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Various - Spreading The Word – Early Gospel Recordings 4CD Boxset (CD)€30,00
Selected sides from a vital American musical tradition. Fully annotated and fully remastered. Featuring Washington Phillips, Rev ’Shy’ Moore, Arizona Dranes, Bessie Johnson, Luther Magby, Prof Johnson and many more. The instruction was quite clear; it appears in Psalm 81: ”make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob”, and African Americans took it to heart. Timbrels and tabrets, the recommended devices, being hard to locate in the United States of the Twentieth Century, they resorted to more readily acquired instruments such as the guitar and the piano to ensure that, even when singing of hellfire and damnation, the ’noise’ that they made fitted the prescribed description.
The guitar, being easily portable, was the favoured instrument of street corner evangelists and separate collections are available on JSP Recods dedicated to their work; what this collection concentrates on is performances more closely associated with churches, performances sometimes backed up by a congregation and featuring a range of instruments from the instantly recognizable to the downright mysterious.
Various - Protobilly – The Minstrel & Tin Pan Alley DNA Of Country Music 3CDBoxset (CD)€29,00
This 3 CD reissue anthology is the first to track 20th century American vernacular music of old time country, bluegrass, jazz and blues by tracing their beginnings in 19th century blackface minstrelsy and Tin Pan Alley.
The set includes a 76 page booklet with song annotations, sheet music covers, photographs and period graphics, biographies and discographies. Driven by songwriting and publishing songs are refashioned again and again showcasing stylistic as well as lyrical changes over the past 100 years. The foundation of the American popular songbook traces its beginnings to the Vaudeville, Circus, Minstrel, Music Hall and Theatre stages of the mid-late 1800’s.
The songs spread throughout the country and world creating a new musical tapestry that included both black and white performers of all backgrounds. By aligning performances from the earliest cylinder recordings with later 78 rpm, LP and CD versions, PROTOBILLY brings to life 81 historic recordings – more than half never before reissued all brilliantly remastered to vividly demonstrate the checkered and enormously powerful elasticity of American music
Dicey Bill - Fool In Love – The Complete Sessions (CD)€15,00
Classic blues harmonica from a New York legend.
Bill Dicey’s playing here is simply superb, straight down the line ’traditional’ electric style and the whole set is unpretentious real blues. Note the nice studio sound with properly recorded drums and no attempt to turn it all into a rock session. The final three tracks were recorded at a BBC Radio session and are bonus tracks not on the original vinyl release. The contrast in the audio approach is fascinating. A ’rockier’ drum sound, all a bit heavier and of course recorded in a big room. Apart from some sterling sideman work I think that was his only studio album. He was one of those guys who made the 1970s and 80s scene so vibrant and he deserves to be better known now, and certainly merited far more coverage and attention when he was alive. He was maybe the kind of guy who would hustle for someone else he thought deserved it, but didn’t push his own career. But he left a legacy and this album is an important part of it.
Various - Louisiana Swamp Blues 2 (4CD Boxset) (CD)€30,00
The cities of Crowley and Lake Charles, where many of these sides were cut, lie to to the east of Baton Rouge, which itself isn’t far from New Orleans – so the marriage of musical genres is hardly surprising. The musicians were drawn from a fairly small circle and most weren’t so much Cajun-influenced as Cajun-immersed.
The records they made arean exhilarating display of their effortless switching between Cajun, Zydeco and Blues. It all started n the late 1940s when former musician Jay D Miller set up in Crowley to record Cajun, Zydeco and Swamp Pop. In the mid-1950s he added bluesmen like Lightnin’ Slim and Slim Harpo, whose tracks he leased to Nashville’s Excello label among others. It was quickly noted that the new material had, as well as a languid tempo, a strong flavour of Cajun and Zydeco.
Enter ’Swamp Blues’. Cornelius Green was born some 30 miles south of Baton Rouge. A part time musician, in 1955 he joined Clifton Chenier’s Zydeco Ramblers (a sure sign of his skill) as a guitarist and vocalist. In the same year he left a tape with Jay D Miller who signed him. He was renamed ’Lonesome Sundown’ presumably because of the unhipness of ’Cornelius’. You Know I Love You and Lonely Lonely Me are 1957 offerings. Neither was a hit – but both would be seen a essential parts of the Swamp Blues repertoire. His records all feature fine guitar work – he would later be a superb exponent of the ’wobble’ effect gained from an overloaded amp.
At about the same time, the Goldband label was started by Eddie Shuler, a Texan who’d had a stint with the Hackberry Ramblers. Shuler’s motive was only to record his band, but soon other local groups joined him. During the early 1950s, Shuler took on R&B, blues, country, rock, swamp pop and Cajun. His hits ranged from Sea Of Love by Phil Phillips to Dolly Parton’s Puppy Love. One Of Goldband’s early successes was Cleveland Crochet’s Sugar Bee of 1961. It entered the Billboard top 100 – the first Cajun disc to do so. The two Crochet numbers here (Sweet Thing, Midnight Blues) are no less energetic but have a bit more of the advertised blues content.
Also present here are the Boogie Ramblers, Cookie & the Cupcakes, Lightnin’ Slim, King Karl and Guitar Gable among many others. Those who enjoyed our first Swamp Blues compilation with know what pleasures lie in store. For those not so fortunate – sit back and enjoy!
Various - Bottleneck Guitar – Selected Sides 1926-2015 (4-CD) (CD)€30,00
Anthology of the blues slide guitar from 1926 to 2015!
The slide guitar is often associated with blues greats, including Robert Johnson, Booker White, Elmore James and Leadbelly. These and some less known but no less talented artists are featured on this compilation. Featuring: Blind Lemon Jefferson, Tampa Red, Louisiana Red, Joe Louis Walker, Charlie McCoy, Charley Patton, Michael Hill, Bo Weavil Jackson, Sam Butler, Lucky Peterson and many more.
Various - Golden Gospel Gals 1949-1959 (4CD Boxset) (CD)
A remarkable collection of women gospel singers from the golden age Featuring amazing women singers such as Clara Ward, The Davis Sisters and The Caravans these are some of the most impressive gospel recordings of the era. Superbly remastered and presented with expert sleeve notes from Opal Louis Nations and featuring many rare sides This is an essential collection for the growing band of people interested in this fascinating area of postwar music.
Various - Texas Hillbillies 4CDBoxset (CD)€30,00
This collection of 93 instrumentals and songs provides a tantalizing glimpse into the string band music performed by Texas ’hillbilly’ musicians in the 1920s and 1930s. An eternity of musical secrets is locked within these discs that beg for further study and sleuthing, and will keep the listener mesmerized for a lifetime. These musicians from the pre-war era drew from very old folk traditions while they forged new pathways with boundary breaking experimentation. A journey far back into the depths of an early Texas, when the music was resonating with echoes of the elders and the birthing pangs of young bloods. A magical place where you’ll find as much diversity within the early string band traditions as you find in the history of popular Texas music itself.
Various - Vaudeville Blues 4CD Boxset (CD)€30,00
Blues Links-Vaudeville % Rural Blues 1919-1941. A fascinating compilation exploring the interaction between the Urban, Vaudeville Blues and Country Blues performers. This music used to be called ’Classic Blues’, it’s the music of Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey and dozens of other women singers of the 1920’s. But there was amazing interaction between the Urban and Rural, sophisticated and raw. This 4 Cd set explores this in depth. Compiled by Max Haymes it’s an expert’s take on the amazing burst of creativity of the 1920’s blues scene in all its rich glory and vast musical spectrum.
Various - I Ain’t A Gamblin’ Woman – Raunchy Women`s Blues 1923-1937 (4CD Boxset) (CD)€30,00
Raunchy African American women’s blues. And apart from raunchiness – itself capable of inspiring violent reactions – much of the material here would have been fraught with danger. Any expression of independence carried with it the threat of a racist response.
This is a celebration of lesser known singers, from the early blues era featuring an approximate CD’s-worth by Clara Smith, Lucille Bogan, and Lil Johnson. A fourth, Moanin’ Bernice Edwards has only 14 vocal sides to her name, so she’s supplemented by four Texas Blueswomen: Hociel Thomas, Sippie Wallace, Bessie Tucker and Victoria Spivey. We cover rural, urban and vaudeville blues styles. What must be emphasised is that these women were transgressive in at least two ways. First, they dared to dominate at a time when women were expected to be submissive. Second, in their celebration – albeit euphemistic – of sex, they risked outraging the prudish majority So here are kitchen utensils, fish, fowl and even cabbage deployed to conjure up the most carnal of images. But that’s as far as we go. Half the fun is working out these song’s true meaning for yourself.
CAUTION THIS COLLECTION DEALS WITH SEXUAL THEMES. IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THE YOUNG OR SENSITIVE.
Various - Get Up Off Your Knees – From Red Springs To Bloomers 4CD Boxset (CD)€30,00
How to sin…99 different ways. In the 1920s, record companies found the Black audience could be profitable.
Record sales soared. Sex – disguised -was a major part of blues lyrics. Fish, flesh, fruit and fowl were all co-opted, as well as rent men and gas men, butchers and bakers, carpenters and coffee grinders, keyholes and kitchens, cigarettes and sissies, frying pans and furniture, and unkindly, a bicycle.
Here’s a raucous, red-blooded blues investigation of one of Humanity’s constant fixations, from artists like Julia Lee, Lonnie Johnson, Victoria Spivey, Roosevelt Sykes and many, many more.
Fulson Lowell - Classic Cuts 1946-1953 4CD Boxset (CD)€30,00
CD Box of the early side of the classic blues and soul man. Lowell Fulson recorded Reconsider Baby – the archetypal modern Texas blues – but there’s more to him than that. He wrote one of B.B. King’s biggest hits – Three O’Clock Blues, and Tramp, co-written with Jimmy McCracklin, was a minor hit for him but a nationwide pop success for Otis Redding and Carla Thomas. He was smart and warm-hearted, his style unique and identifiable in one of music’s most demanding fields.
Various - I’ve Got the Blues But I’m Too Damn Mean to Cry – Protest in Early Blues & Gospel 4CD Boxset (CD)€30,00
Protest, resentment, despair. Well, it’s the blues after all. But frequently the message is expressed with wit and humour, so that the object of the various barbs would have no idea who or what was being criticised. Occasionally, as with both the Mississippi Sheiks and the Memphis Jug Band – who complained about police corruption – the sentiments were unambiguous. And, as it happens, never so relevant as today. But these tracks were cut primarily as entertainment – the musicianship and wordplay is generally stunning. Listen for that reason. The sociology’s a bonus.
Various - Harlem Hamfats – Masters Of Jazz & Blues 1936-1944 Box set (CD)€30,00
A&R man Mayo Williams had an idea: combine blues with more popular material. He put trumpeter Herb Morand and clarinettist Odell Rand with Joe and Charlie McCoy and party pianist Horace Malcolm to form the Harlem Hamfats – a name blending the sophisticated and the downhome. The result was good time music, played with the skill and panache of experienced session players. It’s rare to encounter music that’s both classy and just downright fun. Here’s some. Enjoy it.
Various - West Coast Guitar 1946-1956 (4CD boxset) (CD)€30,00
West Coast guitar skills were hugely influential in the development of blues- and rock-guitar. The popular dictum was that T-Bone Walker was the sole source of inspiration but the men that succeeded him, including Pete ’Guitar’ Lewis, Jimmy Nolen and Robert Kelton, created a leaner, meaner blues-based style that had a wider appeal. Like Walker, Gene Phillips straddled the line between jazz and blues, as well as being a gifted lap-steel player. In fact, the only man to closely emulate Walker was Pee Wee Crayton. Beyond all speculation is one fact: those West Coast artists produced a fine body of work, which has been insufficiently acknowledged or celebrated. Listen. This is a group of artists dead-set on entertaining – and on demonstrating their considerable artistry.
Curtis King - Live In New York (Käytetty LP/12)€17,00
The King Curtis All Stars:
King Curtis (Vocal on A2 & A4-A6, tenor on rest)
Al Casey (Gtr), Paul Griffin (Pno),
Jimmy Lewis(Bs), Belton Evans (Dms)
Recorded at Smalls Paradise, Harlem, mid-1961.
Liner notes by Roy Simonds of Middlesex, England.
Various - Mississippi Blues – Another Jorney 1926-1959 (4CD Boxset) (CD)€30,00
This set of superbly remastered and presented vintage Mississippi Blues sides is compiled and annotated by Neil Slaven and presents some of the key recordings of the Mississippi Blues scene. These are the roots of so much that followed-these players created the template for a music that would take over the world!!
Jones Johnny - Doin’ the Best I Can 2CD (CD)€22,00
JOHNNY JONES – DOIN’ THE BEST I CAN – This is the very first series reissue of this amazing and vital Chicago Blues pianist and singer. He was ’first call’ piano player for some of the greats including Elmore James and Tampa Red and his own recordings although few in number are of the highest quality – he was a distinctive pianist and singer who was immediately recognizable. If you’re any kind of blues fan, you’ll have heard Johnny Jones – as a member of that elite Chicago group that included greats like Junior Wells, Elmore James, Little Walter and Tampa Red. Here we celebrate his contribution – including six tracks issued in his name. Johnny Jones was one of an elite group of Chicago blues pianists. Apart from Jones himself, you could choose between Otis Spann, Sunnyland Slim, Memphis Slim and Little Brother Montgomery. Jones was present on almost all Elmore James’ 1950s sessions. As well as working with Elmore, he did the occasional gig with Muddy, Jimmy Rogers and Dusty Brown. He also went on the road with Little Walter. Here’s fine work from some of Chicago’s best. The sidemen – Ransom Knowling, Odie Payne and Red Saunders, to name a few – just as classy as the principals.
Famous Hokum Boys - Georgia Tom Dorsey & Big Bill Broonzy 2CD (CD)€20,00
‘Hokum’ was a raucous, rowdy music that nevertheless demanded good musicianship. All these sides were cut in 1930 – a testament to the popularity of Big Bill and Georgia Tom, both as single artists and as the Famous Hokum Boys. An added joy, on the session of February 5th, is Scrapper Blackwell taking time out from his partnership with Leroy Carr.