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(with an almost complete version of the only known photo of him), Memphis Minnie, Lil McClintock (with a previously unpublished photo), Blind Blake, Ardelle Bragg, Charley Patton, Rev.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


UGLY THINGS #34 Ugly Things 34 ● BOOK $9.98
184 pages, perfect bound, essential
Counts as five CDs for shipping. Here's the latest copy of the best music magazine going. This current issue features articles on the coolest of 1960's Garage Rock, the most radical of 1970's Punk, and much more. Cyril Jordan ruminates and illustrates on The Beatles; other in-depth features are on The Others, The Haunted, The Spike Drivers, Viletones, The Byrds, and The Bees. Doug Sheppard has some interesting things to say about Record Store Day (he's mostly all for it, as am I.) On top of that, you get the usual massive amount of great reviews of CDs, DVDs, books and more. A great read from start to finish and most issues become collectors items soon after they come out, if that kind of thing moves you. (JM)



BILLY BOY ARNOLD Original Blues Classics OBCCD 562 More Blues On The South Side ● CD $11.98 $7.98
13 tracks, 34 min., recommended
Arnold's first full LP, produced by Sam Charters in 1963, is a journeyman effort of rockin' Chicago blues. His initial Vee Jay sides had a fair amount of impact, especially on the British scene, and this selection continues in the same peppy vein. Initially inspired by Sonny Boy Williamson I, his approach here is solidly contemporary, close to the classic Little Walter sound on many songs, similar to Otis Rush's vocal style on I Love Only You, and resembling his former boss Bo Diddley on a few rockers including Evaleena/ Get Out Of Here. The unissued Playing With The Blues closes it. (MB)
BILLY BOY ARNOLD: Billy Boy's Blues/ Evaleena/ Get Out Of Here/ Goin' By The River/ I Love Only You/ I'll Forget About You/ Oh Baby/ Playing With The Blues/ School Time/ Two Drinks Of Wine/ You Better Cut That Out/ You Don't Love Me No More/ You're My Girl

BUSTER BENTON Fuel 61941 The Very Best Of Buster Benton ● CD $10.98
14 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
A fine selection of sides by this excellent Chicago singer/ guitarist, originally from Arkansas, recorded for Stan Lewis's Jewel label. Most of the sides are from the 1973 to 178 time period along with a couple from 1981. Buster is a powerful and intense vocalist and a solid no frills guitar player. His sessions were produced by the indefatigable Willie Dixon and finds him accompanied by sidemen like Walter Horton, Carey Bell, Lafayette Leake, Jimmy Johnson and other top Chicago sidemen - the 1978 sessions features the addition of Ron Scott on electric sax. The material is mostly originals and range from storming up tempo dance numbers to slow intense blues. A most worthwhile release with excellent notes by Bill Dahl. (FS)

LITTLE JOE BLUE Fuel 61942 The Very Best Of Little Joe Blue ● CD $10.98
14 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection of sides recorded by singer/ guitarist Little Joe Blue for Jewel in the late 60s and early 70s. Joe was noted for his uncanny vocal resemblance to B.B. King but in every other respect he had his own distinctive style. He was a fine and energetic guitarist with a more down home style than B.B. and recorded some very good songs including the 14 here recorded in Los Angeles with a solid band. He had a local hit with the excellent Southern Country Boy and other fine songs here include Standing On The Threshold/ If There's A Better Way/ Gonna Walk On/ Your Handa May Be tied (But Your Hearts Got To Be Free)/ Little Joe Blues, etc. Excellent, no frills, electric blues by a fine, underrrated, artist. (FS)

ALEX BRADFORD Specialty 7015 Rainbow In The Sky ● CD $15.98 $10.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Another welcome release in Specialty's Legends Of Gospel series, Rainbow In The Sky collects 24 riveting Bradford performances (and one studio conversation) between 1954-58. All but three of the selections - Steal Away/ It All Belongs To Him/ What Makes A Man Turn His Back On God? - are previously unreleased, including alternate takes of Bradford classics, many of which run longer than the originals. And initiates who have never heard, for example, the masterpiece Too Close To Heaven, may rest assured that in this case "alternate take" does not imply inferiority. Highlights include a duet with Bessie Griffin called Great Consolation/ Take The Lord Along With You/ I've Found Someone/ Captain Jesus and two sides with the Stone Temple Chorale. The demo of See If I Care provides a rare glimpse into Bradford's pop longings. Notes by The Gospel Sound author Anthony Heilbut. Recommended. (JC)

ALVIN CASH Charly 646 Windy City Workout - Essential Dance Hits & Rarities ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 39 tracks, 98 mins, highly recommended
The main problem with analyzing Alvin Cash's career is that by most accounts, his true genius was in his live performance and many of his recordings are considered by experts to not fully capture the magic of what he actually did. In fact, as the little You Tube footage available will attest, some of Cash's biggest hits were mostly instrumentals that he danced, clapped and did a little toasting to. Nonetheless, his original records are eagerly sought after by Northern Soul collections and can fetch some serious moolah. That is not to say the recordings aren't good--there are a lot of fantastic cuts here--it would just have been great if there was an accompanying DVD to present the whole story. Other than that, this is the most complete release for the great Alvin Cash to come out thus far, featuring all his best known tracks and funkiest nuggets. Highlights include Twine Time/ The Philly Freeze/ The Barracuda/ No Deposit, No Return/ Whip It On Me/ Keep On Dancing/ Doin' The Creep, and Funky Washing Machine. Occasional lackluster sound (mostly in the earliest tracks) caused by some of the original recordings and releases being such low budget affairs, the overall sound quality is the best available. Also includes quality notes that help tell the legend. A funky good time will be had by all who pick this up. (JM)

THE DU DROPPERS Jasmine 225 Talk That Talk! The Ultimate Du Droppers, 1952-1955 ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 38 tracks, 100 mins, very highly recommended
Although there have been a number of reissues of this superb but short lived group over the years, this is the first set to feature all their recordings including originally unissued songs and backups to R&B vocalist Big John Greer and pop singer Sunny Gale. Formed in 1952 by veteran gospel vocalist J.C. Ginyard the quartet's other three members were in their and 30s and all came from a gospel background so it's not too surprising that their performances are so soulful. The group specialized in up tempo numbers with a Wynopnie Harris flavor though could also turn in a solid bluesy ballad when called for. They began their recording days in 1952 for Bobby Robinson's Red Robin label, but switched to RCA in 1953 where they remained until the group folded in 1955. This set opens with their first four sides for Red Robin including their answer to The Dominoes Sixty Minute Man, their great Can't Do Sixty No More (the poor guy can only manager 30 minutes!) which they follow with the great blues ballad Chain Me Baby. After moving to RCA they had a big R&B hit with their first release I Wanna Know but further success eluded them in spite of the quality of their music. Other great songs include Get Lost/ I Found Out/ Ten Past Midnight/ Don't Pass Me By/ Speed KingI Only Had A Little / How Much Longer and more. They are accompanied by top New York session musicians like Mickey Baker, Ben Webster, Sam "The Man" taylor, Bud Johnson and others. Sound is excellent and 6 page booklet has informative notes by Bob Fisher. A truly invaluable release and you can always skip over the two dire tracks by Sunny Gale. (FS)
THE DU-DROPPERS: A Story Untold/ Bamalam/ Boot ‘em Up/ Can’t Do Sixty No More/ Chain Me Baby (Blues Of Desire)/ Come On And Love Me Baby/ Dead Broke/ Don’t Pass Me By/ Drink Up/ Get Lost/ Give Me Some Consideration/ Go Back/ Honey Bunch/ How Much Longer/ I Found Out/ I Only Had A Little/ I Only Had A Little (Fast Version)/ I Wanna Know/ I Wanna Love You/ If You Just Don’t Leave/ Just Whisper/ Laughing Blues/ Let Nature Take Its Course/ Little Girl, Little Girl (You’d Better Stop Talking In Your Sleep)/ My Thrill Girl/ Smack Dab In The Middle/ Somebody Work On My Baby’s Mind/ Speed King/ Talk That Talk/ Ten Past Midnight/ That’s All I Need/ Whatever You’re Doin’ (Keep On Doin’ It)/ You’re Mine Already/ SUNNY GALE: Mama’s Gone, Goodbye/ The Note In The Bottle/ BIG JOHN GREER: Confusion Blues/ Don’t Worry About It/ Ride Pretty Baby

FRANK FROST Fuel 61943 The Very Best Of Frank Frost ● CD $10.98
13 tracks, 37 mins, recommended
If you missed previous reissues of these fine sides here's another chance. Tough down home Mississippi juke joint blues from singer/ guitarist Frost with his group recorded for Jewel in 1966 and produced by legendary guitarist Scotty Moore. Accompaniments are solid thanks to several members of the band being with Frost for many years. Harmonica player Oscar Williams is very fine indeed - sort of a cross between Sonny Boy Williamson (#2) and Walter Horton! On a couple of tracks he uses a reverberation effect that works very well. Drummer on these tracks is Sam Carr who had worked with FRost for a number of years when these tracks were recorded and continued working with him until Frost's death in 1999. Most of the tracks are originals including his minor hit My Back Scratcehr, no doubt inspired by Slim Harpo's big hit of earlier that year Scratch My Back. Nothing fancy - just the real thing. (FS)
FRANK FROST: Didn't Mean Me No Harm/ Feel Good Babe/ Five Long Years/ Got My Mojo Working/ Harp And Soul (Instrumental)/ Harpin' On It (Instrumental)/ Janie On My Mind/ My Back Scratcher/ Never Leave Me At Home/ Pocket Full Of Money/ Pretty Baby/ Ride With Your Daddy Tonight/ Things You Do

THE HARPTONES Jasmine 226 Life Is But A Dream - The Ultimate Harptones, 1953-1961 ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 60 tracks, highly recommended
Although now considered to be one of the greatest doo-wop groups, The Harptones never managed a single hit in the R&B charts though their 1954 recording Why Should I Love You squeaked into the pop charts at #25. The group was founded in 1953 from the merger of two groups - The Harps and The Skylarks and the resulting Harptones featured the soulful and smooth lead vocals of Willie Winfied accompanied on vocals by Bill Galloway, Curtis Cherbin and Bill Dem[psey. Raoul City from the Skylarks became the group's baritone singer, pianist, arranger and writer of many of their songs. In spite of their lack of commercial success their recordings of Sunday Kind Of Love/ Life Is But A Dream and My Memories Of You are standards today in every hallway harmonist's songbook, and their style set a trend in five-part harmony. This includes all the groups' recordings made between 1953 and 1961 for half a dozen different labels and in addition to the aforementioned classics includes such great sides as Since I Fell For You/ I Almost Lost My Mind/ Loving A Girl Like You/ Why Should I Love You/ The Masquerade Is Over/ Shrine Of St. Cecilia. The set also includes their backups to artists like Bunny Paul, The Woodisde Sisters, Peggy Farmer, Mabel King and Carl Blades. The group disbanded in 1962 but reformed when the doo-wop revival began in the 1970s and in 1983 appeared on Paul Simon's album "Hearts And Bones." The group is still active today with three of its original members. Set has excellent sound and informative notes from Bob Fisher. (FS)
CAROL BLADES: What Did I Do Wrong/ When Will I Know/ RAOUL CITA CHORUS: Chang Chang A Lang/ PEGGY FARMER: Call Me, I'll Be There/ Don't Stay Away Too Long/ Dreaming Is No Good/ I Love You/ THE HARPTONES: A Sunday Kind Of Love/ All In Your Mind/ Answer Me My Love/ Cry Like I Cried/ Devil In Velvet/ Foolish Me/ Forever Mine/ Hep Teenager/ High Flyin' Baby/ I Almost Lost My Mind/ I Depended On You/ I Got A Fine Little Girl/ I Remember/ I'll Never Tell/ I've Got A Notion/ It Was Just For Laughs/ Laughing On The Outside/ Life Is But A Dream/ Love Me Completely/ Loving A Girl Like You/ Mambo Boogie/ Mambo Boogie (Bruce Version)/ My Memories Of You/ My Success (It All Depends On You)/ No Greater Miracle/ On Sunday Afternoon (Old Town Version)/ On Sunday Afternoon (Rama Version)/ Oo Wee Baby/ Oo Wee Baby (Bruce Version)/ Oobidee Oobidee - Ooo/ Rain Down Kisses/ Schoolgirl/ Since I Fell For You/ So Good So Fine, You're Mine/ That's The Way It Goes/ The Last Dance/ The Masquerade Is Over/ The Shrine Of St. Cecelia/ Three Wishes/ Until The Real Thing Comes Along/ What Is Your Secret/ What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)/ What Will I Tell My Heart/ Why Should I Love You/ You Know You're Doing Me Wrong/ Your Love Is A Good Love/ MABEL KING: Second Hand Love/ Symbol Of Love/ RUTH MCFADDEN: School Boy/ BUNNY PAUL & THE HARPTONES: Honey Love/ I'll Never Tell/ THE WOODSIDE SISTERS & THE HARPTONES: Love Me/ So Soon

JIM & BOB/ GEORGE KU & HIS PARADISE ISLANDERS Grass Skirt 1005 Genial Hawaiians ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 69 mins, highly recommended
Another fine selection of vintage Hawaiian music from the good folks at Grass Skirt featuring two groups based on the mainland. Jim (Holstein) and Bob (Pauole) aka The Genial Hawaiians were based out of Chicago and the 12 tracks here recorded in 1933 is their entire recorded output. Most of their repertoire was American songs and tunes - Jim sang and played rhythm guitar and Bob played some wonderful steel guitar. Their instrumental tunes include a truly wonderful version of St Louis Blues plus very fine versions of Home On The Range (here called The Song Of The Range/ Taps and others including a version version of Sweet Georgia Brown with some hot ukulele. The vocal tracks are less interesting featuring rather bland dance band style vocals but there's more than enough great steel guitar work to keep Hawaiian guitar fans happy. George Ku and his Paradise Islanders were a three piece group featuring the superb steel guitar of Charles Opunui with Ku on rhythm guitar and Spencer Kulaniakea on ukulele, tiple and guitar with all three contributing vocals. Their material was a mix of Hawaiian and American tunes and songs and while not quite as exciting as Jim and Bob their singing and playing are superb. The sound quality is stunning and the 28 page booklet has extensive notes on the performers and performances and rare photos. (FS)

BUDDY JOHNSON Acrobat 4028 Featuring Ella Johnson - Jukebox Hits, 1940-1951 ● CD $13.98 $8.98
21 tracks, 56 min, highly recommended
20 tunes that graced the 40s R&B charts (1 tune is 2 tracks - Because Pts 1 & 2) by this wonderful boogie pianist/orch leader, done for Decca & many featuring the fine vocals of his kid sister Ella Johnson. Many of the songs here will be familiar from later cover versions, but these are the 1st versions of such classics as Since I Fell For You/ Please Mr. Johnson/ Fine Brown Frame/ Baby Don't You Cry, all done for Decca, as was That's The Stuff You Gotta Watch/ When My Man Comes Home & Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball which crossed into the pop charts. Booklet contains full liner notes, info on each song & even a few label pics. (GM)
BUDDY JOHNSON: Baby Don't You Cry/ Because - Part 1/ Because - Part 2/ Boogie Woogie's Mother-in-law/ Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?/ Far Cry/ Fine Brown Frame/ I Ain't Mad With You/ I Don't Care Who Knows/ I Still Love You/ I Wonder Who's Boogieing My Woogie Now/ I'm Gonna Jump In The River/ Let's Beat Out Some Love/ Please Mr Johnson/ Since I Fell For You/ That's The Stuff You Gotta Watch/ They All Say I'm The Biggest Fool/ Walk 'em/ When My Man Comes Home/ You Won't Let Me Go/ You'll Get Them Blues

BARBARA LEWIS Real Gone 093 The Complete Atlantic Singles ● CD $27.98
2CDs, 34 tracks, highly recommended
Barbara Lewis, a solo performer working in the girl group style, sees all of her Atlantic Records singles sides re-issued by those curators of the "girl group sound" Real Gone Music. Lewis' hits were Hello Stranger/ Baby I'm Yours, and Make Me Your Baby, and the rest of her output-not the usual kind of R&B Atlantic dealt in by any means-pretty much stays in that ballpark at least until a couple of attempts at getting more gritty in '67-'68. Lewis was unique among female singers in the early 60's in that she wrote most of her material, including Hello Stranger. The songs here are classic 60's pop and impeccably played and sung. Highlight: her version of Goffin/King's Don't Forget About Me, which came out two years before Dusty Springfield cut it on Dusty in Memphis. Presented chronologically with both and 'A' and 'B' sides, this isn't the most definitive Barbara Lewis collection, but it is very nicely packaged, sounds great, and worth a purchase for fans who don't already have this material. (GMC)

THE LEWIS FAMILY Gusto 2100 Songs Of Wallace Lewis ● CD $7.98 $5.98
10 track collection of country gospel by fine family group featuring songs written by family patriarch Wallace.

MIGHTY SAM MCCLAIN Mighty Music 103 Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey) ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 48 min., highly recommended
Not many guys who were hitting the charts in the 1960s are still putting out new soul albums worth hearing. McClain deserves his Mighty here as he ponies up the goods on this amusingly titled album, writing or co-writing (usually with guitarist Pat Herlehy) all the cuts. This time out he's funkier than usual but as talented as always. This is soul music that doesn't imitate the past but isn't ignorant of it either. (JC)

MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS Document DOCD 5494 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1936-38 ● CD $15.98 $10.98
25 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
More beautiful acapella gospel singing by this quartet from Kinston, North Carolina featuring William Brown/ lead tenor, Julius Davis/ tenor, Louis "Panella" Davis/ baritone and Sam Bryant/ bass. Perhaps not quite as consistently outstanding as the first volume there are still many fine gems - the third session here from August 1937 has some truly spine chilling songs including Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit/ My Time Ain't Long and I Don't Care Where You Bury My Body. Other songs include Lord I Can't Turn Back/ Count The Angels/ Hide Me Oh Lord/ I Swore To The Lord (I'm A Gideon)/ Walkin' With My Savior/ / Yes My LOrd I Don Done/ My Lord I'm Trampin' and others. (FS)
MITCHELL'S CHRISTIAN SINGERS: Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit/ Come On Ezekiel Let's Go 'round The Wall/ Count Out The Angels/ Hide Me Oh Lord/ I Don't Care Where You Bury My Body/ I Got To Go To Judgement/ I Swore To The Lord (i'm A Gideon)/ I Want Somebody To Tell Me/ I'm Praying Humble/ Jesus Christ Of Nazareth/ Jesus Hear Me Praying/ Lord Have Mercy/ Lord I Can't Turn Back/ Lord's Gonna Trouble The Water/ My Lord I'm Trampin'/ My Mother Had To Kneel Down/ My Mother's Gone To Glory/ My Time Ain't Long/ Out On The Ocean Sailing/ Walkin' With My Savior/ We Want To Have A Talk With Jesus/ While He's Padding By/ Who Was John?/ Yes My Lord I Done Done/ You Got To Make A Change

THE OLYMPICS Jasmine 201 Western Movies And Private Eyes - The Singles,1958-1961 ● CD $14.98 $10.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
Excellent collection including all the early sides by this fine rockin' R&B novelty group featuring the great raspy lead vocals of Walter Ward. It opens with the group's earliest single for Melatone in 1958 as by Walter Ward & The Wanderers. They then switched to Demon and hit it big with their first single - the classic Western Movies. It includes all their singles through to 1961's Cool Short and rounds out the CD with half a dozen tracks drawn from their LPs. Though they never matched the success of Movies they had minor success with the very similar Private Eye as well as (Baby) Hully Gully (whose tune was stolen by The Marathons for their 1961 hit Peanut Butter), Big Boy Pete/ Shimmy Like My Sister Kate (this update of a 1920s pop hit is one of my favorites by them)/ Dance By The Light Of The Moon/ Little Pedro and Dooley. Most of the rest of their sides are up tempo novelty and dance songs (Mash Them Taters/ The Twist/ Pony Time, etc). Excellent sound and informative notes by Bob Fisher. (FS)

DAN PENN Ace CDCHD 1353 The Fame Recordings ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
For fans of Soul music the name Dan Penn is a touchstone of quality; along with his various songwriting partners-Spooner Oldham and Donnie Fritts being the most prominent-he composed some of the most enduring soul songs of the 60's. But for two years, between 1964 and 1966, Penn was allowed by Fame boss Rick Hall to record his own compositions and the results have been released here for the first time. Penn has a gorgeous white soul voice and he easily brings the passion to the likes of Keep on Talking/ Far From the Maddening Crowd/ Don't Lose Your Good Thing/ Unfair/ Take a Good Look, and Everytime. While it's true these recordings rarely rise above demo quality, they are just so engaging and listenable that the origins don't matter a whit. It goes without saying that, for fans, this collection is an excellent companion to the recently released "Sweet Inspiration: The Songs of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham" compilation (Ace 1284, $18.98), and both together paint a full picture of a man who has R&B in his veins and an artistic legacy that matches any in the Southern Soul pantheon. And don't miss the superb liner notes, in which Dan tells his own story. (GMC)

WEBB PIERCE Acrobat ADDCD 3026 The Complete Four Star & Pacemaker Recordings ● CD $18.98 $11.98
Two CD set with 30 tracks featuring the complete Four Star and Pacemaker recordings recorded by Webb in 1949 and 1950 before his signing with Decca and his numerous hits.

LOUIS PRIMA Bear Family BCD 17318 Rocks ● CD $24.98
30 tracks, 83 mins, highly recommended
Louis Prima doesn't necessarily "Rock" in my book, but he certainly swings! That's the best part of this collection: you don't get the schmaltz or the sap, just the swing. This CD has one upbeat swingin' tune after another. Most of Prima's best tracks that are on here: Just A Gigolo/ Buena Sera/ Jump, Jive, an' Wail/ Beep Beep/ Angelina / Zooma Zooma, etc. are pretty easy to find, the main benefit that you get with this set is having all his best swingin' tunes in one place, plus that wonderful sound and extras you always get from the great Bear Family records. On top of that, there are a few lesser-compiled gems, like Ten Little Women/ Equator, and Shy, that cement this as the Prima collection to have. This has nothing but the best from Prima, Sam Butera, Keely Smith, and the crew. Keely is still around and doing well and has a Facebook page, so if you have one of those I recommend that you drop her a line and tell her how great she is. (JM)
LOUIS PRIMA: Angelina-Zooma Zooma (Medley)/ Baby Won't You Please Come Home/ Be Mine (Little Baby)/ Beep! Beep!/ Bim Bam/ Bourbon Street Blues/ Buona Sera/ Equator/ Fever/ Five Months/ Hey Boy, Hey Girl/ Hey Boy, Hey Girl (reprise)/ I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You/ Jump, Jive, An' Wail/ Just A Gigolo-I Ain't Got Nobody/ Love Charm/ Much Too Young To Loose My Mind/ Oh Marie/ Oh, Marie (2)/ Pennies From Heaven/ Put Your Mind At Ease/ Rock-A-Doodle-Doo/ Seven Out/ Shy/ Ten Little Women/ The Pump Song/ The White Cliffs Of Dover/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ When You're Smiling-The Sheik Of Araby/ Whistle Stop/ o Days/ o Weeks

POPS STAPLES Acadia 8123 Peace To The Neighborhood/ Father, Father ● CD $17.98 $11.98
2 CDs, 21 tracks, 89 mins, highly recommended
There are certain artists that just sound great almost all of the time, artists whose style and sound are instantly recognizable, Willie Nelson is one, Pops Staples was another. Pops' beautiful, soulful, raspy, vocals, and the wonderful tremolo on that guitar of his always sound great to me. While certainly most of Pops' greatest work was in the 1960's and '70s with The Staples Singers, these solo records of his from the early 1990's are mighty good as well. This features a great mix of Blues, Soul, and Gospel and really showcases all that was great about Pops. Features fine backing musicians, with occasional big name guests like Ry Cooder, Jim Keltner, and of course Mavis Staples. Highlights include the haunting The Downward Road, a great take on People Get Ready (a song he was born to sing,) Miss Cocaine/ I Shall Not Be Moved, and much more. (JM)

TAMPA RED & GEORGIA TOM JSP JSPCD 77160 Music Making In Chicago, 1928-1935 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, very highly recommended
Another superb collection of pre-war blues from JSP. This time devoted to the music of the great, influential and very popular singer and guitarist Tampa Red - often in the company of his musical partner - vocalist and pianist Georgia Tom Dorsey. The duo were pioneers in the creation of the urban Chicago blues sound and Tampa had a lengthy career making commercial recordings from the late 20s through the early 50s. Dorsey abandoned blues in the mid 30s and became one the leading gospel song composers though on these early recordings he can be heard in some delightfully risqué performances. The duo made several classic and very popular hokum performances including the ever popular It's Tight Like That along with Selling That Stuff/ Jelly Whipping Blues and others though hokum was only a small part of ther repertoire so it doesn't become as tiresome as with some other performers. Tampa was master of the single string slide guitar technique that was to influence many subsequent musicians and in addition to his gorgeous guitar accompaniments there are several sublime guitar instrumentals like his instrumental rendition of How Long, How Long Blues. Although many of the tracks just feature the duo or Tampa alone there are also several sessions with a small group called Tampa Red's Hokum Jug Band with Carl Reid on jug and outrageous vocals from female impersonator Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon who does some wonderful sides - his version of Leroy Carr's how Long How Long Blues is a true masterpiece that gives the song a whole new meaning! The set also includes accompaniments to female vocalists Madlyn Davis and Jenny Pope. Several of Tampa's songs here have become blues standards like Black Angel Blues/ Cryin' Shame Blues and Cotton Seed Blues (reworked by James Cotton as Cotton Crop Blues). Sound quality is generally fine though some tracks are from noisy 78s and the set comes with brief notes bu Neil Slaven along with discographical info. An important and invaluable release. (FS)
TAMPA RED & GEORGIA TOM: Bear Cat's Kitten/ Beedle Um Bum/ Billie the Grinder/ Black Angel Blues/ Black Hearted Blues/ Blue Moanin' Blues/ Boogie Woogie Dance/ Boot It Boy/ Bumble Bee Blues/ But They Got It Fixed Right on/ Chicago Moan Blues/ Chicago Moan Blues/ Come on Mama, Do That Dance/ Corrine Corrina, Pt. 2/ Cotton Seed Blues/ Cryin' Shame Blues/ Dead Cats on the Line/ Denver Blues/ Doggin' Me Around Blues/ Don't Leave Me Here/ Down in Spirit Blues/ Down the Alley/ Dying Mercy Blues/ Friendless Blues/ Georgia Hound Blues/ Givin' It Away/ Good Gordon Gin/ Grievin' Me Blues/ Hear Me Beefin' at You/ How Long How Long Blues/ How Long, How Long Blues/ I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's Gone/ I'Ll Find My Way/ I'Ll Kill Your Soul (and Dare Your Spirit to Move)/ I.C. Moan Blues/ If I Let You Get Away with It (You'Ll Do It All the Time)/ It's Red Hot/ It's So Nice/ It's Tight Like That/ It's Tight Like That/ It's Tight Like That/ It's Tight Like That, Pt. 2/ Jealous Hearted Mama Blues/ Jelly Whippin' Blues/ Jinx Doctor Blues/ Juicy Lemon Blues/ Kingfish Blues/ Kunjine Baby/ Lonesome Man Blues/ Long Ago Blues/ Mama Don't Allow No Easy Riders Here/ Mama Don't Allow No Easy Riders Here/ Mama Don't Leave Me Here/ Mess, Katie, Mess/ Moanin' Heart Blues/ My Daddy Rocks Me/ New Strangers Blues/ No Matter How She Done It/ Pat That Bread/ Pig Meat Papa/ Please Mister Blues/ Prison Bound Blues [guitar Solo] [version]/ Reckless Man Blues/ Saturday Night Scrontch/ Selling That Stuff/ She Can Love So Good/ Sho' Is Hot/ Station Time Blues/ Stop and Listen Blues/ Strange Woman Blues/ Strewin' Your Mess/ That Stuff Is Here/ That Stuff You Sell/ The Dirty Dozen, Pt. 2/ The Duck's Yas-Yas-Yas/ They Call It Boogie Woogie/ Things 'Bout Coming My Way/ Things 'Bout Coming My Way/ Things 'Bout Coming My Way, Pt. 2/ Through Train Blues/ Tomorrow Blues/ Too Black Bad/ Toogaloo Blues/ Train Time Blues/ Turpentine Blues/ Uncle Bud (Dog-Gone Him)/ Unhappy Blues/ Voice of the Blues/ Western Bound Blues/ What Is That Tastes Like Gravy/ What You Gonna Do/ Whiskey Drinkin' Blues/ Worried Man Blues/ You Better Tighten Up on It/ You Can't Come in/ You Can't Get That Stuff No More/ You Got to Reap What You Sow [guitar Solo] [version]/ You Rascal You/ You Rascal You, Pt. 1/ You'Ve Got to Do Better

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 1344 The Ramones Heard Them Here First ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
The Ramones were the band that put the fun back in rock and roll at a time-the late 70's-rock and roll became all about big tours, big bucks, and how much drugs could one do and remain alive to tell the tale. And like any other band, they had their influences; this collection is comprised of the artists that gave Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy their inspiration. The band in fact did cover many of these songs, and it's a diverse bunch indeed: Tom Waits' I Don't Wanna Grow Up, Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, The Rivieras' California Sun, The Searchers' Needles and Pins, and The Ronettes' Baby I Love You to name just a few. Running the gamut of music styles from pop to folk rock to surf music to bubblegum to garage rock and more, this compilation serves as a basic primer to what Top 40 music was like during the 60's. The odd songs out are the Waits cut from 1992, metal gods Motorhead paying tribute with R.A.M.O.N.E.S., and The Stooges proto-punk anthem 1969, which I doubt very much was heard on AM radio. Most people already own these songs - in fact, I'd guess that this CD is meant for the young 'uns who think the Ramones were/are the bees knees-but it is handy to have them all in one place. And if you haven't got them, you need them. (GMC)
1910 FRUITGUM CO: Indian Giver/ THE AMBOY DUKES: Journey To The Center Of The Mind/ LOUIS ARMSTRONG: What A Wonderful World/ THE BEACH BOYS: Do You Wanna Dance/ Surfin' Safari/ THE BYRDS: My Back Pages/ THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS: Time Has Come Today/ MAX FROST & THE TROOPERS: Shape Of Things To Come/ JAN & DEAN: Surf City/ JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: Somebody To Love/ LOVE: 7 And 7 Is/ CHRIS MONTEZ: Let's Dance/ MOTORHEAD: R.A.M.O.N.E.S./ THE MUSIC EXPLOSION: Little Bit O' Soul/ THE RIVIERAS: California Sun/ THE RONETTES: Baby I Love You/ THE SEARCHERS: Needles And Pins/ THE SEEDS: Can't Seem To Make You Mine/ SONNY & CHER: I Got You Babe/ THE STOOGES: 1969/ THE TRASHMEN: Surfin' Bird/ THE TROGGS: I Can't Control Myself/ RITCHIE VALENS: Come On, Let's Go/ TOM WAITS: I Don't Wanna Grow Up

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus CASHCD 3 The House Of Cash Alikes, Vol. 3 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Compilations like this really make me miss the record industry. Harking back to a time when dozens of artists made decent little careers for themselves and got records released just by covering and/or aping Johnny Cash. Nowadays we just have Alamo Jones and Mike Ness able to make records pretending that they are "The Man in Black," and most of their recordings aren't anywhere near as fun as the ones you get on this collection. While there are many fine straight covers of J.C. like Johnny Yuma, The Rebel by Johnny Doe and Mean Eye Cat by Curtis Lamar, the most entertaining tracks have to be the homage's (or rip offs, however you want to consider them,) Whipping Tree by Travis Pritchett, Come On Train by Paul Thomas, and Huntsville Prison Blues by Troy Crane & 3 Texans. No matter how you slice it, if you are a bonafide Johnny Cash fanatic like me (and the people who recorded these tracks) you will most certainly love this CD. (JM)
BAILEY ANDERSON: Folsom Prison Blues/ BILLY BARTON: Wanted Man/ STERLING BLYTHE: Everybody Knows/ Nothing But The Night/ WES BUCHANAN: Only Fools/ BOB CADY: Johnny Cash, Going Thing/ WAYNE CALVERT: Southbound Train/ BOBBY CARL: Guitar Picker/ KEITH CASTO: I Can't Win/ I'll Get By/ TROY CRANE & 3 TEXANS: Huntsville Prison Blues/ WAYNE CROSS: Put Another Dime In The Juke Box/ JIM CUNNINGHAM: My Baby Waitin'/ DON DAFFRON: Walkin' & Cryin'/ LLOYD DOCKERY & THE TENNESSEANS: Dream Girl/ There Goes A Fool/ JOHNNY DOE: Johnny Yuma The Rebel/ Twenty Five Minutes To Go/ DICKIE DYER: Folsom Prison Blues/ NORM ESTER: Don't Hurt The Hurt/ CURTIS LAMAR: Mean Eye Cat/ Next In Line/ ED LYNCH & THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN: Cornfed Country Girl/ JIM NESBITT: Working All My Life/ BILL NOBLES: Spin Your Wheels/ OAKIE McDONALD: Take Your Heart/ BARRY PAUL: Stand Up Tall/ JOHNNIE PEARCE: Meanest Mama/ TRAVIS PRITCHETT: Whipping Tree/ RAY STONE: Twenty One Men/ PAUL THOMAS: Come On Train/ BOBBY WAYNE: River Man

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus HOGCD 8 High On The Hog, Vol. 8 ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, 70 mins, highly recommended
Another great collection of obscure up tempo hillbilly recorded for tiny labels by little known performers in the 1950s and early 60s. This volume starts off in great form with Freddie Frank with the hard driving Another Woman Looking For A Man and continues with Dayton Ames singing a song from the days of the military draft G.I. Blues about an unwilling conscript. Luke Gordon does a great update of the traditional song Six Nights Drunk as Mustache On A Cabbage Head and Fuzzy Owens does a fabulous rendition of Buck Owens' Yer Fer Me. The superb and underrated Joe Cannonball Lewis does the terrific I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down and Jess Thomas gives us the goofy Weekly Rasslin' Match. Other artists include Dick Ely & The Melody Men, Cliff Shepherd, Ned Meedham, Bernie Vale, Harley Gabbard and other little known but excellent performers. (FS)
DAYTON AMES: G I Blues/ Woman Troubles/ JIM BECK: Grandma's House/ THE BURD FAMILY: Dixie Hearted Lee/ FRANK DELL: Here That Train/ TOMMY DOWNS: Love Insurance/ GAVIN DYCUS: Friscos Tommy Tucker/ DICK ELY & THE MELODY KING: Keep A Rollin'/ SLIM FOSTER: Never Be Untrue/ FREDDIE FRANK: Another Woman Looking For A Man/ HARLEY GABBARD: Uncle Bill's Still/ LUKE GORDON: Moustache On A Cabbage Head/ HAL HOWARD: Traded My Heart/ CURLEY LANGLEY: All The Way With Rappellet/ JOE CANNONBALL LEWIS: I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down/ BOBBY LOWE: Ol' Black Engine/ HANK MORRISON: Just To Wink My Eye At You/ NED NEEDHAM: Katy Did/ NEED NEEDHAM: E-Z Payments/ FUZZY OWEN: Yer Fer Me/ KIRMIT PHILLIPS: Walking Alone Tonite/ SLIM REDMAN & DONNIE BOWSHIRE: Strut My Stuff/ JIMMY SAUL (VOCAL BY JIMMIE FRANKLIN): Long Tall Girl From Tennessee/ That's All/ CLIFF SHEPHERD: Live Live Live (Before I Die)/ DAVE STOGNER: Oh Sweet Mama/ JESS THOMAS: Take Two Aspirins/ Weekly Rasslin' Match/ BERNIE VALE: She's Gone Gone/ JANE WHITE: I'm Gonna Walk All Over You

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chief 03 Ultra Rare Teen Rockers, Vol. 3 ● CD $15.98
Professional CD-R, 26 tracks, 58 min., recommended
The songs are of course remastered from original 45 rpm's, and the ultra rarity occasionally comes through as mild surface noise on Johnny Rivers' Everyday (on the Cub label) and on Ron Jones' Hylander Girl, (originally on the Aurora label). Too often, however, the rarity of the track is not matched by its musical quality. Much here, is overly derivative, such as the Not-Fade-Away-ness of Teenage Doll by Jim White & The King's Men; and the Summertime-Blues-ness of Tony Butala's Long Black Stockings, which does feature some decent guitar work of the dangerous kind; and the Elvis-esque vocals on the tepid Teach Me How To Love by the ironically named Eddie Ferrel. Still, fans of the first two volumes will not want to miss this, nor will fans of the form. A cheap way to pick up some otherwise unavailable rarities on a variety of labels, including Trey, Aladdin, Wildcat, Era, Jaro, Topic, UBC, Ensign, Rendezvous, RCA, and more. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Documents 600014 Rock-A-Billy Cowboys ● CD $24.98
10 CDs, 250 tracks, highly recommended
Another of those great low priced collection from those German obsessives at Documents Records. This is an inspired collection of rockabilly and rock 'n' roll from artists who are primarily associated with country music. The first disc includes well known artists like Johnny Horton doing Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor, Pee Wee King with Catty Town, George Jones with Who Shot Sam and Hank Thompson with Rockin' In The Congo and others. There are also lesser known artists like Cliff Johnson with Go Away Hound Dog, Gene Davis with Muleskinner Blues, Carl Phillips with Salty Dog Blues, The Van Brothers with Servant Of Love and more. Each disc has a nice mix of familiar and very obscure performers. WE also have some up tempo hillbilly that predates the rock 'n' roll era like Move It On Over by Hank Williams. All in all a tremendously entertaining collection with excellent sound and no notes but what can you expect for 10 cents a song!?
CHARLIE ADAMS: Cattin' Around/ HAL ANDREWS: Brown Eyed Girl/ CHUCK ATHA: OOH-EEE (What You Do to Me)/ DICK BANKS: Dirty Dog/ GLENN BARBER: Ice Water/ NORMA BEASLER: Greenback Dollar/ BIG JEFF: Juke Box Boogie/ Juke Box Boogie/ LYNN BILLINGSLEY: Childhood Boogie/ EMERY BLADES: I Feel Like A Million/ Look What You Done To Me/ DON BOOTS: Big Foot Annie/ CECIL BOWMAN & THE ARROWS: Blues Around My Door/ JIMMY BOYD: Crazy Mixed-Up Blues/ BILLY BRIGGS: Chew Tobacco No. 2/ Chew Tobacco Rag/ DAVE BROCKMAN: Feel Sorry For Me/ LOUVIN BROTHERS: Freight Train Boogie/ PARIS BROTHERS: This Is It/ CHARLIE BROWN: Have You Heard the Gossip/ KENNY BROWN & ARKANSAS RAMBLERS: Throw 'A Little Wood On 'The Fire/ BILL BROWNING: I'll Pay You Back/ Breaking Hearts/ Hula Rock/ ART BUCHANAN: Time Will Tell/ NORMAN BULLOCK: Lies, Lies, Lies/ JOHNNY CASH: All Over Again/ Cry, Cry, Cry/ Get Rhythm/ I Walk the Line/ Mean Eyed Cat/ HOWARD CHANDLER: Wampus Cat/ SONNY COLE: I Dreamed I Was Elvis/ TOMMY COLLINS: Black Cat/ RILEY CRABTREE: She Loves Me Better/ MAC CURTIS: Granddaddy's Rockin'/ GENE DAVIS: Muleskinner Blues/ CLIFF DAVIS & HIS KENTUCKY PLAYBOYS: Rocky Road Blues/ DUB DICKERSON: My Gal Gertie/ RAMBLIN' JIMMIE DOLAN: Juke Box Boogie/ RUSTY DRAPER: Buzz, Buzz, Buzz/ Pink Cadillac/ Tiger Lilly/ PAUL DURHAM: Mean Woman Married Man Blues/ CARL E.: Tyndall Hillbilly Rock/ LEE EMERSON: I Cried Like A Baby/ THE FARMER BOYS: Cool Down Mama/ My Baby Done Left Me/ BILL FLOYD: Hey Boy/ RED FOLEY: Crazy Little Guitar Man/ ROCKY BILL FORD: Have You Seen Mabel/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD: Blackberry Boogie/ Hey Mister Cottonpicker/ Kissin' Bug Boogie/ Smokey Mountain Boogie/ The Shot Gun Boogie/ False Hearted Girl/ TILLMAN FRANKS & HIS RAINBOW BOYS: Hi-Tone Poppa/ Hot Rod Shotgun Boogie No. 2/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: You're Humbuggin' Me/ HARLEY GABBARD & AUBREY HOLT: Hey Baby/ GROVER GADDIE: High Stepping Daddy/ GEORGE & EARL: Done Gone/ DON GIBSON: I'm Movin' On/ Sweet Sweet Girl/ SKIP GOODSPEED: Only Two Me and You/ CURTIS GORDON: Mobile, Alabama/ Play the Music Louder/ Rocky Road Of Love/ Rompin' and Stompin'/ Sittin' On Top/ GAYLE GRIFFITH: Rockin' and Knockin'/ JACK GUTHRIE: Oakie Boogie/ DON HAGER: Liza Jane Bop/ BILL HALEY & THE SADDLEMEN: Juke Box Cannonball/ BILLY HALL: Move Over Rover/ HAWKSHAW HAWKINS: Pan American/ Rebound/ Waitin' For My Baby (Rock, Rock)/ DON HEAD: Goin' Strong/ JIMMIE HEAP: Sebbin' Come Elebbin'/ JIMMY HEAP: Go Ahead On/ GENE HENSLEE: Diggin' 'n' Datin'/ Rockin' Baby/ BILLIE HIGH: Wondering If You Still Care/ BOBBY HODGE: Gonna Take My Guitar/ THE HODGES BROTHERS: I'm Gonna Rock Some Too/ JOHNNY HORTON: Cherokee Boogie/ Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor/ Honky Tonk Man/ Honky Tonk Mind/ I'm A One Woman Man/ I'm Coming Home/ RUSTY HOWARD: No Help Wanted/ ERNIE HOWLIN & THE BLUE SHADOW BOYS: Tally Ho/ JOE HUDGINS: Where'd You Stay Last Night/ RAY HUDSON & THE WESTERN RHYTHMAIRES: The Blues Walked Away/ FERLIN HUSKY: Draggin' The River/ AUTRY INMAN: Be Bop Baby/ MARVIN JACKSON: Gee Whiz, Miss Liz/ STONEWALL JACKSON: Smoke Along The Track/ TOMMY JACKSON: Flat Top Box/ SONNY JAMES: Uh Uh Mm/ You've Got That Touch/ TOM JAMES: Hey Baby/ Track Down Baby/ JIMMY & JOHNNY: I Can't Find The Doorknob/ Sweet Love On My Mind/ JIMMY JOHN: Solid Rock/ CLIFF JOHNSON: Go Away Hound Dog/ AL JONES: Loretta/ GEORGE "THUMPER" JONES: How Come It/ Rock It/ White Lightnin'/ Who Shot Sam/ CORKY JONES (BUCK OWENS): Hot Dog/ MERLE KILGORE: Ernie/ Everybody Needs A Little Lovin'/ Ride Jessie Ride/ PEE WEE KING: Catty Town/ SID KING & THE FIVE STRINGS: Sag, Drag And Fall/ BURT KLINE: Shove Off Short Stuff/ JOE KOZAK: Hillbilly Rock/ CURLEY LANGLEY: Linda Lou/ Rockin' and Rollin'/ BRENDA LEE: Jambalaya/ WIBBY LEE: I'm Lost Without Your Love/ LEON & CARLOS: Rock Everybody/ JERRY LEE LEWIS: Crazy Arms/ End Of The Road/ WALLY LEWIS: Lover Boy/ JIMMY LLOYD: Where the Rio Rosa Flows/ LONESOME LONG JOHN: Roller Long John's Flagpole Rock/ BOBBY LORD: Everybody's Rockin' But Me/ THE LOUVIN BROTHERS: Cash On The Barrelhead/ Red Hen Hop/ BOB LUMAN: All Night Long/ Blue Days, Black Nights/ Everybody's Talkin'/ Make Up Your Mind Baby/ ROSE MADDOX: Move It On Over/ My Little Baby/ THE MADDOX BROTHERS: Ugly and Slouchy/ JIMMY MANSHIP: Teenage Sweetie/ BILLY MARTIN: If It's Lovin' That You Want/ JIMMY MARTIN: Red Bobby Sox/ Rock the Bop/ SAMMY MASTERS: Flat Feet/ JOHNNY MCADAMS: Is There No Love For Me, Love?/ LUKE MCDANIEL: Whoa Boy/ SKEETS MCDONALD: Don't Push Me Too Far/ You Better Not Go/ You're There/ MIKE MILLER: Don't Mess Up My Hair/ THE MILLER SISTERS: Ten Cats Down/ THE MILO TWINS: Baby Buggie Boogie/ AVERY MONTE: Grandpa's Twist/ ROY MOSS: You're My Big Baby Now/ LONNIE MULLINS: It Was You/ JIMMY MURPHY: Sixteen Tons Rock 'n' Roll/ PETE NANTZ: Juke Box Pearl/ JIMMY NEWMAN: Bop-A-Hula/ GENE O'QUIN: Too Hot To Handle/ ART ONTARIO: Wiggie Walkin' Boogie/ ARNOLD PARKER: Find A New Woman/ RAY PARKS: You're Gonna Have To Ball, That's All/ GENE PARSON'S BAND: Night Club Rock & Roll/ BUNNY PAUL: History/ THE PEDIGO BROTHERS: She's Gone/ BOBBY PEDRICK JR.: White Bucks And Saddle Shoes/ CARL PHILLIPS: Salty Dog Blues/ PICO PETE: Hot Dog/ WEBB PIERCE: I Ain't Never/ Teenage Boogie/ JIM PIKE & THE KEPHART ROCKETS: Shaken and a Shuttern/ JOYCE POYNTER: Chili Dippin' Baby/ LYNN PRATT: Tom Cat Boogie/ RALPH PRUITT: Hey Mister Porter/ MARVIN RAINWATER: Baby Don't Go/ Hot And Cold/ Mister Blues/ WAYNE RANEY: Shake Baby Shake/ HANK RECTOR: I'm Gonna Let You Go/ JERRY REED: I'm Stuck/ Mister Whizz/ Rockin' In Baghdad/ When I Found You/ You Make It, They Take it/ BILL REEDER: Till I Waltz Again With You/ REX & HERB: Come Back Big Bertha/ SLIM RHODES: Gonna Romp and Stomp/ THE RHYTHM JESTERS: Rock To The Music/ THE RHYTHM KINGS: Billy Boy/ JAPE RICHARDSON (BIG BOPPER) & THE JAPETTS: Crazy Blues/ CHUCK RIVERS: All Alone At Night/ MARTY ROBBINS: Long Tall Sally/ Maybelline/ Mean Mama Blues/ Pretty Mama/ Tennessee Toddy/ BOBBY ROBERTS & THE BAD HABITS: Cravin'/ ROCKING MARTIN: All Because Of You/ BOBBY RUTLEDGE: Go Slow Fatso/ HENDER SAUL: I Ain't Gonna Rock Tonight/ RAY SCOTT: Boppin' Wigwam Willie/ JEAN SHEPARD: He's My Baby/ Jeopardy/ SID SILVER: Bumble Rumble/ LEE SLAUGHTERS & THE CUMBERLAND PLAYBOYS: Rock And Roll World/ CARL SMITH: Go Boy Go/ RANDY SPANGLER & THE COUNTRY CATS: Rock'n Roll Baby/ TOMMY SPURLIN: Heart Throb/ HANK SPURLING: Box Car Blues/ FRANK STARR: The Dirty Bird Song/ VERNON STEWART: Mean, Mean Baby/ LITTLE BILLY STOLTZ & THE STOLTZ BROS.: Rock And Roll Riot/ CLIFFIE STONE: Jump Rope Boogie/ THE STRIKES: I Don't Want To Cry Over You/ THE STRING BREAKERS: Big City/ JOHNNY TATE: Bop with Me Baby/ RAY TAYLOR: Clocking My Card/ AL TERRY: Watch Dog/ RUDY THACKER: Black Train/ HANK THOMPSON: A Six Pack To Go/ Deep Elem/ Lost John/ Rockin' In The Congo/ HAYDEN THOMPSON: I Love My Baby/ JUNIOR THOMPSON: Raw Deal/ TONY & JACKIE: Lamie Sunset Blues/ Lamie Wore To A Frazzel/ BUCK TRAIL: The Blues Keep Knocking/ MERLE TRAVIS: Louisiana Boogie/ Merle's Boogie Woogie/ AL URBAN: Gonna Be Better Times/ THE VAN BROTHERS: Servant Of Love/ DALE VAUGHN: High Steppin'/ JOHNNY WATSON: Come To The Party/ HUNTER WATTS: Wild Man Rock/ PENNY WEST & THE LUCKY PENNY TRIO: Needle In A Haystack/ HANK WILLIAMS: Move It On Over/ BILLY JACK WILLS: All She Wants to Do is Rock/ DON WINTERS: Pretty Moon/ BUDDY WRIGHT: You Let The Moon Break Your Heart/ SPECK & DOYLE WRIGHT: Music To My Ear/ FARON YOUNG: Alone With You/ Honey Stop/ I Can't Dance/ Last Night At A Party/ When It Rains, It Pours

VARIOUS ARTISTS Dust-To-Digital 024 Drop On Down In Florida ● CD $38.98
Two CDs, 53 tracks, 148 mins + 216 page hardbound book, essential
Another fabulous collection from those creative folks at Dust-To-Digital. The two CDs features field recordings made in Florida between 1977 and 1980 and is a significantly expanded version of a two LP set issued in 1981. The first disc is devoted to secular music and features a variety of impressive blues performers. Most of them were in their 60s at the time of these recordings except for the amazing Richard Williams who was 92 and is possibly the finest artist here with sensitive vocals accompanied by lovely guitar work, often with slide and also duets with his daughter Ella Mae on two cuts. The two also appear with half a dozen lovely religious songs on the second disc wher they are joined by Richard's wife Lillie B. 64 year old Robert Dennis is another impressive artist with a lovely delicate vocal and instrumental approach and there are a bunch of fine tracks by one string "diddley bow" player Moses Williams. The second disc is devoted to sacred music and, in addition to the aforementioned Williams family we also have singer/ guitarist Johnny Brown who does fine versions of five traditional songs. The rest of this disc is devoted to church recordings including a lining out hymn from the Miccosukee Church Of God of Prophecy plus magnificent shape note singing from the Florida-Alabama Progressive Seven-Shape-Note Singing Convention and rarely heard and wonderful black sacred harp singing from the Southeast Alabama and Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Complementing all this wonderful music is a 216 page book with 60 photographs featuring articles by some the original field researchers along with other writers include an article by David Evans on Moses Williams and his one string guitar. The articles discuss the traditions, biographies of the artists, discussion of each performance and more. A truly invaluable package. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS El Records 237 The Haunted Pad - British Instrumental Guitar Music ● CD $21.98
35 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended
This is a very, very cool collection. Popular opinion would have you believe that not much cool Rock & Roll happened between Buddy Holly's plane crashing and the Beatles invading America, especially not much out of good old England was supposed to be cool during that period. This CD however, emphatically proves that England was definitely swinging in the early '60s and a whole mess of fantastic instrumental Rock & Roll records came out by bands whose names should be a lot better known. If you dig space-age twang, haunted horror Rock, and singles that know better than to go over 2:30 min, than you will most certainly dig this set. Some of my favorites on here include: The Phantoms - Phantom Guitar, The Moontrekkers - Night of the Vampire, Judd Proctor - Palomino (probably the single most talented guitarist on here,) and Nero and the Gladiators - Entry of the Gladiators. (JM)
THE BARONS: Cossack/ Samurai/ Whirlwind/ THE CANNONS: Bush Fire/ DAVID EDE & THE RABIN ROCK: Easy Go/ THE FLEE-REKKERS: Sunday Date/ JIM GUNNER: Desperado/ THE HUNTERS: How's 'Em Chicks/ Teen Scene/ THE KREW KATS: Jack's Good/ Trambone/ THE MOONTREKKERS: Night Of The Vampire/ NERO AND THE GLADIATORS: Entry Of The Gladiators/ Hall Of The Mountain King/ THE OUTLAWS: Indian Brave/ Valley Of The Sioux/ THE PACKABEATS: Big Man/ Gypsy Beat/ THE PHANTOMS: Eldorado/ Phantom Guitar/ JUDD PROCTOR: Nola/ Palamino/ THE SCORPIONS: Rockin' At The Phil'/ RHET STOLLER: Chariot/ THE SUNSETS: Manhunt/ TED TAYLOR FOUR: Canyon/ Cat's Eyes/ Flyover/ M1/ The Haunted Pad/ THE TOM CATS: Tom Tom Cat/ THE VIGILANTES: Man In Space/ THE VOLCANOS: Theme From 'Tightrope'/ BERT WEEDON: Ghost Train

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 121 Jazz Noire - Darktown Sleaze From The Mean Streets Of Los Angeles ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 152 mins, very highly recommended
I've been dying for a collection like this for a long time; one full of great Jazz themes to 1940's and '50s Noir films and cool Jazz & R&B that the great characters in those movies would have hypothetically been listening to while they did their sordid deeds. You get big brassy horns backing big brassy dames, cool cats singing about shady deals, tracks that are so smoky they make your eyes water, so cool you need to put on a sweater. The highlights are far too many to mention, but some of my favorites include: Johnny Otis - Harlem Nocturne, Jimmy Witherspoon - Skid Row Blues, Amos Milburn - Money Hustlin' Woman, Baron Mingus & His Octet - This Subdues My Passion, themes from "The Killers," "Double Indemnity," and "High Sierra," plus Charlie Parker, Billy Holliday, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynonnie Harris, T-bone Walker, Percy Mayfield, Julia Lee, etc., etc. Cool Noir packaging, deep notes, this is pretty much the perfect stocking stuffer for any street hood, gun moll, crooked cop, or doomed lavers that might be on your naughty list this year. (JM)
CHARLES BROWN TRIO: How High The Moon/ WINI BROWN WITH LIONEL HAMPTON & HIS ORCH.: Gone Again/ CAB CALLOWAY & HIS ORCH.: San Francisco Fan/ KING COLE TRIO: Blues In My Shower/ Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good To You?/ ADOLPH DEUTSCH: Theme from "High Sierra" (1941)/ BILLY ECKSTINE & HIS ORCH.: Jelly Jelly/ Prisoner Of Love/ ELLA FITZGERALD: I'm Just A Lucky So-And-So/ DIZZY GILLESPIE SEXTET: All The Things You Are/ LIONEL HAMPTON & HIS ORCH.: Midnight Sun/ WYNONIE 'MR BLUES' HARRIS & HIS ALL-STARS: Whiskey And Jelly-Roll Blues/ AL HIBBLER: I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)/ BILLIE HOLIDAY: Don't Explain/ Good Morning Heartache/ No Good Man/ Billie's Blues/ HELEN HUMES WITH BUCK CLAYTON & HIS ORCH.: Blue And Sentimental/ ILLINOIS JACQUET & HIS ALL STARS: Goofin' Off/ BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCH.: Far Cry/ If I Ever Find You, Baby/ ELLA JOHNSON WITH BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCH.: Since I Fell For You/ ELLA JOHNSON WITH BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCHEST: You Can't Tell Who's Lovin' Who/ ETTA JONES WITH JC HEARD & HIS ORCH.: I Sold My Heart To The Junkman/ ETTA JONES WITH LUTHER HENDERSON & HIS ORCH.: What Ev'ry Woman Knows/ LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY FIVE: Why'd You Do It, Baby?/ JULIA LEE: Marijuana/ NELLIE LUTCHER & HER RHYTHM: Fine And Mellow/ PERCY MAYFIELD WITH MONROE TUCKER & HIS ORCH.: Leary Blues/ AMOS MILBURN: Money Hustlin' Woman/ BARON MINGUS & HIS OCTET: This Subdues My Passion/ THELONIOUS MONK QUINTET: 'Round About Midnight/ ALFRED NEWMAN: Theme from "Cry Of The City" (1948)/ JOHNNY OTIS, HIS DRUMS & HIS ORCH.: Harlem Nocturne/ CHARLIE PARKER: Lover Man/ Dark Shadows/ LEO PARKER'S ALL STARS: Solitude/ ARTHUR PRYSOCK WITH BUDDY JOHNSON & HIS ORCH.: I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone/ Serves Me Right/ ALICE ROBERTS WITH DIZZY GILLESPIE & HIS ORCH.: Good Dues Blues/ MIKLOS ROZSA: Theme From "The Killers" (1946)/ Theme from "Double Indemnity" (1944)/ CLAUDE TRENIER WITH CHARLES MINGUS SEXTETTE: Weird Nightmare/ SARAH VAUGHAN WITH DIZZY GILLESPIE & HIS ORCH.: Interlude/ T-BONE WALKER & HIS GUITAR: Call It Stormy Monday/ DINAH WASHINGTON WITH DAVE YOUNG & HIS ORCH.: You Satisfy/ DINAH WASHINGTON WITH LUCKY THOMPSON'S ALL STA: Pacific Coast Blues/ CROWN PRINCE WATERFORD: LA Blues/ JIMMY WITHERSPOON WITH JAY MCSHANN & HIS ORCH.: Skid Row Blues/ LESTER YOUNG & HIS SEXTET: No Eyes Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 145 It's Saturday Night! Starday-Dixie Rockabilly, 1955-196 ● CD $22.98 $17.98
Three CDs, 103 tracks, highly recommended
Outside of Sun, Starday Records of Houston had, probably, the best catalogue of hard core rockabilly. Like Sun, many of the artists were young rural performers bursting with creative energy which found its outlet in rockabilly. There have been a number of collections of Starday rockabilly, this one is the most extensive with 103 tracks spread over three CDs featuring sides recorded for Starday and its affiliated Dixie label. Lots of great, hard driving music from the likes of Sonny Fisher, Bill Mack, Thumper Jones (George Jones's excursion into rockabilly), Rudy Grayzell, Link Davis, Fred Crawford, Amos Como & His Tune Toppers, Lucky Wray (Link's brother), Sleepy LaBeff, Hal Harris, Cliff Blakely, Truitt Forse, Jape Richard (the first recording of The Big Bopper), Benny Joy, Derrell Felts, Groovy Joe Poovey and many more. Excellent sound and informative notes by Dave Penny in 16 page booklet. (FS)
GLENN BARBER: Feeling No Pain/ Shadow My Baby/ BENNY BARNES: You Gotta Pay/ BILL & CARROLL: Feel So Good/ CLIFF BLAKLEY: Get Off My Toe/ High Steppin'/ Want To Be With You/ CECIL BOWMAN: Blues Around My Door/ DOUG BRAGG: Pretty Little Thing/ BILL BROWNING: Don't Push-Don't Shove/ ART BUCHANAN: Queen From Bowling Green/ AMOS COMO: Hole In The Wall/ FRED CRAWFORD: Can't Live With 'Em/ Rock Candy Rock/ LINK DAVIS: Don't Big Shot Me/ Grasshopper Rock/ Sixteen Chicks/ Trucker From Tennessee/ THE DAVIS TWINS & SLEEPY JEFFERS: Pretending Is A Game/ BOB DOSS: Don't Be Gone Long/ CONNIE DYCUS: I Could Shoot Myself/ DERRELL FELTS: Playmates/ The Weepers/ SONNY FISHER: Hey Mamma/ Hold Me Baby/ I Can't Lose/ Pink And Black/ Rockin' And A Rollin'/ Rockin' Daddy/ Sneaky Pete/ ROCKY BILL FORD: Have You Seen Mabel/ Mad Dog In Town/ TRUITT FORSE: Chicken Bop/ Doggone Dame/ JAY GALLEGHER: Crazy Legs/ THE GENTRY BROTHERS: Swanky/ RUDY GRAYZELL: Duck Tail/ Jig-Ga-Lee-Ga/ Let's Get Wild/ You're Gone/ KEN HAMMOCK: Blue Guitar Jump/ JERRY HANSON: I'm Doing All Right/ HAL HARRIS: I Don't Know When/ Jitterbop Baby/ ALDEN HOLLOWAY: Blast Off/ Loving Is My Business/ Swinging The Rock/ ORANGIE RAY HUBBARD: Sweet Love/ RAY HUDSON: The Blues Walked Away/ DEE JOHNSON: Just Look, Don't Touch/ JIMMY JOHNSON: All Dressed Up/ Woman Love/ THUMPER JONES: How Come It/ Rock It/ BENNY JOY: Spin The Bottle/ Steady With Betty/ SLEEPY LABEFF: All The Time/ I Ain't Gonna Take It/ I'm Through/ Little Bit More/ JIMMIE LEE: Three Little Wishes/ BILL MACK: Cat Just Got In Town/ Fat Woman/ It's Saturday Night/ Kitty Kat/ HOWARD MAYBERRY: This Just Can't Be Puppy Love/ LLOYD MCCOLLOUGH: Half My Fault/ FRANKIE MILLER: True Blue/ LATTIE MOORE: Why Did You Lie To Me/ TOMMY NELSON: Hobo Bop/ Honey Moon Blues/ LARRY NOLEN: King Of The Ducktail Cats/ ART ONTARIO: It Must Be Me/ ARNOLD PARKER: Find A New Woman/ PAT & DEE: Don't Tease Me/ Gee Whiz/ HAL PAYNE: Honky Tonk Stomp/ PETE PETERS: Dizzy/ Rockin' N' My Sweet Baby's arms/ GROOVE JOE POOVEY: Ten Long Fingers/ JOE POOVEY: Careful Baby/ Move Around/ MEL PRICE: Little Dog Blues/ THE RAINDROPS: I Don't Want A Sweetheart/ EDDIE REYNOLDS: Wrangler/ JAPE RICHARDSON: Crazy Blues/ ROCKING MARTIN: All Because Of You/ ROCK ROGERS: Little Rock Rock/ That Ain't It/ AL RUNYON: Baby Please Come Home/ J.C. SAWYER: Goin' Steppin'/ HOYT SCOGGINS: Tennessee Rock/ BUDDY SHAW: Don't Sweep That Dirt On Me/ EDDIE SKELTON: Keep It Swinging/ CARL TRANTHAM: Deedle Deedle Dum/ LOU WALKER: Little Bitty Man/ Rock And Roll/ SLIM WATTS: Tu-La-Lou/ FUZZY WHITENER: Sugar Buggar/ THE WILLIAMS BROTHERS: Ali-Baba/ BILL WILLIS: Boogie Woogie All Night/ LUCKY WRAY: Got Another Baby/ Teenage Cutie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 146 Roots Of British Beat ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 50 tracks, 128 mins, recommended
Here's a great assemblage of classic tunes that inspired all those British hep cats way back when. This has the best of the best, what drove the Beat for the Beatles, got The Stones rolling and helped make the Kinks kinky. Now, if based solely on the greatness of the music herein, this would get an essential review, as this has some of the best Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll ever made: Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly, Barrett Strong - Money, Buddy Holly- True Love Ways, The Coasters - Poison Ivy, Howlin' Wolf - The Red Rooster, etc., which if you don't have a collection like that, you certainly should pick this up. The problem is: if you are a regular customer of ours, you definitely have a lot of these classics. So, for you, the main selling point on this would be the smaller number of lesser-compiled tracks like: The Crickets- Someone, Someone, Don & Bob - Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl, JD Loudermilk - Tobacco Road, Johnny Love - Chills & Fever, and Bobby Day - Over And Over (probably best known for it's Dave Clark Five Version.) I do have a one more selling point, and the one made me go ahead and pick up a copy of this for myself: the mastering job on this CD is just fantastic. I'm not sure what source material they were using for this, but from start to finish the sound is just incredible; if they aren't from original masters, they sure sound as good as I have heard without, because each song just sparkles and soars out of my speakers. So maybe if you are looking to get something to whet the appetite of a younger music fan, then this would be perfect. (JM)
ARTHUR ALEXANDER: A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues/ LAVERN BAKER: Bumble Bee/ CHUCK BERRY: Bye Bye Johnny/ Memphis, Tennessee/ Reelin And Rocking/ GARY U.S. BONDS: New Orleans/ RAY CHARLES: My Bonnie/ What'd I Say/ THE CLOVERS: Love Potion No. 9/ THE COASTERS: (Ain't That) Just Like Me/ Poison Ivy/ Searchin'/ SAM COOKE: Wonderful World/ THE CRICKETS: Not Fade Away/ Someone, Someone/ BOBBY DARIN: I'll Be There/ BOBBY DAY: Over And Over/ Rockin Robin/ BO DIDDLEY: I'm A Man/ FATS DOMINO: My Girl Josephine/ No, No/ DON & BOB: Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl/ LEE DORSEY: Ya Ya/ THE DRIFTERS: Please Stay/ Sweets For My Sweet/ SLIM HARPO: Don't Start Cryin' Now/ SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: I Put A Spell On You/ BUDDY HOLLY: True Love Ways/ HOWLIN' WOLF: The Red Rooster/ THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Shout (Part 1)/ CHRIS KENNER: I Like It Like That, Part 1/ BEN E. KING: Spanish Harlem/ BRENDA LEE: Sweet Nothin's/ LITTLE RICHARD: Good Golly, Miss Molly/ JOHN D. LOUDERMILK: Tobacco Road/ JOHNNY LOVE: Chills And Fever/ ROY ORBISON: Candy Man/ CARL PERKINS: Honey, Don t!/ ELVIS PRESLEY: My Baby Left Me/ PRINCE LA LA: She Put The Hurt On Me/ THE RAYS: Silhouettes/ CHAN ROMERO: The Hippy Hippy Shake/ THE SHIRELLES: Boys/ BARRETT STRONG: Money (That's What I Want)/ HANK THOMPSON: The Wild Side Of Life/ GENE VINCENT: Ain't She Sweet/ You'll Never Walk Alone/ MARY WELLS: Bye Bye Baby/ LARRY WILLIAMS: Slow Down/ MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS: Stay

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 148 Drink Up, Light Up - Jazz Noir Tales Of Dope, Booze & Sleaze ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 55 tracks, 152 mins, highly recommended
This is a sequel to the great "Jazz Noir" collection that the same label put out recently. That fist comp is overall a bit better, with more rare tracks, but there's plenty here to enjoy as well. Concentrating on dope, booze and sleaze, this isn't lacking for cool tunes, its just the main drawback for this is the inclusion of a big chunk of songs that have been on one out of two other collections of risqué songs pretty much ever since they starting putting together collections of 'risqu‚ songs. So if you don't have Cab Calloway's most lurid songs, Harry The Hipster Gibson's Who Put The Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine, The Ink Spots That Cat Is High, etc., then this is a great place to get them. For the rest of you who have had those tracks for years, the other half still probably makes it worth picking up, with rarer tracks like Barney Bigard - Sweet Marijuana Brown, Jo Jo Adams -"When I Am In My Tea,, King Perry - Vaccinate Me Baby, and themes to Noir classics like Wild Weed, D.O.A., and Reefer Madness. So, it's a cool comp, no matter how you slice it, also featuring great Noir design, fun liner notes and fantastic sound. (JM)
JO JO ADAMS: When I'm In My Tea/ NELSON ALEXANDER: Drink Up - Light Up/ ERNIE ANDREWS: Green Gin/ TOM ARCHIA: Whiskey Blues (aka Downfall Blues)/ BUDDY BANKS: I Need It Bad (Groove Juice)/ BLUE LU BARKER: Buy Me Some Juice/ BUSTER BENNETT: Reefer Head Woman/ ELMER BERNSTEIN: The Man With The Golden Arm (1955 film intro)/ BARNEY BIGARD: Sweet Marijuana Brown/ EARL BOSTIC: I Got Loaded/ CALVIN BOZE: Stinkin' From Drinkin'/ WALTER BROWN: Sloppy Drunk/ MILT BUCKNER: Red, Red Wine/ CAB CALLOWAY: Reefer Man/ The Man From Harlem/ THE CATS AND THE FIDDLE: Killin' Jive/ THE FOUR CLEFS: When I'm Low, I Get High/ PEE WEE CRAYTON: Win-o/ MAXWELL DAVIS: D.O.A. (The Fisherman sequence 1950 film)/ THE FIVE KEYS: Serve Another Round/ HARRY "THE HIPSTER" GIBSON: Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs Murphy's Ovaltine/ WARDELL GRAY: Stoned/ WYNONIE HARRIS: Drinking Blues/ HELEN HUMES: Knockin' Myself Out/ THE INK SPOTS: That Cat Is High/ BULL MOOSE JACKSON: I Know Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well!/ Sneaky Pete/ CEE PEE JOHNSON: The G Man Got The T Man/ RAOUL KRAUSHAAR: Wild Weed (1949 film intro)/ JOE LIGGINS: Whiskey, Gin And Wine/ LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Goofy Dust Blues/ JIMMY MCCRACKLIN: Rock And Rye/ JAY MCSHANN: Bar Fly Blues/ Hootie's Ignorant Oil/ JACK MCVEA: Wine-O/ ABE MEYER: Reefer Madness (1936 film close)/ JOHNNY MOORE'S THREE BLAZERS: Snuff Dippin' Mama/ MR GOOGLE EYES: No Wine, No Women/ HOT LIPS PAGE: Thirsty Mama Blues/ KING PERRY: Vaccinate Me, Baby/ GENE PHILLIPS: Stinkin' Drunk/ DOC POMUS: My Good Pott/ SAM PRICE: Lead Me, Daddy, Straight To The Bar/ GENE "HONEY BEAR" SEDRIC: Port Wine Blues/ STUFF SMITH: Here Comes The Man With The Jive/ DIMITRI TIOMKIN: D.O.A. (1950 film intro)/ PEARL TRAYLOR: Jive I Like/ BILLY VALENTINE: Beer Drinkin' Baby/ SARAH VAUGHAN: You Go To My Head/ EDDIE "CLEANHEAD VINSON: When I Get Drunk/ DINAH WASHINGTON: Joy Juice/ Juice Head Man Of Mine/ DOC WHEELER: Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well?/ COOTIE WILLIAMS: I Should O' Been Thinkin' Instead Of Drinkin'/ Juice Head Baby

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fire 503 N.Y. On Fire, Vol. 3 ● CD $16.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Another great collection of rocking blues and R&B drawn from labels run by New York entrepreneur Bobby Robinson including Fire, Fury, Fling and others and concentrating on titles that have not previously been on CD. The disc opens with the storming Can She Give Me Fever by Little Junior Lewis with a hot guitar solo which sounds very much like Ike Turner. And for guitar fans I'm almost certain that the guitar playing on Bobby Davis's fabulous Going Down To New Orleans and Emmett Davis's You Changed My Night Into Day is the great New York session man Jimmy Spruill. There are several outstanding female vocalists here including the mysterious Mary "B", Linda Martell and Janet Calloway. There are two fine sides from the great New Orleans band The Upsetters (formerly Little Richard's backing group) - the hard driving instrumental Jaywalking and the tough vocal Steppin' Out. Other fine artists include The Drapers, Titus Turner, Bobby Long (his The Pleasure Is All Mine also has hot guitar but it doesn't sound like any of the usual suspects), The Jesse Powell Orch., etc). Excellent sound and the booklet continues the notes from the first two volumes. Another winner! (FS)
MARY 'B': Something For You, Baby/ CHUCK BRADFORD: Wherever You Are/ JANET CALLOWAY: Lovers Prayer/ LITTLE JOE COOK: This I Know/ EMMETT DAVIS: I Know Where I Went Wrong/ You Changed My Night Into Day/ BOBBY DAVIS & THE RHYTHM ROCKERS: Going Down To New Orleans/ Tell Me Baby (What You're Trying To Do To Me)/ THE DRAPERS: Baby, One More Time/ Best Love/ BILLY LEWIS: Heart Trouble/ LITTLE JUNIOR LEWIS: Can She Give Me Fever/ Your Heart Must Be Made Of Stone/ BOBBY LONG: Ooh Poo Pah Doo/ The Pleasure Is All Mine/ LINDA MARTELL & THE ANGLOS: A Little Tear (Was Falling From My Eyes)/ JESSE POWELL ORCH.: Kingfish Rock/ BUDDY SKIPPER: No More Doggin'/ The Clock/ BOBBY SOUL: Best I Can/ I'm Gonna Make A Change/ TITUS TURNER: My Darkest Hour/ THE UPSETTERS: Jaywalking/ Steppin' Out/ NOBLE WATTS & JUNE BATEMAN: What Ya Gonna Do

VARIOUS ARTISTS Old Hat 1009 CLuck Old Hen ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 72 min., essential
 The folks at Old Hat Records don't release many albums, but when they do, it's a reason to smile. The unifying concept here is, of course, chickens. In less adept hands, the project might result in songs with the word "chicken" in them regardless of their quality. In this case, every track is pleasure. Sometimes the chicken in question is an actual chicken, as often it's figurative, as in the somewhat graphic Gene Autry song Stay Away From My Chicken House, in which "chicken" means young woman--a meaning that goes back hundreds of years. One suspects more unsavory chicken references in Teddy Bunn and Spencer Williams' oddly compelling opus The Chicken And The Worm. Sweet Papa Stovepipe's All Birds Look Like Chicken To Me also seems to be about anything but chicken. Sound quality is generally excellent, especially considering the age and rarity of these tracks. Other artists include Casey Bill, Dixieland Jug Blowers, Leake County Revelers, Six Jumping Jacks, the charmingly named Binkley Brothers Dixie Clodhoppers, and many more. The booklet includes a some cool photos, the finest of which is of an elementary school play in Germany in 1929 where seven girls are dressed as chickens and one as a rooster. None of the chickens looks the slightest bit happy and one is holding a ukulele. One of the 10 best releases in 2012. (JC)
GENE AUTRY: Stay Away From My Chicken House/ THE BEALE STREET SHEIKS: Chicken You Can Roost Behind The Moon/ THE BINKLEY BROTHERS DIXIE CLODHOPPERS: I'll Rise When The Rooster Crows/ TEDDY BUNN & SPENCER WILLIAMS: The Chicken And The Worm/ CLIFF CARLISLE: It Takes The Old Hen To Deliver The Goods/ THE CAROLINA RAMBLERS STRING BAND: Barnyard Frolic/ CASEY BILL: Rooster Blues/ THE DIXIELAND JUG BLOWERS: Hen Party Blues/ GEORGE EDGIN’S CORN DODGERS: Corn Dodger No. 1 Special/ THE GEORGIA BROWNS: Whole Stole De Lock?/ GRAYSON & WHITTER: Cluck Old Hen/ HONEYBOY & SASSAFRAS: The Chicken Sermon/ PEG LEG HOWELL & EDDIE ANTHONY: Turkey Buzzard Blues/ J.O. LAMADELEINE: Chicken Reel/ THE LEAKE COUNTY REVELERS: Crow Black Chicken/ JOHN & EMERY MCCLUNG: Chicken/ EARL MCDONALD’S ORIGINAL LOUISVILLE JUG BAND: Under The Chicken Tree/ MUSTARD & GRAVY (DIXIE’S TASTIEST COMBIN: Rooster On The Limb/ RILEY PUCKETT: Riley's Hen-House Door/ WALTER RHODES WITH "PET" AND "CAN": The Crowing Rooster/ THE SIX JUMPING JACKS: There's A Trick In Pickin' A Chick-Chick-Chicken/ SWEET PAPA STOVEPIPE: All Birds Look Like Chicken To Me/ THE TUNE WRANGLERS: Chicken Reel Stomp/ THE UTICA INSTITUTE JUBILEE SINGERS: Chicken

HOP WILSON Ace CDCHD 240 Steel Guitar Flash ● CD $18.98
29 tracks, 74 min., recommended
Back in stock. The digital reissue of Ace's earlier LP 260, which featured cuts from the Ivory and Trey labels, with the addition of several Goldband tracks from the late 50's, all featuring this solid but relatively little known Houston bluesman. Noted for playing the traditional self-standing Hawaiian steel guitar, Wilson's work is somewhat reminiscent of Elmore James. The now generous play list includes My Woman Has a Black Cat Bone/ I Ain't Got No Woman/ Merry Christmas Darling/ Rockin' in the Coconut Top/ You Don't Move Me Anymore/ I Done Got Over/ I Met a Strange Woman, and Rockin' with Hop. Featured vocalists, in addition to Wilson himself, include Ivory Lee Semien, Fenton Robinson, and Larry Davis. A solid and satisfying production, with notes by Ray Topping and a fine cover shot of the artist. (DH)

AUSTIN WOOD B.A.C.M. 391 And His Missouri Swingsters ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 64 min., very highly recommended
Wood is an obscure, blind country artist who ran created his own label (Sure Records) in 1950 primarily as an outlet for his own work. He also recorded sometimes as "The Singing Milkman" because his family owned a Dairy Farm. If none of this sounds particularly encouraging, fear not. Nearly every track is a winner, from the vocal harmony of Tellin' My Troubles To My Old Guitar, to the instrumental fiddle workout of Grey Eagle, to the swing of Faded Love to the gospel goodness of A Purpose And A Plan and beyond. Even his foray into rockabilly (So Let's Rock), which surely was not his idea, comes off with remarkable flair. Dottie Minor contributes lead vocals on Headin' Home and Cold Cold War With You, in which the metaphor of the Cold War (including a reference to the Iron Curtain!) is applied to romance, of course. Thanks to the British Archive of Country Music, a big chunk of Austin Wood's work is available again. Here's hoping for a second volume. (JC)
AUSTIN WOOD & HIS MISSOURI SWINGSTERS: A Purpose And A Plan/ Baby How Come/ Cold Cold War With You/ Don't Bring Your Broken Heart To Me/ Everybody's Sweetheart To You/ Faded Love/ Farewell Blues (instro)/ Give Me A Little More Time/ Grey Eagle (instro)/ Headin' Home/ I Just Kneel Down And Pray/ I Love For You/ I Will Still Remember Why You Try To Forget/ It's My Heart That Knows/ Maiden's Prayer (instro)/ Night Train To Memphis/ So Let's Rock/ Somebody Else's Troubes/ Sweet Temptation/ Tear Drops On My Old Guitar/ Tellin' My Troubles To My Old Guitar/ There's A Big Rock In The Road/ Truck Driver's Night Run Blues/ What They're Saying In The Old Home Town/ When My Baby Comes Home/ You Can Play Your Little Game Around The Corner

JOHNNY YOUNG Testament TCD 5003 Johnny Young & His Friends ● CD $11.98 $7.98
18 tracks, 55 min., recommended
Out of print - last few copies.
Reissue of Testament 2226, comprising an assortment of "informal" mid-sixties recordings featuring Little Walter, Otis Spann, Robert Nighthawk and others. Young was part of the southern migration that fueled post-war Chicago, but lacked the frontman qualities and vocal talents of his influential companions Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters. As a result he is remembered mostly as a respected accompanist who never lost his rural string band roots. Young's mandolin playing is his most distinguished feature, heard to good effect in the crisply recorded small group settings of Sugar Farm Blues/ Kid Man Blues and the unissued Bumble Bee. His solo performances of Want My Lovin'/ My Home Ain't Here are also memorable for their assured, chugging acoustic guitar and convincing vocals. The full band cuts rock, but are not always distinct in sound or style. Still there are plenty of chances to enjoy the all-star sidemen, particularly Little Walter, who steals the show on I'm Leaving Baby. (MB)


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