Wednesday, July 25, 2007
THE MUSIC OF DJ HWY 7 VOL. 2
01. R.L. BURNSIDE - .44 BLUES : FROM 'TOO BAD JIM', 1994, www.fatpossum.com
*just can't get enough of RL. this is an easily overlooked track that i think just has a great mid-tempo snakey-juke-groove. one of my all-time favorite records.
02. TED TAYLOR - (LOVE IS LIKE A) RAMBLIN' ROSE : OKEH RECORDS 45, 1965
*puts the MC5's later version to shame if you ask me. i must admit i heard the 5's first, and had to go look for this. amazing vocals.
03. FRANK FROST - POCKET FULL OF MONEY : JEWEL RECORDS 45, 1965
*one of the great delta performers. his decades-long work with big jack johnson and sam carr is some of the best out of the west helena/clarksdale area.
04. 5 YEAR OLD LUCKY PETERSON'S BLUES BAND - GOOD OLD CANDY : TODAY RECORDS 45, 1965
*the age says it all. a true prodigy. amazing vocals - those screams! his dad was an amzing band leader, as well, with a very soulful voice and some great 45s to his name. lucky at 5 can't eb touched and the kids always get down on the dancefloor to this one.
05. ALVIN CASH & THE CRAWLERS - TWINE TIME : MAR-V-LUS 45, 1963
*i honestly don't know much about this 45 - but i love it! really gets people out on the floor to dance when the needle drops.
06. W. WILLIAMS and his BLUES MEN - MISSISSIPPI ROUNDHOUSE : LITTLE LYNN RECORDS 45, GREENVILLE, MS
*same with this one. stellar & funky instrumental 45 on a very obscure label.
07. JUNIOR KIMBELL - TRAM? : PHILWOOD 45, 1966 (ACTUALLY JUNIOR KIMBROUGH PLAYING LOWELL FULSOM'S "TRAMP")
*one of my favorite musicians of all-time. this is his first 45 - for the Tom Phillips-owned Philwood label out of Memphis. according to Mr. Phillips' son Johnny (who now runs his dad's Select-O-Hits Distribution in Memphis), a cousin or uncle heard Junior at a houseparty in/around Holly Springs in 1966 and invited him up to record at Select-O-Hits Studio in Memphis. Of the 55+ 45s that Philwood released, this was the only 45 that was pressed twice, cementing it as the label's biggest regional hit. Amazing that, other than a single cassette-made track released on a UK comp in '76, that Junior would not be recorded/released again until 1982.
08. MILDRED SCOTT and The Hillbillies - DROP OUT : BIG BEE 45, NEW ORLEANS, LA (ROBERT BOOKER PRODUCTION)
*i bought this on a whim for $10 - not knowing anything other than that i liked her name and the looks of the label. turns out it's pretty rare (booking $100-200 in the US and UK) and that upon receipt, i realized it was a Robert Booker production (hence the Big Bee label name - for "B"ooker). Robert Booker started in the business recording gospel music in New Orleans, to include Reverend Charlie Jackson's first recordings. As the times changed, he continued to record gospel, but he branched out in to R&B and Soul, recording several other people to include Robert Parker, Katherine Holt (for Booker) and Mildred for his Big Bee label.
09. WOODROW ADAMS, CURTIS ALLEN & FIDDLIN' JOE MARTIN - PONY BLUES : FROM 'HIGH WATER' LP, 1967, DAVID EVANS produced
*this song blew me away the first time i heard it! it's about the rawest thing ever. it was recorded in 1967 and released in 1974 on the UK Flyright label. david evans told me that woodrow adams used to record on an old reel-to-reel, just recording layer after layer and ending up with the most punk-rock-distortion-crazy-sounding stuff he'd ever heard. this was straight-mic'd, one-take, as a three-piece. just mind-blowing if you ask me.
10. BOBO JENKINS - SHAKE 'EM ON DOWN : BIG STAR RECORDS 45, 1973, DETROIT, MI
*recorded for Chess, Federal, etc. there's info on Bobo out there. I think there's info on Big Star Records out there too, I'm just still trying to get to it. Detroit-based with some amazing releases on the label. Mississippi Johnny Norwood, Ellen Jackson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, etc. Crazy (and expensive!) indy blues label.
11. BIG LUCKY - STOP ARGUING OVER ME : M.O.C. 45, 1969, MEMPHIS, TN
*big lucky carter was a mainstay in memphis music. he recorded for decades and had a huge (regional) hit with Goofer Dust. This is a classic delta song most recently covered by Paul "Wine" Jones on his posthumous same-titled fat possum cd - www.fatpossum.com
12. DAVE BARTHOLOMEW - THE MONKEY : IMPERIAL WLP 45, 1954, NEW ORLEANS, LA
*another of my most favorite songs ever! hard to believe this was recorded in 1954. the groove - and the lyrics - are just incredible. this one always raises eyebrows and perks up ears when the needle drops.
13. WILLIE MITCHELL - MY BABE : HI RECORDS, 1969, MEMPHIS, TN
*classic willie dixon-written blues song - probabably made more famous in mississippi than in chicago. willie's hi-rhythm section kills this instrumentally. a memphis-classic!
14. CLARENCE EDWARDS - ROCKY MOUNTAINS : FROM 'CHEMICAL CITY SHAKEDOWN' LP, BATON ROUGE LA
*of all the "swamp-blues" performers from southern louisiana, clarence edwards is one of my favorites. wolf records in austria has released alot of his stuff. i like this track for the cajun-influenced fiddle that carries the song.
15. JOHNNY FARMER - DEATH LETTER " FROM 'WRONGDOERS RESPRECT ME', 1998, www.fatpossum.com
*another of the seldom-heard "classics" on the fat possum label. johnny was recorded for (or at least was included) on a documentary that was released in the early 90s that showcased music from the delta-to-northern hill country of mississippi. he later recorded this lp for fat possum and from what i hear, has regretted it ever since. i believe he fell ill shortly after the record was made/released and blamed his illness on upsetting the lord because he "played the blues", or devil's music.
16. HARMONICA WILLIAMS & LITTLE FREDDIE KING - BABY DON'T YOU KNOW : AHURA MAZDA LP, 1971, NEW ORLEANS, LA
*little freddie king's first-released recordings - although harmonica williams was the band's leader. amazingly raw new orleans blues on an incredible little label, ahura mazda, that was also responsible for releasing a 45/lp by robert pete williams as well as the scott dunbar lp - both later reissued on cd by fat possum. www.fatpossum.com
17. GEORGE PERKINS and THE SILVER STARS - GROOVE MAKING : GOLDEN RECORDS 45, BATON ROUGE, LA
*the "crying in the streets" man. crying in the streets was his national hit. this song blows it away. guaranteed to get 'em moving. i took this to memphis with me to dj at a club one month ago - and this was the song the other dj's clamored for after-the-fact. had them all floored.
18. BOBBY RUSH - WAKE UP " DISQUES VOGUE 45 (FRANCE), 1969
*from the "king of the chitlin' circuit". he's been recording for 5 decades. this recording is 38 years old. released in france with an awesome picture sleeve. bobby rush is a bad-ass. and he will tell you so himself.
19. CEDELL DAVIS - IF YOU LIKE FAT WOMEN : FROM 'THE HORROR OF IT ALL', 1998, www.fatpossum.com
*no one that i know with polio and a butterknife plays the guitar like cedell davis. for that matter, no one i know that plays guitar plays guitar like cedell davis. thank god! he is a treasure. so cool that even peter buck from REM recorded and toured with him. currently resides in a nursing home in helena, arkansas. if you like fat women, come on down to pine bluff, arkansas!
20. JAMES DAVIS - JAMES' BOOGIE : FROM 'GEORGIA BLUES TODAY' LP, FLYRIGHT (UK), 1981
*amazing fife-and-drum-inspired chicken-scratch guitar from the lower chatahoochee valley in georgia. james is still alive and plays, albeit rarely. music maker just released some recordings that timothy made some time ago. www.musicmaker.org
the LP that this song was taken from was also just reissued on cd by fat possum. www.fatpossum.com
21. JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL - ROLLING and TUMBLING : FROM 'FEELIN' GOOD' LP, HIGH WATER, 1990, DAVID EVANS
*from the Handy Award winner and granddaughter of legendary musician Sid Hemphill (who was first recorded by the Lomax's in 1942). Jessie Mae carries on the tradition of the Senatobia sound here. She was included on Vol. 1 - and will continue to be included on every Vol. from here on out!
22. RUFUS THOMAS - THE MEMPHIS TRAIN : STAX 45, 1968
*it's rufus. what can you say?! the crown prince of dance and the king AND court jester of the stax sound and memphis scene. this is an all-time classic.
23. COBRA KINGS - NIGHT WALK : BLACK GOLD 45, MEMPHIS, TN (17 YEAR OLD ISAAC HAYES ON ORGAN!)
*all-white instrumental band from west memphis, arkansas that recorded for Tom Phillip's Black Gold label. when i met with johnny phillips while i was in memphis last, he provided the insight that it is isaac hayes on organ. no one that i knew in memphis even knew that. turns out, it was originally conceived as just guitar, bass & drums, but that when it was heard prior to recording it in the studio, the phillip's knew it "needed something". johhny and isaac happened to be in the same grade in high school, even though isaac was older, and they rode the same bus to school together. johnny knew isaac played organ and asked him to come down to the Select-O-Hits studio to play organ on this song after school one day - and the rest is history......
24. BOYD RIVERS - YOU GONNA TAKE SICK AND DIE : FROM 'LIVING COUNTRY BLUES VOL. 11' LP, L+R (DE), 1980/1983
*amazing country gospel from one of the all-time great gospel guitar shouters. this, and the few other songs on this LP, were his only released recordings. made such an impact - and had such a unique look and sound, that his picture was included on the cover of this LP that was released as a compilation.
25. MARIE BOLTON and THE WEST MEMPHIS COGIC CHORUS - THANKFUL (PART 1) : PHILWOOD 45, MEMPHIS, TN
*another great story on this one from Johnny Phillips. this, too, was recorded at the Select-O-Hits studio in Memphis. The day they recorded this 2-sider (as Part 1 on A-side and Part 2 on B-side), 50 people crowded in to the studio and low-and-behold, the air conditioning went out. so after rigging the mikes to the ceiling to get the 50-member group in the same channel, they rushed trhough the song just to keep from passing out from the heat. you can almost feel the heat an intensity in this elictrifying performance.....
26. OTHAR TURNER & THE RISING STAR FIFE & DRUM BAND - GRANNY WILL YOUR DOG BITE : 'LIVING COUNTRY BLUES VOL. 7' LP, L+R (DE), 1980/1982
*always the greatest "closer" to me. i will cherish the times i spent at Othar's picnics, and I always do my best to get back to the Turner Family picnics even now that he has passed. When I can't, i always make sure to host my own "goat roast" for friends, bands and family right here in Portland, although nothing compares to being in Gravel Springs in the heart of Tate County on a hot night in august. The goat or the moonshine just doesn't quite go down the same here as it does there. Othar's fife & drum music is the most intense music i have ever heard and have been lucky enough to witness first-hand.