HEAD, HAND & FEET A Book Of One Man Bands by Dave Harris ● BOOK $54.98
Hardbound, 416 pages, highly recommended, counts as 15 CDs for shipping
Due next week. Amazing self published coffee table book devoted to musicians who play more than one instrument at the same - aka one man bands. The performers range from the simple guitar and harmonica stylings of Jimmy Reed to the 28 piece ensemble of Maine musician Rick Adam aka Professor Paddywhack! The first 30 pages of the book includes an introduction, a glossary of terms with numerous photos of instruments used followed by fairly brief history of historical one man bands from the turn of the 20th century to the 1940s. There are extensive sections devoted to blues artists from the early 50s on including familiar names like Jesse Fuller (with some previously unpublished photos), Joe Hill Louis and Dr. Ross on to less well known contemporary performers like Ben Prestage, Sterling "Satan" Magee and Adolphus Bell. Although there is a strong emphasis on blues this remarkable book covers one man bands in just about every genre of music including folk, country, rock, world music and jazz. There are profiles of hundreds of different artists - most with photos - many of them in color along with record labels, album covers and photos of instrumental combinations. Even if you're not interested in a lot of the music these folks make it is a real joy to see the ingenuity people go to in order to play the music they love. This book is not only entertaining and informative but an invaluable contribution to musical literature. (FS)

THE DOZENS A History Of Rap's Mama by Elijah Wald ● BOOK $24.95
Hardback, 244 pages, highly recommended, counts as five CDs for shipping
This would be the perfect book for your mother, if she could read, but we all know she's too busy. Now if the preceding offended you, (and that was tame compared to what's actually in this book,) then this book isn't for you, but if not, then you probably will enjoy this scholarly effort on the most recess of topics: Doing the dozens, cutting, capping, slipping, and cracking, no matter what it might be called in your neighborhood, in short, "your mama" jokes in prose and poetry, their history and evolution. From the roots of Blues to modern Hip-Hop culture. Elijah Wald has authored many fine (if sometimes a little overly academic) books on American music history, specializing in the Blues, which he also teaches a course in at UCLA. This ranks with the best of his work and will make a fine addition to your music library, and should also provide certain of you with material and inspiration on heady and hedonistic nights in the future. Book also includes a brief, but fantastic section of vintage pictures and related paraphernalia. I for one also get a certain perverse delight in the fact that Oxford University Press published this, hopefully a sign of future cool releases from the esteemed institution. (JM)



JOHNNY HORTON Bear Family 20120 I'm A Fishin' Man ● DVD $31.98
This DVD collects most of the known videotaped performances of Johnny Horton from very early in his career until just a few weeks before he was killed. There are 25 filmed performances and three bonus audio performances spanning the years from 1953 until 1960. He not only sings his biggest hits, North To Alaska/ Johnny Reb, Sal's Got A Sugar Lip/ Sink The Bismarck and of course The Battle Of New Orleans, he also performs lesser known songs like The Electrified Donkey/ Done Rovin'/ I'm A Fishin' Man/ The Same Old Tale The Crow Told Me and Be Honest With Me - the latter as part of a trio with Eddy Arnold and Molly Bee). Even though there are no published interviews with Johnny Horton, on this DVD he talks with the hosts of the Ozark Jubilee show Red Foley, Bobby Lord, and Eddy Arnold.



JOHNNY ADAMS Fuel 2000 61615 An Introduction To Johnny Adams ● CD $13.98 $8.98
16 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
New Orleans singer Adams wraps his soulful, soaring pipes around 16 searing ballads and up tempo R&B items on these recordings produced by Senator Jones for a number of different labels in the late 70s and early 80s. Recorded at the Sea-Saint Studio with top New Orleans musicians like Walter Washington, Alan Toussaint, Leo Nocentelli and others he does a selection of new compositions as well as a diverse selection of covers ranging from Bobby Bland's Share Your Love With Me to Tom Jones's Ill never Fall In Love Again. Also includes After All The Good Is Gone/ Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You/ Your Love Is All I Need/ Who Will The Next Fool Be/ I Only Want To Be With You/ Struttin' On Sunday/ Love Letters/ Love Me Now and the terrific A Shoulder To Cry On featuring stellar guitar work. About half these tracks were previously available on AIM 1201 ($13.98). Now if only someone would make all of Adams' material from this period available. (FS)

THE BAILES BROTHERS Bear Family BCD 17133 Standing Somewhere In The Shadows - The Legendary King Recordings ● CD $21.98
22 tracks, recommended
This volume is not quite as strong as the first. Only 12 of the tracks are by the brothers as a a duo for a session held for King in 1953. The brothers voices have deepened and the sound is a bit more electric but is still fine old time country gospel - many of them written by the brothers including That's What We Need/ There's A Difference In Religion And Salvation/ Muddy Sea Of Sin/ I'll Run All The Way and others. After this the brothers went their own ways. Walter cut one single for the Texas Sarg label in 1958 - a duet with his wife Frankie whose voice has been compared with that of Audrey Williams. The remaining eight sides are solo recordings cut for Decca and Dolly in 1957 and '59 - these are straight ahead honky tonk country recorded in Nashville with top studio musicians and Webb Pierce added as harmony vocal on several of them. Decenet performances but nothing exceptional. (FS)

JOE BARRY Ace CDTOP2 1349 A Fool To Care - Classic Recordings, 1960-1967 ● CD $26.98
Two CDs, 51 tracks, recommended
Louisiana born Joe Barry didn't have to look far for his influences. The fat man loomed large on the horizon for Joe and he tapped into Domino's success bigtime. He slavishly imitates Fats with his singing and arrangements (he played the piano too) but he did it so well for a White boy that it comes off as endearing in small doses but a bit wearing over two full CDs. With the incredible wealth of musical talent in Louisiana the backup bands seem to work up every tune into a viable, polished swamp pop hit. This double set features recordings cut between 1961 and 1977 for Jin, Som, Princess, Crazy Cajun and other labels including unissued songs and alternate takes. His second recording for Jin was the great swamp pop ballad I'm A Fool To Care which was picked up by Smash and became a nationwide hit as did the follow up Teardrops In My Heart. In addition to the hit version of "Fool" we also have the French version Je Suis Bet Pour T'Aimer issued to appeal the local Cajun market. The early sides includes a mix of Dominoized versions of pop standards, original songs, R&B favorites and more - just about all done in Fats Domino style. His 1976/77 recordings are mostly straight ahead country and showed that he could sing without the Domino impersonation but are not particularly impressive and his impersonations of Merle Haggard and Lefty Frizzell when he sings their songs doesn't do him any credit. Being Ace the sound quality is superb and the 20 page booklet has extensive notes by Tony Rounce. (FS/ AE)

BROOK BENTON El Toro 1050 The Singer - A Rockin' Good Way, Vol. 1 ● CD $17.98
25 tracks, 63 mins, essential
First part of a two volume collection that puts the spotlight on Benton's vocal abilities (while the second, a various artists' compilation, focuses on his songwriting skills), mainly via years that were spent recording for the Okeh, Epic, and Vik labels. With the recently released 2CD set The Silky Smooth Tones of Brook Benton (Jasmine 687 - $18.98) centered on his peerless abilities as a balladeer, this collection's emphasis on his more rock 'n' roll side gives us much needed perspective on Benton's early career. From his gospel group days with The Sandmen (Somebody to Love) and recording as a soloist with Epic in the early 50's to the beginnings of his songwriting partnership with Clyde Otis at Vik in 1957, Benton's uptempo side shines through on tracks like Bring Me Love/ Hurtin' Inside/ Rock and Roll That Rhythm (All Night Long), and I Wanna Do Everything For You. Likewise, his swagger presents itself on Because You Love Me and Come On, Be Nice. Although heavily orchestrated ballads became his hallmark during his time at Mercury, the so-called 'teen market" wasn't totally forgotten; just check out Kiddio and his duets with Dinah Washington, A Rockin' Good Way and Baby (You've Got What it Takes). As said earlier, this CD of little-heard music is a perfect companion piece to the Jasmine set for those who want the complete musical picture of Brook Benton. Includes 16 page booklet with notes and photos. (GMC)

BILLY BROWN Bear Family BCD 17296 Did We Have A Party ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 76 mins, recommended
A collection of sides recorded between 1950 and 1969 by obscure vocalist Billy Brown from West Virginia. Brown's earliest sides for Columbia and Decca between 1950 and 1955 are straight ahead honky tonk. Brown is a pleasant, if not particularly distinguished singer though his High Heels But No Soul is a real winner. In 1957 he cut a couple of sessions that were issued on Columbia where he tried his hand at rock 'n' roll and turned out some fine rockers like Did We Have A Party/ Meet Me In The Alley Sally and Flip Out - all original compositions. The following year he was back to country with a couple more sessions for Columbia including recording the original version of He'll Have To Go that went nowhere but was a worldwide country and pop hit when Jim Reeves covered it two years later with a similar arrangement. In '60 and '61 he did a couple of sessions for Republic of hoky tonk country and the disc ends in 1969 when he recorded four sides for Challenge - two were originally unissued but are included here and actually feature some of his strongest singing. Brown continuing performing and recording on and off until his death in 2009. Though not a significant figure in the country scene he was a worthwhile and his life story is a very interesting one as revealed in Martin Hawkins' extensive notes which includes many rare photos including one of Billy with Jerry Lee Lewis and Webb Pierce in 1957. (FS)

THE CHANTELS Jasmine 206 Maybe - Their Greatest Recordings ● CD $13.98
31 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Formed in the Bronx in 1956, the Chantels, discovered by singer/ writer/ producer Richard Barrett, were one of the first "girl groups" and cut one of the definitive songs of that genre, Maybe. Unusual for the time, the group's lead singer, classically trained Arlene Smith, also wrote several of the group's songs including Maybe. Recording for End Records, the group also had lesser hits with He's Gone/ Every Night (I Pray) and I Love You So. In 1959 Barrett teamed up with the group for one single and the group had another hit with the beautiful Summer's Love. After End dropped them in 1959, Smith went solo and the group soldiered on managing hits with Look in My Eyes and Well I Told You in 1961. This compilation contains the Smith era recordings and the post-Smith Look in My Eyes. This superb collection features the group's two End LPs "We Are The Chantels" (1958) and "There's Our Song Again" (1961) along with Gone and Carlton singles featuring all their hits for these labels. Arlene Smith was one of the best vocalists of the girl group era - listen to her phrasing on Whoever You Are. (FS/ GMC)

CORTELIA CLARK Collector's Choice 487 Blues In The Street ● CD $13.98 $8.98
12 tracks, recommended
Last few copies. Reissue of intriguing 1966 RCA album that actually won the folk music Grammy that year though it never sold and is now a rare collector's item. Clark was one of the vanishing breed of African-American street singers who collected money from passers by from his music and selling shopping bags. His recording was cut "live" on the street by Felton Jarvis who later went on to produce Elvis and includes Clark talking as well as singing and playing. Clark was a limited performer though an engaging one and like most street singers his repertoire covered various genres including traditional and original blues and folk songs as well popular songs including a version of Bye Bye Love that The Everly Brothers probably wouldn't recognise! Since Jarvis didn't think the original recordings were "authentic" enough he overdubbed additional car noises to improve the "authenticity". These additional sounds are very annoying but are confined to the left channel so you can cut them out if you wish but I'm puzzled why Collector's Choice didn't just issue it without the "enhancements". Clark was certainly not a major discovery but worth a listen and Colin Escott's interesting new notes give us a lot of insight into these recordings and the sad fate that ultimately befell this improbable Grammy winner. (FS)

ROY ELDRIDGE Proper BOX 69 Little Jazz Trumpet Giant ● CD $26.98 $17.98
4 discs, 97 tracks, highly recommended
Outstanding box set showcasing the trumpeter often called the most important trumpeter between Louis Armstrong & Dizzy Gillespie? Diz was one of his most vocal champions! Starting off with a rare '35 Vocalion side with the Teddy Hill Orch (the wonderfully titled (Lookie Lookie Lookie) Here Comes Cookie), Little Jazz then moves to some small all-star groups that were putting out records for juke boxes, including those led by Teddy Wilson, including backing Billie Holiday on What A Little Moonlight Can Do, with the Fletcher Henderson Orch & with the Fletcher Henderson Chocololate Bunnies & finally Gene Krupa, where he would really make his name . There's some small band Krupa sides with Benny Goodman including I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music, then his own big band sides for Vocalion before moving on to Krupa's big band with Anita O'Day & renown in such classics as Let Me Off Uptown & Rockin' Chair. In between there's also some wonderful live radio shots. From Krupa was his again renowned stint with Artie Shaw including the track named after his own nickname - Little Jazz. And that's only the first two discs! Disc 3 concentrates on his European recordings - 1950 recordings done in Paris for Vogue & in 1951 in Stockholm for Metronome. The final disc mostly has his '51-53 Mercury sides. And of course there's the multiple Metronome All-Star sessions throughout. A 48 page booklet puts it all together. (GM)

BILLY FURY Peaksoft 10 The Road to Paradise - 37 Classic Tracks ● CD $19.98
37 tracks, highly recommended
A relative unknown in the U.S., Billy Fury was one of the biggest pop acts in the U.K. during the early 60's. A singer that recorded many of his originals at a time when most U.K. singers either covered U.S. hits or performed material penned by professionals, Fury was a rarity in his time. This collection contains his first six (mostly self-penned) singles, his first LP, "The Sound of Fury" (an influential classic in Britain), an assortment of radio and TV live recordings, and a May 1958 Liverpool recording session. While some of these songs were minor hits, Fury didn't hit the jackpot until he cut Halfway to Paradise (not included here) in 1961. Fury's singles are similar to the "teen idol" pop that was sweeping America at the same time, and there's a couple of standouts - Gonna Type a Letter and Don't Knock Upon My Door, which, incidentally, are B-Sides-but it's the LP tracks that take center stage: My Advice/ Phone Call/ Don't Say it's Over, and Since You've Been Gone all rock with a vitality that was rivaled only by early Cliff Richard. Fury isn't an especially unique singer, but he was extremely popular and continues to have a loyal following. This collection presents him at his best: from 1957 to 1961, when he was still allowed to record his own compositions and retain some purity of vision before the endless balladeering took over. For fans, this CD is pure catnip; for everyone else, it's worth a look for those interested in pre-Beatles British Rock. (GMC)

PAUL GAYTEN El Toro R&B 116 Ain't Nothin' Happenin' - Cool Jump Blues, 1947-1957 ● CD $17.98 $12.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of New Orleans blues focusing on the talents of the outstanding singer/ pianist/ songwriter/ bandleader and producer Paul Gayten. About half the tracks are by Gayten himself while the rest features sides produced by Gayten and backed by Gayten's band including vocalists Annie Laurie, Joe "Mr. Google Eyes" August, Larry Darnell and Charles "Hungry" Williams and instrumentalist Lee Allen. Joining Gayten's sterling piano work are such fine musicians as guitarist Edgar Blanchard, teno saxist Lee Alen, trumpeter Wallace Davenport and others. The tracks are arranged chronologically so one can watch the development of the music from the mellow West Coast falvored stylings to the more hard driving New Orleans sound that defined the music of the city. Although a fair number of the tracks have been reissued before this is the first time they have been brought together under the rubric of the man who made them all possible. Includes the R&B chart hits For You My Love/ Cuttin' Out and I'll Never Be Free Sound is excellent and there are informative notes by Dave Penny. (FS)
LEE ALLEN: Drivin' Home (Part 2)/ Gayten's Nightmare/ LARRY DARNELL: For You My Love/ PAUL GAYTEN: Back Trackin'/ Cow Cow Blues/ Creole Gal/ Down Boy/ For You My Love/ Get It/ Hey Little Girl/ If You Love Me, Tell Me So/ It Ain't Nothin' Happenin'/ Nervous Boogie/ Oooh-La-La/ The Music Goes Round And Round/ The Sweeper/ Tickle Toe/ Yeah Yeah Yeah/ Yellow Dog/ You Better Believe It/ Your Hands Ain't Clean/ ANNIE LAURIE: Annie's Blues/ Cuttin' Out/ I Still Love You/ My Rough And Ready Man/ One Sweet Letter From You/ I Ain't Gonna Let You In/ I'll Never Be Free/ MR GOOGLE EYES: Young Boy/ CHARLES "HUNGRY" WILLIAMS: So Glad She's Mine

PAPA LIGHTFOOT/ JIMMY ANDERSON Delta Cat 1004 Natchez Harmonica Naturals ● CD $16.98 $13.98
25 tracks, 63 mins, recommended
Fine collection of harmonica blues. The first nine cuts features all the 1950 recordings issued under his own name by Natchez born Alexander "Papa George" Lightfoot with the exception of his astoundingly rare Sultan 78. Lightfoot is a favorite among blues fans for his powerful gruff vocals and dynamic vocals and his recordings have been frequently reissued but it's nice to have them all (or almost all) together here. Jimmy Anderson was a younger blues singer and harmonica player, also from Natchez who was initially influenced by Lightfoot but subsequently took as his model Jimmy Reed - both instrumentally and in his slurred vocal stylings. Anderson recorded for Jay Miller in the early 60s and had a handful of singles issued on Zynn, Excello and Dot and all these are featured here along with a number of unissued tracks that first appeared on Flyright many years ago. Although Anderson was no great original he was an engaging and appealing performer accompanied by top notch Excello studio musicians and performs mostly original songs like Angel Please/ Naggin'/ Going Through The Park/ Goin' Crazy Over TV and others. He also does a nice rendition of fellow Excello artist Slim Harpo's I'm A KIng Bee. Sound quality is fine and though there are no notes there is full discographical info. (FS)

PATSY MONTANA B.A.C.M. 386 Singing With Her Guitar, Vol. 2 ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 67 min., highly recommended
Patsy Montana was of course from Arkansas and gained notoriety in 1935 for her own million seller I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart. Many of her recordings feature The Prairie Ramblers, so it's nice to hear these transcription recordings from 1941 which find Ms. Montana with just her guitar for company. She sings There's An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight, There's A Love Knot In My Lariat, When It's Prayer Meeting Time In The Hollow, and other long-titled numbers, 18 in all. Four "bonus tracks," recorded in Chicago at various times with The Prairie Ramblers, have been added at the end, including I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart No. 2 from 1937, and the very early (1933) Montana Plains. (JC)
PATSY MONTANA: Froggie Went A Courtin'-I'll Remember You Love In My Prayers/ Han'some Joe (From The Land Of The Navajo)/ Happy Joe-Softly And Tenderly/ How I Love My Saddle Songs-Round-Up In Cheyenne/ I Wanna To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart No. 2/ I'll Keep On Loving You/ In The Cumberland Mountains-Round-Up Time In Heaven/ Mexcali Rose-Hillbilly Wedding In June/ Montana Plains-Put My Little Shoes Away/ Montana Plans/ Mother's Old Red Shawl-Nancy Till Down In The Canebreak/ New Frontier-Sweet Kitty Wells/ Old Pal Of My Saddle Days-Sing Me A Cowboy Song/ Out On The Lone Praire/ Silver Threads Among The Gold-When The Moon Shines On Mississippi Valley/ The West Is In My Soul-I Miss You So Much My Darlin'/ There's A Letter In The Mailbox-Out There In The Beautiful Hills/ There's A Love Knot In My Lariat-Daddy & Home/ There's An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight/ Utah Trail-It Makes No Difference Now/ When It's Prayer Meeting Time In The Hollow-When It's Springtime In The Des/ When The Pale Moon Shines-Arizona Yodeler

LAURA LEE PERKINS Bear Family BCD 17294 Juke Box Pearls - Don't Wait Up! ● CD $21.98
14 tracks, 29 min., highly recommended
Janis Martin was called the female Elvis, and not without some justification, and the more obscure Perkins was known as the female Jerry Lee Lewis, if she was known at all. She cut a couple of rock and roll singles for Imperial in 1957-58, using Ricky Nelson's arranger, and by the early 1960's faded back into obscurity. This excellent Bear Family package contains her released Imperial sides (all rare), her unissued sides, and a built-in booklet that includes the most complete biography of Perkins available, a discography, and a treasure trove of photos. When she's sounding like Jerry Lee Lewis, her wildness is at its rawest, but in truth there is something disingenuous about her rock and roll spirit. It all feels just slightly off. In fact, her 1963 recording of I Enjoy Being A Girl, where she sounds more like Doris Day than Jerry Lee, feels more authentic than anything else--though it's probably sacrilege to say so. Other tracks include Don't Wait Up/ Oh La Baby/ Kiss Me Baby, the Hank Williams song I Just Don't Like This Kind Of Livin' (all released) as well as the unissued Hound Dog/ No One Will Ever Know, and others. Another nice addition to Bear Family's Juke Box Pearls collection. (JC)

PUCHO & THE LATIN SOUL BROTHERS BGP CDBGP 252 s Big Stick/ Dateline ● CD $18.98
15 tracks, 70 Min., very highly recommended
Rediscovered in the 1990s thanks to the popularity of acid jazz and sampling that largely ignored copyright laws, Pucho has been spinning out his brand of Latin jazz and soul since the early 1960's. This BGP/Ace release is everything a reissue should be: a twofer, reissuing a pair of Henry "Pucho" Brown Prestige LPs: Big Stick (PR 7555) from 1968 and Dateline (PR 7616) from 1969. The booklet includes reproductions of the original album covers and backs (!) along with pictures of the labels, and of course informative notes. "Big Stick" is notable for being Pucho's only album that does not include a horn section, but both albums are lost gems. More like this, please. (JC)

THE SAVOY ORPHEANS, SAVOY HAVANA BAND Retrieval 79070 & The Sylvians 1923-1927 ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
A lively selection of hot dance band and jazz from the band that was commissioned to play in London's deluxe Savoy Hotel. The three groups here are all, more or less, the same group with slightly different personnel. Put together by flamboyant entrepreneur William F. de Mornys who decided to make his group special by hiring American musicians the group at different times included King Oliver influenced trumpeter Vernon Ferry, saxophonist Bert Ralton and others. Their repertoire is a varied collection of pop and jazz tunes including I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate/ Come On, Red (You Red-Hot Devil Man)/ Any Way The Wind Blows/ Copenhagen/ Everybody Loves My Baby/ Blue Evening Blues/ Stomp Off, Let's Go and more. Excellent sound and 32 page booklet with extensive notes and discographical info. (FS)

THE SOUL STIRRERS/ FAIRFIELD FOUR Fuel 2000 61576 Gospel Legends, Vol. 1 ● CD $15.98 $9.98
2 CDs, 28 tracks, 93 min., highly recommended
The Fairfield Four cuts are actually a retitled reissue of their extremely rare Old Town LP (#103) from 1962 with (contrary to the slipcase listing) songs in in the original running order--worth mentioning only because the Ace CD reissue of the same LP from 2000 inexplicably changes the running order. In any case, the album isn't as good as it is rare, but it's close. And the title track is wonderful. The Soul Stirrers CD reissues a fine 10-track 1973 LP on the Shreveport-based Jewel label, and adds half a dozen other Jewel cuts from the same time period, most featuring the brothers Crume. An economical way to get your hands on some classic gospel from the '60s and '70s. (JC)

RED SOVINE Bear Family BCD 17268 Juke Joint Johnny - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
Although best known for his maudlin recitations in the 60s and 70s Red was actually an excellent honky tonk singer and this collection of songs recorded between 1949 and 1962 is a fine collection of uptempo honky tonk. It includes his 1954 recording of the Webb Pierce/ Wayne Walker composition How Do You Think I Feel which was recorded a couple of years later by a young chap named Elvis Presley. There are a couple of duets with Goldie Hill including a cover of Gene & Eunice's R&B hit Ko Ko Mo and a great update of the 1936 Dixon Brothers song The Intoxicated Rat and does a superb duet with Webb Pierce on George Jones' Why Baby Why. His Barking Up The Wrong Tree from 1950 is a Hank Williams song that Hank never recorded and his 1957 cover of Lattie Moore's Juke Joint Johnny was not a hit but is now considered a rockbilly classic. Other songs include Okey Dokey/ I'm Gonna Lock My Heart (And Throw Away The Key)/ Billy Goat Boogie/ It'd Surprise You/ I Hope You Don't Care/ You're Calling Me Sweetheart/ You Used To Be My Baby/ Down ON The Corner Of Love (a fine version of the Buck Owens song)/ Courtin' Time In Tennessee/ Cajun Queen (a sequel to Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John) and others. Superb sound and extensively annotated 46 page booklet with rare photos and discographical details. (FS)

RALPH STANLEY Rebel 9501 Old Songs And Ballads ● CD $8.98
10 tracks, 27 mins, highly recommended
I seem to be in the minority of people who actually didn't like Ralph Stanley's tracks on the "Lawless" soundtrack--I just didn't think that they worked. So, I am quite happy to get this new album, just chock full of what Stanley does best (not to mention better than just about anyone else alive today!) With this you get wonderful new versions of vintage songs like Little Maggie/ Pretty Polly/ Short Life Of Trouble/ Gold Watch and Chain/ The Orphan Girl, and more, all just pitch perfect, exactly what you want from a Ralph Stanley album, well almost, this would be perfect if it was twice as long. Unfortunately, much like The Ramones, great Ralph Stanley albums rarely make it past a half hour; oh well, its still highly recommendable. (JM)

HANS THEESSINK & TERRY EVANS Blue Groove 2220 Delta Time ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 58 min., very highly recommended
Delta time must be a little slower and more laid back than regular old time, but it's no less intense. The acoustic sound here feels timeless as Terry Evan's vocals blend well with Theessink's own lower register singing. Ry Cooder fans should take note that that guitar master lends his genius to three cuts, including the memorable How Come People Act Like That. But in truth, the album is great on its own terms, and while Cooder makes anything better, he doesn't save the day because the day didn't need saving. A pleasure from start to finish, this album of soulful blues with gospel flavor is among the best this year. The cover of the classic soul song Pouring Water On A Drowning Man will make anyone a believer. And if the cover of The Birds And The Bees seems an odd choice, note that Terry Evans sang on the original recording. A find. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1346 Handy Man - The Otis Blackwell Songbook ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Otis Blackwell wrote several hits for Elvis including All Shook Up and Don't Be Cruel, -as well as few other R&B standards like Fever, Handy Man, and The Shape I'm In, but this is the first time a compilation has been assembled of his work. So we get Don't Be Cruel but it's by the Killer himself, Jerry Lee Lewis, and All Shook Up, but it's by the unknown David Hill (who recorded it before Elvis). Oh, Presley is represented by a track cut in 1960, post-Army, for the Elvis Is Back LP, Make Me Know it, and it's a humdinger. The versatility of Blackwell's songwriting is fully displayed by the wide variety of artists presented on this CD: Clyde McPhatter, The Five Keys, Ben E. King, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Del Shannon, Gene Pitney, Mahalia Jackson, Sam Butera and the Witnesses, and Roy Clark, and that's just for openers. File this one under interesting: an alternate take of Little Willie John's "Fever", complete with string overdubs. Spanning the years 1956 to 1964, the scope of this collection, while showcasing Blackwell's peerless songwriting, is what makes this CD a more than worthy purchase. (GMC)
OTIS BLACKWELL AND WINFIELD SCOTT: One Broken Heart For Sale (Demo)/ SOLOMON BURKE: Home In Your Heart/ SAM BUTERA AND THE WITNESSES: I Feel Good All Over/ DEE CLARK: Just Keep It Up (And See What Happens)/ ROY CLARK: Please, Mister Mayor/ EDDIE COOLEY AND THE DIMPLES: Priscilla/ THE FIVE KEYS: My Pigeon's Gone/ WADE FLEMONS: Slow Motion/ CHARLIE GRACIE: Cool Baby/ THURSTON HARRIS: Hey Little Girl/ DAVID HILL: All Shook Up/ MAHALIA JACKSON: For My Good Fortune/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Fever/ JIMMY JONES: Too Long Will Be Too Late/ BEN E. KING: Brace Yourself/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Don't Be Cruel/ DEREK MARTIN: Daddy Rollin' Stone/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: I Told Myself A Lie/ GENE PITNEY: I'll Find You/ ELVIS PRESLEY: Make Me Know It/ THE QUEEN (DINAH WASHINGTON): Honky Tonky/ JOHNNY RESTIVO: The Shape I'm In/ CLIFF RICHARD AND THE SHADOWS: Nine Times Out Of Ten/ DEL SHANNON: Handy Man

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1352 Hard To Handle - Black American Sings Otis Redding ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, very highly recommended
Thought Aretha Franklin was the only Black artist to cover the late, great Otis Redding? Well think again, because here are 24 (one track is a previously unreleased take of Redding himself cutting "Loving By the Pound", and it KILLS) of the biggest and/or brightest names of 60s and 70s soul putting their stamp on some of the Otis' best compositions. The releases span the late 60s right into the mid 1990s, but there's no stinkers in this bunch (fears of the 80s/90s cuts to the contrary). From Judy Clay's spirited reworking of Mr. Pitiful (re-titled Sister Pitiful) and William Bell's impassioned I've Been Loving You Too Long to Mitty Collier's beautifully measured I'm Missing You and Clarence Carter's Just One More Day, the interpretations are fully realized and well tailored to each performer's style. The nice surprises include Buddy Miles' blues rock take on Give Away None of My Love, Patti Drew pouring on the sass on Hard To Handle, and The Staple Singers' gospel-esque Dock of the Bay. And the compilers even manage to include Aretha's Respect. This is one Ace Soul collection not to be missed. (GMC)
WILLIAM BELL: I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)/ TINA BRITT: Hawg For You/ MAXINE BROWN: Baby Cakes/ JAMES CARR: I Can't Turn You Loose/ CLARENCE CARTER: Just One More Day/ JUDY CLAY: Sister Pitiful/ MITTY COLLIER: I'm Missing You/ ARTHUR CONLEY: A Year, A Month And A Day/ Wholesale Love/ PATTI DREW: Hard To Handle/ KING FLOYD: Think About It/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Respect/ JACKIE HAIRSTON: Monkey On My Back/ DONALD HEIGHT: Good To Me/ ETTA JAMES: I Got The Will/ BUDDY MILES: Give Away None Of My Love/ MICKEY MURRAY: Shout Bamalama/ JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY: Keep Pushing Me/ LOU RAWLS: Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)/ OTIS REDDING: Loving By The Pound (Tk 2)/ PERCY SLEDGE: I've Got Dreams To Remember/ THE STAPLE SINGERS: (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay/ BETTYE SWANN: Chained And Bound/ IRMA THOMAS: Security/ ALBERT WASHINGTON & THE KINGS: These Arms Of Mine

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17284 Street Corner Symphonies - Complete Story Of Doo-Wop Vol. 6 - 1954 ● CD $24.98
32 mins, 89 mins, essential
Just arrived. Bear Family continues its fabulous survey of the development of doo-wop from 1939 through 1963 with another five volumes covering the years 1954 through 1958. This volume features a fantastic selection of sides from 1954 with one great song after another - as in the previous year, a number of songs crossed over to the pop charts though now major record companies were realizing the appeal of the music and had white pop artists doing covers and both The Penguins (Earth Angel) and The Chords (Sh-Boom) were denied greater success thanks to anemic covers by Canadian pop group The Crew-Cuts. But this set features the fabulous originals. One song the pop groups didn't dare cover was The Royals featuring Hank Ballard with their Work With Me Annie - a risqué song that was banned by a number of radio stations but one that prompted a number of covers and sequels and reached the top of the R&B charts under the group's new name name Hank Ballard & The Midnighters. Other all time classics from this year include Gloria by The Cadillacs, Lovey Dovey by The Clovers, Sincerely by The Moonglows, God Only Knows by The Capris (a male group with a female lead), Riot In Cell Block #9 by The Robins (soon to be The Coasters), Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite by The Spaniels and others. There's a also a selection of lesser known but great sides like the beautiful ballad A Thousand Stars by The Rivileers (a big hit for white group Kathy Young & The Innocents six years later), Trying To Get To You by The Eagles (covered by Elvis a year later) and the wonderful A House With No Windows by The Checkers with a gospel flavor that would become a stronger influence over the years and eventually lead to "soul music." Every track is a gem with fantastic sound and the enclosed booklet has extensive and informative notes by Bill Dahl. (FS)
THE '5' ROYALES: I Do/ LEE ANDREWS AND THE HEARTS: Maybe You'll Be There/ THE CADILLACS: Gloria/ THE CAPRIS: God Only Knows/ THE CHARMS: Hearts Of Stone/ THE CHECKERS: House With No Windows/ THE CHORDS: Sh-Boom/ THE CLOVERS: Lovey Dovey/ THE COUNTS: Darling Dear/ THE DIABLOS: The Wind/ THE DRIFTERS: Honey Love/ THE DU DROPPERS: Boot 'Em Up/ THE EAGLES: Tryin' To Get To You/ THE FIVE KEYS: Ling, Ting, Tong/ THE FLAMINGOS: Dream Of A Lifetime/ SHIRLEY GUNTER: Oop Shoop/ THE HARP-TONES: My Memories Of You/ THE HAWKS: It Ain't That Way/ THE JEWELS: Oh Yes I Know/ THE LAMPLIGHTERS: I Used To Cry Mercy, Mercy/ THE MEDALLIONS: The Letter/ THE MOONGLOWS: Sincerely/ THE PENGUINS: Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)/ THE PLAYBOYS: My Buddy Done Stole My Chippie/ THE RAINBOWS: Mary Lee/ THE RIVILEERS: A Thousand Stars/ THE ROBINS: Riot In Cell Block #9/ THE ROYALS: Work With Me Annie/ THE SCARLETS: Dear One/ THE SOLITAIRES: Please Remember My Heart/ THE SPANIELS: Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite/ THE SPIDERS: I'm Slippin' In

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17285 Street Corner Symphonies - Complete Story Of Doo-Wop Vol 7 - 1955 ● CD $24.98
Just arrived. 32 classic sides from 1955 including tracks by The Teenagers, Five Keys, Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters, The Midnighters, The Regals, Four Fellows, Spiders, Royal Jokers, Cues, Orchids, Cardinals and many more. More details next time.
THE CADILLACS: Speedo/ THE CARDINALS: The Door Is Still Open/ THE CHIMES: Zindy Lou/ THE CLEFTONES: You Baby You/ THE COLTS: Adorable/ THE CUES: Burn That Candle/ THE DANDERLIERS: Chop Chop Boom/ THE DIABLOS: The Way You Dog Me Around/ THE EL DORADOS: At My Front Door/ THE FI-TONES QUINTETTE: It Wasn't A Lie/ THE FIVE KEYS: Close Your Eyes/ THE FOUR FELLOWS: Soldier Boy/ THE HARPTONES: Life Is But A Dream/ THE HEARTS: Lonely Nights/ THE JACKS: Why Don't You Write Me/ DON JULIAN & THE MEADOWLARKS: Heaven And Paradise/ THE MARIGOLDS: Rollin' Stone/ CLYDE MCPHATTER AND THE DRIFTERS: What'Cha Gonna Do/ THE MELLOWS: Smoke From Your Cigarette/ THE MIDNIGHTERS: Don't Change Your Pretty Ways/ THE MOONGLOWS: Most Of All/ THE MOROCCOS: Red Hots And Chili/ THE NUTMEGS: Story Untold/ THE ORCHIDS: Newly Wed/ THE PLATTERS: Only You (And You Alone)/ THE REGALS: Got The Water Boiling/ THE ROYAL JOKERS: You Tickle Me Baby/ THE SPIDERS: Witchcraft/ THE TEENAGERS: Why Do Fools Fall In Love/ THE TURBANS: When You Dance/ THE VALENTINES: Lily Maebelle/ THE WRENS: Come Back My Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17286 Street Corner Symphonies - Complete Story Of Doo-Wop Vol 8 - 1956 ● CD $24.98
Just arrived. 1956 brings us tracks by The Five Satins, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, The PLatters, Magnificents, Channels, Cadillacs, Jive Bombers, Spaniels, Lewis Lymon & The Teenchords, The Moonglows, Valentines and many more.  More details next time.
THE BOP-CHORDS: Castle In The Sky/ JAMES BROWN WITH THE FAMOUS FLAMES: Please, Please, Please/ THE CADETS: Stranded In The Jungle/ THE CADILLACS: Zoom/ JIMMY CASTOR AND THE JUNIORS: I Promise/ THE CHANNELS: The Closer You Are/ THE CHIPS: Rubber Biscuit/ THE CLEFTONES: Little Girl Of Mine/ THE CLOVERS: Devil Or Angel/ THE COASTERS: Down In Mexico/ THE COOKIES: In Paradise/ THE DELL-VIKINGS: Come Go With Me/ THE DELLS: Oh What A Nite/ THE DRIFTERS: Ruby Baby/ THE FIVE SATINS: In The Still Of The Nite/ THE FLAMINGOS: I'll Be Home/ THE G-CLEFS: Ka-Ding Dong/ THE HEARTBEATS: A Thousand Miles Away/ THE JAGUARS: The Way You Look Tonight/ THE JIVE BOMBERS: Bad Boy/ JIMMY JONES AND THE PRETENDERS: Lover/ FRANKIE LYMON AND THE TEENAGERS: I Want You To Be My Girl/ LEWIS LYMON AND THE TEENCHORDS: I'm So Happy (Tra-La-La-La-La-La)/ THE MAGNIFICENTS: Up On The Mountain/ THE MOONGLOWS: See Saw/ THE PEARLS: Let's You And I Go Steady/ THE PLATTERS: My Prayer/ THE SIX TEENS: A Casual Look/ THE SPANIELS: You Gave Me Peace Of Mind/ THE VALENTINES: The Woo Woo Train/ ANDRE WILLIAMS: Bacon Fat/ THE WILLOWS: Church Bells May Ring

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17287 Street Corner Symphonies - Complete Story Of Doo-Wop Vol 9 - 1957 ● CD $24.98
Just arrived. From 1957 we have The Silhouettes, Five Satins, "5" Royales, Bobbettes, Shells, Norman Fox & The Rob Roys, The Charts, Solitaires, Little Joe & The Thrillers, Tune Weavers, Hollywood Flames, Stanley Mitchell & The Tornadoes, etc. More details next time.
THE 5 ROYALES: Dedicated To The One I Love/ LEE ANDREWS & THE HEARTS: Lonely Nights/ THE BOBBETTES: Mr. Lee/ THE CADILLACS: My Girlfriend/ THE CELLOS: Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am The Japanese Sandman)/ THE CHANTELS: Maybe/ THE CHARTS: Deserie/ THE CLEFTONES: Lover Boy/ THE COASTERS: Searchin'/ BOBBY DAY AND THE SATELLITES: Little Bitty Pretty One/ THE DELL-VIKINGS: Whispering Bells/ THE DELLS: Why Do You Have To Go/ THE DUBS: Could This Be Magic/ THE EL TORROS: Dance With Me/ THE FIVE SATINS: To The Aisle/ NORMAN FOX & THE ROB ROYS: Tell Me Why/ THE GLADIOLAS: Little Darlin'/ THE HOLLYWOOD FLAMES: Buzz-Buzz-Buzz/ THE JESTERS: So Strange/ LITTLE JOE & THE THRILLERS: Peanuts/ THE MELLO-KINGS: Tonite, Tonite/ STANLEY MITCHELL AND THE TORNANDOS: Four O'Clock In The Morning/ THE MONOTONES: Book Of Love/ THE PARAGONS: Florence/ THE PASTELS: Been So Long/ THE RAYS: Silhouettes/ THE SHELLS: Baby Oh Baby/ THE SILHOUETTES: Get A Job/ THE SOLITAIRES: Walking Along/ THE SPANIELS: Everyone's Laughing/ THE TUNE WEAVERS: Happy, Happy Birthday Baby/ THE TURBANS: Congratulations/ THE VALENTINES: Don't Say Goodnight/ THE VELOURS: Can I Come Over Tonight

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17288 Street Corner Symphonies - Complete Story Of Doo-Wop Vol 10 - 1958 ● CD $24.98
Just arrived. The last one in this batch covers 1958 with 34 tracks from The Crest, Dion & The Belmonts, Danleers, Videos, Drifters, Eugene Church & The Fellows, James Brown & The Famous Flames, The Chanters, Quin-Tones, Students, Collegians, Kodoks, etc.  More details next time.
LEE ANDREWS AND THE HEARTS: Try The Impossible/ THE AVALONS: Hearts Desire/ HANK BALLARD AND THE MIDNIGHTERS: Teardrops On Your Letter/ JAMES BROWN AND THE FAMOUS FLAMES: Try Me/ JERRY BUTLER & THE IMPRESSIONS: For Your Precious Love/ THE CAPRIS: There's A Moon Out Tonight/ THE CHANTELS: I Love You So/ THE CHANTERS: No, No, No/ EUGENE CHURCH AND THE FELLOWS: Pretty Girls Everywhere/ THE COASTERS: Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart/ THE COLLEGIANS: Zoom Zoom Zoom/ THE CRESTS: 16 Candles/ THE DANLEERS: One Summer Night/ DION AND THE BELMONTS: I Wonder Why/ THE DRIFTERS: Drip Drop/ THE EDSELS: Lama Rama Ding Dong (aka Rama Lama Ding Dong)/ THE ELEGANTS: Little Star/ THE FIDELITY'S: The Things I Love/ THE FIESTAS: So Fine/ THE FLAMINGOS: Lovers Never Say Goodbye/ WADE FLEMONS AND THE NEWCOMERS: Here I Stand/ HARVEY AND THE MOONGLOWS: Ten Commandments Of Love/ THE KODOKS: Oh Gee, Oh Gosh/ LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS: Tears On My Pillow/ THE OLYMPICS: Western Movies/ THE PASTELS: So Far Away/ THE QUIN-TONES: Down The Aisle Of Love/ THE SHIELDS: You Cheated/ THE SHIRELLES: I Met Him On A Sunday/ THE SKYLINERS: Since I Don't Have You/ THE SPANIELS: Stormy Weather/ THE STUDENTS: I'm So Young/ THE VALIANTS: This Is The Nite/ THE VIDEOS: Trickle, Trickle

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 2000 61691 Rare Blues From Deep In The Vaults ● CD $13.98 $8.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
A great, if too short, collection of down home blues recorded between 1949 and 1963 - mostly for Chicago labels like J.O.B., Cobra, Age, USA and others and much of it not originally released and a number of tracks not currently available elsewhere. It includes Robert Lockwood's version of Dust My Broom which was recorded prior to Elmore Jamnes' hit version but never issued. In spite of Lockwood's bitter comments about it I doubt it would have been as succesful as Elmore's since Elmore's version had his wonderful slide guitar and better vocal. It also features sides by Moody Jones (Floyd Jones's brother who shared with Floyd that wonderful dark mournful vocal style), Guitar Shorty (his tough You Don't Treat Me Right from 1957 with Lafayette Leake, Willie Dixon & Odie Payne), Ricky Allen (a fine version of Little By Little with Earl Hooker on guitar), Sunnyland Slim, Leroy Foster (one of my favorite vocalists with the gorgeous, originally unissued Blues Is Killing ME with Sunnyland Slim & Robert Lockwood), A.C. Reed, Lillian Offitt (her classic Will My Man Be Home Tonight with great slide from Earl Hooker), Shakey Jake (with Magic Sam on guitar), J.B. Hutto, Jackie Brenston (best known from his 1951 recording of Rocket "88" with the great Want You To Rock Me from 1963 - a version of Rock Me mama with trademark slide guitar riffs from Earl Hooker) and more. Usual fine notes by Bill Dahl. Long time collectors will probably have most of these sides but for others it is a treasure trove of great music. (FS)
RICKY ALLEN: Little by Little/ JACKIE BRENSTON: Want You to Rock Me/ JOHN BRIM: Hard Pill to Swallow/ JESSE FORTUNE: Heavy Heart Beat/ LEROY FOSTER: Blues Is Killin' Me/ GUITAR SHORTY: You Don't Treat Me Right/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: I Love to Boogie/ J.B. HUTTO: Combination Boogie/ ELMORE JAMES: Knockin' at Your Door/ MOODY JONES: Why Should I Worry/ J.B. LENOIR: I Want to Know/ ROBERT LOCKWOOD JR.: Dust My Broom (alternate take)/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: Keep Drinkin'/ LILLIAN OFFITT: Will My Man Be Home Tonight/ A.C. REED: I Wanna Be Free/ SHAKEY JAKE: Call Me If You Need Me/ SUNNYLAND SLIM: Leaving Your Town/ LITTLE WALTER: Blue Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 61934 Cobra Records - The Singles Collection ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 36 tracks, very highly recommended if you don't already have them
Fuel Records continues to endlessly recycle the catalog of Chicago's great Cobra label and its subsidiary Artistic which were active between 1956 and '59 and produced many classic recordings. This latest production includes one side of every single issued on Cobra and Artistic (with the exception of the gospel single by Rev. Robert Ballanger) presented in chronological order. I would have prefferred a three CD set with both sides of each singe - but, unfortunately, I don't make the rules. Anyway, this is a great collection of mostly blues along with some R&B and doo-wop with sides by Otis Rush, Shakey Horton, Harold Burrage, Sunnyland Slim, Gloria Irving, Little Willie Foster, Magic Sam, Clarence Jolly, Betty EVerett, Charles Clark, Buddy Guy (his first commercial recordings), Jimmy Kelly and others. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS GVC 2033 On Bended Knee - The Birth Of Swamp Pop ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 65 tracks, 159 mins, highly recommended
Well just what is "swamp pop"? It's a South Louisiana mixture of rock 'n' roll, R&B, country and Cajun music blended together with heartfelt vocals to make an immensely appealing brew. The emphasis tends to be on ballads, often done to waltz tempo. The name "swamp pop" didn't actually emerge until the late 1960s. When the recordings here were made the music would have been categorized as R&B or rock 'n' roll and featured both African-American and white vocalists. The influence of New Orleans R&B is strong, and in particular, the music of Fats Domino whose warm Creole vocals and pounding piano triplets influenced many a swamp pop singer. This superb collection presents a selection of sides recorded between 1955 and 1961 with some of the earliest examples of this style in recordings by Earl KIng, Bbby Charles, Roy "Boogie Boy" Perkins and others. In 1958 Cookie & The Cupcakes recorded the wonderful Mathilda which, though only a minor hit, is considered the anthem of swamp pop. The same year came the first million seller in that style with Jimmy Clanton's Just A Dream and there were several other nationwide swamp pop hits over the next few years (all featured here) including Warren Storm's great update of the 1920s favorite Prisoner's Song, Phil Phillips' Sea Of Love, JIvin' Gene's Breaking Up Is Hard To Do and Joe Barry's I'm A Fool To Care. Rod Bernard had a big hit with the song This Should Go On Forever which is featured here in the original 1957 recording by King Karl & Guitar Gable. There are lots of other great tracks - many of them local hits - including sides by Elton Anderson, Red Smiley & The Vel-Tones, Johnnie Allan, Buck Rogers, Dale Houston, Gabe Dean and many more. By the early 1960s the style was dead as a national phenomena but still treasured by Louisiana musicians who continue to perform in the style to the present days. Sound is decent and there are a couple of pages of notes but much more extensive documentation can be found at GVC's wbe site at -the-birth-of-swamp-pop/. (FS)
JOHNNIE ALLAN: Cry Foolish Heart/ Lonely Days, Lonely Nights/ My Baby Is Gone/ Your Picture/ ROCKIN' DAVE ALLEN & THE THUNDERBIRDS: Give Me One More Chance/ Shirley Jean/ Walking Slowly/ ELTON ANDERSON: Secret Of Love/ Shed So Many Tears/ Want A Come Back Home/ DOUG ARDOIN & THE BOOGIE KINGS: Lost Love/ JOSEF BARRIOS: Oh Teet Fille (Oh Little Girl)/ JOE BARRY: Heartbroken Love/ I'm A Fool To Care/ Teardrops In My Heart/ ROD BERNARD: Just A Memory/ Shedding Teardrops Over You/ PHIL BO: She Wears My Ring/ THE BOOGIE RAMBLERS FT. SHELTON DUNAWAY: Cindy Lou/ BOBBY CHARLES: Four Winds/ On Bended Knee/ Why Can't You/ JIMMY CLANTON: I Trusted You/ Just A Dream/ COOKIE & THE CUPCAKES: Mathilda/ Since Your Love Has Grown Cold/ Until Then/ GABE DEAN: Slop And Stroll Jolie Blonde/ JIMMY DONLEY: Born To Be A Loser/ TIBBY EDWARDS: Forever Is A Long Time/ JOHN FRED & THE PLAYBOYS: Good Lovin'/ GUITAR GABLE & THE MUSICAL KINGS FT. KING KARL: Life Problem/ GUITAR JR: Broken Hearted Rollin' Tears/ Family Rules (Angel Child)/ The Crawl/ DALE HOUSTON: Won't You Believe Me/ JOE HUDSON & HIS ROCKIN' DUKES: Baby Give Me A Chance/ T.K. HULIN & THE LONELY KNIGHTS: Little Bitty Boy/ JIVIN' GENE & THE JOKERS: Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do/ Going Out With The Tide/ I Cried/ KING KARL & GUITAR GABLE: This Should Go On Forever/ KING KARL WITH GUITAR GABLE'S BAND: Walking In The Park/ EARL KING: Those Lonely, Lonely Nights/ MARGARET LEWIS: Goin' To St Louis/ LITTLE ALFRED & THE BERRYCUPS: Walking Down The Aisle/ BOBBY PAGE & THE RIFF-RAFFS: Hippy-Ti-Yo/ ROY "BOOGIE BOY" PERKINS: You're On My Mind/ PHIL PHILLIPS & THE TWILIGHTS: Sea Of Love/ Take This Heart/ PRINCE CHARLES & THE ROCKIN' KINGS: Cheryl Ann/ JERRY RAINES: Our Teenage Love/ RANDY & THE ROCKETS FT. DENNIS NORRIS GE: Genevieve/ ROCKIN' SIDNEY: You Ain't Nothin' But Fine/ BUCK ROGERS: Crazy Baby/ STEVE ROLLINS & THE CONTINENTALS: Crying Over You/ RED SMILEY & THE VEL-TONES: Jailbird/ Lover Blues/ SKIP STEWART: Sixteen Candles/ WARREN STORM: I'm A Little Boy (Looking For Love)/ Prisoner's Song/ So Long So Long/ GENE THOMAS: Sometimes/ GLENN WELLS & THE BLENDS: Write Me A Letter/ JIMMY WILSON: Please Accept My Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Nascente 089 Beginner's Guide To Ireland ● CD $15.98
Three CDs, 33 tracks, recommended
Fine and wide ranging introduction to Irish folk music ranging from 1950s recordings of The McPeake Family (their classic and influential Will Ye Go Lassie Go?) and legendary piper Leo Rowsome to 21st century recordings of Beoga and Cara Dillon. Along the way we hear vocal and instrumental contributions from The Bothy Band, Cherish The Ladies, Altan, Eileen Ivers, Liz Carrooll & JOhn Doyle, Deanta, Jackie Daly, Andy Irvine, Sinead O'Connor, Tommy Hayes, Cara Dillon and more. Mostly traditional songs and tunes along with compositions by Shane McGowan, Tom Waits, Richard Thompson and others. Compiled and annotated by English folk expert Colin Irwin. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 018 History Of Rhythm & Blues, Vol 2: 1942-1952 ● CD $23.98
4 CDs, 101 tracks, 287 mins, very highly recommended
I recently raved about the first volume in this series; now, we have two beautiful new volumes to love. The aspects that set these compilations apart from all of the others out there are threefold: 1.They offer a fantastic amount of great music. 2. There is absolutely no filler on these sets-it's all killer. 3. The scope of these collections is impressive, not only covering the R&B classics that you would expect, but also including great cuts outside of the genre that was either influenced, or powerfully influenced by, it. You get tracks like Move It On Over by Hank Williams, and Stone Cold Dead In The Market by Ella Fitzgerald. This set is broken down with a certain theme on each CD. You get "Jumpin From Harlem To The West Coast," so many great tracks by Lucky Millinder, T-Bone Walker, Julia Lee, Babs Gonzales, Big Joe Turner, etc, with a few rarer tracks like Boogie Woogie On A Saturday Night by The Five Red Caps, and Get The Mop by Henry "Red" Allen. CD 2 is more of a mish-mosh: "Guitar Boogies - Sax Screamers - Gospel Roads": So there's Arthur Crudup, Johnny Otis, Muddy Waters, Louis Jordon, The Ravens, The Jubalaires, Trumpeters, and so on. CD 3, "Have You Heard The News - There's Good Rockin' Tonight," blasts things wide open as you might expect with great big tracks from Wynonie Harris, Roy Brown, Howlin Wolf, Rosco Gordon, Tiny Bradshaw, Bullmouse Jackson, and many more mighty Blues men. CD 4, Soul Train Mambo Destination New Orleans, brings that Mambo beat to fore-front and slathers it in New Orleans goodness. Featuring beautiful tracks by Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino, Lowell Fulson, Ruth Brown, Jimmy Nelson, The Royales, and many more. All in all, a wonderful collection full of big and small hits, some rarities, and absolutely no duds. (JM)
HENRY "RED" ALLEN: Get The Mop/ ARCHIBALD: Stack-A-Lee/ BABS' THREE BIPS & A BOP: Ooh-Pa-Pa-Dah/ DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: Country Boy/ THE BIG THREE TRIO: After While/ TINY BRADSHAW: Well Oh Well/ JACKIE BRENSTON: Rocket 88/ ROY BROWN: Butcher Pete House/ RUTH BROWN: 42282 Hours/ CHARLES BROWN & JOHNNY MOORE'S 3 BLAZERS: Drifting Blues/ GOREE CARTER: Rock A While/ RAY CHARLES: Misery In My Heart/ THE CLOVERS: Don't You Know I Love/ KING COLE TRIO: Route 66/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Blues After Hours/ ARTHUR CRUDUP: My Baby Left Me/ That's Alright Mama/ WALTER DAVIS: Please Remember Me/ MARY DELOATCH: The Lord's Gospel Train/ THE DIXIAIRES: Friends, Let Me Tell You About Jesus/ FATS DOMINO: Goin' Home/ The Fat Man/ THE DOMINOES: Do Something For Me/ Sixty Minute Man/ THE FIVE KEYS: Too Late Baby/ THE FIVE RED CAPS: Boogie Woogie On A Saturday/ THE FOUR BLUES: The Blues Can Jump/ LOWELL FULSON: Everyday I Have The Blues/ CECIL GANT: I Wonder/ CLARENCE GARLOW: Bon Ton Roula/ JAZZ GILLUM: You Got To Run Me/ LLOYD GLENN: Chica Boo/ ROSCO GORDON: Booted/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Good Morning Judge/ Good Rockin' Tonight/ EDGAR HAYES: Fat Meat 'n' Greens/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Boogie Chillen/ LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS: Let Me Play With Your Poodle/ HOWLIN' WOLF: How Many More Years/ HELEN HUMES: Be-baba-leba/ FLUFFY HUNTER: Walk Right In/ LOST JOHN HUNTER: Cool Down Mama/ BULLMOOSE JACKSON: Big Ten Inch Record/ ELMORE JAMES: Dust My Broom/ ELLA & BUDDY JOHNSON: That's The Stuff You Gotta/ LOUIS JORDAN: Boogie/ Pettin' And Pokin'/ Saturday Night Fish Fry/ Stone Cold Dead In The Market/ That Just Like A Woman/ THE JUBALAIRES: St Louis Blues/ B.B. KING: Don?t You Want A Man Like Me/ THE LARKS: Eyesight To The Blind/ JULIE LEE & HER BOYFRIENDS: Snatch And Grab It/ JOE LIGGINS: Pink Champagne/ Honeydripper/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Rockin' Chair Mama/ NELLIE LUTCHER: A Real Gone Guy/ PERCY MAYFIELD: Please Send Me Someone To Love/ STICK MCGHEE: Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ BIG JAY MCNEELY: Deacon's Hop/ JAY MCSHANN: Louie's Guitar Boogie/ AMOS MILBURN: Chicken Shack Boogie/ Lets Rock Awhile/ LUCKY MILLINDER: Little John Special/ Threw The Whisky In The Well/ ROY MILTON: The Hucklebuck/ Milton's Boogie/ WILD BILL MOORE: Rock And Roll/ ELLA MAE MORSE & FREDDIE SLACK: Of Blue Lights/ JIMMY NELSON: T-99 Blues/ THE ORIOLES: It's Too Soon To Know/ JOHNNY OTIS: Mambo Boogie/ Midnight In The Barrel House/ LITTLE ESTHER PHILIPS: Mistrustin' Blues/ LLOYD PRICE: Lawdy Miss Clawdy/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Mardi Gras In New Orleans/ THE RAVENS: Write Me A Letter/ THE ROYALES: Give Me One More Chance/ HAL SINGER: Rock Around The Clock/ ARTHUR SMITH: Guitar Boogie/ THE STARS OF HARMONY: Rough And Rocky Road/ JAMES VON STREETER: Landslide/ THE SWALLOWS: It Ain't The Meat/ SISTER ROSETTA THARPE: Strange Things Happening Every Day/ THE TRENIERS: Go Go Go/ THE TRUMPETEERS: Milky White Way/ BIG JOE TURNER: Chains Of Love/ Gal's A Jockey/ T-BONE WALKER: Call It Stormy Monday/ T-Bone Boogie/ DINAH WASHINGTON: Evil Gal Blues/ MUDDY WATERS: I Can't Be Satisfied/ BIG JOE WILLIAMS: Baby Please Don't Go/ HANK WILLIAMS: Move It On Over/ PAUL WILLIAMS: The Twister/ RUBBERLEGS WILLIAMS & CLYDE HART ALL STARS: The Blues/ JOHN LEE 'SONNY BOY' WILLIAMSON: Shake That Boogie/ RALPH WILLIS: I'm Gonna Rock/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Two Little Girls/ BILLY WRIGHT: Hey Little Girl

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 011 History Of Rhythm & Blues, Vol 3: 1952-1957 ● CD $23.98
4 CDs, 109 tracks, 294 mins, very highly recommended
Volume three of this fantastic series brings it all into the Rock & Roll era, weaving its way through R&R, R&B, Doo-wop, Gospel, and features many of the greatest songs ever recorded. To many great tracks to list here. Artists include The Coasters, Mahalia Jackson, The Clovers, Bo Diddley, Eddie Boyd, Chuck Berry, Little Esther, Five Royales, Four Deuces, Soul Stirrers, Sonny Boy Williamson, Fats Domino, Pee Wee Crayton, The Drifters, The Pilgrim Travelers, etc., etc., etc. (JM)
JOHNNY ACE: Pledging My Love/ TONY ALLEN: Night Owl/ BILLY BOY ARNOLD: I Ain't Got You/ LAVERN BAKER: Soul On Fire/ HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS: Work With Me Annie/ JESSE BELVIN: Goodnight My Love/ CHUCK BERRY: Got My Mojo Working/ No More Nights By Myself/ RICHARD BERRY: Just Can't Stay/ BIG JOHN & THE BUZZARDS: Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash/ BIG MAYBELLE: Honey Don't/ OTIS BLACKWELL: Daddy Rollin' Stone/ EDDIE BO: I Don't Know/ Five Long Years/ ALEX BRADFORD: Too Close To Heaven/ JAMES BROWN: Please, Please, Please/ NAPPY BROWN: Is It Really You?/ RUTH BROWN: Baby Let's Play House/ SOLOMON BURKE: I'm All Alone/ THE CARDINALS: Choo Choo/ BOBBY CHARLES: I Ain't Got You/ RAY CHARLES: Blackjack/ Hallelujah I Love Her So/ I've Got A Woman/ THE CHORDS: Sh-Boom/ THE CLOVERS: One Mint Julep/ THE COASTERS: Down In Mexico/ JIMMY COE: After Hour Joint/ ANN COLE: Got My Mojo Working/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Sad Hours/ THE CROWS: Gee/ BOBBY DAY: Little Bitty Pretty One/ THE DIABLOS: The Way You Dog Me/ BO DIDDLEY: Pretty Thing/ She's Fine, She's Mine/ VARETTA DILLARD: Mystery Train/ BILL DOGGETT: Walking By Myself/ FATS DOMINO: I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man/ Pretty Thing/ THE DOMINOES: Have Mercy Baby/ THE DRIFTERS: Money Honey/ Ruby Baby/ THE DU DROPPERS: Can't Do Sixty No More/ CHAMPION JACK DUPREE: If Lovin' Is Believing/ BILLY 'THE KID' EMERSON: If Lovin' Is Believing/ Red Hot/ THE FIVE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA: Oh Lord, Stand By Me/ THE FIVE ROYALES: Baby, Don't Do It/ JIMMY FORREST: Night Train/ THE FOUR DEUCES: W-P-L-J/ LOWELL FULSON: Reconsider Baby/ ARTHUR GUNTHER: Baby Let's Play House/ BILL HALEY & THE COMETS: Red Hot/ SLIM HARPO: I've Got Love If You Want/ THE HAWKETTES: Mardi Gras Mambo/ DALE HAWKINS: Susie Q/ SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: I've Got Love If You Want/ CLARENCE "FROGMAN" HENRY: Smokestack Lightnin'/ JOHN LEE HOOKER: Dimples/ HOWLIN' WOLF: Evil/ Smokestack Lightnin'/ MAHALIA JACKSON: Consider Me/ ETTA JAMES: Woman/ THE JEWELS: Hearts Of Stone/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Fever/ Need Your Love So Bad/ B.B. KING: 3 O'Clock Blues/ SMILEY LEWIS: Reconsider Baby/ LITTLE ESTHER: Aged & Mellow/ LITTLE RICHARD: Don't Start Me To Talkin'/ She's Fine, She's Mine/ LITTLE WALTER: Sad Hours/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Feelin? Good/ WILLIE MABON: I Don't Know/ THE MARIGOLDS: Rollin' Stone/ BIG MAYBELLE: Candy/ THE MEDALLIONS: Buick '59/ MICKEY & SYLVIA: The Sun Is Shining/ ROY MONTRELL: Dimples/ THE MOONGLOWS: Baby Please/ WILLIE NIX: Just Can't Stay/ LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER: Feelin' Good/ THE PEACHEROOS: Be Bop Baby/ CARL PERKINS: Honey Don't/ THE PILGRIM TRAVELERS: Straight Street/ ELVIS PRESLEY: Mystery Train/ LLOYD PRICE: Just Because/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Five Long Years/ THE QUEENS: Oop Shoop/ JOHNNIE RAY: Whiskey & Gin/ JIMMY REED: The Sun Is Shining/ LULA REED: I'll Drown In My Tears/ THE ROBINS: Riot In Cell Block No/ JIMMY ROGERS: Walking By Myself/ JIMMY SCOTT: Don't Cry Baby/ GUITAR SLIM: Feelin' Sad/ THE SOUL STIRRERS: It Won't Be Very Long/ THE SOUTHERN TONES: It Must Be Jesus/ THE SPANIELS: Play It Cool/ RUFUS THOMAS: Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle)/ BIG MAMA THORNTON: Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle)/ BIG JOE TURNER: 3 O'Clock Blues/ BIG "T" TYLER: King Kong/ THE VALENTINES: The Woo Woo Train/ MERCY DEE WALTON: One Room Country Shack/ MUDDY WATERS: I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man/ YOUNG JOHN WATSON: Evil/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: Don't Start Me To Talkin'/ No More Nights By Myself

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 014 The History Of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 53 tracks, 138 mins, highly recommended
A second volume tracing the growth of New Orleans R&B covers the period from 1947 to 1953 when the influences of second line parade drumming become prevalent. The first disc covers 1947 through 1950 with contributions from Roy Brown, Chubby "Hip Shakin'" Newsome, Little Brother Montgomery, Professor Longhair, Larry Darnell, Jewel KIng, Archibald (his classic rendition of Stack-A-Lee), Smilin' Joe (a wonderful New Orleans treatment of the old pop song Dinah), Fats Domino and others. The second disc covering from 1950 to '52 is full of the archetypal New Orleans sound including sides by James Wayne, Archibald, Dave Barton & The Royal PLayboys, Smiley Lewis, James Crawford, Guitar Slim, Joe Turner, Shirley & Lee, Fats Domino and many more. There is even a gospel song here - the fabulous A Mother's LOve by The New Orleans Humming Four who would later re-emerge as the New Orleans R&B group The Hawks. Fabulous music with great sound and a detailed 20 page booklet. (FS)
ARCHIBALD: Soon As I Go Home/ Stack A Lee/ DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: Ah Cubanas/ Carnival Day/ Country Boy/ Kiss Me Baby/ Who Drank My Beer/ ROY BROWN: Good Rockin' Tonight/ Whose Hat Is That/ RAY CHARLES: Feelin' Sad/ SUGAR BOY CRAWFORD: Jock-O-Mo/ Overboard/ LARRY DARNELL: For You My Love/ Lost My Baby/ FATS DOMINO: Goin' Home/ Going To The River/ She's My Baby/ The Fat Man/ CLARENCE GARLOW: Bon Ton Roula/ PAUL GAYTEN: Bear Hug/ Hey Little Girl/ GUITAR SLIM: I Done Got Over It/ The Things That I Used/ THE HAWKS: I-Yi/ THE HUMMING FOUR: Mother's Love/ THE JOHNSON BROTHERS COMBO: Mellow Woman Blues/ JEWEL KING: 3 x 7 = 21/ ANNIE LAURIE WITH PAUL GAYTEN: I'll Never Be Free/ JODY LEVENS: Mardi Gras Mambo/ SMILEY LEWIS: Big Mamou/ Growing Old/ Tee Nah Nah/ The Bells Are Ringing/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Who's Been Foolin'/ JOE LUTCHER: Mardi Gras/ FAT MAN MATHEWS: Down The Line/ GEORGE MILLER'S MID-DRIFFS: Boogie's The Thing/ BOBBY MITCHELL: Rack 'Em Back/ ALMA MONDY: Still My Angel Child/ LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY: El Ritmo/ CHUBBY NEWSOME: New Orleans Lover Man/ PAPA LIGHTFOOT: Jumpin' With Jarvis/ LLOYD PRICE: Lawdy Miss Clawdy/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Bald Head/ Hey Now Baby/ Mardi Gras In New Orleans/ Tipitina/ THE ROYAL KINGS: Teachin' & Preachin'/ SHIRLEY & LEE: Baby/ SMILIN' JOE: Dinah/ BIG JOE TURNER: Oke-She-Moke-She-Pop/ JOE TURNER: Love My Baby/ JAMES WAYNE: Junco Partner

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smith & Co. 2483 Great Rockabilly -Just About As Good As It Gets, Vol. 6 ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 64 tracks, 143 mins, highly recommended
Seeing as this series is up to volume 6, you might be wondering if it is still "Just About As Good As It Gets." Well, rest assured, even this late in the game, this is still chock full of killer Rockabilly. Highlights include Sleepy LaBeef;s version of Baby, Let's Play House (dig that thumpin bass!), Whitey Pullin's Let's All Go Wild Tonight (dig that rollicking piano!) Skeets McDonald's Keep Her Off Your Mind, Glen Glenn's Do You Love Me, The Phantom's all time unhinged Rockabilly classic Love Me, Hal Willis' My Pink Cadillac, Danny Reeves' I'm A Hobo, Bobby Loller's Bad, Bad Boy, and many more. On top of those lesser known greats you also get a lot of lesser compiled tracks by all the biggest Rockabilly cats like Elvis, Carl, Gene, Eddie, Johnny, Buddy, etc. Then there are also a few big names, known primarily for their Country hits, delivering some choice Rockabilly like Buck Owens with Sweet Thing, Red Sovine with Juke JointJohnny, and Conway Twitty with Long Black Train, which is a mix of Orange Blossom Special and Mystery Train, with a little of that Twitty magic mixed right in. Pick this one up with confidence, its solid man, solid! (JM)
ANDY ANDERSON: I Got Me A Woman/ JOHNNY BURNETTE & THE ROCK 'N' ROLL TRIO: Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ Oh Baby Babe/ EVERETT CARPENTER: Run Mabel Run/ JOHNNY CASH: Country Boy/ Train Of Love/ EDDIE COCHRAN: Pretty Girl/ THE COCHRAN BROTHERS: Tired And Sleepy/ BUDDY COVELLE: Lorraine/ PARKER CUNNINGHAM: Dry Run/ EDDY DUGOSH & THE AH-HA PLAYBOYS: Strange Kinda Feeling/ JIMMY EDWARDS: Love Bug Crawl/ JIM FOLEY & THE BIG BEATS: Blues In The Morning/ Goodbye Train/ HARLEY GABBARD & AUBREY HOLT: Hey Baby/ GLEN GLENN: Don't You Love Me/ CURTIS GORDON: Rompin' And Stompin'/ JOHN HAMPTON: Shadow Blues/ BOBBY HELMS: Tennessee Rock 'n' Roll/ ERSEL HICKEY: Going Down That Road/ BUDDY HOLLY: Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight/ I'm Gonna Set My Foot Down/ GLENN HONEYCUTT: Rock All Night/ JOHNNY HORTON: Goodbye Lonesome/ Honky Tonk Mind/ SLEEPY LABEEF: A Little Bit More/ Baby Let's Play House/ JIMMY LEE & WAYNE WALKER: Love Me/ LEON AND CARLOS: Rock Everybody/ BOBBY LOLLAR: Bad Bad Boy/ BOB LUMAN: Buttercup/ You're The Cause Of It All/ SAMMY MASTERS & HIS ROCKIN' RHYTHM: Whop-T-Bop/ SKEETS MCDONALD: Gone And Left Me Blues/ Keep Her Off Your Mind/ FRANKIE MILLER: Living Doll/ BILL MORGAN: Red Hot Rhythm Combo/ ROY MOSS: Corrina Corrina/ RICKY NELSON: Milk Cow Blues/ Shirley Lee/ BUCK OWENS: Sweet Thing/ JOE PENNY: Bip A little, Bop A Lot/ CARL PERKINS: Caldonia/ Right String Baby But The Wrong Yo-Yo/ THE PHANTOM: Love Me/ ELVIS PRESLEY: I Forgot To Remember To Forget/ One Sided Love Affair/ WHITEY PULLEN: Everybody's Rockin'/ Let's All Go Wild Tonight/ MARVIN RAINWATER: Boo Hoo/ I Can't Forget/ JERRY REED: I've Had Enough/ DANNY REEVES: I'm A Hobo/ RAY SCOTT: You Drive Me Crazy/ RONNIE SELF: You're So Right For Me/ GENE SIMMONS: Crazy Woman/ RED SOVINE: Juke Joint Johnny/ ANDY STARR: Round And Round/ CARL TRANTHAM & THE RHYTHM ALL STARS: Where There's A Will, There's A Way/ CONWAY TWITTY: Long Black Train/ GENE VINCENT & THE BLUE CAPS: B-I-Bicky-Bi Bo Bo Boo/ Cruisin'/ HAL WILLIS: My Pink Cadillac/ JIMMY WOLFORD: My Name Is Jimmy

VARIOUS ARTISTS Trojan 533 830-8 Freedom Sounds - A Celebration Of Jamaican Music ● CD $69.98
5 CD set, 108 tracks, highly recommended
What better way to celebrate 50 years of Jamaican independence than issuing a box set that represents the island nations' greatest export: its' music. Trojan Records has compiled a five CD set including fifty tracks new to CD, that represents the artists, producers, and recording studios that have all contributed to the musical fabric that has become synonymous with the country itself. Each disc represents a different aspect to the saga: songs of freedom, hit makers, innovators, pioneers, and the forgotten treasures. All the great performers-Bob Marley, Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Beenie Man, Junior Murvin, Toots & the Maytals, Barrington Levy and more-and producers (Leslie Kong, Duke Reid, Lindon Pottinger) are represented. In addition to the music, the set contains a 52-page booklet, packed with rare photos and commentary on Jamaica and its musical heritage, as well as four art cards, a Jamaican 50 sticker, and a code for a bonus download of additional music that can be redeemed via the Trojan Appreciation Society website. Although this is not the box set I would recommend to a novice listener of Jamaican sounds, for a fan this is nirvana. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Yazoo 2203 The Return Of The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of ● CD $27.98
Two CDs, 46 tracks
The saying "The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of" is an iconic saying from the classic 1941 film "The Maltese Falcon." The movie, based on a story by Dashiell Hamett and directed by John Huston stars Humphrey Bogart and a magnificent supporting cast. It concerns the quest for a one of a kind priceless art object - the eponymous Maltese Falcon. Towards the end of the movie, Bogart's character Sam Spade refers to the elusive (and possibly illusory) object as "the stuff that dreams are made" - a paraphrase of a quote from Shakespeare's "The Tempest."
Why am I telling you this? Well in 2006 Yazoo issued a two CD set (Yazoo 2202 - $27.98) featuring 46 incredibly rare and many one of a kind blues and country recordings from the 20s and 30s - many never reissued on CD before and others in vastly improved sound with a fabulous cover by R. Crumb. This set was called "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" and certainly the title seemed to fit considering the rarity and quality of the performances therein and is an essential purchase. This two CD set is a sequel to that set and like most sequels does not live up to the original but, most significantly, the title of the set is, in the immortal words of Joe Biden, "a bunch of malarkey." The producers of this set have the audacity to change the meaning of the phrase to refer to a great iconic performance - some of which are not particularly rare and almost every track having been previously reissued on CD - and, most egregiously, at least half of them on previous Yazoo reissues. "Last Kind Words" by Geeshie Wiley is a magnificent performance but this marks the fourth time Yazoo have reissued it! What were they thinking? I haven't had a chance to do a comparison myself but I have it on good authority that the remastering of the tracks here that were on previous Yazoo issues is no better than on those previous reissues which was perfectly fine to begin with.
Having said all that, if you don't have an extensive collection of Yazoo, County or JSP reissues then this is a fabulous and very worthwhile collection of great and rare (though not always very rare) blues, country and some ethnic music from the 1920s and early 30s in superb sound. Artists featured include Alex Hood & His Railroad Boys, Washington (Bukka) White), The Carter Brothers & Son, Ishman Bracey, Dennis McGee & Sady Courville, Robert Wilkins, The Fruit Jar Guzzlers, George Edgin's Corn Dodgers, Joe Evans & Arthur McClain, The Carver Boys, Tommy Johnson, E. Mullaney & P. Stack, Blind Blake, Allison's Sacred Harp Singers and many more. Set is attractively packaged and includes a 54 page booklet devoted to the art of collecting rare records including interviews with noted collectors and other related materials.
I have no problem with the music here - just the deceptive way it is presented. William Shakespeare and John Huston must be turning in their graves (at 78 rpm no doubt). (FS)
ALLISON’S SACRED HARP SINGERS: I’m A Long Time Traveling Away From Home/ APPALACHIA VAGABOND (HAYES SHEPHERD): Hard For To Love/ ASHLEY’S MELODY MEN: Bath House Blues/ L.O. BIRKHEAD & A.E. WARD: Robinson County/ BLIND BLAKE: Sun To Sun Blues/ THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN SINGERS: The Letter That Never Came/ ISHMAN BRACEY: Woman Woman Blues/ THE CARTER BROTHERS & SON: Old Jaw Bone/ THE CARTWRIGHT BROTHERS: Texas Ranger/ THE CARVER BOYS: Tim Brook/ PACKIE DOLAN & HIS BOYS: Irish Girl-Blue Breeches/ GEORGE EDGIN’S CORN DODGERS: My Ozark Mountain Home/ JOE EVANS & ARTHUR MCCLAIN: Two White Horses/ THE FRUIT JAR GUZZLERS: Stack-O-Lee/ ELDER GOLDEN P. HARRIS: I’ll Lead A Christian Life/ LUKE HIGNIGHT & HIS OZARK STRUTTERS: Fort Smith Breakdown/ ALEX HOOD & HIS RAILROAD BOYS: L And N Rag/ LULU JACKSON: Little Rosewood Casket/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed/ TOMMY JOHNSON: Lonesome Home Blues/ EARL JOHNSON & HIS DIXIE ENTERTAINERS: John Henry Blues/ LOTTIE KIMBROUGH: Rolling Log Blues/ FURRY LEWIS: Billy Lyons And Stack O’Lee/ THE LEWIS BROTHERS: Bull At The Wagon/ FIDDLING SAM LONG: Seneca Square Dance/ UNCLE DAVE MACON & HIS FRUIT JAR DRINKERS: Sail Away Ladies/ DENNIS MCGEE & SADY COURVILLE: Mon Chere Bebe Creole/ THE MISSISSIPPI POSSUM HUNTERS: The Last Shot Got Him/ E. MULLANEY & P. STACK: Maid In A Cherry Tree/ J.P. NESTER & NORMAN EDMONDS: Train On The Island/ HAMBONE WILLIE NEWBURN: Roll And Tumble Blues/ ORKIESTRA MAJKUTA: Wsciekla Polka/ CHARLEY PATTON: High Water Everywhere – Part 1/ Some These Days I’ll Be Gone/ CHARLIE POOLE & THE NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS: Milwaukee Blues/ FIDDLING POWERS & FAMILY: Old Molly Hair/ ECK ROBERTSON & FAMILY: Texas Wagoner/ B.F. SHELTON: Oh Molly Dear/ LEO SOILEAU & MAYUSE LAFLEUR: Basile Waltz/ KAROLA STOCHA & S. BACHLEDA: Koscieliska/ ERNEST STONEMAN & KAHLE BREWER: Lonesome Road Blues/ HENRY THOMAS: Charmin Betsey/ WILLIE WALKER: Dupree Blues/ WASHINGTON (BUKKA) WHITE: The Panama Limited/ GEESHIE WILEY: Last Kind Words Blues/ ROBERT WILKINS: That’s No Way To Get Along

HANK WILLIAMS Time Life 27462 Lost Concerts ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 67 mins, essential
Time-Life have done an incredible job in preserving and expanding the legacy of the greatest of all country singers and songwriters Hank Williams, reissuing rare and unissued recordings and this new one is a stone cold winner. This CD presents two live concerts from 1952 - the last year of Hank's life and the only concerts by Hank that survive. The concerts are not complete, a couple of songs are missing and one song is incomplete and the sound quality is rough at times, particularly on the second show, but the performances are so magnificent that it doesn't matter. The concerts are from May 4, 1952 at Niagara Falls and July 13, 1952 at Sunset Park and both feature Hank doing some of his most popular songs but only two are repeated in the shows - Hey, Good Lookin' and, of course, Lovesick Blues. Hank is backed by two of the original Drifting Cowboys, Don Helms on steel guitar and Jerry Rivers on fiddle with local pickup musicians on bass and guitar. Other songs include I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You/ Are You Walkin' and A-Talkin' For The Lord/ Lonesome Whistle Blues/ Long Gone Lonesome Blues and more. He even does a version of one of his Luke The Drifter recitations The Funeral and the Drifting Cowboys get a chance to shine on a couple of instrumentals. Hank may have sung these songs hundreds (or even thousands) of times yet he still manages to make them sound fresh and vital. As was shown on the Mother's Best recordings, in spite of a life of trials and tribulations and the sad tone of many of his songs, in person he sounds sounds warm, friendly and with a great sense of humor. The set ends with an interview with Hank conducted in 1951 by singer and disk jockey Mack Sanders and they chat about old times and Hank's music - quality is a bit rough but well worth a listen. Booklet has notes by Hank's biographer Colin Escott along with a batch of rare photos. (FS)

MARY LOU WILLIAMS Smithsonian Folkways 40816 Black Christ Of The Andes ● CD $15.98 $8.98
14 tracks, 52 min, highly recommended
Reissue of this legendary LP that Williams released on her own Mary label in '64, then reissued as Folkways 2843. In the late 50s-early 60s, this incredible pianist/composer/arranger embraced & studied Roman Catholicism & stayed away from the music world. This was her return. Starting off with a chorale St. Martin De Porres, who was a former slave that was canonized in '62, with just minimal piano & the voices of The Ray Charles Singers (no, not the late Genius - this is the very White group that had a huge 60s hit with Love Me With All Of Your Heart!), this is a mixed bag of choral music (another, The Devil, also is just Mary Lou with The Singers); two more, Anima Christi & Praise The Lord, have full band with vocals by Jimmy Mitchell leading The George Gordon Singers) as well as piano trios, many with the great MJQ bassist Percy Heath, & a solo piano version of There's A Fungus Among Us. The two band sides include Larry Gales, Grant Green & Budd Johnson. Includes four previously unissued trio numbers with Heath, & 30 page booklet. (GM)


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