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Akens, Jewel - The Birds and the Bees
(Era EL-110 US-65 EX 275:-)

Doo wop veteran Jewel Akens began singing in church as a child, but was also influenced by the blues joints in his Houston neighborhood. In the late '40s, his family moved to Los Angeles, where - in his teens - Akens sang with a group called the Four Dots. Akens began recording for Herb Newman's Era Records with a group called the Turnarounds. Newman's teenaged son had written a nursery rhymish song about the birds and the bees and the label owner wanted Akens to record it. After some honing, "The Birds and the Bees" b/w "Tic Tac Toe" was issued and hit number three pop on Billboard's charts in early 1965.

Original US MONO pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.
Baker, LaVerne - See See Rider
(Atlantic SD-8071 US-62 EX 800:-)

LaVern Baker was one of the sexiest divas gracing the mid-'50s rock & roll circuit, boasting a brashly seductive vocal delivery tailor-made for belting the catchy novelties for Atlantic Records during rock's first wave of prominence.

SEE SEE RIDER was LaVern Baker's last official album for Atlantic Records. There was a little something for everyone on the album, starting with the raunchy "You Better Stop," highlighted by Sam "The Man" Taylor and Dave McRae's tenor saxes, plus a hint of blues guitar opening the whole song -- very much period "big band" R&B-cum-rock & roll.

Original US pressing; both Sleeve and Vinyl are graded EX.
Diddley / Walter / Waters - Super Blues
(Chess CRL 4529 UK-68 VG+ 375:-)

Complete with psychedelic cover art, this relic from the Summer of Love is an enduring delight.

The bold notion to team blues masters Muddy Waters and Little Walter with rocking rhythm-and-blues king Bo Diddley works wonders throughout, achieving a creative chemistry and energy rarely seen in jam bands of this sort. The vocal and instrumental interplay on every track is intensely competitive in the tradition of jook house "headcutting" contests, with each performer spurring the next on to evermore impressive heights, while soaring through a repertoire of favorites. With the powerhouse headliners backed by the likes of Otis Spann on piano and Buddy Guy on guitar, this period piece remains a fun and refreshing gem.

Original UK pressing; the sleeve is graded EX - the vinyl is graded VG+.
Dupree, Champion Jack - Natural and Soulful Blues
(Atlantic 8045 US-61 EX 400:-)

Champion Jack Dupree had a very long and successful carreer making many albums for many labels. His zenith may have come in the late fifties and sixties when he was signed to the Atlantic label. This album finds Jack's strolling piano and booming voice backed by bass and drums. He sings a touching tribute to his friend in "Death of Big Bill Broonzy" and does a very nice version of the standard "How Long Blues".
Hogg, Smokey - Folk Blues, vol 6
(Time 6 US-62 wos EX 500:-)

Smokey Hogg was a rural bluesman navigating a postwar era infatuated by R&B, but he got along quite nicely nonetheless, scoring a pair of major R&B hits in 1948 and 1950 and cutting a thick catalog for a slew of labels. During the early '30s, Hogg, who was influenced by Big Bill Broonzy and Peetie Wheatstraw, worked with slide guitarist Black Ace at dances around Greenville, TX. Both his chart hits -- 1948's "Long Tall Mama" and 1950's "Little School Girl" -- were issued on Modern, but his rough-hewn sound seldom changed a whole lot no matter what L.A. logo he was appearing on. Hogg's last few sides were cut in 1958 for Lee Rupe's Ebb label.
Hogg, Smokey - Sings the Blues
(Ember EMB-3405 UK-71 EX 275:-)

Smokey Hogg was a rural bluesman navigating a postwar era infatuated by R&B, but he got along quite nicely nonetheless, scoring a pair of major R&B hits in 1948 and 1950 and cutting a thick catalog for a slew of labels. During the early '30s, Hogg, who was influenced by Big Bill Broonzy and Peetie Wheatstraw, worked with slide guitarist Black Ace at dances around Greenville, TX. Both his chart hits -- 1948's "Long Tall Mama" and 1950's "Little School Girl" -- were issued on Modern, but his rough-hewn sound seldom changed a whole lot no matter what L.A. logo he was appearing on. Hogg's last few sides were cut in 1958 for Lee Rupe's Ebb label.
Hopkins, Lightin' - Blues of Lightnin' Hopkins
(Storyville SLP-174 UK-72 NM 500:-)

Sam Hopkins was a Texas country bluesman of the highest caliber whose career began in the 1920s and stretched all the way into the 1980s. Along the way, Hopkins watched the genre change remarkably, but he never appreciably altered his mournful Lone Star sound, which translated onto both acoustic and electric guitar. Hopkins' nimble dexterity made intricate boogie riffs seem easy, and his fascinating penchant for improvising lyrics to fit whatever situation might arise made him a beloved blues troubadour.
Hopkins, Lightnin' - Down South Summit Meeting
(World Pacific WP-1296 US-60 VG+ 300:-)

From an historical stand point this recording session is important because it marks the first time that Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee entered a studio with Hopkins. It was recorded mostly at The Ash Grove, in LA, late one evening, as Hopkins, Big Joe Williams, Terry, & McGhee sat down and played. Many of the songs have been released on one of the artists albums, while others were not. The cuts are raw and wonderful with trade offs between the artists.

Original US MONO pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded VG+.
Jackson, Chuck - Teardrops keep Fallin'
(V.I.P. VS-403 US-70 VG+ 300:-)

He's relatively forgotten today, and his brand of uptown soul is dismissed by the relatively vocal clique of critics who prefer their soul deep and down-home. But Chuck Jackson was a regular visitor to the R&B charts in the early '60s. His records were very much of a piece with New York pop/rock-soul production, with cheeky brass, sweeping strings, and female backup vocalists.

A rare album from Chuck Jackson on the Motown subsiduary label V.I.P.; includes the track played on the Northern Soul scene 'Have You Heard About The Fool'.
Jefferson, Blind Lemon - Classic Folk Blues
(Riverside RLP-12-125 US-57 VG 500:-)

Country blues guitarist and vocalist Blind Lemon Jefferson is indisputably one of the main figures in country blues. He was of the highest in many regards, being one of the founders of Texas blues (along with Texas Alexander), one of the most influential country bluesmen of all time, one of the most popular bluesmen of the 1920s, and the first truly commercially successful male blues performer.
Johnson, Ella - Swing Me
(Mercury MG-20347 US-56 VG+ 400:-)

Ella Johnson made her mark as the vocalist with Buddy Johnson's big band during the '40s and '50s, and it is in that context she really shines. Although many of Ella's hits are uptempo, it is on ballads and torchy blues that she really brings it together. At her best, Ella sounds like a pouty, vulnerable, and very sexy young girl. Like so much of her life, it was no affectation. The comparison to Billie Holiday is inevitable, but Ella was her own singer.
Johnson, Robert - Complete Recordings
(Columbia C3-46222 US-90 VG+ 700:-)

Robert Johnson remains a potent force to be reckoned with. As a singer, a composer, and as a guitarist of considerable skills, he produced some of the genre's best music and the ultimate blues legend to deal with. Doomed, haunted, driven by demons, a tormented genius dead at an early age, all of these add up to making him a character of mythology who -- if he hadn't actually existed -- would have to be created by some biographer's overactive romantic imagination.

Original US 41-track 3LP box containing every master and alternative take recorded by Robert Johnson, complete with a 48 pg booklet.
Lewis, Furry - On the Road again
(Adelphi AD-1007 US-69 EX 275:-)

Walter "Furry" Lewis was the only blues singer of the 1920s to achieve major media attention in the '60s and '70s. His stamping ground - despite the fact he had lost a leg - was in & around the Memphis scene, such as Pee Wee's near his home on Beale street, with a day job as a street-sweeper until his retirement in 1966.

This 1969 recording captures a relaxed blues session of Furry Lewis, Bukka White, and Gus Cannon that is full of warmth and gentle humor. These unwound acoustic tunes are sung and played neither for dancing to nor for damning you, but instead capture a mood akin to early-evening song swapping among these old-time gentlemen of country/folk blues.

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.
Ross, Isaiah - Call the Doctor
(Bounty BY-6020 UK-66 EX 500:-)

Doctor Ross (1925–1993) was an American Blues singer, guitarist, harmonica player and drummer — a one-man band — who was born Charles Isaiah Ross, in Tunica, Mississippi. Ross played various forms of the blues that have seen him compared to John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson I, and is perhaps best known for the recordings he made for Sun Records in the 1950s, notably "The Boogie Disease" and "Chicago Breakdown".
Shepherd, Kenny Wayne - 10 Days Out
(Reprise 49294-1 US-07 EX 400:-)

More than a mere live album, this collection of impromptu performances, recorded at both established venues and in kitchens and on front porches throughout the American South, captures a rapidly vanishing generation of bluesmen and women singing and playing with the blues musician Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his Double Trouble rhythm section.

Featuring well-known artists such as B.B. King and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, as well as lesser-known performers such as Wild Child Butler and Cootie Stark, this is both a tribute to and a record of the musicians who influenced Shepherd, and a chance to observe the art form that laid the foundations for much of modern music.

Original US pressing; complete with insert.
Shines, Johnny - Country Blues
(Xtra 1142 UK-74 EX 350:-)

Best known as a traveling companion of Robert Johnson, Johnny Shines' own contributions to the blues have often been unfairly shortchanged, simply because Johnson's own legend casts such a long shadow. In his early days, Shines was one of the top slide guitarists in Delta blues, with his own distinctive, energized style; one that may have echoed Johnson's spirit and influence, but was never a mere imitation. Shines eventually made his way north to Chicago, and made the transition to electrified urban blues with ease, helped in part by his robust, impassioned vocals.
Sunnyland Slim - Be Careful how You Vote
(Airway AR-4279 US-83 EX 275:-)

Exhibiting truly amazing longevity that was commensurate with his powerful, imposing physical build, Albert Luandrew's status as a beloved Chicago piano patriarch endured long after most of his peers had perished.

This album contains a variety of recordings cut by Sunnyland Slim during 1949-83 on his private label Airway Records. As is typical of the pioneer Chicago bluesman, he allocated plenty of solo space to his sidemen (which include Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Taylor, Lurrie Bell or Magic Slim on guitar) although there was never any doubt about who was in control.

Original US pressing. This copy has been signed on the front by Sunnyland Slim!
Sunnyland Slim - Slim's Shout
(Bluesville BVLP 1016 US-61 EX 800:-)

One of the finest piano players and vocalists of post-war Chicago blues, Mississippi native, Albert Luandrew first came to prominence playing on the Chicago scene with the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and Muddy Waters.

1961's SLIM'S SHOUT finds this giant of the Windy City in far-off New Jersey, at a classic recording session for the Bluesville label. Here, Slim - backed by the legendary King Curtis lays down favorites like 'The Devil Is A Busy Man,' 'It's You Baby,' and the driving 'Shake It'.

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded Excellent!
Waters, Muddy - Warsaw Session
(PolJazz 2-SX-0634/5 Poland 1982 EX 400:-)

Recorded live at the Congress Hall during the "Jazz Jamboree Festival" on October 22, 1976. This is the 1982 re-issue in two separate sleeves with insert.
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