Sunday, January 31, 2016


As Bill Friskics-Warren writes in Heartaches by the Number, “Don’t Toss Us Away” is the appeal of “one partner . .  . to another to remain steadfast in the face of love’s dissolution.” But taken another way the record “also can be heard as an entreaty to radio, and the Nashville hitmill in general, not to sever its ties to the music’s down-home roots.”

“By the time Loveless cut ‘Don’t Toss Us Away’ in late 1988, the neotraditionalist fervor that greeted the mid-eighties . . . had cooled considerably. . . . Patty sings, as if surveying the casualties . . . ‘Well just think of all that we’ve been through / The world we’re building, me and you / How can all those years be tossed away / In just one moment, in just one day / Don’t toss us away.’ Patty’s prayer is that country’s circle won’t be broken. . . .”

429.  Don’t Toss Us Away • Patty Loveless • 1989

Get it: Greatest Hits

Saturday, January 30, 2016


James Brown & The Famous Flames

Find it: Roots of a Revolution

Friday, January 29, 2016


As the postwar years came into sharper focus, Big Bill Broonzy, who had been a recording blues artist since around 1927, saw the music he’d been playing for decades moving in a couple of different directions. The blues audience was losing interest in the older styles and embracing the music of the new electrified blues and R&B combos, and the nascent “folk revival” was beginning to turn its ear towards the acoustic blues players of yore. So, Big Bill reinvented himself as a folk singer and continued to work, both in the U.S. and, increasingly, abroad. In 1951 he made his first recordings in Europe, at a concert in Düsseldorf, West Germany. That fall he also played and recorded in Paris and London. Then it was back to Chicago for a three-day session for Mercury Records split between a couple of solo sessions and one with a small combo. “Get Back,” was one of the tunes from his first Mercury session. It was not released as a single at the time but later appeared on a “memorial” album after his passing. Better known as “Black, Brown, and White,” it addressed the entrenched racism of life in America; he recorded it a number of times, mostly for European record companies. Big Bill would continue to play concerts and make records, both in Europe and the U.S., up until a few months before his death in 1958. He remains one of the most well-known and loved bluesmen of all time.

Big Bill Broonzy • Get Back • 1951

Big Bill Broonzy, vocal/guitar; Ransom Knowling, bass. Chicago, 8 November 1951

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016


Barrelhouse Sammy (The Country Boy) • Kill It Kid • 1949

Blind Willie McTell, vocal/guitar. Atlanta, c. November 1949

Find it: Atlanta Twelve String

Sunday, January 24, 2016


An Alternate 100*
The Other Woman • Ray Price • 1965

*“If we determined we had nothing much worthwhile to add to the conversation about a single, then that record didn’t make the cut, no matter how good it was. . . . [T]hose singles were were bumped down to “Once More with Feeling: An Alternate 100.” That supplemental list gathers, for the curious, our runners up, but, just as importantly, it presents an alternate, compressed version of the arguments made throughout the book.” —David Cantwell, Bill Friskics-Warren, “How to Use the Book” in Heartaches by the Number

Get it: The Essential Ray Price

This week on Blues All Kinds: Big Bill Broonzy, Bonnie Guitar, Blind Willie McTell, Bob Dylan, The Fiestas, and James Brown. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016


Memphis Slim & The House Rockers • Slim’s Blues • 1950

Memphis Slim, vocal/piano; Alex Atkins, alto sax; Timothy Overton, tenor sax; Alfred Elkins, bass; Leon Hooper, drums. Chicago, March 1950

Get it: Rockin’ the House

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Robbie Fulks • Cry, Cry, Cry • 2002

Get it: Dressed in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash

Image: Li’l Abner by Al Capp

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Sleepy John Estes • I’d Been Well Warned • 1962

Sleepy John Estes, vocal/guitar; Hammie Nixon, harmonica; Ed Wilkenson, bass. Saukville, Wisconsin, 3 June 1962

Get it: The Legend of Sleepy John Estes

Monday, January 18, 2016


Louis Armstrong & His All Stars • Rockin’ Chair • 1947

Louis Armstrong, trumpet/vocal; Bobby Hackett, cornet; Jack Teagarden, trumpet/vocal; Peanuts Hucko, clarinet; Dick Carey, piano; Bob Haggart, bass; Sid Catlett, drums. Town Hall, New York City, 17 May 1947

Get it: The Essential Louis Armstrong

Sunday, January 17, 2016


“Ricky Skaggs is a child of the rock era—he came into the world exactly two weeks after Elvis shook things up with ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’—but he’s always lived and breathed for bluegrass,” writes David Cantwell in Heartaches by the Number.

Skaggs sings the Stanley Brothers’ “Don’t Cheat in Our Hometown” “in the earnest tenor he perfected singing harmony with the masters.” But now in a new era, “the number’s been spiked with the pedal-steel fills and the boot-scooting, drum-driven beat of latter-day honky-tonk. Still . . . there’s no mistaking those high, lonesome harmonies [that] prove the roots of his raising.”

387.  Don’t Cheat in Our Hometown • Ricky Skaggs • 1983

Get it: The Essential Ricky Skaggs

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016


Last week we heard Baby Face Leroy’s wildly unrestrained version of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’;” this week we offer you its more easy going cousin. . . .

John Brim Trio • Humming Blues • 1951

John Brim, vocal/guitar; Sunnyland Slim, humming/piano; Moody Jones, bass. Chicago, 27 September 1951

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016


Fifties electric slide guitar . . . from Burma. Hot stuff!

St. Gun Khin May • Shan Village (Part One) • c. 1950s
“Burmese modern song with electric guitar”


Graceland McCollough Tigers

Get it: Heaven

Sunday, January 10, 2016


“By the time he crossed over as the Silver Fox, Charlie Rich had already cut dozens of amazing though commercially unsuccessful recordings. . . . Nearly all of Rich’s sides in these years were jazzy and rocking, soulful and country. Indeed, they were all of these things at once. And while that made for timeless music, it didn’t do the singer any favors with radio programmers. . . .

“By the end of the [sixties], though, country music had incorporated the very elements that had once placed Rich’s music ahead of the pop and country curves. So when Sun . . . re-released the record in 1970, it managed, just barely, to dent the country charts. More importantly, the second coming of ‘Who Will the Next Fool Be,’ with its country-soul rhythms and bluesy vocal restraint, provided a sneak preview of Rich’s many countrypolitan hits to come. And a reminder of all the earlier ones that had gotten away.” —David Cantwell, Heartaches by the Number

453.  Who Will The Next Fool Be • Charlie Rich • 1961, 1970

Get it: The Essential Charlie Rich

Sun 1110 label (re-release): Discogs

Saturday, January 09, 2016


We have now, after many posts, reached ground zero in our long running “Odds and Ends” series, a seeming contradiction in terms. But if you will listen closely to the songs and tunes selected you will notice a pattern emerging, a definition of the terms “Odds and Ends,” not only exemplified by the great eponymous Jimmy Reed number of the same name, but also in our series-defining selection of great records, everything from pop to rock and roll with stops in-between. We have for your aural delight performers as diverse as James Brown and Troy Hess, Lenny Bruce and Waylon Jennings. And remember to listen closely for the hidden clue in the lyrics of the Utica Institute Singers’ tune, our earliest-recorded this time around. As Jimmy Reed exclaims on our opening number, “You name ’em, I’ll play ’em!” —Irving “Duke” Snurd, Odds and Ends manager of continuity

Jimmy Reed • Oh John • 1962

Jimmy Reed, vocal/harmonica/guitar; prob. Lefty Bates, guitar; Jimmy Reed Jr., bass; Al Duncan, drums. Chicago, 1962

Friday, January 08, 2016


Here is one of 1950’s rowdiest Chicago blues records, the Leroy Foster trio’s completely feral Parkway recording of the traditional “Rollin’ and Tumblin,” with moaned vocals, Little Walter blowing hard on harp, and Muddy’s slide guitar as wild as it ever got. As Muddy was contracted to Aristocrat at the time, he got in trouble with the Chess brothers and had to rerecord “Rollin’ And Tumblin’” a couple of months later for them.

Baby Face Leroy Trio • Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Part 1 • 1950
Baby Face Leroy Trio • Boll Weevil [alt] • 1950

“Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Part 1”: Leroy Foster, vocal/drums; Little Walter, vocal/harmonica; Muddy Waters, vocal/guitar. 
Chicago, January 1950

“Boll Weevil [alt]”: Leroy Foster, vocal/drums; Little Walter, harmonica; Muddy Waters, guitar. Chicago, January 1950

Thursday, January 07, 2016


It appears to be a new year; time for another new series to start it off right. Well, a boy can dream can’t he? So we’ll dream a little here. Because we did survive to make it all the way to election year here in the U.S. of A., though that’s a little ways off yet. But anyway, as is often the case here on Blues All Kinds, we’ve got twelve big ones for you in this series and nary a one was recorded in this century. Well, one was, but it hearkens back to those dark ages “before Nixon lied to us all on TV.” And with a plethora of liars in his place in the New Dark Ages, you all might as well join us on “that old gospel ship, we’re goin’ far beyond the sky. . . .”

B. B. King • You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now • 1960

Get it: My Kind of Blues

Image: Li’l Abner by Al Capp

Monday, January 04, 2016

Sunday, January 03, 2016


A great new B. B. King CD on Ace “from the RPM and Kent vaults” featuring lots of previously unheard and/or unreissued alternate takes, re-records, etc. Don’t be put off by that, though. This is top drawer material recorded for Modern between the mid-1950s and the early 1960s, compiled and annotated by King expert Dick Shurman. And we’re here to tell you it’s really terrific, B’s wonderful gospel-inflected vocals and inimitable guitar fills and solos, all backed by solid and inventive horn and rhythm sections. Take this first cut, an alternate version of “Catfish Blues,” a perfect first track for this collection. . . .

B. B. King • Catfish Blues AKA Fishin’ After Me • 1961


“Nothing Dwight Yoakam has recorded better captures his outsider ethos than this 1988 duet with Buck Owens. ‘I came here looking for something I couldn’t find anywhere else,’ Dwight declares to open the record . . . as Yoakam and producer Pete Anderson reinvent Owens’s sprightly original as a slashing, accordion-driven polka worthy of L.A. post-punks Los Lobos.”

“The streets of Bakersfield did in fact give rise to something you couldn’t find anywhere else. . . . The way they hot-wired crying fiddle-and-steel and gutbucket guitars to jumpy rockabilly rhythms was, in many ways, as insurgent as big-beat rock & roll. . . .” 
—Bill Friskics-Warren, Heartaches by the Number

361.  Streets of Bakersfield • Dwight Yoakam & Buck Owens • 1988

Get it: Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room

Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam image: CMT Artists

Saturday, January 02, 2016


Lightin’ Hopkins • Moanin’ Blues • 1953
(Yes, the original label called him “Lightin’” on this one)

Get it: His Blues  

Image: Chron

Newly updated links for Nat King Cole and Robert Nighthawk.

ODDS & ENDS Vol. 8

The Pine Leaf Boys • Pine Grove Blues • 2007

Get it: Allons Boire un Coup

Image: internet, unremembered source

Friday, January 01, 2016


Not to rain on your New Year’s Parade, but, um . . . Happy Days and Auld Lang Syne!

Richard Thompson • Happy Days and Auld Lang Syne • 2003

CD cover: All Music

In addition to today’s jaunty selection, this month, among the usual suspects, we’ll be featuring plenty of fine records by artists such as The Pine Leaf Boys, Dion, the Graceland McCollough Tigers, the Hornets, Bonnie Guitar, the Fiestas, Patty Loveless, Long “Cleve” Reed & Little Harvey Hull, Dwight Yoakam & Buck Owens, Sleepy John Estes, Big Bill Broonzy, and a couple dozen more. Don’t touch that dial!


Johnny Cash • Redemption Day • 2010

Get it: American VI: Ain’t No Grave