Blues and Popular Catelogue A to L

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Blood, Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears Blood, Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears Winner of three Grammies in 1970, this absolutely mind-blowing album peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. charts, staying there for seven weeks, going double platinum by the end of 1969 and stayed on the Top 40 for 66 weeks. It's actually in 13th place for best-selling albums of all time in the U.S. with about three million copies sold. Arguably, the Blood Sweat & Tears that made this self-titled second album – consisting of five of the eight original members and four newcomers, including singer David Clayton-Thomas – was really a different group from the one that made Child Is Father to the Man, which was done largely under the direction of singer/songwriter/keyboard player Al Kooper. They had certain similarities to the original: the musical mixture of classical, jazz and rock elements was still apparent, and the interplay between the horns and the keyboards was still occurring, even if those instruments were being played by different people.
Bobbie Gentry - Ode To Billie Joe Bobbie Gentry  - Ode To Billie Joe Gentry's first 1967 album is a masterpiece, it's as simple as that. An album of hauntingly beautiful songs penned by Bobbie herself bar one track. The album is an uncluttered, straight down the line collection of smoky voiced gems, mostly with the simplest guitar accompaniment, but with a quirky, almost psychedelic twist on each track. This album can easily compare with Dusty's In Memphis for its sheer intimacy and soulful feel and is certainly in the same league musically.
Buddy Guy & Junior Wells - Going Back to Acoustic Buddy Guy & Junior Wells - Going Back to Acoustic Originally issued in France on Isabel Records 900.510 under the title Going Back, this LP presents one of the best duos in the history of the blues - guitarist Buddy Guy and harmonica player Junior Wells. Over the years, they made many recordings together, but this one is unique. Recorded while on a 1981 tour of Europe, Guy and Wells took a break from their backing musicians and amps to cut this spontaneous, all acoustic set. The results stand in stark contrast to the steamy Chicago blues the duo is best known for. Instead, these recordings are relaxed and personal, with an intimate, back-porch feel. Guy switches between six and twelve string guitars and lays down rootsy acoustic rhythms for Wells' tasteful harmonica lines. The two share vocal duties on the performances as they pay homage to the rural, country blues roots these modern bluesmen share.
Canned Heat & John Lee Hooker - Hooker 'N Heat Canned Heat & John Lee Hooker - Hooker 'N Heat The 1971 release Hooker 'n Heat is a relaxed affair that is split between unaccompanied solo John Lee Hooker tunes, collaborations between Hooker and Alan Wilson and full-blown Hooker and Canned Heat joints. Encompassing a mixture of new material and old favorite, Hooker 'n Heat is surely one of Canned Heat's crowning moments and a milestone in Hooker's legendary career. (2 LPs)
Charley Musselwhite's Southside Blues Band - Stand Back Charley Musselwhite's Southside Blues Band - Stand Back Outstanding '60s electric blues, featuring a young Musselwhite as he finds hones his distinctive harp style, and Harvey Mandel with incredible guitar accompaniment. Vanguard may have spelled his name wrong (on every record hereafter he was named "Charlie"), but this is a very solid debut especially for a 22 year old.
Christine Perfect - Christine Perfect Christine Perfect - Christine Perfect Christine Perfect is a British-born singer who worked with Spencer Davis in the early '60s and later fronted Chicken Shack before going off on her own with this solo album in 1970. By then, she had also contributed to recordings by Fleetwood Mac and became romantically involved with the group's bassist, John McVie. She then married McVie and officially joined the group, for which she served as vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter, contributing some of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits. In 1976, Sire Records issued the first U.S. release of what had been a mega-import of the Blue Horizon 1970 U.K. release, and album called simply Christine Perfect, the maiden name of Christine McVie. You don't need a crystal ball to tell you the album is classic and tremendous – the big surprise is that it didn't go multi-platinum in the States. There are 12 tracks, and "I'd Rather Go Blind," the cover of an Etta James classic, went Top 10 in the U.K. Crazy ‘Bout You Baby I’m On My Way Let Me Go (Leave Me Alone) Wait And See Close To Me I’d Rather Go Blind When You Say And That’s Saying A Lot No Road Is The Right Road For You I’m Too Far Gone (To Turn Around) I Want You Be the first to write a review for this item OR just rate it
Country Joe & The Fish - Electric Music for the Mind and Body Country Joe & The Fish - Electric Music for the Mind and Body A linchpin release in 1967, this album defined the genre known as acid-rock. Led by former folk musician Joe McDonald, the quintet combines engaging melodies with sharp, satirical lyrics encompassing different facets of the counterculture – drugs ("Bass Strings"), sex ("Porpoise Mouth") and politics ("Superbird") – while the group contributes exquisite, subtle support.
Eric Bibb - Friends Eric Bibb - Friends The fifth studio album from modern electric blues guitarist features 15 tracks including duets with friends and musicians such as Taj Mahal, Odetta, Charlie Musselwhite, Guy Davis, Mamadou Diabate & Djelimady Toukara, Harry Manx and Kristina Olsen. Includes the live favorite "Needed Time." (2 LPs)
Eric Bibb - Painting Signs Eric Bibb - Painting Signs

Painting Signs is Eric Bibb's third studio album. Recorded mostly in Kent, England, this album features several new compositions as well as tracks written by major influences in American roots music – Rev. Gary Davis, Pops Staples and Jimi Hendrix. Bibb is joined by bass player/producer Dave Bronze, keyboard player Janne Petersson and Henry Spinetti on the drum stool. The album also includes a live reworking of "Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down" featuring Bibb duetting with the legendary Wilson Pickett.

Fleetwood Mac with Various Artists - Blues Jam at Chess Fleetwood Mac with Various Artists - Blues Jam at Chess Remastered by Ray Staff from the original quarter-inch analog master tapes and pressed at Pallas in Germany.

No introduction is needed for this fabulous release. Just checking out the track listing and personnel says it all. Originally released on Mike Vernon’s highly collectable and revered Blue Horizon label in 1969, this pressing will become a must for all serious collectors.

"This two record set is an outstanding bargain for those interested in some great music, great playing and just a 'you are there' jam session. Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green does a bang up job on a variety of tunes and when he's not singing, one of the other greats mentioned above is wailing...These records are a treat and I'm delighted to have them in my collection...Highly recommended." - Richard Foster, Hi-Fi+, Issue 40, www.hifiplus.com (2 LPs)
Fred McDowell - I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll Fred McDowell - I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll "I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll is an intimate moment between artist and fan that's frozen in time. This Delta bluesman opens a window to his musical soul, telling it straight while sharing those things that touch his heart. This recording is an honest reflection, a sincere look, at Mississippi Fred McDowell, the man and his music. I consider this album a treasured piece of blues music history, the value of which cannot be measured. The album is a wonderful gift to anyone calling themselves a fan of the blues, given by a legendary bluesman who's musical achievements will live on forever." -Pamela L. Dow, Rambles
Georgie Fame - The Third Face of Fame Georgie Fame - The Third Face of Fame Georgie Fame’s swinging, surprisingly credible blend of jazz and American R&B earned him a substantial following in his native U.K., where he scored three number one singles during the ‘60s and a top ten hit with "Bonnie & Clyde" in the States. Fame played piano and organ in addition to singing and was influenced by the likes of Mose Allison, Ray Charles, Booker T and the MG’s and Louis Jordan. Early in his career, he also peppered his repertoire with Jamaican ska and blue beat tunes, helping to popularize that genre in England; during his later years, he was one of the few jazz singers of any stripe to take an interest in the vanishing art of vocalese and earned much general respect from jazz critics on both sides of the Atlantic. This set finds him in a suaver, jazzier vein accompanied by a band made up of the cream of jazz musicians on the U.K. scene at the time. It was at this time, 1967 and 1968, that to much acclaim, he toured as featured vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra throughout the UK and Europe. This reissue was remastered from the original master tapes by Ray Staff at Alchemy and pressed on 180-gram vinyl by Pallas.
Jefferson Airplane - Bless it's Pointed Little Head Jefferson Airplane - Bless it's Pointed Little Head

"Jefferson Airplane's first live album demonstrated the group's development as concert performers, taking a number of songs that had been performed in concise, pop-oriented versions on their early albums - '3/5's of a Mile in 10 Seconds,' 'Somebody to Love,' 'It's No Secret,' 'Plastic Fantastic Lover' - and rendering them in arrangements that were longer, harder rocking, and more densely textured, especially in terms of the guitar and basslines constructed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. The group's three-part vocal harmonizing and dueling was on display during such songs as a nearly seven-minute version of Fred Neil's folk-blues standard 'The Other Side Of This Life,' here transformed into a swirling rocker." - All Music Guide

Joan Baez - Any Day Now Joan Baez - Any Day Now Any Day Now is Joan Baez' all-Dylan album, including a cover of the Richard Manuel/Bob Dylan song "Tears of Rage," first released on The Band's Music From Big Pink. (2 x LPs)
Joan Baez - Joan Baez Joan Baez - Joan Baez Joan Baez's debut album, recorded in 1960 when she was just 19 years old, opened the world's eyes to a soprano so pure and beguiling that the mere act of listening to her – never mind that her music also packed a powerful message – was a pleasure. The recording quality of this record is so pure and perfect, making this a must own for any music lover or audiophile.
John Fahey - The Yellow Princess John Fahey  - The Yellow Princess "This particular John Fahey LP is a personal favorite of many of his devoted fans for several reasons. And although such a judgment is tough, if one were looking to own only one album by this unique guitarist, The Yellow Princess could be the one. The recording sound is among the best of his many releases; at the proper volume, the effect is as if one had taken up residency inside the sound hole of a giant acoustic guitar. The program of pieces is marvelously emotional and varied, with many moments of precisely stated harmonies moving at courageously slow tempos." – All Music Guide
Johnny Shines - Last Night's Dream Johnny Shines - Last Night's Dream "I just got Pure Pleasure's reissue of Last Night's Dream (PP 7-63212), a Johnny Shines LP I've wowed show crowds with for years. My American Blue Horizon edition is good, but this Pallas pressing, cut by Ray Staff from the original analog tape, is much, much better." - Michael Fremer, Stereophile, June 2005 Another wonderful production from Mike Vernon and released on his Blue Horizon label. Engineered and recorded in 1968 by Malcolm Chisholm at the Chess Records Ter-Mar studios in Chicago, the same studio where the audiophile classic Muddy Waters - Folk Singer was recorded. Johnny Shines is at the height of his skills and is joined by the cream of the Chicago blues musicians of the day - guys like Otis Spann on piano, Big Walter Horton on harp, Willie Dixon on bass and Clifton James on drums. Killer sound! "Johnny Shines is the ultimate Delta bluesman, combining the classic styles he learned as a youth into a very personal style, fluent, creative and forcefully talented as both a singer and guitarist." - Jim DeKoester "A forceful explosive blues singer whose strong, vibrato laden voice possesses a range and sensitivity which is rivaled by few other bluesmen." - Peter Guralnick
Keb' Mo' - Keb' Mo' Keb' Mo' - Keb' Mo' "Keb' Mo's self-titled debut is an edgy, ambitious collection of gritty country blues. Keb' Mo' pushes into new directions, trying to incorporate some of the sensibilities of the slacker revolution without losing touch of the tradition that makes the blues the breathing, vital art form it is…his gutsy guitar playing and impassioned vocals, as well as his surprisingly accomplished songwriting, make Keb' Mo' a debut to cherish." – All Music Guide
Keb' Mo' - Peace...Back By Popular Demand Keb' Mo' - Peace...Back By Popular Demand What began as a few protest songs recorded by Keb' Mo' in response to the war in Iraq turned into 2004's Peace...Back By Popular Demand, a 10-pack of tunes about hope and freedom. Amazingly completing this product in a month's time, Keb' Mo' managed to rustle up an interesting array of (mostly) covers. With his rich vocals and laid-back phrasing, the Los Angeles native shines on a bubbly reading of Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free," takes a crackling walk through McFadden and Whitehead's "Wake Up Everybody" and strips Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" down to an acoustic piano duet. Unusual arrangements abound, whether it's the vocals fed through an echo chamber that defines Mo's version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" or the country-blues romp through Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" that's rendered with a healthy smattering of mandolin and fiddle.
Leadbelly - Huddie Ledbetter's Best - His Guitar - His Voice - His Piano Leadbelly - Huddie Ledbetter's Best - His Guitar - His Voice - His Piano The voice, the 12-string guitar, the rare piano recordings of the legendary Huddie Ledbetter, who lived, many times over, every line of every song he ever sang. Here's an in-depth look, through 12 songs, at one of folk blues' most fabled creators.
Lightnin' Hopkins - Lightnin' In New York Lightnin' Hopkins - Lightnin' In New York Another incredible Lightnin' Hopkins performance, this one with the man on vocal, guitar and piano. Recorded at Nola Penthouse Studios in New York City in November of 1960. Reissue mastered from the original analog master tapes by Ray Staff at Alchemy. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl by Pallas. This is another in Pure Pleasure's Candid Series, featuring reissues from an incredible label that met its demise some 40 years ago. The American Candid label has achieved a near legendary status among the critics and the International jazz and blues public. The series was born in 1960 when Archie Bleyer, owner of the Cadence label decided to indulge his love of jazz and blues and create his own line - called Candid. Archie approached Nat Hentoff - a likeable and knowledgeable critic, author and journalist active in New York at the time. Hentoff accepted the challenge of producing the albums and history was made. However, the label went out of business in 1961 and remained that way for a quarter of a century. Then Alan Bates acquired the masters and renamed his Black Lion Productions company Candid. Bates made the Candid titles available again on CD. These Candid titles were very well recorded and the performances generally are stunning. Great sound and music. “Wowsa. This is one GREAT album!…I think when you hear this record you’ll get a good idea why I am so smitten with the blues…For what it’s worth, this Pure Pleasure release destroys the UK Barnaby issues…Highest recommendation.” Recording = 9.5/10 Music = 10/10 – Richard Foster, Hi-Fi+, Issue 41, page 138
Lonnie Johnson - Portraits in Blues Vol 6 Lonnie Johnson - Portraits in Blues Vol 6 Remastered by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios. Blues guitar simply would not have developed in the manner that it did if not for the prolific brilliance of Lonnie Johnson. He was there to help define the instrument's future within the genre and the genre's future itself at the very beginning, his melodic conception so far advanced from most of his pre-war peers as to inhabit a plane all his own.

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