Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Roots Of It All: Acoustic Blues, Vol. 4, 1980's.90's, 2000's & 2010's

" Blues greats like TajMahal, James 'Son' Thomas, Homesick James, John Hammond, and Keb' Mo, alongside lesser know artists like Guitar Frank, John Dee Holeman, Precious Bryant, a.m.o. Any concern that interest in acoustic blues guitar would recede in the face of the loss of many of its leading
figures and so much electric blues and blues-rock was permanently put to rest by a new legion of disciples, and the discovery of yet more older musicians that somehow eluded discovery during the postwar era (and in a few notable cases, pre-war days). Certified legends Robert Lockwood, Jr., Henry Townsend, and Sam Chatmon were happily still in business.

Younger '60s/'70s discoveries TajMahal, John Hammond, Geoff Muldaur, David Bromberg, and Bonnie Raitt were now joined by the next generation of acoustic pickers, who brought fresh ideas to the table ? along with a
deeply ingrained sense of tradition. As the blues underwent a major resurgence during the '80s and '90s with the genre finding its way into advertising campaigns and mainstream films such as 'Crossroads,' young acoustic players with exciting new ideas emerged. In the cases of Keb' Mo and Alvin Youngblood Hart, their debut CDs were released on a major label, underscoring the genre's renewed commercial potential. Corey Harris was every bit their artistic equal, albeit without major label backing.

The acoustic movement remains very much alive today, thanks to a constant infusion of new blood and established visionaries such as Otis Taylor dedicated to escorting the approach into uncharted waters. Let there be
no doubt: acoustic blues as we've traced it over the course of this eight-disc series won't go anywhere anytime soon."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Junior Wells - 1953-54 - Blues Hit Big Town

 By Bill Milkowski

"Those wonderful folks at Delmark have opened the floodgates on another batch of blues treasures. Junior Wells' Blues Hit Big Town (Delmark DD-640; 48:38) is culled from historic 1953-'54 sessions that feature backing by Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, The Aces with Louis and Dave Myers and other Chicago blues stalwarts. Cut when the late Wells was only 19, it includes his first ever recording of "Hoodoo Man." An amazing document by one of the great 'real deal' bluesmen of all-time.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Say Amen!: Gospel Funk from Jewel Records

"One of the coolest collections of funky gospel we've ever heard – and a key look at the massive sounds of the legendary Jewel Records label! Jewel was home to some great funk, soul, and blues artists at the start of the 70s – and it's no surprise that the best sounds from those styles stepped over to inform the label's gospel output too – so much so that Jewel ended up with a huge legacy of some of the coolest gospel cuts ever – just the sort of tracks to cross over strongly to our more secular-tuned ears! Lots of this work feels like early 70s funky soul on labels like Atlantic and Chess – and the track selection may well be the best we've ever seen for a compilation on the Fuel label – much more in the spirit of a set on Numero or Ace. Titles include "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" by Keith Barrow, "Message To My Friends" by The Violinaires, "Trying Time" by Ernest Franklin, "Woke Up This Morning" by Chimes, "Mama Said Thank You" by Albertina Walker, "No More Ghettos In America" by Stanley Winston, "Can You Treat Him Like A Brother" by Armstrong Brothers, and "I'm Glad You're Mine" by The Brooklyn Allstars."  © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Eddie Hinton - A Tragic Deep Soul Genius, part 2

Part 2 features another pair of terrific albums:

"....Hinton lived in Macon, Georgia, in the early 1980s, fronting a band called the Rocking Horses. The band drew its repertoire from Hinton's Very Extremely Dangerous album and also wrote and played some new material. Hinton recorded six songs under producer Jimmy Johnson's direction at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1982 that were released as an album in 1986 under the title Letters from Mississippi. The album circulated under the Rounder and Mobile Fidelity imprints and garnered a great deal of insider interest. Hinton made two more albums for Bullseye: Cry and Moan (1991) and Very Blue Highway (1993), recorded at Birdland Studio in Town Creek, Lawrence County.

In the early 1990s, Hinton moved to Birmingham and was living there when he suffered a heart attack and died on July 28, 1995. He was buried in Tuscaloosa. Since Hinton's death there has been much retrospective interest in his musical legacy. Johnny Sandlin produced an excellent compilation of never-released tracks titled Hard Luck Guy (1999) and British producer Peter Thompson has compiled three albums of Eddie's unreleased music, accompanied by the MSRS and others. Hinton remains one of the true innovators in the Muscle Shoals music legacy. In 2001, Hinton was awarded a bronze star and recognized as a music achiever by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame."

There are three Bulls Eye Blues albums that I am not going to post - they are sensitive about their stuff showing up on blogs even if they can't be bothered to keep it in print.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jabo & Lil Jabo - Southern Choice

"Donald Glenn, better known to Zydeco fans as Jabo The Texas Prince of Zydeco , started singing and playing music in churches at the age of 6. Jabo began his Blues career at 18 and started playing Zydeco at 25. His talented has been received international recognition and critical acclaim. His many accomplishments include:
Headlined in Texas largest magazine, “Texas Monthly” June 1992
The Houston Chronicle featured Jabo in the “Zest” magazine in 1992 & 1993 for Most Popular among the Texas Zydeco players.
Awarded Best Blues & Zydeco singer by “Houston Press” 1994
Featured in “Jam Source” magazine as highlighted artist of the month 2008
Jabo has performed along side such legendary performers as Bobby Blue Bland, Tyrone Davis, Rue Davis, Johnnie Taylor, Marvin Sease
As founding member of Southern Choice Productions, Jabo is committed to mentoring the next generation of Zydeco and Blues artists. His latest albums is a “Musical Zydeco Gumbo” of talent featuring Lil Jabo Prince Jr., Keyun, J. Paul, Carl Marshall, Donna Nash, Roger Valentine, and Zac Shaw just to name a few."

The Roots Of It All: Acoustic Blues, Volume 3, 1960's & 1970's

 "...and this volume covers huge years of revival for the acoustic blues style – seminal recordings from the 60s and 70s, as a host of younger labels worked hard to rediscover lost blues giants from previous decades, and give exposure to some lesser-known talents too! 2CD package features 48 titles in all – with work by Mance Lipscomb, Scrapper Blackwell, Smokey Babe, Herman E Johnson, Johnny Young, Buddy Moss, Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, Robert Pete Williams, Rev Gary Davis, Henry Townsend, Louisian Red, Jack Owens, Johnny Shines, Juke Boy Bonner, Babe Stovall, Furry Lewis, Joe Callicott, John Jackson, JB Lenoir, and many others. " © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saved and Sanctified: Songs of the Jade Label

"The rawest, DIY gospel ever resurrected. The West Side of Chicago was just an annex of the deep rural South for Gene Autry Cash and his flock of recent Old Dominion transplants looking to cut their fiery, unadorned sounds indelibly to plastic. His Jade label absorbed those God-fearing artists: family bands with wailing kids and barely amateur groups sourced from local parishes, infused with reverberations of country and western and deep soul. Glinting authenticity shines from every track like a diamond in the unpolished rough - each group completely convinced that salvation comes through song."

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Terrance Simien - There is Room for Us All

This album has to stand as a landmark in Modern Zydeco. Until folks like Terrance, Beau Jacques, and Rosey Ledet came along, Zydeco was a music frozen in time. Of the older guard, only Buckwheat seemed to have any spirit of musical adventure, the rest played much the same as their fathers and grandfathers. That is wonderful for preserving traditional and regional styles but does little to maintain a living music.

When this album came out in 1993, it was a giant breath of fresh air, a traditional Zydeco man with his ears wide open to Reggae, Gospel, New Orleans Funk and even an occasional dash of Hip Hop. All these things go into his pot with his own fine band, a liberal sprinkling of guest musicians like The Funky Meters, and Simiens' glorious voice (a blend of Sam Cooke and Aaron Neville)  and what emerges is a savory gumbo indeed. HEY LA BAS!
"Terrance Simien (born September 3, 1965 in Mallet, Louisiana) is an American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter. He and his band won the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for 2008.

Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish. He was introduced to music via the piano at home, the Catholic Church choir, and in school band programs where he played trumpet.

While in his teens, he taught himself to play accordion and formed his first band Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, and began to play the regional zydeco club and church hall circuit. In the early 1980s, Simien was a youth in his early 20's and one of only two (Sam Brothers was the other) emerging zydeco artists leading a band and performing their indigenous zydeco roots music. This was a pivotal time in zydeco music history since the pioneers of the genre were aging and the music was in jeopardy of dying off without the critical presence of emerging artists perpetuating the traditions.

Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting over 7000 live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with the likes of Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and the roots rockers Los Lobos.

Simien has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials. He appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film, The Princess and the Frog set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring authentic Louisiana music scored by Randy Newman. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of movies, such as, The Big Easy, Exit To Eden and A Murder Of Crows.

Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, are active in Creole music education and advocacy. They created the "Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco" performing arts program, which provides informational performances to K-12 students, teachers and parents. Since it was created in 2001, Creole for Kidz has reached nearly 500,000 students, parents and teachers in more than 20 states, Mali, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, Canada and Australia. The Simiens understand the importance of mentoring emerging artists and created MusicMatters, Inc., a non-profit for education and advocacy.

In 2007, the Simiens helped establish a new Grammy voting category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. His group, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, were the first ensemble to win a Grammy in that same category in 2008. He is considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists, engaging performers and innovative recording artists in American roots music."

Rosie Ledet - Sweet Brown Sugar & Zesty Zydeco

"Rosie Ledet (born October 25, 1971, Mary Roszela Bellard in Church Point, Louisiana, USA) is an American Creole Zydeco accordion player and singer.

Raised in rural Louisiana, she listened to rock music in her youth. Although she was in an environment where zydeco was heard, she took little interest in the music at the time. It was when she was sixteen that she first got fascinated with zydeco music. She attended a zydeco dance at Richard's, a famous zydeco club in Lawtell, Louisiana, and saw Boozoo Chavis play which got her started to learning the music. At this dance, she also met Morris Ledet, her husband to be.

She learned the accordion watching Morris play. When he heard her, he stepped aside allowing her the spotlight, and became her accompanist on the bass guitar. Morris, then brought Rosie to his producer, Mike Lachney,a/k/a DJ BAD WEATHER (veteran zydeco producer). Mike was so impressed, that he quickly set up a recording session. Mike then took Rosie to Floyd Soileau, of Maison De Soul label. Floyd also was impressed and gave Mike a contract to produce five albums on Rosie. She started playing around Louisiana and Texas in 1994. The same year, she released her debut album Sweet Brown Sugar on Maison De Soul label.

She is a young female zydeco accordion player famous in the genre for her sultry and suggestive lyrics. She continues to tour and record with her band the Zydeco Playboys.

She resides in Iota, Louisiana."

Big Al & the Heavyweights - Late Night Gumbo Party

"Like Etouffee - Simple but delicious"
By B. Mann VINE VOICE on August 30, 2003

"You either like New Orleans or you don't. It's not a city that allows a lot of middle ground. You either see it as filthy, scuzzy pit of crime, or as a multi-layered, textured celebration of soul and body. If you fall into the second group, you'll like this cajun-zydeco type music from Big Al and the Heavyweights. Like some of the best New Orleans food, it's not complicated, not gourmet. Simple flavors, deep and intense, like a rich etouffee. This music has some blues, some zydeco, some cajun. Your toes will tap. You will smile. Heck, you may even dance. It's yummy and as a New Orleans aficionado, I recommend it."

"Music is great party music,a combination of Blues,Zydeco and soul. it has something for everyone. it is all original music. these guys have had their songs cut by everyone from C J Chenier, Michael Burks , Johnny Jones and Sherman Robinson. they have appeared on "Emeril Live" and been featured three times on The House of Blues Radio Show." Amazon

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Roots Of It All: Acoustic Blues, Volume 2, 1940's & 1950's

"... and this volume features 55 tracks from the 40s and 50s – a time when acoustic blues were on the wane in the mainstream, but still getting exposure on a handful of labels – although often fair from their fame of the early years. The volume's overflowing with great music – by artists who include Alabama Slim, KC Douglas, Lowell Fulson, Dan Pickett, Willie Lane, Tony Hollins, Robert Lockwood, Robert Petway, Gabriel Brown, Johnny Shines, Snooks Eaglin, Little David, James Disdom, Big Son Tillis, Jesse Thomas, Jimmy & Walter, and the trio of Lick, Slick, & Slide!  © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Marion Williams - Born To Sing The Gospel

"Marion Williams (August 29, 1927 – July 2, 1994) was an American gospel singer.
Marion Williams was born in Miami, Florida, to a religiously devout mother and musically inclined father. She left school when she was nine years old to help support the family, and worked as a maid, a nurse, and in factories and laundries. She began singing in front of audiences while young. As was common in the area, Williams learned African-American blues and jazz, alongside Caribbean calypso. Poverty caused Williams to leave school at fourteen, working with her mother at a laundry, although she eventually graduated from Pacific Union College in 1987. She was singing at church and on street corners, inspired by a wide range of musicians, including Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Smith Jubilee Singers. She stuck with gospel in spite of pressure to switch to popular blues tunes or the opera. (she would have been terrifyingly good at either)

Williams was invited to join the Ward Singers when they heard her singing during a visit to a close friend in Philadelphia in 1946. Williams did so in 1947, staying with them for eleven years. Her first recording with the group was "How Far Am I from Canaan" (1948), followed by the breakthrough "Surely God Is Able", which launched Williams and the rest of the group into superstardom. Their concerts were mobbed by frenzied fans.

Dissatisfied with the low pay she was receiving while starring for the group, Williams left the Ward Singers in 1958, followed by most of the rest of the group, to form the Stars of Faith. The Stars of Faith was unable, however, to reproduce the success the Ward Singers had enjoyed, as Williams retreated from the spotlight to give other members of the group more opportunity to star. The group's career recovered, however, in 1961, when it appeared in Black Nativity, an Off-Broadway production, and toured across North America and Europe.

In 1965, Williams began a solo career but soon returned to Miami for her mother's funeral. While there, she felt reinspired to continue her career and began touring college campuses across the country. Her perhaps best-known hit is from this period -- Standing Here Wondering Which Way to Go." wiki

 "Born to Sing the Gospel returns Marion Williams to her home church, Philadelphia's B.M. Oakley Memorial Church of God in Christ; the material is engagingly varied, spanning from the bluesy original "Sometimes I Ring Up Heaven" to the traditional title track to the medley of the classics "Christ Is All" and "Jesus Is All." Though in fine form throughout, Williams hits her peak on "Death in the Morning," her delivery charged with all of the raw power of a field recording." AMG

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Eddie 'Reverend Tallhead' Baytos & The Nervis Brothers - Take Some Mambo Time (1991)

A little funk, a little Zydeco, and a whole lotta fun for your Saturday. Eddie Baytos (aka The Reverend Tallhead) is a Louisiana renaissance man; an accomplished musician on multiple instruments, an accomplished choreographer, and a performance coach for both actors and musicians. I remember asking Zigaboo some years back about this album and he recalled that Eddie had a large place 'out in the country somewhere' where he hosted everyone for a weekend of eating, drinking and music making that eventually produced this album. Why, you may ask, is his nickname Reverend Tallhead? Take a look at the photo below, Eddie is second from the left.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ray Agee - An Incomplete Chronological



"So, what's the story here with all these covers KC?"

These are the covers of the sources I used to assemble this set (there are also 2 late 45's at the end). I was fortunate enough, through my friend Cliff, to have completely mint sources for all these with the exception of 'Somebody Messed Up' (those two tracks are downloads), so everything from the three lps on top and the 45's are from my rips. I also had all three Famous Groove CD's to work with - so my process was to put everything in one hopper, then choose the best sounding track among the duplicates, deleting the rest - I worked with the Blues Discography (Fancourt-McGrath) in my lap and did a lot of listening to determine the differences between tracks recorded twice and those merely released twice. There are 87 tracks here so this is meant only for those who dig Ray Agee.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Roots Of It All Acoustic Blues, Vol 1, 1920's & 1930's

 A stunning selection of acoustic blues – a series of well-done, deep-detailed CDs put together by the folks at Bear Family – who always give way more than 100% when it comes to this sort of project! The package comes with 2CDs and a super-heavy booklet that's filled with notes on the music, and song-by-song details – and this first volume covers the crucial first two decades of acoustic blues, the 20s and 30s – with a batch of 58 titles that include "Downtown Blues" by Frank Stokes, "Shake That Thing" by Papa Charlie Jackson, "Guitar Blues" by Sylvester Weaver, "Statesboro Blues" by Blind Willie McTell, "Ice & Snow Blues" by Clifford Gibson, "Pony Blues" by Charley Patton, "Little Hat Blues" by Little Hat Jones, "Cross & Evil Woman Blues" by Blind Gary, "Crow Jane" by Carl Martin, "Lone Wolf Blues" by Oscar Woods, "This Train" by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and "Bottle It Up & Go" by Tommy McClennan.  © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Junior Wells - Everybody's Gettin' Some (1995)

Junior Wells...Man...what a treasure !...Individuality & talent galore...He has Country Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk..running through his veins ..His early recordings...are classics...that KC has provided...Here is a good modern Blues recording,,,with some nice covers... plus famous guests...including Santana, Sonny Landreth & Bonnie Raitt...I suppose that's how you promote a Blues album these days...Fortunately this album is a my opinion... so get it ...And maybe make a comment

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hard To Explain: More Shattered Dreams 1968-1984

“Hard To Explain” covers a variety of styles, all influenced to some degree by aspects of the American black music spectrum. Jimmy Robins, Ray Agee and Big Daddy Rucker slow things down and give us blues enriched by deep soul ballads, whereas Earl Wright, Larry Davis, Tommy Youngblood and others update the R&B dancer. On the funkier side, we open with Freddy Robinson, who remade his hit ‘The Creeper’ with the help of Isaac Hayes’ backing band the Movement, while Albert King totally transforms James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’.

Other stars of the compilation include Smokey Wilson, Finis Tasby, Artie White and Jimmy McCracklin, who all help prove that the blues didn’t die in the 70s, but instead adapted to what was going on in the world at large. This immediacy still shines through today, making this another vital collection from a sometimes less fondly remembered era in blues history."

 By Dean Rudland

Junior Wells - Hoodoo Man Blues 1965

Review by Bill Dahl

"Hoodoo Man Blues is one of the truly classic blues albums of the 1960s, and one of the first to fully document, in the superior acoustics of a recording studio, the smoky ambience of a night at a West Side nightspot. Junior Wells just set up with his usual cohorts -- guitarist Buddy Guy, bassist Jack Myers, and drummer Billy Warren -- and proceeded to blow up a storm, bringing an immediacy to "Snatch It Back and Hold It," "You Don't Love Me, Baby," "Chitlins con Carne," and the rest of the tracks that is absolutely mesmerizing. Widely regarded as one of Wells' finest achievements, it also became Delmark's best-selling release of all time. Producer Bob Koester vividly captures the type of grit that Wells brought to the stage. When Wells and his colleagues dig into "Good Morning, Schoolgirl," "Yonder Wall," or "We're Ready," they sound raw, gutsy, and uninhibited. And while Guy leaves the singing to Wells, he really shines on guitar. Guy, it should be noted, was listed as "Friendly Chap" on Delmark's original LP version of Hoodoo Man Blues; Delmark thought Guy was under contract to Chess, so they gave him a pseudonym. But by the early '70s, Guy's real name was being listed on pressings. This is essential listening for lovers of electric Chicago blues."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Bessie Griffin & The Gospel Pearls - Live at The Bear in Chicago, LP rip

This Sunday's service comes from my own LP rip -

 Recorded Live at "The Bear" in Chicago
Griffin, Bessie and the Gospel Pearls
Pure Exalting Joy

Of the many fire-breathing gospel women working in Mahalia Jackson's shadow, Bessie Griffin (1922–1989) was the one most likely to send a congregation into rapture. Her voice was big and authoritative, a supple yet sturdy instrument that one student, the singer and songwriter Neko Case, esteems as "the greatest singing voice North America has ever produced." Griffin used that gift to send pure exalting joy through time-tested warhorses of gospel, and when supported by the five Gospel Pearls, who were more vigorous than most backing chorales, the sound they produced together is awesome. You hear Griffin do anything—"Wade in the Water," "Didn't It Rain"—and you're ready to join her congregation.

A native of New Orleans, Griffin managed to record for over four decades. Although she was frequently cited as a major force in gospel, and appears on many key compilations, she never attained superstar status. Compounding that slight is this: Many of her best works, including Swing Down Sweet Chariot and the conceptual Portraits in Bronze, have not been issued on CD. As a result, this live date, which is a bit heavy on the upbeat jubilee zeal, is the best way to encounter Griffin. Put it on, and prepare to be converted.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Junior Wells & Earl Hooker - Messin' With The Kid 1957-1963 (expanded)

 "Junior Wells (December 9, 1934 – January 15, 1998), born Amos Wells Blakemore Jr., was an American Chicago blues vocalist, harmonica player, and recording artist. Wells, who was best known for his performances and recordings with Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Buddy Guy, also performed with Bonnie Raitt, the Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison.

Junior Wells was possibly born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, and raised in West Memphis, Arkansas, though other sources report that his birth was in West Memphis, Arkansas. Initially taught by his cousin, Junior Parker, and Sonny Boy Williamson II, Wells learned how to play the harmonica by the age of seven with surprising skill. He moved to Chicago in 1948 with his mother after her divorce and began sitting in with local musicians at house parties and taverns. Wild and rebellious but needing an outlet for his talents, he began performing with The Aces (guitarist brothers Dave and Louis Myers and drummer Fred Below) and developed a more modern amplified harmonica style influenced by Little Walter. In 1952, he made his first recordings, when he replaced Little Walter in Muddy Waters' band and appeared on one of Muddy's sessions for Chess Records in 1952. His first recordings as a band leader were made in the following year for States Records. In the later 1950s and early 1960s, he also recorded singles for Chief Records and its Profile Records subsidiary, including "Messin' with the Kid", "Come on in This House", and "It Hurts Me Too", which would remain in his repertoire throughout his career. His 1960 Profile single "Little by Little" (written by Chief owner and producer Mel London) reached #23 in the Billboard R&B chart, making it the first of two Wells' singles to enter the chart.

Wells' album Hoodoo Man Blues (1965) on Delmark Records featured Buddy Guy on guitar. The two worked with the Rolling Stones on several occasions in the 1970s. His album South Side Blues Jam came out in 1971) and On Tap in 1975. His 1996 release Come on in This House includes slide guitarists, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Derek Trucks, and others. Wells made an appearance in the film Blues Brothers 2000, the sequel to The Blues Brothers, which was released in 1998.

From Wells' "Hoodoo Man Blues" album cover Junior gives this story: "I went to this pawnshop downtown and the man had a harmonica prices at $2.00. I got a job on a soda truck... played hookey from school ... worked all week and on Saturday the man gave me a dollar and a half. A dollar and a half! For a whole week of work. I went to the pawnshop and the man said the price was two dollars. I told him I had to have that harp. He walked away from the counter – left the harp there. So I laid my dollar-and-a-half on the counter and picked up the harp. When my trial came up, the judge asked my why I did it. I told him I had to have that harp. The judge asked me to play it and when I did he gave the man the 50 cents and hollered "Case dismissed!" (1948)

Wells began to have serious health problems, including cancer and a heart attack, in 1997. He died in Chicago on January 15, 1998, and was interred in the Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago." wiki

I've added 4 additional tracks that come from later re-issues of this same material - you will be able to tell by the covers - I left it to you as to where you want to incorporate them into the playlist. 

Shattered Dreams - Funky Blues 1967-1976

A repost by request!

" In the late 1960s and '70s, musicians who'd established themselves as blues artists often moved -- whether because of commercial pressure, a genuine desire to explore new territory, or some combination of the two -- toward a more soulful, funkified sound. Two of the biggest hits resulting from such a fusion, Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" and Lowell Fulson's "Tramp," give you an idea of how much (though by no means all) of this compilation sounds. Spanning the late '60s to the late '70s, many (though, again, by no means all) of the cuts are drawn from the vaults of Modern Records, though notable tracks done for a few other labels, such as Stax and Vanguard, are here too. Some of these performers (Buddy Guy, Albert King, Johnny Otis) are among the very biggest names in blues; others (Lowell Fulson, Little Milton) are quite well known, and quite a few might not even be known to blues collectors. Not much if anything is in the same league as "Born Under a Bad Sign" or "Tramp," but that would have been a tall order. Most of it's perfectly fine if blues-soul of the era is your thing, and the influence of soul and funk means that this is more varied than many a grab-bag blues anthology, though individual favorites are going to be different according to your taste. It's hard to believe, though, that the average listener won't favor Buddy Guy's 1968 cut "I'm Not the Best" over most or all of its surroundings; it's a smoking live number with obvious, though not at all awkward, nods to soul screamers like James Brown and Otis Redding. Some of the more interesting items fall a little outside the usual brassy/funky blues-soul box, like Slim Green's "Shake 'Em Up," which is a little in the proto-rap mold of uptempo '60s soul numbers by the likes of Joe Tex; Smokey Wilson's "You Shattered My Dreams," which recalls B.B. King's most sorrowful, dramatic ballads; the Johnny Otis Show's "Comin' at Ya Baby, Pt. 2" (one of five previously unreleased tracks on the CD), which is instrumental James Brown-like funk; and Arthur K. Adams' "Gimme Some of Your Lovin'," another cut where the Brown influence is apparent." AMG Richie Unterberger

Neville Brothers - Oddball Releases

This year at Jazz Fest we saw what was likely the final performance of the Meters and the year before we had our last performance of the Neville Brothers. Both Art and Aaron Neville have health issues that lead to the end of the road for both bands.

A conversation here in the chat box lead to me checking out my Neville Brothers folder and I came across 3 oddball cd rips from discs I had bought in SF a long time ago and eventually were sold. The only one that I kept a cover for was this weird Italian release that doesn't even have any actual Neville Brothers tracks on it! The tracks are all from various recordings done prior to the formation of the actual band! It has solo tracks from Art, Aaron and Cyril and some Meters tracks too. The two other discs included are a promo sampler done around the time of Yellow Moon, and live recordings from the era of Brother's Keeper done at Chicago's Navy Pier. The cool thing is that (last time I checked) some of the material on those doesn't seem to be anywhere else.

I'm gonna miss these guys.