Thursday, January 09, 2014


In January 1950 a trio of young Chicago blues musicians made a handful of now legendary recordings for the small Parkway label. The trio was made up of Muddy Waters on guitar, Leroy Foster on drums, and Little Walter on harmonica with vocals contributed by all three. The records were issued as by the Baby Face Leroy Trio or the Little Walter Trio as Muddy was under contract to Aristocrat (soon to become Chess). This group recorded eight terrific sides, most of them issued on Parkway, but also leased to Regal, Herald, and Savoy. What was not known until recently was that there were alternate takes of a couple of the songs. I’m rather taken with Baby Face Leroy’s more mannered vocal on the alternate of “Boll Weevil,” (posted below), contrasted against a slightly wilder accompaniment by Muddy and Walter. Two alternate takes (one by Leroy, one by Walter) were issued legally as a 45 by Louis Records a couple of years ago, along with “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” Part One of which is heard in its complete form for the first time. The Louis Records issue of the two 45s is a limited edition and hopefully there are still some left if anyone’s interested*. They have also recently put out a rare unissued Big Boy Crudup 45 from a previously unknown Ace recording session.

Baby Face Leroy Trio • Boll Weevil (alternate) • 1950

click on song title to listen

*Louis Records website/blog. NOTE: Just read today (1-22-14) that there's only a handful of copies left of each 45 so if you fancy getting one or both, better hop on over to Louis Records and get to gettin’.

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