Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

SHE’S A SWEET LITTLE WOMAN, DON’CHA KNOW


Little Johnny Jones & The Chicago Hound Dogs
Dirty By The Dozen (Sweet Little Woman) • 1953



Johnny Jones, vocal/piano; Elmore James, guitar; J. T. Brown, tenor sax; Ransom Knowling, bass; Odie Payne, drums. Recorded in Chicago, 1 Apr 1953.

Photo: Little Johnny Jones. Letha Jones, from booklet to Elmore James, The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956 
(Ace ABOXCD 4).


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DINOSAURIC PRECEPTION ROADMAP BLUES

When I first heard this track in 1969 on Kent’s The Legend of Elmore James LP, I could not even believe my ears. Forty-five years later it still amazes me that a performance this intense didn’t just melt down everything that it came in contact with. . . .


Elmore James & His Broomdusters • Hand in Hand • 1954


Elmore James, vocal/guitar; Ike Turner, piano; unknown drums. Recorded in Canton, Mississippi, January 1952. 
First issued on 78 in 1954.

Get it: The Best of Elmore James: The Early Years

LP cover: Paris Jazz Corner

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE VICKSBURG–FORTY FOUR BLUES SAGA—Part II

Well, this one’s not exactly postwar except in the sense it was recorded after the first World War, but it is the first version of “44 Blues” (aka “Vicksburg Blues”) recorded, beating out Little Brother Montgomery’s “original” by a little over a year.


Roosevelt Sykes • “44” Blues • 1929



Label photo: wikipedia

Sunday, February 23, 2014

GOTTA WOBBLIN’ BABY

With a couple of exceptions, this is shaping up to be a heavy blues week, or a blues-heavy week, with Roosevelt Sykes, Elmore James, Little Johnny Jones, and Sonny Boy Williamson on tap, blasting their way through a couple of bluegrass and country diversions. Apart from Mr Sykes, this is raucous, overamped postwar blues, not a one of them recorded after 1955, so stay tuned and don’t touch that dial! First up, John Lee Hooker (Booker on the original 78 label) and Little Eddie Kirkland. . . .



John Lee Booker • Pouring Down Rain • 1953

Saturday, February 22, 2014

SALLIE GOODEN

“[T]he one and only Eck Robertson . . . [a] giant figure in the music was from Texas and made the first real recordings of rural fiddle music in 1922—his Sally Gooden . . . still stands today as perhaps the greatest single performance by a fiddle player—ever! It is unmatched for its combination of pure power, technical brilliance and highly creative variations. . . . Worth noting is that Robertson’s masterpiece . . . is heard here for the first time at its correct speed (76.5 revolutions per minute). . . . It’s amazing that Robertson’s performance is so powerful that it seems just as fast at the slower more accurate speed. . . .” Richard Nevins, from the notes to Times Ain’t Like They Used to Be – Vol. 6 (Yazoo 2064, 2002)


A. C. (Eck) Robertson • Sallie Gooden • 1922



Photo: Eck Robertson, from the booklet to Times Ain’t Like They Used to Be – Vol. 6 (Yazoo 2064, 2002)

DINOSAURIC PRECEPTION ROADMAP BLUES

OK, so a month later, we’re still here . . . but don’t get any funny ideas!


Canned Heat • On the Road Again • 1968


Get it: Chartbusters USA Vol. 1

To hear Floyd Jones’s 1950s adaptations of the Tommy Johnson song, click here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

MISSI’PPI TAPE 14


Alfred Lewis • Mississippi Swamp Moan • 1930
“Harmonica solo with vocal effects”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I NEVER WILL MARRY


The Carter Family • I Never Will Marry • 1933



Cajun, hillbilly, Eastern European string bands, and a little blues collide in a glorious hymn to love and loss via another great collection from Tompkins Square.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DINOSAURIC PRECEPTION ROADMAP BLUES


The Stanley Brothers • Rank Stranger • 1960


Find it: Sacred Songs from the Hills

Album cover: All Music

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

THE VICKSBURG–FORTY FOUR BLUES SAGA


Little Brother Montgomery • Walking Basses / Dud Low Joe /
It’s a Barrelhouse Blues / Vicksburg Blues / They Beat Me to Chicago
Roosevelt Sykes • They All Called Him “Pork Chops” • Forty-Four Blues



Recorded informally in Chicago by Paul Oliver for his book Conversation with the Blues: Little Brother Montgomery, spoken/vocal/piano; Corky Robinson, bass, 14–15 July 1960; Roosevelt Sykes, spoken/vocal/piano, 16 July 1960.

Decca LP cover: discogs

Tune in next week for “44 Blues.”

Monday, February 17, 2014

ODDS & ENDS

ABOUT THIS VOLUME

Truly soulful music can only be understood properly by knowing what soulful music truly is. To be a soulful song, it must be handed down from one to another. Most of the time, each listener will deliver these songs in his own way: by mail, download, or just the old fashioned way. They will add or take away or rearrange these songs to suit their feelings.

There are so many things expressed in real soul music that if the story doesn’t reach you, well, like old Wolfman Jack used to say, “You got a hole in your soul, bay-bay.” But for most, whether they are odds or ends, they will understand in one listening the true American soul. So, take a seat, rear way back, and whether you’re from Amphioxus, Minglewood, or Nagasaki, and whether you’re happy, hurting, or just a little pink, you should be able to find something here to suit your mood, or get you in the mood.

And remember, the Soul of a man is the real soul music, and these artists sing these songs with soul. A case in point is Anti von Klewitz and her Eastern European string quartet Cskólom. . . . 
—Fats Terminal, DJ, Radio Station KBAK, Lompoc    


Pink Panther Theme/Pink Legényes/Legényes A minor
Csókolom – 2001

Sunday, February 16, 2014

HANG DOWN YOUR HEAD TOM DOOLEY,
CONCISE EDITION


Frank Proffitt • Tom Dooley • 1940



Photo: Frank Proffitt sings and plays for Anne Warner in 1941. Pick Britches Valley, North Carolina. The Library of Congress/American Folklife Center (Anne and Frank Warner Collection. Photo by Frank Warner)

DON’T YOU HEAR CHURCH BELLS A-TONING

Here’s a couple of old timey “gospel blues” for your Sunday listening pleasure. . . .


Kid Prince Moore • Church Bells • 1936



Blind Nesbit • Pure Religion • 1930


Saturday, February 15, 2014

SOMETHING NEW – A REVIEW

We are not quite two months into the new year and I would be derelict if I let any more time go by without writing about the new 2014 calendar and accompanying CD from Blues Images. Titled Classic Blues Artwork from the 1920’s Vol. 11 the calendar features a dozen full size illustrations—advertisements, photographs, line drawings—all adapted for presentation in the square format of the calendar, one for each month. The year starts off with an amazing, full length photo of Henry Thomas (Ragtime Texas) that is so clear you can see his eyeballs and, around his neck, his panpipes. Although it was taken from an old advertising flyer rather than a glossy photograph and is somewhat broken up by the enlarged halftone dots of the original reproduction it is the first clear look we’ve ever had of Thomas. Similarly there are nice reproductions, also from flyers, of photographs of Furry Lewis and Mother McCollum, a beautiful autographed portrait of Bessie Smith probably taken from a photographic print, as well as the usual illustrated record ads (primarily from Paramount) that Blues Images is famous for and featuring releases by Charley Patton, the Mississippi Sheiks, Washboard Walter and others. This year, the CD has 24 tracks and contains some of the most outstanding music yet in this series. There are twelve songs that accompany each illustration for the year and another dozen that are either B-sides or very rare recent record finds. The sound, by Richard Nevins of Yazoo, is stunning, and a few of the records almost sound like they came from masters rather than old 78s. The two Charley Patton tracks have never sounded better, and “Bull Doze Blues” by Henry Thomas also sounds terrific. There are rare tracks by Washboard Walter, Blind “Gussie” Nesbitt, George Carter, and Blind Percy. Also featured are both sides of the final missing Blind Blake 78, “Miss Emma Liza”/“Dissatisfied Blues” and the recently found “When You Dream Of Muddy Water”/“Up On The Hill Blues” by Edward Thompson (released as by Tenderfoot Edwards). The Blake and Thompson records are in bad shape but are still quite listenable and best of all they are terrific performances. The pop song “Miss Emma Liza” has Blind Blake showboating with scatting, tee-hee-hees, rapping knuckles, and his trademark raggy guitar accompaniment. Edward Thompson only recorded six sides and “When You Dream of Muddy Water” is, for my money, his best record and easily my favorite tune on this CD. Then, there is the ultra-rare “Bedside Blues” by Jim Thompkins (his only recorded side) with its unique “musical saw”-sounding slide guitar. I could go on and on about this year’s Classic Blues Artwork package, but you really should see and hear it for yourself. Hurry on over to http://bluesimages.com and order yours today. You won’t be disappointed.



Jim Thompkins • Bedside Blues • 1930

I’VE GOT THOSE HONG KONG HOKAWAY
HICKAWAY CHINESE MAN BLUES


Little Brother • Chinese Man Blues • 1936

Friday, February 14, 2014

MISSI’PPI TAPE 13

This song probably should be labeled NSFW or have a Parental Guidance sticker attached (remember those?) but really, Ms Simone is being pretty mild here, considering. . . .


Nina Simone • Mississippi Goddam • 1964

Thursday, February 13, 2014

WELL, MY HOME IS IN THE DELTA,
WAY OUT ON THAT OLD BUMMER’S ROAD

This one’s been in pretty heavy rotation here at BAK the past few days. . . . From Muddy’s characteristic stabbing slide and phlegmy vocals, to Little Johnny and Leroy Foster holding down the rhythm, what more could you ask for?


Muddy Waters • Where’s My Woman Been • 1950




Muddy Waters photo from the cover of Blues Unlimited, No. 144 Spring 1983.

MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER CITY

This is possibly the earliest version of “San Francisco Bay Blues,” and also possibly Jesse Fuller’s first recording. It was made in Oakland by J. R. Fulbright for his Elko label but not originally issued. Fuller went on to record a couple of albums worth of songs in the mid-50s, then recorded fairly extensively from 1958 on during the folk craze as his song became one of the big folkie tunes of the era. Lucky for us, there is plenty of Jesse Fuller’s music still available today. Two of the best collections are Frisco Bound (Arhoolie 360) and Move on Down the Line (Fledg’ling 3704).


Jesse Fuller • San Francisco Bay Blues • c. early 1950s



Photo: Jesse Fuller, copyright © 2014 by Brad Barrett. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DINOSAURIC PRECEPTION ROADMAP BLUES

Moving right along through the dinosauric sludge pits we feature three more records evocative of our mid-60s post-Top 40 period of discovery. Sonny Boy Williamson’s amazing solo piece “Mighty Long Time” with only a vocal bass as accompaniment was heard when a friend loaned a borrowed, cracked Trumpet 78; the flip side “Nine Below Zero” had a nasty chunk missing mid-crack but the 78 revolution and big needle just plowed right through it like it was a freshly paved highway. On Kent’s Original Folk Blues series, Smokey Hogg beckoned from the racks with the exotic song title of “I Bleed Through My Soul,” really just an alternate titling of the more pedestrian “I Believe to My Soul.” More exotic sounds follow with John Fahey’s mythical persona Blind Joe Death, as he shushes his dog mid-take and then resumes on a flavorful remake of Bukka White’s “Poor Boy.”


Sonny Boy Williamson • Mighty Long Time • 1951

Smokey Hogg • I Bleed Through My Soul • 1950

John Fahey • Poor Boy • 1965


Get ’em here: “Mighty Long Time” on King Biscuit Time, “I Bleed Through My Soul” on Serve It to the Right, and “Poor Boy” on The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death.

Album cover: All Music

Monday, February 10, 2014

ODDS & ENDS


This Evening – Dixie Hummingbirds – 1962
(lead vocal: James Walker)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

SHAKE A HAND ?

Um, not quite. But Joe Bihari (as Joe Josea) took the “writing” credits for this Faye Adams knockoff which, with Shirley Gunter singing, is actually pretty fine. Here is a previously unissued take. . . .


Shirley Gunter • Send Him Back (Take 6) • 1953



Photo: Shirley Gunter with The Flairs, from the booklet to Dust My Rhythm & Blues: The Flair Records R&B Story 1953–55 (Ace CDTOP2 1382, 2013).

Saturday, February 08, 2014

I’M A-GOIN’ FISHIN’ TOO

Here’s another big blast from the 60s folkie past. . . . Henry Thomas’s delightful “Fishing Blues” was a much played tune of the day along with songs like “Hesitation Blues” and “Blues in the Bottle.” It is the final track, number 84, of the colossal Harry Smith-curated three volume, six LP American Folk Music first issued by Folkways Records in 1952. The song remains a treat to listen to nearly 86 years after it was recorded, with its appealing lyrics and Henry’s easygoing delivery.


Henry Thomas “Ragtime Texas” • Fishing Blues • 1928

FRISCO BLUES

Black, white, red or brown, Bayless Rose really goes to town . . . on “Frisco Blues,” from 1930.


Bayless Rose • Frisco Blues • 1930



“Frisco Blues” is currently available on the terrific guitar anthology Imaginational Anthem Vol. 6 on the Tompkins Square label.

Friday, February 07, 2014

MIS’SIPPI TAPE 12


Elmore James • Canton Mississippi Breakdown • 1954



Fooled ya! Ike Turner, lead guitar; Elmore James, guitar; Johnny Jones, piano; Raymond Hill, tenor sax; unknown, alto sax, baritone sax, bass; Odie Payne, drums. Recorded in Chicago, March/April 1954. 

“Canton Mississippi Breakdown” can be heard, along with all of Elmore’s great Trumpet and Modern recordings, on The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956 (Ace ABOXCD 4).

Thursday, February 06, 2014

RAILROAD STOMP


Jolly Two • Railroad Stomp • 1933



Jolly Two is Walter Roland, Sonny Scott, guitar duet. Recorded in NYC, 19 July 1933.

Album cover: American Music

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN . . .
THERE IS NO CAUSE FOR ALARM

W. S. B., born today, 2-5-1914


Twilight’s Last Gleamings – William Burroughs – 1981




Photo: “William Burroughs as Dr. Benway, The Bunker, from the movie by Howard Brookner, July 1979.” Photograph by Udo Breger. From the CD box set The Best of William Burroughs from Giorno Poetry Systems (Mouth Almighty/
Mercury, 1998).

DINOSAURIC PRECEPTION ROADMAP BLUES


Charles Lloyd • Forest Flower: Sunrise / Sunset • 1967


Get it: Forest Flower

Thanx to Johnny Lee!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

TROUBLE IN MIND

“Trouble in Mind” is another oldie, written by pianist/composer/producer Richard M. Jones and first recorded in 1924. It’s become a standard like “Careless Love” or “St. Louis Blues” and has been recorded innumerable times since the 20s by artists as diverse as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Big Bill Broonzy, the Hackberry Ramblers, Duane Eddy, and Marianne Faithfull. Here we have Tommy Duncan “all down and out,” fronting Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys from a 1936 session that also produced classics like “Steel Guitar Rag” and “Basin Street Blues.”


Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys • Trouble in Mind • 1936



1957 Harmony LP cover from MusicStack

Monday, February 03, 2014

WHEN I MEAN SOUL, I MEAN SOUL

Here’s more Lonnie Johnson, with a priceless introduction from none other than Sonny Boy Williamson, from the American Folk Blues Festival tour in Europe in 1963.



Lonnie Johnson, vocal/guitar; Otis Spann, piano; Willie Dixon, bass; Billie Stepney, drums; Sonny Boy Williamson, introduction. Europe, 20 Sep 1963.

Thanks to Garland Floyd

ODDS & ENDS


Adieu Angelina – Nana Mouskouri – 1967

Sunday, February 02, 2014

CARELESS LOVE

First published by W. C. Handy as “Loveless Love” in the early 20s, this song has been performed and recorded by countless performers over the years, from early jazz bands to hillbilly singers like Jimmie Tarlton and on and on up to the present day. Here is Lonnie Johnson’s take, first heard here on The Country Blues, a Folkways album compiled by Samuel Charters in 1959 to accompany his pioneering book of the same name. The book, and the record album, introduced many neophyte blues fans to some of the greatest country blues like Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Matchbox Blues” and Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues” along with songs by such as Big Bill, Leroy Carr, Bukka White, and Blind Willie Johnson.



Lonnie Johnson • Careless Love • 1928


Saturday, February 01, 2014

GONNA WRITE ME A LETTER,
GONNA MAIL IT IN THE AIR


Garfield Akers • Cottonfield Blues—Part II • 1929



Both sides of “Cottonfield Blues” and eighteen other all-time great Mississippi blues records are available in one terrific sounding package as Mississippi Masters: Early American Blues Classics (Yazoo 2007).