28 slices of down’n’dirty blues from the Deep South – including eight previously unheard tracks and takes. The “By The Bayou” series leaps to Volume 18 with a return to the blues of South Louisiana, bringing you rare or previously unissued tracks from stars of the genre such as Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo, plus a host of little-known or completely unknown performers. We also have two artists who you would never think performed in the downhome style – Barbara Lynn and Cookie (aka Huey Thierry) – but who sound right at home, with an unknown harmonica player setting the tone on Barbara’s track whilst Cupcakes guitarist Marshall Laday supports Cookie with some mean blues pickin’. In fact there are several tracks here that will have air-guitar virtuosos reaching for their imaginary axes.
The main jazz recordings were made in New York, Chicago, and to a lesser extent New Orleans, but Timeless has produced a series featuring the territory bands. This CD features two fine outfits which recorded in Atlanta during the twenties. Charles Fulcher is represented by two sides recorded for Okeh in 1923, and thereafter for Columbia; five in 1925 (two by his Dance Trio), and one apiece in 1926 and 1929. It's worth noting that all were written by him, including "My Pretty Girl", the most famous version of which was by Jean Goldkette.
Over the course of time, Heavy Sugar has been the title of a song, the name of a radio station, an independent movie and the primary ingredient for a rapturous recipe. How fitting it is that this latter description also epitomizes the ingredients that go to make up Heavy Sugar: The Pure Essence of New Orleans R&B. Just think, if the celebrity chefs of New Orleans were to whip up Heavy Sugar until the peaks start to form, then the hostesses on Bourbon Street would go that little bit further and add any flavour necessary to achieve a creamy finish.
Two dozen rare B-sides from Stax Records’ “blue” period, many reissued for the first time. An enormous and impressive undertaking, “The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-68” box set was issued in 1991. While pleased with its content, hardcore collectors were nevertheless disappointed that it was not as “complete” as it claimed to be, as it featured all the A-sides and only selected B-sides. While highly welcome, its release left more than 100 of approximately 225 “blue period” Stax and Volt B-sides un-reissued in any form. Several of those sides have since featured on CD compilations, either as individual tracks here and there or on Kent’s recent “The Other Side Of The Trax”, but that still left many awaiting reissue. Fortunately, the success of “The Other Side Of The Trax” has warranted this second volume. The 24 tracks here span almost the whole of Stax Records’ blue period, as far back as when the label was still called Satellite.
From the classic blues of Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey to female country blues pioneers Memphis Minnie and Geeshie Wiley, this Rough Guide explores the hugely significant and often overlooked role that women have played in the story of the blues. 'The fact that this release brings attention to this overlooked category is well beyond overdue'.
The second box in as many years of a truckload of obscure British psychedelia. Here are ten more CDs' worth of serious rarities by some bands that barely scratched the surface of the British freakbeat scene during rock's golden era, and a few who went on to other things. In all, there are 128 cuts here, all compiled and annotated by Phil Smee – of Perfumed Garden fame (also issued by Past And Present). While some of these acts, such as the Poets, the Human Instinct, Outer Limits, and Denny Laine left marks on the scene, as did mod bands such as les Fleur De Lys and the Buzz; many others came from the swamp and returned with only these few minutes of glory for all of their efforts.
It’s been 45 years since Hound Dog Taylor & The Houserockers entered a Chicago recording studio to cut the album that would change the face of American music forever. That self-titled release came out in August 1971 and launched an American institution, Alligator Records. Label boss Bruce Iglauer ran the operation from an efficiency apartment in the Windy City. In the subsequent decades, his imprint would issue roughly 300 titles, including releases from Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Luther Allison, and Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials, among many, many others. When quality blues records were hard to come by and majors turned their attention to the latest fashions, Iglauer stuck it out, giving a loyal fan base music they didn’t know they were missing. To see the Alligator logo on an album’s spine meant you were getting something handpicked from a friend who loved that music as much as you did. Maybe even more.