and "Super Fly" in the pantheon of great Blaxploitation soundtracks, "Across 110th Street" may not be as well known as the other two but with indisputably great cuts like the title track, If You Don't Want My Love, and Hang On in There, there is no doubting that the album stills holds up today. "Facts of Life" and "Lookin' For a Love Again" both generated hit singles - Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out/ Lookin' For a Love/ You're Welcome, Stop On By - but they also hold together as complete albums (as opposed to collections of singles and filler) and are as good as the opuses Stevie Wonder was churning out at the same time. As singer, songwriter, and musician, these three albums represent Bobby Womack at his best and are essential to any R&B fan's music library. (GMC)


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