Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stone Crazy

Buddy Guy- Stone Crazy



Album Review:
"Buddy Guy mostly indulges his histrionic side throughout this high-energy set, first issued in France and soon picked up for domestic consumption by Alligator. Stone Crazy! is a particularly attractive proposition for rock-oriented fans, who will no doubt dig Guy's non-stop incendiary, no-holds-barred guitar attack and informal arrangements. Purists may want to look elsewhere."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64886204a87a5df0/

Friday, August 28, 2009

Johnny Winter's Blues-Rock

Johnny Winter- The Progressive Blues Experiment



Album Review:
"Although his early Columbia albums brought him worldwide stardom, it was this modest little album (first released on Imperial before the Columbia sides) that first brought Johnny Winter to the attention of guitarheads in America. It's also Winter at the beginning of a long career, playing the blues as if his life depends on it, without applying a glimmer of rock commercialism. The standard classic repertoire here includes "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "I Got Love if You Want It," "Forty-Four," "It's My Own Fault," and "Help Me," with Winter mixing it up with his original Texas trio of Red Turner on drums and Tommy Shannon (later of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble) on bass. A true classic, this is one dirty, dangerous, and visionary album. The set was issued in a sonically screaming 24-bit remastered edition on CD by Capitol in 2005. It contains no bonus tracks, but it leaves the original crummy CD issue in the dust."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/6481525254e36fee/

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eugene "Buddy" Moss

Buddy Moss- Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1933-1934)



Album Review:
"For completists, specialists and academics, Document's Complete Recordings, Vol. 2: 1933-1934 is invaluable, offering an exhaustive overview of Buddy Moss' early recordings. For less dedicated listeners, the disc is a mixed blessing. There are some absolutely wonderful, classic performances on the collection, but the long running time, exacting chronological sequencing, poor fidelity (all cuts are transferred from original acetates and 78s), and number of performances are hard to digest. The serious blues listener will find all these factors to be positive, but enthusiasts and casual listeners will find that the collection is of marginal interest for those very reasons."
-Allmusic.com

http://www.zshare.net/download/64772308546c358a/

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Wish I Had A-Died, Mama, When I Were Young

Furry Lewis- Shake 'Em On Down



Album Review:
"This 20-song single CD reissues Furry Lewis' first modern commercial recordings, done for two Prestige/Bluesville albums (Back on My Feet Again, Done Changed My Mind) in April and May of 1961 at Sun Studios in Memphis. Lewis is in brilliant form throughout, his fingers nearly as fast and his voice as rich as they were 30-odd years earlier. The disc includes the definitive version of "John Henry" (not just Lewis' definitive version -- the definitive version), one of the greatest vocal performances ever put on record and a guitar workout so dazzling that you'd swear more than one guy was playing. What's more, with the extended running time available on tape (Lewis' sessions in the 1920s having been captured on 78-rpm discs with limited running times), he really stretched out here and obviously loved doing it. The slight reverb in the studio also gives Lewis a larger-than-life stature on this recording."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64712771f8c4067f/

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Album Cover Says It All

Samuel James- Songs Famed For Sorrow And Joy



Album Review:
"Past a certain point in the history of music, it appears as though all (or at least, the vast majority) of blues artists ditched their acoustic guitars in favor of electric instruments, and sought the aid of a band accompaniment. However, if you go back to blues recordings circa the time of say, Robert Johnson, blues initially spotlighted a single person wailing away on an acoustic guitar and also handling singing duties. Come the early 21st century, this early blues style seemed to have been all but forgotten. But then along comes Samuel James, and his 2008 release, Songs Famed for Sorrow. James' second release overall, the entire 13-track set was recorded in five days, and is 100-percent acoustic (with percussion being provided by the beat of James' feet). As a result, tracks such as "Big Black Ben," "One Eyed Katie," and "Sleepy Girl Blues" automatically take you back to the early days of authentic blues. In an era where popular music is becoming increasingly perfect sounding and robotic, Songs Famed for Sorrow proves to be a much-needed alternative."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64667133009c16ba/

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Gangster Of Love

Johnny "Guitar" Watson- The Very Best of Johnny "Guitar" Watson



Album Review:
"Johnny "Guitar" Watson was a blues/R&B/funk pioneer, both in sound and music, and this 18-track collection zeroes in on his bluesiest and earliest sides. Watson a true multi-talent and this set shows it off to great advantage while still staying firmly in the blues mode throughout; he was a blazing boogie woogie pianist (check him out on the earlier version with Chuck Higgins of "Motorhead Baby"), a futuristic guitarist who influenced Bo Diddley and Ike Turner in the instrument-as-noisemaker department (1954's "Space Guitar") and a soulful singer who was both uptown and as gutbucket as you could possibly ask for (1962's "That's the Chance You've Got to Take" and 1955's "Three Hours Past Midnight" which also sports one mean and spare guitar solo), an artist who understood low down blues and be-bop jazz and came up with his own melding of it. Watson is the lost genius of the blues and this set is a long overdue tribute to a true pioneer visionary."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64617893596fea23/

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Man From Navasota

Mance Lipscomb- Texas Sharecropper & Songster



Album Review:
"Arhoolie's Texas Sharecropper & Songster is a recording made in 1960, during the blues revival. Prior to the blues revival, Mance Lipscomb was an unknown, and his discovery was one of the positive byproducts of the revival. He was a great country-blues man, and this is perhaps his greatest effort, capturing him running through a number of traditional songs. Most of the songs are augmented by his jackknife slide guitar, and all feature his raw, haunted vocals, which make these classic songs sound timeless."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/6456767369e827d0/

Friday, August 21, 2009

When I Woke Up This Morning, She Was Gone

Jim Jackson- Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1927-1928)



Album Review:
"Whew -- any collection that opens up with both sides of "Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues" in its original October 1927 recording (predating RCA's recording of the same number by Jackson by three months) is asking for trouble, because how do you follow up the best double-sided solo blues single this side of Furry Lewis' "Casey Jones, Pts. 1 & 2"? Well, you put on a 1928 rendition of "He's In the Jailhouse Now" that's as soulful as any ever done, and a version of "Old Dog Blue" from January 1928 that could be the earliest blues incarnation of what later became the Bo Diddley beat. And somewhere in there you throw in Jackson's subsequent version of "Kansas City Blues" (the earlier one is better). And the stuff gets better from there on one of the finest solo artist compilations in the Document line, mostly with good sound, too. In contrast to Furry Lewis and almost any other blues great you'd care to name, Jackson's playing on the guitar was pretty basic (check out "Mobile-Central Blues," a great, bitter topical song about the blues, that benefits from his repetitive playing), but the success of his work is proof that a smooth style matters more than technical skill, if the voice and the words are there. His playing fit his expressive voice, not too obtrusive, and gave his voice just the little bit of accompaniment it needed, even embellishing the beat (as on "Old Dog Blue") when required. The sound is generally good, and it's hard to complain about the notes being a little sketchy, given the relatively little hard information known about Jackson. Seventy minutes of pure, sweet golden acoustic blues, highlighted -- with Document's usual thoroughness -- by two different takes each of "I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop," "Policy Blues," and "The Morning She Was Gone."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/644763903bd9af06/

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Magic

Magic Sam- West Side Soul



Album Review:
"To call West Side Soul one of the great blues albums, one of the key albums (if not the key album) of modern electric blues is all true, but it tends to diminish and academicize Magic Sam's debut album. This is the inevitable side effect of time, when an album that is decades old enters the history books, but this isn't an album that should be preserved in amber, seen only as an important record. Because this is a record that is exploding with life, a record with so much energy, it doesn't sound old. Of course, part of the reason it sounds so modern is because this is the template for most modern blues, whether it comes from Chicago or elsewhere. Magic Sam may not have been the first to blend uptown soul and urban blues, but he was the first to capture not just the passion of soul, but also its subtle elegance, while retaining the firepower of an after-hours blues joint. Listen to how the album begins, with "That's All I Need," a swinging tune that has as much in common with Curtis Mayfield as it does Muddy Waters, but it doesn't sound like either -- it's a synthesis masterminded by Magic Sam, rolling along on the magnificent, delayed cadence of his guitar and powered by his impassioned vocals. West Side Soul would be remarkable if it only had this kind of soul-blues, but it also is filled with blistering, charged electric blues, fueled by wild playing by Magic Sam and Mighty Joe Young -- not just on the solos, either, but in the rhythm (witness how "I Feel So Good [I Wanna Boogie]" feels unhinged as it barrels along). Similarly, Magic Sam's vocals are sensitive or forceful, depending on what the song calls for. Some of these elements might have been heard before, but never in a setting so bristling with energy and inventiveness; it doesn't sound like it was recorded in a studio, it sounds like the best night in a packed club. But it's more than that, because there's a diversity in the sound here, an originality so fearless, he not only makes "Sweet Home Chicago" his own (no version before or since is as definitive as this), he creates the soul-injected, high-voltage modern blues sound that everybody has emulated and nobody has topped in the years since. And, again, that makes it sound like a history lesson, but it's not. This music is alive, vibrant, and vital -- nothing sounds as tortured as "I Need You So Bad," no boogie is as infectious as "Mama, Mama Talk to Your Daughter," no blues as haunting as "All of Your Love." No matter what year you listen to it, you'll never hear a better, more exciting record that year."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64426741de610242/

The Voice Of Softee Man

Doug Quattlebaum- Softee Man Blues



Album Review:
"Doug Quattlebaum has spent most of his life outside the music business, and those times that he was in were spent mainly singing gospel. Born in South Carolina in 1927, he came to Philadelphia in the early 1940s. In 1953, he cut three sides for Gotham records; two of them appeared on a Gotham 78, but the third was only rediscovered years later by Bruce Bastin and released on LP: it's the best of the three (FOOLIN' ME). In 1961 Pete Welding recorded Quattlebaum again, after hearing that he was still around - singing and playing for potential Mr. Softee ice cream customers on the streets of Philly, Doug's employment at the time. Scheduled for issue on a Testament album, the sides remained unissued until the release of this CD. A few months later, Quattlebaum recorded for Bluesville, but to my knowledge that LP was never reissued on OBC as were most Bluesvilles and is difficult to come by.

Quattlebaum's years singing gospel are reflected in this CD in that about half the tracks are gospel pieces. Among the best are HE MAY NOT COME WHEN YOU WANT HIM, Sam Cooke's TOUCH THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT, and the gorgeous COME OVER HERE. IT'S NOBODY'S FAULT BUT MINE is an 8-bar gospel tune, while COME BACK, BABY sounds like a gospel song but is actually a blues. Doug inflects just about everything he sings with gospel mannerism, and his voice is melodic and strong. He often invaded the repertory of other blues/r&b/pop artists, and here sings stuff made famous by Brook Benton (KIDDIO), Charles Brown (DRIFTING BLUES), and Ray Charles (COME BACK BABY). A couple of tracks are short guitar instrumentals, though they are not that impressive. Quattlebaum played in the country blues format, accompanying himself on guitar, a style that urban Philadelphia probably didn't appreciate. But his singing and guitar playing are excellent, and his material quite varied despite the gospel influence. Country blues and gospel fans should enjoy this CD."
-Amazon.com Reviewer

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64398329fea61734/

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Devil In The Lion's Den

Crying Sam Collins- Complete Recorded Works (1927-1931)



Biography:
"One of the earliest generation of blues performers, Collins developed his style in South Mississippi (as opposed to the Delta). His recording debut single ("The Jail House Blues," 1927) predated those of legendary Mississippians such as Charley Patton and Tommy Johnson and was advertised as "Crying Sam Collins and his Git-Fiddle." Collins did not become a major name in blues -- in fact his later records appeared under several different pseudonyms, most notably the name Jim Foster -- but his rural bottleneck guitar pieces were among the first to be compiled on LP when the country-blues reissue era was just beginning. Sam Charters wrote in The Bluesmen: "Although Collins was not one of the stylistic innovators within the Mississippi blues idiom, he was enough part of it that, in blues like 'Signifying Blues' and 'Slow Mama Slow,' he had some of the intensity of the Mississippi music at its most creative level."
-Allmusic.com

Album Review:
"Every track that Sam Collins recorded at the end of the '20s and early in the '30s is included on Document's Complete Recorded Works (1927-1931). Although the comprehensiveness of the set is a little intimidating for casual listeners -- they should stick with the better-sequenced Jailhouse Blues -- historians will find the collection invaluable."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/643617608fa855a9/

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Minstrel

Bascom Lamar Lunsford- Ballads, Banjo Tunes And Sacred Songs Of Western North Carolina



Album Review:
"A precious collection from one of folk music's legendary figures, Ballads, Banjo Tunes and Sacred Songs of Western North Carolina collects a few of his songs from his 1928 Brunswick sessions (the immortal "I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground," "Dry Bones") and adds over a dozen songs -- from a total of over 350 -- recorded in March 1949 for the Library of Congress as his "Memory Collection." The Minstrel of the Appalachians really comes alive on this collection, introducing most of his 1949 recordings with song histories and where he collected them. Also included is a priceless track named "Dedication," in which Lunsford spends five minutes recalling both his early life and his later career as a country lawyer and song collector."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/6432200973138786/

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Than Robert Johnson's Stepson

Robert Lockwood, Jr.- The Legend Live



Album Review:
"Robert Lockwood, Jr., learned his blues firsthand from an unimpeachable source: the immortal Robert Johnson. Lockwood was capable of conjuring up the bone-chilling Johnson sound whenever he desired, but he was never one to linger in the past for long -- which accounts for the jazzy swing he often brought to the licks he played on his 12-string electric guitar.

Born in 1915, Lockwood was one of the last living links to the glorious Johnson legacy. When Lockwood's mother became romantically involved with the charismatic rambler in Helena, AR, the quiet teenager suddenly gained a role model and a close friend -- so close that Lockwood considered himself Johnson's stepson. Robert Jr. learned how to play guitar very quickly with Johnson's expert help, assimilating Johnson's technique inside and out.

Following Johnson's tragic murder in 1938, Lockwood embarked on his own intriguing musical journey. He was among the first bluesmen to score an electric guitar in 1938 and eventually made his way to Chicago, where he cut four seminal tracks for Bluebird. Jazz elements steadily crept into Lockwood's dazzling fretwork, although his role as Sonny Boy Williamson's musical partner on the fabled KFFA King Biscuit Time radio broadcasts during the early '40s out of Helena, AR, probably didn't emphasize that side of his dexterity all that much.

Settling in Chicago in 1950, Lockwood swiftly gained a reputation as a versatile in-demand studio sideman, recording behind harp genius Little Walter, piano masters Sunnyland Slim and Eddie Boyd, and plenty more. Solo recording opportunities were scarce, though Lockwood did cut fine singles in 1951 for Mercury ("I'm Gonna Dig Myself a Hole" and a very early "Dust My Broom") and in 1955 for JOB ("Sweet Woman from Maine"/"Aw Aw Baby").

Lockwood's best modern work as a leader was done for Pete Lowry's Trix label, including some startling workouts on the 12-string axe (which he daringly added to his arsenal in 1965). He later joined forces with fellow Johnson disciple Johnny Shines for two eclectic early-'80s Rounder albums. He also recorded a Robert Johnson tribute album and founded his own label, Lockwood. In 1998, he signed to Verve for the Grammy-nominated album I Got to Find Me a Woman, which featured sit-in guests including B.B. King and Joe Louis Walker. He was still working a weekly gig in Cleveland until early November 2006, when he suffered a brain aneurysm. He died on November 21."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64260879e17a1463/

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Straight From Dockery

Charley Patton- Complete Recordings: 1929-1934



Album Review:
"At the end of just the first disc on this five-CD set, the listener may feel like he/she was in the audio equivalent of a visual "white-out," so powerful are the sounds on that disc. From the opening bars of"Pony Blues," Charley Patton becomes a gigantic musical presence, who gets even bigger as his work goes on; with a guttural, stentorian voice that paves the way for everyone from Louis Armstrong to early Bob Dylan -- but especially for Howlin' Wolf -- he cuts through the poor condition surviving Paramount pressings like a call from the Great Beyond, almost unnaturally powerful and expressive in its smallest gesture. What's more, Patton must have broken more than his share of strings, because his playing also comes through on these sides better than almost any artist that ever recorded for Paramount, even on ruined masters like "Pea Vine Blues." This is all a lot more than a trip through history for the scholar, and some sides are just too close to some classics of the future to ignore -- "Down In The Dirt Road Blues," which could be where Willie Dixon got the idea for "Down In The Bottom," and the notion that Howlin' Wolf was the man to record it; similarly, "Some Summer Day," from the other end of Patton's career, could easily have been the demo for "Sittin' On Top Of The World" -- actually, the geneology of both songs is a lot more complicated than that, but each of these could easily have been a key part of the evolutionary chain for one or the other. And there is a raw, primordial power to Patton's music that not only grabs the listener but leaves them wanting more; that's why this box makes perfect sense, even for the casual blues listener -- the man never recorded a second-rate side or one that didn't offer at least a few of the attributes that made his best work so powerful. On a cautionary note, however, the producers have actually been a bit misleading by presenting this set as 92 sides by Charley Patton -- there are actually 63 sides by Patton, and the rest, appended to each disc, are recordings by other artists and are believed to have featured Patton, playing and singing or just playing, and people who were featured on Patton's sides; the latter two groups include Son House, Louise Johnson, Henry "Son" Sims, and Willie Brown, with the Big Delta Four filling out the last disc. And these sides offer some fascinating sounds, including killer tracks by Son House in his prime, and oddities like Brown's "Future Blues," which lifts part of its content from Jimmie Rodgers' repertory. The audio is remarkably consistent and, in fact, the whole set is so rewarding, that it raises an interesting notion -- might JSP or another enterprising label consider doing a series of Paramount Records boxes, assembling the surviving sides, blues, gospel, or whatever, in chronological order, as Bear Family did with Sun Records a few years back?"
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64233837e2840651/

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Banana In Your Fruit Basket?!?

Elizabeth Cotten- Shake Sugaree



Album Review:
"Elizabeth Cotten was a national treasure. She didn't begin recording until she was 66 years old (in 1958), but a simple song she had written when she was 11, "Freight Train," became a staple of the folk revival in the 1960s, and her frequent concerts and appearances on the folk circuit were legendary for their unassuming grace and wisdom, not to mention her unique guitar skills. Left-handed, Cotten played her guitars and banjos upside down and backward, and her picking style gave the bass strings a clear sound while working muted harmonics on the treble strings, all of which resulted in an idiosyncratic guitar style that, coupled with her frequent open tunings, gave her playing a special singularity. Her vocals were often fragile-sounding and shaky, but so full of a natural clarity and joy that it's hard to imagine her singing any other way, and what might have been a weakness only added to her ability to connect with audiences. This collection from Smithsonian Folkways is a revised reissue of her second LP, which originally appeared in 1965, with ten previously unreleased tracks added. The title cut, "Shake Sugaree," has had almost as long a life as "Freight Train," and has been covered by the likes of the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan in concert. Cotten's version is sung in a lovely, seemingly effortless fashion by her great grandchild, Brenda Evans (then only 12 years old), with Cotten providing the guitar lines, and the song itself is a whimsical set of half-riddles intended as a lullaby. Many of these tracks are brief guitar instrumentals, what Mike Seeger calls "parlor ragtime" in his liner notes, and the pair of instrumental church pieces that close the disc, "Till We Meet Again" and "When the Train Comes Along," are particularly striking. Other highlights include "Untitled/Georgie Buck," which begins with an improvised bit of banjo-style guitar picking before morphing into "Georgie Buck," a well-known Appalachian banjo and fiddle tune. The goofy "Shoot That Buffalo," which Cotten plays on banjo, accelerates as it unwinds, and it is easy to imagine children being delighted by its kinetic energy and playful lyrics. The haunting banjo song "Reuben," here played on guitar in open D tuning, is another highlight. Libba Cotten's fans are loyal and enduring and will be delighted with this expanded edition of Shake Sugaree. Listeners new to Cotten may want to start with her first Smithsonian Folkways album, Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes, or even 1984's Live! (which earned Cotten a Grammy Award in 1985, when she was 90 years old), or better yet, pick up all three, making a sort of collected works. She's that special."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64180173d3c95812/

Bo Carter- Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1934-1936)



Biography:
"Bo Carter (Armenter "Bo" Chatmon) had an unequaled capacity for creating sexual metaphors in his songs, specializing in such ribald imagery as "Banana in Your Fruit Basket," "Pin in Your Cushion," and "Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me." One of the most popular bluesmen of the '30s, he recorded enough material for several reissue albums, and he was quite an original guitar picker, or else three of those albums wouldn't have been released by Yazoo. (Carter employed a number of different keys and tunings on his records, most of which were solo vocal and guitar performances.) Carter's facility extended beyond the risqué business to more serious blues themes, and he was also the first to record the standard "Corrine Corrina" (1928). Bo and his brothers Lonnie and Sam Chatmon also recorded as members of the Mississippi Sheiks with singer/guitarist Walter Vinson."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/641797534487d18c/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blind John's Vast Repertoire

Blind John Davis- My Own Boogie



Album Review:
"Blind John Davis is one of the great blues piano players, often accompanying blues giants such as Big Bill Broonzy and Tampa Red. Although he released a series of solo albums in his lifetime, it is as an accompanist that he gives listeners his best work, but that's not to say there's nothing to commend on this release. Essentially a budget collection of some of Davis' best solo sides, every cut is accomplished boogie piano playing, in the style of, but far more relaxed than, say, Pete Johnson. It's hard to see this release as anything near to definitive, but as a budget introduction to an overlooked pianist it serves its purpose well."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/64089102238f857f/

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rub My Root

Robert Pete Williams- Robert Pete Williams



Biography:
"Discovered in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Robert Pete Williams became one of the great blues discoveries during the folk boom of the early '60s. His disregard for conventional patterns, tunings, and structures kept him from a wider audience, but his music remains one of the great, intense treats of the blues.

Williams was born in Zachary, Louisiana, the son of sharecropping parents. While he was a child, he worked the fields with his family; he never attended school. Williams didn't begin playing blues until his late teens, when he made himself a guitar out of a cigar box. Playing his homemade guitar, Williams began performing at local parties, dances, and fish fries at night while he worked during the day. Even though he was constantly working, he never made quite enough money to support his family, which caused considerable tension between him and his wife -- according to legend, she burned his guitar one night in a fit of anger.

Despite all of the domestic tension, Williams continued to play throughout the Baton Rouge area, performing at dances and juke joints. In 1956, he shot and killed a man in a local club. Williams claimed the act was in self-defense, but he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was sent to Angola prison, where he served for two years before being discovered by ethnomusicologists Dr. Harry Oster and Richard Allen. The pair recorded Williams performing several of his own songs, which were all about life in prison. Impressed with the guitarist's talents, Oster and Allen pleaded for a pardon for Williams. The pardon was granted in 1959, after he had served a total of three and a half years. For the first five years after he left prison, Williams could only perform in Louisiana, but his recordings -- which appeared on Folk-Lyric, Arhoolie, and Prestige, among other labels -- were popular and he received positive word of mouth reviews.

In 1964, Williams played his first concert outside of Louisiana -- it was a set at the legendary Newport Folk Festival. Williams' performance was enthusiastically received and he began touring the United States, often playing shows with Mississippi Fred McDowell. For the remainder of the '60s and most of the '70s, Robert Pete Williams constantly played concerts and festivals across America, as well a handful of dates in Europe. Along the way, he recorded for a handful of small independent labels, including Fontana and Storyville. Williams slowed down his work schedule in the late '70s, largely due to his old age and declining health. The guitarist died on December 31, 1980, at the age of 66."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/6399743074ed2333/

Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon- The Blues Every Which Way



Album Review:
This is a splendid album featuring the chilling "Home To Mamma", which is every bit as startling and gripping as the classic "Goin' Down Slow", but is not nearly as well-known. When Slim and Dixon do the old chestnut, "John Henry", it hardly sounds outdated, and they are certainly not going through the motions. There are also some fine up-tempo songs on this album. The disc is available on Amazon.com in vinyl form only, so please download this while you can!
-Hard Luck Child

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/63997666d5f7cc25/

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blues Come To Texas

Lil Son Jackson- Blues Come To Texas



Album Review:
"Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson could present stunning, poignant, ironic or gripping stories, and his vocals were ideal for the slow-paced, dramatic storytelling mode. Jackson scored several regional and jukebox hits in the 1950s with his stories of woe, fame, misfortune, tribulation and perseverance. These were consistent themes emerging throughout the 20 cuts on this CD reissue from a 1960 session. It includes three unreleased cuts and a song ("Johnnie Mae") from another album. Jackson wrote (or adapted) all of the songs, and this disc is a fine portrait of an often overlooked but significant Texas blues performer."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/639475535edc06a5/

Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes

Blind Willie McTell- The Classic Years 1927-1940



Album Review:
"There are some box sets that seem like overkill, beyond the pale for all but the very most hardcore fans, and others -- a little more obvious in their justification -- that never achieve much currency beyond the ranks of the serious fans and as easy Christmas ideas for their relatives. And then there are the ones that, based on the sheer credibility of the artists involved -- Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra -- become practically standard-issue for any serious music listener; you expect to find at least one, and more likely two of them on a lot of shelves. The Classic Years 1927-1940 ought to fit into the latter category, despite the fact that Blind Willie McTell never had a hit record in a recording career lasting nearly 30 years -- he also didn't make Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of the twentieth century, even though he could play circles about three-fourths of those who did. Some music and musicians just speak too well for themselves and their genre and style, and in this case all 84 cuts have value, and a lot more value than JSP Records is asking in its retail price. From McTell's earliest session, in October 1927 to his November 1940 session for John Lomax, he is superbly represented here by his voice, guitar, and songs, and unlike many comprehensive compilations of pre-World War II blues, there are no apologies needed for the quality of most of the sources or the resulting tracks. However it happened, JSP has assembled a series of generally superbly clean and bright masters (with some exceptions, especially in the mid-'30s sides, some of which have surface noise) going back to the late '20s, which, in their current digital state, showcase McTell's dazzling finger-picking style on the 12-string guitar. Listeners will swear there's more than one guitarist playing, but there isn't on the early sides, and what he gets out of the one guitar makes it sound almost like a trio, covering rhythm as well as lead parts, but without any feeling of artifice. And when he gets teamed up with fellow blues virtuoso Curley Weaver (who also escaped Rolling Stones' net) in the 1930s, it's a collaboration between two geniuses that can spin your head if you listen closely enough to the playing. Coupled with the tracks on which Ruth Mary Willis sings or shares vocals with McTell, there's more than enough variety here to make this entertaining for 30 minutes or three hours at a sitting. Concerning the 1940 Lomax session masters, they have some moderate noise, but they're so well recorded otherwise and so valuable as musical documents and historical artifacts that the slight distraction can be ignored. These sides went unreleased for decades and slot perfectly into the period between McTell's final commercial recordings as a contemporary country blues artist during the era of the last commercial gasp of acoustic country blues and his re-emergence after World War II as a representative of a now-archaic style of blues. What's more, Lomax got McTell to talk as well as play for his microphone. The annotation is very thorough and the mere fact that this set pulls together all of McTell's various sides for Victor, Columbia, and others makes it essential listening for his fans or admirers of 1930s acoustic blues."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/63936834eb5afb5d/

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kings Of Chess

Muddy Waters- His Best: 1947 To 1955



Album Review:
"This entry into MCA's Chess 50th Anniversary Collection now officially takes the place of The Best of Muddy Waters as an essential first purchase in building a Muddy Waters collection. All 12 songs that comprise the budget-priced The Best of Muddy Waters are aboard, with eight more essential goodies from his first period of creativity, including great early ones like "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "Train Fare Blues," and "I Feel Like Going Home." The one ringer that keeps this collection from being a deluxe The Best of Muddy Waters is an alternate take of "Hoochie Coochie Man" in place of the original issued master, a production error of the highest order. It's a radically different-sounding one, too, with some surprisingly sloppy unthought-out harp work from Little Walter (at one point he simply stops playing), but with a far more intense vocal from Muddy than the issued version. But it is the issued version that by rights should have been the one heard here, as this is supposed to be a true best-of compilation. That niggling point aside, this collection (part of a two-volume best-of retrospective, the second covering the years 1956 to 1964) sports far superior sound and excellent liner notes."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/63842643ab70c698/

Howlin' Wolf- Howlin' Wolf/Moanin' In The Moonlight



Album Review:
"Howlin' Wolf's first and second Chess albums are essential listening of the highest order. They were compiled -- as were all early blues albums -- from various single sessions (not necessarily a bad thing, either), and blues fans will probably debate endlessly about which of the two albums is the perfect introduction to his music. But this CD reissue renders all arguments moot, as both album appear on one disc, making this a true best buy. Wolf's debut opus -- curiously tacked on here after his second album -- features all of his early hits ("How Many More Years," "Moanin' at Midnight," "Smokestack Lightning," "Forty Four," "Evil," and "I Asked for Water [She Gave Me Gasoline]"), and is a pretty potent collection in its own right. But it is the follow-up (always referred to as "the rocking chair album" because of Don Bronstein's distinctive cover art) where the equally potent teaming of Willie Dixon and Wolf produced one Chicago blues classic ("Spoonful," "The Red Rooster," "Back Door Man," "Wang Dang Doodle") after another. It's also with this marvelous batch of sides that one can clearly hear lead guitarist Hubert Sumlin coming into his own as a blues picking legend. The number of blues acolytes, both black and white, who wore the grooves down to mush learning the songs and guitar licks off these two albums would fill a book all by itself. If you have to narrow it down to just one Howlin' Wolf purchase for the collection, this would be the one to have and undoubtedly the place to start. This and The Best of Muddy Waters are the essential building blocks of any Chicago blues collection. And seldom does the music come with this much personality and brute force."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/638434500436eec0/

Friday, August 7, 2009

African "Blues" & The Gunslinger

Ali Farka Toure- Savane



Biography:
"One of the most internationally successful West African musicians of the '90s, Ali Farka Touré was described as "the African John Lee Hooker" so many times that it probably began to grate on both Touré's and Hooker's nerves. There is a lot of truth to the comparison, however, and it isn't exactly an insult. The guitarist, who also played other instruments such as calabash and bongos, shared with Hooker (and similar American bluesmen like Lightnin' Hopkins) a predilection for low-pitched vocals and midtempo, foot-stomping rhythms, often playing with minimal accompaniment.

Touré's delivery was less abrasive than Hooker's, and the general tone of his material somewhat sweeter. Widespread success on the order of Hooker was somewhat elusive, though, as Touré sang in several languages, and only occasionally in English. As he once told Option, his are songs "about education, work, love, and society." If he and Hooker sounded quite similar, it's probably not by conscious design, but due to the fact that both drew inspiration from African rhythmic and musical traditions that extend back many generations.

Touré was approaching the age of 50 when he came to the attention of the burgeoning world music community in the West via a self-titled album in the late '80s. In the following years he toured often in North America and Europe, and recorded frequently, sometimes with contributions from Taj Mahal and members of the Chieftains. In 1990, Touré retreated from music entirely to devote himself to his rice farm, but was convinced by his producer to again pick up the guitar to record 1994's Talking Timbuktu, on which he was joined by Ry Cooder. It was his most well-received effort to date, earning him a Grammy for Best World Music Album, but it was also proof that not all Third World-First World collaborations have to dilute their non-Western elements to achieve wide acceptance. However, Touré found the success to be draining and again retreated to tend his farm.

He didn't release a record on American shores for five years afterward; he finally broke the silence in 1999 with Niafunké, which discarded the collaborative approach in favor of a return to his musical roots. Then, once again, Touré stepped away from the limelight. In 2005, perhaps partly to keep his name familiar to music lovers, Nonesuch issued (for the first time on compact disc) Red & Green, two albums Touré recorded in the early '80s, packaged together as a two-disc set. In the Heart of the Moon was also released in 2005. Touré died on March 7, 2006, from the bone cancer that he had been battling for years; however, he was able to complete one last album before passing. His final album, Savane was released posthumously in July 2006."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/63797811b5f05841/

Bo Diddley- Bo Diddley Is A Gunslinger



Album Review:
"The most flamboyantly packaged and distinctively themed of Bo Diddley's original albums, this record has always had unusual appeal, freely mixing truly wild R&B originals and distinctive covers (Bo even cops a legitimate arranging credit on "Sixteen Tons"). In this remastered edition, his and Peggy Jones' guitars have a resonant, bell-like clarity on top of their patented crunchiness, and the voices are up-front and in your face (check out the remastered "Do What I Say" for the combined virtues). Additionally, the record has been expanded over the original CD release with eight minutes of outtakes from the same January-February 1960 sessions -- the soulful "Prisoner of Love," showing off Bo's singing on a subtle, sultry level that he wasn't often given a chance to display; the doo wop-influenced "Googlia Moo," which shows how effective Bo's sound works in a slow, loping beat; and "Better Watch Yourself," a Chicago-style blues piece that shows Bo striding across Muddy Waters' territory, not far from (and not much less interesting than) "I'm a Man.""
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/637982653474559c/

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The King Of Ragtime

Scott Joplin- The Best Of Scott Joplin



Biography:
"Scott Joplin was "the King of Ragtime Writers," a composer who elevated "banjo piano playing," a lowly entertainment associated with saloons and brothels, into an American art form loved by millions. Born in Texas in either 1867 or 1868, Joplin was raised in Texarkana, the son of a laborer and former slave. As a child, Joplin taught himself piano on an instrument belonging to a white family that granted him access to it, and ultimately studied with a local, German-born teacher who introduced Joplin to classical music. Joplin attended high school in Sedalia, MO, a town that would serve as Joplin's home base during his most prosperous years, and where a museum now bears his name.

In 1891, the first traceable evidence of Joplin's music career is found, placing him in a minstrel troupe in Texarkana. In 1893, he played in Chicago during the Columbian Exposition was held, reportedly leading a band with a cornet. Afterward, Joplin settled in Sedalia, worked with other brass bands and founding a vocal group called the Texas Medley Quartette. During an 1895 appearance in Syracuse, NY, the quality of Joplin's original songs for the Texas Medley Quartette so impressed a group of local businessmen that they arranged for Joplin's first publications. Around 1896, Joplin enrolled in Sedalia's George R. Smith College for Negroes to study formally, publishing a few more pieces in the years to follow.

In 1899, publisher John Stark of Sedalia issued Joplin's second ragtime composition, "Maple Leaf Rag." It didn't catch on like wildfire immediately, but within a few years the popularity of "Maple Leaf Rag" was so enormous that it made Joplin's name; and Joplin earned a small percentage of income from it for the rest of his days, helping to stabilize him in his last years. By the end of 1899, Joplin presented his first ambitious work, the ballet The Ragtime Dance, at the Wood Opera House in Sedalia. It didn't appear in print until 1902, and then only in a truncated form. Joplin moved to St. Louis in 1901, as did Stark, who set his new publishing venture up as "The House of Classic Rags." Joplin wrote many of the other rags he is known for during this time, including "The Entertainer," "The Easy Winners," and "Elite Syncopations."

In 1903, Joplin organized a touring company to perform his first opera, A Guest of Honor, which foundered after a couple of months, leaving Joplin destitute. He had recovered well enough to appear at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair to present his rag "The Cascades," which proved his second great success. Joplin also married for a second time to a woman who died only a few weeks into their marriage after a bout with pneumonia, plunging Joplin into another bout of despair. During a visit to Chicago in 1907 he renewed an acquaintance with the St. Louis pianist Louis Chauvin, who did not long outlast the visit. Joplin utilized a strain drawn from Chauvin's playing into the finest of his "collaborative" rags, "Heliotrope Bouquet." This was published after Joplin moved to New York in 1907. Stark had also resettled there, and they resumed their partnership to some degree, but Joplin also published through Seminary Music, likewise home to aspiring songwriter Irving Berlin. Through Seminary many of the best of his late works appeared, such as "Pine Apple Rag," the transparently beautiful "Mexican serenade" "Solace," and the harmonically adventurous "Euphonic Sounds."

From 1911 until his death in 1917 most of Joplin's efforts went into his second opera, Treemonishia, which he heard in concert but never managed to stage during his own lifetime. With his third wife, Lotte Joplin, Joplin formed his own music company and published his final piano rag, "Magnetic Rag" (1914), one of his best. By this time, debilitating, long-term effects of syphilis were beginning to break down Joplin's health, although he did manage to make seven hand-played piano rolls in 1916 and 1917; though heavily edited, these rolls are as close as one is likely to get to hearing Joplin's own playing. One of them is W.C. Handy's "Ole Miss Rag," which suggests that Joplin might have had a hand in its composition or arrangement. Joplin was tireless and selfless in his advocacy of his fellow ragtime composers, collaborating with James Scott, Arthur Marshall, Louis Chauvin, and Scott Hayden and helping to arrange others by Artie Matthews and the white New Jersey composer Joseph Lamb, whose work Joplin pitched to Stark.

"Maple Leaf Rag" remained a constant in popular music throughout the Jazz Age, but the better part of Joplin's work remained unknown until the "ragtime revival" of the early '70s, during which "Scott Joplin" became a household name and Treemonishia was finally staged by the Houston Grand Opera. Although primary sources on Joplin's music were still extant as late as the late '40s, today not a single manuscript page in Joplin's hand still exists and only three photographs of him have survived, along with precious few first-hand quotations. Joplin died in a mental facility convinced that he had failed in his mission to achieve success as an African-American composer of serious music. Were he alive today, Joplin would be astounded to learn that, a century after his work was first printed, he is the most successful African-American composer of serious music that ever lived -- by far. Some of his works have been recorded hundreds of times and arranged for practically every conceivable instrumental combination, played by everything from symphony orchestras to ice cream trucks. For a couple of generations of Americans who have even never heard of Stephen Foster, the music of Scott Joplin represents the old, traditional order of all things American."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/637443623ed9d9bd/

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Singing Drifter

Blind Arvella Gray- The Singing Drifter



Biography:
"Chicago bluesman Blind Arvella Gray was born Walter Dixon in Somerville, TX, on January 28, 1906. A world-class raconteur, he vividly embellished the details of his life and never told a particular story the same way twice, meaning the exact circumstance of his formative years are impossible to document with any certainty. But by most accounts Gray began as a stick-up man, reportedly driving a getaway car for Detroit's infamous Purple Gang; during a botched bank robbery attempt -- possibly in Peoria, IL -- he was shot, losing his sight and two of the fingers on his left hand in the process. (During some retellings, the shooter was instead a jealous husband.) Eventually Gray landed in Chicago and picked up the guitar, inspired by the blues and gospel songs he learned in the cotton fields and chain gangs of the rural South. He acquired a National steel guitar but, bereft of two fingers on his fret hand, could play only slide. Sometime around 1946 Gray became a fixture of the legendary Maxwell Street open-air market, standing out from rival bluesmen by virtue of a repertoire comprised of little-known field hollers and work songs; he sometimes performed alongside his sister, who typically appeared under the name Granny Clara Jenkinsbey. Gray also traveled extensively outside of Chicago, regularly playing at the annual Kentucky Derby and making frequent trips to the St. Louis area, where he performed up and down the Mississippi River. The riverboats were another fertile source for Gray's repertoire. There he learned new lyrics to his signature tune, the traditional "John Henry," that "were not in the Library of Congress until he put them there," according to Delmark Records founder Bob Koester. Other staples of the Gray songbook included the country traditional "More Pretty Girls Than One" and the gospel standard "Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There." According to legend, he was even the source of Bob Dylan's 1961 recording "He Was a Friend of Mine." Gray himself first appeared on record on the 1960 compilation Live from Maxwell Street, in 1965 self-releasing three rare singles: "Freedom Riders," "You Are My Dear," and "John Henry." He also appeared in the 1964 documentary And This Is Free. In 1972, a teenaged suburbanite and budding blues devotee named Cary Baker fell under Gray's sway and convinced Dave Wylie, owner of the tiny Wilmette-based label Birch Records, to finance an LP. The Singing Drifter, Gray's lone album, appeared in 1973 in an edition of just 1,000 that quickly sold out but was not repressed. Despite reaching blues fans in Europe and Japan -- some of whom traveled to Chicago just to meet and photograph Gray during his regular Maxwell Street gigs -- The Singing Drifter did little to raise his visibility at home. He remained a Maxwell Street fixture long after most of his peers and rivals abandoned the bazaar, busking there each and every Sunday morning. By 1980 it seemed Gray's career was on the upturn: he and Baker discussed cutting a second LP, and he was in talks with organizers of the University of Chicago Folk Festival to appear in a showcase spotlighting performers who played the inaugural festival 20 years earlier. But before either project could reach fruition, Gray died on September 7, 1980; given his slim body of recorded music and limited fame outside the Midwest, over the years to follow he essentially slipped through the cracks of Chicago's rich blues history. But in 2004 Baker -- now a successful music industry PR exec who operated his own firm, Conqueroo -- tracked down Wylie to inquire about reissuing The Singing Drifter on his fledgling Conjuroo label; an expanded CD edition of the album appeared the following summer, marking its first ever wide release."
-Allmusic.com

Album Review:
"Blind Arvella Gray's real or imagined life story is, in some respects, a more complete creative statement than the actual music he made. Born Walter Dixon in Texas in 1906, he lost his eyesight and two fingers on his left hand due to a shotgun mishap (Gray's account of the incident involved several different plot possibilities), and he turned to street singing to keep things afloat. At some point in the 1940s he landed in Chicago, where he became a fixture at the Maxwell Street open-air flea market, playing his National Steel guitar and singing a mixed bag of blues, gospel, spirituals, work songs, and field hollers. By the early '70s he had released three 45s on his own Gray Records label, had four songs on a British import album called Blues from Maxwell Street, and had been featured in the video documentary And This Is Free. On September 22, 1972, he recorded his only album, The Singing Drifter, at Sound Unlimited Studios in Harvey, IL. The LP was issued on the tiny Birch Records label that same year, and quickly sold out its limited run in the Chicago area, where Gray's Maxwell Street presence had made him somewhat of a local celebrity. This reissue of The Singing Drifter on Conjuroo Recordings contains the complete original album, and adds four bonus tracks (plus an unlisted fifth bonus track, an alternate take of "Standing by the Bedside of a Neighbor"). Gray was hardly a skilled guitarist, as the missing fingers on his left hand limited him to slide playing, and he wasn't a particularly distinctive singer, either. What he had working for him was a certain joyful élan, which is why seeing him in person was undoubtedly more powerful than hearing him on record. The rhythms and vocal lines are very similar here track to track, which gives The Singing Drifter the illusion of being one long street song. The exceptions are a spirited rendition of what was Gray's unofficial theme piece, "John Henry," and a pair of field hollers, "Arvella's Work Song" and "Gander Dancing Song," where Gray sings accompanied only by his light handclapping. As an embodiment of the old street singer and songster tradition, Gray was undoubtedly a delight to see and hear at the market on a fine summer's morning, but a good deal of his presence is lost when all you have is his voice and guitar in the speakers. The Singing Drifter is certainly a valuable archival release, and those who saw him perform on Maxwell Street (Gray died in 1980) will treasure this disc for the memories it provokes, but it is truthfully a rather so-so musical document. In the end, it was Gray's physical presence as he stood playing that National Steel on the corner, and the long, storied journey (embellished or not) he took to get there, that was the real creative act. This album is the memento."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/636792418dd70613/

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Long John & Mississippi Fred

Mississippi Fred McDowell- Amazing Grace



Album Review:
"The connection between rural blues and spiritual music is sometimes overlooked. This 1966 recording, featuring McDowell, his guitar, and the Hunter's Chapel Singers of Como, Mississippi (including his wife Annie Mae), is one of the best illustrations of how closely the styles can be linked. McDowell and company perform what the record subtitle calls "Mississippi Delta spirituals" on this stark and moving set, which includes a version of one of his signature tunes, "You Got to Move." The CD reissue adds three previously unreleased tracks."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/63624740566a5342/

Long John Hunter- Ooh Wee Pretty Baby!



Biography:
"For much too long, the legend of Long John Hunter has largely been a local one, limited to the bordertown region between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. That's where the guitarist reigned for 13 years (beginning in 1957) at Juarez's infamous Lobby Bar. Its riotous, often brawling clientele included locals, cowboys, soldiers from nearby Fort Bliss, frat boys, and every sort of troublemaking tourist in between. Hunter kept 'em all entertained with his outrageous showmanship and slashing guitar riffs.

The Louisiana native got a late start on his musical career. When he was 22 and toiling away in a Beaumont, TX box factory, he attended a B.B. King show and was instantly transfixed. The next day, he bought a guitar. A year later, he was starring at the same bar that B.B. had headlined.

Hunter's 1954 debut single for Don Robey's Houston-based Duke label, "She Used to Be My Woman"/"Crazy Baby," preceded his move to El Paso in 1957. Along the way, Phillip Walker and Lonnie Brooks both picked up on his licks. But Hunter's recording output was slim -- a few hot but obscure singles waxed from 1961 to 1963 for the tiny Yucca logo out of Alamogordo, NM (standouts include "El Paso Rock," "Midnight Stroll," and "Border Town Blues"). Perhaps he was just too busy -- he held court at the Lobby seven nights a week from sundown to sunup.

Fortunately, Hunter's reputation is finally outgrowing the Lone Star state. His 1992 set for the now-shuttered Spindletop imprint, Ride With Me, got the ball rolling. Now, his 1996 disc for Alligator, Border Town Legend, should expose this Texas blues great to a far wider (if not wilder) audience than ever before."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/6362502380df653a/

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Scary Dock Boggs & Some Chicago Blues

Dock Boggs- Country Blues: Complete Early Recordings (1927-1929)



Biography:
"Dock Boggs was just one of the primeval hillbillies to record during the '20s, forgotten for decades until the folk revival of the '60s revived his career at the twilight of his life. Still, his dozen recordings from 1927 to 1929 are monuments of folk music, comprised of fatalistic hills ballads and blues like "Danville Girl," "Pretty Polly," and "Country Blues." Born near Norton, VA, in 1898, Boggs was the youngest of ten children. (He gained his nickname at an early age, since he was named after the doctor who delivered him.) Boggs began working in the mines at the age of 12. In what remained of his spare time, he began playing banjo, picking the instrument in the style of blues guitar instead of the widespread clawhammer technique.

Boggs began picking up songs from family members and the radio. He married in 1918 and began subcontracting on a mine until his wife's illness forced him to move back to her home. He worked in the dangerous moonshining business and made a little money playing social dances.

His big break finally came in 1927, when executives from the Brunswick label arrived in Norton to audition talent. He passed (beating out none other than A.P. Carter), and recorded eight sides in New York City for the label. Though they didn't quite flop, the records sold mostly around Boggs' hometown. He signed a booking agent, and recorded four more sides for W.E. Myer's local Lonesome Ace label. The coming of the Great Depression in late 1929 put a hold on Boggs' recording career, as countless labels dried up. He continued to perform around the region until the early '30s, however, when his wife forced him to give up his music and go back into the mines. Boggs worked until 1954, when mechanical innovations forced him out of a job.

Almost a decade later, in 1963, folklorist Mike Seeger located Boggs in Norton and convinced him to resume his career. Just weeks after their meeting, Boggs played the American Folk Festival in Asheville, NC. He began recording again, and released his first LP, Legendary Singer & Banjo Player, later that year on Smithsonian/Folkways. Two more LPs followed during the '60s, although, like his original recordings, they too were out of print not long after his death in 1971.

The revival of interest in early folk music occasioned by a digital reissue of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music finally brought Boggs' music back to the shelves. In 1997, John Fahey's Revenant label released Complete Early Recordings (1927-1929), and one year later His Folkways Years (1963-1968) appeared."
-Allmusic.com

Album Review:
"Released on John Fahey's Revenant label, this Dock Boggs collection includes all 12 of his 1927-29 recordings, plus five alternate takes and four cuts by Bill and Hayes Shepherd, friends and fellow players of Boggs. Included with the set is a 64-page book with essays by Greil Marcus, among others, and this is undoubtedly the best Dock Boggs collection ever assembled."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/6358554834896dea/

Charlie Musselwhite's South Side- Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band



Album Review:
"Vanguard may have spelled his name wrong (he prefers Charlie or Charles), but the word was out as soon as this solo debut was released: Here was a harpist every bit as authentic, as emotional, in some ways as adventuresome, as Paul Butterfield. Similarly leading a Chicago band with a veteran Black rhythm section (Fred Below on drums, Bob Anderson on bass) and rock-influenced soloists (keyboardist Barry Goldberg, guitarist Harvey Mandel), Musselwhite played with a depth that belied his age -- only 22 when this was cut! His gruff vocals were considerably more affected than they would become later (clearer, more relaxed), but his renditions of "Help Me," "Early in the Morning," and his own "Strange Land" stand the test of time. He let his harmonica speak even more authoritatively on instrumentals like "39th and Indiana" (essentially "It Hurts Me Too" sans lyrics) and "Cha Cha the Blues," and his version of jazz arranger Duke Pearson's gospel-tinged "Cristo Redentor" has become his signature song -- associated with Musselwhite probably more so than with trumpeter Donald Byrd, who originally recorded the song for Blue Note. Goldberg is in fine form (particularly on organ), but Mandel's snakey, stuttering style really stands out -- notably on "Help Me," his quirky original "4 P.M.," and "Chicken Shack," where he truly makes you think your record is skipping."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/63585705609705ec/

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mr. Tate & Albert King

Baby Tate- See What You Done Done



Biography:
"In the course of his nearly 50-year career, guitarist Baby Tate recorded only a handful of sessions. The bulk of his life was spent as a sideman, playing with musicians like Blind Boy Fuller, Pink Anderson, and Peg Leg Sam.

Born Charles Henry Tate, he was born in Elberton, GA, but raised in Greenville, SC. When he was 14 years old, Tate taught himself how to play guitar. Shortly afterward, he began playing with Blind Boy Fuller, who taught Tate the fundamentals of blues guitar. When he was in his late teens, Baby began playing with Joe Walker and Roosevelt Brooks; the trio played clubs throughout the Greenville area.

In 1932, Tate stopped working with Walker and Brooks, hooking up with Carolina Blackbirds. The duo played a number of shows for the radio station WFBC. For most of the '30s, Baby played music as a hobby, performing at local parties, celebrations, and medicine shows.

Tate served in the U.S. Army in the late '30s and early '40s. While he was stationed in Europe, he played local taverns and dances. In 1942, he returned to Greenville, SC, where he earned a living doing odd jobs around the town. Tate picked up music again in 1946, setting out on the local blues club circuit. In 1950, he cut several sessions for the Atlanta-based Kapp label.

In the early '50s, Baby moved to Spartanburg, SC, where he performed both as a solo act and as a duo with Pink Anderson. Tate and Anderson performed as duo into the '70s.

In 1962, Tate recorded his first album, See What You Done. The following year, he was featured in the documentary film, The Blues. For the rest of the decade, Baby Tate played various gigs, concerts, and festivals across America. With the assistance of harmonica player Peg Leg Sam, Baby Tate recorded another set of sessions in 1972. Later that year, Tate suffered a fatal heart attack. He died on August 17, 1972."
-Allmusic.com

Album Review:
"Recorded during the blues revival of the early '60s, The Blues of Baby Tate: See What You Done Done is a wonderful collection of country blues. Tate's teacher was Blind Boy Fuller, and his influence shines through on the album. That doesn't mean that See What You Done Done is simply a Fuller record, however -- Tate has absorbed his influence and developed his own warm, rambling style that suits these traditional numbers perfectly."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/63524301545bc9c6/

Albert King- Live '69



Album Review:
"Recorded at a single show on May 29, 1969, in Madison, WI's 400-seat club The Cue, these tapes were first released in 2003. The performance finds Albert King, who had just turned 46, arguably at his career peak. Even though there are just five tracks, it's enough to understand why he remains one of electric postwar blues' most seminal figures. Since this shares no songs with Live Wire/Blues Power, which was recorded a year earlier, and features concert versions of "Crosscut Saw," "Personal Manager," and "As the Years Go Passing By" from his legendary Born Under a Bad Sign album, it's an important document. King's in excellent form too, ripping into the tunes with edgy energy, even if many of his solos and licks will be familiar to blues listeners. The well-written liner notes neglect to mention who is in his backing band, but the group fades into the background anyway through a poor mix that relegates the drums to sounding like trash cans. Thankfully King is front and center, and although the audio is inferior to the Fillmore West shows documented on the Live Wire and Wednesday/Thursday Night In San Francisco albums, it's clear enough to get a feel for how powerful the guitarist could be, even in front of a small crowd. At over 17 minutes, "Please Come Back to Me" is the set's longest and most intense track as King pulls out all of his tricks on a rare rendition of a song found on only a few discs. It alone is worth the price of this album, which, with crisper sound, would be the guitarist's best live show from this period. Even with its abbreviated length, a few bum notes, and a barely audible band, this is prime King and an essential acquisition for all fans."
-Allmusic.com

Download Link: http://www.zshare.net/download/6354976667895813/