Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Carter Brothers - Blues On Tour

 A favorite of Cliff's - often reminiscent of early BB King.

This electric blues act with a soul bent recorded for Jewel Records, among other labels. Roman Carter (lead vocals, bass), Albert Carter (guitar), and Jerry Carter (vocals, piano) came from Garland, AL, and began recording in 1964 for producer/songwriter Duke Coleman's local label. Stan Lewis' Jewel Records licensed a pair of their singles, of which "Southern Country Boy" got to number 21 on the R&B charts nationally. They never cut an album, but before splitting up in 1967 (when Albert and Jerry Carter were said to have been drafted) the trio recorded more than a dozen single sides, which have since been collected on several compilations. Lead singer Roman Carter, who also cut solo singles for Jewel, endured as a solo performer over the next 40 years and was given an award as Best Male Blues Vocalist at the Fifth Annual Real Blues Awards, sponsored by Real Blues magazine in 1999. Several years later, Carter teamed up with veteran producer/composer Tom Rothrock (who launched Beck's career during the previous decade) to issue the full-length Never Slow Down in November 2007.

Bo Carter - Bananna In Your Fruit Basket & Twist It Babe

Armenter "Bo Carter" Chatmon (June 30, 1892 – September 21, 1964) was an American early blues musician. He was a member of the Mississippi Sheiks in concerts, and on a few of their recordings. Carter also managed that group, which included his brother, Lonnie Chatmon, on fiddle and occasionally Sam Chatmon on bass, along with a friend, Walter Vinson, on guitar and lead vocals.

Since the 1960s, Carter has become best known for his bawdy songs such as "Let Me Roll Your Lemon", "Banana in Your Fruit Basket", "Pin in Your Cushion", "Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me", "Please Warm My Wiener" and "My Pencil Won't Write No More". However, his output was not restricted to risqué music. In 1928, he recorded the original version of "Corrine, Corrina", which later became a hit for Big Joe Turner and has become a standard in various musical genres.

Carter and his brothers (including pianist Harry Chatmon, who also made recordings), first learned music from their father, ex-slave fiddler Henderson Chatmon, at their home on a plantation between Bolton and Edwards, Mississippi. Their mother, Eliza, also sang and played guitar.

Carter made his recording debut in 1928, backing Alec Johnson. Carter soon was recording as a solo artist and became one of the dominant blues recording acts of the 1930s, recording 110 sides. He also played with and managed the family group, the Mississippi Sheiks, and several other acts in the area. He and the Sheiks often played for whites, playing the pop hits of the day and white-oriented dance material, as well as for blacks, using a bluesier repertoire.

Carter went partly blind during the 1930s. He settled in Glen Allan, Mississippi and despite his vision problems did some farming but also continued to play music and perform, sometimes with his brothers. Carter moved to Memphis, and worked outside the music industry in the 1940s.

Carter suffered strokes and died of a cerebral hemorrhage at Shelby County Hospital, Memphis, on September 21, 1964.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bull Moose Jackson - Big Fat Mamas Are Back In Style Again

Benjamin Clarence "Bull Moose" Jackson (April 22, 1919 – July 31, 1989) was an American blues and rhythm and blues singer and saxophonist, who was most successful in the late 1940s.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, he learned to play the saxophone and started his first band, The Harlem Hotshots, while he was still in high school. In 1943, he was recruited as a saxophonist by bandleader Lucky Millinder, and the musicians in Millinder's band gave him the nickname "Bull Moose" for his appearance. He began singing when required to stand in for Wynonie Harris at a show in Texas.

Millinder encouraged Jackson to sign a solo contract with Syd Nathan of King Records to play rhythm and blues. He first recorded in his own right in 1946, with "I Know Who Threw the Whiskey", an answer song to Millinder's "Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well". The following year, his recording of "I Love You, Yes I Do" reputedly became the first R&B single to sell a million copies, holding the #1 spot on the R&B chart for three weeks and crossing over to the pop chart, where it made #24.

He formed his own group, The Buffalo Bearcats, and over the next five years recorded in a wide variety of musical styles, including both romantic crooning and bawdy jump blues. Other big hits in 1948 included the double-sided hit "All My Love Belongs to You" / "I Want a Bowlegged Woman", and his biggest R&B chart hit, "I Can't Go On Without You", which stayed at # 1 on the R&B chart for eight weeks. He also made an appearance in the 1948 film, Boarding House Blues, with Millinder.

In 1949, he covered "Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me" a song that been successful for Wayne Raney as well as several country and western performers.

Jackson toured throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. Around 1951, his band included bebop composer and arranger Tadd Dameron on piano, and another jazz musician, Benny Golson, on saxophone.

Some of Jackson's later risqué material, including "Big Ten Inch Record" (later covered by Aerosmith on Toys in the Attic) and "Nosey Joe" (written by Leiber and Stoller), both from 1952, were too suggestive for airplay, but remained popular.

Jackson continued to record until the mid-1950s, but the advent of rock-and-roll largely sidelined older musical artists, and so he instead went to work for a catering firm in Washington, D.C.. In 1961 he re-recorded, "I Love You, Yes I Do" with modernized high-fidelity and had a minor hit.

In the early 1980s he was persuaded by Carl Grefenstette to perform and record again with the Pittsburgh R&B revival band, The Flashcats, who had been playing his songs, and to record the album Moosemania! in 1985. Jackson also toured nationally and internationally. However, his health was deteriorating from lung cancer, and he died in Cleveland during the summer of 1989.

Big Jay McNeely

Big Jay McNeely
Born:  Cecil James McNeely  on Apr 29, 1927 in Watts, CA

Biography by Bill Dahl, All Music
His mighty tenor sax squawking and bleating with wild-eyed abandon, Big Jay McNeely blew up a torrid R&B tornado from every conceivable position -- on his knees, on his back, being wheeled down the street on an auto mechanic's "creeper" like a modern-day pied piper. As one of the titans who made tenor sax the solo instrument of choice during rock's primordial era, McNeely could peel the paper right off the walls with his sheets of squealing, honking horn riffs.

Cecil McNeely and his older brother Bob (who blew baritone sax lines with Jay in unison precision on some of Jay's hottest instrumentals) grew up in Los Angeles, where jazz reigned on Watts' bustling nightlife strip. Inspired by Illinois Jacquet and tutored by Jack McVea, McNeely struck up a friendship with Johnny Otis, co-owner of the popular Barrelhouse nitery. Ralph Bass, a friend of Otis, produced McNeely's debut date for Savoy Records in 1948 (Savoy boss Herman Lubinsky tagged the saxist Big Jay, in his eyes a more commercial name than Cecil). McNeely's raucous one-note honking on "The Deacon's Hop" gave him and Savoy an R&B chart-topper in 1949, and his follow-up, "Wild Wig," also hit big for the young saxist with the acrobatic stage presence.

From Savoy, McNeely moved to Exclusive in 1949, Imperial in 1950-1951, King's Federal subsidiary in 1952-1954 (where he cut some of his wildest waxings, including the mind-boggling "3-D"), and Vee-Jay in 1955. McNeely's live shows were the stuff that legends are made of -- he electrified a sweaty throng of thousands packing L.A.'s Wrigley Field in 1949 by blowing his sax up through the stands and then from home plate to first base on his back! A fluorescently painted sax that glowed in the dark was another of his showstopping gambits.

In 1958, McNeely cut his last hit in a considerably less frantic mode with singer Little Sonny Warner. The bluesy "There Is Something on Your Mind" was committed to tape in Seattle but came out on disc jockey Hunter Hancock's Swingin' imprint the next year. McNeely's original was a huge smash, but it was eclipsed the following year by New Orleans singer Bobby Marchan's dramatic R&B chart-topping version for Fire. Since then, it's been covered countless times, including a fine rendition by Conway Twitty!

Honking saxists had fallen from favor by the dawn of the '60s, so McNeely eventually became a mailman and joined Jehovah's Witnesses (no, that's not the name of a combo). Happily, his horn came back out of the closet during the early '80s. McNeely went on to record for his own little label and tour the country and overseas regularly.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Andrew Tibbs

Andrew Tibbs was born Melvin Andrew Grayson on 2 February 1929 in Columbus, Ohio. His father was the prominent Chicago Baptist minister, Reverend S. A. Grayson, and Tibbs got his start singing in church choirs. His brother Robert for a time was married to Dinah Washington. When he surreptitiously began singing blues in clubs, he used his middle name and his mother's maiden name, becoming "Andrew Tibbs." His route to Aristocrat began when in 1947 he was singing at Jimmy's Palm Garden. At intermission, he would go around the corner to the Macomba Lounge and sing during that club's intermissions. Sammy Goldberg saw him at the club and signed him to Aristocrat; Leonard Chess saw commercial potential in recording Tibbs, and decided to invest in the company, which was already recording Tom Archia. Tibbs' debut session has always been said to be the first one that Leonard Chess attended.

When interviewed by Jim O'Neal in Living Blues (1982), Tibbs explained how he just got up and sang traditional blues verses in the clubs, so he had never needed to come up with any compositions. Two numbers were hastily concocted for the recording date: Tibbs and Tom Archia worked out "Bilbo Is Dead" in the back seat of a cab on the way to the session, and Tibbs brought the lyrics into the session inscribed on a paper bag.

Theodore Gilmore Bilbo (October 13, 1877 – August 21, 1947) was an American politician. Bilbo, a Democrat, twice served as governor of Mississippi (1916–20, 1928–32) and later became a U.S. Senator (1935–47). A master of filibuster and scathing rhetoric, a rough-and-tumble fighter in debate, he made his name a synonym for white supremacy. Proud of being a racist, Bilbo believed in the natural inferiority of black people, was a fiery defender of segregation, and was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Of short stature (5 ft 2 in, 1.57 m), Bilbo wore flashy clothing, and was nicknamed "The Man" because he tended to refer to himself in the third person. [...] — Wikipedia

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Little Walter - Walter's Blues

This recently released remastered version sounds better than anything that I've heard previously. The disc has 25 cream of the crop Chess tracks; the best you will get in a single disc.

"Marion "Little Walter" Jacobs is widely considered the greatest blues harmonica player ever. A Creole who could speak French, he was born in Marksville, Louisiana in 1930. He took up the harmonica as a child, at first playing polkas and waltzes, and by the time he was 12 he was on his own, working the sidewalks and bars of New Orleans with his instrument. He had also discovered the music of John Lee Williamson, and modeled his early blues style on that of Williamson’s.

When he was fourteen he drifted to Helena, Arkansas, and came under the influence of Rice Miller, who along with Walter Horton, gave him pointers on the harp. The following year, Little Walter’s evolution beyond traditional folk-blues began when he started to listen to the records of jump saxophonist Louis Jordan and learn his solos note for note on harmonica.

In 1947 he arrived in Chicago with Honeyboy Edwards, and became a part of the fabled Maxwell Street scene that at one time or another included almost every postwar Chicago blues luminary. He first recorded that year behind singer Othum Brown on the Ora Nelle label, and also began playing in a trio with Jimmy Rogers and Muddy Waters, whom he had met on Maxwell Street. It was the core of what was to be the world’s most celebrated blues band.

Little Walter began recording in 1950 with Muddy, first on the Parkway label, and then for Chess, the label he was to stay with for the rest of his short life. With Waters’s "Long Distance Call," Walter became the first to record amplified harmonica. Muddy’s records did well, but despite his musical success, Jacobs had serious problems. He was prone to heavy drinking, and got into fights. "He was hellacious when he drank," Lazy Lester Johnson once told me, "and he liked the bottle." The only one who could control him, it seemed, was Muddy.

On May 12, 1952, Little Walter recorded an instrumental under his own name that the Muddy Waters band had been using to close sets with. "Juke," with its fat, amplified tone and sax-like phrases, was released under Little Walter’s own name and became a huge hit. Following its success, he left Waters’ band to form his own group, but continued to record with Muddy. From then on, either under his own name or Muddy’s, he recorded a string of sides that has been the envy of every blues harp player since. But all that changed when rock ‘n roll came along in the mid-1950s. Sales of blues records dropped and Little Walter was bitter about it.

In 1964 he toured Europe with the Rolling Stones, but substance abuse and his hot temper still plagued him. "Little Walter was dead ten years before he died," Muddy Waters told Patrick Day, gesturing to indicate drinking and then shooting dope. At gigs, as well as offstage, he would sometimes wave a pistol or two around, and had trouble keeping a band together. Photos taken towards the end of his life show a scarred, haggard man looking closer to 55 than 35.
On February 14th, 1968, Walter Jacobs died of injuries sustained in a Chicago street fight. He was only 37 years old." Glenn Weiser

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mighty Joe Hicks / Jimmy Hughes - Something Special

I'm posting this one primarily for the Joe Hicks, since this Jimmy Hughes material has already appeared here last year. Of course if you missed it then you are doubly in luck.

"Joe Hicks is an American R&B and soul blues singer and songwriter. He hailed from San Francisco, California, United States, and found limited success in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hicks recorded an album for a subsidiary label of Stax Records.

His 1968 recording, "Don't It Make You Feel Funky", was produced by Pat Vegas and released by AGC Records; it later appeared on the 1995 compilation album, A Treasure Chest of Northern Soul. In 1969, he recorded the single, "I'm Goin' Home" b/w "Home Sweet Home - Part II", which was written and produced by Sly Stone, and released on the latter's Stone Flower label.

His joint compositions with Delaney Bramlett, "Sound of the City" and " I Know Something Good About You", were featured on Delaney & Bonnie & Friends' 1972 album, D&B Together. With Bobby Womack, Hicks co-wrote "Simple Man" and "Ruby Dean" (which both appeared on Womack's 1972 Understanding album), plus Womack's hit single, "That's The Way I Feel About Cha".

In 1973, Hicks recorded the album, Mighty Joe Hicks, which was released by Enterprise Records (a subsidiary label of Stax). It included the track, "Ruby Dean".

He is not to be confused with a similarly named, Missisissippi raised, Delta blues drummer and singer, who performed with the Fieldstones." wiki

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Allright Again!

I just HAD to put this up because I was watching an interview with Gate in which he discussed the 3 months that he spent on tour with Eric Clapton. He got me at first giggling and finally belly laughing out loud. Apparently at some point in the tour Gate was moved to ask Senor Guitar God "What the f__k do you need 20 guitars on stage with you fo' ? One for every guy you tryin' to copy?"

Whew!!! Has anyone ever more succinctly described all there is to know about Clapton? My belief is that all the genuinely important and original things Clapton has EVER played could easily be contained in 2 discs. That said, 2 discs is quite a bit more than most can claim.

Okay, Clapton slam done....umm by the way, this is an absolutely killer Gate album - enjoy my friends.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jimmy Lewis - It's Getting Harder

Jimmy Lewis was born in 1939 in Nashville, Tennessee. He recorded a dozen singles in the 1960's, including a duet with Ray Charles, but he soon found that his compositional skills were much more in demand. Based in Los Angeles, he continued composing for Ray Charles and other artists. In the 80's he wrote many of Z.Z. Hill's best songs for Mississippi's Malaco Records. He reunited with Ray Charles again in the 90's.

It was also in the 90's that Lewis began his stint as primary writer, arranger and producer for Peggy Scott-Adams. His easy-going style meshed perfectly with Scott-Adams' hard-hitting style, and the collaboration resulted in a string of Southern Soul hits that as much as any other song-producing team defined the sound of Southern Soul from the mid-nineties into the new millennium.

As a musical entrepreneur, Lewis has been a human dynamo. Besides writing, arranging and producing Scott-Adams and other artists for his Miss Butch label, Lewis has cranked out solo Jimmy Lewis CD's regularly through the 90's and 00's.

Despite limited "pipes," Lewis has won over chitlin' circuit deejays and fans by composing colorful, culturally "incorrect" portraits of real life, and novelty songs enriched with modern-day folklore. Today he's regarded as perhaps the foremost storyteller in contemporary Southern Soul rhythm and blues. Daddy B Nice

Monday, February 17, 2014

Marvin Sease 1987

Born Feb. 16 1946 in South Carolina. d. 8th February 2011, Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.A.
Died from pneumonia in Vicksburg, Mississippi on the 8th of February 2011.
Marvin Sease got his start by joining a gospel group in nearby Charleston called Five Gospel Singers and later when he was 20 he sang with the Gospel Crowns. But soon his heart was in R & B and he put together Sease, a backing band featuring his three brothers. When this went nowhere, Sease himself put out several 45s, and eventually scored a regular gig at a Brooklyn nightspot called the Casablanca. Sease recorded a self-titled LP in 1986 featuring one of his most popular songs, "Ghetto Man," and began working the South's so-called chitlin circuit of ghetto bars, rural juke joints, and blues festivals. While shopping the LP, released on his own Early label, to record stores, Sease stumbled upon a contact who eventually got him a deal with Polygram, which re-released the LP on London/Mercury in 1987 with the addition of the newly recorded, ten-minute track "Candy Licker." "Candy Licker" became an underground success on jukeboxes across the South; it was too explicit for radio airplay, but audiences - especially female ones - flocked to see Sease in concert. He thusly fashioned himself as a smooth, X-rated ladies' man but he sings soul blues and gospel-drenched soul with salacious lyrics that also appeals to male fans of southern soul.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bobby Rush

It's about time we deal with the present for a second or two ehh?

Now I would NOT be stunned to find that a bunch of y'all are actually unaware of Bobby Rush --- OOoooo your loss! 

Your first experience of  Bobby should be live've most likely never seen anything quite like it. Da man sings with dancers on stage who are generally around 200 pounds and who dance without EVER facing the crowd --- that's right, they shake them big round butts in your face for the whole show!

"Bobby Rush (born November 10, 1940,)
Born Emmit Ellis, Jr. in Homer, Louisiana, Rush was the son of Ellis Sr. and Mattie Ellis. His father was a pastor whose guitar and harmonica playing provided early musical influences. As a young child he began experimenting with music using a sugar-cane syrup-bucket and a broom-wire diddley bow. Around 1946, he and the family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas where his father took on the pastorate of a church. It was here that Rush would become friends with Elmore James, slide-player Boyd Gilmore (Elmore's cousin), and piano-player Moose John Walker; eventually forming a band to support his singing, as well as harp and guitar playing.

Still a teen, Rush donned a fake moustache to play in local juke joints with the band fascinated by enthusiasm of the crowds. His family relocated to Chicago in 1953 where he became part of the local blues scene in the following decade.

It was in the early 1970s that his self-penned "Chicken Heads" cracked the Billboard R&B chart on Galaxy, after being picked up from a small label started by former Vee Jay Records producer, Calvin Carter (#34, 1971). He later recorded with leading black music label, Philadelphia International, releasing his first album, Rush Hour produced by Leon Huff, with one track, I Wanna Do The Do also charting in 1979 (#75).

In the early 1980s, he moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he recorded a series of records for the LaJam label, Malaco's Waldoxy imprint, and in 2003, his own Deep Rush label with partner Greg Preston, a former Malaco Records executive. 2004's FolkFunk was a return to a more rootsier sound, featuring guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart. He appeared in the film, The Road to Memphis which is part of the series The Blues, produced by Martin Scorsese. Rush was also a judge for the second annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

Rush received recognition for his music after the release of his 22nd album Rush, when he was awarded "Best Male Soul Blues Artist" at the Blues Music Awards. He also received "best acoustic artist" and "best acoustic album" for his album Raw. His album, Hoochie Mama was nominated for a Grammy award in the blues music section in 2000. His most recent albums are Show You A Good Time (2011) on Deep Rush and Down In Louisiana (2013) on Thirty Tigers. In 2013, Rush was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Soul Blues Male Artist' category."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Motel Lovers Southern Soul From The Chitlin' Circuit (expanded and even more nasty!)

Just so I have done my moral duty thang:::DO NOT PLAY THIS WITH YOUR CHILDREN IN THE ROOM...Have I made myself clear? This here is the deep NAASTY stuff from the the jukeboxes of the Chitlins Circuit bars; NOT something to casually throw on when the Mother-in-Law is visiting for example. Extremely White Folk Beware! This may not be your cup o' tea.

Motel Lovers - Southern Soul From The Chitlin' Circuit
Label:Trikont – US-0363
Format:CD, Compilation, Dig
Country:Germany, Released:2007

Actually this is all pretty damn great stuff with surprisingly good production values and just wonderful fun but I can certainly imagine some uncomfortable conversations with your younger children should you be less than discrete when checking this out. HAVE I MADE MYSELF CLEAR? 

Wait for the adult party for this one and then you will rock the house. If these songs don't make you smile, shake your shoulders and bob your head at the very least, then I suggest you make plans for your final demise because Baby you must be just about dead!

Since I started this blog with this compilation, I think it is fitting that I bring it back and roll out my own 2 compilations that were intended as follow-up volumes to this theme - you will notice that there are three links - the two major themes of modern Chitlin Circuit Soul are sex and partying in the club till dawn - my volume two is all about sex, volume three is more about the club (there's still some dirty stuff too). 

Perhaps this is a strange Valentines present for some, but it sure as hell fits this blog now don't it? Your baby may be more of a freak than you think, play her some of this stuff and see....send the children to bed first tho.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sam & Dave - The Definitive Soul Collection

 I've been reading an excellent history of Stax records which lead me to dig out this Rhino set. From the book I've learned that Sam and Dave were never really a Stax act, they were always signed to Atlantic and only 'on loan' to Stax. This became another of the deep wounds Stax suffered when they split from Atlantic subsequent to the sale of that label to Warner Brothers.

The distribution agreement between Stax and Atlantic had been a handshake deal between Jim Stewart and Jerry Wexler until 1965. During the period when Stax had just discovered their breakout star in Otis Redding and Wexler was bringing his new singer Wilson Pickett to Memphis, it was decided to finally formalize and put to print the deal which had been in place for years. Stewart viewed this as a move to protect Stax's interests against any upheavals at the larger label and his main goal was to include a 'key man' clause that let him escape the deal should Wexler's position change. Wexler brought the contract with him when he brought Pickett to Stax and after checking that the base terms were unchanged and the key man clause was included, Stewart and, allegedly, Wexler both signed the contract without actually reading the entire 13 page document. Are you hearing some ominous chords in the background?

The first Pickett session produced Midnight Hour amongst other hits and shortly thereafter, Wexler sent his newly signed duo Sam & Dave to Memphis, much to their dismay as both had assumed that they would be in the big New York studios. It took a few sessions to convince them they were in the right place after all.

The rest of 1965 through 1966 and most of 1967 things went well for both labels, despite the difficult blowup over Pickett's second visit to Stax when he behaved so badly that Stewart told Wexler to never bring him to Stax again. Wexler ended up taking Wilson to Muscle Shoals and, unfortunately for Stax, he took his next star Aretha there as well. Otis Redding and Sam & Dave were, however, enjoying great success so while there were some bad feelings in the pot, overall things were still cooking for both labels.

In December of 1967 Redding took a break from a period of furious writing and recording to do a small tour to fulfill some obligations, but was expected back at Stax the following week to continue the roll he was on. After a show in Cleveland, Ohio Otis and his new teenage band the Bar-kays were flying to Milwaukee in Redding's new plane. He had just bought a larger one so that the band could fly with him. The plane crashed into a small lake near Milwaukee, only one of the Bar-kays survived.

While all of Stax was still reeling from the loss of Otis and the group of talented teenagers who had nearly grown up in their studios, news came that Atlantic was being purchased by Warner Brothers. Stewart felt reasonably secure with his key man clause, so when Atlantic/Warner came up with a low-ball offer to acquire Stax as well, he refused and invoked the clause to gain Stax's freedom. It was near the end of those negotiations that Wexler dropped twin bombs that put Stax's future in doubt. First he informed them that Atlantic was taking Sam & Dave back (now they had lost their two biggest acts) and it was also revealed that Atlantic's lawyers had buried two clauses in the distribution agreement that gave Atlantic ownership of the masters to every record they had ever distributed for Stax, even retroactive to the deal; essentially the entire catalog of the label. Stax had done all the work, spent all their own money on the recordings and Wexler's shyster lawyers had stolen all of it.

To this day Wexler claims to have known nothing about the clauses and says that both he and Ahmet Ertegun attempted to intercede in Stax's behalf and implore Warner Brothers to return the masters, but to no avail. Somehow their behavior in making the low-ball offer to acquire Stax gives lie to that claim as it seems clear that they knew of the clauses during the negotiations and didn't reveal the truth until Stewart refused their offer. It is one of the worst stories of corporate greed that has ever been perpetrated in the record industry.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Otis Rush, Albert King - So many roads

Great album, featuring two of the premier exponents of modern blues guitar. There are six superb sides by Rush from 1960 including the magnificent So Many Roads, So Many Trains which is one of his greatest ever performances with a mind-bending string-bending guitar solo and two tracks not originally released including a remake of his Cobra classic All Your Love. The 8 cuts by Albert were recorded for Parrot in 1953 and Bobbin in 1961 with only two of the Parrot sides being originally issued - all are superb and it's interesting to see the development in Albert's style between his early and later sessions.

recorded Chicago, nov. 1953 and sept. 1960
Charly Records 
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Album Info & Personnel:
Otis Rush - vocals, guitar
Bob Neely - tenorsax
Lafayette Leake - piano
Matt Murphy - bass
Willie Dixon - bass
Odie Payne - drums
Albert King,- vocal, guitar
Johnny Jones - piano

01-Bad Luck (Blues)
02-(Be On Your) Merry Way
04-Searching For A Woman
05-California Blues
06-Wild Women
07-Won't Be Hangin' Around No Mor
08-Howlin' For My Darling
09-So Many Roads, So Many Trains
10-I'm Satisfied
11-So Close
12-All Your Love
13-You Know My Love
14-I Can't Stop Baby

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Etta James - Rocks The House

Searing stuff -- easily one of Etta James' greatest albums! The set is a non-stop jam, recorded live at the New Era Club in Nashville before a small and screaming crowd -- a perfect performance all the way through, one that showcases Etta as she rarely sounded on vinyl during the 1960s. The whole album runs away like a train on fire, and it's filled with incredibly lively readings of tracks like "Something's Got A Hold On Me", "Baby What You Want Me To Do", "Money", "Seven Day Fool", and "Woke Up This Morning" -- all taken at versions longer than the usual under-3 minute single takes!
Though the studio albums Etta James made for Chess in the 1960s usually had the blues singer surrounded by lush production and string-heavy arrangements, this live date finds her performing with only a rhythm section, organist, guitarist, and tenor saxophonist. The singer seems to respond to both the stripped-down setting and the enthusiastic audience with noticeable abandon. In fact, James the classy balladeer, a role she sometimes plays on her studio albums, is nowhere to be found on this blazing set. The only time the band slows down is on the tearjerker story-song "All I Could Do Is Cry" (though what the tune lacks in tempo it makes up for in emotional intensity).
The rest of the set is straight-edged blues and R&B, including covers of some hits of the day, like "Money (That's What I Want)" and Ray Charles's "What'd I Say." Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me To Do" (on which James does a growling, harmonica-imitating vocal solo) steps up the blues quotient, as does the band's finale of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want To Make Love to You," with James's gospel-drenched pipes wailing all the while. ETTA JAMES ROCKS THE HOUSE indeed.


Recorded live at The New Era Club, Nashville, Tennessee on September 27 and 28, 1963.

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Album Info & Personnel:
Etta James (vocals);
David Walker (guitar);
Gavrell Cooper (tenor saxophone);
Vonzell Cooper (organ);
Marion Wright (bass);
Freeman Brown, Richard Waters (drums).

01. Something's Got A Hold On Me
02. Baby What You Want Me To Do
03. What'd I Say
04. Money (That's What I Want)
05. Seven Day Fool
06. Sweet Little Angel
07. Ohh Poo Pah Doo
08. Woke Up This Morning
09. Ain't That Lovin' You Baby  (previously unreleased)
10. All I Could Do Is Cry   (previously unreleased)
11. I Just Want To Make Love To You  (previously unreleased)

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Spirit of New Orleans - The Genius of Dave Bartholomew

Released as part of EMI's Legends of Rock N Roll series in 1992, there has been no better retrospective of Dave Bartholomew's music than the double-disc set The Spirit of New Orleans: The Genius of Dave Bartholomew. That's partially because at 50 tracks, it's the most comprehensive collection ever assembled on Bartholomew, but its real genius is that it doesn't shine a spotlight solely on his solo recordings. Instead, those are interspersed among the numerous hits he wrote and produced for such New Orleans legends as Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, Earl King, Bobby Mitchell, Snooks Eaglin, Shirley & Lee, Pee Wee Crayton, Tommy Ridgley, Chris Kenner, and many others (including sides by T-Bone Walker). There are plenty of classics here -- "Stack a Lee," "Ain't It a Shame," "Bo Weevil," "I Hear You Knocking," "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday," "One Night," "Come On, Pts. 1 & 2," "Walking to New Orleans," and "Trick Bag" among them -- plus numerous singles and songs known only to collectors. There has since been a dynamite single-disc collection of Bartholomew recordings issued, but any serious collector of New Orleans music needs to have this, pure and simple.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rev. Johnny L. "Hurricane" Jones - The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta

Rev. Johnny L. Jones has been preaching at Second Mount Olive Baptist Church in Atlanta for well over half a century.   He was nicknamed "the Hurricane" for the mounting intensity of his services that can carry people away.

Rev. Jones was born in 1936 in Marion, Alabama. His father was a Deacon (Deacon Jones!) and his mother also worked in the church.  He learned piano and began working as a preacher in rural Alabama and Georgia communities while still a teenager.  He built a reputation rapidly that led to an invitation to join the Second Mount Olive Baptist Church in the 1950s where he has been ever since.

Jewel records began recording the Hurricane in the 1960s and continued into the 1970s, although most of these records are now out of print.

What we have here is something quite special, more special than anything that Jewel was able to document.  Not long ago, Digital-to-Dust put together a this full 2-disc collection of recordings that range from 1957 to recent years: "The Hurricane that Hit Atlanta."  For this collection, the Hurricane himself made a choice from his own private tapes of live services and radio shows.  The sound quality is highly variable, and often distinctly Low FI, but the quality of the music is very high and the atmosphere cannot be beat. YOU are invited into Hurricane's church for a 2-hour + service that will rattle the windows and shake the walls.  This is REAL.

Rev. Jones cites BB King, Aretha Franklin, and Muddy Waters among his vocal influences.  You can hear why.   This gets as bluesy and sanctified as you want it.

Freddie King - Getting Ready...

This is the next album in my chronological Freddie King discography posts.
After his two recordings for the Atlantic/Cotillion label (see my previous post) and his notable appearance at the 1969 Texas Pop Festival, he was was signed to Leon Russell's Shelter Records label, where he was to release 3 records. 'Getting Ready...' was the first of these, including some well-known blues covers and some fine originals, notably the first recording of the Don Nix composition 'Going Down', later covered by Jeff Beck and many others.
The album was recorded at Chess Studios, Chicago in October 1970, released in April 1971, and features :
Freddie King - Guitar & Vocals, Leon Russell - Piano & Guitar, Don Preston - Guitar, Jon Gallie - Organ, Donald 'Duck' Dunn - Bass, Charles Blackwell & Charles Myers - Drums, plus Backing Vocals
This is from my CD version on Sequel Records and includes 2 bonus tracks :
01 Same Old Blues 02 Dust My Broom 03 Worried Life Blues 04 Five Long Years 05 Key To The Highway 06 Going Down 07 Living On The Highway 08 Walking By Myself 09 Tore Down 10 Palace Of The King ... Bonus Tracks... 11 Gimme Some Lovin' 12 Send Me Someone To Love
I will post the next 2 Shelter albums 'The Texas Cannonball' (1972) and 'Woman Across The Water' (1973) in the near future ... Enjoy

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Otis Redding - The Complete Stax/Volt Singles

Is it really possible that this is the first Otis Redding post? Wow, hard to believe, but I guess I would assume he's one guy EVERYONE would have a lot of. This 2013 set collects all the Stax/Volt singles; most, if not all, are the original mono versions. No matter what you already have in your collection, you still probably need this...after all, it's OTIS!!

" Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in popular music and a major artist in soul and rhythm and blues. His singing style was powerfully influential among soul artists of 1960s and helped exemplify the Stax Sound.

After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival Redding wrote and recorded the iconic "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. The Dock of the Bay became the first posthumous album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.

Born and raised in Georgia, United States, Redding left school at 15 to support his family, working with Little Richard's backing band, the Upsetters, and performing at talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins' band, the Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern United States as driver and musician. An unscheduled appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first single, "These Arms of Mine", in 1962. Stax released Redding's debut album, Pain in My Heart, two years later.

Initially popular mainly with African Americans, Redding later reached the broader American popular music audience. He and his group first played small gigs in the South, then debuted in the western United States at LA's popular Whisky a Go Go. They later performed in Paris, London and other European cities.

Redding's premature death devastated Stax. Already on the verge of bankruptcy, the label soon discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to his entire catalog.

Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific "King of Soul". In addition to "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," "Respect" and "Try a Little Tenderness" are among his best known songs."

Eubie Blake - The Eighty-Six Years Of Eubie Blake

A repost request -- 

I just did a rip of this double LP for Cliff and since it fits in with our current old piano guys theme, I thought I'd pass it along. I acknowledge that I had seen, but passed on this album for most of my adult life. It was a pleasant surprise - blues, jazz, boogie, are all mixed in with the ragtime and old theater tunes you might expect. Blake's career spanned a giant segment of the development of popular American music and by the time this was recorded he was a walking encyclopedia.

His bio is far too long and extensive to reproduce here, it is easy enough to find on the web - btw the rip is in FLAC.