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2017. február 12., vasárnap

12-02-2017 12:01 # 49 blues songs from the BLUES circle 1959-1969 / 3h 41m

Bloomfield, Kooper, Stills

12-02-2017 12:01
# Jimmy Rogers, Larry Young, Roosevelt Sykes, Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Bob Dylan, Son House, Big Mama Thornton, Magic Sam, Charlie Musselwhite, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills, Canned Heat, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Janis Joplin # 3h 41m






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from 1953-1965





Brilliant urban blues guitarist and recording artist who worked extensively with Muddy Waters... Guitarist Jimmy Rogers was the last living connection to the groundbreaking first Chicago band of Muddy Waters (informally dubbed "the Headhunters" for their penchant of dropping by other musicians' gigs and "cutting their heads" with a superior on-stage performance). Instead of basking in world-wide veneration, he was merely a well-respected Chicago elder boasting a seminal '50s Chess Records catalog, both behind Waters and on his own. Born James A. Lane (Rogers was his stepdad's surname), the guitarist grew up all over: Mississippi, Atlanta, West Memphis, Memphis, and St. Louis.
Jimmy Rogers
That's All Right (Jimmy Rogers) 2:50
Goin' Away Baby (James A. Lane / James Lane) 2:44
She Loves Another Man (James A. Lane) 2:55
My Little Machine (James A. Lane) 3:11
from The Complete Chess Recordings / Rec: 1950-1959 (1997)
While the 1976 issue of Chicago Bound, the first collection of Jimmy Rogers' Chess material has been rightly hailed as a definitive cornerstone in absorbing the history of early Chicago blues; sadly, that vinyl album has been out of print for a number of years with virtually nothing in the catalog to take its place. Until now...


An acclaimed innovator of the '60s jazz organ approach, who utilized swirling chords, surging lines, and rock-influenced improvisations.
Larry Young
Testifying (Larry Young) 9:57
Some Thorny Blues 6:25
from Testifyng 1960
Organist Larry Young was 19 when he made this, his debut recording. Although he would become innovative later on, Young at this early stage was still influenced by Jimmy Smith, even if he had a lighter tone; the fact that he used Smith's former guitarist, Thornel Schwartz, and a drummer whose name was coincidentally Jimmie Smith kept the connection strong. R&B-ish tenor Joe Holiday helps out on two songs, and the music (standards, blues and ballads) always swings. Easily recommended to fans of the jazz organ.

Effervescent blues vocalist and pianist whose romping boogies and risqué lyrics characterize his monumental contributions... Next time someone voices the goofball opinion that blues is simply too depressing to embrace, sit 'em down and expose 'em to a heady dose of Roosevelt Sykes. If he doesn't change their minds, nothing will. There was absolutely nothing downbeat about this roly-poly, effervescent pianist (nicknamed "Honeydripper" for his youthful prowess around the girls), whose lengthy career spanned the pre-war and postwar eras with no interruption whatsoever.
Roosevelt Sykes
Miss Ida B. (Roosevelt Sykes) 4:57
Yes, Lawd (Ozzie Cadena / Roosevelt Sykes) 9:16
She Ain't For Nobody (Roosevelt Sykes) 2:46
from The Honeydripper 1961
Roosevelt Sykes expertly fit his classic, down-home piano riffs and style into a fabric that also contained elements of soul, funk, and R&B. The nine-cut date, recently reissued by Original Blues... Besides Sykes' alternately bemused, ironic, and inviting vocals, there's superb tenor sax support from King Curtis, Robert Banks' tasty organ, and steady, nimble bass and drum assistance by Leonard Gaskin and drummer Belton Evans.




An architect of Chicago blues' West Side sound, whose style combined broodingly intense vocals and sweet, stinging guitar solos... Breaking into the R&B Top Ten his very first time out in 1956 with the startlingly intense slow blues "I Can't Quit You Baby," southpaw guitarist Otis Rush subsequently established himself as one of the premier bluesmen on the Chicago circuit. Rush is often credited with being one of the architects of the West side guitar style, along with Magic Sam and Buddy Guy. It's a nebulous honor, since Rush played clubs on Chicago's South side just as frequently during the sound's late-'50s incubation period. Nevertheless, his esteemed status as a prime Chicago innovator is eternally assured by the ringing, vibrato-enhanced guitar work that remains his stock in trade and a tortured, super-intense vocal delivery that can force the hairs on the back of your neck upwards in silent salute. 
Sit Down Baby 2:23
My baby Is Good 'Un 2:40
All Your Love (I Miss Lovin') 2:39
Double Trouble 2:44
Left-handed Chicago electric blues guitar giant Otis Rush is a living link to a Chicago blues scene ruled by the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter in the late ‘50s. But the harsh reality that Rush has never quite attained the status of those icons in no way is a reflection on his talents; he is in fact an unsung legend who along with Buddy Guy helped to definethat distinctive, wailing “West Side” Chicago guitar sound that is widely copied by generations of followers all over the world today...


Regarded as the last of the great Chicago harmonica players, he was an impressive stylist and a leading practitioner of postwar blues harmonica... He was one bad dude, strutting across the stage like a harp-toting gangster, mesmerizing the crowd with his tough-guy antics and rib-sticking Chicago blues attack. Amazingly, Junior Wells kept at precisely this sort of thing for over 40 years; he was an active performer from the dawn of the '50s until his death in the late '90s. Born in Memphis, Wells learned his earliest harp licks from another future legend, Little Junior Parker, before he came to Chicago at age 12. 
Cut That Out 2:51
Hoodoo Man 3:03
So Tired 2:11
Come On In This House 2:23


Iconic singer/songwriter and musical wanderer who rose to prominence during the '60s folk revival and changed the world of music. 
The Times They Are A-Changin'  (Bob Dylan) 3:12
With God on Our Side  (Bob Dylan) 7:04
North Country Blues (Bob Dylan) 4:31
If The Times They Are a-Changin' isn't a marked step forward from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, even if it is his first collection of all originals, it's nevertheless a fine collection all the same. It isn't as rich as Freewheelin', and Dylan has tempered his sense of humor considerably, choosing to concentrate on social protests in the style of "Blowin' in the Wind." With the title track, he wrote an anthem that nearly equaled that song... If there are a couple of songs that don't achieve the level of the aforementioned songs, that speaks more to the quality of those songs than the weakness of the remainder of the record. And that's also true of the album itself -- yes, it pales next to its predecessor, but it's terrific by any other standard.



A giant of the delta blues, with his ferocious, barking voice, and stabbing bottleneck phrases... Son House's place, not only in the history of Delta blues, but in the overall history of the music, is a very high one indeed. He was a major innovator of the Delta style, along with his playing partners Charley Patton and Willie Brown. Few listening experiences in the blues are as intense as hearing one of Son House's original 1930s recordings for the Paramount label. Entombed in a hailstorm of surface noise and scratches, one can still be awestruck by the emotional fervor House puts into his singing and slide playing. Little wonder then that the man became more than just an influence on some white English kid with a big amp; he was the main source of inspiration to both Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, and it doesn't get much more pivotal than that.
Death Letter (Son House) 4:19
Louise Mcghee (Son House) 6:19
Empire State Express (Son House) 3:39
Grinning in Your Face (Son House) 2:06
After being rediscovered by the folk-blues community in the early '60s, Son House rose to the occasion and recorded this magnificent set of performances. Allowed to stretch out past the shorter running time of the original 78s, House turns in wonderful, steaming performances of some of his best-known material. On some tracks, House is supplemented by folk-blues researcher/musician Alan Wilson, who would later become a member of the blues-rock group Canned Heat and here plays some nice second guitar and harmonica on several cuts...


Powerhouse blues and R&B singer, the original "Hound Dog" belter, and one of the most important female architects of rock & roll. / Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton only notched one national hit in her lifetime, but it was a true monster. "Hound Dog" held down the top slot on Billboard's R&B charts for seven long weeks in 1953...
Big Mama Thornton
I'm Feeling Alright (Willie Mae Thornton) 3:01
Black Rat (Willie Mae Thornton) 2:52
Everything Gonna Be Alright 5:05
from With The Muddy Waters Blues Band 1966
In the mid- '60s, Big Mama Thornton was a relatively obscure blues singer known mainly for her original recording of "Hound Dog" in 1953, three years before Elvis had a monster hit with it. Due to a lack of gigs, Thornton had a tough time keeping a steady band on the road and would scramble to gather consistently decent musicians. Fortunately, Arhoolie Records' founder and president Chris Strachwitz had witnessed an amazing performance of the era which had Thornton backed by a group of Chicago musicians who included Buddy Guy on guitar. With that performance in mind, Strachwitz was determined to capture that excellence in the studio. He offered the gig to Muddy Waters, whom he met in San Francisco a few days prior to this session. Muddy accepted and brought with him James Cotton (harmonica), Otis Spann (piano), Sammy Lawhorn (guitar), Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson (bass), and Francis Clay (drums). What came out at Coast Recorders on April 25, 1966 is presented on this 17-track disc including seven previously unreleased cuts...


No blues guitarist better represented the adventurous modern sound of Chicago's West side more proudly than Sam Maghett. He died tragically young (at age 32 of a heart attack), just as he was on the brink of climbing the ladder to legitimate stardom, but Magic Sam left behind a thick legacy of bone-cutting blues that remains eminently influential around his old stomping grounds to this day.
Magic Sam
Everything Gonna Be Alright (Magic Sam) 2:58
All Your Love (Willie Dixon / Samuel Maghett / Otis Rush / Magic Sam) 2:57
Magic Rocker (Samuel Maghett) 2:32
from West Side Guitar 1957 - 1966 (1991)
...Sam's tremolo-rich staccato fingerpicking was an entirely fresh phenomenon when he premiered it on Eli Toscano's Cobra label in 1957. Prior to his Cobra date, the guitarist had been gigging as Good Rocking Sam, but Toscano wanted to change his nickname to something old-timey like Sad Sam or Singing Sam. No dice, said the newly christened Magic Sam (apparently Mack Thompson's brainstorm)...


A Mississippi transplant whose rangy, subtle harp playing made a splash in Chicago blues circles beginning in the 1960s. / Harmonica wizard Norton Buffalo can recollect a leaner time when his record collection had been whittled down to only the bare essentials: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's South Side Band. Butterfield and Musselwhite will probably be forever linked as the two most interesting, and arguably the most important, products of the "white blues movement" of the mid- to late '60s -- not only because they were near the forefront chronologically, but because they both stand out as being especially faithful to the style.
Charlie Musselwhite
Baby Will You Please Help Me (Charlie Musselwhite) 3:20
Cha Cha the Blues 3:13
Help Me (Ed Ward) 3:30
from Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band 1967
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, and 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!...

With a style honed in the gritty blues bars of Chicago's south side, the Butterfield Blues Band was instrumental in bringing the sound of authentic Chicago blues to a young white audience in the mid-'60s, and although the band wasn't a particularly huge commercial success, its influence has been enduring and pervasive. The band was formed when singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield met guitarist and fellow University of Chicago student Elvin Bishop in the early '60s. Bonding over a love of the blues, the pair managed to hijack Howlin' Wolf's rhythm section (bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Sam Lay) and began gigging in the city's blues houses, where they were spotted in 1964 by producer Paul Rothchild, who quickly had them signed to Elektra Records. Guitar whiz Mike Bloomfield joined the band just before they entered the studio to record their debut album (and in time to be on-stage with the group when they backed up Bob Dylan at his infamous electric set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival).
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
One More Heartache (Warren "Pete" Moore / Smokey Robinson / Robert Rogers / Marvin Tarplin / Ronald White) 3:40
Pity the Fool (Deadric Malone) 6:05
Drivin' Wheel (T-Bone Burnett / Billy Swan / Roosevelt Sykes) 5:58
from The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw 1967
...They also adopted the psychedelic flower power stance of the era, as evidenced by a few selections, the rather oblique title, and the stunning pastiche art work on the cover. Butterfield himself was really coming into his own playing harmonica and singing, while his band of keyboardist Mark Naftalin, guitarist Elvin Bishop, drummer Phil Wilson, electric bassist Bugsy Maugh, and the horns featuring young alto saxophonist David Sanborn was as cohesive a unit as you'd find in this time period. Butterfield's most well-known song "One More Heartache" kicks off the album, a definitive blues-rock radio favorite with great harmonica and an infectious beat urged on by the top-notch horns...


Mike Bloomfield - Brilliant 1960s blues-rock guitarist who made history with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bob Dylan. / Michael Bloomfield was one of America's first great white blues guitarists, earning his reputation on the strength of his work in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. His expressive, fluid solo lines and prodigious technique graced many other projects -- most notably Bob Dylan's earliest electric forays -- and he also pursued a solo career, with variable results...
Al Kooper - Session musician, songwriter, and producer, a behind-the-scenes folk and rock renaissance man during the 1960s.  / Al Kooper, by rights, should be regarded as one of the giants of '60s rock, not far behind the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in importance. In addition to co-writing one classic mid-'60s pop-rock song, "This Diamond Ring" (though it was written as an R&B number), he was a very audible sessionman on some of the most important records of mid-decade, including Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Kooper also joined and led, and then lost two major groups, the Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears...
Stephen Stills - Famed for his solo work plus his time in Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash, two of pop music's most successful and enduring groups. / Famed for his work in Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash, two of pop music's most successful and enduring groups, Stephen Stills was born in Dallas, Texas, on January 3, 1945. He became fascinated by music at a young age, and by the age of 15 was playing professionally. He eventually dropped out of college to move to New York City to try his hand as a folk performer before signing on as a guitar player with the Au Go-Go Singers, where he befriended a fellow bandmate named Richie Furay...
Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills 
Albert's Shuffle  (Michael Bloomfield / Al Kooper) 6:58
Man's Temptation (Curtis Mayfield) 3:24
Season of the Witch  (Donovan) 11:07
from Super Session 1968
As the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) had done a year earlier, Super Session (1968) initially ushered in several new phases in rock & roll's concurrent transformation. In the space of months, the soundscape of rock shifted radically from short, danceable pop songs to comparatively longer works with more attention to technical and musical subtleties. Enter the unlikely all-star triumvirate of Al Kooper (piano/organ/ondioline/vocals/guitars), Mike Bloomfield (guitar), and Stephen Stills (guitar) -- all of whom were concurrently "on hiatus" from their most recent engagements. Kooper had just split after masterminding the groundbreaking Child Is Father to the Man (1968) version of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Bloomfield was fresh from a stint with the likewise brass-driven Electric Flag, while Stills was late of Buffalo Springfield and still a few weeks away from a full-time commitment to David Crosby and Graham Nash. Although the trio never actually performed together, the long-player was notable for idiosyncratically featuring one side led by the team of Kooper/Bloomfield and the other by Kooper/Stills. The band is fleshed out with the powerful rhythm section of Harvey Brooks (bass) and Eddie Hoh (drums) as well as Barry Goldberg (electric piano) on "Albert's Shuffle"...

One of the premier blues bands of the 1960s, influential on groove-laden rockers ranging from ZZ Top to Phish.  / A hard-luck blues band of the '60s, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan Wilson and Bob Hite. They seemed to be on the right track and played all the right festivals (including Monterey and Woodstock, making it very prominently into the documentaries about both) but somehow never found a lasting audience...
Canned Heat
Pony Blues 3:47
Sandy's Blues 6:45
Refried Boogie (Pt.1) 20:02
from Living The Blues 1968
Canned Heat's third collection, Living the Blues (1968), was likewise their first double-LP... Featured is the "classic" Heat lineup of Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/harmonica/vocals), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar), Adolfo "Fido" de la Parra (drums), and Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals), who unleash another batch of strong originals and engaging overhauls of a few blues staples... Aside from the slightly indulgent "Refried Boogie," Living the Blues (1968) stands as a testament to Canned Heat's prowess as modernizers of the blues and recommended as one of the most cohesive works from this incarnation.

Delta bluesman, and one-time Robert Johnson cohort, whose career extended into the 1960s folk revival. / Best known as a traveling companion of Robert Johnson, Johnny Shines' own contributions to the blues have often been unfairly shortchanged, simply because Johnson's own legend casts such a long shadow. In his early days, Shines was one of the top slide guitarists in Delta blues, with his own distinctive, energized style; one that may have echoed Johnson's spirit and influence, but was never a mere imitation. 
Johnny Shines
Big Walter Horton, sometimes known as Shakey Walter Horton, is one of the most influential blues harmonica players of all time, and a particular pioneer in the field of amplified harmonica.
Big Walter Horton
Hello Central (Johnny Shines) 3:11
Sneakin' and Hidin' 3:53
Fat Mama (Johnny Shines) 2:52
from With Big Walter Horton 1969
Calling an album one the best in this particular genre, Chicago blues, is a pretty big move. There are plenty of masters of this particular form, and the success of several different record companies recording the genre over the years has assured no shortage of material. Something just comes together splendidly on these sessions that elevates this album well above the level of even some of the great Chicago sides of artists such as Muddy Waters. It might not exude the timeless gold dust of such records, but at the same time has a raw energy and breathless courage that goes well beyond anything the Chess label got on tape in its studios. The sound is also richly thick and loaded with midrange overtones. This benefits not only bass sounds but the presence of the drummers as well. Outrageous drum breaks are one byproduct, and the listener might even sense the ensemble somehow about to topple before everything comes together at the slightest chicken scratch of Johnny Shines' electric guitar... the harmonica genius Big Walter Horton is on both dates, flooding the bandstand with chordal cascades and even bringing a frightening edge to some cuts with distorted vocalese. This is not only a great blues record, it is a great party blues record.

Legendary blues-rock belter with a brash, uncompromising vocal style and tremendous lasting influence, despite dying young.  / The greatest white female rock singer of the 1960s, Janis Joplin was also a great blues singer, making her material her own with her wailing, raspy, supercharged emotional delivery. First rising to stardom as the frontwoman for San Francisco psychedelic band Big Brother & the Holding Company, she left the group in the late '60s for a brief and uneven (though commercially successful) career as a solo artist. Although she wasn't always supplied with the best material or most sympathetic musicians, her best recordings, with both Big Brother and on her own, are some of the most exciting performances of her era. She also did much to redefine the role of women in rock with her assertive, sexually forthright persona and raunchy, electrifying on-stage presence.
Janis Joplin
Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) (Jerry Ragovoy / Chip Taylor) 3:55
One Good Man (Janis Joplin) 4:09
To Love Somebody (Barry Gibb / Robin Gibb) 5:13
Kozmic Blues (Janis Joplin / Gabriel Mekler) 4:21
from I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! 1969
Janis Joplin's solo debut was a letdown at the time of release, suffering in comparison with Big Brother's Cheap Thrills from the previous year, and shifting her style toward soul-rock in a way that disappointed some fans. Removed from that context, it sounds better today, though it's still flawed. Fronting the short-lived Kozmic Blues Band, the arrangements are horn heavy and the material soulful and bluesy. The band sounds a little stiff and although Joplin's singing is good, she would sound more electrifying on various live versions of some of the songs. The shortage of quality original compositions -- indeed, there are only eight tracks total on the album -- didn't help either, and the cover selections were erratic, particularly the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody." On the other hand, "Try" is one of her best soul outings, and the reading of Rodgers & Hart's "Little Girl Blue" is inspired.






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