Thursday, December 23, 2010

Old Time Religion

Five Blind Boys Of Alabama- 1948-1951

"Evolving out of the Happyland Jubilee Singers, this traditional black gospel quartet was formed in 1937 at the Talladega Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Alabama. By the '40s they became "the Blind Boys" and recorded for Specialty, Vee Jay, Savoy, Elektra, and other labels. Their first hit was "I Can See Everybody's Mother But Mine" in 1949. Recently, their lineup has included Joe Watson, Jimmy Carter, Sam and Bobby Butler, Curtis Foster, Johnny Fields, andClarence Fountain. They appeared on Broadway in Gospel at Colonus, but gained much more fame during the late '90s and early 2000s while recording a series of albums for Peter Gabriel's Real World label, beginning with the collaboration-heavy Spirit of the Century. The group also appeared on Gabriel's 2002 album Up."

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Rough Houston

Juke Boy Bonner- Life Gave Me A Dirty Deal

Album Review:
"Likely the most consistent and affecting collection you'll encounter by this singular Texas bluesman, whose strikingly personal approach was stunningly captured by Arhoolie's Chris Strachwitz during the late '60s in Houston. Twenty-three utter originals include "Stay Off Lyons Avenue," "Struggle Here in Houston," "I Got My Passport," and the title track. Bonner sang movingly of his painfully impoverished existence for Arhoolie, and the results still resound triumphantly today."

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mississippi Sheik

Walter Vincson- Complete Recorded Works (1928-1941)

"One half of the legendary Mississippi Sheiks, singer/guitarist Walter Vinson was also among the most noteworthy blues accompanists of his era. Born February 2, 1901 in Bolton, Mississippi, Vinson (also known variously as Vincson and Vincent) began performing as a child, and during his teen years was a fixture at area parties and picnics. Even from the outset, however, he rarely if ever appeared as a solo act, seemingly much more at home in duets and trios; towards that end, during the 1920s he worked with Charlie McCoy, Rubin Lacy and Son Spand before forging his most pivotal and long-lasting union, with Lonnie Chatmon, in 1928. In addition to teaming with Chatmon in the Mississippi Sheiks, Vinson also recorded with him in the Mississippi Hot Footers, and even worked with Chatmon's brothers Bo and Harry. Upon the Sheiks' 1933 dissolution, Vinson recorded with various players in areas ranging from Jackson, Mississippi to New Orleans to finally Chicago; while an active club performer during the early 1940s, by the middle of the decade he had begun a lengthy hiatus from music which continued through 1960, at which point he returned to both recording and festival appearances. Hardening of the arteries forced Vinson into retirement during the early '70s; he died in Chicago in 1975."

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