Monday, May 28, 2018

Willie Walker & The Butanes - Memphisiapolis

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

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

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

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

Dylann DeAnna - Bluescritic website (US)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pitch/Gusman Story, Vol 3

The Pitch / Gusman Story

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

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

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

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The Pitch / Gusman Records Story, Disc 2

 for lol

Good morning Part 2 of this fine service

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The Pitch-Gusman Records Story, Vol 1

...for li'l ole lady

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

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

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

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

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

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

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

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jimmy Rogers - The Complete Chess Recordings

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


https://www57.zippyshare.com/v/5eFOzTIo/file.html
https://www57.zippyshare.com/v/v0ejwe9B/file.html

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Muddy Waters - Mud In Your Ear


A repost by request: 

Muddy Waters - Mud In Your Ear
Muse 5008, 1967

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


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

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