Monday, February 22, 2021

It Has Been Fun!

 By now most of you have surmised that this place is essentially closed. It was a helluve a run and I had a lot of fun. Met some good friends whom I am still in touch with, but I don't see continuing this project. I built something here that became impossible to maintain... too many links, too much upload space, too many re-up requests (more than 20 a week and everyone wants the big sets) - it just isn't possible to continue this. Thanks to everyone who made this special - you can still pop in and see me at The King Cake Crypt redux (, or one of the two new projects Kingston to Rio or Casablanca to Capetown. That's all folks!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Chitlin Circuit

"The "Chitlin' Circuit," like "Tin Pan Alley" and "Motown" and other legendary music locations, is both a real and symbolic term for the on-and-off-again venues--shoebox-sized bars, clubs, cafes and increasingly in the 21st century, casinos-- that support traditional rhythm and blues in a tenuous but tenacious thread through America's mostly rural (or low-profile urban) Bible Belt." Daddy B. Nice

" A circuit of nightclubs and theaters that feature African-American performers and cater especially to African-American audiences.

When Jim Crow and segregation were even more prominent in the United States, the Negro race, freed through emancipation, did not have equal access to public “White Only” places. The Chitlin’ Circuit - a connected string of music venues, diners, juke joints, and theaters throughout the eastern and southern United States that catered primarily to African American audiences was created.

The Chitlin’ Circit was the only option for touring Black entertainers such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Ike and Tina Turner, B. B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, T.D. Bell and the Blues Specialists, Roosevelt "Gray Ghost" Williams, Eubie Blake, Robert Shaw, Big Joe Williams and many others begin touring in an effort to “eek” out a living when Jim Crow and segregation was even more prominent in the United States.

Historically, Baltimore was the first city on the Chitlin' Circuit. The Chitlin’ Circuit stretched through the South, bending Westward throughout Texas, extending Eastward on through Chicago, offering continuous opportunities for black entertainers." Urban Dictionary

"The "Chitlin' Circuit" is the collective name given to the string of performance venues throughout the eastern and southern United States that were safe and acceptable for African-American musicians, comedians, and other entertainers to perform in during the age of racial segregation in the United States (from at least the early 19th century through the 1960s) as well as the venues that contemporary African American soul and blues performers, especially in the South, continue to appear at regularly. The name derives from the soul food item chitterlings (stewed pig intestines) and is also a play on the term "Borscht belt" which referred to a group of venues (primarily in New York's Catskill Mountains) popular with Jewish performers during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

Noted theaters on the Chitlin' Circuit included the Royal Peacock in Atlanta; the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama; the Cotton Club, Small's Paradise and the Apollo Theater in New York City; Robert's Show Lounge, Club DeLisa and the Regal Theatre in Chicago; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.; the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia; the Royal Theatre in Baltimore; the Fox Theatre in Detroit; the Victory Grill in Austin, Texas; the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; the Ritz Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida; and The Madame C. J. Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis.

The second historic marker designated by the Mississippi Blues Commission on the Mississippi Blues Trail was placed in front of the Southern Whispers Restaurant on Nelson Street in Greenville, Mississippi, a stop on the Chitlin' Circuit in the early days of the blues. The marker commemorates the importance of this site in the history of the development of the blues in Mississippi. In the 1940s and 1950s, this historic strip drew crowds to the flourishing club scene to hear Delta blues, big band jump blues and jazz." wikipedia

Much love to Wikipedia on this project, they have saved enormous amounts of time for me and most of what I've found so far is pretty informative and reasonably accurate. Believe me, I'll cheerfully point out where they got it wrong and do my own writing where necessary but the point of an encyclopedia is a place to cite information from and in this function they have been invaluable. On the music side I am deeply indebted to "Unky Cliff" for a huge portion of what appears here and for the books I am educating myself with as well. My morning discussions with him will often filter into the blog. The files here that do not come from actual rips or itunes, likely originated on other blogs through the years, thanks to all of them as well, your generosity to me is being passed on.  kc 

Shares and Requests

Here is a place to drop both your own shares and requests for shares in a central place everyone can check - you know how this works by now.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Various Artists - Christmas In Soulsville (Stax Comp 2007)

Merry Christmas to all = If you're feeling cynical...Read 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens (celebrating its 175 year anniversary)...or watch one of the many films (my favourite is 'Scrooge' from 1951) ...Meanwhile enjoy some classic soulful blues - Cheers Gus 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Desmond Dekker - The Writing On The Wall

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"Before Bob Marley, before even Jimmy Cliff, there was Desmond Dekker, the self-styled original rude boy who with his 1968 international hit "Israelites" put Jamaica and its skewed, unique, upside-down take on pop music firmly on the map. Unfortunately, "Israelites" is not included in this set of early Dekker sides recorded between 1963 and 1970, and neither is the enduring "007 (Shanty Town)," so this isn't the first place for casual listeners to sample Dekker's work, but it is a nice look at his early ska sides, including "Honour Your Mother and Father" from 1963, the Jimmy Cliff-like "I Believe," and the loopy but infectious "Mother Pepper." Also worth noting is "I've Got the Blues" where the normally sweet-toned Dekker roughs things up a bit and turns himself into a pretty convincing soul shouter."


Delroy Wilson - Cool Operator

"Regarded as the first Jamaican child singing star, Delroy George Wilson was born on October 5, 1948. Wilson began his recording career at the age of 13 while still a student at Boy’s Town Primary School. Barely out of short pants, he recorded his first single, ”Emmy Lou”, for Producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. His early years with Dodd yielded a number of ska hits, the biggest of which was the Lee Perry- penned “Joe Liges”, an attack on rival producer and former Dodd artist, Prince Buster. Wilson later followed up with “Spit in the Sky”, yet another lyrical attack on Buster. But it didn’t stop there, Wilson went on to record:
  • One, Two, Three
  • I Shall Not Remove
  • Look who is Back (Duet with Sun Smith)
  • Prince Pharaoh (the only recording featuring Coxsone)
It was in the mid 60’s when Wilson’s voice began to mature and as he left his teenage years behind that he began to transition from ska to rocksteady. This would be his peak production period. His songs included one of the first rocksteady hit records, “Dancing Mood”, and also Jerking Time, Feel Good All Over, I’m not a King, True Believer in Love, Rain from the Skies, Conquer Me, and Won’t You Come Home”, a duet with Ken Boothe. His hit with Boothe went on to become one of the most versioned tracks ever.
Wilson left Studio One and recorded tracks for other labels before him and his fellow artists created their own “D&C” label in 1972. Under this label he recorded the song “Better Must Come”, a song that was later used as the People’s National Party political slogan and campaign song. This same year Wilson recorded the hit “Cool Operator”, which later became his nickname.
It was in 1976 that Wilson recorded “I’m Still Waiting”, which met with some crossover success. This was followed by “Last Thing on My Mind”, which sailed up the Jamaican music charts to occupy the #1 spot.
In his later life, Wilson drifted in and out of the limelight. He eventually died on March 6, 1995, due to complications of liver disease. He will always be remembered for his earlier works. His son Karl “Konan” Wilson is carrying on his legacy to this day." Exquisite Soul 


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Bob Andy - Retrospective

As a founding member of the Paragons, Bob Andy began his musical career at Studio One, and it was from there that he launched himself as a solo singer. Coxsone Dodd bundled up the best of these early cuts for Andy's Song Book album, and thus Retrospective looks mostly beyond his work at Studio One. However, two songs are drawn from the Dodd era -- 1968's bubbly sufferer's song "Let Them Stay" and the 1970 romantic masterpiece "Desperate Lover," later covered by Taj Mahal. By the time that latter 45 hit the shops, Andy had already linked with Marcia Griffiths, with the duo storming across the Jamaican charts and up the U.K. listings with a stream of pop and reggae-lite singles. Simultaneously, Andy was penning more hits for a solo Griffiths, as well as for himself. Although the more pop-flecked John Holt was responsible for the bulk of the Paragons' hits, Andy was arguably the better songwriter. One of his best was "You Don't Know," an extraordinarily poignant, cultural number, that elegantly presented both believers' and outsiders' views of Rastafarians. Andy revisited this on the infectious "Nyah," but then strictly from the believer's viewpoint. An eloquent discourse on getting the most out of "Life" is just as strong, as is "Fire Burning," one of the most unusual apocalyptic numbers ever recorded, a sublime pop piece that gives a gentle musical but vivid lyrical warning of the coming Armageddon. "Life" was produced by Harry Johnson and "Fire" by Lloyd Charmers, while Andy himself oversaw "You Don't Know." All three come from the first half of the '70s, the period from which virtually this entire set was drawn. From stunning cultural numbers -- "Hell a Go Broke Loose" is also worth noting -- to emotive romantic pieces, and across uplifting messages, like the show-stopping "Too Proud to Beg" to sound system rousers, Retrospective proudly showcases Andy at his most magnificent. With his unforgettable lyrics and his superb performances, Andy was an absolute phenomenon during this era, and this set is the ultimate proof of that.


Beres Hammond - Love Affair & Collectors Series

One of the most under-appreciated reggae artists of his time, Beres Hammond was something of a throwback during his '90s heyday: a soulful crooner indebted to classic rocksteady and American R&B, one who preferred live instrumentation and wrote much of his own material. Hammond specialized in romantic lovers rock, but he also found time to delve into light dancehall, conscious roots reggae, hip-hop fusion, and straight-up contemporary R&B. He was born Hugh Beresford Hammond on August 28, 1955, in Annotto Bay, in the Jamaican province of St. Mary. Hammond grew up listening to his father's collection of American R&B (Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, etc.) and jazz, and also fell in love with native Jamaican music during the ska and rocksteady eras; his primary influence was Alton Ellis, and he also listened to the likes of Peter Tosh, the Heptones, and Ken Boothe.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Cocoa Tea - Israel's King


Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke - Gussie Presenting the Right Tracks, Disc 1 & 2

VP Records and 17 North Parade present “The Right Tracks” a newly compiled, 40 re-mastered track set chronicling the work of Producer Augustus “Gussie” Clarke. In some of his earliest work (featured here), Gussie Clarke has shown his distinctive talent and created a rich legacy in music that continues to resonate decades later.
The 2 CD package features collectable ‘Gussie’ productions from the 1970s and is a true parade of Jamaican greats with: Horace Andy, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Augustus Pablo, Leroy Smart Jacob Miller and more.

The Right Track – Tommy McCook
Guiding Star – Leroy Sibbles
Scorch Special – Simplicity People
Gussie Special – Simplicity People
Classical Illusion (12” Version) – Augustus Pablo
Oh No I Can’t Believe – Gregory Isaacs
Believe A Dub – Augustus Pablo
Love You To Want Me – Horace Andy
Girl Don’t Come – Jacob Miller
Lying Lips – Leroy Smart
Schnectady’s Shock – Simplicity People
Logan Street Rock – Simplicity People
How Can I Love Someone – Delroy Wilson
Delilah – Horace Andy
Born To Love You – The Heptones
Born To Dub You – Augustus Pablo
Born To Dub You Pt. 2 – Simplicity People
Their Own Way – Dennis Brown
Pride And Ambition – Leroy Smart
Pride Version – Old Boys Inc.
Try Me – Roman Stewart
Leggo Beast – I Roy
Rhythm Style – Simplicity People
Stardom – Augustus Pablo
No, No, No – Leroy Sibbles
Magnificent Seven – I Roy
Origan Style – Augustus Pablo
K. G.’s Halfway Tree – Simplicity People
High Jacking – I Roy
Skylarking – Augustus Pablo
Skylarking 2 – Augustus Pablo
The Killer Version – The Society Squad
My Time – Gregory Isaacs
Funny Feeling – Dennis Brown
Danger In Your Eyes – The Mighty Diamonds
Danger In Your Dub – Tommy McCook
Black Foundation – Augustus ‘Gussie’ Clarke
Proud To Be Black – Mikey Dread
Love The Daughter – Trinity
Peace Can Solve It – I Roy

Disc 1       Disc 2

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Aswad - Roots Rockin' - The Island Anthology 1 & 2

Aswad is a rarity among reggae groups as one that started out relatively weak and got better as it incorporated more pop and soul influences into its sound. The band's albums of the 1970s were primarily roots reggae of the blandest sort: two-chord vamps loping along beneath negligible melodies and by the numbers Rastafarian lyrics. By contrast, Aswad's chart-topping version of "Don't Turn Around," released in 1989 after the band had hardened and slicked up its sound, remains its biggest hit and arguably the best single the group ever produced. This retrospective collection presents a nice, two-disc précis of the band's work from its earliest albums until it jumped labels around 1990. Disc One is certainly not bad -- while there is little exceptional material to be found (and the worst of it, such as the embarrassingly atonal "Rainbow Culture," should clearly have stayed out of print), there are moments of real musical and spiritual uplift, including a live version of "Not Satisfied" and the dubwise excursions on "Three Babylon" and "It's Not Our Wish." But Disc Two is the payoff. The band's sound is tough, lean, and modern, though still well grounded in Rasta roots and culture. "Don't Turn Around" shows up in a 12" version, as do such other gems as "Don't Get Weary," "Gimme the Dub," and a surprisingly attractive version of the '70s soft rock potboiler "On and On." This set is very nice overall, and probably represents everything most people need to hear from Aswad's earlier years.


Dennis Brown - Some Like It Hot

This 18-track compilation bundles up some of the best of Brown's work with producer Niney Holness and, in conjunction with Heartbeat's Open the Gates collection, mops up virtually all the pair's material together from the 1970s. And what a phenomenal flood of music it was. Although only 16 when he and the Observer began working together, Brown was already a music veteran, a former child star, who had grown into a winsome teenaged balladeer. Holness himself was barely out of his teens, but still managed to help shape the youngster into one of the age's greatest roots singers. Between 1973 and 1977, the pair, accompanied by Earl Chinna's Soul Syndicate, unleashed a torrent of seminal recordings and sent a slew of singles rocketing into the Jamaican chart. Some Like It Hot may disregard chronology -- in fact, the duo's first hit, "Westbound Train," is immediately followed by their last, "Tribulation," but to complain would be churlish, considering the masterpieces found here, including the two just mentioned. There's also the sublime "Wolf and Leopards," the infectious title track, the pop classic "My Time," and the powerful "Cassandra" (one of several cuts utilizing the "Westbound Train" rhythm). For collectors, there's also the fabulous 12" mixes of "Africa" and "Here I Come" (like "Tribulation," its rhythm was cut in London with the Cimarrons, misspelled Cimaroons here), alongside Big Youth's DJ version of "Westbound," "Ride On/Wild Goose Chase." As an added bonus, the liner notes include an interview with the Observer himself. In their catalog, Heartbeat subtitles the album The Best of Dennis Brown -- they'd have been justified to print that on the CD's sleeve.


Garnett Silk - Kilimanjaro Remembers Garnett Silk

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"The late Garnett Silk was one of the most promising of the "cultural" dancehall singers of the early '90s, a period when "slackness" was in the ascendant and few of Jamaica's top-flight talents were still bothering to deliver the lyrical messages of spiritual and political uplift that had been reggae's stock in trade for so long. Silk spent some time with the Killamanjaro sound system, singing over new and vintage reggae rhythms, sometimes in collaboration with other singers and deejays. This collection brings together 21 such tracks, most characterized by the slightly rough, improvised feel that often attends sound system performances. Silk's talent, though, was such that even when getting lost in the chord progression of "Marley Medley" or grinding to a ragged halt on "Jaro Ruling," his voice still has the power to captivate. Notable team-ups on this album include a duet with Dennis Brown on "Sing With Me" and "Rule Dem" with Luciano. Recommended."


Alton Ellis - Cry Tough

"Although Alton Ellis was never to receive the international recognition of such contemporaries as Desmond Dekker or Delroy Wilson, the singer was at least their equal. Launching his career as the duo of Alton & Eddie (Parkins) at the dawn of the ska age, Ellis' career has continued unabated since, both as partner with other singers (including his equally talented sister Hortense Ellis) and as a solo artist. Although he recorded for a multitude of producers, some of his most glittering work during the rocksteady/early reggae eras was cut with Duke Reid, and it is from Reid's Treasure Isle chest that this compilation is drawn. There were scores of classics to choose from, and Cry Tough contains many of the best, a sumptuous entrance to the singer's world. Accompanied by a string of Reid's superb session bands and backed by the Flames (initially the Maytals and then a new grouping with Winston Jarrett at its core), Ellis proceeded to turn up the heat on the island with a flood of evocative hits. However, some of his best-known songs included within this compilation are not the original releases, but alternate takes. As these versions are in no way substandard to the actual releases, this a boon for collectors, while not penalizing new fans. In the case of his best-known number, "Girl I've Got a Date," the alternate is arguably superior, as Ellis reaches new soulful heights. The version of "Cry Tough" is also a masterpiece of emotional shading, almost overwhelmed by its sheer poignancy. And it was this emotive power that defined the singer -- a sweet soulfulness, rich with feeling, that Ellis brought to all his records. This was as true for his many self-penned songs as for the American pop hits he often covered, and it's arguably the latter that best showcase his talent, as Top 40 fluff resonates with new depth under his attention. With 20 classic songs and Ellis at his best, it's not all you'll need -- because after hearing this, you're guaranteed to want more."


Friday, September 7, 2018

Black Uhuru - Liberation - The Island Anthology (1993) 2cd

Black Uhuru is a Jamaican reggae group formed in 1972, initially as Uhuru (Swahili for 'freedom'). The group has undergone several line-up changes over the years, with Derrick Duckie Simpson as the mainstay. They had their most successful period in the 1980s, with their album Anthem winning the first ever Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1985. (Wiki)

Black Uhuru's all-too-brief years at Island/Mango produced some of the most astonishing sounds to come out of Jamaica. Militant, spiritual, loving and liberating, their six albums cut for Chris Blacwell's label from 1980-1983, were prototypes for a new generation.
Black Uhuru emerged at exactly the right moment. In the late 1970's, Jamaica was raging: outside imperialist threats, political violence, teetering economics, covert U.S. intervention and angry, politicized youth. Reggae music was no longer reflecting the change; Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were lone rebels. Just as the punk revolution had toppled the rock hierarchy, reggae was in need of its own uprising.
Giving voice to the street was Black Uhuru. Founded by Derrick 'Duckie' Simpson in the mid-1970's , Uhuru was just one of the many second-generation, Rasta-inspired vocal groups - until Simpson was drawn to the magical voice of Michael Rose. A rude bwoy from the crushingly violent Kingston slum known as Waterhouse, Rose, a struggling solo artist - he did the original 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner' - would find in Uhuru a vehicle for his own edgy word-fall of songs. Then one day Simpson and Rose heard from an apartment above the recording studio, another haunting sound: the ethereal  voice of South Carolina-born, Columbia-graduate, Rasta sister, Sandra 'Puma' Jones... (from the CD notes included)          

All tracks feature 'The Riddim Twins' Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, Drums and Bass (shown below) and a crack band. Details of musicians on all tracks are shown in the scans provided - Listen to it a few times and the vocal and instrumental hooks will grab you ! Unlike Bob Marley's natural, organic recordings, Black Uhuru make full use of the studio to create the way Reggae music would evolve.  - Gus 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Alton Ellis - Sunday Coming

"Alton Ellis is one of the best Jamaican vocalists to have emerged during the ska and rocksteady periods in the '60s. His singing prowess remained intact through the reggae, dancehall, and ragga years as well, proving that his uniquely soulful delivery and impeccable phrasing could transcend reggae's many changes. Recording with his preferred producer Clement Dodd, Ellis cut Sunday Coming around 1969-1970 at Dodd's legendary Brentford Road studio. Most likely backed by the producer's Sound Dimension band (featuring the great Jackie Mittoo as arranger and organist), Ellis offers up a typical set of originals and choice covers from the day's charts. On the handful of tracks Ellis co-wrote with Dodd, breezy medium-tempo cuts like "It's True" and "The Picture Was You" particularly stand out; the buoyant soul-based rocksteady beats, occasional jazz chords, and sweet harmonies all seem to be part of a musical setting in which Ellis thrived. The point is substantiated by great Ellis performances on similarly disposed covers like the Guess Who's "These Eyes," Blood, Sweat & Tears' "You Make Me So Very Happy," and the "Junior Walker hit "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)." Ellis also shows some musical flexibility with his funky James Brown-inspired jam "Alton's Groove" and the fine roots reggae track "Reason in the Sky"; he even proves his contemporary relevance on two impressive tracks from 1994, including the updated rocksteady cut "Joy in the Morning" and a digitally enhanced number entitled "The Winner." This disc is one of Ellis' best and comes highly recommended to newcomers and reggae enthusiasts alike."


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dennis Brown - Open The Gate (Greatest Hits, Vol 2)

"Picking up the Brown/Holness story where Some Like It Hot left off, Open the Gate rounds up most of the rest of the pair's 1970s material. The singer recorded exclusively with the Observer from 1973 and 1975, and those songs made up the bulk of Hot. After a trial separation, so to speak, during 1976, Brown returned to Holness' side early in the new year, and recorded a new batch of equally crucial cuts. The most seminal -- "Wolf and Leopards" and "Tribulation" -- are found on Hot; the rest appear here, alongside a handful of rarities. Collectors will revel in the cuts culled from albums, the 12" extended mix of "Tenement Yard," an alternate version of John Holt's "Only a Smile" (one of four excellent covers found here), Dillinger's DJ version of "Here I Come," and, most spectacularly, a ferocious live version of "Cassandra," seeing the light of day for the first time here. In some ways, Gate is a greater revelation, and not just for collectors. Hot's hits are so familiar from previous compilations that the very freshness of these tracks enables the listener to discover Brown's power anew. Holness' deep roots production played to the singer's strengths, while the Soul Syndicates' impeccable playing is also showcased. There's a palpable chemistry at work here, with all the parties involved pulling out all the stops, not just on their own behalf, but to also complement each other. The guitar frills on "God Bless Our Souls," for example, give an added sense of poignancy to Brown's own superbly soulful delivery. "Take a Trip," a revision of the Hollywood chestnut "On Broadway," could have been a throwaway, but turns into a dread classic via Brown's new lyrics and emotive delivery, which are heightened by Holness' dread production. The lightly dubbed "Whip Them Jah Jah" is a standout, as is the title track and "Tenement Yard," featuring a fine toast by a now barely remembered DJ. But with 19 excellent tracks to choose from, it's almost impossible to play favorites, so why bother?"


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Garnet Silk - Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders

"A distressingly large number of great reggae artists have died needlessly before their time, many of them -- Prince Far I, King Tubby, Hugh Mundell -- the victims of politics or criminal violence. But when Garnett Silk was killed in 1994 by an exploding gas canister, the random and accidental nature of his death was especially upsetting. This excellent posthumous compilation was originally released in 1995, and demonstrates how much the reggae world lost when he died. Reissued in 2001 in a mid-priced, digitally remastered version (with a bonus remix of the title track), Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders consists primarily of King Jammy-produced songs with a smattering of productions by E.J. Robinson (including the exquisite "Cry of My People"), Jack Scorpio and Philip Smart thrown in as well. Silk's emotional, gospel-inflected voice is in excellent form throughout, and the digital dancehall rhythms his producers generate for him are consistently world-class. Highlights include both mixes of the title track, the very dread "Babylon Be Still," and a fine combination track with Frankie Paul and the up-and-coming Bobo Dread DJ Determine. Highly recommended."

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Slim Smith - Out Of Love - 24 Hip Hits

"Slim is an incomparable singer even though he's been dead thirty odd, coming on for forty years. Slim was the nearest thing to Curtis Mayfield and he could also play instruments... look how long Slim Smith dead and you hear his music still. Do you know of another singer who's come up like Slim Smith? You've never had another singer who's made that impact on Jamaican music like Slim Smith." Bunny 'Striker' Lee

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Bob Andy - Song Book

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"Bob Andy was introduced to Jamaican record buyers in the 1960s as a member of the Paragons, the vocal quartet best known for the hit "The Tide Is High." Andy went on to achieve greater fame in the following decade as one half of the vocal duo Bob & Marcia (with Marcia Griffiths) on hits like "Young Gifted and Black" and "Pied Piper" for Harry Johnson. His greatest artistic successes, however, can be found on the three albums the singer recorded for Clement Dodd's Studio One beginning in the late '60s. While selections from The Music Inside Me cropped up on Heartbeat's Retrospective, Lots of Love & I had long been out of print and Andy's exceptional Songbook was available, in CD format, only on this inferior quality Studio One issue. Criticisms about sound and packaging aside, however, Songbook (recorded between 1966 and 1968) remains utterly essential. Though the music preceded the roots era by nearly a half-decade, many of the themes taken up by the dreads of the 1970s can be found blossoming in Andy's late-'60s songs. His classic "I've Got to Go Back Home" must have been one of the earliest songs to deal so explicitly with a "sufferers" theme. The singer's delicate, bittersweet melody is married to a tune of ghetto hardship. "Unchained" attacks slavery with lyrical directness and an impassioned vocal. Covered by Gregory Isaacs, Big Youth, and Barrington Levy, the definitive version of Andy's classic "My Time" is found here. Equally moving are "Going Home," "Let Them Say," "Feeling Soul," and "Crime Don't Pay." A singer and songwriter of the highest order, Andy's place in musical history is assured on the basis of Songbook alone." AMG

The One-Derful Collection; Midas Records

"The fifth installment of the One-derful! Collection focuses on Midas, the gritty soul & funk imprint of this legendary R&B label group. Midas is preceded by the One-derful!, Mar-V-Lus, M-Pac!, and Halo compilations and will be followed by Toddlin' Town. This series marks the first in-depth study of what was once one of Chicago’s most prominent African-American run labels."


Sunday, August 26, 2018

One-derful! Collection: M-Pac! Records

The third installment of the One-derful! Collection focuses on M-Pac!, the blues and hard soul imprint of this legendary R&B label group. M-Pac! is preceded by the One-derful! and Mar-V-Lus compilations and will be followed by releases of the Halo, Midas, and Toddlin' Town sub-labels. This series marks the first in-depth study of what was once one of Chicago’s most prominent African-American run labels.

M-Pac! Records is available in 2xLP and CD formats, and within the grooves of these 24 tracks lie superb group harmonies from The Ringleaders and The Accents, gritty hard soul leads from Willie Parker and Stacy Johnson, and songs from one of Chicago's most under-appreciated soul shouters in Harold Burrage, plus 10 tracks that were never issued!

Monday, August 20, 2018

The One-Derful! Collection; Mar-V-Lus Records

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More from One-derful!

"The second installment of the One-derful! Collection focuses on Mar-V-Lus, the teen-oriented imprint of this legendary R&B label group. Mar-V-Lus is preceded by the One-derful! Records compilation and will be followed by releases of the M-Pac!, Halo, Midas, and Toddlin' Town sub-labels. This series marks the first in-depth study of what was once one of Chicago’s most prominent African-American run labels.
Mar-V-Lus Records is available in 2xLP and CD formats, and within the grooves of these 25 tracks lie classic dance numbers from Alvin Cash, pure harmonies from The Du-Ettes, soulful funk from Josephine Taylor, aching deep ballads from Johnny Sayles, teen laments from Miss Madeline & The Young Folk, and Detroit influenced uptempo floor fillers from Joseph Moore, The Blenders, and The Ulti-mations, plus 10 tracks that were never issued!"

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You (1967)

Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "Spanish Harlem" and "Think".
By the end of the 1960s she was being called "The Queen of Soul".(Wiki)

Probably the best Soul album ever released. Her first for Atlantic Records. - RIP Aretha - Gus

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Best Of King Curtis (1962-65)

"Best of King Curtis collects the bulk of King Curtis' singles for Capitol, plus selected album tracks. Although he didn't have many hits while on Capitol -- only "Soul Serenade" hit the charts -- this collection demonstrates the depths of Curtis' talents, showcasing his stabs at jazz and blues in addition to his trademark R&B. Instant Soul remains a stronger introduction, but for fans that want to dig a little deeper, The Best of King Curtis is an excellent purchase." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine/AllMusic)

King Curtis in his pre-Atlantic Soul days...Fully into the Twist dance craze of the early 1960's...but with class. 
Rhythm & Blues had past it's best days...awaiting the advent of Soul & Funk...This safe ground of jazz covers and well played originals was as good as it got. at the time...and well recorded with guys that were so talented they continued to play as greats into the groovier, rootsier future...  It's what a Bluesman would have playing in his elevator ! Here as flac or mp3@320 - My rip & full scans - Gus

The One-Derful Collection, Disc 1

"One-derful! Records is available in 2xLP and CD formats, and within the grooves of these 25 tracks lie orchestrated soul classics from McKinley Mitchell and Betty Everett, raucous mid-1960s R&B dancers from the Five Du-Tones which shake every bone, superb deep soul ballads from Otis Clay, and extraordinary group harmony sides from The Sharpees and The Admirations, plus 12 tracks that have never been issued!

Central to One-derful! is the Leaner family. By 1962 when brothers George and Ernie Leaner started One-derful! Records, they were revered figures on Chicago's Record Row and beyond. They distributed material from labels like Motown and Stax and One-derful! attracted top talent. It wasn't uncommon for a WVON DJ to help One-derful! sign their newest discovery, or for their singers, musicians, songwriters, or producers to have Chess or Motown on their resumes. Nearly 20 years prior, George and Ernie started work at their sister's Groove Record Shop. Before long, George was an assistant to legendary blues producer Lester Melrose, and later the brothers helped run Parkway Records – recording historic 78s featuring Little Walter and Muddy Waters. They did all of this before launching United Record Distributors in 1950 – regarded as the nation's first black owned record distributor. In addition, their uncle Al Benson was the most influential Radio DJ on Chicago's South Side. His on-air support and occasional partnerships with the Chess brothers proved crucial to their early success. He also helped many DJs get their start, including Vivian Carter who later formed Vee-Jay Records. In fact, United Record Distributors hosted her wedding. The Leaner name also turns up in connection with many of the greats in blues and soul: George Leaner produced an early release for Berry Gordy's Tamla label, and in the 1970s Ernie Leaner and Stax's Al Bell partnered to form Ernie's Onestop and a chain of Record World stores. The Leaner family were among the most important black businessmen of music's golden era, yet much of their history has only been superficially documented until now."


Sunday, August 12, 2018

The One-Derful Collection; Halo Records

The Gospel subsidiary of the One-Derful labels.

"The fourth installment of the One-derful! Collection focuses on Halo, the gospel imprint of this legendary R&B label group. Halo is preceded by the One-derful!, Mar-V-Lus, and M-Pac! compilations and will be followed by releases of the Midas and Toddlin' Town sub-labels. This series marks the first in-depth study of what was once one of Chicago’s most prominent African-American run labels.

Halo Records is available in 2xLP and CD formats, and within the grooves of these 25 tracks lie soulful songs from groups like the Salem Travelers, the Gospel Souls, Lucy Rodgers, and the Redemption Harmonizers, plus 9 tracks that were never issued! Halo's focus and determination was to make gospel music that secular ears could hear and enjoy. They were trying to make R&B gospel, and the main producer behind its aesthetic, Monk Higgins, later took this sound and had great success at Chess Records.

Central to Halo is the Leaner family. In the early 1960s when brothers George and Ernie Leaner added the Halo sub-label to their One-derful! label, they were revered figures on Chicago's Record Row and beyond. They distributed material from labels like Motown and Stax and they attracted top talent. It wasn't uncommon for a WVON DJ to help the Leaners sign their newest discovery, or for their singers, musicians, songwriters, or producers to have Chess or Motown on their resumes.


King Curtis - Instant Soul : The Legendary King Curtis

Repost with my newer rips & full another compilation

"Curtis Ousley (February 7, 1934 – August 13, 1971), who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophone virtuoso known 
for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, blues, funk and soul jazz. Variously a bandleader, band member, and session musician, he was also a 
musical director and record producer. Adept at tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, he was best known for his distinctive riffs and solos such 
as on "Yakety Yak", which later became the inspiration for Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax" and his own "Memphis Soul Stew"
Curtis was killed on August 13, 1971, when he was stabbed during an argument with a pair of drug dealers he discovered on the steps outside his Manhattan apartment. Curtis was attempting to carry an air conditioner into his apartment when Juan Montanez refused to move from the entrance. A fight ensued and Montanez stabbed Curtis. Curtis later died at Roosevelt Hospital. In March 1972, Montanez was sentenced to seven years for second-degree manslaughter, but was released in late 1977 for good behavior.(Wiki)

I'm a guitarist...but my fave instrument is the Saxophone ! Of course I love all the great jazz masters and have their albums...too many to mention. KIng Curtis became a hero of mine many moons ago ...and many important recordings were hard or impossible to get back in the day. I now have most of them. Back in 1994 a really good compilation was released covering most of his career on a small independant label 'Razor & Tie'. I tried to get a copy but it soon became unavailable. Fortunately I later picked up this copy on the net, I know not from where or whom, but a big Ta is long overdue...So here it is for you guys...It's a great mix and an even better listen. And thumbs up to Anon for a reminder that we had no King Curtis here at Chitlins. We have now ! Cheers - Gus

The above was posted back in June 2016. I have since acquired a used CD copy and decided to post a new rip with scans in flac & mp3@320. It was the second version I bought as the first CD was damaged and 2 tracks were unplayable . 
I have also included a compilation of  King Curtis that I made years ago from original vinyl sources from my own albums (as flac & mp3@320) 'King Curtis Collection' ...and I think it is as good (if not better !) than the one Razor & Tie released...Judge for yourselves. Some of the tracks overlap but that shouldn't spoil the listening experience - Cheers Gus

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Willie Tee - I'm Only A Man

The Adderley brothers (Julian and Nat) were very fond of New Orleans and made a point of playing here when they could. They made a lot of friends here as did their pianist Joe Zawinul, but none closer than the Turbinton brothers, Earl and Wilson (Willie Tee). In the late 60's and early 70's both brothers made appearances with Cannonball's band and both show up on Zawinuls' early 70's lps. In addition there was this album, produced by the Adderley's producer David Axlerod for JuNat Productions and released on Capitol Records. Zawinul appears as a co-writer on two tracks.  Years later, in his Weather Report years, Zawinul would feature the song "Can It Be Done" which was written for him by Willie Tee.
willie's version
weather report

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Otis Redding - It's Not Just Sentimental (1992)

For decades it was presumed by fans that the posthumous Otis Redding (acoustic guitar/vocals) studio platters The Dock of the Bay (1968), The Immortal Otis Redding (1968), Love Man (1969), and Tell the Truth (1970) had uncovered all the hidden and unreleased treasures from Redding's heartbreakingly brief yet appreciatively prolific career. Thankfully, archivist Roger Armstrong -- who is perhaps best known for his outstanding contributions to the U.K.-based Ace Records reissue imprint -- discovered nearly two dozen additional remnants and presents them on this single-disc anthology. As Stax Records authority Rob Bowman points out in his insightful liner notes essay, the label did not keep precise documentation concerning recording session dates and personnel. So, some detective (and possible guess) work was needed when chronologically placing a few of the lesser-known titles. That certainly doesn't detract from the experience of uncovering formerly shelved selections such as the greasy and unmistakable Memphis groove behind "Trick or Treat," or the high-octane horn punctuations on the inaugural take of "Loving by the Pound" that are clearly in the vein of what would turn up as "Respect." To demonstrate the evolutionary processes and the importance of his collaborative relationship with Steve Cropper (guitar) -- a second completely revamped approach rechristened "Pounds and Hundreds (LBs + 100s)" -- is offered midway through the compendium. Another treasure is the oft-rumored rendition of the achingly poignant "I've Got Dreams to Remember" featuring unique lyrics by Redding's wife Zelma Redding. Little Richard's influence is evident on the impassioned overhaul of "Send Me Some Lovin'," which Redding re-forms with an undeniably singular and inspired interpretation. The alternate versions of "Respect," "Open the Door," "Come to Me," "Try a Little Tenderness," and the first two attempts of Redding's swan song, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," are arguably the most revealing moments on the entire package. Perhaps because the originals are so deeply ingrained in the psyche of Redding devotees, hearing the developmental stages or hearing the songs presented in a foreign context is nothing short of soul music manna. The one item that had been available prior to Remember Me (1992) is the concluding "Stay in School" message that was part of a larger campaign producing the promo-only Stay in School, Don't Be a Dropout long-player. It's a fun and lighthearted way to wrap up one of the best collections for R&B aficionados or the just plain curious 
consumer alike. (Lindsay Planer/AllMusic)

I seem to have forgotten to post this earlier - Any extra Otis is a real back in 1992 I was quick to grab a CD copy and indulge myself with more of one of my favourite ever vocalists. It doesn't disappoint - Here as flac or mp3@320 - Gus

Monday, May 28, 2018

Willie Walker & The Butanes - Memphisiapolis

After Preslives wonderful compilation of 1960's & &70's material, I couldn't resist offering a more recent chapter as a follow-up.

"For all the fans and critics bemoaning Soul music’s reliance on machines these days I present you with a pacifier. 100% organic, natural Deep Soul music (and original songs to boot!). We’re talking Hammond organ, a horn section, rhythm section with a pulse and an authentic O.V. Wright-styled Soul shouter. Actually, Soul aficionados already know about Willie Walker & The Butanes. Their 2004 LP “Right Where I Belong” made waves on both sides of the Atlantic. Blues Critic Online placed it in the Top 10 Soul Blues CDs of said year. Well, nothing’s changed as Willie, songwriter Curtis Obeda and the Butanes (John Lindberg, Virgil Nelson, Robb Stupka) are back with an equally gritty slab of raw, sweaty aural pleasure.

It must be noted first that all 13 tunes are originals- so there’s no godzillionth cover of “Respect Yourself” or “Mustang Sally” here- just some new relatives penned by Obeda. Wasting no time “Memphisapolis” commences with a vintage Stax-kissed groove on “What’s It Take”, which even quotes “In The Midnight Hour” (musically) following the chorus. You wonder who’s the star here- Walker’s throaty rasp or the tidal wave of horns (Jim Greenwell-sax, Michael B. Nelson-trombone, Brad Shermock-trumpet). Like a lot of Obeda’s compositions the song is more groove than melody. Many of the songs aren’t immediate but slyly burrow their way into your heart on repeated listens. Not so for “My Baby Drives Me Crazy”, “Opposites Attract” and “Thanks For Being There”; a trio of easily accessible Memphis movers replete with female backups and riffing horns. Some of the cuts here were originally intended for others: “Real Love” for Al Green; “I’ll Get To You” for Bettye LaVette; “Thanks For Being There” for Tyrone Davis but those shoes are now filled by Walker just fine thank you.

The gem of the set is “Exactly Like You”, a midpaced 50s-styled ballad about brotherhood that bear hugs your soul. “What’s it gonna take for you to see/You’re exactly like me...we’re both men but we’re living different lives”. It’s a stunner. The Deep Soul “Cry Cry Cry” (not the Bobby Bland song) isn’t far behind. The liners say this song was the first Walker and Obeda demoed together. “Real Love” has a definite Al Green/Willie Mitchell/Hi Records thang going for it with Walker delivering a more mellifluous vocal than usual. The man’s a rarity these days- singing Soul with a pitch and pain the greats like Pickett, Redding, Clay, Cooke & Wright used to do. Walker’s career does stretch back to those same 1960s with the famed Goldwax and Checker labels. Only a handful of 45s were issued and there hasn’t been much since. His profile was augmented a tad when his “There Goes My Used To Be” appeared on the excellent compilation, “The Goldwax Story”. Surely there were many who found it hard to believe a voice like his would be under-recorded (although I hear there’s mucho unreleased Walker out there somewhere). Fortunately Obeda and his Butanes had the wisdom to back Walker and he couldn’t ask for a more dedicated bunch. Take a listen to the Butanes get down, get funky and get loose on the last half of “The Last Time” to know what I mean. They may live in Minneapolis but their hearts reside in Memphis and there you have “Memphisapolis”."

Dylann DeAnna - Bluescritic website (US)

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Willie Walker: The Early Years - 60s and 70s

I recently noticed that, for some reason, there has not yet been a (Wee) Willie Walker post at this blog.  That is a bit strange, given that he falls smack center into what Chitlins' is all about.   Willie Walker is one of the great 60s-70s voices who somehow only had a couple precious 45s released back in the day .  Fortunately, Willie Walker is still very much alive, active, and in good voice.  He has recorded some very good albums with the Butanes in recent years.  He has the rare ability to evoke strongly both Sam Cooke and O.V. Wright, while still sounding very much like himself.

Willie Walker grew up in Mississippi, and moved in Memphis in 1960.  He began his career in gospel with the Redemption Harmonizers.  He then crossed over into R&B, signing with Goldwax in 60s.  Despite his superb vocal talents, his musical career never really took off until the 1980s.  Since this time, Willie Walker has consistently received very high critical acclaim.  

Willie Walker was arguably at his vocal peak, however, in the 60s and 70s.  While there are only a few Willie Walker 45s from the 60s and 70s, the recent flood of rare soul compilations have dug up additional dynamite tracks from Walker associated with classic labels like Goldwax, Chess, Pawn, Hi, XL and Sounds of Memphis.   It would be great to see a discography of where and under what circumstances this music was recorded.   It would appear that the majority of the sides associated with Chess were actually acquired from Goldwax.  The Hi and Pawn sides also have overlap.   
I have put together here a 16 track compilation of all the early Willie Walker tracks that I have from various compilations.  The first 10 tracks would appear to come from the 60s (Goldwax and Chess), while the last 6 tracks are from the 70s (Pawn, Hi, XL, Sounds of Memphis).  I have no idea how complete this is.  Any additional contributions of either information or music would be highly welcome. 
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jesse James - Singles 1961 to 1971 and I Can Do Bad By Myself 1988

An interesting singer...I had some, and Dr. Hepcat had some more...

From "Soulwalking"
"Born James McClelland in 1943 in Eldorado, Arkansas, Jesse moved to the Bay Area of California as a young child.

Jesse had to move there as his father was a longshore fisherman.

His 'James' surname was handed to him by a compere at a concert who couldn't pronounce his real name during one of his early shows.

During his early years, in between singing in nightclubs, Jesse had a job at a local chemical factory.

In the '60's he recorded for the Shirley label where 'I Will Go' (featuring Sly Stone on guitar), was the first of six singles before he switched to Hit Records for 'I Call On You' in 1966.

He later recorded for labels including 20th Century (including 'Believe In Me Baby' and 'Jesse James'), Uni ('Ain't Much Of A Home'), Zea ('Don't Nobody Want To Get Married' and 'I Need You Baby'), Zay ('I Know I'll Never Find Another'), and back to 20th Century in 1974 ('No Matter Where You Go', 'You Ought To Be Here With Me' and 'If You Want A Love Affair').

'Believe In Me Baby' sold 50,000 copies in a fortnight and became number one R & B!

Through the '80's he recorded for labels including Moonlite Hope, Midtown ('I Can Feel Your Love Vibes', 1984), TTED ('It Takes One To Know One', 1988), and two albums for Gunsmoke, 'I Can Do Bad By Myself' (featuring a 9 minute live version of 'Cheatin' In The Next Room' from 1988 and a collaboration with Harvey Scales) and 'Looking Back' (1990).

Real soul fans will point to the 1990 Gunsmoke 45, 'I've Been There Before', as one of Jesse's finest vocal performances."

for those having trouble unpacking file try this one
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Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Pitch/Gusman Story, Vol 3

The Pitch / Gusman Story

Waymon "Gusman" Jones loved gospel music. Especially, he loved the rich stirring sounds of the quartets he heard as a farm boy in rural Georgia, then in his adopted hometown of Savannah, Georgia, where he set up his Gusman Record Shop. From his passion came an indispensible legacy of gospel song.

Between 1961 and 1978, Waymon Jones recorded and issued a stream of essential recordings by the Golden Stars of Greenwood, SC, the White Family Singers of Savannah, GA, the Six Voices of Zion of Columbia, SC, the Flying Clouds of Augusta, GA, and many others.

This three- CD set captures on 71 rare recordings the sounds Jones wanted everyone to hear, giving 21st century listeners a unique opportunity to roll back the years and hear the vital and vibrant sounds of a southern community's gospel music world in a simpler age. The enclosed booklet features historic group and label photographs and extensive notes by gospel music researcher and writer Alan Young.

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The Pitch / Gusman Records Story, Disc 2

 for lol

Good morning Part 2 of this fine service

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The Pitch-Gusman Records Story, Vol 1

...for li'l ole lady

 1. Golden Stars of Greenwood, SC - Jesus' Blood (2:54)
2. Golden Stars of Greenwood, SC - Jesus Never Left Me (4:00)
3. Abraham Brothers, The - Spirit of the Lord (2:55)
4. Abraham Brothers, The - Pray While You Have a Chance (3:13)
5. Southern Six of Springfield, SC - Lord I Want You To Move (2:53)
6. Southern Six of Springfield, SC - Leave Your Burdens There (2:49)
7. Golden Tones of Savannah, Ga - I Will Answer When the Roll is Called (2:40)
8. Golden Tones of Savannah, Ga - The Minister Was Preaching (3:32)
9. Six Voices of Zion of Columbia, SC - I'm Going Through (3:34)
10. Six Voices of Zion of Columbia, SC - Peace In the Valley (3:06)
11. Travelingaires - Jesus Said He Loves Me (3:05)
12. Travelingaires - Lord's Prayer (3:53)
13. Lighty Singers of Estill, SC - In the Morning When the Trumpet Sound (3:46)
14. Lighty Singers of Estill, SC - Serve the Lord (4:29)
15. Loretta Myles - Jesus Will Never Say No (2:33)
16. Loretta Myles - God is Not Dead (5:00)
17. White Family of Savannah, Ga, The - Help Me Jesus (3:19)
18. White Family of Savannah, Ga, The - I've Been In the Storm So Long (2:47)
19. True-Tone Singers, The - Fight On (2:09)
20. True-Tone Singers, The - Don't Let It Be Said Too Late (2:37)
21. Five Stars of Harmony of Jacksonville, Ga - Precious Lord (4:23)
22. Five Stars of Harmony of Jacksonville, Ga - If I Could Just Hold Out Until Tomorrow (4:49)
23. Piney Grove Spiritual Singers of Milledgeville, Ga - Get Back Satan (3:42)

Waymon "Gusman" Jones loved gospel music. Especially,  he loved the rich stirring sounds of the quartets he heard as a farm boy in rural Georgia, then in his adopted hometown of Savannah, Georgia, where he set up his Gusman Record Shop. From his passion came an indispensible legacy of gospel song.

Between 1961 and 1978, Waymon Jones recorded and issued a stream of essential recordings by the Golden Stars of Greenwood, SC, the White Family Singers of Savannah, GA, the Six Voices of Zion of Columbia, SC, the Flying Clouds of Augusta, GA, and many others.

This three- CD set captures on 71 rare recordings the sounds Jones wanted
everyone to hear, giving 21st century listeners a unique opportunity to roll back the years and hear the vital and vibrant sounds of a southern community's gospel music world in a simpler age. The enclosed booklet features historic group and label photographs and extensive notes by gospel music researcher and writer Alan Young

new link

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Don Covay - Mercy & See-Saw (1964-65)

In 2000, Koch reissued Don Covay's two classic mid-'60s albums, Mercy and See-Saw, on one tremendous CD. The term "classic" is thrown around haphazardly in pop music, but these are two sublime records that earn the term, even if they're not as roundly celebrated as platters from Otis Redding or even cult favorite James Carr. Though he racked up a number of singles on the R&B charts, he never had a huge crossover hit, but his music stands as some of the most effervescent, infectious soul of the '60s (not to mention that his vocal style was a clear inspiration to Mick Jagger). What makes his music so remarkable is how it's earthy Southern soul, kicking really hard in its rhythms and with plenty of growl in Covay's voice, but is as nimble, tuneful, and sunny as the sounds coming out of Chicago and Detroit during the mid-'60s. Perhaps that's why he never quite got a huge single -- he straddled the two popular sounds without fully being part of either. It may have not resulted in big singles, but it resulted in splendid music. If there's not much difference stylistically between Mercy and See-Saw -- they're both pretty much cut from the same cloth -- there's also little difference in quality. It's all tremendous, enjoyable, sweet Southern soul. Razor & Tie's Mercy Mercy: The Definitive Don Covay provides the definitive overview, but for a pure concentration of Covay at his peak, this is irresistible and essential.
(AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

KC provided the Razor & Tie compilation, mentioned in the above review, and some biog details in a previous post. Here are Don Covay's 2 Atlantic albums...a must have for Soul collectors. Personnel details and more in the scans - Gus

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jimmy Rogers - The Complete Chess Recordings

Computer issues have made new posts impossible the last couple of weeks, but that is handled and here ya go....

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Muddy Waters - Mud In Your Ear

A repost by request: 

Muddy Waters - Mud In Your Ear
Muse 5008, 1967

A1 Diggin' My Potatoes     3:08    
A2 Watch Dog     3:03    
A3 Sting It     2:30    
A4 Why'd You Do Me?     3:22    
A5 Natural Wig     3:15    
B1 Mud In Your Ear     2:50    
B2 Excuse Me Baby     2:04    
B3 Sad Day Uptown     4:09    
B4 Top Of The Boogaloo     4:09    
B5 Long Distance Call     3:51

    Drums – Francis Clay
    Guitar – Muddy Waters, Sammy Langhorne
    Guitar, Vocals – Luther Johnson
    Harmonica, Vocals – George "Mojo" Buford
    Piano – Otis Spann

Here is one of those incidences where the Muse showed some very sketchy Record Exec type morality. THIS IS NOT A MUDDY WATERS ALBUM!! This is a Muddy Waters Band album featuring his guitarist Luther 'Snake' Johnson as the band leader and Waters' alleged participation is, at best, inaudible, if he is there at all! Given the level of the players this is totally worthwhile stuff but the packaging represents the automatic sales cache' of Waters in the early 70's rather than the actual content of the album. The album was initially on the old Douglas label under Luther's name.