Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Shreveport Stomp...Ram Records Volume 1....various artists

Sometimes one is reminded that success in the music business isn't always proportional to talent. If it were, then these songs would've been huge hits, and we all would've grown up hearing them. Alas, it was not to be, but thanks to Ace Records, they're now available and preserved for posterity. Ram Records was founded in 1956 by session guitarist/songwriter Mira Smith in Shreveport, Louisiana, which at the time was the home of the wildly popular and influential Louisiana Hayride radio show. Since because of this there was a lot of talent flowing into Shreveport, Mira decided to build a studio and try her luck. Commercially most of these records were only regional hits at best (though some were leased out to larger labels such as Chess) and disappeared rather quickly(the original 45's are rare as hen's teeth), but Ram recorded arguably some of the best rock n' roll, r'n'b and rockabilly of the period. 

This is a fine overview of Ram's output. Several great tracks here, but some of the standouts include both of the awesome Roy "Boogie Boy" Perkins tracks (if you can listen to "Ba Da" and you ain't dancin' around the room, then you be dead), the original version of "Flat Foot Sam" by T.V. Slim, the cool r'n'b instrumental "Red Beans and Rice" by Scatman Patin, the rockin' guitar instrumental "Pow Wow", which was recorded by Mira Smith herself under the name Grace Tennessee and the American Spirits, and last but not least, what is considered to be one of the greatest and most sought after rockabilly tracks ever recorded, the Lonesome Drifter's "Eager Boy". The original 45 of Eager Boy is EXTREMELY scarce, and fetches thousands of dollars whenever one does turn up at auction. It's easy to see why. Awesome energy with a great guitar lick and way cool backwoods vocals courtesy of the Drifter himself.  (text from Amazon review by "El Freak")

  1. Ba Da - Roy 'Boogie Boy' Perkins
  2. Red Beans And Rice - Scatman Patin With Linda Brannon
  3. Cheaters Can't Win - Margaret Lewis
  4. Flat Foot Sam - T.V. Slim And His Heartbreakers
  5. Mailman, Mailman - Sonny 'Golden Boy' Williamson
  6. Come Back Betty - L.C. Steel
  7. I'm Leaving - Linda Brannon
  8. Bow Wow Puppy Love - Jimmy Bonin
  9. Drop Top (Tk 1) - Roy 'Boogie Boy' Perkins
  10. Reconsider Me - Margaret Lewis
  11. Hippy Ti Yo - Bobby Page
  12. Wherever You Are - Linda Brannon
  13. Pow Wow - Grace Tennessee And The American Spirits
  14. Let Me Feel It - Elgie Brown
  15. Girl In The Street - Vincent Williams
  16. Ginning (Tk 1) - Scatman Patin
  17. Baby Please Forgive Me - Troy Webb
  18. What Did You Do Last Night - Rocky Robin & The Riff Raffs
  19. Night Creature - The Run-A-Ways
  20. Anyway You Do - Linda Brannon
  21. Eager Boy - The Lonesome Drifter
  22. Lonesome Heart - Charlotte Hunter
  23. El Rancho Grande Rock - The Star Marks
  24. Lovers Land - Ernest Walker

  25. Louisiana Twist - 'June Bug' Bailey

 available on Amazon

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Blues Came Down from Memphis....various artists on the Sun Records label

This now rare 20 track compilation brings together some of the early pioneers of blues music from Memphis, Tennessee, that recorded on Sam Phillips' Sun Records label. Artists such as James Cotton, Doctor Ross, Rufus Thomas, Willie Nix, Little Milton, Joe Hill Louis, Little Junior's Blue Flames and Jimmy DeBerry.

1 –Doctor Ross The Boogie Disease
2 –James Cotton Cotton Crop Blues
3 –Willie Nix Baker Shop Boogie
4 –Rufus Thomas Bear Cat
5 –Jimmy DeBerry Take A Little Chance
6 –Doctor Ross Juke Box Boogie
7 –Sammy Lewis/Willie Johnson Combo I Feel So Worried
8 –Little Milton If You Love Me Baby
9 –Jimmy DeBerry Time Has Made A Change
10 –Doctor Ross Come Back Baby
11 –Sammy Lewis/Willie Johnson Combo So Long Baby, Goodbye
12 –Rufus Thomas Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle)
13 –Willie Nix Seems Like A Million Year
14 –Doctor Ross Chicago Breakdown
15 –Little Junior's Blue Flames Mystery Train
16 –Jimmy DeBerry Before Long
17 –Joe Hill Louis We All Gotta Go Sometimes
18 –Joe Hill Louis She May Be Yours (But She Comes To See Me Sometimes)
19 –Jimmy & Walter Easy
20 –Little Junior's Blue Flames Feelin' Good