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.



CLASSIC BLUES ARTWORK FROM THE 1920S - 2017 Calendar Blues Images 217 ● CALENDAR $21.98
Calendar+23 track CD, essential
Once again, ace collector John Tefteller has delved into his treasure trove of rare artwork and rare pre war blues records to bring us another amazing calendar/ CD combination. Like last year's calendar the CD has been remastered by the new technology developed for the TV series "American Epic" and if you have last year's calendar you will know that the recordings have a never before heard clarity and depth that blows away any previous remastering of these titles. The 32 page calendar features 12"x12" ads (from original artwork) for records by artists like Garfield Akers, Memphis Minnie, Charley Patton, Skip James, Joe Williams, Blind Willie Johnson and others along with a great rare photo of Big Bill Broonzy. The calendar also includes small reproductions of other ads, sample song lyrics, brief biographies and birth and death dates for many blues artists. The accompanying 23 track CD featuring all the records advertised in the full sized ads as well as both sides of a newly discovered Big Bill Broonzy 78 from 1930 that has never been reissued before. The bonus tracks include the flip sides of some of the 78s in the calendar along with great and rare sides by Blind Gussie Nesbitt, Blind Leroy Garnett, Blind Joe Reynolds and Ishman Bracey. Although most of these records have been reissued before, the improvement in quality with the new remastering is simply breathtaking. The Charley Patton Paramount sides sound more like a new Columbia 78 than a Paramount which were notorious for their poor sound quality.
Because of the high cost of the new remastering, the calendar/ Cd set has gone up in price but once you see and hear it you'll know that it's well worth the price.(FS)

GARFIELD AKERS: Cottonfield Blues, Part I and Part II/ ISHMAN BRACEY: Suit Case Full Of Blues/ Woman Woman Blues/ JED DAVENPORT: How Long How Long Blues/ BLIND LEROY GARNETT: Chain 'Em Down/ Louisiana Glide/ SKIP JAMES: Illinois Blues/ Yola My Blues Away/ BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON: Let Your Light Shine On Me/ BIG BILL JOHNSON (BROONZY): I Can't Be Satisfied/ The Western Blues/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: I'm Talking About You/ MEMPHIS MINNIE: Bumble Bee/ THE MOBILE STRUGGLERS: Fattenin' Frogs/ Memphis Blues/ BLIND GUSSIE NESBITT: I'll Just Wring My Hands And Cry/ Motherless Children/ FRANK PALMES: Ain't Gonna Lay My 'Ligion Down (Take 2)/ CHARLEY PATTON: I'm Goin' Home/ Lord I'm Discouraged/ BLIND JOE REYNOLDS: Nehi Blues/ Outside Woman Blues/ JOE WILLIAMS: Mr. Devil Blues



BOBBY BLAND Acrobat 3176 The Singles Collection, 1951-1962 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 56 tracks, very highly recommended
One of the great voices in blues Bobby's place in R&B, blues & soul is awesome. Originally a gospel singer he was a member of The Beale Streeters in the late 40's along with B.B. King and Roscoe Gordon, and his first record was issued by Chess in 1951. This set opens with his six earliest sides issued in 1951 on Chess and Modern where he is accompanied by Roscoe Gordon and his Orchestra - fine urban blues that only hint at what was to come. In 1952 he joined Duke REcords where he was to remain for 20 years. The earliest Duke sides continued in pretty much the same vein as his Chess and Modern sides but within a few sessions he found his own distinctive style - a combination of emotional restraint and intensity that was to serve him well - and provide an influence for many blues and soul singers to come. This great set features all the singles issued between 1951 and 1962 including such early classics as Farther Up The Road/ I'm Not Ashamed/ I'll Take Care Of You/ Lead Me On/ Cry, Cry, Cry/ I Pity The Fool/ Turn On Your Love Light/ Stormy Monday Blues and many more more including one of my personal favorites Little Boy Blue. He is accompanied by superb bands throughout - usually under the guidance of trumpeter/ bandleader Joe Scott. The bands include great horn men like Bill Harvey, Pluma Davis, Bobby Forte and others, guitarists - Roy Gaines, Clarence Holliman & Wayne Bennett, piano players Teddy Reynolds, Connie Mack Booker and more. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes by Paul Watts but, unfortunately, no discographical data. Bobby Bland was one of the truly unique voices in blues and indispensible listening for all blues lovers. (FS)
BOBBY BLAND: Ain't That Loving You/ Army Blues/ Blue Moon/ Bobby's Blues/ Call On Me/ Close To You/ Cry Cry Cry/ Crying/ Crying All Night Long/ Don't Cry No More/ Don't Want No Woman/ Dry Up Baby/ Farther Up The Road/ Good Lovin'/ Hold Me Tenderly/ How Does A Cheating Woman Feel/ I Can't Put You Down Baby/ I Don't Believe/ I Learned My Lesson/ I Lost Sight Of The World/ I Pity the Fool/ I Smell Trouble/ I'll Take Care of You/ I'm Not Ashamed/ I've Been Wrong So Long/ I.O.U. Blues/ Is It Real/ It's My Life, Baby/ Jelly Jelly Jelly/ Last Night/ Lead Me On/ Letter From A Trench In Korea/ Little Boy Blue/ Loan A Helping Hand/ Love You Till The Day I Die/ Lovin' Blues/ No Blow, No Show/ Saint James Infirmary/ Someday/ Sometime Tomorrow/ Stormy Monday Blues/ Teach Me (How To Love You)/ That's Why/ That's the Way Love Is/ Time Out/ Turn on Your Love Light/ Who Will the Next Fool Be/ Wishing Well/ Woke Up Screaming/ Yield Not To Temptation/ You Did Me Wrong/ You Got Me Where You Want Me/ You Or None/ You're The One (That I Need)/ You've Got Bad Intentions/ Your Friends

ALEX BRADFORD & THE BRADFORD SINGER Vee-Jay NVG2 605 One Step/ Angel On A Vacation ● CD $15.98 $9.98
26 tracks, 71 min., strongly recommended
When Bessemer-born Prof. Bradford left Savoy to join Vee Jay in 1962, he took his gal-sounding Bradford Singers with him. The strongest element on the Vee Jay sides are his songs, self-penned and performed with wit, grace, and a raspiness of soul. On these we hear the emergence of an exciting rejuvenated Bradford. This amalgam of two albums (Vee Jay 5023 and 5037) contains One Step/ Walk Through The Streets/ Climbing Up The Mountain/ What About You/ When You Pray/ He Always Keeps His Promises, the spine-chilling It Makes Me Tremble/ I Made God A Promise, and a remake of Too Close - all exceptional tunes presented with good concise sleeve notes by Lee Hildebrand. (OLN)

LONNIE BROOKS Black Top 1129 Live At Pepper's, 1968 ● CD $14.98 $8.98
8 tracks, 50 mins, strongly recommended
Low-fi but terrifically exciting set recorded by Belgian blues researcher George Adins in 1968 at one of Chicago's most famous blues clubs of the era. Accompanied by bass, drums and, occasionally, sax Lonnie works his way through some blues and R&B favorites Hideaway/ Sweet Little Angel/ Can't Hold Out Much Longer/ You Don't have To Go, etc along with a couple of originals. Lonnie's singing is fine and his guitar playing was hot enough to set the club on fire! You won't need state of the art stereo to get your kicks from this one! Originally issued on the Dutch Black Magic label the booklet includes original notes by Rien Wisse and new notes by Jeff Hannusch. (FS)
LONNIE BROOKS: Can't Hold Out Much Longer/ Hideaway/ Shakin' Little Mama/ Sweet Little Angel/ The Train & The Horse/ Who's Making Love/ You Don't Have To Go/ You Put It On Me

RUTH BROWN Rhino (UK) 79989 The Definitive Soul Collection ● CD $14.98 $9.98
2 CDs, 30 tracks, 81 min., highly recommended
Part of the "Definitive" series, this collection explores Ruth Brown's Atlantic Records chart climbers between 1949-1960, tosses in a few extras too. The earlier cuts favor the ballad, while the second CD is jump heavy, not because of the compilers, but because that's the way Atlantic handled Brown. The fledgling label owed her big time for their success and, as soon as the hits dried up, they cast her aside. Too bad, since Brown had endless talent and put out worthwhile albums her entire life, including a gospel release worth hunting down. A nice retrospective of Brown's Atlantic sides and fine jumping off point for further exploration. Sure they could have put everything on one disc, but this way it's a two-disc set. (JC)

THE COASTERS Acrobat 3180 The Complete Singles As & Bs, 1954-1962 ● CD $16.98
Two CDs, 56 tracks, essential
I am firmly of the belief that no record collection can be complete without a collection of recordings of The Coasters. With their genuinely witty rhythm & blues songs (often written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also produced their best records), great vocals and utterly superb instrumental arrangements their music will bring a smile to the face of a dead man. The Coasters are my favorite 50s group and I bought most of their records when they first came out and after almost 60 years I never tire of listening to their wonderful blending of rhythm & blues and humor. Their songs originally reflected life in the African-American community and later, after hitting it big, reflecting the problems of teens and adults of all races. Originating as The Four Bluebirds in Los Angeles in 1947 the group subsequently became The Robins and recorded for a number of labels before teaming up with the brilliantly talented Leiber & Stoller to record for their recently formed Spark label. This was the beginning of a long and incredible productive partnership with Leiber & Stoller who wrote and produced most of the groups best recordings. This volume includes the A & B singles of all their singles issued between 1954 and 1962. It includes all 12 tracks by The Robins recorded for Spark in 1954 and 1955 including two humorous classics Riot & Cell Block #9 (with Richard Berry guesting on lead bass vocals) and Framed, the risque Hatchet Man and the song that crossed over into the pop charts Smokey Joe's Cafe. Following this success, Leiber & Stoller were hired by Atco and brought with them two members of the Robins - bass singer Bobby Nunn and lead Carl Gardner and added to the line up Leon Hughes and the amazing Billy Guy and called them The Coasters. They had hit after hit for Atco - most of them in both the pop and R&B charts and all of them are here including Down In Mexico/ Searchin'/ Young Blood/ Idol With The Golden Head/ Yakety Yak/ Along Came Jones/ I'm A Hog For You/ Run Red Run/ Little Egypt and many more. The set also includes more obscure sides like Brazil/ What Is The Secret Of Your Success/ Sorry, But I'm Gonna Have To Pass/ Stewball/ Wake Me Shake Me and others. The group's wonderful vocals are accompanied by top West Coast or New York musicians like guitarists Chuck Norris, Adolph Jacobs, Barney Kessell or Mickey Baker, sax players Gil Bernal or King Curtis (the latter providing some truly inspired sax breaks) and, often, Mike Stoller on piano. Set comes with 24 page booklet with informative notes and full discographical details. If you don't have much Coasters in your collection then this is indispensible. (FS)
THE COASTERS: (Ain't That) Just Like Me/ (When She Wants Good Lovin') My Baby Comes To Me/ Along Came Jones/ Bad Blood/ Besame Mucho - Part 1/ Besame Mucho - Part 2/ Brazil/ Charlie Brown/ Dance!/ Down In Mexico/ Framed/ Gee, Golly/ Girls, Girls, Girls - Part 1/ Girls, Girls, Girls - Part 2/ I Love Paris/ I Must Be Dreamin'/ I'm A Hog For You/ Idol With The Golden Head/ If Teardrops Were Kisses/ Just Like A Fool/ Keep On Rolling/ Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)/ Lola/ Loop De Loop Mambo/ My Babe/ One Kiss/ One Kiss Led To Another/ Poison Ivy/ Ridin' Hood/ Riot In Cell Block # 9/ Run Red Run/ Searchin'/ Shoppin' For Clothes/ Smokey Joe's Cafe/ Sorry But I'm Gonna Have To Pass/ Stewball/ Sweet Georgia Brown/ Teach Me How To Shimmy/ That Is Rock And Roll/ The Climb (Instrumental)/ The Climb (Vocal)/ The Hatchet Man/ The Shadow Knows/ The Snake And The Book Worm/ Three Cool Cats/ Thumbin' A Ride/ Turtle Dovin'/ Wait A Minute/ Wake Me, Shake Me/ Whadaya Want/ What About Us/ What Is The Secret Of Your Success/ Wrap It Up/ Yakety Yak/ Young Blood/ Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart

DON COVAY Koch 8186 Mercy/ See-Saw** ● CD $16.98
23 tracks, 63 min, essential
Reissue of Don's first two LPs "Mercy" - Atlantic 8104 from '65 & "See Saw" - Atlantic 8120 from '66. I first bought “See-Saw” in a record shop the one time I visited Charlotte NC - this is perfect "beach music", mid-tempo soul. If you don't know Don himself, you sure know his music, much of the great stuff is here! The original versions of hits by Aretha - See Saw, The Stones - Mercy (AKA Have Mercy Baby), Steppenwolf - Sookie Sookie, J Geils - The Usual Place, Small Faces/ Spencer Davis Group - Take This Hurt Off Me, Gladys Knight & The Pips - Come See About Me (NOT the Supremes/HDH tune). (GM)

PEE WEE CRAYTON Purple Pyramid CLP 960 The Essential Recordings ● CD $11.98 $7.98
10 tracks, highly recommended
Though there's very little information on this disc this is actually Pee Wee's Blue Spectrum album recorded for and with Johnny Otis in 1974. Pee Wee is in fine form with powerful vocals and tough stinging guitar. He redoes some of his old favorites like Texas Hop/ Blues After Hours/ Louella Brown and The Telephone Is Ringing (retitled here as My Baby's On The Line) as well as more recent compositions like Don't Forget To Close The Door and Blues In The Ghetto. He also does a fine rockin' version of Little Richard's Lucille and a soulful rendition of the blues ballad Need Your Love So Bad. Pee Wee is given fine accompaniment by members of Otis's band of the time include excellent piano by Otis himself. A most worthwhile release. (FS)

BOBBY DAY One Day 314 The Very Best Of Bobby Day ● CD $11.98
Two CDs, 35 tracks, strongly recommended
Bobby Day (real name Robert Byrd) has an impressive discography starting to record with various doowop groups in the early and then striking out as a solo artist in 1957 - first as Bobby Brd and then as Bobby Day. This excellent collection covers a selection of recordings made between 1957 and 1961 as Bobby Byrd and Bobby Day for a variety of labels. His best known song is the rocking R&B novelty Rock-in Robin which was a big hit in both the R&B and pop charts as was the flip Over And Over. His other hits were all on the pop charts but all were R&B oriented including the original version of his own composition Little Bitty Pretty plus The Bluebird, The Buzzard & The Oriole/ That's All I Want and Gotta New Girl. In addition to a fair number of rocking R&B novelties there is also straight ahead R&B as well as fine doo-wop ballads like When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano/ Life Can Be Beautiful/ Saving My Life For You and others. An enjoyable collection with good sound and brief but informative notes by Spencer Leigh. (FS)

THE DELLS Chess CHD 9395 Oh, What A Night! The Great Ballads** ● CD $5.98
15 tracks, highly recommended
Great compilation of smooth ballads from one of the longest continuously performing groups in pop history. Starting out as The El Rays on Checker in '54, they changed their name (to The Dells) & record label (to VeeJay) where they had a huge hit with the original version of the title classic in '56. This set captures the group at their peak, the '67-73 Cadet sides, still with Marvin Junior on vocals & plenty of lush harmonies, including the '69 remake of the title tune, Stay In My Corner/ I Can SIng A Rainbow-Love Is Blue/ Always Together/ My Pretending Days Are Over. (GM)

DR. JOHN Hyena 9344 Right Place, Right Time - Live At Tipitina's 1989** ● CD $17.98
10 tracks, 56 mins, highly recommended Terrific live set from the good doctor recorded at New Orleans' famed Tipitina's club during Mardi Gras in 1989. Backed by a tough seven piece band he works his way through a selection of New Orleans standards (Junco Partner/ Traveling Mood/ Let The Good Times, etc.), classic Dr. John originals from the 70s (I Walk On Guilded Splinters/ Black Widow/ Such A Night) and more including a sensitive rendition of Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying which he had just recorded for his forthcoming Warner Brothers album "In A Sentimental Mood." Most worthwhile. (FS)

THE FAIRFIELD FOUR Fuel 2000 61398 The Road To Glory ● CD $14.98 $8.98
12 tracks, 34 mins, highly recommended
Previously issued on Ace 771 as "The Bells Are Tolling". By 1960 when these sides were recorded The Fairfield Four was a different group than the one that recorded those classic sides for Bullet, Dot & Nashboro. Apart from leader Rev. Sam McCrary the rest of the group was all different but very fine including tenor Clarence Mills who shares most of the leads with McCrary and incredible bass singer Joe Henderson (who also plays guitar) and takes a couple of superb leads. Acapella gospel singing was no longer in favor and so the group recorded with accompaniment. The music is consistently fine ranging from the hard driving The Bells Are Tolling to the gentle and exquisite Memories Of My Mother. The album was released by Old Town in 1962 but disappeared soon after and was impossible to find until it was reissued on Athens in 1973 when it became merely very difficult to find. This reissue features excellent notes by the prolific Bill Dahl. A must for gospel enthusiasts. (FS)

FLATT & SCRUGGS Columbia 92574 Foggy Mountain Gospel** ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, 131 mins, highly recommended
From the start of their professional careers in Bill Monroe Bluegrass Boys, Sacred music was a important and consistent part of the repertoire and throughout their recording career as Flatt and Scruggs, they would record a vast number Sacred tunes. This collection covers a wide swath of their best work in this genre. Covering the spectrum from J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers Take Me In Your Lifeboat, to Tom T. Halls A Stone the Builders Refused, this is a fantastic collection that really tells the history of the music. The Bailes Brothers Give Mother a Crown, The Carter Family's I'm on My Way To Canaans Land and On The Rock Where Moses Stood, and Bill Carlisles Gone Home, are just a few of the fantastic covers, but Flatt and Scruggs were no slouches themselves. Under their own and with assumed names, they wrote dozens of great Sacred tunes as well, with tracks like He Took Your Place/ Brother, Im Getting Ready To Go, and Mother Prays Loud in her Sleep, among some of the best of them that are contained herein. This is an absolutely outstanding collection that will appeal to fans of the High Lonesome and the Spiritual alike. (JM)

MICKEY GILLEY Fuel 2000 61279 Absolutely The Best, Volume 1 ● CD $13.98 $7.98
18 tracks, highly recommended
Though Mickey Gilley became a country superstar in the 70s and 80s with a series of pop country hits but he had been plying his craft since the mid 50s when he started playing the clubs and recorded for a bewildering variety of small labels. In 1964 he formed his own Astro label and put out a bunch of singles and an LP over the next few years. The masters were acquired by Paula label and thise CD features a fine selection of his sides. Mickey was a fine singer and piano player with a style that owes a lot to that of his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis. This collection is a fine mix of rock 'n' roll and country. He does fine covers of his his cousin's rockers Down The Line/ Breathless and the country weeper I'll Make It All Up To You. He does fine versions of Dale Hawkins' Susie Q and Gene Vincent's Lotta Lovin'. Among the country songs are his locally popular hit Lonely Wine, the bluesy Forgive, a fine version of Carl Perkins' Turn Around and the Bakersfield styled Love In The Want Ads. A most worthwhile collection. (FS)

CHUCK GUILLORY Arhoolie 473 Grand Texas** ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended
Reissue of Arhoolie 5039 with 11 bonus cuts! This all star recording featuring the soulful fiddling of cajun great Chuck Guillory is his first in a career dating back to his debut at age 7 in 1927. Though he made a handful of recording in the 40's and 50's and fronted bands which included Jimmy C. Newman and, for six months in the early 50's, George Jones, his exquisite playing has remained largely unknown until these sessions. 11 cuts were recorded in 1982 with Michael Doucet on mandolin and excellenmt singer/ guitarist Preston Manuel lending his vibrant voice to fine versions of Jolie Blonde, Chuck's big hit Grand Texas and Poor Hobo. 8 tracks are from from 1987 where Chuck and Preston are joined by the legendary steel guitarist Papa Cairo in a tasty set, including Louisiana Waltz/ Jai Passe Devant Ta Porte and Les Veuves De La Coule. The bonus cuts include 7 of Chuck's rare and early recordings from 1949/50 including the original recording of Grand Texas . Throughout, Chuck's fiddle sparkles, displaying why he is such a valued member of Revon Reed's Saturday radio show and the entire cajun community. (JM)

ARTHUR GUNTER Jasmine 3077 Baby Let's Play House - The Complete Excello Singles ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, strongly recommended
Arthur Gunter was a fine singer and guitarist from Tennessee with an engaging laid back style that showed the influence of blues artists he heard in his youth like Blind Boy Fuller. This collection features all his singles recorded for Excello between 1954 and 1961 usually accompanied by small groups, often featuring his brother Al on guitar and the brilliant Skippy Brooks on piano. His first single Baby Let's Play House inspired by country singer Eddy Arnold's I Wanna Play House With You became his only hit - reaching #12 on the R&B charts. A year later Elvis recorded a hopped up version of the song that became one of his most exciting Sun sides. Although Arthur had no further hits his popularity as a live performer enabled him to record another 11 singles fr Excello. His material is a mix of up tempo rocking sides along with slower loping titles - a few of the up tempo sides find him trying to repeat the success of House. Performances include such fine numbers as She's Mine All Mine/ No Happy Home/ Hear My Play/ Baby Can't You See/ Ludella/ Crazy Me/ Little Blue Jeans Woman/ Mind Your Business Babe/ Workin' For My Baby and more. Although GUnter was not a particularly intense performer his easy going style is most appealing. Booklet has informative notes by Bob Fisher and full discographical info. (FS)

TED HAWKINS Fuel 2000 61058 The Kershaw Sessions ● CD $16.98 $9.98
19 tracks, 62 min, essential
Originally on the English Strange Fruit label. For many the late Ted Hawkins spoke with the voice of the human heart, with all its frailty and power, mundaneness and miraculousness. He was Everyman but like no one else. That somehow soothing voice, always touched with sadness, together with Hawkins' seemingly effortless and perfect phrasing, blend to produce raw emotion, empathy and ultimately some kind of understanding. He could sing beauty into a fast food jingle and make an airline advertisement sound nearly profound. That another collection of material has surfaced (this one recorded solo between 1986-89 for BBC) is reason to celebrate. Specific reasons include Who Do You Love/ Just One Look/ I Got What I Wanted/ Cold & Bitter Tears/ Nowhere To Run/ Ain't Got Nothing Yet/ Daytime Friend/ All I Have To Offer You Is Me, and everything else. A tonic for the spirit. (JC)

TOMMY HUNT Shout 81 A Sign Of The Times - The Spark Records, 1975-76 ● CD $18.98 $13.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
Tommy Hunt is one of the those R&B singers who is virtually unknown in the U.S. (his biggest deals over here are his membership in the Flamingos during their I Only Have Eyes For You period, and his having the distinction of cutting the first version of Bacharach/David's I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself, which is better remembered from Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick's versions. But Tommy Hunt had a second act after emigrating to England in the late 60's; he became a success first on the cabaret circuit, then later on the Northern Soul scene. It was this exposure that lead to this collection of singles cut for the UK label Spark that were issued under the LP title A Sign of the Times. The records have the Philadelphia International influence that was so prevalent in the mid 70's, but Tommy sings the hell out of stormers like Loving On the Losing Side/ Upon My Soul/ You Got Me Where You Want Me/ Crackin' Up, and One Fine Morning, while ballads like A Miracle Like You and Loving You Is are dazzling throw-backs to his early 60's roots. The second half of the disc is devoted to a live recording from 1975 that captured Hunt's performance at the legendary Northern Soul mecca Wigan Casino on the occasion of the club's second anniversary. Hunt rips through the war horses I Can't Turn You Loose/ Get Ready, and Knock on Wood with joie de vivre that's quite endearing, while he gives Never Can Say Goodbye and Baby I Need Your Loving impassioned readings. In sum, this CD gives the soul fan a fairly accurate picture of Tommy Hunt during the mid 70's, while also giving a long forgotten artist another moment in the sun. (GMC)

JOHN JACKSON Arhoolie 471 Country Blues & Ditties** ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
It's a testimony to John's talents that this set of mostly unissued material is outtakes from the sessions that produced his first Arhoolie albums! The Virginia singer & guitarist is superb throughout with his distinctive and most engaging vocals and immaculately finger picked guitar on a selection of blues favorites (Matchbox Blues/ Brown Skin Mama/ Steamboat Whistle Screamin' & Crying, etc), old time country and folk songs (Roll On Buddy/ T.B. Blues/ Lay Down My Old Guitar, etc), gospel songs (Kneel At The Cross/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee, etc) and more. A couple of tracks show John's prowess as a banjo player - Cindy/ Going Up North. John's easy going style is not blues at it's darkest or most intense but is immensly appealing. Great stuff! (FS)
JOHN JACKSON: Brown Skin Mama/ Cindy (Banjo)/ Deep In The Bottom Blues/ Diddy Wa Diddy/ Going Up North (Banjo)/ Guitar Rag (Guitar Instrumental)/ He's In The Jailhouse Now/ I'll Step Aside/ I'm A Bad, Bad Man/ John's Guitar Boogie (Guitar Instrumental)/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning/ Kneel At The Cross/ Lay Down My Old Guitar/ Matchbox Blues/ Railroad Bill/ Red Sea Blues/ Roll On Buddy/ Screaming And Crying/ Steamboat Whistle/ T.B. Blues/ That'll Never Happen No More/ Too Tight/ Waiting For A Train/ Why I Quit Playing Guitar (Story

ROZETTA JOHNSON Kent 456 A Woman's Way: The Complete Rozetta Johnson, 1963-1975 ● CD $18.98
22 tracks, recommended
Rozetta Johnson was a product of the same Atlanta/Birmingham Alabama music scene that flourished during the early 70's, and is documented on Kent's Hotlanta Soul series. Cutting sides for the NRC, Jessica, and Clintone labels, Johnson had a start-stop recording career between the years 1963 and 1975 - in between which she spent a lot of time performing in nightclubs. Johnson's biggest hit was A Woman's Way, which reached #39 R&B in early 1971, while it's follow up - Who Are You Gonna Love (Your Woman or Your Wife) - reached #44 in mid-'71. The Clintone tracks, mostly overseen by Sam Dees (who has his own collection, Kent 426), are typical early 70's soul in the Honey Cone/Freda Payne/Hot Wax/Invictus mode - as exemplified by Mama Was a Bad Seed and I've Come Too Far With You (To Turn Back Now). The early 60s stuff on Jessica and NRC is pretty forgettable except for the live oomph of I Understand My Man. The meat here lies with Clintone gems like Mine Was Real/ A Woman's Way/ Can't You Just See Me, and I Can Feel My Love Comin' Down. There's nothing groundbreaking here, just some down 'n' dirty (with a few exceptions) Alabama Soul for fans of the genre. (GMC)

GEORGE JONES Scena 271900 Live Recordings From The Louisiana Hayride ● CD $12.98 $6.98
16 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended
Another fine selection of live recordings from the famed Louisiana Hayride which broadcast over KWKH in Shreveport for many years. This volume is devoted to one of the greatest of all honky tonk singers - the great George Jones recorded live at the Hayride between 1956 and 1969. George is in consistently great form featuring some of his most popular songs including You Gotta Be My Baby/ Nothing Can Stop My Lovin' You/ I'm Ragged But I'm Right/ Accidentally On Purpose/ Don't Stop The Music/ Things Have Gone To Pieces/ The Race Is On/ She Thinks I Still Care/ Walk Through This World With Me and more. Sound quality isn't perfect but George's heartbreaking voice comes through loud and clear. 12 page booklet has notes, photos and a reproduction of a poster for one of George's appearances on the Hayride - George is top billed with second billed artists being Elvis Presley, Johnny Horton, Jimmy Newman and others. (FS)

CHRIS KENNER Fuel 2000 61290 Land Of 1000 Dances - The Chris Kenner Collection ● CD $16.98 $12.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection of Instant & Uptown recordings from 1961-67 with Allen Toussaint producing most of the tracks and with top New Orleans sidemen like Roy Montrell, John Boudreux in attendance. Chris was an excellent writer & fine singer though some of his best songs are known from cover versions by other artists, including Land Of 1000 Dances/ Something You Got and Shoo-Rah. Land is heard here with a great gospelish call-and-response intro that was chopped off the final release. Also includes his big hit I Like It Like That plus Come See About Me/ How Far/ What's Wrong With Life/ Time/ Anybody here Seen My Baby/ Let Me Show You How (To Twist)/ That's My Girl and others including two fine tracks that were not originally issued Gonna Getcha Baby and (I Found) Peace. Includes booklet with informative notes by Bill Dahl. (FS)
CHRIS KENNER: (i Found) Peace/ A Very True Story/ Anybody Here Seen My Baby/ Come Back And See/ Come See About Me/ Get On This Train/ Go Thru Life/ Gonna Getcha Baby (unissued)/ How Far/ I Like It Like That, Part 1/ I'm Lonely, Take Me/ Johnny Little/ Land Of 1000 Dances/ Let Me Show You How (to Twist)/ Never Reach Perfection/ Packin' Up/ She Can Dance/ Shoo Rah/ Something You Got/ That's My Girl/ The Life Of My Baby/ They Took My Money/ Time/ What's Wrong With Life

LAURIE LEWIS Rounder 0400 Earth & Sky - Songs Of Laurie Lewis ● CD $15.98 $8.98
16 tracks, 64 min., highly recommended
This is a collection designed to highlight Laurie Lewis's impressive gifts as a songwriter. And that it does - very nicely indeed. Twelve of the numbers were previously released on Flying Fish albums, and four tracks are issued here for the first time. All of the tracks are well chosen, displaying, as they do, intelligence, insight, and musical accompaniment indebted to bluegrass, western swing, Celtic tunes and other roots sources. Featured selections include Girlfriend, Guard Your Heart, Fine Line, The Bear Song, and Magic Light as first time issues, plus Don't Get Too Close, Old Friend, The Point of No Return, and Haven of Mercy among the reissues. Absolutely delightful music in the new grass/Americana mold. Not to be missed. (DH)

MERLE LINDSAY & HIS OKLAHOMA NIGHT RIDERS B.A.C.M. 541 Vol. 1 - Unissued Broadcasts & Demos, 1948-1962 ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
An excellent collection of previously unissued western swing by Oklahoman Merl Linday and his excellent band. The earliest sides here feature a large and hot band with three fiddles, two electric guitars, steel, sax, trumpet and rhythm doingd such titles as Water Baby Blues/ Worried Mind/ Ida Red and others. By the early 50s like most big bands Lindsay had to reduce the size of his band but the group is still excellent and there are a fine selection of performances from the 50s including Silver Lake Blues/ Cry Cry Darlin'/ Brown Boy Blues/ In The Mood/ Hard Hearted Woman/ Johnston Rag and others. About a third of the tracks are hot instrumentals and the rest feature vocals by Lindsay or band members Clarence Bailey, Ted Haff and others. Some of the radio transcriptions are a bit rough but the sound quality is generally excellent. (FS)
MERL LINDSAY & HIS OKLAHOMA NITE RIDERS: Blues Stay Away From Me/ Brown Boy Blues/ Chiggero/ Cinammon Sinner/ Cotton Pickin Boogie/ Cry Cry Darlin/ Hard Hearted Woman/ I'll Go On Alone/ Ida Red/ In The Mood/ It Had To Be You/ Its Better To Leave Well Enough Alone/ Johnston Rag/ Little Brown Jug/ Marie/ Meanwhile/ She's The One For Me/ Silver Lake Blues/ Sleepy Eyed John/ Slow Poke/ Steel Guitar Rag/ Tennessee Saturday Night/ The Hucklebuck/ Twin Guitar Special/ Under The Double Eagle/ Water Baby Blues/ Woodchoppers Ball/ Worried Mind

PERCY MAYFIELD Winner 445 Live** ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
It's not without reason that Percy Mayfield is called "The Poet Of The Blues" with his beautifully crafted, witty and intelligent, but never pretentious, lyrics that can strike at many nerves. In the last few years of his life he was no longer crafting new songs but his vocal skills were still strong with a great warmth. In those last years he frequently performed in the Bay Area and was a regular guest on Mark Naftalin's live radio show "Blue Monday Party" and the recordings on this excellent disc are drawn from shows over a two year period. Percy performs some of his most famous songs - River's Invitation/ Strange Things Happening/ Loose Lips/ The Highway Is Like A Woman and other, including of course, his most famous composition Please Send Me Someone To Love. Percy sounds relaxed and enjoying himself with frequent chucckles and asides. He is accompanied by top notch musicians, mostly Bay Area locals including Naftalin on piano, Pee Wee Crayton, Bobby Murray or Ron Thompson/ guitar, Dr Wild Willie Moore, Julian Vaught or Bobbie Webb/ sax and others. Recording quality is excellent and these last recordings by a blues legend are a sublime ending to a career that was often fraught with misfortune. (FS)

THE MCCOURY BROTHERS Rounder 0230 Mccoury Brothers ● CD $15.98 $7.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
Del McCoury, one time guitarist and lead singer for Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, has long been considered one of the premier traditional bluegrass vocalists around. Here he joins with bassist-vocalist brother Jerry and David McLaughlin, Eddie Stubbs and Richard Underwood of The Johnson Mountain Boys to create one of the nicest traditional new bluegrass records in a while. On I'll Never Make You Blue/ My Sweet Love Ain't Around/ Lonesome Wind and 9 others, Del and Jerry evoke memories of the great brother duets of the past. (RP)

ED MILLER Wellfield 027 Lyrics Of Gold - Songs Written or Collected by Robert Burns ● CD $19.98
16 tracks, highly recommended
A while back I reviewed the first album from 1989 of U.S. based Scottish singer Ed MIller and was very enthusiastic. Since your response was encouraging I am reviewing here Ed's 2008 album of songs written or collected by Robert Burns.Burns is one Scotland's greatest national treasures - in his short 37 years he accomplished a great deal establishing himself as one the leading poets the world has ever known and an collector of ballads and folk songs - many of which he completed from fragments or altered to fit his own poetic sensibilities. Ed does fine treatments of some of Burns' most well known songs including Ae Fond Kiss/ Green Grow The Rsuhes O/ Ca' The Yowes/ My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose/ A Man's A Man/ Auld Lang Syne and others. His warm vocals are given sympathetic and varied accompaniments on fiddle, guitars, mandolin, concertina, small pipes and more including some very effective pedal steel guitar on a couple of tracks. Leading Scottish folk musician Brian McNeill is featured in the accompaniments and several songs include vocals by superb Scottish singer Karine Polwart. The booklet features background notes on all the songs along with lyric transcripts. (FS)

JELLY ROLL MORTON Avid 899 Essential Collection ● CD $13.98 $8.98
Two CDs, 50 tracks, strongly recommended A fine, inexpensive, introduction to the genius of the great New Orleans Jazzman Jelly Roll Morton featuring a selection of his work recorded between 1923 and 1940. He is featured with a variety of groups including his Jazz Band, Red Hot Peppers, Orchestra, Trio and more and also includes a couple of his piano solos. Sound quality is fine. The booklet has a brief introductory note and there is no detailed discography - just recording dates. (FS)

JIMMY C. NEWMAN Jasmine 488 The Original Cry, Cry Darling - Early Cajun Recordings** ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, 77 min., very highly recommended Collects every record cut by Newman for the Fais-Do-Do, Feature, Modern, and Khoury's labels, the pre-Dot stuff recorded in the 1940s-50s for Jay D. Miller, his earliest work. In fact, this release includes Newman's first recordings, as a member (rhythm guitarist) of Chuck Guillory's Rhythm Boys (Tolan Waltz/ Teiyut Two Step/ Chuck's Waltz, and Chere Petite, which Newman wrote and sings on, his earliest vocal performance on disc) as well as the record released by Jimmy Durbin & The Country Boys (Drunkard's Waltz and Fais Do Do Two-Step), which features Newman. Also included are the mega-rare H-Brown Shuffle, a charming advertising song (the first under Newman's own name), presumably in "payment" for the trailer Newman's band rode in, and Wondering. The last four cuts are unreleased Feature tracks. A model release of the earliest Cajun days of the future Grand Ole Opry star, who has dozens of country hits. Newman was a first-class balladeer whose emotive vocals here should find broad appeal to fans of early country music as well as those interested in the development of Cajun music. And of course, it's a must-have for Newman fans. Informative booklet notes too. (JC)

THE ORLONS Abkco 9227 The Best Of The Orlons, 1961-1966** ● CD $12.98
20 tracks, 48 min, highly recommended Where do all the hippies meet? No, not Haight-Ashbury. Come back to South Street with the early girl-group sound of The Orlons, which featured the voice of future ‚migr‚ & British background star Rosetta Hightower &, as their secret weapon, the "froggy" bass of Steve Caldwell - yes, there was a guy in this girl group! Starting with the doo-wop of I'll Be True, all the hits are here - The Wah-Watusi/ Don't Hang Up/ Crossfire!, & Bon-Doo-Wah, who's flip, also heard here, would go on to immortality when covered by The Searchers - Don't Throw Your Love Away. There's even a never before released rehearsal version of Mr. 21. Liner notes by Jeff Tamarkin. (GM)

OSCAR PETERSON Proper BOX 94 Piano Power** ● CD $24.98
4 CDs, 84 tracks, highly recommended
If nothing else, the man was prolific. Peterson, the only true heir apparent to Art Tatum started making recordings in his hometown of Montreal in '45 before coming down to the US for his long-time tenure with Verve. This set covers some of his trio sides for RCA Canada in '45-'49 before coming to New York in 1950. This packed box set only has Oscar's piano-led duos, trios & quartets & omits his dozens of side-man recordings with the cream of jazz. Mostly here are his incredible trio sides with Ray Brown (b) joined by guitar, firstst Barney Kessel & then long-lasting Herb Ellis. Even includes a few duo sessions with Brown, including a live Carnegie Hall date, & with bassist Major Holley. There's even a couple tunes with Peterson on vocals sounding much like his huge influence Nat Cole. With packed 44 page booklet. (GM)

THE RED HEADS Jazz Oracle 8043 Recorded In New York, 1925-1927** ● CD $44.98
3 discs,64 tracks, highly recommended
Starting out as a Sam Lanin-fronted band for Columbia, The Redheads became one of several groups led by cornetist Red Nichols, usually with his partner-in-crime, trombonist Miff Mole & also later Jimmy Dorsey on alto & clarinet (Red's other groups being The 5 Pennies & The Charleston Chasers). Mostly recording for Pathe/Actuel, there's also many with them backing Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards as The Hot Combination & singer & later actor Jay C Flippen as Jay C Flippen & His Gang. Everything's here from hot jazz to pop to novelty, with mostly outstanding musicianship (the great guitar/violin duo of Eddie Lang & Joe Venuti also shows up, also later on such "newcomers" as Pee Wee Russell & Wingy Manone). With 32 page booklet with the Jazz Oracle's usual exhaustive history, rare pics & complete session info as well. (GM)

LULA REED Jasmine 3078 I'm A Woman (But I Don't Talk Too Much) ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing Ace 984 ("I'll Drown In My Tears" - $18.98) this is another superb collection of sides by this outstanding gospel inflected vocalist though some tracks duplicate the now out of print limited edition Ace release "Just A Little Bit" which she shared with Tiny Topsy. All the tracks here find her in the company of Sonny Thompson's great band. The music is a mix of sultry ballads and uptempo rockers and five tracks find her returning to her roots as a gospel singer and show that she could easily have had a career in the gospel field alone. This set includes the six rare sides she recorded for the Chess subsidiary Argo in 1958 after which she returned to KIng recording for their Federal subsidiary. Her later recordings are even better than her earlier ones with her voice more mature and expressive. Many of these later tracks feature superb guitar from Fred Jordan and on Your Lover Keeps A-Working On Me they are joined by Freddy KIng who adds some tasty licks. A superb collection with great sound, informative notes and discographical data. (FS)
LULA REED: A Quiet Time With Jesus/ Ain't It A Shame/ Ain't No Cotton Pickin' Chicken (Gonna Break This Chicken Heart Of Mine)/ Anything To Say You're Mine/ Bump On A Log/ Come On Home/ Every Second/ Give Me The Right/ He's My Everything/ Heavenly Road/ I Got A Notion/ I Know/ I'm A Woman (But I Don't Talk Too Much)/ I'm Losing You/ Idle Gossip Aka Let Them Talk/ If The Sun Isn't Shining In Your Window/ Know What You're Doing/ Lovin'/ My Mothers Prayers/ My Poor Heart/ Puddentane/ Sample Man/ Say Hey Pretty Baby/ The Wild Stage Of Life/ Three Men/ Waste No More Tears/ What Could I Do But Believe In Jesus/ What Makes You So Cold/ You Gotta Have That Green/ Your Love Keeps A-Working On Me

JIMMY ROGERS Jasmine 3054 Complete Solo Chess Records As & Bs, 1950-1959 ● CD $15.98
26 tracks, 76 mins, essential
The most comprehensive overview of the Chess recordings of this absolutely superb Chicago bluesman since the long out of print two CD set issued by Chess in the 1990s this features both sides of each of his Chess singles issued between 1950 and 1959. With his warm, mellifluous vocals and melodic guitar he was one of the outstanding performers to emerge from the Muddy Waters Band in the 50s. His recordings often featured fellow Muddy Waters band members like Little Walter, Big Crawford, Elgin Evans, Willie Dixon, Otis Spann and others but there were also some remarkable tracks with other musicians. These includes 6 tracks from 1951 & '52 featuring the incredible and underrated piano work of the mmysterious Eddie Ware. Other musicians who pop up include J.T. Brown, Henry Gray, Odie Payne, Walter Horton, Luther Tucker and other Chicago masters who contribute to the incredibly tight ensemble playing. Although the his last couple of sessions are somewhat undistinguished there is just one classic song after another - That's All Right/ Ludella/ Today, Today Blues/ The World's In A Tangle/ Money, Marbles & Chalk/ Chance To Love (some stunning harp from Little Walter on this)/ Back Door Friend/ Out On The Road/ Chicago Bound/ Sloppy Drunk/ Walking My Myself (a classic Walter Horton solo on this)/ What Have I Done, etc. Sound quality is excellent and there are informative notes by Bob Fisher and full discographical dats. (FS)

THE ROYALETTES RPM 879 It's Gonna Take A Miracle - The Complete MGM Recordings** ● CD $19.98
30 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
This Baltimore, Maryland quartet may only have been a two-hit wonder (the title track, later covered by Laura Nyro in the Seventies and Deniece Williams in the Eighties, and I Want to Meet Him) in 1965, but they-along with Little Anthony & the Imperials-were the vehicle through which producer Teddy Randazzo pioneered a brand of sophisticated soul that was equal parts Sam Cooke and Bacharach/David, which in turn foreshadowed the later productions of Gamble & Huff and Thom Bell. This CD contains the two albums the group cut with Randazzo for MGM Records-"It's Gonna Take a Miracle" and "The Elegant Sound of the Royalettes"-and the two songs (single) that the girls cut in 1969 with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers producing. This material has been out before (on Celeste, Ichiban, and Black Tulip) and this CD doesn't include their earlier singles for Chancellor and Warner Brothers, but this package gives the songs the showcase they deserve with excellent liner notes and annotation. "The Complete MGM Recordings" may not be as thorough a Royalettes collection as Black Tulip 39219, but it sure looks and sounds better. (GMC)

RILEY SHEPARD B.A.C.M. 540 I Hang My Head And Cry ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, strongly recommended
Riley Shepard was not only a fine country singer but also a fascinating character who, over the years adopted dozens of different names - some for different aspects of his career including one he used for writing pornography! He also rarely stayed in one place for very long - probably running from people he owed money too - all this and more are covered in Kevin Coffy's excellent notes. The tracks here were recorded between 1946 and '49 for a variety of labels - all using his real name of Riley Shepard. Much of his repertoire here has a western flavor with his warm, appealing voice accompanied by fine groups with excellent steel guitar and fiddle though there are tracks with an old time or honky tonk flavor as well. Includes Those Precious Love Letters/ Train Whistle Blues/ New Jole Blon/ Air Mail Special On The Fly/ I Hang My Head And Cry/ 40 Miles At Sea, etcx. (FS)
RILEY SHEPARD: (I Could Tell By) The Look In Her Eye/ 40 Miles At Sea/ Air Mail Special On The Fly/ Baby Can You Laugh At That/ Born To Lose/ Conversation With A Mule/ Got A Dolly Down In Dallas/ Hoosier Baby/ I Hang My Head And Cry/ I Love You Best Of All/ I Trusted You/ New Jole Blon/ Scrappin’ (Instr.)/ Strike/ Texas Blues/ That Aint Right/ The Leaf Of Love/ Those Precious Love Letters/ Till The End Of The World/ Train Whistle Blues/ What Else Can I Do But Love You/ Who Me (1)/ Who Me (2)/ Will You Be My Darlin/ Your Last Goodbye

PERCY SLEDGE Edsel 5063 When A Man Loves A Woman/ Warm & Tender Soul ● CD $16.98
27 tracks, highly recommended
Percy Sledge. The name conjures memories of the country soul classic from 1966, When a Man Loves a Woman, a song so achingly beautiful that it defies description. But there was so much more to the man than that crossover masterpiece, as this two-LPs-on-CD set will attest. Contained here are Sledge's first two Atlantic albums, "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "Warm & Tender Soul," both from 1966. Recording in Muscle Shoals Alabama with musicians from Rick Hall's FAME operation, Sledge lent his expressive voice to a mixture of then-recent soul hits and local writer material that made up the former album, the natural result of a hit single as massive as the title song. While Love Me All the Way and When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters) are fine examples of the country soul Sledge excels at, it must be said that the musicianship on some of these songs is not up to the Memphis/Stax (or indeed the usual Muscle Shoals) standard of R&B quality control. But that doesn't stop Success from being a showstopper near the end of the album. The follow up LP, like the first, was built around a (lesser) hit of the (sorta) title song, Warm and Tender Love. However, the bigger hit was the impassioned It Tears Me Up, which kicks things off splendidly. This time, the bulk of the material are covers (exception: Heart of a Child) which are hit (I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You/ A Sweet Woman Like You) and miss (That's How Strong My Love Is/ Try a Little Tenderness; neither is a patch on Otis). Especially strong are Sledge's versions of Jerry Butler's I Stand Accused and Goffin/King's So Much Love. Taken as a whole, "Warm and Tender Soul" was a worthy second LP. Naturally, with compilations of this sort, there's gonna be bonus tracks; the ones here include the remake version of When a Man Loves a Woman (which was commissioned by Jerry Wexler when he deemed the original released version to be inferior, but it was never used), and Sugar Puddin' (the B-Side of Warm and Tender Love). With the excellent liner notes and sound quality, this is as good a reissue of Percy Sledge's first two platters as any R&B fan could possibly wish for. (GMC)

PERCY SLEDGE Edsel 7116 The Percy Sledge Way/ Take Time To Know Her ● CD $16.98
2 CD, 29 tracks, very highly recommended
Edsel Records' Percy Sledge Atlantic LPs reissue program continues with this double disc set of albums number three and four: "The Percy Sledge Way" (1967) and "Take Time to Know Her" (1968). The former album is strictly a set of covers that yielded no hits at the time; tackling songs made famous by Sam Cooke, James Carr, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, and William Bell among others, Sledge doesn't exactly make one forget the originals, but he certainly brings his unique spin to them, notably I Had a Talk With My Woman/ What Am I Living For, and My Special Prayer. The first disc, containing the "Way" LP, is rounded out with bonus tracks that were cut prior to the sessions for the album, in search of a hit single; the keepers are Little Girl and Hard to Believe, although the quasi-rewrite of When a Man Loves a Woman (aka Behind Every Great Man There's a Woman) is fascinating in a weird way. Album number four (on disc two) contained Sledge's second biggest hit, the title track hit No. 6 R&B and No. 11 Pop in May 1968. The accompanying album has more original material on it than previous efforts, such as Penn/Oldham's Feed the Flame, I Love Everything About You, and Out of Left Field, Bobby Russell's Sudden Stop, and Bobby Womack's Baby Help Me (an out-of-character uptempo groover that's most welcome and unexpected). The emphasis on original material actually makes Sledge's fourth platter his strongest by far, while the bonus tracks-single versions of It's All Wrong But It's Alright/ Sudden Stop, and Between These Arms - are nice, but not very different from their album versions. But it doesn't matter, the second half of this set contains some of the best southern soul of its' era, and the most consistent work of Percy Sledge's career up to this point. (GMC)

THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS Atlantic (Japan) 79453 The Sweet Inspirations ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 33 mins, highly recommended
Reissue of first solo album from 1967 by this fabulous soul vocal quartet (Emily "Cissy" Houston, Estelle Brown, Sylvia Shemwell & Myrna Smith) that are best known for their vocal backup on hundreds of Atlantic recordings as well as backing Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield and many others. Most of the group started as gospel singers and it shows in their wonderful expressive vocals. This CD features their first three hits, the Roebuck Staples song Why (Am I Treated So Bad), a gorgeous rendition of the old Everly Brothers hit Let It Be Me and their theme song Sweet Inspiration which was written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham and became their biggest hit. Other songs include a remarkable treatment of the old country standard Blues Stay Away From Me which bears only a passing resemblance to the Delmore Brothers version, covers of Knock On Wood/ Do Right Woman, Do Right Man/ I'm Blue as well as some great songs written for them. Includes original artwork and notes as well as new notes by Richie Unterberger. (FS)

AL TERRY B.A.C.M. 539 Better Late Than Never ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, recommended
Though best known for his mid/ late 50s Hickory recordings Louisiana country singrer Al Terry's recording career started in 1946 with two sides recorded for Houston's Gold Star label which open this collection. Most of the rest were recorded for Jay Miller's Feature label between 1949 and 1953. Terry was pleasing vocalist but there is not a whole lot of variety here - most of the material are slow to mid tempo ballads with a fine band that includes his brother Bob Terry on steel guitar and fiddler Rufus Thibodeuax. There are two fine steel guitar instrumentals by Bob with accompaniment from Rusty & Doug Kershaw. An enjoyable, if not especially impressive, release. (FS)
AL TERRY: Bayou Man/ Better Late Than Never/ City Hall Rag (Instr)/ God Was So Good (Cause He Let Me Keep You)/ H-A-D-A-C-O-L/ How Can It Be/ I Guess I'll Have To Face It All Alone/ I Nearly Made A Fool Of My Heart/ I Really Tried/ I Wonder If I Can Lose The Blues This Way/ I'll Be Glad When I'm Free/ I'm A Honky Tonkin Man/ I'm Still Waiting For You/ I've Grown So Lonesome For You/ If You Want A Broken Heart/ Last Night I Dreamed Of You Again/ My Heart Cried Out With Pain/ Open Strings (Instr)/ Please Think Of Me/ Promise Made Promise Broken/ Say A Prayer For Me/ Shoot Me A Line/ Walking And Crying With The Blues/ What Can I Do/ When You Broke The Rules Of Love/ Without You/ You're Worse Than A Tramp

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9008 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1907** ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended
Another of those delightful collections from Archeophone featuring the most popular songs from the early years of the century. This one is devoted to the year 1907 and includes recordings by Byron Harlan (with the biggest selling song of the year School Days), Billy Murray, U.S. Marine Band (an early Brass Band recording of Maple Leaf Rag), Enrico Caruso (his most popular recording Vesti La Giubba), Harry Lauder, Bob Roberts, The Columbia Quartette, Frank C. Stanley (Auld Lang Syne) and others. Usual quality production with excellent sound and 24 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes, artist photos, sheet music and other memorabilia. (FS)
ENRICO CARUSO: Pagliacci (vesti La Giubba)/ ARTHUR COLLINS: If I'm Going To Die I'm Going To Have Some Fun/ COLLINS AND HARLAN: Bake Dat Chicken Pie/ Camp Meeting Time/ COLUMBIA QUARTETTE: Honey Boy/ BYRON G. HARLAN: My Gal Sal/ Nobody‘s Little Girl/ School Days (when We Were A Couple Of Kids)/ MAY IRWIN: The Bully/ ADA JONES: I Just Can't Make My Eyes Behave/ My Irish Rosie/ Let's Take An Old-fashioned Walk/ HARRY LAUDER: I Love A Lassie/ BILLY MURRAY: Because I'm Married Now/ Harrigan/ San Antonio/ PEERLESS TRIO: Three Rubes Seeing New York/ BOB ROBERTS: No Wedding Bells For Me/ FRANK C. STANLEY: Auld Lang Syne/ Red Wing (an Indian Fable)/ ELISE STEVENSON & HARRY MACDONOUGH: Because You‘re You/ HELEN TRIX: The Bird On Nellie‘s Hat/ U.S. MARINE BAND: Maple Leaf Rag/ VICTOR DANCE ORCHESTRA: Merry Widow Waltz/ BERT WILLIAMS: He's A Cousin Of Mine

VARIOUS ARTISTS Buried Treasures 1007 Buried Treasures Present RCA Soul Diamonds ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, highly recommended
Although not really known as an R&B/Soul label until well into the 70's, this compilation illustrates that the imprint did manage to record some R&B artists during the 60's, while at the same time spotlighting some of the label's 70's and 80's output. The artists represented here range from former big names fallen on lean times - Wilson Pickett, Sonny Til, Johnnie Taylor - to talented lesser names (Carolyn Franklin-Aretha's sister - and Garland Green.) Then there's Nina Simone captured at her peak on Day and Night from 1967's "Nina Simone Sings the Blues." Some of these tracks have never been issued on CD before, such as Franklin's My Heart Sings (from her 1975 LP, "I'd Rather Be Lonely") for example, and some claim to have never appeared on CD but do (Pickett's entry recently showed up on Real Gone's collection, "Mr. Magic Man: The RCA Recordings"). Either way, there's enough notable obscurities from the likes of Larry Cappel, Judy Freeman, Rick Lancelot, Vic Marcel, The Swordsmen, Willie Williams, Art Forms LTD, and Herman Kelly to keep Soul obsessives happy. (GMC)
THE AFRICAN BEAVERS: Night Time Is A Right Time/ ART FORMS LTD.: I'm A Bad Man/ LARRY CAPPEL: River Of Soul/ BOBBY DAY: Know It All/ THE FABULOUS FIESTAS: One Heart Deserves Another/ CAROLYN FRANKLIN: My Heart Sings/ JUDY FREEMAN & BLACKROCK: Hold On/ GARLAND GREEN: Let Me Be Your Pacifier/ WALLACE JOHNSON: I Miss You Girl/ HARMAN KELLY: Let's Get Together/ RICK LANCELOT: Nobody Wants To Hear Nobody's Troubles/ VIC MARCEL: A Sinners' Prayer/ TONY MASON: Seeing Is Believing/ RAY PAIGE: Don't Stop Now/ WILSON PICKETT: I Sho' Love You/ NINA SIMONE: Day And Night/ THE SWORDSMEN: Here I Am/ JOHNNIE TAYLOR: Stop Half Loving These Woman/ SONNY TIL: I Better Leave Love Alone/ PERCY WIGGINS: The Work Of A Woman/ WILLIE WILLIAMS: Name It

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cannonball 29208 Blues Across America - The Helena Scene ● CD $15.98 $8.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent set of down home blues featuring artists based around Helena, Arkansas. There are four cuts by singer/ harmonica player Frank Frost with his old friend Sam Carr on drums and Fred James providing some excellent guitar. These 1998 recordings were Frost's last (he died 1 year later) but he is in excellent form with strong vocals and superb harmonica work. There are four songs from another fine singer and harmonica player John Weston accompanied by a tough band with Troy Broussard on lead guitar and the set ends with four sides by the excellent but infrequently recorded Dave Riley - a powerful vocalist and very funky guitar player. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Collector's Choice 629 Great Lost Elektra Singles ● CD $12.98 $8.98
10 ultra rare non-LP singles from the vaults of Elektra - a mixture of folk, blues and rock including sides by The Beefeaters (a band that included Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark & David Crosby), Judy Collins' version of Bob Dylan's I'll Keep It With Mine and the single version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes, an electric version of I Ain't Marching Anymore by Phil Ochs, a rare Paul Butterfield Blue band single plus sides by David Ackles, Eclection (the folk rock band featuring Sandy Denny's husband to be Trevor Lucas) and The Stalk-Forrest Group (who later mutated into Blue Oyster Cult).

VARIOUS ARTISTS Decca 48201 Decca - The R&B Years, Vol. 1 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
From the good folks behind "Columbia - The R&B Years" series comes the first in a series devoted to another of the major record labels - this time Decca with a splendid collection of mostly uptempo blues and R&B recorded between 1949 and 1951. Most of the artists are pretty obscure - the most familiar names would be the great singer/ piano player Cecil Gant with the great Owl Stew, prolific arranger and session guitarist Rene Hall is here with his own band on My Kind Of Rockin which lives up to its title and the great New Orleans bandleader Dave Bartholomew is here with the excellent Tee-Jim recorded for Decca from the brief period that Dave was on the outs with IMperial head honcho Lew Chudd. Other artists include Waymon Brown, Otis Ducker (the goofy Do Me A Favor), Jake Vaughan, Larry Cummings & His Rhythm Aces, Tiny Davis & Her Orchestra, Lorenzo "Good" Lewis (a nice urban version of Mercy Dee's Lonesome Cabin Blues), Hot Lips Johnson, Doles Dickens & His Quartet (the excellent instrumental Blues In The Back Room with fine piano from Clarence Harmon) and others. There is also one gospel track from Sister Rosetta Tharpe's mother Katie Bell Nubin on the excellent Run To Jesus Everyone with a small group including Rosetta on guitar. Excellent sound and a booklet with full discographical data rounds out an excellent set. (FS)
DAVE BARTHOLOMEW ORCH.: Tee-Jim/ WAYMON BROWN: Barefoot Susie/ LARRY CUMMINGS RHYTHM ACES: My Favorite Chick/ TINY DAVIS ORCH.: Draggin My Heart Around/ Race Horse/ MARGIE DAY: Do I Look Like A Fool To You/ DOLES DICKENS QUINTET: Blues In The Back Room/ OTIS DUCKER: Do Me A Favor/ CECIL GANT: Owl Stew/ JOHN GODFREY TRIO: Yes Ya Do/ STOMP GORDON: Ooh Yes!/ RENE HALL TRIO: My Kinda Rockin/ AL JACKSON ORCH.: Pennies From Heaven/ HOT LIPS JOHNSON: Bring Me Another Jug Of Wine/ GOOD LEWIS: Lonely Cabin Blues/ BOB MARSHALL & COZY COLE ORCH.: Red Light/ KATIE BELL NUBIN: Run To Jesus Everyone/ CECIL PAYNE ORCH.: Angel Child/ Egg Head/ ROSETTA PERRY: Worry Worry Worry/ JOEY THOMAS WITH FREDDIE JACKSON: Bad Luck Child/ JAKE VAUGHAN: Sittin On Top Of The World/ Why Oh Why Oh Why/ You're My Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Decca 48202 Decca - The R&B Years, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, strongly recommended
A second collection of blues and R&B from the Decca label recorded between 1949 and 1952. Not quite as strong as the first there are plenty of excellent sides here. Returning from the first volume are the excellent singer, trumpeter and bandleader Tiny Davis - also Joe Thomas & His Band (including an R&B cover of Moon Mullican's country hit Cherokee Boogie), Doles Dickens & His Quintet (another superb piano led instrumental and the hot Rock and Roll from 1949 which could have easily been a hit in 1956), Stomp Gordon and Hot Lips Johnson. New to this volume include Otis Ducker & Helen Marina, Harold Burrage (the first recordings of this Chicago blues and R&B singer who was to get much better), Clay Braddy, Grant "Mr Blues" Jones (the superb and intense It's Been A Long Time Baby), Willie Brown (two excellent cuts include the superb topical song Korea Blues) and others. (FS)
CLAY BRADDY: New Kind Of Feeling/ WAYMON BROWN: Feelin Sad And Lonesome/ WILLIE BROWN: Cadillac Boogie/ Korea Blues/ HAROLD BURRAGE WITH HORACE HENDERSON & HIS ORCH: Hi-Yo/ I Need My Baby/ BOB CAMP & HIS BUDDIES: My Little Rose/ TINY DAVIS & HER ORCH.: How About That Jive/ I Never Get Tired Doin' It/ DOLES DICKENS & HIS QUINTET (VCL DOLES DICKENS: Rock And Roll/ DOLES DICKENS QUINTET: Blues In The Evening/ OTIS DUCKER & HELEN MARINA: Talkative Baby/ STOMP GORDON: Please Don't Pass Me By/ VIVIANE GREENE: Solitude/ AL JACKSON WITH ORCH.: Every Nite About This Time/ HOT LIPS JOHNSON & HIS ORCH. (VCL MELVIN MOORE): Catch 'Em Young, Treat 'Em Rough, Tell 'Em Nothin'/ HOT LIPS JOHNSON & HIS ORCH. (VCL THE WINKY DINKS: The Winky Dink/ GRANT "MR. BLUES" JONES: It's Been A Long Time, Baby/ GOOD LEWIS: Pelican Jump/ CECIL PAYNE & HIS ORCH. (VCL HENRY JOHNSON): (The Deacon Says) The Worst Is Yet To Come/ ROSETTA PERRY: I Tried So Hard/ CHARLIE SINGLETON & HIS ORCH. (VCL FREDDIE JACKS: Alligator Meat/ JOEY THOMAS & HIS BAND (VCL CHARLIE "HOSS" SI: Sarah Kelly From Plumbnelly (Way Down In Georgia)/ JOEY THOMAS & HIS ORCH.: Cherokee Boogie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Disky 249512 Latin Jazz ● CD $19.98
Budget price collection of Latin influenced jazz. Five CDs with 75 tracks - no notes or dates but an enjoyable set of performances from the likes of Ike Queec, Horace Parlan, Cannonball Adderly, George Shearing, Chick Corea, Lou Donaldson, Os Choroes, Eddie Palmieri, Kenny Dorham, Laurindo Almeida & Bud Shank and many more.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Empress RAJCD 880 Pure Vintage Blues - Mining Camp Blues ● CD $13.98 $9.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection of mid 20s blues. Although no mention is made anywhere on the minimal package every track features great cornet work from Louis Armstrong. There are two superb, hard to find, tracks from 1926 by the only solo male vocalist here Nolan Welsh. Hokum duos Butterbeans & Susie and Grant & Wilson each have a track and the rest is all women singers including some familiar and some obscure names including Baby Mack, Bessie Smith, Maggie Jones, Victoria Spivey, Lillie Delk Christian and others. Music is great and sound quality is excellent but there are no notes (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Excello 3013 Excello Vocal Groups ● CD $14.98 $9.98
31 tracks, 77 min., highly recommended
A particularly nice compilation of recordings made in the late 50's for this Nashville, Tennessee label, and one which, unlike most earlier Excello collections, focuses strictly on the group sound. Some of the numbers are expected and often reissued, such as Little Darlin' by the Gladiolas, Rolling Stone by the Marigolds, and Oh Julie by the Crescendos. But most are much less commonly available, including the previously unreleased Don't Say Tomorrow by the Marigolds; the a cappella School Daze, the previously unreleased Pretty Little Girl, and Now That She's Gone by the delightful King Krooners; The Magic of You by the Themes; and I'm So Glad by the Meloaires. There are some real gems here. And the production values are high, with several vintage photos and solid notes by Cub Koda of Goldmine Magazine. (DH)
THE CRESCENDOS: Lucky Love/ My Little Girl/ Oh Julie/ THE GLADIOLAS: Be Bop Girl/ Hey Little Girl/ Little Darlin'/ Run Run Little Joe/ Say You'll Be Mine/ Shoop Shoop/ Sweetheart Please Don't Go/ THE KING KROONERS: Memoirs/ Now That She's Gone/ Playboy Lover/ Pretty Little Girl/ School Daze/ Steps Of Love/ There's Been A Change/ Won't You Let Me Know/ THE MARIGOLDS: Don't Say Tomorow/ Juke Box Rock & Roll/ Love You-love You-love You/ Rolling Stone/ Two Strangers/ Why Don't You/ THE MELOAIRES: Don't Ever Get Married/ I'm So Glad/ Indebted To You/ You Know Baby/ THE RHYTHM CASTERS: Oh My Darling/ THE THEMES: The Magic Of You/ Yes, That's Love

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 167 Midnight Steppers - 70 Masterpieces by 34 Blues Piano Heroes ● CD $22.98 $14.98
Three CDs, 70 tracks, highly recommended
A splendid survey of post war piano blues. Compiled an annotated by British piano blues expert Mike Rowe each disc covers a different aspect of piano blues. The first disc is devoted to "The Bluebird Beat" referring to the style developed by RCA's Bluebird subsidiary in the 1940s bringing a more urbane styling to older blue styles using small combos frequently including piano, guitar, bass and drums with occasional use of horns or harmonica. In spite of the name other labels also worked within this framework. This disc includes tracks by one of the greatest of all piano blues performers Big Maceo accompanied by guitarist Tampa Red and various bass players and/or drummers including his seminal recordings of Worried Life Blues and Chicago Breakdown. The title song for this collection is a lively number from Big Bill Broonzy with Josh Altheimer on piano and this disc also includes fine sides by Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, Curtis Jones, Walter Davis and others. The second disc is devoted to piano boogie primarly featuring the three giants of the style - Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons performing solo and in various combinations as well as other great sides by Cripple Clarence Lofton, Jimmy Yancey and Montana Taylor. The third disc is a miscellany of great recordings ranging from the late 40s to early 60s by a variety or rural and urban performers including Big Chief Ellis, Eddie Boyd, Little Johnny Jones (his Big Town Play Boyis truly sublime), Henry Gray (accompanying Morris Pejoe and Howling Wolf), Dr. Hepcat, Otis Spann (solo and accompanying Muddy Waters), Little Willie Littlefield, Willie Johnson and others. Sound quality is excellent and Mike's insightful notes puts it all into perspective. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Hightone 8058 Tulare Dust - A Songwriters's Tribute To Merle Haggard ● CD $15.98 $11.98
15 tracks, essential Fantastic tribute to the master featuring great performances of his songs by some top contemporary artists like Tom Russell, Iris Dement (a chilling version of Big City), Peter Case (a powerful treatment of A Working Man Can't get Nowhere Today), Robert Earl Keen, Rosie Flores, Steve Young (a very intense Shopping For Dresses), Barrence Whitfield, Billy Joe Shaver (a searing version of Ramblin' fever with hot guitar from son Eddy), Katy Moffat, dave Alvin and others. No attempt is made to copy the originals but use the songs as starting point for the artist's own creativity. (FS)
DAVE ALVIN: Kern River/ PETER CASE: A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today/ MARSHALL CRENSHAW: Silver Wings/ IRIS DEMENT: Big City/ JOHN DOE: I Can't Hold Myself In Line/ JOE ELY: White Line Fever/ ROSIE FLORES: My Own Kind Of Hat/ ROBERT EARL KEEN & THE SUNSHINE BOYS: Daddy Frank/ KATY MOFFATT: I Can't Be Myself/ TOM RUSSELL: They're Tearing The Labor Camps Down/ Tulare Dust/ BILLY JOE SHAVER: Ramblin' Fever/ BARRENCE WHITFIELD: Irma Jackson/ LUCINDA WILLIAMS: You Don't Have Very Far To Go/ STEVE YOUNG: Shopping For Dresses

VARIOUS ARTISTS History Of Soul 29 Soul On The West Coast 2 - Call On Me ● CD $17.98
2 CD, 57 tracks, very highly recommended
This is the second volume (the first was "That's Where It's At: West Coast Soul" - $17.98) compiling R&B that came mostly from Los Angeles recording studios during the early and mid 60's. Although it says soul on the front of the tin, the contents here are actually a bit more diverse than that; doo wop, girl group pop, and the blues all get a look in throughout this set. Sure, there's some well known people represented: Ray Charles (pre-Atlantic), Johnnie Taylor, Lou Rawls (w/Les McCann), Ray Agee, Sugar Pie De Santo, Lula Reed, and Larry Williams just to name a few. Whether it's Williams and Johnnie Morisette getting bluesy on Call On Me and Don't Throw Your Love On Me, respectively, the blues-meets-doo wop of the Rivingtons on Deep Water, the Pearlettes giving some girl group oomph on Can I Get Him, or Rawls and McCann jazzin' up the place with Sweet Lover, there's something for nearly every taste. And that's just the first disc! The bottom line here is, the gang at History of Soul have produced another must-have collection. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Honest Jon's 50 Something Is Wrong - Vintage Recordings From East Africa** ● CD $25.98
2 CDs, 35 tracks, highly recommended
 Once more the Honest Jon's label brings us exotic music from the early 20th century; "Something is Wrong" presents recordings drawn from EMI's vaults that were recorded in Kenya and Uganda between 1938 and 1957. These "Native Records" (i.e. recordings that were aimed at native Africans rather than the white colonialists or communities of Indian traders and clerks) were pressed by EMI in England and returned for sale in East Africa. These recordings constitute, more or less, the popular music of the day and fall into three types of performance: minstrelsy, percussion-based ensembles, and taarab. Minstrels, typified by Ssekinomu on Wireless and Ali & Party on Enyi Wa Hiari, were often social commentators as much as they were entertainers and usually accompanied themselves on stringed instruments, especially lyres. Taarab is characterized by lilting melodies that are usually provided by violins or Indian harmoniums, Indian or Arabic percussion, and sometimes an Arabic oud; Jumbe Ali's Silwezi Tabu and Badi & Party's Wangu Mliwazi. As for the percussion bands-like Florence, Wasonga Muga, and Oluoch for example-they often played at parties or other celebrations and the upbeat-in every sense-music reflects that distinction. As is often the case with recordings from Africa, the sound quality is not of the greatest fidelity but this is an invaluable record of musicians that very little is known about. And it's fun to listen to too. (GMC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 942 Please Release Me - The Soulful Side of Country ● CD $15.98
29 tracks, highly recommended
Although Ray Charles' groundbreaking 1962 LP "Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music" gets the credit for the first commercially successful fusion of Country and Soul music, the truth of the matter is that R&B artists had been recording Country material for years before hand. But after Charles hit paydirt mining Nashville's song factory, others were bound to follow suit. Spanning the years 1959 to 1962, this set, on the one hand, gives us talented R&B singers like Little Esther Phillips (Release Me), Arthur Alexander (I Wonder Where You Are Tonight), Big Maybelle (Cold, Cold Heart), and Solomon Burke (Just Out of Reach) getting nearly drowned in syrupy arrangements and sappy background singers - although Phillips (Why Should We Try Anymore) and Alexander (I Hang My Head and Cry) do redeem themselves. Elsewhere, LaVern Baker triumphs on Shake a Hand, Bobby Bland jazzes up Who Will The Next Fool Be, Clyde McPhatter delivers a rollicking I'm Movin' On, Elton Anderson is yearning on The Secret of Love, Fats Domino's rolling Your Cheatin' Heart, and Fontella Bass' brassy I Don't Hurt Anymore come up trumps. With strong performances from William Bell, Phil Phillips (who could forget his immortal Sea of Love, a doo wop classic), Varetta Dillard, and the Man himself, Ray Charles, makes this collection, despite its' flaws, a winner. (GMC)
ARTHUR ALEXANDER: I Hang My Head And Cry/ I Wonder Where You Are Tonight/ ELTON ANDERSON: The Secret Of Love/ LAVERN BAKER: Hey Memphis/ Shake A Hand/ FONTELLA BASS: I Don't Hurt Anymore/ WILLIAM BELL: Please Help Me I'm Falling/ BROOK BENTON: Hotel Happiness/ Take Good Care Of Her/ BIG MAYBELLE: Cold, Cold Heart/ BOBBY BLAND: Who Will The Next Fool Be/ SOLOMON BURKE: I Really Don't Want To Know/ Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)/ RAY CHARLES: Making Believe/ Take These Chains From My Heart/ COOKIE & HIS CUPCAKES: Got You On My Mind/ VARETTA DILLARD: A Little Bitty Tear/ FATS DOMINO: Your Cheatin' Heart/ LITTLE WILLIE JOHN: Big Blue Diamonds/ She Thinks I Still Care/ BEN E. KING: My Heart Cries For You/ CLYDE MCPHATTER: I'm Movin' On/ LITTLE ESTHER PHILLIPS: Am I That Easy To Forget/ Release Me/ Why Should We Try Anymore/ PHIL PHILLIPS & THE TWILIGHTS: Sea Of Love/ TED TAYLOR: I'll Release You/ ADAM WADE: As If I Didn't Know/ The Writing On The Wall

VARIOUS ARTISTS Matrix 3022 Rhythm & Blues Christmas ●  CD $11.98 $6.98
A collection of R&B and soul Christmas songs with very little duplication with other similar compilations but there's no information on their provenance. It opens with eight tracks from New Orleans great vocalist Johnny Adams that were originally on a 1971 Maison de Soul album. There are three songs by The Drifters which is from much later than their classic Atlantic recordings and two songs each by Brook Benton, Charles Brown (including one of his many versions of Merry Christmas Baby but which one, I don't know, but it's good), Jerry Butler (I think from Vee-Jay) and Patti LaBelle (not among her finer work).

VARIOUS ARTISTS Mela'dee 502 Ballin' In N'awlins, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
The first volume in this series was excellent but this second one is a killer - one great New Orleans blues and R&B track after another - many of them not on CD before. It starts off with the storming Bye Bye Baby which includes some ferocious guitar work and for guitar aficionados dig Nat Douglas's Diddleyesque guitar on Leonard Carbos Pigtails And Blue Jeans where he is given vocal back up by the great New Orleans doo-wop group The Spiders. Gloria Jean Pitts is one of the lesser known artists that Dave Bartholomew produced for Imperial but her two sides with stellar accompaniment by Bartholomew's Band are superb. Other artists includes Charles Williams with Paul Gayten Orch., Eddie Lang, Joe Jones, Joe Dyson & His Orch (a fine cover of Tommy Ridgley's Looped<>D>), George "Mr Blues" Jackson, Paul Gayten (a great rockin' treatment of the old pop song The Music Goes Round & Round), Dave Dixon and others. A terrific collection with superb sound and booklet with full discographical details. (FS)
JESSE ALLEN: The Things I'm Gonna Do/ LEONARD CARBO: Pigtails & Blue Jeans/ So Tired/ AL COLLINS & ORCH.: I Got The Blues For You/ Shuckin Stuff/ DAVE DIXON: I'm Not Satisfied/ JOE DYSON & HIS ORCH. (VCL JOHNNY COLLINS): Looped/ Marie/ PAUL GAYTEN: The Music Goes Round & Round/ GEORGE "MR. BLUES" JACKSON: Heaven On Earth/ WILLIE JOHNSON: Sometimes I Wonder Why/ JOE JONES: When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver/ You Done Me Wrong/ EDDIE LANG: I'm All Alone/ LITTLE LEO: What's It All About/ MILSON LUCE WITH JOHNNY WALLACE SEXTET: Don't Break Your Promise To Me/ JOHNNY MOSES: Do You Love Me, Do You?/ ROY PERKINS: Bye Bye Baby/ You're On My Mind/ GLORIA JEAN PITTS: I Don't Stand No Quittin'/ Things You Should Know/ BLIND BILLY TATE & HIS ORCH.: Love Is A Crazy Thing/ CHARLES WILLIAMS WITH PAUL GAYTEN ORCH.: Mary Don't You Weep, Mary Don't You Moan/ So Glad She's Mine

VARIOUS ARTISTS Memphis Archives 7017 Blue Ladies - Classic Blues Performances, 1922-25 ● CD $13.98 $8.98
18 tracks, 56 min., strongly recommended
Following the success of Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues in 1920 record companies rushed to record bluessingers and for the first half the 1920s concentrated on female singer, often accompanied by small jazz groups. This is solid compilation of classic female blues performances recorded between 1921 and 1925. Program highlights include Rules and Regulations (Signed "Razor Jim") by Edith Wilson, I'm Gonna Get You by Mamie Smith accompanied by a very young Coleman Hawkins, Thirty-First Street Blues by Clara Smith with Fletcher Henderson on piano, the gorgeous Sing Sing Blues by Bessie Smith featuring the dual clarinets of Buster Bailey and Don Redman, Nobody Knows What a Red Head Mama Can Do by Clementine Smith, Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning by Margaret Johnson, Cow Cow Blues by Dora Carr, I'm Gonna Jazz My Way Straight Thru' Paradise by Mary Stafford, I Ain't Gonna Marry, Ain't Gonna Settle Down by Viola McCoy, and No Man's Mama by Ethel Waters. Sound quality is excellent and there are brief notes on all the artists. (FS)
DORA CARR: Cow Cow Blues/ IDA COX: Kentucky Man Blues/ LUCILLE HEGAMIN: Papa, Papa/ ROSA HENDERSON: I've Got Somebody Now/ MARGARET JOHNSON: Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning/ MAGGIE JONES: If I Lose, Let Me Lose (Mama Don't Mind)/ SARA MARTIN: My Man Blues/ VIOLA MCCOY: I Ain't Gonna Marry, Ain't Gonna Settle Down/ MA RAINEY: Those All Night Long Blues/ ETHEL RIDLEY: Alabama Bound Blues/ BESSIE SMITH: Sing Sing Prison Blues/ CLARA SMITH: Thirty-Firtst Street Blues/ CLEMENTINE SMITH: Nobody Knows What A Red Head Mama Can Do/ MAMIE SMITH: I'm Gonna Get You/ TRIXIE SMITH: The World's Jazz Crazy and So Am I/ MARY STAFFORD: I'm Gonna Jazz My Way Straight Through Paradise/ ETHEL WATERS: No Man's Mamma/ EDITH WILSON: Rules and Regulations (Signed Razor Jim)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Omni 187 The Hangman's Blues - Prison Songs In Country Music ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
Another terrific thematic collection from those imaginative folks at Omni. Although there have been quite a few albums devoted to country prison songs this is a particularly well chosen collection featuring 28 tracks recorded between 1956 and 1972. It opens strongly with the superb Harlan Howard song The Wall given a powerful performance by Freddie Hart and keeps up the quality with Jaycee Hill's Crash-Out, Marty Robbins is here with one of his most intense performances The Chair - probably inspired by controversial execution of Caryl Chessman whose story is also dealt with in songs by Country Johnny Mathis, Ronnie Hawkins, Hoyle Miller and Jimmy Miner. Omni's favorite artist Porter Wagoner is here with his compelling version of Hank Williams' (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle and there are also fine performances from Hoyle Miller, George Kent, Eddie Noack (the great Invisible Stripes about the stigma jail carries throughout life), Steve Davis, Howard Crockett (a fine cover of Johnny Cash's I Got Stripes), Johnny Paycheck and others. A great collection accompanied by a handsome booklet with informative notes plus photos and label shots. (FS)
BILL ANDERSON: Ninety-Nine/ JOHNNY BOND: At Dawn I Die/ JIM CARTER: Jailer Jailer/ BILL CARTER WITH THE COOPER BROTHERS: Jailer Man/ STEVE DAVIS: Life-Timer/ AL DEAN: Hangman/ TOMMY DEE: The Chair/ DANNY DILL: The Eyes Of Death/ TOMMY FAILE: Ball And Chain/ CHARLES LEE GUY III: The Prisoner's Dream/ FREDDIE HART: The Wall/ RONNIE HAWKINS: The Ballad Of Caryl Chessman/ JAYCEE HILL: Crash Out/ STONEWALL JACKSON: Run/ GEORGE KENT: I Always Did Like Leavenworth/ PEE WEE KING & REDD STEWART: 24 Months/ LONESOME JOHNNY: Death Row/ COUNTRY JOHNNY MATHIS: Caryl Chessman/ HOYLE MILLER: Twelve Years On Death Row/ JIMMY MINOR: Death Row/ DEE MULLINS: Sixteen Hundred Miles/ EDDIE NOACK: Invisible Stripes/ JOHNNY PAYCHECK: 21 Miles To Lake Charles Prison/ LEON PAYNE: A Prisoner's Diary/ MARTY ROBBINS: The Chair/ DENNIS ROBERTS: Prison Bound/ BOBBY SYKES: The Guard On The North Wall/ PORTER WAGONER: (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 034 Mighty Instrumentals R&B Style 1960 ● CD $17.98
Two CDs, 57 tracks, recommended
A colllection of blues and R&B instrumentals issued in 1960 including sides by Don & Dewey, The Jim Conley Combo, Roy Montrell (the exciting Mudd), Willie Wright & His Sparkles (the hot two part Bloodhound), Curley Hamner & The Cooper Bros., Jimmy LIggins, Ike Turner, Chuck Berry (some of fine slide work on SUrfin' Steel), George "Harmonica" Smith, Lloyd Glenn, James Rivers, Clifton Chenier and others. Although there are some great tracks here there are also a fair number of relatively tepid offerings - Preston Epps string drenched Bongo In The Congo is not my idea of "mighty." This would have been much better as single CD with the best tracks. Set comes with nice booklet with notes, photos and label shots. (FS)
JIMMY BECK: Arabian Blues/ CHUCK BERRY: Surfin' Steel/ JAMES BOOKER: Cool Turkey/ SKIPPY BROOKS: Dim Lights/ B. BROWN: Candied Yams/ CLIFTON CHENIER: Rockin' Accordion/ HENRY CLEMENT: Trojan's Walla/ JIM CONLEY: Nite-Lite Slop/ JOHNNY COPELAND: Late Hours/ DAVEY CORTEZ: Hurricane/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Twinky/ BO DIDDLEY: Shank/ The Twister/ BILL DOGGETT: Buttered Popcorn/ Hully Gully Twist/ DON AND DEWEY: Jump Awhile/ MONTE EASTER: Weekend Blues/ PRESTON EPPS: Bongo In The Congo/ LOWELL FULSON: Low Society/ LLOYD GLENN: The Shakedown/ GRANT GREEN: Space Flight/ BUDDY GUY: Gully Hully/ CURLEY HAMNER: Piano Tuner/ SLIM HARPO: Snoopin' Around/ SHAKEY JAKE HARRIS: Jake's Cha Cha/ HENRY HAYES: Spring Fever/ EARL HOOKER: Dynamite/ HOOKER & WELLS: Universal Rock/ WILLIS JACKSON: Blue Gator/ ELMORE JAMES: She Done Move/ GUS JENKINS: Tricky Too/ B.B. KING: Goin' South/ Power House/ CLIFFORD KING: Chicken Shack Boogie/ FREDDIE KING: San-Ho-Zay/ KID KING: Shaggy Dog/ JIMMY LIGGINS: Last Round/ LITTLE VINCENT: Honk Honk Honk (Pt. 1)/ Honk Honk Honk (Pt. 2)/ JERRY MCCAIN: Rough Stuff/ ROY MONTRELL: Mudd/ JIMMY OLIVER: Slim Jim (Pt. 1)/ BILL PARKER: Boogie Bayou Shuffle/ ROBERT PARKER: Walkin'/ GOOGIE RENE: The Slide (Pt. 2)/ JAMES RIVERS: The Blue Eagle (Pt. 1)/ The Blue Eagle (Pt. 2)/ GEORGE HARMONICA SMITH: Loose Screws/ AL TOUSAN: Chico/ IKE TURNER: Doublemint/ SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON: The Goat/ WILLIE WRIGHT: Bloodhound (Pt. 1)/ Bloodhound (Pt. 2)/ YOUNG GUITAR RED: Red Hot Red

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rounder 1516 Anglo-American Ballads, Vol. 2 ● CD $15.98 $11.98
10 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended
Reissue and newly remastered Library of Congress album originally issued as a 78 rpm set in 1943 and subsequently on LP in 1962. A superb collection of field recordings made between 1937 and 1942 of American rural performers doing traditional songs, mostly with their origins in English, Irish & Scottish traditions. There are songs by singer/ banjo player Justus Begley and unaccompanied vocalists Texas Gladden, Horton Barker and Lena Bare, J. Greer with dulcimer and singer/ guitarist Hobart Smith. Includes The Golden Willow Tree/ The Two Brothers/ The Two Sisters/ Bolakins/ Sanford Barney and five more. Includes 24 page booklet with the original notes by Benjamin Botkin and lyric transcripts. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rounder 1723 Caribbean Voyage - 1962, East Indian Music In West Indi ● CD $15.98 $9.98
This volume features a panorama of traditional Asian and newly created creolized East Indian music. It includes Trinidadian "local classica" tan singing, Hindu devotional and wedding songs, Muslim tassa drumming, Madrasi funeral drumming, and a unique exceprt from a Kali ceremony in Guadaloupe.

LEE WILEY Acrobat 9059 The Lee Wiley Collection, 1931-1957 ● CD $19.98
Three CDs, 70 tracks, highly recommended
Lee Wiley was an excellent big band and jazz singer sho has been poorly served by reissues. She's the one who first started doing "songbook" albums, starting in '39, done for small, often record-store based, labels with all-star backing. The first 16 tracks features sides recorded between 1931 and 1937 from commercial recordings and radio transcriptions with accompaniments from the Leo Reisman Orch, The Casa Loma Orch., Paul Whiteman Orch. and others. In 1938 she started working on the George & Ira Gershwin songbook, mostly with the Max Kaminsky Orch. including Pee Wee Russell/ cl, BUd Freeman/ ts, Joe Bushkin/p and on four tracks Fats Waller on piano, celeste or organ. On Someone To Watch Over Me her solo accompaniment is Waller on organ. Next was the Rogers & Hart Songbook from 2/40 with the same pool of musicians minus Fats. Includes Glad To Be Unhappy/ I've Got 5 Dollars, etc. The Cole Porter Songbook from 4/40 featured Lee's new boyfried trumpeter Bunny Berrigan - a quartet led by Berrigan with Paul Weston's Orch (Let's Do It / Easy To Love). 1942 brings us the final songbook, this time Harold Arlen, backed by Eddie Condon-led groups (Stormy Weather/ I've Got The World On A String,etc). Subsequent recordings find her covering a wide range of material with a wide variety of accompaniments and includes fine renditions of songs like Don't Blame Me/ When Your Lover Has Gone/ Memories Of You/ Oh, Look At Me Now/ Memphis BLues and more. Sound quality is generally excellent and 24 page booklet has informative notes and full discographical info. (GM/ FS)


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