Saturday, March 5, 2011

Howlin' Wolf.........Moanin' in the Moonlight & Howlin' Wolf

This package combines blues giant Howlin' Wolf's first two albums, themselves compilations of his singles released between 1951 and 1962. Apart from two tracks cut in Memphis with Ike Turner, these Chess Studios recordings are landmarks in the development of electric Chicago blues. The Mississippi Delta native's gruff persona towers over "Smokestack Lightnin'," "Red Rooster," "Spoonful," "Evil," "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man," and others that have become standards since being "discovered" by the Rolling Stones, Clapton, The Doors, et al. Almost as influential as Wolf's bottomless growl are the guitar playing of Hubert Sumlin and the writing and direction of Willie Dixon....a weighty slice of American musical history. --Ben Edmonds (Amazon)

1. Shake For Me
2. Little Red Rooster
3. You'll Be Mine
4. Who's Been Talking?
5. Wang Dang Doodle
6. Little Baby
7. Spoonful
8. Goin' Down Slow
9. Down In The Bottom
10. Back Door Man
11. Howlin' For My Darlin'
12. Tell Me
13. Moanin' At Midnight
14. How Many More Years
15. Smokestack Lightnin'
16. Baby How Long
17. No Place To Go (You Gonna Wreck My Life)
18. All Night Boogie (All Night Long)
19. Evil (Is Going On)
20. I'm Leavin You
21. Moanin' For My Baby
22. I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)
23. Forty Four
24. Somebody In My Home

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Robert Johnson...King of the Delta Blues Singers...Vols.1 & 2

If there is a recording that is required listening for every blues fan, it's this one. Robert Johnson wasn't just King of the Delta blues; he was one of its founding fathers, and these re-mastered tunes are as timeless and important today as they were all those years ago. The songs that passed into the blues canon, to be covered by countless guitarists over the years, are here: "Crossroad Blues," "Preaching Blues," "Come On In My Kitchen," "Walking Blues," and more. And on this particular version of this often-reissued recording, there's an additional treat: a previously unreleased version of "Traveling Riverside Blues." One of the most important and influential blues albums of all time has been digitally remastered and includes a newly-discoverd, previously unreleased alternate version of "Traveling Riverside Blues." Absolutely essential. --Genevieve Williams (Amazon.com)

1. Cross Road Blues
2. Terraplane Blues
3. Come On In My Kitchen
4. Walkin' Blues
5. Last Fair Deal Gone Down
6. 32-20 Blues
7. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
8. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
9. Preachin' Blues (Up Jumped The Devil)
10. When You Got A Good Friend
11. Ramblin' On My Mind
12. Stones In My Passway
13. Traveling Riverside Blues
14. Milkcow's Calf Blues
15. Me And The Devil Blues
16. Hell Hound On My Trail
17. Traveling Riverside Blues (Alternate Take)
1. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
2. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom
3. Sweet Home Chicago
4. Ramblin' On My Mind
5. Phonograph Blues
6. They're Red Hot
7. Dead Shrimp Blues
8. Preachin' Blues (Up Jumped The Devil)
9. I'm A Steady Rollin' Man
10. From Four Until Late
11. Little Queen Of Spades
12. Malted Milk
13. Drunken Hearted Man
14. Stop Breakin' Down Blues
15. Honeymoon Blues
16. Love In Vain
17. Ramblin' On My Mind (Take 2)

John Lee Hooker...........Real Folk Blues / More Real Folk Blues

Delta native son turned Detroit and Chicago electric-blues groove king John Lee Hooker had been recording for nearly 20 years (for at least a half-dozen labels under as many aliases) when he cut these tracks for Chess Records in the mid-'60s.

Hooker's 1966 Chess sessions find him working in a band format, which could be a risky proposition for a musician all too happy to meditate endlessly on a single groove and often unrestrained by the niceties of meter and 12-bar form. But with the able and alert assistance of guitarist Eddie Burns, pianist Lafayette Leake, and drummer Fred Below, Hooker stretches out and turns in one of his most expressive and inventive vocal performances. Whether he's loping through the feverish boogie of "Let's Go Out Tonight," ruminating on romance in a sinister remake of his '51 hit "I'm in the Mood," or expanding the genre's very boundaries with the eerie "Waterfront" (a track liner-note writer Chris Morris astutely credits for inspiring Van Morrison's vocal style), Hooker makes you believe every word. This is also the session that yielded the original "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," long a staple of latter-day blues-rocker George Thorogood's act. --Jerry McCulley (Amazon.com)

1. Let's Go Out Tonight
2. Peace Lovin' Man
3. Stella Mae
4. I Put My Trust In You
5. I'm In The Mood
6. You Know, I Know
7. I'll Never Trust Your Love Again
8. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
9. The Waterfront
10. This Land Is Nobody's Land
11. Deep Blue Sea
12. Nobody Knows
13. Mustang Sally And GTO
14. Lead Me
15. Catfish
16. I Can't Quit You Baby
17. Want Ad Blues
18. House Rent Blues