Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Blues Anthology Vol 3 - Real Chicago Blues" - 1969

This is the first half of the sessions that were released as two LPs under Echo's "Blues Anthology" series (Vol 4 has the 2nd half). The complete sessions were also released as a double LP on Adelphi called "Really Chicago's Blues." It's pretty informal stuff - basically, it's kinda like having Johnny Shines, Walter Horton, Big Joe Williams, Sunnyland Slim, etc. sitting around your living room swapping tunes and maybe someone happened to turn a cheap tape recorder on. However, despite the relaxed nature of the proceedings (or perhaps because of it) there are some excellent performances in here if you can get past the sound quality and the generally loose accompaniment. Johnny and Big Joe, in particular, have some great tunes, even if someone should have snatched that damn kazoo out of Joe's hand.

1. Johnny Shines/Sunnyland Slim/Backwards Sam Firk - Two Long Freight Trains
2. John Lee Granderson/Big Joe Williams/Firk - Girl At The Bottom
3. Slim/Shines/Firk - Rolling And Tumbling
4. Honeyboy Edwards/Firk - Hot Springs Blues
5. Williams/Granderson/Firk - If You Can't Shimmy-She-Wobble
6. Shines/Slim/Firk/Williams - As Long As The World Stands
7. Shines/Edwards/Walter Horton - For The Love Of Mike
8. Honeyboy Edwards - Jersey Bull Blues
9. Williams/Granderson/Firk - You're An Old Lady
10. Shines/Slim/Firk - Poor Man's Tonic
11. Horton/Edwards/Shines - Way 'Cross Town
12. Williams/Shines/Slim - Jook House Blues

http://rapidshare.com/files/303919006/Real_Chicago_Blues_1969.zip

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Robert Jr. Lockwood & Johnny Shines - "Mister Blues Is Back To Stay" - 1981


This is the second of the two LPs Johnny and Robert did for Rounder in the early 80s - the first being "Hangin' On," previously posted here. This record is a bit more of a mixed bag for me. For one thing, it was Johnny's first post-stroke record, so his vocal power is somewhat diminished, and there is none of his guitar. Plus, there are some dated elements for sure. The cheesy flange effects on Lockwood's guitar come to mind, as well as - I gotta admit it - Johnny's "Soul Power."

However, there are also some really good tunes here. Although the stroke robbed Johnny's voice of some of its nuance and flexibility, he is still a great singer, even with a hobbled instrument. Ten years later he would make the brilliant "Back To The Country" with a voice even more weary and enfeebled than it is here, and it would feature some of the most riveting vocal performances of his career. Personally, I'm convinced that Johnny could have made great music with sign language. And Lockwood - though I'm not always a fan of his psuedo jazz/funk noodling - has a couple of nice moments as well. All in all, not a masterpiece, but it didn't deserve to go out of print, either.

1. For You My Love
2. My Bad Luck Soul
3. Party Time
4. I Want You To Know
5. Rockin' Free
6. Mister Blues
7. Soul Power
8. Blues On The Hour
9. Inflation Blues
10. Stake A Claim
11. Hey Hey

http://rapidshare.com/files/299844295/Robert_Lockwood_and_Johnny_Shines_-_Mister_Blues_Is_Back_To_Stay_-_1981.zip

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Johnny Shines - Live 1974


Before I post anything, I do a bunch of research to determine whether the record in question can reasonably be obtained through legal domestic channels. In the course of my Johnny Shines research, I was glad to discover that most of Johnny's recordings have been re-issued, and many of the formerly rare records I have are now available on CD. This one seems to have been overlooked so far, though. It's a pleasingly intimate show from 1974 with a very receptive audience, and Johnny sounds relaxed and at ease. Enjoy.

1. Won't You Tell Me, Mama
2. Goin' Down In The Bottom
3. Bumble Bee Blues
4. Workin' On The Station
5. Moanin' The Blues
6. Talking/Just A Little Tenderness
7. Guitar Boogie

http://rapidshare.com/files/299412137/Johnny_Shines_-_Live_1974.zip

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Top Jimmy & The Rhythm Pigs - Pigus Drunkus Maximus - 1987


Part of what I aim to do with this blog is make available documents of moments in time, both for those who were there and those who weren't, lest they be lost to the vagaries of the music business. The mythology is so thick around Top Jimmy & The Pigs that, for someone who wasn't there, it might be hard to understand all the fuss. I'm not sure this record will clear anything up for those folks. It's good, straight-ahead blues party music, but I think Jimmy was one of those guys who had to be seen live in order to "get it." Anyway, here's the hard-to-find first release from the legendary L.A. party band. If you were there, it'll bring back all those good drunken memories. And if you weren't there, it's still a fun record.

http://rapidshare.com/files/296185358/Top_Jimmy_and_the_Rhythm_Pigs_-_Pigus_Drunkus_Maximus.zip

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Johnny Shines - Live at the Court Coffeehouse, Tacoma WA - 11/30/70


Johnny Shines is my favorite blues artist of all time, so I was excited to find this guy Zak on myspace who has this 29-song show from 1970, when Johnny was at the absolute peak of his powers. Check out Zak's page for some other great live sets featuring Son House, Skip James, John Hurt, Fred McDowell & others. Amazing stuff. Thanks, Zak!

Set 1:
http://rapidshare.com/files/188980032/tacoma1970cd1.zip
Set 2:
http://rapidshare.com/files/189819711/tacoma1970cd2.zip

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lloyd "Fatman" Smith (1922-1989) - UPDATED

Lloyd "Fatman" Smith with Louis Jordan
Fatman (lower left) with DJs

[NOTE: link updated on 10/13/09 with higher quality versions of two songs.]

This post collects all the solo recordings I've been able to find from Lloyd "Fatman" Smith. Information on "Lloyd Fatman" - as he was generally known - is not super easy to come by. As best as I can tell, he recorded a handful of songs as a solo artist, starting in 1949 and continuing through the 1950s. Aside from a spell as Louis Jordan's personal manager, he also managed the Equadors/Modern Ink Spots/Cardinals - a vocal group whose fascinating history is detailed by the highly knowledgeable Marv Goldberg here. Marv was also kind enough to send me two of the songs in this post, recorded from his original vinyl, as well as several photos - thanks, Marv!

Anyway, at some point, Lloyd settled down in Philadelphia, where he worked as a DJ for many years. One source mentions him recording "sporadically for local imprints" but, aside from a cover of "Saturday Night Fish Fry" in 1960 and a few stray others, I haven't been able to find much info on specific albums or singles after the 50s. According to DJ Weldon McDougal, people in Philly knew Fatman as a trumpet player and bandleader more than as a singer. In the 60s, he was "in nightclubs more than he was on the air." He booked Weldon's group "The Larks" and was often the MC at places that they appeared.

I think if Lloyd hadn't waited quite so long to begin recording, he might have had more of a solo career. In my opinion, the 10 cuts here easily stand up to the best of the jump blues era . In particular, "Miss Mushmouth" and "Where You Been," both of which were recorded for Okeh in 1956-57, are positively scorching rockers that lay waste to much of the blues shouting of that period. But there's the problem: that period was already pretty much over. Only a select few blues artists, like Big Joe Turner, were able to comfortably ride the first wave of Rock and Roll. Many, many other very talented folks were swept aside by the tidal onslaught of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis, Jerry Lee and the rest. Still, has anyone ever heard anything like the scattting on "Fat Man's Scat"? How can brilliant weirdness like that remain so obscure? It just ain't fair...

Lloyd was clearly an adept vocal mimic. "Why Oh Why" and "Giddy Up Giddy Up" are very much in the Roy Brown bag, and the vocal mannerisms of Big Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris and Screamin' Jay Hawkins (who was a friend of Fatman's) are evident elsewhere. But the Fat Man absolutely put his own stamp on whatever he did. I wish we had more from him.

Incidentally, aside from the aforementioned Louis Jordan cover, I'm aware of three other cuts that are not included here because I've never been able to track them down. They are "Roll On Mule" and "Little Leg Woman," both from 1949, and "Ain't No Big Thing" from 1963. If anyone has any info on how I might go about getting ahold of these (or any other) tunes by Lloyd Fatman, I hope you'll speak up in the comments section.

Anyway, for now, enjoy some rockin' sides from an obscure madman of the great bygone early rock era.

1. Where You Been (Okeh 7073 - 1956)
2. Miss Mushmouth (Okeh 7083 - 1957)
3. Good Gracious (Okeh 7083 - 1957)
4. Part Time Sweetheart (Okeh 7073 - 1956)
5. No Better for You (Peacock 1611 - 1953)
6. My Clock Stopped (Peacock 1611 - 1953)
7. Giddy Up, Giddy Up (Peacock 1593 - 1952)
8. Why Oh Why (Peacock 1593 - 1952)
9. Fatman (Gotham, unreleased - 1951 - with Frank Motley)
10. Fat Man's Scat (Gotham, unreleased - 1951 - with Frank Motley)

http://rapidshare.com/files/292759399/Lloyd_Fatman_Updated.zip



Levi Williams - Ain't Pickin' Cotton No More - 1997


During my Memphis days, Levi Williams was one of my favorite local musicians. He was one of the guys I never got tired of listening to, because he always put his all into every set he did. He never phoned it in, even if he was just playing in the park on a cold day for a handful of homeless dudes. It took me a long time to track this CD down. It was recorded in 1997 at a now-defunct studio and was probably mainly sold by Levi himself at gigs. There isn't much current info on Levi online, but I managed to find a guy on Ebay with this CD for sale (signed copy!) and snapped it up immediately. It's a solid set of what I believe are all original tunes, and it definitely deserves to be heard by folks outside of Memphis. Take a listen.

1. Goin' Deep Sea Fishin'
2. You Made A Good Man Out Of Me
3. Ain't Pickin' Cotton No More
4. San Antone
5. Trouble In My Home
6. Travelin' Shoes
7. Fine Lookin' Woman
8. Welfare Check
9. Shotgun
10. Burning Bush

http://rapidshare.com/files/292751117/Levi_Williams_-_Ain_t_Pickin_Cotton_No_More_-_1997.zip

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Various Artists - "The World Of Blues Power - Vol 1" - 1969


For those who dug the previous post, which contained volume two of this series, we've now got volume one. This comes courtesy of boogiewoody, who ripped it from his very own vinyl. (Check out his awesome blog, Bebop Wino Done Gone, by the way.) Enjoy!

1. All Your Love - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton
2. Spoonful - Ten Years After
3. Taste And Try, Before You Buy - Savoy Brown
4. Greeny - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Peter Green
5. Barrelhouse Woman - Champion Jack Dupree With Mickey "Guitar" Baker
6. All My Life - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Paul Butterfield
7. Blue Coat Man - Eddie Boyd
8. Out Of Reach - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Peter Green
9. I Feel Like A Millionaire - Champion Jack Dupree With Mickey "Guitar" Baker
10. Someday People - Savoy Brown
11. Feel It For Me - Ten Years After
12. Steppin' Out - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton

http://rapidshare.com/files/291470223/The_World_Of_Blues_Power.rar

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Various Artists - "The World of Blues Power - Vol 2" - 1970


This hard-to-find collection features the by-then timeworn tradition of pairing classic Chicago blues artists with British "blues-rock" guys. These tracks come from all over the place - some are very hard to find elsewhere, and some aren't. I bought it for the two cuts Walter Horton appears on, both of which are from 1964, but there's some good stuff from the other Chicago artists here too. And if you're into British blues-rock, you'll find this an altogether pleasing compilation. Or, if you're like me, you'll just skip over that crap and get to the good stuff.

Incidentally, "The World Of..." was evidently a sort of series, designed to make a quick buck repackaging a variety of musical genres. A catalog of titles on the back of the record tempts the casual listener with the availability and affordability of "The World of Military Bands," "The World of Wales In Song," "The World of Paddy Roberts" and my personal favorite, "The World of World War One - Oh! What A Lovely War," among other definitive releases.

1. Don't Turn Me From Your Door - Savoy Brown
2. Can't Help Myself - Shakey Horton
3. Checkin' Up On My Baby - John Mayall
4. Crutch And Cane - Homesick James
5. Going To Try - Ten Years After
6. Too Bad (Pt. 1) - Eddie Boyd
7. Leavin' Trunk - Keef Hartley
8. Lula Mae - Robert Nighthawk
9. You Don't Love Me - John Mayall
10. She's Got A Ring In His Nose And A Ring On Her Hand - Savoy Brown
11. Third Degree - Champion Jack Dupree
12. Speed Kills - Ten Years After

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2NO9XK3P (just tracks #2 and #8)
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PX5OTZYX

Saturday, September 26, 2009

John Nicholas and Friends - "Too Many Bad Habits" - 1977


I originally bought this record mainly because the "friends" included Walter Horton and Johnny Shines, but I quickly became a big fan of John Nicholas. He was out of music for a long stretch, but he seems to be back at it now, and you can get several of his excellent recordings - old and new - by visiting his website at www.hilltopcafe.com

This 1977 Blind Pig release, however, remains very difficult to find, and that's a shame because this is great music. Plus, for harp fans, there is some superb playing by Walter Horton here. Three of the cuts featuring Walter also appeared on his own LP, "Can't Keep Loving You," but the rest have never appeared anywhere else that I know of. Johnny Shines sings a tune, there's fiddling and mandolin, lots of really tasty guitar, soulful singing, and some witty original tunes. Good times with a hellofa bunch of friends. You think any blues artist would get away with having a couple lines of coke on the album cover in these squeaky clean times? Doubtful...

1. Mandolin Boogie
2. Looks Can Be Deceivin'
3. Too Many Bad Habits
4. Sittin' On Top Of The World
5. Got The Train?
6. Rock My Blues Away
7. Blues Walk
8. Don't You Mind People Grinnin' In Your Face
9. The New Canned Heat
10. West Wind
11. Blues Came Fallin' Down
12. Careless Love
13. Gettin' Outta Town
14. Hellhound On My Trail

http://rapidshare.com/files/285519814/John_Nicholas_-_Too_Many_Bad_Habits.zip
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=H15VRZ82

Jimmy DeBerry & Walter Horton - "The Complete 1972/73 Memphis Sessions"



These two records comprise the entirety of the Memphis sessions recorded for Crosscut Records by Jimmy DeBerry and Walter Horton in 1972-73. They are among the rarest items I have, and they offer a good object lesson in the pleasures and perils of obsessing over rare records. The fact is, most of the time when you finally track down that long out-of-print oddity you've been searching for, you realize there's a damn good reason the thing is so rare: it's usually not very good. However, once in awhile you come across that rare item that is so amazing it's like discovering buried treasure. Such is the collector's life: mostly disappointed, but elated often enough to keep you going.

The two records in this post offer a little bit of each sensation. Years ago, I became mildly obsessed with Jimmy DeBerry after hearing the four solo sides he cut for Sun records in the 1950s (his 5th Sun appearance is, of course, as the somewhat erratic rhythm guitarist on Walter Horton's classic "Easy.") So, for years I wanted to track down these two records, both because Walter Horton was my favorite harmonica player, and I was already in the process of collecting everything he ever recorded, but also because I wanted more from Jimmy DeBerry.

Well, it's a mixed bag here. Jimmy is one of those bluesmen - much like John Lee Hooker or Lightnin' Hopkins - who really should never be recorded with other musicians. His timing is too idiosyncratic, he doesn't follow any set chord progression... in short, he's a disaster to try to accompany, and the LAST thing he should be doing is accompanying someone else. You can hear the frustration in Walter's voice as he tries to teach his old friend the stop-time intro to "Hard Hearted Woman." When he pleads, with strained patience, "Listen to me, Jimmy," it's hard not to share the feeling he must have had that maybe this just wasn't meant to be.

There are other issues: the sound quality isn't too bad here, but the mix is pretty amateurish, with the voice too quiet, the harp too forward, and there are some "musicians" on a couple tracks that really don't belong anywhere near a recording studio (a godawful harp player on "Before Long" and a barely competent drummer on "Jimmy's Back"). Honestly, there are several tracks here that didn't need to be released at all; two versions of "Everybody's Fishing" or "Goin' Up On a Harvest" is probably overdoing it some.

However... then, there's the gold.

I think Jimmy DeBerry is an amazing singer, and, when he is left alone and unaccompanied, the time I spent searching those dusty record bins for these hunks of wax is suddenly validated. In particular, his jug band-style tunes are terrific and his version of the spiritual "Since I Laid My Burden Down" sends the hair up on my neck every time. Plus, there are those rare moments, like on "Worried, Wonderin' and Glad" or one of the takes of "West Winds," where Jimmy and Walter manage to get in sync with each other, and the results are totally worth the wait. Walter, by the way, is blowing his ass off though much of these sessions, with a tone and attack I've never heard him duplicate elsewhere (what was that amp/mic setup?) and a lot of really creative ideas.

So, in the end, I think there's enough good music here to warrant the download. And there's an occasional bit of greatness. Probably, they could have edited these sessions down to one disk, which would have been a pretty damn solid record. Maybe if they'd done it that way, this stuff wouldn't be as rare as it is today. As it stands, though, you gotta sift through the dregs a bit to get to the gold, and not everyone has the patience for that.

Or for my rambling, come to think of it... okay, I'll shut up. Enjoy.

Vol 1 - "Easy"
1. Little Walters Boogie
2. Bring It On Down To My House
3. West Winds Are Blowing
4. Jimmy DeBerry's Kansas City Blues
5. Hard Hearted Woman
6. Baby Please Don't Go
7. Take A Little Chance
8. They All Ask For Me
9. Easy
10. Before Long
11. Train of Consciousness
12. Electrocution Blues
13. Everybodys Fishin
14. Goin Up On A Harvest

http://rapidshare.com/files/410662586/Easy.zip.html

Vol 2 - "Back"
1. Jimmy and Walters Boogie
2. Take A Little Chance
3. Before Long
4. They All Ask For Me
5. West Winds Are Blowing
6. Electrocution Blues
7. Goin Up On A Harvest
8. Twice As Easy/Need My Baby
9. Bring It On Down To My House
10. Worried, Wonderin and Glad
11. Jimmy's Back
12. Everybody's Fishin
13. Since I Laid My Burden Down

http://rapidshare.com/files/285158252/Jimmy_and_Walter_-_Back.zip

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

William Clarke - "Can't You Hear Me Calling" - 1983


Okay, back to blues harp music... On Clarke's 1st record for Rivera, he doesn't sound quite as confident as he would four years later on "Tip of The Top," but it's still a damn good record, and "No Lie" is one of my favorite vocal performances by Clarke. Four years later, "Tip of The Top" would come out, and by then his style would be fully in place. Thanks to dreumis for making this available so I didn't have to record my scratchy old LP...

1. Ice Cream Man
2. She's Dynamite
3. Can't You Hear Me Calling
4. Bite Again, Bite Again
5. Looking For Trouble
6. West Coast Walk
7. Give Me Mine Now
8. She's Gone
9. The Pleaser
10. No Lie

http://rapidshare.com/files/283674438/William_Clarke_-_Can_t_You_Hear_Me_Calling.zip

compilation: "From The Web #2"


Another bunch of internet-acquired odds and ends. Enjoy.

1. Skydaddy - Jeffrey Has The Car
This crazy guy Bradlee has an website called "Skydaddy" with tons of hilarious music and writing, and my favorite section: prank calls.

2. Chris Harris - Traveling Soldier
Another tear-jerker from one of my favorite online musician acquaintances. I'm told the Dixie Chicks also covered this Bruce Robison tune. I can't imagine anyone doing it better than Chris, though.

Al Carmichael
3. Life Number Nine
4. Dreaming My Life Away
Two from Al, who was "crawdad" on several music forums in the early "oughts." A very talented man. Not sure what he's doing these days, but these were "rough" versions posted to homerecording.com ages ago.

5. Frankie Basile - Married Man Blues
This is just the audio of Frankie's youtube video. He takes the Wade Ward classic and makes it his own. Go check out the video and watch his fingers flying.

6. Dan Gellert - Eph Got A Coon
Another product of my recent banjo obsession. Dan's one of the few true modern innovators on the instrument. This came from his website. I subsequently bought his CD, which is really, really good.

7. Norman Greenbaum - Dairy Queen
After Norman hit it big with "Spirit In The Sky" he moved to Petaluma, CA, bought a chicken farm, and made a truly strange little record called "Petaluma" about, well... living in Petaluma and working on a chicken farm. Thankfully, this long out-of-print oddity is now available on his website.

8. Ryan Adams - When The Stars Go Blue
There were a lot of Ryan Adams songs floating around Napster in the old days. This live, scorched-throat version completely decimates the recorded version. Good stuff with a kick-ass band.

9. Tom Waits - Ol 55
This is from the "Storming Heaven" benefit in Healdsberg, in 1996. I had a warbly, speeded-up cassette copy of this for years, and recently found a much better quality copy online. Sound still isn't exactly pristine, but this is the greatest version of this song he ever did, in my opinion.

10. Southside Johnny (with the Coasters) - Check Mr. Popeye
More wonderful novelty weirdness from the Coasters. Popeye gets away with the girl in a lime green Caddy. Sweet...

11. Gary Portnoy - Another Day
Gary is the guy who wrote the world's most famous TV theme song. (Hint: "where everybody knows your name...") I recorded this off some streaming audio on his website. It's actually kind of a cool little tune, and it was one of his early attempts at a theme for Cheers. Crazy what you come across on the internet...

12. David Rawlings/Gillian Welch - Diamond Joe
A live cut where Dave gets to sing lead for once.

13. Bonnie Raitt - Can't Find My Way Home
Live with Little Feat in 1973. Back before Bonnie got all slick and commercial and boring.

14. Jose Gonzalez - Storm
Live version of one of his more obscure tunes.

15. Gil Landry - Dixie
The best song about busking I've ever heard. Gil's record is available online - great New Orleansy singer-songwriter stuff. Check it out.

16. Pieta Brown - It's Just As Well
This song is on the UK version of her record, "Remember The Sun," but it was left off the USA version for some reason.

17. Bruce Robison - Days Go By
I think I got this from Bruce's website at some point. One of the greatest of Texas songwriters - and that's saying something.

18. The Buzzrats - Where The Rockets Go
The final version of this song appears on their excellent 2003 record "Wondering Where You Are," which is available through their website. Phil, their guitarist, workshopped a lot of those songs on homerecording.com several years ago. This is a rough early mix of one of my favorite of their tunes.

19. Garland Jeffreys - Spanish Town
Garland has always been one of my favorites, and his stuff was really hard to find for a long time. Thankfully, he's online now, and making stuff more available. No one but Garland writes songs like this. From his vastly under-appreciated 1977 masterpiece, "Ghost Writer" - one of the best records of all time, as far as I'm concerned.

http://rapidshare.com/files/283594485/Internet_Folks_2.zip

compilation: "From The Web"


We're going to stray away from blues and harmonica a bit here, for a very loosely themed compilation. Basically, this is all music I acquired online. Much of it is people I actually know - either in real life or in some virtual sense, and the rest I found on some website or another. It's all music I never would have found without this crazy new technology, so I guess it's sort of a web tribute to the web - or something equally ridiculous. Anyway, the music is good. Check it out - there's probably plenty here you've never heard before. It's not blues, but most of it is pretty moody...

1. Leonard Cohen - Waiting On This Corner
I recorded this off an audio stream of an interview on the NPR website.

2. Jay Farrar - White Freightliner Blues
A live version of the Townes Van Zandt classic. I think I downloaded this from Jay's website at some point.

3. Karin Tatoyan - History of Stains
Karin works out of L.A. and is really totally unlike anyone else I can think of on the scene right now. If you get the chance to see her live, do it. She'll convert you on the spot. This is from her EP of the same name.

4. Shudder to Think - She Might Be Waking Up
This amazing song - completely uncharacteristic for Shudder to Think - is only available on the soundtrack to the excellent film "High Art." They never did any other tunes like this, but this one haunted me since the first time I heard it over the closing credits.

5. Jason Simon - So Far Away
Jason was a guy I "knew" on a message board in the 90s. He was a piano player, singer and songwriter from the East Coast. I don't know what became of him, but I love this song.

6. Tom Gagne - For My Errors
Tom was another guy I knew on a home recording message board, back when I was doing lots of obsessing over parametric eq and condenser mics and tube preamps. He posted this after a fight with his girlfriend one time.

7. Mark Sandman - Kerouac
From the Kerouac box set. Mark freestyles his own kind of blues. One master riffing on another. I got this on Napster, back in the old days. Anyone remember Napster?

8. Preacher Boy - Another Train Song
Preacher Boy was an interesting singer-songwriter and a hellofa guitar player who one day decided he'd had it with trying to make it in music. He posted a sort of good-bye on his website and said he was going to concentrate on his writing career. He also gave away pretty much all his music for free. I downloaded a bunch of it, and this song has always been a favorite.

9. George Wirth - Hard Love
Another guy I found on a recording forum. George posted songs like this and totally showed up all the fools who claimed you can't make great music in your bedroom. Just a perfect song.

10. Ryan Adams - Drunk And Fucked Up
I have pretty much zero interest in his more recent stuff, but this is a goddamn masterpiece of a performance. Occasionally Ryan stopped being cute and really sang from the heart, and when he did, it made you wish he did it more often.

11. Anna Egge - Made of Iron
Another amazing songwriter who probably could have been a superstar if she hadn't come along at the collapse of the music industry. A dark, harrowing gem of a song.

12. Liz Pappademas - Soldier's Girls
Another L.A. singer-songwriter. I got this from her website. A good song to listen to very late at night when you're a bit drunk.

13. Winston Cowboy - Don't Let That Pussy Cool Off
Some nut under the name "Winston Cowboy" posted this to a forum once. Sound advice, you must admit.

14. Chris Harris - Juliet
Chris Harris is another immensely talented internet dude who basically just plays music for fun and records and posts tons of great songs in his spare time (he's a lawyer by day). Check out the acoustic duo he plays in with his daughter, "Better off Dad." This song makes me cry.

15. Ellen Gozion - Edward
I stumbled across Ellen's website totally by accident one day and fell in love with her voice. If you like this, go buy her records at CDbaby. She's a masterful song interpreter.

16. The Four Tunes - I Understand
One of my favorite songs of all time. I don't think there's any internet connection with this - I just like putting it on compilations. It's only available at this point on the soundtrack to the brilliant film "Trees Lounge," where it is mistakenly credited to the Ink Spots. Pat Best is the vocalist and if he doesn't send shivers up your spine, you don't have a spine.

17. Tom Noonan - The Devil
Some bluesy weirdness from a very strange guy. Tom Noonan wrote, directed and starred in "What Happened Was," which is one of the greatest films no one ever saw. Evidently, he also makes wacky music. This came from his website. If you dig this, there's more where it came from.

18. The Last Call Girls - Shotgun Wedding
I used to see the Girls a lot when I lived in Kansas City. They completely rock. This is a live tune they posted on their website once. I've tried ordering their CD numerous times, but the Girls aren't too web savvy. Your best bet is to try catching them at Davey's in Midtown KC sometime.

19. Tom Waits - Highway Cafe
This was from a compilation of folks doing Kinky Friedman songs. I scored this from Audiogalaxy, which was the hot spot for a minute right after Napster finally bit the dust, and before all the action moved to blogs. Now, where's my chili dog?

http://rapidshare.com/files/283375168/Internet_Folks.zip

Monday, September 21, 2009

harmonica grab bag #1


This is just an assortment of harmonica rarities, assembled from various sources. Some of these are no longer as rare as they once were, now that so much has been reissued (and now that there are so many online blogs), but most of these are still not easily purchased, and a few are pretty close to impossible to get ahold of. Enjoy, harp fans.

1. Big Joe Williams (with Paul Butterfield) - Whistling Pines - 1960s
From the Norman Dayron "Rare Blues" collection of 60s club and street recordings.

2. Little Buddy Doyle (with Walter Horton) - Lost Baby Blues - 1939
Very early Walter Horton, and possibly the earliest, depending on whether or not you believe that's Walter with the Memphis Jug Band in the 20s.

3. Delsey McKay (with Walter Horton) - Just Desserts - 1969/70
This was on the "Spivey's Blues Parade" record, which was one of a series of "house party" records on Victoria Spivey's label. The harmonica content really isn't that exciting, but I've always loved this track. I haven't found much info on Delsey McKay, but she kills it with this little monologue. Sunnyland Slim's background comments are pretty priceless too.

4. Walter Horton - Don't Mistreat Me - 1964
From the "Offer You Can't Refuse" sessions with Robert Nighthawk, but didn't appear on the original LP.

5. Walter Horton - Need My Baby - 1956
6. Walter Horton - Have A Good Time - 1956

Mid-50s Horton. Damn, I wish there was more from this period.

7. Snooky Pryor - Raisin' Sand - 1950
8. Snooky Pryor - Eighty Nine Ten - 1953

Great early 50s stuff from Snooky, sounding about the same as he would half a century later. If it ain't broke...

9. Little Willie Foster - Crying The Blues - 1956
That great, muddy, echoey Cobra sound.

10. Victoria Spivey (with Sonny Boy Williamson) - Black Snake Swinger - 1969/70
Also from the Spivey house party record. Some good drunken fun.

11. Sonny Boy Williamson - Steady Rollin' Man - 1958
12. Sonny Boy Williamson - Keep Your Hand Out of My Pocket - 1958
Two of my favorite Sonny Boy tracks, neither of which were released when they were cut. Sonny Boy and Willie Dixon really stretch out here as if they have all the time in the world. The engineers were probably frantically waving their hands, yelling, "Cut!" Sonny Boy's laugh at the end says it all.

13. Rod Piazza w/ Chicago Flying Saucer Band - Poison Ivy - 12/9/80
14. Rod Piazza w/ Chicago Flying Saucer Band - It Ain't Right - 12/9/80
15. Rod Piazza w/ Chicago Flying Saucer Band - Gal From Kokomo - 12/9/80

Three tunes from a live show. These came as filler on a live William Clarke tape I traded for years ago. Pretty damn good stuff from Piazza - another guy who's found a winning formula and stuck with it.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=FK3L0IEH
http://rapidshare.com/files/283346233/misc_harp.zip

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stephen Stills - "Stills Alone" - 1991


I'm not sure what the deal is with Stills - I'm not up on the tabloid gossip, so maybe it's common knowledge that he's like, a drunk, or super lazy or maybe just nuts, but there's got to be some reason why a guy would make a record as good as this one, and then not put out another solo record for the next 14 years, meanwhile letting this one go out of print. It just don't make sense to me. I could eat up another 4 or 5 records of just Stills singing and playing solo. What the hell is he doing out there? If Van Morrison can fart out a record a year of him complaining about how hard it is to be rich and famous, if Dylan can keep getting away with re-arranging old blues lyrics and muttering apocalyptic nonsense, we should be able to get a few more records out of Stills. Get your ass back in the studio, Steve. And bring the acoustic guitar...

1. Isn't It So
2. Everybody's Talking
3. Just Isn't Like You
4. In My Life
5. The Ballad of Hollis Brown
6. Singin' Call
7. The Right Girl
8. Blind Fiddler Medley: The Blind Fiddler/Do for the Others/Know You Go
9. Amazonia
10. Treetop Flyer

http://rapidshare.com/files/282478914/Stephen_Stills_-_Stills_Alone.zip

Pete Johnson - "Pete's Blues - House Rent Party" - 1946


Pete Johnson always gets lumped in with Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons as one of the three prominent boogie woogie pianists, but I've always felt that neither of the other two were remotely in the same class as Pete - he's a vastly more creative and versatile player than any of the other boogie woogie players of that era, and was capable of considerably more than straight eight-to-the-bar pounding, as this recording shows. Possibly the first "concept record," this one starts with Pete "all alone in his new house," where he is soon joined by musician after musician until there is a full band wailing away. The between song banter as each new guy shows up is hilariously goofy, and the music swings like crazy.

1. Pete's Lonesome Blues
2. Mr. Drum Meets Mr. Piano
3. Mutiny In the Doghouse
4. Mr. Clarinet Knocks Twice
5. Ben Rides Out
6. Page Mr. Trumpet
7. J.C. From K.C.
8. Pete's Housewarming Blues
9. Atomic Boogie
10. Back Room Blues
11. 1280 Stomp
12. I May Be Wonderful
13. Man Wanted

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UJC08B1B
http://rapidshare.com/files/282425717/Pete_Johnson_-_Pete_s_Blues_House_Rent_Party.zip

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sonny Boy Williamson & Memphis Slim - "in Paris" - 1963


Sonny Boy and Memphis Slim in a Paris bar. What more could you ask for?

1. The Skies Are Crying
2. Your Funeral and My Trial
3. Explain Yourself To Me
4. Nine Below Zero
5. Fattening Frogs for Snakes
6. My One Room Cabin
7. Getting Out of Town

http://rapidshare.com/files/415129184/SB.zip.html
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EZLA7XNX

Doctor Ross - "The Flying Eagle" - 1966


Great stuff from the good Doctor. There are a few different versions of this record floating around the web. One of the versions has a great deal of reverb added, which is completely annoying. This is the "dry" version. Enjoy.

1. Flying Eagle Boogie
2. Goin' Down Slow
3. Something To Tell You, Want All My Friends To Know
4. Tommy Dorsey Boogie
5. Hobo Blues
6. Mother Before This Time Another Year
7. Bad Whiskey, Bad Women
8. Decoration Day
9. Too Close Together
10. Rollin' And Tumblin'
11. Mean Old World
12. Rock Me

http://rapidshare.com/files/281685191/Dr_Ross_-_The_Flying_Eagle.zip

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shakey Horton - "The Soul of Blues Harmonica" - 1964


I wasn't planning to post this record, but in the course of researching the availability of some other records I stumbled upon the surprising fact that "The Soul of Blues Harmonica" is all but impossible to find nowadays. This blows my mind because I wore this record out as a young, wannabe harmonica player. It has some of Walter's greatest instrumentals and some fantastically creative playing, the likes of which he seldom displayed elsewhere. The organ gets a little annoying here and there, and I'm not a huge fan of Buddy Guy's backup playing, but it's still a must-own for harp fans.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=JMNN8NNG
http://rapidshare.com/files/281640304/Shakey_Horton_-_The_Soul_Of_Blues_Harmonica.zip

William Clarke - "Rockin' The Boat!" - 1988


William Clarke's widow, Jeanette, has been releasing a lot of cool stuff since Clarke's death in 1996, but neither of the two records he did for Rivera in the 1980s have been reissued yet for some reason. I can only assume that these records are tied up in some kind of stupid legal hassle, because the music on this one is every bit as good as the stuff Clarke put out on Alligator in later years (and better than some of it, in my opinion). This is Clarke at his most relaxed, swinging and soulful. If they ever reissue Rockin' The Boat, I'll take it down, since I don't want to take money away from the Clarke family, but in the meantime, enjoy a night in Redondo Beach with the William Clarke band in 1987.

1. Deal The Cards
2. Keep It To Yourself
3. All About My Girl
4. I Had My Fun
5. Red House/Just A Little Love
6. Iodine In My Coffee
7. After Hours
8. Boogie Woogie Woman

[link deleted - go get it from cdbaby or itunes & support the Clarke family!]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Uncle Ben Perry


If you were on Beale Street, in Memphis, TN, any time in the last quarter of the 20th century, odds are that you heard Uncle Ben play. If you were a budding musician, chances are you sat in with him for a few tunes, and if he liked the way you played, you may even have become one of his many "nephews."

It would be impossible to keep track of the scores of kids who sat in with Uncle Ben under those trees in Handy Park (before they gutted it, put a fence around it and started calling it the "Pepsi Pavillion"). He graciously allowed pretty much anyone to play a tune with him, whether they were seasoned professionals passing through or lilly-green amateurs who didn't know a thing about the blues.

Playing the blues, year after year, for the motley assortment of tourists, winos and derelicts that congregated in Handy Park, Uncle Ben had learned a thing or two about how to deal with crowds. For those that came under his tutelage, it was an advanced course, not only in how to handle yourself on the street, but also about how to really make blues your life. Uncle Ben had been down there, banging away on that cheap guitar and hollering those same songs as long as anyone could remember. He was the real deal.

This post collects what is - as far as I know - Uncle Ben's complete recorded output, minus the bit of him that you can see in Robert Palmer's "Deep Blues" film. The first eight tracks are from a demo that he recorded sometime in the 1980s, I believe. I know it was already a few years old when I got it from Ben in 1992. This was a cassette-only release by some little local outfit called "Alley Way Records." Clarence Covington joins him on 2nd guitar, and also handles the vocals for a couple of tunes. There are also two cuts (recorded live on Beale Street) from the High Water "Deep South Blues" record, and one other song that I found on one of Brad Webb's records.

This music is probably not for everyone. It's badly recorded and mixed, the guitars are out of tune, and it's basically raggedy as hell. But I heard Ben play these songs hundreds of times, and I'm really glad to have this musical memento of those days. I figured there might be others out there who feel the same way. Amazingly, for a guy who made such a mark on the Memphis music scene, this small handful of tunes is all we have to remember Uncle Ben by. So, I wanted to put it out there for whoever might appreciate it.

1. Mama Look At Sis
2. Mean Woman Blues
3. Big City Living
4. Live It Down
5. I'm So Happy
6. Hey B.B.
7. Lies
8. When The Saints Go Marching In
9. Mama Look At Sis (Live on Beale Street)
10. Mean Woman Blues (Live on Beale Street)
11. Going Down South

http://rapidshare.com/files/382405639/UncleBenPerry.zip

-------------Mark Carrig & Uncle Ben Perry, Memphis, 1986

Eddie "One String" Jones & Edward Hazelton - "One String Blues" - 1960


In 1960, Eddie Jones was in Los Angeles, playing his homemade "one string" for tips on skid row. He was hauled into a studio for a couple of brief sessions, and then he vanished into complete obscurity, never to be heard from again. All of this would only be a mildly intriguing bit of blues mythology if the music itself wasn't so insanely good. If you've never heard Eddie before, you're in for a treat. That this one remains out of print is a goddamn travesty. An awesome, weird, one-of-a-kind record.

1. One String Three-Quarter Banjo Picker - Eddie "One String" Jones
2. Rolling and Tumbling Blues - Eddie "One String" Jones
3. Walk With Me Lord [#] - Eddie "One String" Jones
4. Come Back Baby - Eddie "One String" Jones
5. John Henry [#] - Eddie "One String" Jones
6. I'll Be Your Chauffeur - Eddie "One String" Jones
7. It's Raining Here - Eddie "One String" Jones
8. Baby Please Don't Go [#] - Eddie "One String" Jones
9. Dozens - Eddie "One String" Jones
10. Mocking the Train, Mocking the Dogs - Edward Hazelton, Eddie "One String" Jones
11. Poor Boy Traveling from Town to Town - Edward Hazelton, Eddie "One String" Jones
12. Hard Rock Is My Pillow [#] - Edward Hazelton, Eddie "One String" Jones
13. Motherless Children Have a Hard Time - Edward Hazelton, Eddie "One String" Jones
14. Throw a Poor Dog a Bone (And How Blind Boy Fuller Learned to Play) [#] - Edward Hazelton, Eddie "One String" Jones
15. Red River Blues [#] - Edward Hazelton, Eddie "One String" Jones

http://rapidshare.com/files/281127942/eddie___one_string___jones___edward_hazelton_-_one_string_blues__1964_.zip

Lowell Fulson - "I've Got The Blues (and Then Some...)" - 1969-71


This one comes courtesy of the sadly-departed bluestown.blogspot.com. A great collection of Lowell's late 60s/early 70s stuff. I can't find any information on "West Side," the label that reissued this, and this collection only appears to be available via high-priced imports on amazon and ebay.

NOTE: the tracklist is somewhat out of order:

Disc: 1
1. Lady In The Rain
2. Letter Home
3. Too Soon
4. Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
5. Sleeper
6. How Do You Want Your Man
7. Don't Leave Me
8. Thug
9. Do You Feel It?
10. Don't Destroy Me
11. Lonesome Christmas Part 1
12. Lonesome Christmas Part 2 (Single Edit)
13. Bluesway (Inst.)
14. My Baby
15. Man Of Motion
16. Teach Me
17. Change Of Heart
18. Every Second A Fool Is Born
19. Look At You Baby
20. Fed Up
Disc: 2
1. I've Got The Blues
2. Man On The Run
3. This Feeling
4. Trouble Everywhere
5. Cheating Woman
6. Searchin' Out
7. Stoned To The Bone
8. The Last One To Know
9. Baby
10. Crying Won't Help
11. Deep In Love
12. Please Let Me Go
13. Stop And Think
14. You're Gonna Miss Me
15. Henpacked
16. Hurry Home
17. I Started Out Wrong
18. Take My Hand
19. Lonesome Christmas Part 2 (Unedited Version)

http://rapidshare.com/files/281127945/Lowell_Fulson_-_I_ve_Got_The_Blues_And_Then_Some.zip

Robert Jr. Lockwood & Johnny Shines - "Hangin' On - 1980


I don't know what's weirder, that this record won a Handy award in 1980 for "Best Traditional Blues Record" (it's not really "traditional blues" at all) or that, given that honor, Rounder let it go out of print. I had a cassette copy of this in the 80s that got lost somehow. Recently, I found this copy of it online, which I believe was recorded from an LP. Sound quality is a little sizzly, but not enough to make it painful.

1. Big John
2. Hangin' On
3. Full Grown Woman
4. Razzmadazz
5. We're Gonna Ball Tonight
6. Early in the Morning
7. Here It Is, Brother
8. Mean Mistreater
9. Goin' to England
10. I Gotta Find My Baby
11. Just the Blues
12. Lonesome Whistle

http://rapidshare.com/files/281041911/Robert_Lockwood_Jr.___Johnny_Shines_-_Hangin__On.zip

Dave Van Ronk - "Ragtime Jug Stompers" - 1964


Dave Van Ronk is one of my favorite singers, and I have several other out-of-print rarities to put up by him. This one is one of his most interesting records, which for some reason has only been re-issued in Japan. The only place I could find it for sale online is some guy on amazon who wants over a hundred bucks for it. Individual tracks have been floating around online in various forms for awhile, so here's the full record, kazoos and all.

1. "Everybody Loves My Baby" (Spencer Williams, Jack Palmer) – 2:53
2. "Stealin' (long version)" (Will Shade) – 3:13
3. "Saint Louis Tickle" (James O'Dea, Barney, Seymore) – 3:33
4. "Sister Kate" (Armand Piron and Clarence Williams) – 2:17
5. "Take it slow and easy" (Jesse Fuller) – 2:25
6. "Mack the Knife" (Kurt Weill, Bertold Brecht, Beitzstein) – 2:35
7. "Diggin' my Potatoes" (Sonny Terry) – 2:A3
8. "Temptation Rag" (Henry Lodge—Weslyn) – 3:09
9. "Shake that Thing" (Jackson) – 2:50
10. "K.C. Moan" (Tewee Blackman) – 3:36
11. "Georgia Camp Meeting" (Traditional) – 2:45
12. "You's a Viper" (Thomas "Fats" Waller) – 2:32

http://rapidshare.com/files/281041908/Dave_Van_Ronk_-_Ragtime_Jug_Stompers.zip

Bobby Charles - "Bobby Charles" - 1972


Every time I put this record on for someone who's never heard it, I always get the same response. Within seconds, they start nodding along and tapping their feet, and soon I get the question: "Who is this guy?" When I tell them, they're always flabbergasted that they've never heard of him. Bobby Charles has had a long and strange career, but this record is his best one, I think. It's a forgotten masterpiece of lazy, soulful vocals and brilliant, subtle songwriting. But good luck finding it in a store. I guess Bobby just didn't hustle hard enough. In the words of the opening cut:

"Who's gonna work and make the economy grow if we all hang out in the street?
I don't know and I don't care just as long as it ain't me.
wouldn't trade places with no one I know
I'm happy where I'm at
some people would rather work
we need people like that."

1. Street People
2. Long Face
3. I Must Be In A Good Place Now
4. Save Me Jesus
5. All The Money
6. Small Town Talk
7. Let Yourself Go
8. Grow Too Old
9. I'm That Way
10. Tennessee Blues

[NOTE: since I originally posted this, I've discovered that this record is now available from amazon in mp3 form, so I've removed the rapidshare link. Go buy the record & support Bobby.]

Wild Child Butler - "Open Up Baby" - 1968


Charly's Open Up Baby rounds up several singles George "Wild Child" Butler recorded for Jewel between 1966 and 1968. All of the sessions were produced by Willie Dixon, and the great majority of the songs were written either by Butler or Dixon. Some of the material has dated a bit ("Hippy Playground," for instance), but there's no denying the down and dirty grit in Butler's performances, as he's backed by such well-known musicians as Big Walter Horton and Jimmy Dawkins. Butler rarely did straightahead Chicago blues any better than he did here. - allmusic.com

1. Open Up Baby
2. Big Momma, Little Momma
3. Axe and the Wind
4. Jelly Jam
5. Hold Me Baby
6. Do Something Baby
7. She Walks Like My Mary Ann
8. Put It All in There
9. My Forty Year Old Woman
10. Harmonica Prayer
11. Gravy Child
12. Best of Wild Child
13. Keep on (Doing' What You're Doin')
14. Hippy Playground

http://rapidshare.com/files/91180640/george_wild_child_butler.zip

George Smith - "Blowin' The Blues" - 1956-1978


Another great collection of tunes from George Smith, culled from a variety of sessions for small labels from the 50s to the 70s.

http://rapidshare.com/files/92695895/george_smith_-_blowin__the_blues.rar.html

George Smith - "Arkansas Trap" - 1970


My favorite George Smith record. For years I had nothing but a crappy cassette copy with tons of tape hiss. Finally, I found this guy online who had created a digital version from his original LP. Still not the CD reissue I'm hoping for, but a vast improvement. Enjoy this impossible-to-find jewel.

1. McComb, Mississippi
2. Situation Blues
3. Roaming
4. Blue Fog
5. On My Mind
6. Viola B
7. Monkey On A Limb
8. Trying To Hide The Things I Do
9. Fire Exit
10. She's Coming Home To Stay
11. McComb, Mississippi part II

http://rapidshare.com/files/96692589/george_smith_-_arkansas_trap_3rd_rip.rar.html

Joe Hill Louis - "The Be-Bop Boy"

An early artist on Sun Records, Joe Hill Louis was not easily defined in terms of style. He was a more or less "one man band" whose music sometimes seemed to fall completely apart. He was very popular in his day however.

His real name was Leslie Hill and he was born in Raines, Tennessee. He left home at 14 and hobo'd around playing some music where he could. The name "Joe Louis" for fighting constantly and being good at it. In the 1940s he developed his one man band act after settling down in Memphis. He billed himself as "Joe Hill Louis The Be-Bop Boy And His One Man Band." He became popular playing in around Handy Park, ultimately landing a 15 minute show on WDIA, billed there as "The Pepticon Boy".

Hill recorded some in 1949 for Columbia before signing with Sam Phillips in 1950. After Phillips sold his contract in 1953 Hill contined to record with various labels, eventually returning to Phillips to record as a solo artist until his untimely death in 1957. A deep cut on his thumb turned into tetanus and Joe Hill Louis died at the age of 35. - memphishistory.org

There are some amazing tracks on this record, including some fantastic early stuff by Walter Horton. Currently, this release is only available as a foreign import as far as I can tell, and that part of the Bear Family site isn't in English, so it's kinda hard to navigate how to order it. For these reasons, I'm feeling okay with posting it here so others can enjoy it.

1. She Treats Me Mean and Evil
2. Dorothy Mae
3. Sweetest Gal in Town
4. Keep Your Arms Around Me
5. Got Me a New Woman
6. I'm a Poor Boy
7. In the Mood [Instrumental] - Big Walter Horton
8. West Winds Are Blowing - Big Walter Horton
9. Little Walter's Boogie - Big Walter Horton
10. We All Got to Go (Sometime) - Big Walter Horton
11. We All Got to Go (Sometime)
12. Little Walter's Boogie - Big Walter Horton
13. Tiger Man [Demo Version]
14. 44 Blues - Mose Vinson
15. My Love Has Gone
16. Mistreatin' Boogie - Mose Vinson
17. My Love Has Gone - Joe Hill Louis, Mose Vinson
18. Worry You Off My Mind - Mose Vinson
19. Reap What You Sow - Mose Vinson
20. Walter's Instrumental - Big Walter Horton
21. Hydramatic Woman
22. Tiger Man
23. Keep Your Arms Around Me
24. She Comes to See Me Sometime
25. We All Got to Go (Sometime)
26. Shine Boy

http://rapidshare.com/files/280811247/Joe_Hill_Louis_-_The_Be-Bop_Boy_-_1992_-_VBR.zip
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3JFZYK1U

Augie Jr. & the Big Mess Blues Band - "Drinker's Choice" - 1991


When I lived in New Orleans, I would walk over to Jackson Square almost every day to watch Augie Jr. and the Big Mess band. They were a massive, unruly, ever-rotating group of crazed and colorful musicians. They were a force to be reckoned with, and everyone who played on the street in the French Quarter had respect for them. The Big Mess Band has had many incarnations over the year, but Augie has always been at the heart of it. Augie's 1991 record "Drinker's Choice" doesn't quite capture the ragged glory of the Big Mess Band live in the Quarter, but it's the only full-length record of this New Orleans musical institution, and, as such, has achieved something of a mythical status, largely because it's been so hard to find for so long. Augie and the Big Mess Band have reached untold numbers of ears in their long years of service on the streets of New Orleans. Hopefully, this CD'll reach a few more.

1. She's Mine
2. Down On The Floor
3. Black Train
4. (Please Send Me) Someone To Love
5. Drinker's Choice
6. Hoboin'
7. Hot Tub Gumbo
8. Jefferson Girl
9. Bring It (When You Come)

http://rapidshare.com/files/280791229/Augie_Jr___The_Big_Mess_Blues_Band_-_Drinker_s_Choice.zip

Mississippi Cotton Club - "You're The Girl" - 1998


Some years ago I found the song "You're The Girl" on some website somewhere and it quickly became one of my favorite tunes. According to info I've gathered here and there on the web, Eddie Cotton Jr. grew up in Mississippi, studied music at Jackson State University, and eventually went on to serve as minister at his father's church. He's got a couple CDs at cdbaby.com, but I'm not sure what he's up to nowadays. This record, which was apparently recorded in a home studio, took me quite awhile to locate, and as far as I can tell, it's not available anywhere. Some fabulous, soulful music that deserves to be heard.

01. Time Will Tell
02. Why Must I Cry
03. What's Wrong With Me
04. You're The Girl
05. Vision Of A True Love
06. All Night Long
07. Love War
08. Don't Give Up On A Love Affair
09. Happy
10. Tell Me

http://rapidshare.com/files/280811245/Mississippi_Cotton_Club_-_You_re_The_Girl.zip

Walter Horton rarities


This one originally came to me as a cassette compilation of rarities culled from a couple records that were scarcely in print for more than a nanosecond, as well as some sideman work Walter did for other folks. The solo cuts at the beginning are particularly interesting.

1. Juke (Evan's Shuffle/Walter's Swing-like instrumental) (Solo)
2. La Cucaracha (Solo)
3. I Hate To See The Sun Go Down
4. Going Back To St. Louis
5. Crawling Kingsnake (Floyd Jones)
6. Ain't It A Shame (solo)
7. She Left Me A Mule To Ride (Johnny Young)
8. That's Wrong Little Mama
9. Eight Ball (Gus Jenkins)
10. Evalena (Tampa Red)
11. Little And Low (Homesick James)
12. My Home Ain't Here (Homesick James)
13. Need My Baby (1964)
14. Have A Good Time (1964)
15. Watch Out (Hound Dog Taylor)
16. Instrumental (Hound Dog Taylor)
17. What Kind Of Man Is This (Koko Taylor)
18. Instrumental (Hound Dog Taylor)
19. Sitting Here Alone (Hound Dog Taylor)
20. I Got What It Takes (Koko Taylor)
21. Instrumental
22. Instrumental
23. Instrumental

http://rapidshare.com/files/73287187/Walter_Horton_-_Rarities_Compilation_part_1.zip.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/73289444/Walter_Horton_-Rarities_Compilation_part_2.zip.html

"Solo Harp" - Walter Horton and Sonny Boy Williamson


Okay, first up we got the coveted "Solo Harp" record featuring Sonny Boy and Big Walter. Notable for being - as far as I know - the only recorded instance of Big Walter playing chromatic harp (and given what he does with it, I can't really consider the scarcity of his chromatic playing to be much of a tragedy...)

But some great stuff here, especially from Sonny Boy - I love his playing and singing on this one. I dunno why this has never been re-released on CD. The sound quality isn't the greatest but it's definitely pretty decent for a "private party" recording. However, this remains a ridiculously hard to find record.

Walter Horton:
1. Blues (on chromatic harp!)
2. Shakey's Boogie
3. Things Aint What They Used To Be
4. Baby I Need Your Love
5. Medley:
a) When I Lost My Baby
b) St Louis Blues
c) Careless Love
d) John Henry

Sonny Boy Williamson:
6. I'm Down And Thinking
7. Trust My Baby
8. Bye Bye Bird
9. Blues Of The Blues
10. Work With Me
11. I'm The Loneliest Man

http://rapidshare.com/files/410616080/soloharp.zip.html