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.

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