Saturday, February 27, 2016

Frank Bey & Anthony Paule Band - Not Goin' Away

"San Francisco, though widely recognized for its cultural sophistication, and its contribution to the psychedelic sixties, has never been celebrated for being a blues town. Well, that is apparently changing, and this has been going on while the rest of the country is going about its localized music business. Spearheading this movement is the independent Blue Dot Records, which has been releasing exceptional records for over a decade now, the latest being the Bey Paule Band record Not Goin' Away. Led by two veteran performers as Frank Bey on vocals, and guitarist Anthony Paule, this outfit could arguably be the hottest soul-blues band in the Bay Area. With their third release on the label since "You Don't Know Nothing" and "Soul For Your Blues" were released in 2013 to wide acclaim, they keep the groove going with a mixed bag of down home blues and big city soul, wrapped and delivered with the authenticity of a rhythm and blues revue from yesteryear, complete with horn section and organist.

Frank Bey is the consummate soul singer who came up in the traditional gospel household in Georgia, paying his dues on the road with numerous gospel acts in his teens. His early brush with the big time was as an opening act for Otis Redding, before singing for several bands throughout the 1970's. He then went into a personal hiatus before surfacing in Philadelphia in 1996, putting out a record. By the turn of the new century he was in the Bay Area and eventually hooked up with Anthony Paule. Paule, meanwhile, had released several solo efforts in the mid '90's, all the while backing some of the biggest names in the business. The union of these two talents is one of those which was meant to happen, resulting in an extensive creative output.

From the biographical "Black Bottom," to the hard hitting "Right In Front Of You," the band supplies a solid backdrop for Bey to show that he can grind with the best of them. "Next To My Heart," and "Don't Ask Me How I Feel," bring the pace way down, where the vocals wring the most out of the lowdown lyrics, and then it's back up to the defiant "Not Goin' Away," which not only is the perfect title track, but should be the bands calling card. 'Ballad Of The Lover Man," with classic organ riffs by Tony Lufrano, harkens back to when soul music was made for jukeboxes, Saturday nights, and wishful thinking. The instrumental "Noel Haze," is done in the vintage Booker T & The MG's groove, complimented with a honking tenor by Nancy Wright.

The Bey Paule Bad performs in a manner which upholds the tradition from where this music came from, while keeping it relevant for today. This is not something one decides to do one day on a whim, but is the result of a lifetime of dedication and direction. Frank Bey, as good a singer as he is, could not do this alone, it is the combining with Anthony Paule and this perfect band that makes this an excellent record. Electric soul is what these guys are about, and they are not going away.

Track Listing: Black Bottom; Kiss Me Like You Mean It; Right In Front Of You; Next to My Heart; Someone You Use; This Party’s Done; Nobody’s Angel; Not Goin’ Away; Ballad Of The Lover Man; Noel’s Haze; Don’t Ask Me How I Feel; If I Could reach Out.
Personnel: Frank Bey: lead vocals; Anthony Paule: electric, acoustic and National resonator guitars; Paul revelli: drums, percussion; Paul Olguin: bass, back up vocal (1); tony Lufrano: Hammond B3 organ, grand piano, Wurlitzer; Nancy Wright: tenor sax; Mike Rinta: trombone; Tom Poole: trumpet; Christoffer “Kid” Anderson: slide guitar (7), rhythm guitar (12); Loralee Christensen: backing vocals (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12); Lisa Leuschner Anderson: backing vocals: (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12); Larry Batiste: backing vocals (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12); Jack Sanford: baritone sax (8).
Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Blue Dot Records" all about Jazz, James Nadal

The Henry Gray / Bob Corritore Sessions - Blues Won't Let Me Rest

"The legendary blues pianist Henry Gray has collaborated with harmonica ace Bob Corritore since 1996. The visceral musical cohesiveness and their long standing musical bond has produced consistently stunning recordings that are steeped in purity and tradition. With Henry’s recent 90th birthday (born January 19, 1925), Bob Corritore took it upon himself to share some of these true musical gems from his seemingly infinite recording vaults. The first volume presents a 14 song selection recorded over a 19 year period, in which all but 4 tracks are previously unissued. Henry sings 9 of these selections and Robert Jr. Lockwood, John Brim, NappyBrown, Tail Dragger, and Dave Riley provide one vocal each. At the core of each of these songs are the Gray and Corritore team who demonstrate their robust musical prowess and understated taste. Joining the proceedings are a rotating lineup of some of the blues’ greatest musicians for a program of fully-realized songs that alternate between rollicking, partying jumps and shuffles to the deepest of blues!" Blues Magazine

Friday, February 26, 2016

Jackie Payne - I Saw The Blues

If you've lived in the Bay Area and you dig the Blues then you probably know of Jackie Payne. A very smooth dude with an all-pro delivery. A very nice man as well, almost forgot about him until my Unky C handed me this one - if you like it, I have a couple more.

"I Saw The Blues"" is the latest release from veteran bluesman, Jackie Payne. The 12 tracks feature 6 original songs by Jackie and 6 interesting cover tunes. Payne has been recording and performing since the 60s including stints with Albert Collins, Johnny Otis and more recently the Jackie Payne & Steve Edmonson Band. His 3 recordings with Edmonson on the Delta Groove label received many accolades including a number of Blues Music Award nominations. ""I Saw The Blues"" features some of the San Francisco Bay Area's finest musicians including Kid Andersen, Anthony Paule, Derrick D'Mar Martin, Bob Welsh, Lorenzo Farrell, Ed Early, and others. This CD was recorded at the famous Greaseland Studios in San Jose and mastered by Tom Size." 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

B.B. King - Treasures Untold

Another gift from our favorite Unky! You may have heard that P-Vine put out a limited edition 17 discs and one LP set of B.B. King that is the nearest to complete set ever produced. Of course Cliff had to have it and managed, thru a mutual friend with Japanese connections, to acquire the beast. At some point down the road the rest of the collection will appear, but for now here is the LP that comes in the set. Most of these tracks have never been issued anywhere and the likelihood that you would have even the couple that have is very slim.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pilgrim Jubilees - Peacock and Savoy sides

Rather than drag this out any further, I'm going to put two more label sections in this post so that I can move on. The details of these sections are the same as the two previous - thanks to Dr. Hepcat, Mr. Bob Laughton and Mr. Alan Young.  

These two sections bring us to modern times and the more current Malaco recordings of which I may post a couple at a later date.

btw people there has been an awful lot of downloading going on here lately without much commenting - that has to change or the posts will stop...just saying...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wee Willie Walker - If Nothing Ever Changes

A couple years back preslives gave us a self made compilation of Wee Willie Walker tracks from the 60's and 70's. All killer stuff, but the story seemed to end there. Until quite recently anyway...imagine my surprise when Unky Cliff handed me a new cd from the same Wee Willie Walker!

more info here:  http://www.weewilliewalker.com/about/

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Charles Smith - Ashes to Ashes + bonus

Wish I knew something more about this guy, information is pretty sparse and Dr. Hepcat didn't include scans when he sent me the files.

The editorial blurb at Amazon has this:  "Charles Smith worked with producer Dewey Vandiver in Muscle Shoals, recording at Vandiver's Quad City studio and at other local studios, including Fame. Charles Smith & Jeff Cooper had a big regional seller in 1972 with My Great Loss (Ashes To Ashes) and Smith followed it with three studio singles. This collection features all his released tracks plus alternate versions and previously unissued masters."

Charles Smith of 'Ashes to Ashes'fame was still with us in 2011 (at age 81) He' still alive at 81 and still good friends with Dewey.(source: Gary Cape on Jan 25,2011)

Charles was a member of the Entertainers (of 'Too Much' fame), prior to his solo career, when researching stuff like that at FAME last year. (source: Tony Rounce on Jan 25,2011))

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Beef Ball Baby! - The New Orleans Recording sessions

"Stupendously rare or unissued New Orleans R&B and blues in incomparable sound quality.

Despite being based in Linden, New Jersey, DeLuxe recorded all across the USA in the company’s formative period in an attempt to score hits. DeLuxe was the first indie to tap into what was going on in the Crescent City in the years immediately following WWII. The label’s biggest find during that time was Roy Brown, the subject of two CDs in our “King & DeLuxe Acetates” series. In “Beef Ball Baby!” you can hear the surviving acetates of some of the other highly talented people DeLuxe recorded in New Orleans in the acetate era.

Long before Fats Domino took the city’s music to the masses, “Beef Ball Baby!” shows that the New Orleans R&B revolution was already under way. In this package we bring you Chubby “Hip Shakin’” Newsom and her husband-to-be Eddie Gorman, future hit-maker Jewel King and three all-time legends of New Orleans music: Cousin Joe, Smiling (Smiley) Lewis and Dave Bartholomew. In the case of Lewis and Bartholomew, the tracks mark their studio debuts as named artists. Their historical significance is just as significant as their musical value

For years a rumour circulated that the early DeLuxe acetate masters had perished in a warehouse fire. When Alec Palao and I painstakingly packed the surviving King acetates to be shipped to Ace, around a decade ago, we were delighted to find at least 80% of them were not only intact but, for the most part, in pristine condition. Just how clean most of them are can be judged from the sound of this CD – particularly in the four “Smiling” Lewis tracks, which sparkle with such clarity that listeners could almost have been in the room with him when he cut them at what was his first session. The quality of the shellac on which DeLuxe 78s were pressed being as poor as it was, we guarantee you will never have heard any of these tracks, eight of which are previously unissued, sound as good as they do here."

Tony Rounce for Ace

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Sensational Nightingales - On Peacock with Julius Cheeks: 1950s

A repost by request: 
The Sensational   Nightingales have been one of the top gospel quartets for more than 60 years.  There are many CDs and LPs available.  But you won’t find this one.  This collection assembles all of the Peacock 45s from their golden years from 1952-1959, during the time that Julius Cheeks and the Gales earned their reputation as the “Baddest Quartet on the Road.”    A handful of these tracks were reissued on MCA’s budget CD/LP entitled the Best of the Sensational Nightingales.   But here you have THE essential 75-minute Sensational Nightingales CD that was never released

The Sensational Nightingales were based in Philadelphia.  They recruited the legendary singer Julius “June” Cheeks from his hometown in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1950.   By the time that the Peacock recordings began in 1952, the tenor Ernest James had joined the Nightingales from the Dixie Hummingbirds as second lead.    In many ways, Julius Cheeks was the archetypical hard gospel singer, and a huge influence on many other singers, including Wilson Pickett, David Ruffin, and Otis Clay.  Cheeks sang so hard that his voice gave out after a decade, forcing him into early retirement.    He worked himself and audiences into a complete frenzy.  The additional powerful tenor of Ernest James delivered a 1-2 punch that few other quartets could endure.   Nobody wanted to follow the Sensational Nightingales on the Program.     

After leaving the Nightingales in 1960, Cheeks continued to work and make records with the Four Knights, but began to experience the increasing vocal problems that ended his career.    Here you have the true recorded legacy of Julius Cheeks in his prime.  

The Sensational Nightingales is still one of the most powerful remaining quartets today. 

I've added 3 other collections to the original post. KC 

Pilgrim Jubilees - Chance, NBC & Specialty sides

This is part two of a series that will cover the history of this classic Gospel group - the series comes courtesy of Dr. Hepcat and was compiled by Mr. Bob Laughton and Mr. Alan Young. I'm not presenting them exactly chronologically, but in groups by label. Today we have their earliest recordings on Chance, NBC and Specialty.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Professor Longhair - Baton Rouge & Memphis 1971-72


In earlier posts, I am fairly certain we have covered all the material from Professor Longhair's first heyday back in 1948-53. So popular was he was back in that first era of record men from the north coming to New Orleans, that he was recorded by at least 5 different labels in those years, Jerry Wexler and Atlantic actually recorded him 3 different times, once in NY and twice here. Both Mercury and Atlantic soon ran into an obstacle with Fess, however, like many New Orleans artists he was unwilling to tour in support of records. He didn't like leaving New Orleans. Not long after his final Atlantic session, Byrd had a what is described as a mild stroke which shelved his career throughout the next wave of record producers like Imperial and Specialty who passed over Fess and his mentor Archibald in favor of their students and proteges like Fats Domino, Mac Rebennack, Art Neville and Allen Toussaint.

Fess had sufficiently recovered to resume his career by 1957 as evidenced by an excellent session for Barbara Rupe's Ebb records which yielded 6 songs but no career traction and Byrd still wouldn't travel far from home. He managed only sporadic singles for labels like Rip, Ron and Watch over the next 7 years (yielding only local hits) and then after 1964, nothing. The gigs had apparently dried up and while I've heard somewhere that he would occasionally host rent parties and Indian practices in his front parlor, he essentially drops out of sight.

By 1970 Fess was destitute, depressed, and chronically ill from a life of malnutrition. He was completely out of music; he reportedly swept the floor of a music distributor on Rampart hoping to pick up some 'royalties' on sales around Mardi Gras. He was weak and his legs shook so badly he couldn't stand for long. Chances are pretty good he would not have survived much longer. Fortunately help was on the way, first in the form of some blues freak Englishmen from Blues Unlimited who came looking for the author of those earlier great recordings. They claim to have found him in a flop house next to a jukejoint on Rampart Street, this was before either of his Uptown homes, but that sounds like a fabricated tale that made good print. Those guys did, however, help a pair of crazy Tulane kids locate Fess for their budding New Orleans Jazz Festival. Once they had found him Alison Minor and Quint Davis helped this frail, starving artist, turned to an old man well before his time (he was only 50!) by extreme poverty, to revive his career and, more importantly, his life. Alison describes Fess as having dropped more than ten years from his apparent age in a matter of months. He morphed into the incredibly hip and vital dude that I remember. With a new audience, a new purpose and a new home club in Tipitina's, his health rebounded and the final decade of that life was spent playing and recording both here and around the world to at least some portion of the sort of adulation he so justly deserved.

The two sessions represented here were the first made by Roy 'Professor Longhair' Byrd in nearly two decades. The Baton Rouge session in September 1971 was done at Deep South Recorders with Snooks Eaglin on guitar, Will Harvey on bass, and Fess' dear friend Shiba (Edwin Kimbrough) on drums. The session was a 17 (18?) track demo to shop him to labels for a new recording contract...no one bit at that point. Somehow Davis managed to get Fess to travel all the way to Memphis for a second attempt. The Memphis session of June 1972 also included Snooks, but this time bassist George Davis and Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste were on board for 15 more tracks. Meanwhile Albert Grossman's Bearsville Records in Woodstock, NY (Todd Rundgren's label) became interested in producing a Professor Longhair record but the result was a disastrous session with rock musicians who knew nothing of Fess' music. In the hurry to leave Davis would leave both masters (which had been sent ahead for the session musicians to learn from) behind with the understanding they would be sent back to New Orleans. Grossman never returned them and pulled the classic 'money owed us for the unsuccessful session' dodge in an attempt to steal the recordings. It would be two more years before the same brilliant Frenchman who brought us the first Wild Magnolias albums (Phillipe Rault of Barcaly Records) would produce Fess' first album, 'Rock 'N' Roll Gumbo' with Gatemouth Brown. (bizarrely enough the co-producer was George Winston)

When these two sessions finally came to light after Fess' and Grossman's deaths, Rounder seems to have been given first choice of tracks and Rhino released the rest. (House Party is the Rounder issue, Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge is the Rhino issue.)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Staple Singers - Faith & Grace (A Family Journey 1953-1976)

We have a three part Sunday service today, I'm making up for my missing a few Sundays lately - all 3 parts are fantastic so be sure to check them all.

First up: An amazing contribution from Unky Cliff, on this Sunday morning Deacon Clifford. This amazing set covers the period listed on the cover in it's entirety - for many of you this will mean you can dispense with some of your bits and pieces. Included is even a 45 recreation of their very first recording on a tiny independent label.

"The Staple Singers were an American gospel, soul and R&B singing group. Roebuck "Pops" Staples (1914–2000), the patriarch of the family, formed the group with his children Cleotha (1934–2013), Pervis (b. 1935), and Mavis (b. 1939). Yvonne (b. 1936) replaced her brother when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and again in 1970. They are best known for their 1970s hits "Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There", "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)", and "Let's Do It Again", which with one exception ("I'll Take You There") peaked on the Hot 100 within a week from Christmas Day.

While the family surname is "Staples", the group used the singular form for its name, "The Staple Singers".

Roebuck moved from Mississippi to Chicago after his marriage, and worked in steel mills and meat packing plants while his family of four children grew up. The family began appearing in Chicago-area churches in 1948. Their first public singing appearance was at the Mount Zion Church, Chicago, where Roebuck's brother, the Rev. Chester Staples, was pastor. They signed their first professional contract in 1952. During their early career they recorded in an acoustic gospel-folk style with various labels: United Records, Vee-Jay Records (their "Uncloudy Day" and "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" were best sellers), Checker Records, Riverside Records, and then Epic Records in 1965. "Uncloudy Day" was an early influence on Bob Dylan, who said of it in 2015, "It was the most mysterious thing I'd ever heard... I'd think about them even at my school desk...Mavis looked to be about the same age as me in her picture (on the cover of "Uncloudy Day")...Her singing just knocked me out...And Mavis was a great singer - deep and mysterious. And even at the young age, I felt that life itself was a mystery"

It was on Epic that the Staple Singers developed a style more accessible to mainstream audiences, with "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)" and "For What It's Worth" (Stephen Stills) in 1967. In 1968, the Staple Singers signed to Stax Records and released two albums with Steve Cropper — Soul Folk in Action and We'll Get Over, Pervis returning for these. After Steve Cropper left Stax, Al Bell produced their recordings, conducting the rhythm sessions at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and cutting the overdubs himself at Memphis' Ardent Studios, moving in a more funk and soul direction.

The first Stax hit was "Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom)" in early 1971. Their late 1971 recording of "Respect Yourself", written by Luther Ingram and Mack Rice, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both sold over one million copies, and were each awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The song's theme of self-empowerment had universal appeal, released in the period immediately following the intense American civil rights movement of the 1960s. In 1972 "I'll Take You There" topped both Billboard charts. In 1973 "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)" reached No. 9 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B chart.

After Stax's 1975 bankruptcy, the foursome signed to Curtis Mayfield's label, Curtom Records, and released "Let's Do It Again", produced by Mayfield; the song became their second No. 1 pop hit in the US and the album was also successful. In 1976 they collaborated with The Band for their film The Last Waltz, performing on the song "The Weight" (which The Staple Singers had previously covered on their first Stax album). However, they were not able to regain their momentum, releasing only occasional minor hits. Their 1984 album Turning Point featured their final Top 40 hit, a cover of Talking Heads' "Slippery People" (which also reached the Top 5 on the Dance chart). In 1994, they again performed the song "The Weight" with Country music artist Marty Stuart for MCA Nashville's Rhythm, Country and Blues compilation, somewhat re-establishing an audience. The song "Respect Yourself" was used by Spike Lee in the soundtrack to his movie Crooklyn, made in 1994.

In 1999, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pops Staples died of complications from a concussion suffered in December 2000. In 2005, the group was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Mavis Staples has continued to carry on the family tradition and continues to add her vocal talents to both the projects of other artists and her own solo ventures. Cleotha Staples died in Chicago on February 21, 2013, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for over a decade." wiki

The Great 1955 Shrine Concert

This Sunday  we have a real Gospel show not just a simulation, and what a show it is.

The power and splendor that was gospel in the '50s radiates throughout the performances on The Great 1955 Shrine Concert. The Pilgrim Travelers, with twin powerhouse leads Kylo Turner and Keith Barber, get things started in fiery fashion, followed by the dynamic Caravans, whose roster at that time included Albertina Walker and Rev. James Cleveland, who doubled as a pianist. Also on the bill were Brother Joe May, justifying his "Thunderbolt of the Midwest" nickname; the Soul Stirrers, with Sam Cooke still in the fold; and the Original Gospel Harmonettes, concluding the proceedings with a flourish. Anyone who attended certainly felt the spirit, as will anyone who listens to this magnificent 14-song set.
ENJOY YOUR SUNDAY MORNING, REMEMBER TO TURN IT UP!

Brother Joe May will rock your world, he just about steals he show, at least until Sam comes on and really does. Ethel Davenport just sends shivers up my spine, I wish they had included more of her. Dorothy Love Coats sings with with a conviction that she can wring the devil out of you with the power of her voice, she probably could! 

Pilgrim Jubilees - The Nashboro Sides

This is part one of a series that will cover the history of this classic Gospel group - the series comes courtesy of Dr. Hepcat and was compiled by Mr. Bob Laughton and Mr. Alan Young. I'm not presenting them exactly chronologically, but in groups by label, first up is Nashboro. 
Artist Biography by Sandra Brennan

"Since the early '50s, the Pilgrim Jubilee Singers have used their hard, rockin' gospel music as a powerful means of testifying their faith, love, and charitable hope that humanity will find a way to bring itself closer to the kingdom of heaven. Over its long history, the group has undergone numerous personnel changes. The first incarnation originated in the 1940s on the Mississippi Delta by Elgie and Theopholis Graham, but the most famous version of the Pilgrim Jubilees began in Chicago, 1952, when younger Graham brothers Clay and Cleve resurrected the group. Since then, these two have remained the group's spiritual and musical core. While growing up in Mississippi, all four Graham brothers were trained to sing. It was Theopholis who left the first group to live in Chicago; the rest of his brothers followed in 1951, and all four briefly sang in the group. The Pilgrim Jubilees toured quite a bit (when not working their day jobs, which for the Graham brothers meant working in their separate barber shops), and this proved too much for the older brothers, who gradually dropped out. Shortly thereafter, Clay and Cleve invited baritone Major Roberson and lead singer Percy Clark (both from Mississippi) to join. They also took on guitarist Richard Crume and bassist Roosevelt English, and began recording; through the 1950s, they released sides and albums for assorted labels, including Peacock, Chance, and Nashboro. Soon after signing to Peacock in 1960, the band gained national exposure with their label debut, "Stretch Out." Its success allowed the Pilgrim Jubilees to finally go professional. Crume eventually left the group to join the Soul Stirrers, but the other three have remained together and carried on into the '90s."

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sunnyland Slim & Big Voice Odom At The Chicago Blues Festival with Jimmy Dawkins 1974

Probably the first thing you should know about this album is that the Chicago Blues Festival of 1974 did not actually take place in Chicago; it was, instead, the name of European tour of American bluesmen. This live concert comes from the Blues Reference series of the good folks at Black and Blue.

We have an interesting collection of Chicago musicians here that attracted me because it includes 7 more tracks from 'Big Voice' Odum as well as 13 from pianist Sunnyland Slim. Fine guitar work from Jimmy Dawkins provides fireworks throughout the show.

PERSONNEL:

SUNNYLAND SLIM
vocal (8-18, 20, 21), piano (8-21)
BIG VOICE ODOM
vocal (1-7)
JIMMY DAWKINS
guitar
OTIS RUSH
guitar (5)
JEROME VAN JONES
organ (1-5)
WILLIE MABON
harmonica (11, 14 & 20)
JAMES GREEN
bass
BOB PLUNKETT
drums

Recorded in Paris, France, November 26, 1974.