Sunday, June 22, 2014

Arbee Stidham - There's Always Tomorrow

An exciting and expressive jazz-influenced blues vocalist, Arbee Stidham also plays alto sax, guitar and harmonica. His father Luddie Stidham worked in Jimme Lunceford's orchestra, while his uncle was a leader of the Memphis Jug Band. Stidham formed the Southern Syncopators and played various clubs in his native Arkansas in the '30s. He appeared on Little Rock radio station KARK and his band backed Bessie Smith on a Southern tour in 1930 and 1931.Stidham frequently performed in Little Rock and Memphis until he moved to Chicago in the '40s. Stidham recorded with Lucky Millinder's Orchestra for Victor in the '40s for Victor. He did his own sessions for Victor, Sittin' In, Checker, Abco, Prestige/Bluesville, Mainstream, and Folkways in the '50s and '60s, and appeared in the film The Bluesman in 1973. Stidham also made many festival and club appearances nationwide and internationally. He did occasional blues lectures at Cleveland State University in the '70s.
It took a couple of listens before I could appreciate this LP. The production is pretty raw and the organ is too much to the front for me. Still it grew on me and I suggest that you give it a try.
Has been rereleased on CD years ago.


Alan Balfour said...

I remember critics/reviewers of the day had very little time for this Folkways LP in 1973.

Despite its gatefold sleeve, the 1974 Mainstream LP, "A Time For The Blues", was very short on playing time - 15 minutes a side!

On the plus side, in 1982 Mr R&B Records collected together a superb collection of 1947-57 on their Crown Prince label with really informative sleeve notes by the late Juhani Ritvanen.

Sorry I'm rambling again......

Xyros said...

I wouldn't call it rambling but welcome additional info/insights into the artist or their releases.
Always welcome Alan.