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The Essential Blues Recordings

Steve Latimer 23 Dec 99 - 11:18 AM
Peter T. 23 Dec 99 - 11:31 AM
Wesley S 23 Dec 99 - 11:35 AM
Roger the skiffler 23 Dec 99 - 11:37 AM
Rick Fielding 23 Dec 99 - 12:23 PM
Noah Zacharin 23 Dec 99 - 02:24 PM
Roger in Baltimore 23 Dec 99 - 06:33 PM
longhair 24 Dec 99 - 05:09 PM
Bluesy 26 Dec 99 - 11:31 AM
WyoWoman 26 Dec 99 - 02:21 PM
Neil Lowe 27 Dec 99 - 10:00 AM
Easy Rider 27 Dec 99 - 10:45 AM
Neil Lowe 27 Dec 99 - 11:20 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 27 Dec 99 - 11:33 AM
Neil Lowe 27 Dec 99 - 12:21 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 27 Dec 99 - 02:19 PM
Neil Lowe 27 Dec 99 - 08:55 PM
longhair 28 Dec 99 - 08:53 AM
WyoWoman 28 Dec 99 - 11:08 AM
Neil Lowe 28 Dec 99 - 11:29 AM
Neil Lowe 28 Dec 99 - 11:33 AM
dick greenhaus 28 Dec 99 - 11:42 AM
WyoWoman 28 Dec 99 - 01:03 PM
Stewie 28 Dec 99 - 06:48 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 28 Dec 99 - 06:58 PM
Lenny 28 Dec 99 - 10:08 PM
gillymor 28 Dec 99 - 10:40 PM
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Subject: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 11:18 AM

I realize that some of this has been covered in the Essential Folk Recordings thread, but I thought a blues thread was called for. Here are some CD's that I have that I would consider important to any Blues collection. I would welcome any additions as I am trying to expand my collection and respect the opinions of 'Catters.

Robert Johnson, The Complete Recordings Mississippi John Hurt, Avalon Blues, Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings Son House, Delta Blues The Chess Blues Box Set Muddy Waters, His Best '47-'55, Chess 50th Ann. Muddy Waters, His Best '56-'64, Chess 50th Ann. Muddy Waters, Hard Again Little Walter, His Best, Chess 50th Ann. Sonny Boy Williamson, His Best, Chess 50th Johnny Winter, The Progressive Blues Experiment Johnny Winter, Self titled, Columbia The Slide Guitar, Bottles, Knives and Steel


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 11:31 AM

Three essentials would be "The Friends of Charley Patton" (Yazoo), and the Muddy Waters "Plantation Recordings" before he headed north.
I hear that there is a new CD version of the Son House backroom session also recorded by Alan Lomax (I have an old one).
I think the Newport Festival "Blues With A Feeling" collection is also special (can't remember the record company, Vanguard, maybe?) yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 11:35 AM

I mentioned in another thread this morning "The Blues Project" an anthology of young white blues singers on Electra records during the 60's. It opened up my ears to country blues in general.

I usually try to convince my wife that my next CD purchase {whatever it may be } is one of "The Essential Blues Recordings". Sometimes it even works.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 11:37 AM

In addition :the Paul Oliver 4-LP set History of (Story of?) the blues;Broonzy: Big Bill's Blues, Fred McDowell:I do not play no Rock 'n' roll;Elmore James: the early years;Sonny & Brownie: Long way from home. Oh gawd, you've started something! What to leave out!! I can't spare any! They're all essential!
RtS


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:23 PM

A good addition would be Dave Van Ronk (The Folkways years). One of the first of the white (City) blues players. Technically not as proficient as the flood of players that followed him, but a wondeful collection. Sounds like it was recorded in a closet..but still great.
Rick


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Noah Zacharin
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 02:24 PM

hey rick, if you mean the album entitled 'folksinger' (for some strange reason) that included his version of "come back baby", i say YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. great work from a figure larger than life. also essential is early john lee hooker (before his beauty was co-opted by pop stars who wanted to be able to say "recorded with JLH". this latter comment is probably a little overly cynical, but what do you want. the first club gig i went to was age 15 with a few high school buds. the esquire show bar in montreal, cool club which would periodically lose its liquor licence for serving minors. i was fortunate that john lee hooker was booked during one of those lacunae. i slipped in, sat a few yards from him, was indelibly marked by the truth and sex and power in what he was doing. also need leadbelly. AND REVEREND GARY DAVIS AT NEWPORT is a tremendous reminder of what one man, vox, guit can do. stunning album. that's it for now.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 06:33 PM

Yeah, don't forget the Willie Dixon Boxed Set.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: longhair
Date: 24 Dec 99 - 05:09 PM

Any thing that Lightin' Hopkins is on. Lightin' kinda has his own way of doing things..his own rhythm, he's liable to stretch out a line a few beats longer than normal, or do other things that make it hard to stay w/ him. He's great... MO


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Bluesy
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 11:31 AM

Don't forget Blind Willie Johnson, Dark Was The Night


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: WyoWoman
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 02:21 PM

I don't think one can do without the House of Blues "Essential Women of the Blues," which features artists such as Sippie Wallace, Koko Taylor, Etta James, Ida Cox, Ruth Brown, Alberta Hunter, Ma Rainey, Big Maybelle and Memphis Minnie.

And if I had to pick one out of that number who I listen to over and over, it would be Etta James... ooh, baby, ooh, baby. I have a tape of hers out in the car, but I can't tell you the name of it. Has "Feel like Breakin' Up Somebody's Home," (hey, we've all been there...), " "Step into My Fire," and "Come to Mama." Oh, dear Lord, can that woman SING. I saw her in concert once in an amphitheater north of Santa Fe, and she just sizzles...

(If I believed in reincarnation, or if I could just morph myself into another person, I'd pick Etta James. If you've seen my photo, you'll know what a stretch that would be. But in my heart, there's a great big ol' Etta!) WyoWoman


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 10:00 AM

I'd have to agree with longhair about Lightnin'. He floats my boat. Love to hear him talk just about as much as I love to hear him sing ("Whooo....'Xcuse me miss, for me askin' you this, but who may your good man be...")....and don't get me started on his playing....

John Lee Hooker deserves honorable mention.....and one of my favorites that doesn't get mentioned much (I've noticed) here in this forum: Jimmy Reed.

More recently and electrically speaking: Chuck Berry - not normally known for it - could do a decent job on a blues number. "No Money Down," "Things That I Used To Do," "In The Wee Wee Hours," and (appropriate for the holidays) "Merry Christmas Baby" are more bluesy than rock 'n' roll, Chuck Berry-wise.

Stevie Ray Vaughn and (of course) Hendrix could always give the blues an electrifying workout.

Neil


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Easy Rider
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 10:45 AM

Don't forget Blind Blake and Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 11:20 AM

...Easy Rider's mention of Lonnie Johnson reminded me of a couple more entries in the electric blues guitar-slinger category: Roy Buchanan and Lonnie Mack. Roy Buchanan played so shrilly he had to be deaf by the time he committed suicide in a Virginia jail cell by hanging himself with his own shirt. Check out Roy's When A Guitar Plays The Blues on Alligator Records.

Neil


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 11:33 AM

I have a hard time getting to any of my vinyl so little by little I'm picking up CDs to replace them--Son House, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, etc. I wish I had my Lignthin' LP's on CD, along with my Hooker, Buddy Guy, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bobby Blue Bland, Mississippi John Hurt, B.B. King. Only recently having discovered that blues harp is a more natural instrument for me than banjo or guitar, I wish I had Little Walter, Seigal-Schwall, Norton Buffalo (I recently posted a mostly ignored thread on two recent purchases--Corky Seigal's "Chamber Blues"--not exactly down and dirty, but Seigal's harmonica playing is wondrous, indeed, and I love some of the fusion types of things: blues/classical, trad/classical, bluegrass/jazz).

I think I've mentioned before that I am not a purist...

--seed


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 12:21 PM

--seed.....

If it's blues harp that strikes yer fancy - check out Jack Bruce's "Traintime" on Cream's Wheels Of Fire....a 7 plus minute harmonica jam that'll blow your socks off. John Mayall's not bad either, for blues-based, harmonica rock - if there is such a description. Also, Jimmy Reed mentioned above was noted for almost exclusive use of the three(?) "bendable" notes in his harmonica solos.

Neil


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 02:19 PM

Neil, There are about nine bendable reeds in a 10 hole harp--three are easy, others take lots of practice, particularly the blow bends on 7-10 and the overblow on 6, and, of course, getting all three steps in the possible bends of 3 draw.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 08:55 PM

The article I read must've been referring to the three easy ones, then. All I know about blues harp is that it sounds....good.

Neil


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: longhair
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 08:53 AM

Neil you right about Roy Buchanan he was really good. I have the cd of "When A Guitar Plays The Blues". It's a great album. From the looks of the thread, I'd say you'd just about have to buy every blues recording made! ;^) LOL


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: WyoWoman
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:08 AM

And that wouldn't be a BAD thing...(except for the pocketbook!)

ww


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:29 AM

...amen to that, WW.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:33 AM

BTW, WW...you didn't mention Big Mama Thornton in your "Essential Women Of The Blues" list. Any reason why she wasn't included? Just curious.

Neil


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:42 AM

COMMERCIAL INTERLUDE--Skip this if it offends you

Just about any recording mentioned is available through Camsco Music; if we don't have it listed, send me a personal message and I'll let you know ifg we can get it.

I'm a bit surprised that Bessie Smith and Josh WHite haven't been mentioned. They represent a more citified breed of blues, but an important one in terms of influence.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: WyoWoman
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 01:03 PM

Nope, Big Mama Thornton was just an oversight, and Bessie Smith just isn't on the CD I mentioned. Hey, we can't say everything every time! ;-}

ww


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 06:48 PM

Apart from some of those mentioned above, particularly the complete Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt's 1928 session, the 2 Sonny Boy Williamsons (John Lee and Rice Miller), Son House and Charlie Patton, CDs that I would not be without would incude:

Bessie Smith 'Complete' (10CD)Sony
Howling Wolf box set(3CD)Chess/MCA
Muddy Waters box set (3CD)Chess/MCA
Skip James 'Greatest of the Delta Blues Singers' Biograph
Sleepy John Estes 'First Recordings' JSP
Lightning Hopkins 'Gold Star Sessions Vol 1&2' Arhoolie
Blind Willie McTell 'The Definitive' (2CD)Sony
Various 'White Country Blues' (2CD) Sony
Big Maceo 'King of Chicago Blues Piano' Arhoolie
Blind Lemon Jefferson 'Same' Ace
Johnny Shines 'Standing at the Crossroads' Testament
Little Walter 'The Essential' (2CD) Chess/MCA
Various 'Canned Heat Blues: Masters of Delta Blues' RCA Heritage
Blind Willie Johnson 'The Complete' (2CD) Sony
Hop Wilson 'Houston Ghetto Blues' Bullseye Blues
Elmore James 'Classic Early Recordings' (3CD) Ace
Cannon's Jug Stompers 'Complete Works' Yazoo
John Lee Hooker 'The Ultimate Collection' (2CD) Rhino
ZZ Hill 'Greatest Hits' Malaco
Eddie Hinton 'Letters from Mississippi' Zane
Robert Nighthawk 'Live on Maxwell Street' Rounder
Jimmy Reed 'Bright Lights, Big City' Charly
BB King 'Live at Cook County Jail' MCA

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 06:58 PM

Now to get the indispensable blues collection is gonna cost me how much?

--seed


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: Lenny
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 10:08 PM

Josh White was amazing. His early stuff was not exactly primitive, but it was a long way from Scarlet Ribbons. He was the loudest acoustic guitar player I ever heard, and maybe the best as well.


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Subject: RE: The Essential Blues Recordings
From: gillymor
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 10:40 PM

Vanguard put out a great 2 LP set called The Bluesmen a long time ago that is priceless. It's got MJH (w/ Pat Sky) Son House (w/ Al Wilson), RGD, LH, JLH, Skip James all doing live stuff in the sixties (at Newport, I believe)as well as Muddy, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and a bunch more. I don't know if it's on CD.

Also "Charley Patton, Founder of the Delta Blues" on Yazoo.

Frankie


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