Since our Second Time Around listings are so popular this list includes some great releases which have been out for a while but you may have missed them the first time we listed them.To avoid you getting possible duplicates we have added  asterisks (**) after these particular titles. We have also included some choice sale items.


PHIL OCHS First Run Features 914741 There But For Fortune** ● DVD $24.98
DVD, 97 min., essential
Kenneth Bowser's documentary on the life and times of Phil Ochs is as inspirational and forceful as the man it features. The interviews with Tom Hayden, Pete Seeger, brother Michael Ochs, Judy Henske, Joan Baez, Christopher Hitchens, and many others present an unvarnished picture of the political activist and singer-songwriter. Noticeably and predictably absent from the film is any interview of Bob Dylan, who was described by several others as being "cruel" to Ochs on more than one occasion. But while Dylan never wrote many actual protest songs, Ochs wrote little else. Possessed with an arresting and engaging voice and a gift for a clever turn of phrase, Ochs was a one man tornado of activism, organizing and performing at hundreds of protests. The movie follows him through his descent into depression and alcoholism to his eventual suicide at 35 year of age. An absolutely compelling film that will make an hour and a half go by in 15 minutes. Essential viewing for fans of Ochs and for anyone who has even a passing interest in the 1960s and folk music. A brilliant piece of filmmaking. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Shanachie DVD 622 You Are There - Classic Early Films Of Legendary Performers, 1952-1954 ● DVD $18.98
29 tracks, 54 mins, essential
I don't know how we missed this when it came out at the beginning of this year but I'm pleased to rectify that omission. This is a fantastic collection of film footage of some of the greats of country music made between 1952 and 1954. Highlight of the set are the four surviving black and white clips of Hank Williams featuring two solo performances (Hey Good Lookin' and Cold Cold Heart), a charming duet with Anita Carter on i Can't Help It and part of ensemble rendition of I Saw The Light with Hank and Roy Acuff taking the leads. THese alone are worth the price of admission but there's much more, most of it in full color including six wonderful clips of Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys in their prime with Close By/ Little Georgia Rose/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot and more. The Louvin Brothers are featured on two stunning performances and also featured are Sam & Kirk McGhee, Grandpa & Ramona Jones, The Crook Brothers, Stringbean, Lonzo & Oscar, Benny Martin and The Fruit Jar Drinkers. There is also an ensemble rendition of Cotton Eyed Joe with Johnny & Jack, Kitty Wells, Grandpa Jones and Faron Young and there are several square dance interludes. Vide and audio quality are excellent. (FS)



CHUCK BERRY Bear Family BCD 17273 Rock And Roll Music - Any Old Way You Choose It ● CD $379.98
Available to special order only.
The ultimate Chuck Berry collection featuring 16 CDs featuring all his Chess, Mercury and Atco recordings plus alternate takes and five CDs of live recordings including appearances on a 1956 Alan Freed Show, Newport Jazz Festival recordings from 1958, two shows from Detroit in 1963, the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival Festival from 1969 and more as well as 1977 Dr. Pepper commercials. It also includes the two calypso flavored sides issued by Joe Alexander in 1954 featuring Chuck on guitar as Chuck Berryn - a name he used for a while to avoid embarrassment to his father who was Baptist minister. All told there are 396 tracks for a total of more than 21 hours of music. If you have the three Hip-O Select four CDs sets that came out some years ago and are now out of print you will have all the Chess tracks here. It includes two hardbound LP sized books. One is a 104 page photo book compiled by Bill Greensmith from the photo archives of Chuck's uncle Harry Davis - many previously unpublished, including photos of Chuck playing in St. Louis clubs before he became famous. The other is a 252-page hardbound book with a definitive essay from Chuck's biographer, Bruce Pegg, additional texts by Mike Snow and Roger Fairhurst, an introduction by Sir Paul McCartney (woo hoo!), a comprehensive discography by Fred Rothwell, hundreds of published and unpublished photos, including several images made by respected French photographer Jean-Marie Perrier in 1964. We are not carrying this title in stock but can usually get it within seven to ten days.

JAMES BOOKER Rounder 2118 Resurrection Of The Bayou Maharajah ● CD $16.98 $12.98
11 tracks, 72 min., strongly recommended
Recorded on an upright piano at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans between 1977-82 (Booker died in '83), this set offers an approximation of what it might have been like to catch the Piano Prince of New Orleans on a good night. The variety of songs here would be unusual for anyone but Booker, who melds elements of classical, jazz, blues, pop, and R&B whenever he damn well feels like it. Among the many highlights is the 9:40 opening medley Slow Down/ Bony Maronie/ Knock On Wood/ I Heard It Through The Grapevine/ Classified, which is a deranged and glorious ride through the musical wilderness that was Booker's mind. Other euphonious blessings include Papa Was A Rascal/ Minute Waltz/ All By Myself/ Gitanarias/ Junco Partner and more. A tragic man who was so tremendously talented it's spooky. (JC)
JAMES BOOKER: All By Myself/ Gitanarias/ Irene Goodnight/ Junco Partner/ Medley: Lawdy Miss Clawdy/Ballad At The Maple Leaf/ Medley: Life/Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/It Should Have Been Me/ Medley: Slow Down/Bony Maronie/Knock On Wood/Grapevine/Classified/ Medley: Tico Tico/Papa Was A Rascal/ Minute Waltz/ Pop's Dilemma/ Save Your Love For Me/ St. James Infirmary

SOLOMON BURKE Rhino (UK) 79995-3 The Platinum Collection ● CD $10.98
22 tracks, 62 mins, highly recommended
Here's a nice affordable collection of classic recordings by the "King of Rock 'N Soul," "The Bishop of Soul," "King Solomon," etc., the great Solomon Burke. You get his classic Atlantic recordings like Everybody Needs Somebody to Love/ If You Need Me/ Cry to Me/ Got to Get You Off My Mind/ Down in the Valley/ The Price, etc., plus great takes on songs more famous by others like What'd I Say, and Maggie's Farm. Whether singing his own or others material, there was only one Solomon Burke and everything he sang, he made his own. All of the recordings were done for Atlantic records 1960 - 1968. (JM)

RAY CHARLES Atlantic (Germany) 81731 The Great Ray Charles** ● CD $11.98
14 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended With all of the amazing Rhythm & Blues that Ray Charles did (not to mention Country,) it's easy to overlook how great a Jazz musician he was. Although he never had as distinctive a style when playing Jazz as he would elsewhere in his career, he made a number of quality recordings in the Jazz vein, much of which is here on this CD. This all-instrumental collection, originally issued by Atlantic in 1957, with Charles on piano accompanied only by bass and drum is definitely a must for his fans and I think something most Jazz fans would enjoy. You get his renditions of classics like Music Music Music/ Ain't Misbehavin', and Horace Silver's Doodlin', which are all good; then there're also some great Ray Charles compositions Dawn Ray/ Hornful Soul/ Joy Ride, etc. (JM)

K.C. DOUGLAS Original Blues Classics OBCCD 569 Big Road Blues ● CD $11.98 $8.98
11 tracks, 40 mins, recommended
Reissue of Bluesville 1050 from 1961. Mississippi singer/ guitarist K.C Douglas moved from Mississippi to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1945 but until the folk revival of the 60s performed and recorded infrequently. K.C. had an engaging warm voice and his guitar playing was similarly warm and flowing. His material is mostly familiar and includes two songs he learned from the great Mississippi bluesman Tommy Johnson - Big Road Blues and Canned Heat. Other songs include Move To Kansas/ Tore Your Playhouse Down/ Whiskey Headed Woman/ Key To The Highway. Though K.C.'s music is lacking in intensity it is enjoyable to listen to. (FS)
K.C. DOUGLAS: Big Road Blues/ Bottle Up And Go/ Buck Dance/ Canned Heat/ Catfish Blues/ Howling Blues/ K.C.'s Blues/ Key To The Highway/ Move To Kansas City/ Tore Your Playhouse Down/ Whiskey Headed Woman

SLEEPY JOHN ESTES Delmark 613 Brownsville Blues** ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, highly recommended Like other surviving rural blues singers who recorded originally in the late 20's and early 30's, John Adam Estes was "rediscovered" in the early 1960's and given a chance to record again as an authentic folk artist. He recorded several albums for Delmark between 1962 and 1969. The 18 cuts issued here date from his first few years with that label and include six previously unreleased numbers. Among the titles are God Can Use Me/ Working Man Blues, the jumping Mary Come on Home/ Young Lawyer, and Rats in My Kitchen. Taken as a whole, the poignant lyrics here paint a picture of hard life in a Tennessee town, made all the more moving by the number of years of experience clearly expressed in Estes' voice. Fine sound, two photos, and original liner notes by Bob Koester. (DH)

THE FOUR KNIGHTS Acrobat 4030 Best Of, Volume 1 - Oh Baby! ● CD $13.98 $8.98
22 tracks, 61 min, highly recommended
According to the liner notes, this is the 1st ever "legit" released by this pre-doo wop harmony group, best known for providing backing vocals for Nat King Cole. There are few early recordings as the group was extremely popular on radio, most known for having a weekly residency on "Avalon Time" (usually listed as The Red Skelton Show - they were also on the Red Skelton Show on early TV). Their initial recordings were for Decca, but they hit their stride on Capitol - this set covers the 1st half of their stay there. With guitar strum backing & an easy Mills Bros/Ink Spots lope, the group had hits such as Sentimental Fool/ Walkin' In The Sunshine & I Get So Lonely (When I Dream About You), along with fine versions of Glory Of Love/ Charmaine/ Oh Happy Day (not the Edwin Hawkins tune), Anniversary Song and others. (GM)

LEFTY FRIZZELL JSP JSPCD 77137 Country Music Legend: Selected Sides, 1950-1959 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, essential
After Hank Williams, the greatest and most influential, honky tonk singer must surely be Lefty Frizzell. While lacking the heart rending intensity of Hank, Lefty's warm and intimate vocals are full of soulful feeling and are much in evidence in this magnificent collection featuring a significant selection of his recordings made in the 1950s when he was at his best. Many of the earlier sides were recorded in Dallas or Fort Worth which lends a more spontaneous feel than many recordings made in Nashville. Lefty's first commercial recording for Columbia I Love You A Thousand Ways backed with If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time - both sides topping the country charts. The recordings that immediately followed were all hits several more topping the charts and includes such masterpieces as Look What Thoughts Will Do/ I Want To Be With You Always/ Always Late With Your Kisses/ Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)/ Forever/ Run 'Em Off and others - all featured on this set. As the 50s progressed the hits started slowing down and this set appropriately end with the session that produced his last hits of the 50s - the wonderful Long Black Veil. One session in June 1951 featured Lefty doing stellar renditions of Jimmie Rodgers songs like Blue Yodel No. 6/ My Old Pal/ Brakeman's Blues/ My Rough and Rowdy Ways and others which became his first LP released that year. Lefty's love of Rodgers music cand be heard in another two sessions two years later where he did another six of his songs including California Blues/ Sleep, Baby Sleep (with some very nice harmonica from Wayne Raney) and others. In addition to the commercial recordings this set also includes a rehearsal held at the studios of legendary Louisiana producer Jay Miller where he did three songs - only one (Lost Love Blues ending up as a commercial release and is included here in both versions. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes by Pat Harrison and full discographical information. (FS)
LEFTY FRIZZELL: (Darling Now) You're Here So Everything's Alright/ (Honey, Baby, Hurry) Bring Your Sweet Self Back To Me/ (I'm) Lonely And Blue/ A Forest Fire (Is In Your Heart)/ A King Without A Queen/ Always Late (With Your Kisses)/ Always Late (With Your Kisses)/ Before You Go, Make Sure You Know/ Blue Yodel No. 2/ Blue Yodel No. 6/ Brakeman's Blues/ California Blues (Blue Yodel No. 4)/ Cigarettes And Coffee Blues/ Cold Feet/ Don't Stay Away (Till Love Grows Cold)/ Farther Than My Eyes Can See/ First To Have A Second Chance/ Forever (And Always)/ From An Angel To A Devil/ Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)/ Glad I Found You/ Heart's Highway/ Hopeless Love/ How Long Will It Take (To Stop Loving You)/ I Can Spare The Time (I Won't Miss The Money)/ I Know You're Lonesome (While Waiting For Me)/ I Love You A Thousand Ways/ I Love You A Thousand Ways/ I Love You Mostly/ I Want To Be With You Always/ I Want To Be With You Always/ I'll Sit Alone And Cry/ I'm A Boy Left Alone/ I'm An Old Old Man (Tryin' To Love While I Can)/ I'm Lost Between Right And Wrong/ I've Been Away Too Long/ If You're Ever Lonely Darling/ If You've Got The Money (I've Got The Time)/ If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time/ Is It Only That You're Lonely/ It Gets Late So Early/ It's Just You (I Could Love Always)/ Just Can't Live That Fast (Anymore)/ Knock Again, True Love/ Look What Thoughts Will Do/ Lost Love Blues/ Lost Love Blues (rehearsal)/ Lover By Appointment/ Lullaby Waltz/ Lullaby Yodel/ Making Believe/ Mama!/ Mom And Dad's Waltz/ Mom And Dad's Waltz/ Moonlight Darling And You/ My Baby's Just Like Money/ My Blues Will Pass/ My Bucket's Got A Hole In It/ My Little Her And Him/ My Old Pal/ My Rough And Rowdy Ways/ Never No Mo' Blues/ No One To Talk To But The Blues/ Nobody Knows But Me/ Now That You Are Gone/ Promises (Promises, Promises)/ Release Me/ Run 'Em Off/ Send Her Here To Be Mine (rehearsal)/ She's Gone/ Shine, Shave, Shower (It's Saturday)/ Sick Sober And Sorry/ Signed, Sealed And Delivered/ Silence/ Sleep Baby Sleep/ Sweet Lies/ Tell Me Dear/ That's Me Without You (rehearsal)/ The Darkest Moment (Is Just Before The Light Of Day)/ The Long Black Veil/ The Torch Within My Heart/ The Tragic Letter (The Letter That You Left)/ The Waltz Of The Angels/ Then I'll Come Back To You/ These Hands/ Time Changes Things/ Time Out For The Blues/ Today Is That Tomorrow (I Dreamed Of Yesterday)/ Travellin' Blues/ Treasure Untold/ Two Friends Of Mine In Love/ Two Hearts Broken Now/ We Crucified Our Jesus/ When It Comes To Measuring Love/ Why Should I Be Lonely/ You Can Always Count On Me/ You're Humbuggin' Me/ You're Just Mine (Only In My Dreams)/ You're Too Late/ Your Tomorrows Will Never Come

SLIM GAILLARD Hep 6 The Legendary McVoutie, 1946** ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
A collection of 15 tracks from the uncrowned king of vout - the one and only Slim Gaillard - previously issued on Hep albums and mostly taken from 40s radio shows. The basic duo of Slim on guitar and vocals with Bam Brown on bass and vocals is assisted at various times by Leo Watson on drums and vocals and Dodo Marmarosa/ piano. Other musicians appear including some madness from Harry The Hipster Gibson on Hey Stop That Dancing Up There. There is also a rare appearance from 1941 of the original Slim & Slam doing the 8 minute African Jive. Watson sings on Operatic Aria, Slim introduces all 13 soloists at the Jubilee All Stars (inc. Emmett Berry, Ray Coniff, Willie Smith & Bobby Hacket), and sings in his best Spanglish & McVouty such touching tunes as Voutoreene/ Avocado Seed Soup Symphony Pts 1 & 2/ Yep Roc Heresi/ Matzoh Balls, and others. There is also a great Chicken Rhythm from a 1946 V Disc (wait til you hear Bob Hope's McVouty introduction!). 70 minutes of the voutest with excellent sound, good notes by Alastair Robertson and full discographical details. (FS)

J.B. HUTTO Delmark 617 Hawk Squat** ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended
With his intense, raw, declamatory vocals, searing electric slide guitar and vibrant stage performance J.B. Hutto was immensely popular on the club and concert circuit from the 60s through to his death in 1983. These recordings, cut in 1966 and '68 are among his very best. The songs are all Hutto originals and he was to reprise a number of them in his many subsequent recordings. He is accompanied by a solid band including the distinctive piano work of Sunnyland Slim, his regular drummer of the time Frank Kirkland plus bass and occasional second guitar or sax. (FS)
J.B. HUTTO: 20% Alcohol/ Hawk Squat/ Hip-Shakin'/ If You Change Your Mind/ Notoriety Woman/ Send Her Home To Me/ Speak My Mind/ The Feeling Is Gone/ The Same Mistake Twice/ Too Late/ Too Much Pride/ What Can You Get Outside That You Can't Get At Home

ANDY IRVINE & PAUL BRADY Mulligan (US) 3008 Andy Irvine & Paul Brady** ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, essential
All time folk classic back in print. This 1976 record is a superb pairing of two of Ireland's finest vocalists and instrumentalists on 10, mostly traditional, songs and tunes. There are 5 vocals by Andy, 3 by Paul and a couple of instrumental sets. The playing is superb featuring Paul on guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, whistle, cittern, harmonium and Andy on bouzouki, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, harmonica and mandola! On some tracks they are joined by Donal Lunny on bouzouki, bodhran or guitar and Kevin Burke adds some tasteful fiddle work. There is one classic song after another including Andy's driving Plains Of Kildare, his exquisitely mournful Bonny Woodhall, Paul's chilling solo performance of Arthur McBride and the jaunty Mary And The Soldier but it's all magnificent. Quite simply, if you love Irish traditional music, you must have this album! (FS)

ETTA JAMES Kent CDKEND 345 Who's Blue? Rare Chess Recordings From The 60s & 70s ● CD $18.98 $14.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
Thanks to Beyonce's high profile impersonation of Etta James in the pseudo-bio pic "Cadillac Records," Etta's name means more now than it has in a long time, even if most people only know her for her definitive version of At Last. Although there are many compilations out there for novice listeners (try "Gold", Hip-O 08127 $19.98), this particular collection is for the fans: a mix of B-sides and LP tracks -- including one unissued number from 1964 - which she recorded in Chicago, Muscle Shoals, Nashville, Hollywood, and New Jersey. With the earliest songs being from 1961 and the latest from 1973, there is naturally a wide range of styles and approaches to the material-for example, the funk of Only of Fool, an LP cut from '73, or the Honey Cone-esque Take Out Some Insurance from 1970. Then there's the brassy soul in the wheelhouse of Tell Mama (Fire/ Don't Pick Me For Your Fool), the Swamp R&B of I've Been A Fool, the Jazz of It Could Happen to You, and the up-market early 60's R&B of Street of Tears. Through it all, James remains a passionate, powerhouse vocalist. (GMC)

BILL JONES Compass 4338 Turn To Me** ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, 51 mins, essential
Originally issued in 2002 on the English Bedspring label. Recent years have seen some wonderful young female singers emerge on the British folk scene. Among the finest are Eliza Carthy and Kate Rusby and, now, Bill (short for Belinda) Jones. Bill is a stunning vocalist with a high, clear and incredibly expressive vocal style that is slightly reminiscent of the great Anne Briggs. She is also a superb instrumentalist, accompanying herself on piano and accordion and doing a couple of instrumental sets on flute and whistle. She is given occasional additional sensitive accompaniments from Simon Haworth/ guitar & cittern and Saskia Tomkins/ fiddle & cello. The songs are mostly traditional and among the highlights are The Fisherboy with a beautiful piano arrangement, the Gaelic song Taimse Im Chodladh sung in English and showing Bill's sure mastery of the complex phrasing and the unaccompanied A Brisk Young Sailor. There are several contemporary songs including the lovely and moving title song written by Bill to a traditional tune and a medley of two anti-war songs Blood & Gold and Buffy Sainte Marie's Universal Soldier. The two instrumental sets are fine too and show that Bill is a master of subtlety in her approach. This is my favorite British folk release of the first few years of the 21st Century. (FS)

CURTIS JONES Delmark 605 Lonesome Bedroom Blues ● CD $11.98 $9.98
13 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended
13 tracks recorded in 1962 by this excellent singer & piano player. Jones, who first recorded in the 1930s was a popular performer at the time and several of his songs became blues standards - most notably Empty Bedroom Blues and Tin Pan Alley. Most of his 30s recordings featured him with small groups but this set finds him solo and reveal what a superb performer he was. He had a lovely rolling and loose piano style and a distinctive and very engaging vocal style with a fondness for minor key songs. Most of the songs here are originals by Curtis and includes versions of "Bedroom" and "Alley" along with other fine songs like HIghway 51/ Gut Bucket Blues/ Black Magic Blues and Tour Blues. Shortly after recording this album Curtis moved to Europe where he spent the rest of his life, touring regularly until his death in 1971. Originally issued on LP, this CD has two bonus alternate takes. (FS)

ISHAM JONES RAINBO ORCHESTRA Archeophone 6008 Happy ● CD $27.98
Jones was leader of one of the most popular dance bands in Chicago during the 20s. This two CD set features his earliest sides recorded while he was leading the band at Mann's Rainbo Gardens - 37 tracks recorded for Brunswick in 1920. A glimpse into the beginnings of the era of great American dance bands. The original band had Jones on C-meldoy and tenor sax with trombone, violin, piano, banjo, tuba and drums - later in the year they added a second saxophone. Tunes include Sahara Rose/ La Veeda/ Wait'll You See/ A Young Man's Fancy/ Happy/ Dreamy Paradise/ Rose Of Araby and more. As usual for Archeophone, the sound quality is superb and the 32 page booklet has extensive notes by David Sager with rare photos, sheet music and full discographical information.

SALLIE & CORA MARTIN Gospel Friend 1509 Just A Little Talk With Jesus ● CD $17.98
25 tracks of Sallie and Cora Martin recorded between 1940-1952. Sallie was a singer, recording artist and gospel song publisher and was the promotional force behind the "Father of Gospel" Thomas A. Dorsey. Her group The Sallie Martin Singers were one of the most influential, key female groups to emerge on the post-war gospel scene. Sallie and her adopted daughter Cora (who sings as a soloist on three selections with choir and on 11 solo tracks) were part of the St. Paul Baptist Church Choir of Los Angeles which Sallie became the conductor of in 1948. Tracks include There Must Be A Heaven Somewhere/ Joy In My Soul/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Thank You Jesus/ King Jesus Will Roll All Burdens Away/ Dig A Little Deeper In God's Love and more. The 12 page booklet features notes by Gospel historian Robert M. Maravich.

ERNEST MARTIN & HIS GOSPEL MELODY MAKERS B.A.C.M. 152 Hillbilly Gospel From The Blue Grass Hills** ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of old time country gospel from the early 50s by this fine but little known artist from Kentucky recorded for his own Martin label. Martin was a fine and powerful singer with an emotion charged vocal style who accompanies himself on blugrass style banjo on some of the cuts. He is accompanied by acoustic and electric guitars and string bass and the electric guitarist provides some brief hot Travis flavored licks. All but two of the songs are Martin originals and there some fine compositions here and, hopefully, this CD will them greater recognition. (FS)
ERNEST MARTIN AND HIS GOSPEL MELODY MAKERS: Faded Flowers/ Gabriel Blow Your Silver Trumpet/ Heaven Bound Excursion/ Heaven's Highway 66/ I Want To Live Humble/ I'll Be Shouting Over On The Other Side/ Let It Shine On Me/ Let's Be Friends/ My Long Journey Home/ My Vine Covered Cabin On The Hill/ Revelations 1:18/ River Of Time/ Rose Among The Thorns/ Scarlet Cord/ Shine On/ Sugar Coated Religion/ Swing Wide The Golden Gates/ The Golden Crown/ The Golden Rule/ The Little Graveyard/ The Valley Of Death/ They Were Leading My Lord From The Garden Of Prayer/ When The Flowers Of God Shall Bloom/ When The Wrath Of God Comes Down/ White Dove Of Peace/ White Winged Angel/ Who Was That Man

ED MCCURDY Jasmine 702 When Dalliance Was In Flower** ● CD $18.98
2 CD's, 66 tracks, 2 hours 32 min., strongly recommended
Folk pioneer McGurdy recorded the songs of 18th century with Tom D'Urfey for his 1956 "Dalliance" LP on Elektra Records. He described the lyrics as "politely risque," and indeed they are filled with the kind of double and single entendres and puns that have made Shakespeare's plays bearable for high school students for 400 years or so. The "Dalliance" album features musicians Erik Darling and Alan Akrin, both of the Tarriers. Darling sang with The Weavers (replacing Pete Seeger, if such a thing is possible) and The Rooftop Singers, while Arkin, of course, went on to become an Academy Award-winning actor. So popular was the "Dalliance" LP when it hit store shelves that three subsequent LPs of similar nature were released. All were, perhaps unsurprisingly, particularly popular with American college students. Jasmine has reissued all four LPs on this two-CD set. The bawdiness level is not very high by today's standards, but the cleverness level is far above average. For those who appreciate a clever turn of phrase and enjoy raising an eyebrow now and again. (JC)

CHARLES MINGUS Candid 79005 Presents Charles Mingus** ● CD $11.98
4 tracks, 46 mins, essential
One of the first records on the Candid label, this stands as an enduring classic of the "new jazz" era; recorded in 1960, still vivacious and engaging in 1989. Mingus' working quartet with Eric Dolphy, Ted Curson and Dannie Richmond extends its collective grasp to encompass all of jazz history, from the rowdy red-light district roots through swing (especially enamored of Ellington) and bop, and on to the outer limits of abstraction. The four original compositions are challenging, in that they allow considerable freedom outside the usual constraints of rhythm and melody - a development which ranked Mingus with the avant-garde of his day. But the players' response to this freedom is never extreme, always sympathetic and frequently very humorous, especially on Original Faubus Fables with its jocular vocals, and What Love, where Mingus and Dolphy engage in a witty musical dialogue. This re-issue represents one of the big man's greatest moments; a tremendously significant bridge between "the tradition" and boisterous creativity, warmly recorded and played with the utmost in sensitivity and skill. MB)

RICKY NELSON Bear Family BCD 16856 Ricky Rocks** ● CD $24.98
33 tracks, 74 mins, very highly recommended
Ricky was not the most exciting rock 'n' roll vocalist but he loved the music and sang it with conviction and this collection presents the best of his more rocking recordings. What helps makes these recordings so exciting is the superb band he had accompanying - the early sessions featuring the great country guitarist Joe Maphis providing some truly inspired rocking instrumental breaks - his playing on If You Can't Rock Me is rock 'n' roll guitar at it's finest. Maphis was followed by his protege James Burton whose playing shows his mentor's influence but with a bit more sting to it. Songs are mostly ones written for Ricky along with several fine covers like Boppin' The Blues/ I'm Walkin'/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On and others. Newly remastered from first generation tapes and packaged in a digipack with 44 page booklet with informative notes by Colin Escott, rare photos and full discographical details. Includes Shirley Lee/ Be-Bop Baby/ Waitin' In School/ My Bucket's Got A Hole In It/ Am I Blue/ Down The Line/ My Babe/ There Goes My Baby, etc. Ace records put out a very similar package about 12 years ago and I haven't compared the two but this certainly has superior packaging and, I suspect, better sound thanks to improvements in remastering technology. If you don't have the Ace release then this is indispensible. (FS)
RICKY NELSON: Ain't Nothin' But Love/ Am I Blue/ Baby I'm Sorry/ Be-Bop Baby (Single version)/ Believe What You Say (Single version)/ Boppin' The Blues/ Don't Leave Me/ Down The Line/ Hello Mary Lou/ Hey Pretty Baby/ I Got A Feeling/ I'm In Love Again/ I'm Walkin'/ I've Been Thinkin' (version 2)/ If You Can't Rock Me (version 2)/ It's Late/ Just A Little Too Much (version 2)/ Mighty Good/ Milk Cow Blues/ My Babe/ My Bucket's Got A Hole In It/ One Of These Mornings/ Shirley Lee/ Stood Up/ Stop Sneakin' Around/ There Goes My Baby/ There's Good Rockin' Tonight/ Travelin' Man/ Waitin' In School/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On/ You Tear Me Up/ You'll Never Know What You're Missing/ Your True Love

LOS PINGUINOS DE NORTE Arhoolie 9051 Corridos De La Frontera** ● CD $9.98
14 tracks, 60 min., highly recommended
The Penguins of the North -- northern Mexico, that is -- have been providing the music for the same cantina for better than 50 years, and these recordings document corridos from the early 20th century--mostly the '20s and '30s, judging from the references in the lyrics. This kind of working-class, accordion-based music has clearly informed the music of more recent artists, such as Chalino Sanchez, and from the subject matter of the corridos (bragging, smuggling, fighting, murder, injustice, pride), complete with references to specific people, places and dates, one can begin to understand the tradition behind the more recent narcocorridos. Arhoolie's Chris Strachwitz has thoughtfully provided the lyrics in English (and Spanish) so that the music can be more fully appreciated by those whose high school Spanish has all but evaporated. Most of these songs, including El Desesperado, Yo Soy Norteno, Mexico Americano, and Los Dos Hermanos, were recorded "live" at cantina El Patio in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, in May 1970. An excellent release. (JC)

FRANK QUINN Arhoolie-Folklyric 7033 If You Are Irish** ● CD $13.98
25 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended
A truly delightful collection of Irish music from the 20s and 30s by this wonderfully talented performer. Quinn was a distinctive singer with a rough nasal quality that is very engaging and a fine fiddle and accordion player - not a virtuoso by any means but a joy to listen to. He was also a terrific lilter (wordless singing) which he uses on a number of songs here. The songs are usually upbeat and often humorous and in addition to the anthemic title song ("If You Are Irish, Come Into The Parlor/ There's a Welcome There For You/ If Your Name Is Timothy Or Pat/ As Long As You Come From Ireland There's A Welcome On The Mat"), there's the odd Shan Van Vough (what is this about?), the hilarious Paddy McGinty's Goat, several emigration songs (Good Bye Mike, Goodbye Pat/ An Irish farewell, etc) and a couple of fine duets with Nan Fitzpatrick. The instrumental tunes are a diverse mixture of jigs and reels - Rafferty's Reel/ The West Port Chorus/ The Leg Of The Duck/ Donovan's Reel, etc. Sound quality is excellent, even those tracks taken from acoustically recorded 78s. Quinn recorded nearly 200 sides between 1921 and '35 - I hope we'll be seeing more reissues of this fine performer! (FS)

THE REGENTS Dee Jay Jamboree 55043 AKA The Runarounds ● CD $21.98 $16.98
32 tracks, 73 min., recommended
A particularly comprehensive view of the recording career of the various permutations of the group known first as the Desires, then the Regents, and finally as the Runarounds. In 1958, as the Desires, the group cut two sides for Seville, but the label didn't get around to releasing them until 1962. Later that year, as the Regents, group members used their own money to cut two new songs, one ballad and, at the last minute, a warm up song by the name of Barbara Ann. No company would buy the songs, so, before the year was over, the group broke up. Three years later the tiny Cousins label finally issued Barbara Ann. The song took off, was leased to Gee, and major efforts were made to reform the belatedly successful group. One form or another of this reformed group continued to record through the mid-60's. All of the selections referred to above are on this collection, plus Are You Looking for a Sweetheart, Let Them Talk, Liar, Summer is Thru, Send Her Back, Goddess of Love, You Lied, and Dream Girl. A major slice of latter day Italian-American doo-wop, offered here with fine sound quality, lots of photos, and a bewilderingly complex group history. (DH)

JIM RINGER Folk Legacy 47 Waiting For The Hard Times To Go** ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, essential
This 1972 debut from Jim Ringer is one of my favorite American Folk albums of the 1970s. Ringer was a superb singer with a rich, warm and very melodic voice but with gritty honesty to it. On this superb album he performs a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs. His subsequent albums featured mostly original songs but this only has one original and it's a knockout - the title song - it's one of those honest reflections on life that is as relevant today as it was in 1972. Another significant original contribution from Jim is his setting of the 19th century poem California Joe written by cowboy poet "Captain Jack" Crawford to a beautiful original tune. Among the other superb songs he covers are Otis Pierces Every Bush And Tree, George Jones's Ground So Poor That Grass Won't Grow and two from his good friend and inpiration Bruce "Utah" Phillips including the gorgeous anthemic I Believe If I Lived My Life Again with Phillips contributing harmonica. There are also songs from John Prine, Willie Nelson and Jean Ritchie along with several traditional songs. Jim is given vocal and instrumental support by friends like Mary McCaslin, Jay Ungar, Jon Wilcox and others. This is one of those perfect albums where every song is a gem and, although not a thematic album, each song seems to seamlessly flow into the next. Because of the current economic climate Folk Legacy has decided to reissue this as a CD-R only and if you want the notes with lyric transcripts you will need to send them $2.00 but that doesn't detract from the necessity of owning it. (FS)

THE STEWART FAMILY B.A.C.M. 138 Come On In And Make Yourself At Home** ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
The Stewart Family are a little known but very fine family group that recorded for Gilt Edge between 1950. Leader of the group was Virgil "Pappy" Stewart who wrote many of the group's songs including Just Out Of Reach which has become a country standard. "Pappy" played guitar and does some very fine pickin' on a couple of the songs with some nifty chord changes. The rest of the group includes sister Baba (accordion) and daughters Bethyl (violin) and Jeanette (bass). Later on they were joined by Bethyl's husband Buddy Brown on mandolin and piano. The arrangements are varied ranging from one guitar with ensemble singing, old timey mandolin and guitar arrangements and bigger group arrangements with accordion and piano. Quite a few of the leads are taken by Bethyl who was an exceptional singer with an aching yearning quality that brings to mind Wilma Lee Cooper. There are several gospel songs which are among the highlights here including the wonderful Sinner Read The Bible which has long been a favorite of mine. (FS)
THE STEWART FAMILY: 22 Boogie/ Beautiful Garden Of Prayer/ Brown Eyes Or Blue Eyes/ Come On In And Make Yourself At Home/ Don't Go Honky Tonkin'/ Four O'clock In The Morning/ Goin' Steady/ I Ain't Got Time/ I Can't, He Can/ I Don't Have To Tell You That I Love You/ I've Changed My Mind/ Jealous Love/ Journey's End/ Just Out Of Reach/ Lonesome Dollar Bill/ Love Or The Itch/ Mysteries Of Life/ Posted, One Heart/ Shadows/ Sinner Read The Bible/ Sugar Plum Boogie/ The Green Grass Grows All Around/ Thirty Pieces Of Silver/ Wasted Tears/ Whiskey Widder

SOPHIE TUCKER Archeophone 5010 Origins Of The Red Hot Mama, 1910-1922** ● CD $21.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
Fabulous collection featuring the earliest recordings of one of the great musical entertainers of the 20th century and, as this collection makes clear, an important influence on popular and jazz singing. Sophie was a rambunctious performer who became known for a selection of risque recordings and even more risque live performances but even though she had to tame down her performances for record there was a lustiness to her performances right from the very beginning that was absent from the performances of her contemporaries. Sophie was a great self promoter though the stories she told of her life varied as the situation demanded and so creating a biography was quite a challenge though fortunately the compilers of this collection had access to the 500 scrapbooks that Sophie kept thoughout her performing life as well as the unedited handwritten manuscript of her autobiography that was only recently unearthed. Even so, elements of her early life are uncertain but the authors make a valiant effort to trace Sophie's early history which are told in the gorgeous 72 page booklet crammed with rare photos, sheet music, advertisements and much more - many from Sophie's scrapbooks. Her first recording, the syncopated, That Lovin' Rag showed the direction that her music would take. and these early recordings taken from Edison cylinders and rare 78s feature all the elements that would appear in her later recordings - the half spoken asides, the bawdy chuckles and the infectious enthusiasm that she brings to the music. Included here is the first recordings from 1911 of the song that would be forever associated with her - Some Of These Days. Other songs include My Husband's In The City/ Reuben Rag/ Missouri Joe/ I'm Glad My Daddy's In A Uniform (including an early example of some double entendre)/ Don't Put A Tax On the Beautiful Girls/ Learning/ It's All Over Now/ Pick Me Up And Lay Me Down In Dear Old Dixieland, etc. The sound quality on these almost 100 year old recordings is astonishing. The authors of the booklet Susan & Lloyd Ecker have gathered so much information about Sophie that they have plans for a film documentary (debuting at cinemas this month) and a book. For more info check out where you can also get all kind of Sophie Tucker merchandise! Congratulation to Archeophone for another wonderful and immensely important release. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1420 Bring It On Home - Black America Sings Sam Cooke ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
Not long ago, Ace issued a compilation called "Black America Sings Otis Redding" (Ace 1352 - $18.98) and it seems only natural that a similar collection should be dedicated to one of Otis' biggest influences, the great Sam Cooke. R&B fans should need no introduction to Sam Cooke - his peerless voice, alternately gorgeous and rockin' recordings, and pervasive influence over Soul music-and this collection does his songwriting skills proud with assorted interpretations of some of his greatest tunes. Whether it's Percy Sledge caressing a gentle version of You Send Me, Otis bringing the house down with Shake, Sam & Dave bringing their singular magic to Soothe Me, or being reminded what we lost with the passing of Bobby Womack on I'm Gonna Forget About You, these songs not only present the artists featured at their best, but illustrate how malleable Cooke's songs were/are. And it's nice to hear this material tackled in different styles--Doo Wop (The Flamingos' Nobody Loves Me Like You), gospel (The Soul Stirrers' That's Heaven to Me), country (R.B Greaves' Cupid), and acapella (The Persuasions' Love You Most of All) - because it reaffirms the timelessness of the songs. In sum, this is an excellent introduction to the wonders of Sam Cooke's songbook. (GMC)
MEL CARTER: When A Boy Falls In Love/ THE FALCONS: Pow! You're In Love/ THE FLAMINGOS: Nobody Loves Me Like You/ EDDIE FLOYD: Bring It On Home To Me/ ARETHA FRANKLIN: Good Times/ R.B. GREAVES: Cupid/ WILLIE HIGHTOWER: Somebody Have Mercy/ THEOLA KILGORE: (Chain Gang) The Sound Of My Man/ LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS: I'm Alright/ THE MIRACLES: Dance What You Wanna/ JOHNNIE MORISETTE: Meet Me At The Twistin' Place/ JOHNNY NASH: Wonderful World/ THE OVATIONS (FEAT. LOUIS WILLIAMS): Having A Party (Medley)/ THE PERSUASIONS: Love You Most Of All/ LOU RAWLS: Win Your Love/ OTIS REDDING: Shake/ SAM & DAVE: Soothe Me/ THE SIMMS TWINS: The Smile/ PERCY SLEDGE: You Send Me/ THE SOUL STIRRERS: That's Heaven To Me/ THE SUPREMES: (Ain't That) Good News/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Rome (Wasn't Built In A Day)/ BOBBY WOMACK: I'm Gonna Forget About You/ BRENTON WOOD: A Change Is Gonna Come

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9016 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1911: Up, Up A Little Higher ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
Another volume in Archeophone magnificent series documenting the most popular recordings year by year from the birth of recording through the 1920s. This volume is devoted to the year 1911 - the year of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York, the year the first American woman received a pilot's license and the year of the first Indianapolis 500 race. On the musical front we hear the first recording of Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band by Collins and Harlan which became one of the most popular songs of the first half the 20th century - this recording was so popular it remained in the catalog for almost 12 years. The growth of the aeroplane business was on many people's minds and here we have two versions of Come Jospehine In My Flying Machine. We also have two recordings of the archetypal Irish sentimental song Mother Machree and the Brunswick Quartette's Down By The Old Mill Stream premiered a song that would become a barbershop quartette favorite and sell over six million sheet music copies. This year Sophi Tucker recorded her first version of Some Of These Days - a song that would become her theme song for the rest of her long career and one that has been called the first truly modern song. There are more gems from Campbell and Burr, John McCormack, Gene Greene, Ada Jones and more. Sound quality on these over 100 year old recordings is astounding and the 20 page booklet has detailed notes on all the performances as well as a survey of the years significant events and includes photos, sheet music covers, label shots and more. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9019 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1919: Jazzin' Around And Pa ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
By 1919 the first World War was over and Woodrow Wilson went to Europe to participate in signing the Treaty Of Versailles and promote the formation of The League Of Nations winning him the Nobel Peace Prize, in spite of the onset of a new prosperity the working man was no better off (sound familiar?) and 1919 saw a number of labor strikes. It was also the year of one of the biggest scandals in sports when Charles Comisky, owner of the Chicago White Sox colluded with gamblers to have the team to throw the World Series.It was also the year that the Volstead Act came into effect banning the sale of alcohol. Many of songs here are upbeat - some having a blues or jazz flavor including the first recording of After You've Gone written by African-American songwriting team Creamer and Layton and performed by the superb Marrion Harris who is also featured on A Good Man Is Hard To Find, later recorded by Bessie Smith. The most popular African-American artist Bert Williams is here with his classic It's Nobody's Business But My Own. A number of long lived songs appeared this year including I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (by Selvin's Novelty Orchestra and Campbell and Burr), How Ya Gonna Keep Them Down On The Farm? (After They've Seen Paree) from Nora Bayes and Irving Berlin's A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody from John Steel. Other artists featured include Arthur Fields, Al Jolson, Van and Schenck, Charles Hart & Lewis James (their Till We Meet Again was one of the biggest selling records of the acoustic recording era), Billy Murray (his Alcoholic Blues is a commentary on the passing of the Volstead Act) and others. As always with these releases the sound quality is exceptional and documentation is impeccable. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie 359 Folksongs Of The Louisiana Acadiens** ● CD $13.98
34 cuts, 78 min, essential
Recorded from 1956-59 by Dr. Harry Oster of LSU, these recordings were among the first to allow the outside world to peek into the wonders of Cajun music. While recordings had been made by and for the Louisiana French, these field recordings aimed at the source of Cajun music, both in the recordings that showed the borrowings from other American old-time musics and those that derived from the ballads, dance tunes, Mardi Gras songs & rounds that are the essence of Acadian music. Thus, musicians like fiddlers Cheese Reed, Chuck Guillory, & Austin Pitre, harmonica-player Isom Fontenot, and accordionists Milton Molitor & Cyprien Landreneau backed fine traditional singers like Mrs. Rodney Fruge, Bee Deshotels, Mrs. Odeus Guillory & themselves on some marvelous songs, some still in the tradition, and some rare even then. Sound, while not hi-fi, is clean & intimate and the performances are never less than compelling and heartfelt. Previously on Arhoolie Lps 5009 & 5015. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 141 Mirth, Music & Moonshine - Old Time Comedy** ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
Delightful collection of comedy skits and humorous songs by hillbilly performers from the late 20s and early 30s. Highlight is the six part The Okeh Medicine Show - a recreation of a medicine show with introductions by Martin Malloy and comedy and music from John & Kate Carson, Narmour & Smith, The Black Brothers, Frank Hutchison, Bud Blue (actually Fred Hall of Fields & H*all) and Emmett Miller! Other performers on this disc include The Hillbillies, The Blue Ridge Entertainers (which included Tom Ashley & Gwen Foster), E.V. Stoneman & the Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers, Louis Bird, Charlie Wilson & His Hay Lof Boys, The Fruit Jar Guzzlers, The Skillet Lickers, George 'Shortbuckle' Roark (superb singer and banjo player) and Hugh Roden & Roy Rodgers. Lots of songs and skits about moonshine and liquor in general. Sound quality is generally excellent. An invaluable release. (FS)
LOUIS BIRD: It's Funny What Whiskey Will Do/ THE BLUE RIDGE ENTERTAINERS: Over At Tom's House/ The Fiddlers Contest/ FIDDLIN' JOHN CARSON & MOONSHINE KATE: Since She Took My Licker From Me/ THE FRUIT JAR GUZZLERS(STEVENS & BOLAR): Kentucky Bootlegger/ THE HILLBILLIES: The Feller That Looks Like Me/ GEORGE 'SHORTBUCKLE' ROARK: I Ain't A Bit Drunk/ HUGH RODEN & ROY RODGERS: Chickens In The Garden/ THE SKILLET LICKERS: A Bee Hunt On Hell Fer Sartin Creek Pts. 1 & 2/ Day At The County Fair Pts. 1 & 2/ E.V. STONEMAN & THE BLUE RIDGE CORN SHUCKERS: A Serenade In The Mountains Pts. 1 & 2/ VARIOUS: The Okeh Medicine Show Acts I–vi/ CHARLIE WILSON & HIS HAY LOFT BOYS: The Beer Party

VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 465 Country Music On The Excellent Label, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, strongly recommended
Excellent was a small label run my musician/ entrepreneur Estel Lee Scarborough which issued singles on and off between 1952 and 1960 and this is the first of two albums devoted to the label's releases. One of the label's most significant artists was singer/ guitarist Dave Woolum who is featured on six tracks - two are honky tonk country, one is a version of the old favorite Maple On The Hill and the rest are excellent bluegrass - one featuring the banjo of Sonny Osborne and the other two featured another important bluegrass banjo player Noah Crase. Among the other artists featured here are Stanley Johnson, Don Brooks & The Rhythum Valley Boys, Joy Whittaker (two fine tracks from 1955 - one borderline rock 'n' roll), Taylor Porter & The Gray Mountain Boys (another fine bluegrass group), Ray Lunsford (hot guitar instrumentals) and others. Indeed some of the music here is indeed excellent. Except for a few tracks the sound is fine and there are informative notes by Al Turner. (FS)
EDDIE ADAMS & MOUNTAIN RHYTHM BOYS: I've Been With The Boys/ THE BAKERS TRIO & FELLOWSHIP CHRISTANIERS: Big Hand Of God/ Let Me Be Worthy/ DON BROOKS & RYTHUM VALLEY BOYS [SIC]: Gonna See My Baby Tonight/ Take Care Of My Heart/ DAVE & CORNEY: Our Mother/ Traveling Alone/ HANK DREW: Don't Torture Me/ You Don't Love Me/ STANLEY JOHNSON: I'm Just A Ramblin' Man/ You've Traded Love For Gold/ ESTEL LEE: To Much I've Loved You/ Will You Remember/ RAY LUNSFORD: Country Pickin' (Instr.)/ Red Wing (Instr.)/ TAYLOR PORTER & GRAY MOUNTAIN BOYS: That's How I Got My Start/ The Girl That Lived Over The Hill/ RAY, MAE, SHORTY WITH SANDY VALLEY BOYS: I Won't Be Satisfied At All/ If I Could Learn To Love You In The Morning/ CHARLES SIDEBOTTOM & OWEN COUNTY RAMBLERS: I'm Coming Home To You/ Water Over The Dam/ Your Love Is The Key/ JOY WHITAKER & THE SOUTHENEERS: Blue Tears/ Toe Tappin' Rhythm/ DAVE WOOLUM: Maple On The Hill/ Rolling Stone/ I Ain't Gonna Let Her Do It Anymore/ Single Girl Married Girl

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17350 The Hillbillies, The Tried To Rock Vol. 1 ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Aside from the clunky title, this is a pretty great collection (plenty of Hillbillies did plenty more than try to Rock, and it's especially clunky since they have artists like Carl Perkins and Wanda Jackson on the CD.) The tracks here fall into three categories: the aforementioned artists and their ilk that were full fledged Rockabillies even though they might have gone full time Country (and/or Gospel) later, established Country stars who (sometimes reluctantly) tried their hand at the hot new sound, and young Country artists that hadn't necessarily figured out where they were going with their style. So you get Lefty Frizzell sounding like Carl Perkins on You're Humbuggin' Me, Pee Wee King covering Carl's Blue Suede Shoes, etc., mostly with good results. Then there's the young George "Thumper" Jones sounding like Carl Perkins on How Come It, Bobby Helms before he met a Fraulein or picked up his jingle bells, sounding like Carl Perkins on Tennessee Rock & Roll, and so on. Basically, half of this CD is Carl Perkins and artists either covering his songs or trying to sound like him -- long live Carl Perkins! Some of my other favorite tracks are the ones that feature great Country acts covering Rhythm & Blues, like The Carlisles doing The Drifters' Honey Love, Johnnie & Jack doing The Spaniels' Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight, and The Stanley Brothers doing Hank Ballard & the Midnighters' "Finger Poppin' Time." Those three alone make this worth checking out. Then there's Rose Maddox who could do no wrong in my book and could certainly sing some Rockabilly if she wanted to. On top of all that, you get Bear Family's usual beautiful presentation, (JM)
BILL ALEY: Rock The Joint/ EDDY ARNOLD: Hep Cat Baby/ CHARLINE ARTHUR: Burn That Candle/ THE CARLISLES: Honey Love/ JOHNNY CASH: You're My Baby (Little Woolly Booger) (Undubbed Demo)/ PATSY CLINE: Let The Teardrops Fall/ LINK DAVIS: Have You Heard The News/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: Rockin' With Red/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: You're Humbuggin' Me/ KIRK HANSARD: One Night/ BOBBY HELMS: Tennessee Rock 'N' Roll/ JOHNNY HORTON: I'm Coming Home/ WANDA JACKSON: I Gotta Know/ JOHNNIE & JACK: Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight/ GEORGE 'THUMPER' JONES: How Come It/ PEE WEE KING: Blue Suede Shoes/ THE LOUVIN BROTHERS: Red Hen Hop/ ROSE MADDOX: Hey Little Dreamboat/ SKEETS MCDONALD: You're There/ THE MILLER SISTERS: Ten Cats Down (Alt)/ HANK PENNY: Rock Of Gibraltar/ CARL PERKINS: You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Alt 1)/ WEBB PIERCE: Teenage Boogie/ MARVIN RAINWATER: Hot And Cold/ KERAY REGAN: Vibratin'/ MARTY ROBBINS: Maybellene/ MIMI ROMAN: Little Lovin'/ CARL SMITH: Go, Boy, Go/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS: Finger Poppin' Time (Overdubbed Version)/ ONIE WHEELER: Onie's Bop/ BOBBY WILLIAMSON: Sh-Boom (Live Could Be A Dream)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 17406 The Hillbillies, They Tried To Rock Vol. 2 ● CD $21.98
31 tracks, 71 mins, recommended
Little Jimmy Dickens actually delivers a pretty hot Rockin' number to start this off: (I Got) A Hole In My Pocket written by the great songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and propelled by the smokin' guitar work of Grady Martin. Then you get Marty Robbins' take on Long Tall Sally and things cool off a bit. This one is a little more of a mixed bag than the first volume, but there are still plenty of hot numbers. Highlights include Patsy Cline (duh,) Bill Haley, Myrna Lorrie, Reno & Smiley pickin' the hell out of Country Boy Rock 'n Roll, Hank Thompson getting into the spirit with Rockin' In The Congo, etc. Bob Wills closes things with perfectly with So Let's Rock, showing us just how fine a line there was between Western Swing and Rockabilly, especially when it comes to the guitar playing. (JM)
EDDY ARNOLD: Rockin' Mockin' Bird/ WILF CARTER: The Yodelin' Song/ JEAN CHAPEL: Welcome To The Club/ PATSY CLINE: Stop, Look And Listen/ THE DAVIS SISTERS: Rock-A-Bye Boogie/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: (I Got) A Hole In My Pocket/ RED FOLEY: Crazy Little Guitar Man/ LEFTY FRIZZELL & SHIRLEY CADDELL: No One To Talk To (But The Blues)/ BETSY GAY: Hound Dog/ BILL HALEY: Crazy Man Crazy/ FREDDIE HART: Dig Boy Dig/ JOHNNY HORTON: Honky-Tonk Hardwood Floor/ GEORGE JONES: Heartbreak Hotel/ MYRNA LORRIE: Hello Baby/ SKEETS MCDONALD: You Oughta See Grandma Rock/ MOON MULLICAN: Seven Nights To Rock/ JIMMY MURPHY: Sixteen Tons Rock 'N' Roll/ BUCK OWENS: Sweet Thing/ WEBB PIERCE: Bye Bye Love/ MARVIN RAINWATER: I Dig You Baby/ DON RENO & RED SMILEY: Country Boy Rock 'N Roll/ MARTY ROBBINS: Long Tall Sally/ CARSON ROBISON: Rockin' And Rollin' With Grandmaw (On A Saturday Night)/ HANK SNOW: Hula Rock/ THE SONS OF PIONEERS: Tennessee Rock 'N' Roll/ HANK THOMPSON: Rockin' In The Congo/ LEROY VAN DYKE: Chicken Shack Boogie/ ALVIS WAYNE: Sleep Rock-A-Roll, Rock-A-Baby/ ONIE WHEELER: Going Back To The City/ TEX WILLIAMS: Let's Go Rockabilly/ BOB WILLS: So Let's Rock

VARIOUS ARTISTS BGP CDBGP 285 Hard To Explain - More Shattered Dreams, 1968-1984 ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 63 mins, recommended
Complementing BGP 229 ("Shattered Dreams" - $18.98) this is another collection of blues adapting to contemporary musical styles - in particular funk. Artists like Ray Agee, Lowell Fulsom, Albert King and Jimmy McCracklin got their start in the 1940s and 50s but sound perfectly at home in a more contemporary setting. When, oh when, is somebody going to do a really good reissue of Ray Agee - the man was prolific but consitently superb. Other artists are from a later generation and we get fine performances from Freddy Robinson (a rare and fine vocal from this brilliant session guitarist), Finis Tasby, Adolph Jacobs (a fine funky instrumental from this session guitarist best known for his work with The Coasters), Big Daddy Rucker (a fine bluesy soul ballad), Tommy Youngblood and others. This is not as strong as the first volume as several of the tracks (Obrey Wilson, Memphis Soul, etc.) are almost straight funk with very little blues flavor even though are plenty of recordings out there that adhere more closely to the remit of this collection. (FS)
RAY AGEE: It's Hard To Explain/ LARRY DAVIS: You Upset Me Baby/ LOWELL FULSOM: Lovemaker/ SHAKEY JAKE HARRIS: Sister Rose/ ICE WATER SLIM & THE FOURTH FLOOR: I Don't Understand It/ ADOLPH JACOBS: Getting' Down With The Game/ ALBERT KING: Cold Sweat/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: I Finally Got You/ MEMPHIS SOUL: Don't Down Me People (Pt 1)/ JIMMY ROBINS: It's Real (Pt 1)/ FREDDY ROBINSON: The Creeper/ BIG DADDY RUCKER: He Made You Mine/ FINIS TASBY: Find Something Else To Do/ Walk On/ ARTIE WHITE: Gimme Some Of Yours (I'll Give You Some Of Mine)/ OBREY WILSON: Getting Down With You/ SMOKEY WILSON: Go Go Train/ I Want You/ EARL WRIGHT: Them Love Blues/ TOMMY YOUNGBLOOD: Hey Little Girl

VARIOUS ARTISTS Big Legal Mess 289 The Soul Of Designer Records ● CD $39.98
Four CDs, 101 tracks, highly recommended
Fabulous collection of black gospel recorded for the Memphis based Designer label between 1967 and 1977 drawn from some 500 singles released on the label during that period. Designer Records was the brainchild of maverick music entrepreneur Style Wooten who over the years dabbled in many music styles and ran a slew of labels - almost all of them custom labels where for a few hundred dollars (which could be paid in installments) you could make a record and get 25 copies to sell included and if you wanted to more you could pay for another 25. Designer Records was his most succesful label and by the early 70s groups were travelling from all over the country to Memphis to make a reord - most of them cut at Sonic Studios run by former Sun session guitarist Roland Janes who also plays on a number of the tracks here. And Wooten would have a group of on call studio musicians to help fill out the sound, if necesarry. Unlike much of the commercial gospel of the time which was often pretty slick most of the music here is rawer and, often, more impassioned than what you would hear on labels like HOB or Songbird. While there may be no masterpieces here there are also no duds with every track having something worthwhile to offer. For many of the groups these might be there only recording even though many were long time performers in their community. I haven't had a chance to hear the whole set but from what I have heard the immediate standouts are the superb quartet The Dynamic Hughes Gospel Singers, the outstanding duo The Shaw Singers who are featured on five tracks including two with some very effective steel guitar - not Sacred Steel style but country & western style. Alberta Powell is a moving singer accompanied by some very bluesy guitar and Laura Bradley who is accompanied by The Famous South Land Singers is an exceptional vocalist as is Elizabeth who brings to mind Candi Staton or Aretha Franklin. About the only tracks that have been reissued before are two by Joe Townsend featuring some stunning Delta blues style guitar and sounds like it was recorded live in a church. The set is packaged in a handsome LP sized sleeve with a 16 page LP sized booklet with fascinating notes on the label, Wooten and many of the performers based on original research by Michael Hurtt along with a selection of artist photos and photos of Wooten including one full page one of him in his full wax mustached glory. A superb and important release. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Buda 860184 Zanzibara 5 - Hot In Dar** ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, highly recommended
Haunting and sensuous music from East Africa recorded in Dar es Salam - the largest and richest city in Tanzania. The recordings here are from the late 70s and early 80s when Dar es-Salam had one of the richest and most vibrant musical scenes in Africa, with some 25 to 30 professional bands performing in nightclubs and theatres. Tight guitars, riffing horn section, enchanting harmonizing vocals and unfailing swing characterized this dance music that was the backdrop to everyday life in the city. This disc pressnts the music 10 of the top bands of the period. Includes 28 page booklet with extensive background notes, rare photos as well as information on the artists plus lyric transcripts in French and English. (FS_

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital 36 Arkansas At 78 rpm: Corn Dodgers & Hoss Hair Pullers ● CD $13.98
26 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
A superb collection of old time country music mostly recorded between 1928 and 1932 by Arkansas based artists. Most of the performances are by string bands, about half of them instrumental featuring such fine performers as Ashley's Melody Men, Fiddlin' Bob Larkin & His Music Makers (with the delightful The Higher Up The Monkey Climbs), Dr. Smith's Champion Hoss Hair Pullers, Arkansas Barefoot Boys, The Wonder State Harmonits (with the rather odd My Castle On The Nile), The Morrison Twin Brothers String Band and others, There are two tracks here from 1936 by the most familiar name here - Lonnie Glosson - a versatile performer who was voice on hillbilly radio for many years - often in the company of singer/ harmonica player Wayne Raney. Glosson was also a superb harmonica player heard here on Lonnie's Fox Chase - he was also a fine guitarist and accompanies himself on guitar on the talking blues Arkansas Hard Luck Blues. Sound quality is superb and the 32 page booklet has extensive notes from old time country expert Tony Russell. (FS)
THE ARKANSAS BAREFOOT BOYS: Eighth of January/ ASHLEY’S MELODY MEN: Bath House Blues/ Searcy County Rag/ L. O. BIRKHEAD & R. M. LANE: Robinson County/ BONNIE DODD & MURRAY LUCAS: Ozark Mountain Rose/ GEORGE EDGIN’S CORN DODGERS WITH EARL WRIGHT &: Corn Dodger No. 1 Special/ My Ozark Mountain Home/ The Arkansas Hotel/ LONNIE GLOSSON: Arkansas Hard Luck Blues/ Lonnie’s Fox Chase/ LUKE HIGHNIGHT & HIS OZARK STRUTTERS: Fort Smith Breakdown/ BOB LARKAN & FAMILY: McLeods Reel/ Silver Nail/ FIDDLING BOB LARKIN & HIS MUSIC MAKERS: Paddy, Won’t You Drink Some Good Old Cider?/ The Higher up the Monkey Climbs/ THE MORRISON TWIN BROTHERS STRING BAND: Dry and Dusty/ Ozark Waltz/ POPE’S ARKANSAS MOUNTAINEERS: Get Along Home, Miss Cindy/ Jaw Bone/ REAVES WHITE COUNTRY RAMBLERS: Drunkard’s Hecups/ DR. SMITH’S CHAMPION HOSS HAIR PULLERS: Just Give Me the Leavings/ A. E. WARD & HIS PLOW BOYS: Going to Leave Old Arkansas/ The Old Dinner Pail/ THE WONDER STATE HARMONISTS: My Castle on the Nile/ Petit Jean Gallop/ Turnip Greens

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital 37 Parchman Farm: Photographs & Field Recordings, 1947-59 ● CD $39.98
Due late November. Two CD set in a 124 page hardcover book featuring field recordings made by Alan Lomax at the infamous Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman in 1947, '48 and '59. Mostly worksongs and hollers plus some blues from the incredible John Dudley. 44 tracks, 12 previously unreleased and all newly remastered. The book includes essays by Alan Lomax, Anna Lomax Wood and Bruce Jackson and includes 77 photos - many published here for the first time.
22 AND GROUP: Dollar Mamie/ It Makes A Long Time Man Feel Bad/ John Henry/ Rosie/ The Prettiest Train I Ever Saw/ 88: Whoa Buck/ Rosie (*)/ CLARENCE ALEXANDER: Disability Boogie Woogie/ Prison Blues/ BAMA: I Don't Want You Baby (*)/ I'm Going Home/ Levee Camp Hollers/ Stackalee/ DAN BARNES AND GROUP: I Don't Want No Jet Black Woman (*)/ John Old Alabama/ FLOYD BATTS: Lucky Song/ BULL, FOOTS AND DOBIE RED: Did You Hear About Louella Wallace/ BUZZARD AND GROUP: I'm Going to Memphis/ LEROY CAMPBELL AND YANCEY: Sometimes I Wonder/ BRIDGES LEE COLE: Hollers/ DOBIE RED AND GROUP: I Got A Bulldog (Well I Wonder)/ Stewball/ JOHN DUDLEY: Big Road Blues/ Cool Drink of Water Blues/ You Got a Mean Disposition/ HEUSTON EARMS: Ain't Been Able to Get Home No More (*)/ JOHN EDWARDS AND GROUP: Berta (*)/ FOOTS: Hollers/ GEORGE GOLDEN AND GROUP: Berta (*)/ JIMPSON AND GROUP: Murderer's Home/ No More My Lord/ CLYDE JONES AND GROUP: Poor Lazarus/ ED LEWIS: Levee Camp Holler / Interview/ Black Gal/ JOHNNY LEE MOORE, ED LEWIS, JAMES CARTER, AND HENRY: Tom Devil/ HENRY RATCLIFF: Look for Me In Louisiana/ TANGLE EYE: Tangle Eye's Blues/ Early In the Morning/ When I Went to Leland/ UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: The Weather Get Warm (*)/ WILLIE WASHINGTON: My Jack Don’t Drink No Water (*)/ ERVIN WEBB AND GROUP: I'm Going Home/ GROVER WELLS: Up the River (*)/ Rosie (*)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 61997 The Fire/ Fury Records Story - Rarities Collection ● CD $18.98 $14.98
Two CDs, 36 tracks, recommended
An excellent collection featuring some of the lesser known releases for Bobby Robinson's Fire and Fury labels in the early 60s - mostly solid R&B along with some blues and doo-wop featuring artists like Johnny Chef (who also recorded as Johnny Acey), Mary Anne Fisher, The Gay Poppers, Little Joe Cook, Jimmy Ricks, Willie Bradford, June Bateman, Little Junior Lewis, Chuck Bradford and more. No problem with the music but all these tracks were issued a while back n a series of four 25 track CDs called "N.Y. On Fire" along with loads more ($16.98 each) though this has somewhat better sound and Bill Dahl's notes here provides useful profiles on the artists and the songs. (FS)
BUDDY BARNES: I Cried/ JUNE BATEMAN: Believe Me Darling/ BOBBY AND BUDDY: What's the Word, Thunderbird/ CHUCK BRADFORD: Say It Was a Dream/ WILLIE BRADFORD: So Long/ Wanna Be Loved/ HELEN BRYANT: I'Ve Learned My Lesson/ That's a Promise/ CURTIS CARRINGTON: I'M Gonna Catch You (Cuttin' Out on Me)/ JOHNNY CHEF: Can't Stop Moving/ LITTLE JOE COOK: This I Know/ DELMAR: Depending on You/ LEE DORSEY: You Are My Sunshine/ MARY ANN FISHER: Put Your Shoes on/ Wild as You Can Be/ THE GAY POPPERS: I Want to Know/ I'Ve Got It/ You Got Me Up Tight/ GIL HAMILTON: Pretty Baby (Come Back to Me)/ WILBERT HARRISON: Happy in Love/ CLARENCE (JUNIOR) LEWIS: Cupid's Little Helper/ Half a Heart/ LITTLE JUNIOR LEWIS: And That's All I Need/ Can She Give Me Fever/ Your Heart Must Be Made of Stone/ LINDA MARTELL & THE ANGLOS: A Little Tear (Was Falling From My Eyes)/ The Things I Do for You/ PAUL PERRYMAN: Look at My Baby/ JIMMY RICKS: I Wonder/ Let Me Down Easy/ ROCKIN' BRADLEY: I Have News for You/ RIFF RUFFIN: Dig That Rock and Roll/ Hucklebuck Scratch/ BUDDY SKIPPER: Don't Be a Shame (to Call My Name)/ TARHEEL SLIM & LITTLE ANN: Can't Stay Away From You/ THE UPSETTERS: Steppin' Out

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fuel 62004B Funky New Orleans - NOLA Soul Explosion ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended
In case you didn't know, a whole lot of funky records came out of New Orleans in the 1960s and '70s. This is a great collection of some lesser known (as well as a couple pretty well known) tracks by well known artists mixed with cuts by some not known much further than Louisiana, all with that Funky New Orleans vibe. Some of my favorite tracks here include Aaron Neville Hercules, The Prime Mates Hot Tamales, Ernie K. Doe's monster 1970 take on Allan Toussaint's Here Come The Girls, Toussaint doing his own Get Out Of My Life Woman (one of Lee Dorsey's biggest hits,) African Music Machine with The Dapp, and many more choice cuts. (JM)
JOHNNY ADAMS: Struttin' On Sunday/ AFRICAN MUSIC MACHINE: The Dapp/ DIAMOND JOE: Gossip Gossip/ LEE DORSEY & THE METERS: Four Corners/ DR. JOHN: Don't Want No Monkey In My Business/ WILLIE HARPER: Here Comes the Hurt Again/ ELDRIDGE HOLMES: If I Were a Carpenter/ ERNIE K-DOE: Here Come the Girls/ EARL KING: Street Parade/ WARREN LEE: Mama Said We Can't Get Married/ CURLY MOORE: Get Low Down/ AARON NEVILLE: Hercules/ THE PRIME MATES: Hot Tamales/ PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Stompin' With Fess/ THE RUBAIYATS: Omar Khayyam/ BENNY SPELLMAN: Sinner Girl/ ALLEN TOUSSAINT: Get Out of My Life/ WILLIE WEST: Fairchild

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 3640/1 Hillbilly Bop, Boogie & Honky Tonk Blues Vol. 6 1960-61 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 48 tracks, 109 mins, highly recommended
The vibe of this collection can be summed up in the info for just two of its many fine tracks: Cecil Cline And His Band Do Drop In written by General Robert E. Lee Stevenson released on the Blue Hen Label, and "Hoss" Barnett & The "Roll With Hoss" Combo with I Want My Case Continued (My Lawyer's Out Of Town) on the Collard Green record label. So, in a nutshell a ton of great tracks by hopped up Country cats & kittens playing like there's no tomorrow, most of them legends in their own zip code. Only the most fervent Country collector will know most of the artists here, but if you are a fan of that "Hillbilly, Bop, Boogie & Honky Tonk," you will love this collection, number six in a very fine series. (JM) Note: The five previous double CDs in this series (Jasmine 3560/1, 3562/3, 3583/4, 3595/6, 3610/1) which trace the devlopment of this style chronologically from 1948 are still available for $18.98 each. Or get all six volumes for $102.
HOSS BARNETT & THE "ROLL WITH HOSS" COMBO: I Want My Case Continued/ SLIM BEACH WITH RAMBLING RANGERS: Three Times Seven/ SANDY BEELER: Carry Me Down/ JACOBY BROTHERS (BOY & GENE): Alone Tonight/ TEX CARSON: Be Mine/ LITTLE DICKIE CHAFFIN: Lost Love/ CECIL CLINE AND HIS BAND: Do Drop In/ EDDIE COLLINS: I've Been Around Too Long/ MARTY COLLINS WITH THE WESTERNERS: Sitting, Thinkin' And Drinking/ COUNTRY BOY EDDIE with THE COUNTRY BOYS: The Fodder Fossil Blues/ THE COUNTRY BOYS: Your Turn To Cry/ ARTIE DAVIS: Hawaiian Boogie/ THE DIXIELAND DRIFTERS: I Can't Do Without You/ MASON DIXON: Hello Memphis/ DAVID HISER: Dodge City Kitty/ On Strike/ LYLE KEEFER: Hand Full Of Love/ JIM KING AND HIS COSDEN COWBOYS: Riding The Steel/ LEFTY KING AND HIS RANGERS: Ranger Boogie/ BILL LANHAM: T' For Texas/ RED LE BLANC: I Love Her, Right Or Wrong/ LES AND HIS WESTERN PLAYBOYS: I Don't Care Anymore/ KEN LIGHTENER AND THE HAY RYDERS: The Corner Of Love/ KEN MARVIN: Two Tone Ten Ton/ Uh Uh Honey/ DARNELL MILLER WITH THE SWING KINGS: Royal Flush/ JOHNNY NELMS: Mr. Freight Train/ AL PARSLEY: Country Courting/ MARVIN PAUL: Gamblin' Man/ JIMMIE PEARSON & THE MELODY BOYS: Nobody Cares/ BOB PERRY: Juke Box/ Weary Blues, Goodbye/ CARL PHILLIPS: Salty Dog Blues/ ARCHIE POE: Lonesome River/ PATTY PRATER & MERLE RAY & SOUTHERN ROCKETS: No Substitute For Love/ JACK RENO: The Moon Won't Tell/ DALE RICHARDS: Lonely Old World/ BILL RUSS: The Thing For Me To Do/ GENE SCARBROUGH: The Bluest One In Town/ CHARLIE STEWART & THE GEM TONES: Hey! Castro/ DOUG SWANEY: Fool About My Baby/ BOBBY TIDWELL & KIAMICHI MT. BOYS: Cherokee Stomp/ THE VAN BROTHERS: Servant Of Love/ Sweet Marie/ JIMMY WELCH: Searight Blues/ JOHNNY WHITE AND HIS COUNTRY RHYTHM BOYS: Rose In The Garden/ JIM & EDITH YOUNG WITH THE CUMBERLAND PLAY BOYS: Please Send Me A Picture/ JIMMY ZACK & THE BLUES ROCKERS: Evil Ways

VARIOUS ARTISTS Kent CDKEND 375 Behind Closed Doors - Where Country Meets Soul ● CD $18.98 $14.98
23 tracks, 76 mins, essential
Some years ago the German Trikont label issued a couple of CDs featuring soul singers doing country songs and now Kent present the same concept and show that Trikont didn't get all the best ones. Country music and deep soul go together like white on rice (probably not the most appropriate analogy but you get the picture). This CD is full of magnificent performances. Most of the songs have R&B arrangement but the set starts off with a beautiful version of George Jones' The Grand Tour by Aaron Neville complete with steel guitar. I was surprised to find that Percy Sledge's masterpiece Take Time To Know Her was originally written as a country demo by writer Steve Davis. Other gems include Esther Phillips doing the George Jones hit I Saw Me, Ann Peebles with Hangin' On originally recorded by The Gosdin Brothers, The Harlan Howard song Life Turned Her That Way first recorded by Little Jimmy Dickens is given a spine chilling rendition by James Carr and if you dont get goosebumps listening to Candi Staton sing Patsy Cline's He Called Me Baby you might need to see a doctor! But it's all great with performances by Solomon Burke, Bobby Sheen, Arthur Alexander, Bettye Swann, Little Milton and others. A fabulous collection with superb sound and a detailed booklet. (FS)
ARTHUR ALEXANDER: Detroit City/ BROOK BENTON: She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye/ TONY BORDERS: Gentle On My Mind/ SOLOMON BURKE: He'll Have To Go/ JAMES CARR: Life Turned Her That Way/ CLARENCE CARTER: Set Me Free/ MOSES & JOSHUA DILLARD: My Elusive Dreams/ AL GREEN: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/ Z.Z. HILL: The Chokin' Kind/ COOKIE JACKSON: Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad/ MILLIE JACKSON: If You're Not Back In Love By Monday (Alternate Vocal Mix)/ THE LIMELITES: Before The Next Teardrop Falls/ LITTLE MILTON: Behind Closed Doors/ TAMI LYNN: Wings Upon Your Horns/ AARON NEVILLE: The Grand Tour/ ANN PEEBLES: Hangin' On/ ESTHER PHILLIPS: I Saw Me/ BOBBY SHEEN: My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You/ JOE SIMON: Yours Love/ PERCY SLEDGE: Take Time To Know Her/ CANDI STATON: He Called Me Baby/ BETTYE SWANN: Don't Touch Me/ JOE TEX: Skip A Rope

VARIOUS ARTISTS Narro Way 1600 The Best Of Revelation Records, 1959-1962 ● CD $17.98
27 track, 75 mins, highly recommended
Narro Way is an offshoot of Sweden's Gospel Friend label and will explore the poorly documented gospel scene of the late 50s and early 60s. Their first release is devoted to recordings made for New York based Revelation Records - a company owned by famed African American entrepreneur Bobby Robinson though most of the production was handled by the somewhat enigmatic John Bowden who later went on to perform a similar role at the more high profile HOB label. The recordings here are half male quartets with guitar accompaniment and half female groups or solo vocalists with piano accompaniment. The differences and tensions between the two styles is discussed in Per Notini's enlightening notes. Many of the artists and groups here are relatively obscure though some like The Stevens Singers, Cross Jordan Singers, Five Singing Stars and Gospel Wonders had fairly extensive recording careers. In general the style of this era was more intense than that of earlier years with voices straining at the extremes of the singers range during moments of spiritual ecstasy. In addition to the aforementioned artists - all of whom turn in compelling performances there are also sides from The Dexall Singers, Christine Clark, The Mighty Giants, Heavenly Gate Gospel Singers, The Evening Star Gospel Singers (an utterly obscure female quartet whose Call Him Anytime is probably my favorite track here), Dewey Young & The Flying Clouds and others. Sound quality is superb and the 16 page booklet has extensive notes from Per Notini discussing the music, the work of John Bowden and biographies of the artists where he was able to turn up information. A very promising start for this new ressue label. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Official 401 Hidden Gems, Vol. 3 - Aristocrat Records ● CD $16.98
Due mid-November. This is one I'm really looking forward to featuring 24 tracks of blues, gospel and vocal groups recorded between 1947 and 1950 for the precursor to Chess Records, Aristocrat Records. Most of these tracks have not previously been reissued on CD and includes sides by The Blues Rockers, The Seven Melody Men, Jump Jackson & His Orch., Clarence Samuels, Floyd Smith, The 5 Blazes, Duke Jenkins Aristocrats and others.
THE 5 BLAZES (VCL. ERNIE HARPER): Chicago Boogie/ THE 5 BLAZES (VCL. FLOYD MCDANIELS): All My Geets Are Gone/ THE BLUES ROCKERS: Blues Rockers' Bop/ Times Are Getting Hard/ Trouble In My Home/ When Times Get Better/ CHARLIE BRADIX: Numbered Days/ Wee Wee Hours/ PRINCE COOPER TRIO (VCL. PRINCE COOPER): Night Fall/ THE DOZIER BOYS: All I Need Is You/ She's Gone/ JUMP JACKSON & HIS ORCH. (VCL. BENNY KELLY): Hey Pretty Mama/ JUMP JACKSON & HIS ORCH. (VCL. MELROSE COLBER: The Greatest Mistake/ DUKE JENKINS ARISTOCRATS (VCL. DUKE JENKINS): Baby I'm Sick Of You/ DUKE JENKINS ARISTOCRATS: Bercuese/ SAX MALLARD & HIS ORCH.: Summit Ridge Drive/ REV. "GATEMOUTH" MOORE & HIS CONGREGATION: The Bible's Being Fulfilled Every Day/ HORACE PALM WITH DUKE GRONER TRIO: Lilacs In The Rain/ CLARENCE SAMUELS WITH DAVE YOUNG'S ORCH.: Boogie Woogie Blues/ I Don't Love You Mamie/ THE SEVEN MELODY MEN: I'm On My Way/ Nobody Knows, Nobody Cares/ FLOYD SMITH: Blue Moods/ Saturday Nite Boogie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7071 Going Back ● CD $15.98 $9.98
26 tracks, 66 min, recommended
Subtitled "A collection of Rhythm & Blues/ Soul Harmony sounds from the Galaxy, Fantasy, 4J, Riverside & Specialty labels. As Specialty is now owned by Fantasy, most of this set is from California groups, Sothern California via Specialty, & Oakland/ Bay Area via Fantasy. However, 2 of most sought after tracks here are actually from Detroit, via Fantasy's owning Riverside. These are a very rare 4 Tops version of Pennies From Heaven, & the "all-star" group The Serenaders, with high tenor lead George Kerr backed by a group with the 2 original Temptations lead singers, Eddie Kendricks & Eldridge Bryant!. From Southern California come The Invictas - Gone So Long, The Sevilles (which may include Charles Wright of 103rd St. Rhythm band fame) - Creation, The Millionaires, a later version of The Crowns - And The Rains Came, & a couple very rare singles by The Playgirls & Eugene Knox. Also rare & rarely (if ever) reissued The Right Kind, The Holidays, Little Alice, Bobby Moore & the Fourmost. Authoritative liner notes from Steve Propes.(GM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS The Rabbit Factory 1 The Birmingham Sound - The Soul Of Neal Hemphill Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98 $11.98
23 tracks, 67 min., essential
Neal Hemphill was the genius behind the Sound Of Birmingham studio and the various record labels created to issue its soulful magic. The biggest studio regular may have been Frederick Knight, who recorded the studio's only Top 40 effort in I've Been Lonely For So Long, though it was released on the Stax label. Knight also wrote and produced for SOB and his hands are all over some of the wonders here. If ever there was a collection of under-rated, obscure, and all-but-igonored soul music from the golden era of the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, this is it. The music is uniformly fine. Soul fans will no doubt recognize some of the artists here, such as the mighty Sam Dees and Roscoe Robinson, but it is the rare listener who will know Little Lois Barber and the powerhouse Specify, or David Sea or the Blue Notes (not the Philly group) or Cold Grits or Pat Peterman and on and on. And the best part is there's a Vol. 2. A delight. (JC)
LITTLE LOIS BARBER: Specify/ Thank You Baby/ BROADNECK: California Cool Ride/ Psychedelic Excursion/ COLD GRITS: Funky Soul/ SAM DEES: Train To Tampa/ BILL "BUTTERBEAN" FLIPPO: Love Keeps Hanging On/ RALPH "SOUL" JACKSON: Set Me Free/ Take Me Back/ FREDERICK KNIGHT: Here After I'm Hereafter/ You've Never Really Lived/ BLUE NOTES: Eve If You Got Love/ High Time/ PAT PETERMAN: I Love The Way You Do Your Thing/ You Gonna Reap It/ ROSCOE ROBINSON: Let Me Be Myself/ Two Heart Accident/ DAVID SEA: Believe in Me/ Let's Just Get Together/ EDDIE STEELE: Groove Me Mamma/ Self/ CHUCK STRONG: I Got Married Too Soon/ I Thought It Over

VARIOUS ARTISTS Topic TSCD 672 I'm A Romany Rai - Songs by Southern English Gyspies ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 59 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of traditional unaccompanied singing from field recordings made by Peter Kennedy in the 1950s and 60s of Gypsy singers from Southern England selected by Shirley Collins. Cecil Sharp considered gypsy singers the finest performers of traditional songs and there are some truly wonderful performances here. The first disc features a dozen different performers including such fine performers as the magnificent Phoebe Smith, Tom Willett, Charlie Scamp (a very unusual and distinctive singer), Sheila Smith (only seven years old when she recorded Come Father, Pray Build Me A Boat her singing is beautiful and assured), Chris Willett (the delightfully risque The Little Ball Of Yarn), Rebecca Penfold and others. The second disc is devoted to 33 songs by one of the greatest of all gypsy singers "Queen" Carolyne Hughes. When Peter Kennedy recorded her in 1968 at the age of 66 she was so excited at the prospect of recording that she ended up truncating some of the songs but her performances are dazzling including The Sprig Of Thyme/ The London Murder/ My Father He Built Me A Shady Bower/ My Black Dog and Sheep Crook/ A Wager, A Wager and many more. Discs are accompanied by an 80 page booklet with notes on all the songs and lyric transcripts. (FS)

JOSH WHITE Document DOCD 5194 Complete Recorded Works, 1929-40; Vol 1 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
26 tracks, 78 mins, essential
The first of three discs presenting all the recordings made between 1929 and 1940 by this brilliant performer. Although he later became known as a suave night club folk performer his early recordings are brilliant examples of East Coast country blues. His voice was always a smooth one but one with great flexibility and he spiced up his vocals with fragments of scat singing and moaning. His guitar playing was a joy - varied, supple and flowing and always appropriate. Both Buddy Moss and Blind Boy Fuller acknowledge him as an influence. This disc starts with two delightful instrumentals from 1929 by the white country band The Carver Boys with Josh accompanying harmonica player Warner Carverand guitarist Bob Carver. The remaining tracks are from 1932 and '33 and with the exception of two tracks with a fine unknown piano player they are all solo. They include such performances as the menacing Little Brother (his knife - or is it?), some self advertising in The Greenville Sheik, the beautiful Blood Red River and more including half a dozen spirituals. With the exception of a couple of tracks the sound is excellent and there are informative, though all too brief, notes by Dave Moore. (FS)


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