Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunnyland Slim - Sad And Lonesome

Sunnyland Slim belongs to those generation and category of Bluesmen who, although their bar was placed high enough, never permitted themselves not clearing it.
This set, titled Sad And Lonesome¸ originally issued on Jewel label in 1972, demonstrates usual high class piano playing by the master but more accent is made on Sunnyland Slim’s singing – powerful, deep down, and overwhelming. Already an acclaimed Blues piano player by the time of recording this set, Mr. Slim focuses on band work getting helping hand and inducing soloing and leading by Big Walter Horton on harmonica and Eddie Shaw on saxophone. (Dimo's Blues blog)

For suckers like me it has an autographed back cover.


Wash Board Willie - Whippin' That Board!

It wasn't until William Hensley was 31 years old that he decided to buy a washboard and begin to make music on it. He bought a wood and metal washboard, fastened a four-inch frying pan to one corner, put eight metal thimbles on his fingers, tied the board around his neck with a dog leash, and started beating away. As a kid growing up in Columbus, GA, there were always vaudeville acts and tent and minstrel shows coming through the area. He always loved beating on the drums or anything with a surface. He played around the Columbus area occasionally, but nothing really professionally. In 1948 he moved north to Detroit, where he had to concentrate more on making a living, than beating on his washboard, and he didn't play at all for three years. It wasn't until 1952, that he and a friend were out one night looking for John Lee Hooker, when they came upon Eddie Burns and his little group, playing at the Harlem Inn. After hearing the drummer playing out of time, Hensley got his washboard from the car, and began playing along with the band. By the second song, the bar owner offered Hensley a job playing the washboard for the weekend. The band, along with Hensley, played there for three years.
During the day he washed cars for a local auto company. One day he had this idea, while making some suds in the water, to call his band, Washboard Willie & the Super Suds of Rhythm. This first band consisted of Washboard Willie on washboard and vocals, Chuck Smith on bass, and Anthony Lewis. At first, Hensley was just beating the washboard, and tapping his foot; soon he added the bass drum, and then the snare. In 1955, Hensley gave a young upstart, Little Sonny Willis (harmonica), his first job. In 1956, Hensley recorded for Joe Von Battle at the Palmer House in Detroit. Hensley teamed-up with Calvin Frazier on guitar, to record "Cherry Red Blues" and '"Washboard Shuffle," along with "Washboard Blues Pt. 1 & 2." He continued to record for Von Battle from 1957 to 1962. The sessions included Hensley, drums, washboard, and vocals; Calvin Frazier, guitar; Boogie Woogie Red, piano; and Chuck Smith, baritone saxophone. The tape sat in the backroom of Von Battle's record shop, until George Paulus retrieved them and put them out on his Barrelhouse Records, in 1982; JSP Records from England, also released the sessions. In 1966, Willie did a session for the Herculon label, releasing "Natural Born Lover" and "Wee Baby Blues," backed by Evans McLendon on guitar, and Angelo Willis on baritone saxophone. The band was now playing seven nights a week in Detroit and Ann Arbor. In 1973, he toured with the American Blues Legends '73 Tour, traveling all over Europe. An album was released on Big Bear/Poly 2460 186 from the tour featuring Hensley, along with Lightnin' Slim, Whispering Smith, Boogie Woogie Red, Snooky Pryor, and Homesick James. By 1979, Washboard Willie wasn't playing much anymore -- only special local engagements. He was always a family man and a Sunday School teacher, and he began to enjoy his retirement. He died on August 24, 1991, at the age of 82, in Detroit.


Various - New York On Fire Vol. 2


More rare tracks from the Fire label including Sammy Myers, Mighty Joe Young, B. Brown, Tommy Tucker etc. Rare DLP from P-Vine and thaks go to Frits for the rip.

Sonny Boy Williamson - The Last Sessions 1963

Another 99 copies only UK limited edtion bootleg with sessions recorded in Europe in 1963. This is the cover it came in and the back cover only has a tracklisting.

Bye Bye Bird
So Sad To Be Lonesome
Nine Below Zero
Keep It To Yourself
Milky White Way
Kindhearted Woman
Just A Dirty Story **
Keep It To Yourself *
You Gotta Mind *

* Two tracks not featuring Sonny Boy.
** Speechonly.

Willie Dixon (bass)
Matt Murphy (guitar)
Otis Spann (piano)
Billy Stepney (drum)
John Moment (vcl/hca)*

Sonny Boy Williamson - Don't Make A Mistake

Unreleased and rare recordings from 1953-1963. Somehow I think these have all been re-released on various cd's over the years but still an interesting lp to listen to.


Milwaukee Slim - I Was Born On Lemon Avenue

Slim was on tour with Mojo Buford and Hook's Combo when he got the word from his physician..... the results of his lab tests were not encouraging. He had just finished laying tracks for what would be his first and last CD. The final mixes were completed, and a few dozen cassette copies were hastily prepared for an "album release" party at Minneapolis' famed Cabooze Bar. The entire local blues community turned out for the event, in lasting tribute to one of blues music's tireless champions. Within a matter of weeks, he had passed away. Known to many as the “Singing Bus Driver”, Slim often hit the stage still in uniform, fresh off the time-clock. Back in the early 1950’s, he starred on the Negro night club circuit, touring from Dallas to Memphis, St Louis, Cincinnati, and Detroit, and in each city was each known by a different stage name. Born Angelo Chambers, it was Sonny Boy Williamson who gave him the handle that stuck. His only CD “Lemmon Avenue” was released exactly two years to the day after brother Angelo’s death. (From here.)

Copy of the tape that was later released as a Cd on Blue Moon. Thanks go to Hm for it.

Merle Perkins & The Perkolators - Coffee Break

Well known Chicago drummer and sideman  with his own band from the 90's(?).
For an interview with Merle Perkins click here or here.

Thank you HM for the tape.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Various - Bluesscene vol. 3 - Blues All Round My Bed

Last in the 4 volume comp. set from Storyville released in the early 60's. The other 3 volumes have been posted earlier.
Mainly unknown country guitar players recorded with the exceptions been Big Joe Williams, Johnny Young and Doug Quattlebaum.


Various - Bluesscene Vol. 4 Mississippi Blues

Volume 4 in the Bluesscene series from Storyville released in 1962.
Artists include Big Boy spires, Johnny Young, Big Joe Williams. Jimmy Brewer and more. Nice relaxed country blues recorded informally.


Various - Bluesscene USA vol. 2 The Louisiana Blues

Volume 2 of a 4 volume set from Storyville from the mid 60's. This lp covers Louisiana with one side of Juke Boy Bonner recorded in 1960 and the 2nd side with tracks from Hop Wilson, Big Chenier, Ashton Savoy etc.


Various - Bluesscene vol. 1 Rhythm & Blues of Chicago

Tracks from Elmore James, Jesse Fortune, A.C. Reed etc on this 1st volume of the Bluesscene USA 4 volume set on Storyville.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas - Lightnin' Hopkins

To all the visitors and those you have contributed to the blog in last year and made it that much better I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
Take it easy, look after yourself, your family and friends and those that need it.

Various - New York Wild Guitars - Bobby's Harlem Rock Vol.1

Raw soul and blistering blues from the Bobby Robinson family of labels of the early 60s – material pulled from rare singles on the Fire, Fury, and Enjoy label – and wrapped up here in a mighty sharp package that offers up 31 tracks in all! As the title promises, the guitars are pretty wild – really great bluesy riffs that step out on nearly all numbers – pushing the guitar lines with the kind of quality you'd later find in funk music, but which here comes across with a grittier, rootsier feel overall. Some cuts have the vocals in the lead, others really spotlight the guitar – and titles include "Cut & Dried" and "Scratchin" by Wild Jimmy Spruill, "Number 9 Train" and "Wildcat Tamer" by Tarheel Slim, "All My Life" and "Home Cookin" by Riff Ruffin and "Bow Wow" by Titus Tee Turner.

Thanks go to Frits for the rip of his LP.


Various - Detroit Blues Factory Vol. 1

Track list:
Detroit playboy / Harmonica Shaw (5:10) --
Door lock blues / Willie D. Warren (4:57) --
Don't let money change you / Eddie Burns (4:22) --
24 hour blues / Robert Noll (7:30) --
Hello Chicago / Clarence Butler (4:13) --
Sweet dreams / Johnny "Yard Dog" Jones (4:20) --
Baby likes to boogie / Willie D. Warren (2:47) --
Troubled shoes / Billy Davis (4:50) --
Check-out time / Robert Noll (2:20).

Thanks to Hm for the rip of this LP.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Big Walter Smith - Big Storms Comin'

Big Walter Smith celebrates life after achieving 55 years as a lead vocalist and band leader in the music business. Blues, R&B, soul, rock, country and reggae is what he sings about these days.
Big Walter Smith is Minnesota’s most honored and recognized bluesman. In Minneapolis, the legendary “Big Man of the Blues” has been a fixture in the Midwest’s blues scene since 1970. His 300 pound presence and velveteen voice have graced nearly every blues and R&B stage in the Midwest, as well as the finest concert halls, casinos and festivals.
Big Walter has been a mainstay at the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth since its inception in 1988. He is so popular in Duluth that the Mayor proclaimed August 8, 1997 to be “Big Walter Smith Day” in the city.
There’s hardly a Minnesota music award that hasn’t been bestowed upon Big Walter Smith both individually and with his band, The Groove Merchants. The Twin Cities Blues News Best Blues Band (1997). Minnesota Blues Society Horn Band (1995). Minnesota Blues Society Male Vocalist (1989). Minnesota’s Black Music Award R&B Horn Band (1987, 1988). Minnesota Blues Society Recognition Award (1988). Minnesota’s Black Music Award Male Vocalist (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987).
He was featured in Living Blues Magazine in 1997. He has been honored by the State of Minnesota for bringing the blues to Minnesota.
Big Walter made history when he became the first blues musician inducted into the Minnesota’s Music Hall of Fame in New Ulm, MN in 1998. In June 2005 the City of Minneapolis’ Mayor, R.T. Rybak, proclaimed a Big Walter Smith Day.
In 2005 Walter was given an award for 50 years in the music business by the staff of the Dug Out Bar. That same year he was also inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of fame.
Big Walter’s music career began long before he landed in Minnesota. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1930. He moved to Kansas City, MO. where he met and helped a struggling Albert Collins becoming a life-long friend. He also worked parties with Albert King during the 1960s becoming a life-long friend with him also. He has shared stages with his other favorite’s B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland, whom Big Walter cites as his chief early influences.
Big Walter moved to Minneapolis in 1970 at the invitation of his friend and past band mate Damon Lee. He met his wife and band manager, Shirley, two months later and they’ve been together ever since. Big Walter sang in Damon’s band The Antares for nearly two years at Papa Joe’s Northern Supper Club in Minneapolis. Big Walter has had several other bands, Cross Roads, Big Walter Smith’s Blues revue, and Brass Magic, before settling on the Groove Merchants in 1985.
The current lineup includes long time guitarist Scott Graves, keyboardist Tim Wick, drummer Patrick Hulme, bassist Chris Johnson, Trumpeter Dan Eikmeier and saxophonist Jim Kogl.
Most of the blues musicians in the Twin Cities have played with Big Walter in the past 37 years and hold him in the highest regard.
Big Walter’s first recording was recorded live at the Whiskey Junction, Big Storm Comin’ in 1987. In 1994 he released the Grammy-nominated Brother To The Blues, his tribute to three brothers and friends (Albert Collins, Albert King and Larry “Big Twist” Nolan). The Groove Merchants have been compared to the late Nolan’s group, Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows. Midnight Express was released in 1998, followed by Groovin’ in 2001. Big Walter’s latest release, Running Out Of Time and his re-release of Big Storm Comin’ is out and doing fine for the big man of the blues. Who some say when it comes to “Blues” Big Walter Smith is the Chairman of the Board.

Cassette release provided by HM. Later released on cd, see comments.


Various: - Chicago Blues: A Quarter Century

A 4LP  cross section of Chicago Blues ranging from Baby Face Leroy to Detroit Jr. and almost everybody in between. Good request from Tori. Click here for a track list .

Disc 1:
Disc 2:
Disc 3:
Disc 4:

Mojo Buford - Harpslinger

This disc features classic, Muddy Waters-approved vintage Chicago-style blues. Heavy on the harmonica, seasoned with tasty dashes of piano and fat-bodied guitar, it has the sort of sound which screams "Chicago - 1950's", which it fitting. Among the many harmonica players in Muddy's band over the years, Mojo stands alone as the only one to have toured with Muddy in the 1950's, 60's, 70's, and 80's.
Recorded in analog, without benefit of overdubs or gimmicks, this is close as you'll get to a truly live recording. Mojo is backed by members of Rockin' Daddy & the Rough Cuts (Dan Schwalbe - guitar, Jack Taylor - bass, and Greg Shuck - drums) as well as one-handed blues pianist Mike "the Hook" Deutsch, and Curtis Blake on second harp.
On several tracks, this line-up is joined by Teddy Morgan on second guitar and R.J. Mischo and third harp. The effect is a supurb tappestry of interwoven melodies, each delightfully adding to the thick ensemble sound. Highly recommended for knowledgable blues aficiandos.
Mojo's original lyrics will crack you up, and the musicianship is outstanding. Worth looking for!
Amazon review for the later CD release.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Various - The Story Of The Blues Vol. 1&2

Filling Leroy Slim's request for 'The Story Of The Blues" compilations which was like a visit to an old friend that I hadn't seen in years. 
It been more than 30 years since these LP's left the shelf and were dusted off. They where my introduction to the Blues way back in the late late 60's/early 70's. 
When I was young I was an avid buyer of the Animals, Yardbirds, Pretty Things, Jimi Hendrix etc but had never listened to where their music came from. This went on until one night I was listening to a Dutch radio late night show late and Paul Oliver was interviewed and played some tracks. I can't remember what he played but all I do know is that it expanded the music I listened to. My mind exploded as I heard a track and thought to myself that this is what Hendrix was doing with "Red House". Next day I bought my first Blues LP and it was "The Story Of The Blues". 
Since then it's been an off and on affair but I always come back to my first two loves ... Hendrix and Blues. Can never get enough of them.

Thank you Leroy.

Volume 1:

Volume 2: