Carroll Hubbard, Kenneth Pitts, fiddles; John Boyd, electric steel guitar; Knocky Parker, piano; Marvin Montgomery, tenor banjo; Bill Boyd, guitar; Jim Boyd, guitar or string bass; unknown, guitar or string bass. San Antonio, 30 October 1938 Illustration: Ben Shahn. Four Piece Orchestra, 1944
George Smith, vocal/harmonica; with 2 guitars; piano; bass; drums. Los Angeles, 1956 Ace’s George Smith collection pictured above appears to be officially out of print at the moment, but seems to still be available from various online sellers.
Steve Earle, vocals/acoustic guitar; The Fairfield Four (Issac Freeman, Robert Hamlett, James Hill, Joseph Rice, Wilson Waters, Jr.), vocals; David Steele, electric guitar; Mark Stuart, acoustic guitar; Micheal Smotherman, organ; Kelly Looney, bass; Brady Blade, drums/rub board/tambourine; Jim “Here Comes Jim Bob” Hoke, baritone sax; Cheri Knight, Elisa Sanders, Kathleen Cotter, hand claps. Nashville, c. 1997 Get it: El Corazón
Helen Hunt, vocal; Bob Symons, electric steel guitar/electric guitar; Luke Owens, guitar; Jack True, string bass. San Antonio, 2 November 1937 There are still a few still-sealed copies of the pictured LP, Western Swing Vol. 3 to be found here. It contains “Married Man Blues” and other great 1930s–40s sides by the likes of Bob Wills, Spade Cooley, the Modern Moutaineers and more.
Fred McDowell, vocal/guitar; Mike Russo, guitar; John Kahn, bass; Bob Jones, drums. Berkeley, August 1969 Fred McDowell’s excellent small-band experiments can be heard on Arhoolie’s This Ain’t No Rock N’ Roll.
When I listen to this record it’s with a mixture of delight and horror. It is to my sensibilities a perverse blend of wonderful and awful, both at the same time. Not sure exactly why it hits me this way, but I really like it all the same. And I’m not gonna let nobody talk me out of it. . . .
This ad-lib of Louis Jordan’s big hit is about as nasty sounding as Carl Perkins ever got on record. This apparently well-oiled session also produced the single “Matchbox”/“Your True Love” as well as originally unreleased takes of “Caldonia,” “Her Love Rubbed Off,” “You Can Do No Wrong,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and “Put Your Cat Clothes On.” Most of these tunes later saw the light of day on various LP reissues and were finally collected on Bear Family’s Carl Perkins box set, pictured below.
Buck Owens, vocal/guitar; Rose Maddox, vocal; John Maddox, guitar; Jay McDonald, pedal steel guitar; “Gentleman” Jim Pierce, piano; Kenny Pierce, electric bass; Ken Presley, drums. Hollywood, California, 19 March 1963 Get it: Buck ’Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955–1967)
Ol’ Jerry, 17 years old, future “pumping piano” style intact, traveled down to Cosimo’s in New Orleans to make himself a demo record to carry around to prospective record labels. One side was a cover of a current Lefty Frizzell hit. The other side featured a rompin’ eponymous boogie woogie. Here are both for your listening pleasure. . . .