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.

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

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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.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

James Booker - Gonzo, More Than All The 45's

When reading about Booker, you will hear the stories of how he was a prodigy, already being recorded while still in high school - these recordings span from 1954 (age 15) to 1962 (age 23) - and labels like Imperial, Duke, Ace and Chess.

"Numerous discs are available featuring the eccentric and tragic New Orleans R&B pianist James Booker usually performing solo, recorded during live gigs from the 1970s and early '80s. This disc provides an amazing collection of the earliest Booker on piano and organ backed by a full band. Booker made his recording debut in 1954 with the Imperial single "Doing the Hambone," backed with "Thinking About My Baby." During the next few years he would release equally exciting, although sporadic, singles on Chess, Ace, Peacock, and Duke, supported by some of New Orleans finest R&B musicians, including the sax section of Lee Allen, Robert Parker, and Red Tyler, drummer Earl Palmer, and bassist Frank Fields. The 1956 Chess singles "You're Near Me" and "Heavenly Angel" find Booker paired up on doo wop vocal duets with Arthur Booker (no relation). The remaining tracks are scorching dance numbers tied in with novelty/twist themes with catchy names such as "Teenage Rock," "Gonzo" (providing a national hit), "Cool Turkey," "The Duck," "The Crown," and "Beale Street Popeye." This is exceptional New Orleans R&B that provides an important piece of the James Booker musical puzzle." AMG

Boyd Rivers - You Can't Make Me Doubt

"First full length album by one of the greatest gospel musicians of all time! Boyd Rivers was an amazing but unfortunately, little known gospel artist. Comparisons could be made to Charlie Jackson, but in the end not too many people sound anything like Boyd Rivers. Side one features Boyd playing stunning electric guitar and belting out 6 incredibly heavy songs. Side two finds Boyd playing acoustic guitar - a bit mellower but still impassioned. All the material on this album has never been released, with the exception of 'Fire In My Bones' - the title track of the Case Quarter 3-CD gospel compilation. We are very proud to release this important document of a real visionary original. Includes liner notes by Amos Harvey. Old school 'tip on' cover." Amazon

Luciano - Reggae Max, Part 2

This one took too long to upload so I split this off from the previous post.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Luciano - Jet Star Reggae Max

I'm working on transfers of a giant collection of reggae (Cliff, of course), and I promised to share some of my very cool discoveries therein. Cliff calls this guy the Marvin Gaye of Reggae, I can't argue...he is a special voice!
  "Born in Davyton, Manchester Parish, and raised as the seventh of nine children in a strict Adventist family, Luciano began recording in 1992, with his first single "Ebony & Ivory" (on which he was credited as 'Stepper John') on the Aquarius Record label, followed by a split album with DJ Presley (now credited as 'Luciana') for producer Sky High. His first releases as Luciano included the hit single "Give My Love a Try", produced at Castro Brown's New Name Studio, followed by others produced by Brown, Freddie McGregor, Blacka Dread, and Sly and Robbie, including the 1993 no. 1 UK reggae hit "Shake It Up Tonight". 

He started working with Philip "Fatis" Burrell, releasing the singles "Chant Out" and "Poor and Simple", with the album Moving Up following in late 1993. In 1994 he cut singles for Musclehead and Louie Culture before returning to work with Burrell for a series of successful singles and the album One Way Ticket, which saw Luicano at the forefront of the "Rasta Renaissance" in dancehall music. The renewal of Rastafarian influence into dancehall music in the early 1990s had begun with artists such as Tony Rebel and Garnett Silk. After Silk's death in late 1994, many looked to Luciano to continue consciousness in reggae music. Of Garnett Silk, he stated "Garnett was more like a brother, a father, a tutor, a forerunner. When he moved on I knew the work for me became harder still."

The following year brought the smash hit album Where There Is Life for Chris Blackwell's label Island Jamaica. It contained such hits as "It's Me Again Jah" (a no. 1 single in Jamaica), "Who Could It Be", as well as the title track. He recorded a second album for Island Jamaica in 1997 entitled The Messenger (largely compiled from his hit singles), whose title track earned him his enduring nickname.

The majority of his recording in the mid-to-late 1990s was for Burrell and the Xterminator label, which by that time included such artists as Sizzla, Mikey General and Firehouse Crew,[3] as well as recordings from Capleton and Cocoa Tea. Along with the work on the two albums for Island Jamaica, the majority of Luciano hits produced by Burrell were featured on 1999's Sweep Over My Soul. Burrell and Luciano parted ways in 1999.

By 2001, Luciano had released two live albums as well as two compilation albums alongside Sizzla and Anthony B after the split with Xterminator. That year saw the release of two new albums of material, Great Controversy on Jet Star and A New Day on VP Records. The latter received a nomination for Best Reggae Album at the 2002 Grammy Awards, and was executive produced by longtime saxophonist and touring partner Dean Fraser. The album received additional production from Sly & Robbie and was backed by Fraser and the Firehouse Crew.

Fraser continued to produce many of Luciano's albums throughout the decade, including 2008's Jah Is My Navigator. In 2010, he released United States of Africa. While the previous album had focused mostly on God, Africa dealt with global events. Of this, Luciano stated, "We're not just singing about Zion and all those glorious dreams. We're also dealing with issues that affect the people, their very minds."
He was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer on 15 October 2007, in recognition of his contribution to reggae music.
In July 2009, Luciano paid his respects to fellow musician Michael Jackson by releasing a reggae tribute (on Lioni Records) of Jackson's iconic USA for Africa charity song, "We are the World".

His album, Zion Awake was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2016

Luciano is a devout Rastafarian, whose lyrics promote consciousness and eschew slackness, or vulgarity, which is often prominent in reggae and dancehall music. He has criticized other Rastafarian reggae artists who record slackness material, describing them as having lost focus. The singer himself has sometimes been criticized for the reading of Biblical verses prior to performances, which has been described as inappropriate.
The singer is also an activist in the promotion of ganja, or marijuana, stating: "I'm not fighting for the decriminalisation of ganja, because it was never a criminal. My fight is to enlighten the people of the cannabis and let them know of the herbal properties and the benefits we can achieve from it."

In 2010, Luciano was reportedly given a tract of land for residence in the Gambia at the bequest of President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh. The singer first performed in the country in 2001, and has stated his preference for eventually residing in Africa." wiki

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Helen Humes - New Million Dollar Secret

Most of us who know Helen Humes are more aware of her as a Jazz singer, but in this rare 1950's recording she is more on the Blues/R&B side much like Dinah Washington in this same era. This is my crispy 24/48 FLAC rip of this rare LP.

Leo Welch - I Don't Prefer No Blues

"82-year-old Leo Welch is sure making up for lost time. After releasing his gospel-infused debut, Sabougla Voices, he’s back with a sophomore effort. The common saw of younger artists -- that you have twenty-something years to make your first record, and only one to make your second -- doesn’t really apply here; there’s no way Welch could have spent eighty-one years of pent-up music on a single debut album. In this second trip to the studio, he expands into secular themes and more straight forward electric blues, with excellent support from Jimbo Mathus, Matt Patton, Bronson Tew, Eric Carlton, Stu Cole and Sharde Thomas. His original material (apparently all titles but King Louie Bankston’s hypnotic “Girl in the Holler”) include the down-tempo lament of the opening “Poor Boy,” the buzzing woe of “Goin’ Down Slow,” the tipsy soul “Too Much Wine,” and the frantic “I Don’t Know Her Name.” Welch’s singing is raw and vital, and he’s got a knack for crafting lyrical hooks whose repetition make sure you get the point. The band provides flexible support, getting low down and gritty as needed, and rocking when the spirit strikes. Records like this are typically the province of crate digging, so it’s still surprising to find one that’s new." [©2015 Hyperbolium]

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bobby Bland - A Malaco Trio

 By the Malaco Years Bobby's wonderful guttural growl had become a horrid frog-like blat, but even so he was still a better singer than 95% of the rest of the world. Say what you will, the blat was distracting, but the growl had become such a reflexive part of his singing that I suspect that he couldn't stop himself from doing it. Even so, he was still Bobby Bland!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Bobby Bland - Dreamer

This was another strong album most easily classified as Southern Soul; not the equal of it's predecessor and once again I find myself wishing that the production, and arrangements had been done down in Muscle Shoals instead of the somewhat antiseptic atmosphere of ABC/Dunhill, but it is what it is. Still very much worth the listen for me.

Bobby Bland - His California Album 1973

This one is a personal favorite. The move to covering some more contemporary music had to create some mixed emotions in the Soul Blues world. If you were a songwriter you couldn't help but be excited about the idea of Bobby covering one of your songs. If you were a singer like Luther Ingram, you had to experience some amount of fear that Bobby might take your big hit and make it his own: moving you one seat back as it were. Bobby's cover of Ingram's "If Loving You Is Wrong" is the perfect example. I find myself wishing Bobby had hooked up with someone like Dan Penn for a whole slew of Southern Soul that would likely have been epic...sadly that didn't really materialize.

"This Time I'm Gone For Good" was the big hit here, but the Ingram cover is easily as good as is "Up And Down World". All in all it is an excellent album of Southern Soul/Blues that was as good as anything released in a very fertile period for the genre. Even where the material might not be perfect, Bobby's masterful vocals save the track. I might not be all that enthusiastic about the use of strings in the production, but in general they are mixed far enough into the background to be tolerable. A winner in my book!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bobby Bland - Not Ashamed To Sing The Blues (Malaco Comp 1998)

Thought I'd join the Bobby Bland mini-fest and post a compilation of his  later recordings on the Malaco label...A little slick in the production for me...but good tunes and the voice is a must have ! Here is a Music Club collection of Bobby Bland on Malaco 'The Best Of...1985-1995'...I have some of the full albums but I think this will satisfy most. Here as a good mp3@320 from my CD. I was lucky enough to see this legend in London...with Johnny Taylor and Denise LaSalle as support in 1989. He was Great !   -  Gus

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bobby Bland - Call On Me

"Although the sticker on the album's package refers to Call on Me as a blues album, it's really more of a soul-blues hybrid. Elements of blues certainly pervade the album, especially on "The Feeling Is Gone," a hybrid of B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone" and Bland's cover of "Stormy Monday Blues" from 1962. The introductory horn calls certainly aren't telling of the slow-burning blues that follow. With some smoky guitar work and 12-bar blues piano that trickle in occasionally, Bland floats effortlessly on the track, thanks in part to some of his earlier blues work in the '50s. However, the blues isn't the sole pair of legs that the album stands on. That can mostly be attributed to the label's A&R Joe Scott, whose musical skills were perfectly complemented with his skills in training the impressionable singer. Bland certainly had the raw talent vocally, but it was Scott's hand which polished his skills from bluesman to balladeer. The title track showcases that transition perfectly. Over a rhumba drum beat provided by none other than the legendary Jabo Starks, Bland has a lighter, sweeter voice throughout the verse before giving you a guttural exhortation right before the closing of the chorus. Scott, a noted bandleader, also gives way to big-band soul of sorts with a thick set of charts in "Ain't It a Good Thing" and "Honky Tonk." The full sound is the perfect extension for Bland, who can really belt loose when needed, but who can also sing in a more hushed tone, creating a greater dynamic sound. "Ain't It a Good Thing" has all the makings of a lost Ray Charles-performed tune with Bland's well-timed growls exiting a chorus as well as a small, but important, part by an unknown female singer. Bland may be more famous for songs that don't appear on this album including "Turn on Your Love Light" from 1961 or the Kanye West-sampled "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" from nearly a dozen years later, but Call on Me is a sure-fire success of an album, especially from an era that wasn't album-centric, and doesn't get nearly the recognition it should." All Music Guide

Bobby Bland - Touch Of The Blues

In years past I believe I posted all of my Duke recordings at least twice, but I don't recall ever posting any of Bland's later work. I don't have all that much to offer, but I have 4 from the pre-Malaco period and a few of the Malaco albums as well.

"B.B. King was preaching the blues to psychedelic kids at the Fillmore Auditorium; Otis Redding turned them on at the Monterey Pop Festival and made a quantum songwriting leap in the folk-soul majesty of "The Dock of the Bay." But vocal lion Bobby "Blue" Bland spent his 1967 standing tall and still, belting these 10 tracks of heartache and bedroom triumph as if he'd just turned the calendar page on his '57 smash "Farther Up the Road" and the '61 hits "I Pity the Fool" and "Turn On Your Love Light." There were hints of modernism: the Stax-like gait of "Sweet Loving"; Bland's heated exchange with a female vocalist in "Sad Feeling," suggesting the call-response dynamite of Sly and the Family Stone. But the best moments, like the immolation of Charles Brown's 1945 chestnut "Driftin' Blues," were robust purism – the reason why white fans like Eric Clapton and the Grateful Dead adored and covered Bland, doing his crossover work for him." Rolling Stone (Fricke, Christgau)

This was clearly a download from some kind soul long ago forgotten, my thanks to the originator; I pass on your generosity.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Albert King - I'll Play The Blues For You & Lovejoy (1971&72)

It's about time we returned to one of the masters of modern Blues...Albert King. Along with B B King and Freddie King he is one of the real greats . His voice is immediately recognizable and cool...His guitar style, although limited in technique, is just a joy, distinctive and full of feeling...and influenced so many guitarists including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and numerous others.

KC has previously posted his earliest recordings as well as the all-time classic 'Born Under A Bad Sign' on Stax, where his best sides were made. So here ares 2 more albums on Stax that continued his modernization of  the Blues as we know it. I have most of his other recordings including his later Tomato sides that came after Stax folded. So here are my first offerings...2 albums from 1971 & 72...Here as flac & mp3 320. Enjoy - Gus

Sunday, April 1, 2018

West Side Blues Singers

Another terrific release from Wolf Records! I wish I had any memory of where I found this or if someone sent it to me...the rar file was sitting in my temp files for god knows how long and I came across it while doing a clean up. I searched by title through a good number of blogs and couldn't find the source. It was a slightly scratchy LP rip that I've cleaned up, but to whoever and where ever it came from THANK YOU and I hope you don't mind me passing it on!!

The 4 singers here are all rarely, if ever, recorded before and I think you'll join me in wondering why not. Pretty killer stuff!

Little Milton - Think Of Me (w/ Jon Tiven)

I had forgotten about this one...a repost!

I'm noticing a disturbing trend in these collaborations with Tiven and Company  - each of them ends up being the final album in the artists' career -- Arthur Alexander, Wilson Pickett, Howard Tate and now Little Milton! 

"For his debut Telarc Blues release, Little Milton continues in the soul-blues vein he helped to popularize starting with his work for the Chess label in the mid-'60s. His impassioned vocals are as strong as ever with guitar chops to match. The 12 tracks that make up Think of Me could be likened to a classic Stax production sans the driving horn section. The first-rate work of organist Bruce Katz keeps the proceedings percolating through Little Milton's soul-blues base liberally mixed with flourishes of country music, swamp pop, R&B, and urban funk. Any fan of Little Milton's Malaco releases of the '80s and '90s will definitely want to add this to his collection." AMG

Friday, March 30, 2018

Little Milton - 3 Malaco albums

 Little Milton did 14 albums in his 20 years with Malaco. I only had 1, but Dr Hepcat came up with 2 more so for what will likely be the last of my LM posts, I thought I'd offer up these 3.

Little Milton - 3 Stax LP's

 These 3 LP's contain some material not included in the Singles collection. The Live album seems to be all unique and some of the album versions of songs in the singles are different versions.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Little Milton - Sings Big Soul (Malaco Comp 2014)

The title of Ace's 2014 compilation emphasizes Little Milton's singing, which is appropriate as that was the featured instrument on his albums for Malaco. Little Milton was with the Southern soul label for nearly 20 years, debuting in 1984 with Playing for Keeps and leaving after 2002's Guitar Man. Little Milton Sings Big Soul culls 18 highlights from these records, slightly emphasizing his ballad side but finding space for some deep soul and funky grooves. This doesn't proceed in chronological order -- it opens in 1984, then hopscotches through the decades -- but that winds up emphasizing how Milton's records were consistent, always working from the same formula and containing the same punchy, slightly too clean production. Record by record, this could get a little wearying, but a cherry-picked compilation such as this is a testament to a giant in winter: it shows he had a mastery of the form, that he never lost his powerful skills and could always be counted on to entertain. As a portrait of the last third of his career, this compilation could hardly be better. (AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Little Milton - Friend of Mine

"Recorded in the wake of the collapse of Stax Records in 1976, Friend of Mine brushed up against a long fallow period in Little Milton's recorded output, and was also unavailable for many years, thus making it one of his least-known albums. Produced by Milton for Henry Stone's TK Records and issued on the Glades Records imprint, this is a soulful blues workout drenched in sweaty vocals and long, sustained performances, of which perhaps the best is the five-and-a-half-minute "You're Gonna Make Me Cry," which also includes some impressive guitar. The record's strongest body of songs are the smooth soul ballads such as "Baby It Ain't No Way," the rousing "Don't Turn Away" (a song that one wishes Elvis Presley could have discovered and considered covering), "I'm in Love With My Best Friend's Wife," and "Bring It on Back," but it also includes one really hot lament, "Sundown," that crosses into soul territory without compromising its solid blues credentials. There's a lot of solid playing here, by bassist Bernard Reed and guitarists Danny Raye and John Bishop (and Milton), among others, and the Haywood Singers give excellent singing support. This album and its immediate follow-up, Me for You, You for Me, represent the bridge between Little Milton's Stax and Malaco recordings, both chronologically and stylistically."