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2017. január 4., szerda

04-01-2017 16:03 # 54 blues songs from the BLUES circle 1920s & 1930s / 2h 41m



04-01-2017 16:031930s # Alice Leslie Carter, Clara Smith, Sylvester Weaver, Sara Martin, Big Bill Broonzy, Earl Hines, Bumble Bee Slim, Kokomo Arnold, Robert Wilkins, Blind Boy Fuller, Robert Johnson, Rare Country Blues, The Allen Brothers, Leroy Carr, Blind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell 2h 41m





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from 1920s & 1930s



Alice Leslie Carter was an American classic female blues singer, active as a recording artist in the early 1920s. Her best-known tracks are "Decatur Street Blues" and "Aunt Hagar's Children Blues".[1] She was a contemporary of the better-known recording artists Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Clara Smith, Victoria Spivey, Sippie Wallace, and Bertha "Chippie" Hill. Little is known of her life outside music.
Alice Leslie Carter
Heart Broken Blues 3:10
You'll Think of Me Blues 2:56
Down Home Blues 3:18
from Heart Broken Blues / early 1920s
 While many people carry their middle names around like an unnecessary extra identification card, there are times when the use of a middle name clearly saves the day. Such is the case with Alice Leslie Carter, who made a series of excellent classic blues sides in 1921 including the perilous "Dangerous Blues", the demanding "I Want Some Lovin' Blues" and the demonstrative "Also Ran Blues". If she had remained just plain Alice Carter there would have inevitably been confusion with another female blues singer who recorded a scant four sides in 1923--although the resulting imbroglio might have been considered minor in a genre where some artists recorded under dozens of pseudonyms, sometimes even pretending to be each other. 


One of the legendary unrelated Smith singers of the 1920s, Clara Smith was never on Bessie's level or as significant as Mamie but she had something of her own to offer. She began working on the theatre circuit and in vaudeville around 1910, learning her craft during the next 13 years while traveling throughout the South. In 1923 Clara Smith came to New York and she recorded steadily for Columbia through 1932, cutting 122 songs often with the backing of top musicians (especially after 1925) including Louis Armstrong, Charlie Green, Joe Smith, Freddy Jenkins and James P. Johnson (in 1929).
Clara Smith
I Got Everything a Woman Needs (Clara Smith) 2:56 
Kind Lovin' Blues (Clara Smith) 2:59
All Night Blues (Clara Smith) 3:38
from Clara Smith Vol. 1 (1923-1924)
A native of Spartanburg, SC, Clara Smith was an inspired blues vocalist with a persuasive voice that could be wonderfully disarming when combined with some of her tougher lyrics. A nearly exact contemporary of her friend Bessie Smith, Clara was born in 1894, began performing in theater and vaudeville at the age of 14, and worked in that environment for 13 years. Legend has it that in 1920 she employed a nubile young Josephine Baker as a wardrobe assistant, and that the two became romantically involved... Most of the remaining titles on this collection have instrumental backing by groups identified as Clara Smith's Jazz Band (a quintet with Stanley Miller at the piano) or her Jazz Trio...

Sylvester Weaver was a versatile guitarist of Louisville origin who made the first solo recordings of blues guitar playing. Information is lacking on Weaver's early years, though it is not unreasonable to assume that during this time he may have had some connection to the Louisville Jug Bands led by Earl MacDonald and Clifford Hayes.
Sylvester Weaver
Black Spider Blues 2:55
Toad Frog Blues 2:57
Bottleneck Blues 2:57
from 1920s Blues (The Roots of Robert Johnson)
Sylvester Weaver first turns up in New York in 1923, where on October 23 of that year he accompanied vaudeville blues singer Sara Martin on two numbers, "Longing for Daddy Blues" and "I've Got to Go and Leave My Daddy Behind," for Okeh. Two weeks later, Weaver cut his first pair of solo recordings, "Guitar Blues" and "Guitar Rag" for the same concern...
Sara Martin and Sylvester Weaver


 Known in her heyday as "the blues sensation of the West," the big-voiced Sara Martin was one of the best of the classic female blues singers of the '20s. Martin began her career as a vaudeville performer, switching to blues singing in the early '20s. In 1922, she began recording for OKeh Records
Sara Martin
Your Going Ain't Giving Me the Blues (Sara Martin / Clarence Williams) 3:15 
The Prisoner's Blues (Clarence Williams) 2:48
Mistreatin' Man Blues 2:48
from Sara Martin Vol. 4 (1925-1928)
It is ironic that so many classic female blues singers recorded a ton of material between 1921 and 1924 and, when the recording techniques had advanced greatly and the musicianship of their accompaniments had vastly improved, the vocalists had much less opportunity to be documented... Martin was at her best during the latter period, but she only had three recording sessions in 1926, one in 1927, and three in 1928 before her recording career came to an end. She was accompanied by many impressive players during this era including several groups led by Clarence Williams (which had such musicians as King Oliver, Charlie Irvis, Bubber Miley, and Benny Waters), Richard M. Jones' Jazz Wizards, the piy Pleaseano of Eddie Heywood...

 Intelligent, versatile early blues guitarist possessed an unmistakable, hollering voice with remarkable range... Big Bill Broonzy was born William Lee Conley Broonzy in the tiny town of Scott, Mississippi, just across the river from Arkansas.
Big Bill Broonzy
Baby Please Don't Go 3:17
Bad Luck Blues 3:11
Black Widow Spider 2:55
from Big Bill's Blues Vol. 1 - [The Dave Cash Collection] 1930s
During his childhood, Broonzy's family -- itinerant sharecroppers and the descendants of ex-slaves -- moved to Pine Bluff to work the fields there. Broonzy learned to play a cigar box fiddle from his uncle, and as a teenager, he played violin in local churches, at community dances, and in a country string band. During World War I, Broonzy enlisted in the U.S. Army, and in 1920 he moved to Chicago and worked in the factories for several years. In 1924 he met Papa Charlie Jackson, a New Orleans native and pioneer blues recording artist for Paramount. Jackson took Broonzy under his wing, taught him guitar, and used him as an accompanist.


 Charismatic pianist of the early days of jazz whose unusual rhythms changed the course of music... Once called "the first modern jazz pianist," Earl Hines differed from the stride pianists of the 1920s by breaking up the stride rhythms with unusual accents from his left hand. While his right hand often played octaves so as to ring clearly over ensembles, Hines had the trickiest left hand in the business, often suspending time recklessly but without ever losing the beat. One of the all-time great pianists, Hines was a major influence on Teddy Wilson, Jess Stacy, Joe Sullivan, Nat King Cole, and even to an extent on Art Tatum.
Earl Hines
Blues In Thirds (Caution Blues) 12-08-28 2:54
Caution Blues (12-09-28) 2:53
from Complete Jazz Series 1928 - 1932








 Gentle philosopher was one of the most popular blues recording artists of the 1930s...  Popular and prolific, Bumble Bee Slim parlayed a familiar but rudimentary style into one of the earliest flowerings of the Chicago style. Much of what he performed he adapted from the groundbreaking duo Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell -- Slim built on Carr's laconic, relaxed vocal style and Blackwell's guitar technique. During the mid-'30s, Bumble Bee Slim recorded a number of sides for a variety of labels, including Bluebird, Vocalion, and Decca, becoming one of the most-recorded bluesmen of the decade.
Bumble Bee Slim
How Long, How Long Blues (Bumble Bee Slim) 2:53 
New B & O Blues 2:49
My Old Pal Blues 3:07
Sloppy Drunk Blues (Leroy Carr) 2:47
from Bumble Bee Slim Vol. 5 1935-1936






 Slide guitarist and blues singer cut 88 sides for Decca in the 1930s and was an influence on Robert Johnson...  "Kokomo" was a popular brand of coffee early in the 20th century, and was the subject of Francis "Scrapper" Blackwell's first recorded blues in 1928. When slide guitar specialist James Arnold revamped this number as "Old Original Kokomo Blues" for Decca in 1934, little did he know that this would soon become his permanent handle -- Kokomo Arnold. 


just illustration
Kokomo Arnold
Wild Water Blues 3:16
Long and Tall 2:49
Laugh and Gin Blues 3:12
from Blues Experience, Vol. 14 / 1930s
 Kokomo Arnold was born in Georgia, and began his musical career in Buffalo, New York in the early '20s. During prohibition, Kokomo Arnold worked primarily as a bootlegger, and performing music was a only sideline to him. Nonetheless he worked out a distinctive style of bottleneck slide guitar and blues singing that set him apart from his contemporaries. In the late '20s, Arnold settled for a short time in Mississippi, making his first recordings in May 1930 for Victor in Memphis under the name of "Gitfiddle Jim." Arnold moved to Chicago in order to be near to where the action was as a bootlegger, but the repeal of the Volstead Act put him out of business, so he turned instead to music as a full-time vocation.


...A mix of Afro-American and Cherokee Indian, Wilkins hailed from De Soto County, MS, famous stomping grounds for Delta blues. His later fight with the powerful Rolling Stones probably didn't seem like much of a hassle compared to what he went through growing up. His father was kicked out of the state due to bootlegging activities. His mother made a better choice with her second husband, the fine guitarist Tim Oliver, who taught his new stepson plenty...
Robert Wilkins
Rolling Stone, Pt. 1 (Robert Wilkins) 2:55
Jail House Blues (Robert Wilkins) 3:33
That's No Way to Get Along (Robert Wilkins) 2:54
from Masters Of Memphis Blues CD D 1927-1939
JSP's Masters of Memphis Blues compiles four CDs of performances by Furry Lewis, Stokes & Sane, Gus Cannon as Banjo Joe, Frank Stokes, Allen Shaw, Robert Wilkins, and Little Buddy Doyle. It's hard to go wrong with these 101 recordings cut between 1927 and 1939. The tracks have been remastered, making the majority of this material sound great. Unlike other packages of this type, the liner notes are informative, listing personnel and dates and providing concise histories without going on ad nauseam. As an extra bonus, this is a budget-priced set, making it highly recommended, especially for the blues novice.


Unlike blues artists like Big Bill or Memphis Minnie who recorded extensively over three or four decades, Blind Boy Fuller recorded his substantial body of work over a short, six-year span. Nevertheless, he was one of the most recorded artists of his time and by far the most popular and influential Piedmont blues player of all time.  Blind Boy Fuller
Truckin' My Blues Away (Fulton Allen / J.B. Long) 3:07
Homesick and Lonesome Blues (Fulton Allen) 3:09
Painful Hearted Man 2:50
from Truckin' My Blues Away 1935-1938 (1978)
For most listeners, Blind Boy Fuller's Truckin' My Blues Away (on Yazoo) may be a better bet than Columbia/Legacy's East Coast Piedmont Style, since it actually has a higher concentration of strong material, capturing the influential bluesman at his peak. All of the 14 tracks were recorded between 1935 and 1938...


If the blues has a truly mythic figure, one whose story hangs over the music the way a Charlie Parker does over jazz or a Hank Williams does over country, it's Robert Johnson, certainly the most celebrated figure in the history of the blues. Of course, his legend is immensely fortified by the fact that Johnson also left behind a small legacy of recordings that are considered the emotional apex of the music itself. 
Robert Johnson
Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson) 2:29
Come on in My Kitchen (Robert Johnson) 2:52
Last Fair Deal Gone Down  (Robert Johnson) 2:39
Kindhearted Woman Blues (Robert Johnson) 2:52
from King Of The Delta Blues Singers Rec. date: November 23, 1936 - June 20, 1937 (1961)
Reading about the power inherent in Robert Johnson's music is one thing, but actually experiencing it is another matter entirely. The official 1998 edition of the original 1961 album was certainly worth the wait, remastered off the best quality original 78s available, of far superior quality to any of the source materials used on even the 1991 box set... If you are starting your blues collection from the ground up, be sure to make this your very first purchase.



Kid Cole - Sixth Street Moan 2:59
Cincinnati Jug Band - Newport Blues (Bob Coleman) 2:58
Walter Coleman - Greyhound Blues (Tell Me Driver How Long's That Greyhound Been Gone?) 2:57
Billy Bird - Down in the Cemetary 3:14
Too Tight Henry - The Way I Do 2:59
from Rare Country Blues Vol. 3 1928-1936 (2000)

Document Records, a British reissue label, has set an admirable goal of releasing all the music found on 78s from the 1920s and '30s. Their collections are historical and archival in intent and are absolutely essential to scholars, collectors, and others interested in music of the period. Rare Country Blues, Vol. 3 assembles the complete known recordings of several obscure artists: Kid Cole, Walter Coleman, Bob Coleman, the Cincinnati Jug Band, Billy Bird, and the fascinating Too Tight Henry, whose two-part talking blues "Charleston Contest" crackles with personality and is the highlight of this collection.

The Allen Brothers, Lee and Austin, were among the first of the fraternal duets that became popular in the '20s and '30s. They were known for their fast-paced, upbeat blues and old-time music-influenced songs. Offering sometimes-bawdy good-time music, droll humor, and Lee Allen's delightful kazoo leads, they created a unique blues-derived sound independent from that of country music's star bluesman of the day, Jimmie Rodgers. Between 1926-1934 the "Chattanooga Boys" recorded 89 songs and notched several hits.
The Allen Brothers
Jake Walk Blues 2:35
Ain't That Skippin' and Flyin' 3:00
I've Got the Chain Store Blues 3:20
from Old Time Blues Recordings 1920s-1930s (2012)
The brothers were born five years apart (Austin was the oldest) around the turn of the century on Monteagle Mountain, 50 miles north of Chattanooga, to a sawyer and a trained violinist. In childhood they were influenced by a combination of contemporary and traditional music. The brothers hit the local music circuit around 1923, becoming particularly popular in isolated coal-mining camps. While traveling, the Allens began collecting all sorts of local, traditional tunes....




The term "urban blues" is usually applied to post-World War II blues band music, but one of the forefathers of the genre in its pre-electric format was pianist Leroy Carr. Teamed with the exemplary guitarist Scrapper Blackwell in Indianapolis, Carr became one of the top blues stars of his day, composing and recording almost 200 sides during his short lifetime... Leroy Carr
Gone Mother Blues 3:00
Moonlight Blues 3:08
Hurry Down Sunshine 3:32
My Woman's Gone Wrong 2:29
from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4 1932-1934 (1996)
People living in the early 21st century would do well to consider complete immersion in more than an hour's worth of vintage Vocalion blues records made during the darkest days of the Great Depression by pianist Leroy Carr and guitarist Scrapper Blackwell. Vol. 4 in Document's Complete Recorded Works of Leroy Carr contains 23 sides dating from March 1932 through August 1934...



Willie Samuel McTell was one of the blues' greatest guitarists, and also one of the finest singers ever to work in blues. A major figure with a local following in Atlanta from the 1920s onward, he recorded dozens of sides throughout the '30s under a multitude of names -- all the better to juggle "exclusive" relationships with many different record labels at once -- including Blind Willie, Blind Sammie, Hot Shot Willie, and Georgia Bill, as a backup musician to Ruth Mary Willis.
Blind Willie McTell
Broke Down Engine (Gary Atkinson / Blind Willie McTell) 3:09
Georgia Rag (Blind Willie McTell) 3:03
Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell) 2:31
Three Women Blues 2:43
from The Early Years 1927-1933 (1989)
This is one of the few Yazoo records that cannot be recommended as a potential first choice, because it was done relatively early. The sound is okay, but the song selection -- all made up of pre-World War II material, as usual for Yazoo -- is rather paltry compared with McTell collections that have come out since. It's not a bad choice, just not as good as some others, and it does include a decent, if limited, cross-section of early material...






Scrapper Blackwell was best known for his work with pianist Leroy Carr during the early and mid-'30s, but he also recorded many solo sides between 1928 and 1935. A distinctive stylist whose work was closer to jazz than blues, Blackwell was an exceptional player with a technique built around single-note picking that anticipated the electric blues of the '40s and '50s. He abandoned music for more than 20 years after Carr's death in 1935, but re-emerged at the end of the '50s and began his career anew before his life was taken in an apparent robbery attempt. Scrapper Blackwell
Kokomo Blues (Scrapper Blackwell) 3:04
Good Woman Blues (W.R. Calaway / Leroy Carr) 2:59
Hard Time Blues (Bessie Smith) 2:52
Back Door Blues 2:51
from The Virtuoso Guitar of Scrapper Blackwell 1925-1934 (1991)
It's for recordings like this that a lot of blues guitar fans started listening to the music in the first place. The definitive Blackwell collection to date, featuring not only his best extant solo sides, but also his work in association with Leroy Carr, Black Bottom McPhail, and Tommy Bradley. The 14 songs here all have something to offer in the playing -- and generally the singing as well -- that will give the listener pause, a run, an arpeggio, a solo passage that makes you say, "Whoa, what was that?" The sound is surprisingly good, and one only wishes there were more than 14 songs here...






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