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41. Fess: The Professor Longhair Anthology
$7.98 $5.94
42. Zydeco's Greatest Hits
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43. In Step
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44. Come On In
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45. The Anthology: 1947-1972
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46. Second Winter: Legacy Edition
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47. Ledbetter Heights
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48. East-West
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49. La Bamba: Original Motion Picture
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50. Sky Is Crying
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51. Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues:
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52. Inspiration Information
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53. Live in Cook County Jail
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54. Daddies Sing GoodNight: A Fathers'
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55. The Ultimate Collection
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56. The Road We're On
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57. Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play
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58. King of Delta Blues Singers
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59. Avalon Blues : Complete 1928 Okeh
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60. The Best of Louis Jordan [MCA]

41. Fess: The Professor Longhair Anthology
list price: $31.98
our price: $28.99
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Asin: B00000334U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 24465
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

New Orleans' Henry Roeland Byrd wasn't the most polished of all the great R&B pianists of the '40s and '50s, but even Ray Charles and Otis Spann rarely matched his speed. This superb two-disc set repeats the Professor's signature style--a stomping left-hand bass and a right hand that flies all over the place--on classics such as "Tipitina," "Junco Partner," and "Ball the Wall." It begins in the early '50s, when 'Fess called his band Roy Byrd & His Blues Jumpers, and ends with an incredible, stretched-out live version of "Big Chief" (with Dr. John) and "Boogie Woogie" (with fellow New Orleans pianists Allen Toussaint and Tuts Washington).--Steve Knopper ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Many nights at Tip's
No air-conditioning then, and after awhile you didn't even care anymore. With the Professor banging out the musical equal of both sugar and whiskey, life at that moment was pretty damn good there at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas Street.

Yeah, yeah, you had to be there, but since you probably weren't, here's something for you so you can see what all the fuss is about. A little lagniappe for you at the end, too, with the Professor kickin' it way big with some friends.

Meet you tomorrow at the Camelia for breakfast, cher. . .

5-0 out of 5 stars Rockin' Oldies for the Hardcore Fess' Fan
If you're lookin for a good mix of old school Jazz/Blues tunes, you've come to the right place. Fess' has a good list of classics ranging from hard-hitting Jazz to the soft Blues when you're in the mood. If you've ever wanted Fess' hits on one CD, here you are. Tipitina, Big Chief, Stag-O-Lee, it's all here.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Legend
I have listened to this CD dozens of times in the last few months. Its joyous and uplifting yet still reflects some of the pain in the Professor's life. The little book with pictures and a mini biography that are included are worth the price of the 2 CD set. After listening once, you'll want to head to the Big Easy, stop at Tipitina's, and rub Fess' head for good luck. Those of you who have been there know what I'm talking about. The man is a true legend.

5-0 out of 5 stars hey now baby
I'd never heard note one of Fess' music when I bought this set. My gut said it would be good, and my gut turned out to be Nostradamus. The fact that this guy ever had trouble making ends meet is a testament to how upside down the music industry can be. I try to be sparing with the stars, and there is no doubt that this set deserves all five. This is pure good time music. The man was a party on the piano. I carried the CD with me everywhere I went for the first week I owned it. In my car, in my room, in other people's cars (I insisted, no one complained), in other people's rooms. Jerry Lee Lewis is nothing but watered down 'Fess. Take yours straight.

5-0 out of 5 stars By far the most played CD I own
This music is the richest sounding music the human ear has ever had the pleasure of hearing. From the Hadacol Bounce to Cuttin' out to Tipitina to etc. and beyond, every cut is played with that special Rhumba Boogie shuffle with the Proffessor singing at the top of his lungs. Whooaaahhh Lalalala. A whole lotta uh uh for you. This is the joy music was meant to be. And you too will be a Fess Fan! Just ask Fats Domino and John Bonham. ... Read more


42. Zydeco's Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000003OB9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11714
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable for the price.
When I saw the low price on this CD, I wasn't sure if the quality would be great. Turns out "Zydeco's Greatest Hits" is definitely danceable. A good mix of some of zydeco's masters, including Boozoo Chavis and Nathan & the Cha-Chas. I only wish it had some Rosie Ledet as well. The sound quality is good. ... Read more


43. In Step
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Asin: B00000ICN9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4475
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

In Step embraces blues and rock without compromising the primal joys of either. This is Stevie Ray Vaughan's best studio album and the first he recorded sober. "Travis Walk" offers a heady rush of flat-picking, "The House is Rockin'" is full-tilt roots-boogie, "Let Me Love You Baby" and "Leave My Girl Alone" are sweet blues epiphanies, and the nine-minute instrumental "Riviera Paradise" is a truly soulful mix of blues and jazz. By now, just a year before his untimely death, Vaughan had also tamed his bawling voice into a rich instrument. In short, this 1989 session is Vaughan at his artistic peak. And the four compelling live performances added to this reissue--"The House Is Rockin'," "Let Me Love You Baby," "Texas Flood," and "Life Without You," all from the In Step tour--prove there was no studio trickery involved. It's raw blues-rock perfection. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars His best album and one of my top 5
I knew of Crossfire and Walkin' the Tightrope from the radio, and The House is Rockin' from sports stadiums. But it's the blues and Wall of Denial that blew me away. Buddy Guy's Leave My Girl Alone and Howlin Wolf's Love Me Darlin' (Or is that the real May I Have a Talk With You?) are emotion-tinged rock blues at its best. My only disappointment about these songs was their length. (I envisioned both songs as 9 minute jam sessions, but that would've tired the other bandmates out.) Whereas I liked the original Leave My Girl Alone for Buddy's screaming, Stevie's guitar solo did the trick for me here. As for Wall of Denial, this song transcends substance abuse. Sometimes I get angry at women for not wanting to date me for whatever reason, and I build up my own wall instead of buiilding up a new relationship. While I still struggle in tearing down my wall the way Stevie tore down his in late '86 and early '87, I know that it's going to "tumble down to the ground" eventually. As for the extra tracks, they speak for themselves. I don't have Soul to Soul yet (don't ask me why), so before I bought the remastered In Step, my only way of hearing Life Without You was in the snippet on VH1 Legends where he talked about his troubles. After hearing this version of Life Without You, I stood still for 10 minutes because I was so mesmerized by his rap and the two blistering solos where he hit some incredible high notes that I didn't think he was capable of hitting. The first time I played it at home, I sang the opening lyric differently: "Well hello Stevie, tell me how have you been, we all have missed you and the way you grin..." If any artist dares think about covering Life Without You, I wouuld strongly suggest using this lyric at the start. Rave On Stevie, and I'll see you someday at the real Great Gig in the Sky.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, although not his best
"In Step" is often cited by critics as Stevie Ray Vaughan's best studio album. And his playing on this album is actually a bit more economical, maybe even a bit more mannered, than on his earlier releases...whether or not that's a good thing is a matter of taste, I suppose.

The production is a bit more slick than usual as well, the tone of Vaughan's guitar is cleaner, and a keyboard player and occational horns have been added to the mix, but that's not to say that Stevie Ray Vaughan had gotten soft on his final solo album before his tragic death in 1990 - he just turned a little bit more towards rock rather than blues.

"In Step" opens with a blistering rocker, "The House Is Rockin'", followed by the bluesy "Crossfire", which features a superb solo by Vaughan.
"Tightrope" ventures into hard rock territory, but Stevie Ray's cover of Willie Dixon's "Let Me Love You Baby" is genuine blues-rock, and it is followed by a good reading of Buddy Guy's slow, tortured blues "Leave My Girl Alone". Vaughan didn't quite have the pipes to match the intensity of Guy's original, but he does a fine job with what he has, and the guitar playing is superb as usual.

"Travis Walk" is a funky, up-tempo instrumental with some great drumming by Chris Layton (who, incedentally, used to play drums for Buddy Guy and Lightnin' Hopkins). "Wall Of Denial" is pretty well known, but it is perhaps one of the lesser tracks on this album, with some fine guitar playing but not much in the way of either hooks or a real "groove" to grab a hold of the listener.

"Scratch n' Sniff", however, is a fine up-tempo rock song with some excellent boogie piano fills by keyboardist Reese Wynans, and a great solo by Vaughan.

Stevie Ray Vaughan can't quite pull off Howlin' Wolf's "Love Me Darlin' (May I Have A Talk With You)", but if you aren't familiar with the original, this version will actually sound pretty great, I guess. And finally, the original "In Step" album winds down with the excellent nine-minute instrumental "Rivera Paradise", a slow, moody piece.

The five extra tracks begin with a short interview snippet. The remaining four songs are all live performances: "The House Is Rockin'" and "Let Me Love You Baby" from "In Step", "Texas Flood" from Vaughan's 1983 debut album of the same name, and "Life Without You" from "Soul To Soul".
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a terrific live performer, and it's pure joy to listen to the raw, fiery live versions of the two songs from this album, which to me work better than the originals.

Highly recommended, as are all Vaughan's studio albums (although I don't agree with those who call it his best).
You should also check out the excellent "Live Alive" and "Live At Montreux 1982 And 1985", by the way.

5-0 out of 5 stars The first three were great, but "In Step" made him a legend
"In Step" was released in the summer of 1989, and it was his first album sober. Stevie's singing and songwriting improved by leaps and bounds from "Texas Flood", and Double Trouble had gotten more involved in the songwriting process, writing Stevie's only number one hit, "Crossfire." It's a band-oriented album, instead of just showing off Stevie's extraordinary talents, which it does do quite frequently. It is such a powerful record, and so intriguing to listen to Stevie confess so openly about his use of drugs through songs like the funky "Tightrope" and "Wall Of Denial". These songs also produce two of the best solos he has the album. He also has fun as well, with rockers like "The House Is Rockin'" and "Scratch-N-Sniff". However, it the closer, "Riviera Paradise", that takes the cake. This quiet instrumental sounds like, as Stevie has described it, "praying through the guitar." For the expanded edition, there is a small interview about how he quit the last job he ever had, and four live songs, "The House Is Rockin'", "Let Me Love You Baby", "Texas Flood", and "Life Without You", which all absolutely smoke. If only Stevie could have lived on, then we would have all been in for a treat. R.I.P. SRV.

5-0 out of 5 stars If God played blues guitar, he wouldn't be this good
SRV was the man. The greatest electric blues guitarist ever. Every cell of his being was permeated with musical genius, every pore oozed the blues. One of the greatest gifts Texas ever gave to the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of Stevie Ray's Best!
In Step is one of Stevie Ray Vaughan's best studio albums. I do like Texas Flood much better,his guitar was alot rawer and it sounded more soulful and real. In Step sounds way to good,rumor has it Stevie Ray was using dozens of amps on this studio album to get the perfect sound. I do love In Step for what it is I actually have the orginal CD without the bonus tracks. I think the orginal sounded wonderful I have not heard the CD with the bonus tracks. I think In Step was a turning point for Stevie to expand his sound and make it beautiful. In Step became one of the biggest radio hits. Thats where I first heard The House Is A Rocking one of my favorite songs. I also heard Crossfire, and Tightrope over and over on the radio.

Thats where I got started with In Step I loved all the songs on the radio so I bought it. For having a fake sound Steive never lost the blues. He still had the blues on Leave My Girl Alone with a more softer tone. I always loved Stevie Ray's studio albums but no one could compare to him when he was LIVE. I think for most In Step is a great way to get started with Vaughans music. Their still is his classics like Couldn't Stand The Weather, and Texas Flood. I always have stated In Step as One Of Stevie Ray's Best. This is a must have for anybody ready to listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Highly Recomened! ... Read more


44. Come On In
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000008UMZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5954
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Now, here's what you call a break from tradition. After bridging the gap between punk and blues on his collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside ventures into the world of beats and grooves with Come On In, a series of remix projects with producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Foo Fighters). The cynics among you may smell opportunism, but Rothrock is sensitive and respectful enough to Burnside's originals to do them proper justice. Even the 4/4 high hat and filtered sound effects of "Rollin' Tumblin'" sound appropriate to the music at hand. Though these treatments--largely instrumental--erase the most of the presence of Burnside's searing vocals, Burnside and Rothrock's adventurousness will win over most to their progressive-thinkin' boogie chillun'. --Justin Hampton ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rock On Old Timer!
This CD blew my socks off the first time I heard it. Especially the third track Let My Baby Ride. We can only wish that more people will get the chance to hear the rocking blues of R.L. Burnside. Just think he is probably old enough to be your Grandfather and he just might take credit for it too! You must buy this CD!

5-0 out of 5 stars Burnside had the guts to shake up the blues: awesome.
Mr. Burnside decided to shake some of the cobwebs out of the blues genre, and probably p.o.'ed some purists in the process. If you can get through the loss of some of the purity of blues, this is one tremendous disc.

There are a few non-altered pieces on the disc, and the live version of the title song will stick in your head like flypaper, as will the next track, ``Let My Baby Ride'' with the man himself sampling his last name. The other outstanding track is the remixed version of ``Rollin' Tumblin' ''.

What confuses most people who like the blues is that the music isn't supposed to be so upbeat. But that's what makes this disc breathe - the fact that it goes against the grain. Burnside had the guts to take on not only his music, but an entire genre and twist and shape it into something foreign - and the results are wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Come on in!!
I just got done listening to this Cd and man oh man it's cool. I really didn't think that I would like it all that much, boy was I wrong. It is every bit as cool if not more than Wish I Was in Heaven Sittin' Down and evern harder edged> This is the kind of album you need to play really loud.

3-0 out of 5 stars Probably not for the blues purists, but...
...but for those of us who's eclectic tastes *include* the blues, there's a lot to like in this album. There are some sections of briliancy ("Let My Baby Ride" and "It's Bad You Know" both just rock), and some sections that were a little repetitious for me.
The North Mississippi All-Stars album Shake Hands with Shorty sounds like what you'd get if you gave an old R.L. record to a garage rock band. This album sounds like what you get when you give that same record to a techno DJ. There's a lot of sampled cuts looped together and layered under electric guitar and drums. Some vocals are re-mixed in as well.
Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something different.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blues with a twist
Labels, labels. What do we label this album? Blues? Techno? Techno-blues? Labels like these are too narrow for me. This is good music. I love blues and I also love techno; but I wouldn't call this techno just because it makes good use of loops. It's blues with a twist. It's a great musician and his producer exploring their talents.

I have many friends who aren't big blues fans, but they're always asking me to play this album. The beats are very fun and make you want to just get up and dance. I think the best blues shows are the ones that really move your body, and this album does just that. If you're a blues fan with an open mind, or just a music fan with an open mind, you'll find this album in your CD player more often than not. ... Read more


45. The Anthology: 1947-1972
list price: $29.98
our price: $26.99
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Asin: B00005NHLY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2776
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Muddy Waters should need no introduction. Not only did he provide a name for the world's greatest rock & roll band, but he also created the Chicago electric blues sound that's dominated the genre since he first hit the windy city in the late 1940s. His bands also featured what would become a who's who of electric blues: Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and the list goes on. The Anthology covers Waters's most important period: his first years at Chess through the late 1960s. All his best-known songs are featured in their definitive versions, providing the perfect introduction to a blues master who doesn't need one. --Mike Johnson ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential and Influential
This is a new 2 cd anthology which covers Muddy Waters aka McKinley Morganfield's Aristocrat and Chess material from 1947-72. There have been a number of Muddy Waters compilations in the past few years. This set is better buy than the "His Best Vols 1 & 2" compilations. This set contains 50 songs as opposed to 40 on the "His Best" compilations. This anthology contains less material than the Muddy Waters 3 cd box set but the tapes have been remastered for better sound since the box set was released. However, this anthologys fails to include 2 songs from the "His Best" compilations which are among my favorites "She's Into Something" and "You Need Love". The latter song provided the inspiration for Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". A drawback to this set is there are a few "rarities" which I would have deleted in favor of the aformentioned songs and other favorites like "Blow Wind Blow" (covered by Eric Clapton), "Tell Me Baby" (covered by the Rolling Stones), "I Got A Brand On You" (covered by Johnny Winter), and "Tiger In Your Tank". In addition the second disk clocks in at around 71 minutes, so space was available for more songs. However, this is still an essential compilation.

The music is electric Chicago Blues at its finest. Among the sidemen who appear are Little Walter, Walter Horton, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, Jimmy Rogers, Mike Bloomfield, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and many others. This music has influenced the previously mentioned artists as well as such people as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Canned Heat, Rory Gallagher, The Allman Brothers Band, Savoy Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and many others. Blues classics such as "Mannish Boy" "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man", "Got My Mojo Working", "Trouble No More" and others have become staples of both blues and blues/rock performers. Other well known cuts include "Honey Bee" (covered by Stevie Ray Vaughn), "I'm Ready" (covered by Humble Pie), "You Shook Me" (covered by Led Zeppelin), "I Just Want To Make Love To You" (covered by Foghat), "The Same Thing" (covered by the Allman Brothers Band), and "Still A Fool", "I Want To Be Loved" and "Look What You've Done" (all covered by the Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones even named themselves after one of Muddy Water's songs "Rollin' Stone" included here. This just scratches the surface of the influence Muddy Waters and his music had on musicians and blues fans alike. If you want a good overview of the Chess years this is an essential compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Muddy's best
This is a comprehensive two disc set of the man who defined Chicago blues. Muddy Waters started out in the Delta working as a guitar playing farm hand but moved to Chicago in the 40's, where he took his delta styled playing and plugged in to make a new music that was loud, raucous, and yet retained the subtleties of the Delta. His powerful voice and his slippery slide-guitar influenced the rock and roll generation of Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, who took both their name and their hit "Satisfaction" from Muddy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Whooooeeeee! I finally got this great CD compilation!
I've been dropping hints for about two months to my wife that I wanted this 2 CD set for Christmas. I'll drop the cash for a silly PlayStation 2 game for my son, but I won't spend even half of that to buy this CD for me. Well, my wife was listening because I got it for Christmas and I've been playing it non-stop for two days! The two CDs do a great job of following Muddy's ascent from acoustic guitar backed by bass in the late '40s and early '50s to his electrification that helped shape what we now know as Chicago Blues. All of the tracks are taken from the Chess/MCA recordings, and anything he recorded from '72 until his death 11 years later is missing. But that's OK, I've got most of those CDs anyway... This compilation is put together chronologically and, for once, it's put together with some intelligence. There's not an ounce of filler on either CD, and they use up the available time a CD provides -- CD 1 has 26 tracks and CD 2 boasts 24. CD 1 is great layin' in bed and drifting off to sleep music. CD 2 is great slip-in-my-truck-CD-player material and got me to work in a GREAT mood this morning! I highly recommend this for anyone who doesn't know Muddy's music, or who wants some quality audio -- no muffled sound, peaks and dips, just consistent, high-quality folk/blues and down dirty boogie blues that made McKinley Morganfield the definitive King of the Blues (sorry, B.B., I love ya, but Muddy is the Man!).

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb collection
The handsomely packaged three-disc Chess Box remains the ultimate Muddy Waters-collection, but this amazingly low-priced double-disc anthology is not far behind.

It manages to collect almost all of Waters' best songs, from his early acoustic sides with just bassist Ernest 'Big' Crawford for company, to his hard-rocking 50s and 60s cuts, including literally all the must-have classics:
"Got My Mojo Working" and "Hoochie Coochie Man" are here, as well as "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had", "I Love The Life I Live", "I Just Want To Make Love To You", "I Want To Be Loved", "Honey Bee", "I'm Ready" and "I Can't Be Satisfied".

You can't go wrong with this sublime, well annotated collection of Waters' tough, swaggering blues. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any blues lover
This 2-disk compilation is, very likely, the best blues that you will ever hear. I've been collecting blues CD's for many years, and am kicking myself for waiting this long to get something from Muddy Waters.

The other reviews here are excellent, and I am grateful to Steve and Jef for steering me in the right direction, by suggesting that I get this particular compilation. There are many Muddy compilations out there, and I have to say that this one is excellent. Every song is a gem, and I've been listening to it over and over since I got it. I was surprised at the number of songs that I recognized... most of us are Muddy Waters fans, and don't even know it.

If you love the blues, and particularly guitar blues, then you must get this CD. Believe what the other reviewers have said, this compilation is THAT good. ... Read more


46. Second Winter: Legacy Edition (Bonus CD)
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our price: $26.99
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Asin: B00064ADR0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2467
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47. Ledbetter Heights
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002L3P
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6917
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars He's Got The Blues
Kenny Wayne Shepherd came on the blues scence with his first debut album Ledbetter Heights proving us all he's the next best young blues guitarist. Ledbetter Heights is filled with blues on songs like Deja Voodoo, and Shame, Shame, Shame. Their is also some slide guitar on Aberdeen. He does Stevie Ray Vaughan's cover on here also titled Im Leaving You (Commit A Crime). Ledbetter Heights is better than Trouble Is...the guitar playing is better I personally think. Kenny Wayne also does a slow song live titled While We Cry its alot like Lenny or Little Wing still has power. Ledbetter Heights is one of the best blues albums for any guitarist Highly Recomened!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great debut album
Ledbetter Heights is a very strong debut album from Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Shepherd's guitar style is very reminiscent of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan. Most of the material here is very strong. The opening tracks "Born With A Broken Heart" and "Deja Voodoo" received extensive airplay on AOR radio and are both excellent tracks featuring Shepherd's outstanding playing. Other strong tracks include the slow blues of "Shame, Shame, Shame", the soulful "Riverside", and the driving "Aberdeen". His version of Howlin' Wolf's "I'm Leaving You (Commit A Crime) is also an excellent track. However, the best example of Shepherd's playing may be on the slow live track "While We Cry" and the killer ending title track which sounds like it would fit in nicely on Vaughan's Texas Flood album. Other tracks such as "Everybody Gets The Blues" and "What's Goin' Down" are decent, but not as strong as the rest of the album. A great debut, highly recommended to fans of blues guitarists such as SRV as well as the new breed of blues players like Jonny Lang.

3-0 out of 5 stars eh... not great
I didn't care too much for this album, i'd rather listen to SRV than KWS... his playing definitely shows his SRV influence... but when it comes to the blues you'd be better off checking out Rory Gallagher, Kim Simmonds + Savoy Brown, Buddy Guy's Stone Crazy album... there are much better blues albums out there with better playing and vocalists... so i wouldn't start here.
and hey logan... this cd was, i believe, released in '95... and Yellow Ledbetter, by Pearl Jam was written in either '91 or '92, which means Pearl Jam didn't rip off KWS...

5-0 out of 5 stars ROCK ON KENNY
adam pate ur a freaking idiot pearl jam ripped off kenny wayne man look and the dates smart one this album is great recomended for guitar players

3-0 out of 5 stars decent
just my opinion, but i think his next effort "trouble is.." is a better cd. nevertheless it is a good cd. my fav tune is the first one "born with a broken heart" in all of the songs you can hear srv's influence which isnt a bad bluesman to emulate. kws is a talented bluesman himself which is why i own all of his cd's. ledbetter heights is decent im not sorry i bought it ... Read more


48. East-West
list price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002GZ3
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5622
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

If the Butterfield Blues Band's groundbreaking debut earned the respect of the group's elder influences, this one won over (and guided) the blues boys' psychedelic peers. Highlighted by the 13-minute-plus title track (an Eastern-influenced jam cowritten by guitarist Mike Bloomfield), East-West stretches the boundaries of the blues. It would prod many lesser groups to explore, with generally dreary results, interminable free-flight explorations. But while East-West and a cover of jazzman Cannonball Adderly's "Work Song" ventured in new directions, Paul Butterfield and company remained rooted in solid Chicago blues. East West presents the best of both worlds.--Steve Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars This album (circa 1966) sounds as if was recorded yesterday
I first listened to this album in 1972 -- six years after it was first recorded. It was my first introduction to the Chicago blues (although, at the time, I would not have known the difference between the Memphis Blues, the Chicago Blues and the color blue). Predictably, given the times, I was most impressed by "East West," which had a kind of psychdelic tinge to it.

Since then, I have listened to a lot of blues -- B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson -- and, although I do pretend to have any expertise, I began to appreciate the blues. In any event, I completely forgot about the Butterfield Blues Band.

Then, recently, while browsing through the used CD stacks at my local music store, I happened upon the album and, recalling it fondly, purchased it for $5.95.

The album still sounds as fresh and as innovative as the first time I heard it more than a quarter-century ago. Although I still like "East West," now (at age 45) I am more impressed with "Work Song," "I got a Mind to Give Up Living" and "Never Say No." Mike Bloomfield truly is the foremost white blues guitarist of all times. And, although Paul Butterfield may lack the virtuosity of John Popper of Blues Traveller, he has more soul.

3-0 out of 5 stars Butter is the greatest, but this album is his weakest
The Butterfield Blues Band is my favorite group of all time. I've listened and learned from Paul and co. since 1966 with the release of their first album, which in my opinion, is one of the top five albums ever recorded in the history of man. However, the second album, East-West, left a lot to be desired. It's simply a matter of taste. I don't care for prolonged solos, which was prevalent in the 60's and early 70's. Work Song and East West are claimed by many to be groundbreaking--I thought they were poor. I appreciate the fact that the band was experimenting, but I hated the experiment. In fact, most of the other songs are average (by Butterfield's standards). Get out of my Life, Woman/ Mary, Mary/ Walkin' Blues/Never Say No are some of Butterfield's more unremarkable songs. The one exception is 'Ive Got a Mind to Give Up Livin' which is flawless. As I said earlier, Butterfield is in a class by himself--and even his weaker work is wonderful. But if I were to introduce someone to Paul's music, I wouldn't use the East-West album. Much better choices would be 1) Paul Butterfield's Blues Band (1st album), 2) The Lost Sessions, 3) Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw,4) Anthology, or 5) Paul Butterfield-Live.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Morphing of Electric Blues Into Psychedelic Rock
The psychedelic rock revolution of the late 1960s had several sources, but probably the most important was electric blues music. A lot of young white rock musicians of that era cut their musical teeth on covers of traditional African American blues
songs, finding in that material a liberating emotional authenticity as well as a simple yet flexible 12-bar, 3-chord improvisational format. Gradually, electric blues morphed into psychedelic hard rock. East West was one of THE seminal albums that led and marked this transition.

The Butterfield Blues Band started out as a straight-ahead Chicago electric blues ensemble. If you're a blues purist, you will prefer their first album. But on East West, the band has clearly come under the influence of, ahem, mind-expanding substances. There are several traditional electric blues numbers here, but there are also several tracks that stretch the boundaries of the blues genre.

The band was remarkable for the work of two great soloists. Paul Butterfield was an outstanding harmonica player (as well as a decent vocalist), and Michael Bloomfield was an awesome guitarist. On this album, both get a chance to display soulful originality as well as technical chops. Unlike a lot of 1960s blues rock musicians, Butterfield and Bloomfield still sound fresh and unique today. In particular, Bloomfield's solos on "I've Got A Mind to Give Up Living", "Work Song", and "East West" have a modal quality totally unlike any of the other blues rock guitar gods of his era. The contrast between Bloomfield's complex droning runs and second guitarist Elvin Bishop's more traditonal lick-based solos are stunning.

Paradoxically, the most revolutionary song on this album--the extended Indian raga-like instrumental jam "East West"--is perhaps the most dated cut. But if you can somehow remember what the musical context was way back in 1966, you will appreciate this album for what it is--a brilliant precursor to the psychedelic blues rock sound that would emerge as the dominant rock music of the late 1960s.

5-0 out of 5 stars Instrumental Masterpieces of the late 60's
There were only a few. Jeff Beck on Rice Pudding. Apricot Brandy by the Rhinoceros. In Memory of Elizabeth Reid by the Allman Brothers. Samba Pa Ti by Santana. And East West by the Butterfield Blues Band was the best.
And of course Booker T. & the MG's. And King Curtis. But the rock tracks were always special because there were so few.
If you don't know this track, I envy you because you have it to look forward to hearing for the first time.

5-0 out of 5 stars East-West is a guitar Mecca
By now it seems like everything in music has been tried and done - or overdone - and most of it badly. But back in 1966 when this album debuted, it was nothing less than astonishing. A mixed-race band? A white guy singing blues like nobody's business? A Jewish kid and a southern farmboy sounding like Robert Johnson on guitars? None of us had heard anything quite like it and it gave me, a 15-year-old rock&roll wannabee guitar player, something to focus on.

Right out of the chute, this is a strong album. Opening with "Walking Blues", the BBB struts their stuff with strong vocals, soulful harmonica, and wicked guitar. "I've Got a Mind to Give up Living" was most people's first taste of what Michael Bloomfield could do - simply a stunning blues solo to cap off a great twelve-bar blues.

The album highlight, in my opinion, is their rendition of "The Work Song". Always a great jam song, they carried it to new heights. Bloomfield plays a dizzying guitar solo for 4 verses; Butterfield smokes 2 verses on his harp; Mark Naftalin follows with an understated organ solo; Elvin Bishop gets down & dirty for 4 verses. Then it really gets good; trading off every 2 bars, the musicians rotate for a few verses, each time upping the ante on each other as the song intensifies before resolving into a final melody verse. Whatta song!!!

Noteworthy on side 2 is Elvin Bishop's singing and playing on the sultry "Never Say No". Who knew he could sing?

Finally, the album culminates with the title song "East-West", one of those 60's long-songs which were oftentimes wretched excess, but this one keeps your interest. For 5 minutes or so, guitar and harmonica imitate an Indian raga in a slowly building crescendo. Sudden break, and the music becomes western, muted, and diatonic scale until once again transitioning to the final east-west blend. Hard to describe -- by the CD and hear it yourself.

While "East West" wasn't on the top-10 decade list for sales, it represented a watershed for pop music -- more maturity, better musicianship, more exploration, more successful blending of other genres.

If you're a blues fan, an Alan Lomax enthusiast, or a student of the 60s progression, this album is a must. Enjoy. ... Read more


49. La Bamba: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B000002LC8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6839
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars My name's Mark Ardelean and I've heard of Los Lobos.
I don't have the soundtrack of "La Bamba", but I have seen the movie. I was watching VH-1 one day and I saw Los Lobos on TV performing "La Bamba". When I watched "La Bamba", Los Lobos played a Tijuana group playing a different version of "La Bamba". Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales, who played Ritchie Valens and half-brother Bob, took a trip to Tijuana. That's where Los Lobos played their different version of "La Bamba". I like the song "La Bamba". It's my favorite song.

5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest soundtrack ever!
Ever since I was a little kid, this has been my favorite CD. It is clearly the best soundtrack of all time. Los Lobos does a great job of redoing Ritchie Valens' classic rock songs. Marshall Crenshaw, who plays Buddy Holly, also does a great job with his song. If there is one CD to buy, this is it. Every song is great. Watch the movie also.

4-0 out of 5 stars RnR Reverence
Los Lobos got their big break when they were asked to re-record (and mime for the movie) a number of Ritchie Valens' biggest hits for this soundtrack, and the production and performances are nothing short of fantastic.

I give it only 4 stars however, because they are covers, and respect must be paid to those stars who came up with them in the first place. But Marshall Crenshaw, who's presently one of rock's premiere songwriters, ably tackles Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping", while Brian Setzer (wayyy before swing came back in a big way) seems the natural choice to cover Eddy Cochran's "Summertime Blues".

Weight is lent by having Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" performed by the man himself, but cover versions or not, the ripped-up, crumpled dollar-bills I used to pay for this album way back when was one of the best investments I ever made.

5-0 out of 5 stars To Nathan
Great movie/soundtrack. Nathan, you refer to 2 different songs. "Over the Mountain, Across The Sea" by Johnnie and Joe, and "Sleepwalk" by Santo and Johnny. Why "Sleepwalk" wasn't put on the sountrack, considering it's relevence in the movie, I haven't figured out.

5-0 out of 5 stars GILLSWEET...
The name of the song is "Sleepwalk" by Santo & Johnny. I don't know if you'll remember that you ever asked this question but there's your answer. ... Read more


50. Sky Is Crying
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B0000027KO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4058
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Released after Vaughan's death in a 1990 helicopter accident, The Sky Is Crying collects unreleased studio tracks from throughout the guitarist's recorded career. In Vaughan's early years, he was a stylist who thought nothing of using ten notes when three would have worked. Rock stardom, cocaine, and alcohol did little to temper his tendency towards overstatement, but by In Step, his last studio album (and first clean-and-sober effort), he'd begun to transcend his many influences to forge a hard-boiled style of his own. The collection documents this passage, starting with unreleased covers of Lonnie Mack's "Wham" and Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" from the time of his debut album. "The Sky Is Crying" was originally cut by Elmore James, but Vaughan's lead guitar owes its stylistic debt to the bluesman who had a most profound influence on his playing, Albert King. The highlights are two tracks cut at the time of In Step--the hard-edged "Boot Hill," with Vaughan on slide guitar, and "Life by the Drop," in which Vaughan accompanies himself on acoustic guitar and toasts a life that would end far too soon. --John Milward ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Life-Changing Event...
That's not hyperbole. Man, I still remember it. It was 1995. I was browsing in a record store and came upon this album. I didn't know who the hell it was-- it wasn't like anything I would usually buy-- but I decided to try sometehing different. I was blown right out of my pants. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I played the tape so many times in 6 months that it started to wear out. It made me want to learn to play, even though I never thought about playing the guitar before-- it was that good, that moving.

Every song on this CD is amazing. How can you talk about good and better when you've reached this level of mastery? You can't. It's like asking which van Gogh painting is your favorite. Still, could you ever buy a van Gogh for under $20?

That being said, there is one song on this CD that is maybe the best pure electric guitar ever recorded: "Little Wing" is a masterpiece among masterpieces. It has it all: such feeling in the slow sections that you cry, such blistering guitar in the power sections that you are stunned, and such subtle mastery throughout that you can hear different nuances each time you listen to the song. Just check out when and how he uses the natural harmonics-- and how he even throws in the Wes Montgomery Jazz/octave work-- each in exactly the right place. This guy wasn't just a guitar maniac-- he was a Master, with a capital "M"-- and on top of it all, he was a wonderful, caring man.

Putting "Life by the Drop" as the last song on the compilation is almost too much for me to handle-- knowing that, when that last note finishes resonating, there will NEVER be any more...

I cry every time I see his bio on MTV-- when I think about that helicopter crash.

There is something wrong with a world in which a man like this gets only 35 years.

I cry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can you see the tears roll down the street...
On August 27, 1990 the sky was crying and then over a year later Jimmy Vaughan released a compilation of studio outtakes of his brother Stevie and it started all over again. The Sky Is Crying by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble displays the consummate skill and depth of feeling that Stevie was capable of expressing.
When I first listened to it after its release I remember the strong sense of loss revisited.

The Sky Is Crying has a choice of songs which represent the various emotional faces which Stevie could present through his awesome guitar playing. It starts with the morbid and bitter blues standard Boothill and closes with the hopeful acoustic version of the Doyle Bramhall song Life by the Drop. Stevie Ray Vaughan was well grounded in the blues both by tradition and lifestyle. With The Sky Is Crying Jimmy Vaughan chose songs in which Stevie tipped his hat to various influences in the development his music voice. From the tender guitar playing of Hendrix's Little Wing to the buoyant version of Lonnie Mack's Wham we can hear the influences on Stevie. Also among the songs covered are the Elmore James song The Sky Is Crying, Howling Wolf's May I Have a Little Talk with You and Willie Dixon's Close to You.

To me all the songs are brilliant and I can't imagine my blues library without this cd, but I would purchase it for Life By the Drop, a song I dearly love. It represents so clearly the renewal which Stevie Ray Vaughan had started on and which was tragically left unfulfilled.

You're livin' our dream, wo you on top
My mind is achin', Lord it won't stop
That's how it happens livin' life by th' drop

For those interested in getting a taste of Stevie Ray Vaughan's music throughout the years this is a cd provides an excellent sampling of music. For the Stevie Ray Vaughan fan this cd is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars Guitar heaven
As Eric Clapton has said, Stevie had a direct line running from his heart to the guitar neck, bypassing his brain altogether. It means he didn't have to think ahead about what he was going to play, it just flowed straight through. This album is a great example of that statement. He OWNS the guitar and utilizes every avenue of his technique and mastery to produce sounds that no other guitarist will ever produce. That sound comes from his daily practicing, his strength and his dedication to his influences. While these are definitely outtakes, I believe they more clearly represent SRV's Texas R&B roots than any other cd. And, while risking redundancy from other previous reviews, "Little Wing" is pure guitar heaven. Those of us who knew him and loved him and his artistry know without a doubt that that's where he's playing now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues At Its Very Best!!!
I believe Jimmie Vaughan was truly inspired when he chose this collection of songs for his brother's posthumous CD. It is absolutely flooring. All the other reviews for this CD shed plenty of light on the most outstanding tracks (Little Wing, Boot Hill, etc.), except I didn't see too much mention on the title track, which I want to focus on. IT IS THE BEST SLOW BLUES SOLO EVER RECORDED! I'm not kidding--I've heard a lot of blues guitar and I play myself, but on that track he hits nuances and phrasing and TONE that just makes me explode, no matter how many times I've heard it (and I've heard it lots)! He takes the five-note pentatonic blues scale and does everything possible with it! One review complained that the song sounds too much like "May I Have A Little Talk With You"--well, geez, how many slow blues songs have been recorded over the past 100 years that sound basically the same? Thousands! Each recording has its own "stamp", and that's what you've got to hone in on in order to appreciate these on-the-surface "similiar" recordings, including the two on this CD. If you think they're too similar, then you're not listening close enough!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars As good as a "real" album
This collection of outtakes from Stevie Ray Vaughan's previous album sessions, released the year after his tragic death, is actually as solid and enjoyable as most of his "real" albums.

It is bluesier than "In Step", recalling his first album, "Texas Flood", and it features an alternative take on the delightful, swinging "Empty Arms" (from "Soul To Soul") and nine previously unreleased songs, including fine renditions of Howlin' Wolf's menacing "May I Have A Talk With You" and Elmore James' immortal "The Sky Is Crying".

Stevie Ray Vaughan's too rarely heard slide playing smoulders on the morbid "Boot Hill" (an alternative version of Elmore James' "Look On Yonder Wall"), which is also highlighted by Reese Wynans' wonderful piano playing.
And Vaughan's guitar playing on this album includes some of the best performances of his career - just listen to that purely instrumental version of "Little Wing", and Lonnie Mack's "Wham" as well.

"The Sky Is Crying" also features Willie Dixon's "Close To You", a supremely jazzy "Chitlins Con Carne", the SRV orginal "So Excited" (also an instrumental), and finally one of Vaughan's best-ever performances, an acoustic solo rendition of Doyle Bramhall's wonderful survivor story "Life By The Drop". Sublime "live" vocal on that one, one of the best things Stevie Ray Vaughan ever committed to tape. ... Read more


51. Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey
list price: $69.98
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Asin: B0000A0VA1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2234
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Full title - Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues - A Musical Journey. Five-CD deluxe boxed set includes a comprehensivecollection of the music from the seven films airing on PBS. A definitive overview of blues, from its earliestrecordings over 80 years ago, to contemporary artists andnew recordings made specifically for The Blues. Music fromthe PBS Series The Blues, executive produced by acclaimedfilmmaker Martin Scorsese. 116 tracks on 5 CDs, plus60-page collector's booklet with stunning photos andilluminating essays. Features introductory essay by MartinScorsese. Gatefold digibox. Hip-O Records. 2003. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent blues primer
This is the "Year of the Blues," and "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" is as important a contribution as anything I've seen so far in the effort to increase awareness of and appreciation for blues music.

This CD box set is not the soundtrack to the video documentary series. Rather, it is a collection of songs representing the blues through the roughly 80-year history of recorded blues music. While there are some artists who should have been included and weren't, and there are a few selections that are really not appropriate to this collection, overall this is an excellent primer for anyone looking to understand blues music and its evolution.

It would be impossible for any collection to include every artist that is loved by every blues fan. However, most of the truly great and important blues artists are here, including Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Virtually every style of blues is also represented here, from the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans to Texas to Memphis to Chicago and even to Africa. And contrary to the assertions of some previously-posted critiques, the Piedmont style IS represented with Mississippi John Hurt's "Frankie." (While Hurt did not live in the Piedmont Valley area, he was nevertheless one of the most important Piedmont stylists in blues guitar history.)

I do disagree with the inclusion of a few artists whom I do not consider to be blues musicians, such as Jeff Beck and Los Lobos. (Jeff Beck is undeniably a brilliant guitarist, but he is not a blues guitarist.) The absolute worst song in the set is Peggy Scott-Adams' "Bill," a terrible song about a woman who discovers her husband in bed with his gay lover. Aside from the fact that the song is just plain awful, it is also not a blues song. I wonder who was paid off to have it included.

There are also a few omissions of important blues artists. Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the most important blues musicians of the 1950s and '60s but was not included. Little Richard was every bit as important to the creation of rock & roll as Fats Domino and Chuck Berry but is not represented. The omission of Dr. John, perhaps the most important blues pianist of the modern era, is inexplicable. More modern accoustic guitarists like John Hammond, Jr. and the incredible Rory Block should have been included (although the newly-recorded Keb' Mo'/Corey Harris cover of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" was almost worth the cost of the box set alone). And if Scorsese wanted a representation of blues-influenced Latino music, Carlos Santana would have been more appropriate than Los Lobos.

Notwithstanding a few flaws, however, this CD box set is an excellent representation of recorded blues history, covering the entire history of the blues and including most of the important artists and styles of this wonderful musical genre. I highly recommend it to anyone who is either desiring to learn about the blues or who is already a blues fan and is simply looking for a good thorough collection of great blues music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent material representing the entire blues genre!
This is the "comeback year" for the blues and "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" as good as good if not better than all blues cds so far. This is really a contribution as anything we've seen so far in the effort to increase awareness of and appreciation for blues music.

The best part is that it's personalized from Scorsese's own liking. People might agree the Rolling Stones should have been included, for instance, but this 116 song piece is not a "best-of the blues". It's more of Martin Scorsese's perspective of what the blues has achieved for America and beyond.

This CD box set is not the soundtrack to the video documentary series. Rather, it is a collection of songs representing the blues through the roughly 80-year history of recorded blues music. This is an excellent primer for anyone looking to understand blues music and its evolution.

It would be impossible for any collection to include every artist that is loved by every blues fan. However, most of the truly great and important blues artists are here, including Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Virtually every style of blues is also represented here, from the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans to Texas to Memphis to Chicago and even to Africa. And contrary to the assertions of some previously-posted critiques, the Piedmont style IS represented with Mississippi John Hurt's "Frankie." Also, Luther Allison and Johnny Winter ARE included also.

There are also a few omissions of important blues artists. Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the most important blues musicians of the 1950s and '60s but was not included. Little Richard was every bit as important to the creation of rock & roll as Fats Domino and Chuck Berry but is not represented. The omission of Dr. John, perhaps the most important blues pianist of the modern era, is near as bad as leaving out the Rolling Stones and their massive love for the blues. More modern accoustic guitarists like John Hammond, Jr. and the incredible Rory Block should have been included (although the newly-recorded Keb' Mo'/Corey Harris cover of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" was almost worth the cost of the box set alone). And if Scorsese wanted a representation of blues-influenced Latino music, Carlos Santana would have been more appropriate than Los Lobos.

Notwithstanding a few flaws, however, this CD box set is an excellent representation of recorded blues history, covering the entire history of the blues and including most of the important artists and styles of this wonderful musical genre.

Scorsese does a great job with the layout of the entire 5 disc set. Included is a color print book with song by song explanations co-written by a Grammy Award winning music writer, and many pages portraying blues from the very beginning(1830's) to today. I highly recommend it to anyone who desires learning about the blues, or a fan simply looking for a good thorough collection of great blues music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not just for the newcomer
This is a box set of 20th Century American music, not the Old Testament! Let the ethnomusicologist completist academic blathering heads debate the merits of inclusion and exclusion - just enjoy the tunes. This is worth it just to have discs for your New Year's Party. Sure Janis was an execrable no-talent and Disc 5 should've been made up entirely of Robert Pete Williams. That guy is so deep blues that I sleep with a kinfe when I listen to him at night! But what is a fellow to do?

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blues
Martin Scosese Presents
The Blues
A Musical Journey

Have you ever known someone that was interested in exploring blues music and came to you asking you for advice on which artists and recordings to start with? If this is a familiar scenario to you and you have made lists as long as your arm of artists and recordings that you hope will steer them on the right path of bluesdom, next time just recommend (or better still hand them) Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues, A Musical Journey (Hip-O Records), the five disc soundtrack to the documentary series that recently aired on PBS. This boxed set is handsomely packaged with a highly informative sixty page booklet that gives you a brief insight into every artist on the discs, along with a break down of every musician playing on each track and a great essay by noted writer Tom Piazza. This truly is a musical journey through the blues, containing over 117 tunes by almost as many artists, beautifully remastered to perfection so that even the oldest of recordings sound like they were cut yesterday. The names and tunes are way too long to list in their entirety but I'll try my best to give an overall and hopefully brief (this I gotta see) overview of each disc's highlights, otherwise this review will run longer than the last Presidential address. Disc One focuses primarily on the blues' entry and acceptance into the musical mainstream of the roaring 20's up to 1930. Oddly enough the disc's opening number "Shortnin" by Othar Turner and The Rising Star Fife and Drum Band is the only one not recorded during that period but serves as a portrait into the roots of the genre and is followed up by a field recording from the Alan Lomax Collection entitled "Long John," which is performed by a group of convicts on a state prison farm in Texas. The first real stars of the blues were women and they are represented by both Smiths, Mamie and Bessie, performing the classics "Crazy Blues," & "Muddy Water," respectively along with Ma Rainey's "Ma' Rainey's Black Bottom," which is probably musical history's first suggestive title. The rest of Disc One reads like a virtual who's who of legends and classic numbers such as:Frank Stokes' "Downtown Blues," Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Match Box Blues", Blind Willie McTells' "Statesboro Blues", Lonnie Johnson's "Guitar Blues" and Son House's "Preachin The Blues." One of the blues' greatest folk tales in the form of Mr. Skip James, who took thirty years off and persued a career in the ministry after his records did not sell well during the early days of the depression opens Disc Two. Considered by many to be a genuis of the early blues, his "Devil Got My Woman," represents that to the fullest extent and is followed by a pair of ultra classics, Leadbelly's "C.C. Rider," & Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go." Disc Two continues its journey through the 1930's with The Lady Day crooning "Billie's Blues," Robert Johnson picking out "Cross Road Blues," and the original Sonny Boy Williamson blasting his way through through his immortal "Good Morning Little School Girl." Halfway through Disc Two we switch decades and are treated to such gems of the 1940's like, Big Bill Broonzy's "Key To The Highway," Tommy McClennon's "Cross Cut Saw," Wynnonie Harris' "Good Rockin Tonight," Louis Jordan's "Let The Good Times Roll," and T-Bone Walker's timeless "Call It Stormy Monday." The 1950's saw the blues enjoy its biggest boom in commercial acceptance and Disc Three is filled to the brim with some of the most memorable and influential tunes that the blues and its artists ever produced. Memphis Slims "Mother Earth,"Percy Mayfield's "Send Me Somone To Love," Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88," and Elmore James' "Dust My Broom," start off Disc Three with a four punch combination that will rock you back on your heels before sending you to the canvas with Little Walter's,"Juke,". This particular disc illustrates the blues giving birth to its baby that they called rock & roll, with Big Mama Thornton's original version of "Hound Dog," (Big Mama made all of about five hundred dollars off this recording and died pretty much broke while some truck driver from Memphis made millions with the same tune, go figure!) Smiley Lewis' "I Hear You Knockin," Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love," Fats Dominoe's "Blue Monday," and the timeless rock & roll anthem, Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode." Also included on Disc Three are classics like The Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin," Muddy's "Hoochie Coochie Man," Bobby Bland's "Further On Up The Road," and Sonny Boy Wialliamson's (Rice Miller) Don't Start Me To Talkin." Disc Four gives us an intricate look at the state of the blues in the 1960's and the influence that it had on both American and British rock artists who were weaned on the tunes of the masters. The Jeff Beck Group's cover of Willie Dixon's "Ain't Superstitious," features a very young Rod Stewart on lead vocals while John Mayall's Bluesbreakers cover of "All Your Love," has a young Eric Clapton playing lead. Fleetwood Mac (gee did they once play the blues?) turns in a crushing version of "Black Magic Woman," with the twin guitars of Jeremy Spencer & Peter Green. Meanwhile back on home soil Bob Dylan tears through "Highway 61 Revisted," while Hendrix converts legions of rock & rollers with "Red House," and Janis Joplin and The Butterfield Blues Band do the same with "One Good Man," and "I've Got A Mind To Give Up Livin," respectively. While the rock genre was enlightening a new generation, John Lee Hooker recorded "Boom Boom," Albert Collins cut "Frosty," and Junior Wells released his signature "Hoodoo Man Blues." Etta James' "Tell Mama," turned a few heads and a new female singer by the name of Koko Taylor who was discovered by Willie Dixon raised a few million eyebrows with "Wang Dang Doodle." The 60's were a turbulent time for America and the impact that the blues made during that period is still being felt today throughout rock & roll. Disc Five begins in 1969 with B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone," and closes with the recently recorded acoustic duet of Corey Harris & Keb Mo doing the prettiest cover of "Sweet Home Chicago," that it's been my pleasure to hear in quite some time. In between these two classic numbers, the 70's,80's 90's right up to present day is represented by a wide spectrum of artists and styles whose music has forever effected the blues' direction. Johnny Winter's "Dallas," Derek and The Dominoes' "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," The Alman Bothers "One Way Out," and Hound Dog Taylors' "Give me Back My Wig," represent the 70's which pretty much was dominated by hard rock and is considered one of the toughest decades for post WWII blues. But, being as hard times is what the genre founded its roots in, the blues treaded water in a swirling sea of hard rock and disco. The 80's are represented by a young man who is credited with kicking the music industry in its ass and making them take the blues seriously again, Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughn. One of his best tunes "Pride and Joy,"is included here along with big brother Jimmie Vaughn's band,The Fabulous Thunderbirds' "Tuff Enough." Also from the 80's is Robert Cray's "Smoking Gun," and a duet of "I'm In the Mood," between John Lee Hooker & Bonnie Raitt from his monumentous The Healer album. The 90's get a well rounded look with Luther Allison's "Cherry Red Wine," Peggy Scott Adam's "Bill," (which is a totally new spin on the old cheating lover scenario) Keb Mo's "Am I Wrong," and Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn." Three other recent recordings in addition to "Sweet Home Chicago," are included with the best being the live duet between Robert Cray and Shemeika Copeland exploding on "I Pity The Fool." Cassandra Wilson's gorgeous voice gives new meaning to J.B. Lenoir's "Vietnam Blues," while Bonnie Raitt does ample justice to his "Round & Round," and Los Lobos does the same to his "Voodoo Music." This is the end of the journey blues fans. Well for now anyway. You can sort of look at this set as one hell of a roadmap to one of the best musical journeys you can possibly make with the rest of the journey being all around you as you read this. This is probably the best chronological record ever assembled of the music that changed the face of American music forever as the selections both mentioned and not mentioned in this review are the best of the best. Alot of you may already have a great deal of these recordings that are included here in some form or another, but it's the combination of the choice of selections and the remastering that make this package a must for every blues fan whether they are just learning about the blues or are already lifelong fans. Being a five disc set can mean it can be a bit on the pricey side, but I found it for around forty eight dollars at a couple of membership warehouse stores and it was worth every cent. With the holidays approaching it would make a completely awesome gift for the blueslover in your life or perhaps even yourself. This is one journey you will want to take several times.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Best Blues Collection?... Hardly....
I don't claim to be a Blues expert by any means, who is? ...but this collection could have been something really special if more of the unknown artists from the past and present were included here. Yeah, we all know about Jimi, Stevie Ray, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, etc. Why do we need to have them represented here again? Some of the newer artists included here hardly earned their dues and a few others shouldn't even be on this recording at all. Oh well..., what can you say except that life isn't fair which is what the blues is all about anyway. That doesn't mean you need to accept this collection as the blues gospel by any means! Where's the Junior Kimbrough and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown? Where's the Luther Allison and James Solberg? I can go on and ask why but what sense would that make? Anyone who wants to own one of the best unknown ripping guitar, whiskey soaked vocals, ultra cool organ & rhythm tight CD's ever, buy James Solbergs "See that my grave is kept clean". If you want something really special, buy anything by Junior Kimbrough. If you want something that we've all heard before with a lot of it being mediocre then buy Mr. Scorsese Presents the Blues. Otherwise, check out the web sites for Shanachie Entertainment, Alligator Records, Blind Pig, Rounder/Bulls Eye Blues, Blues Bureau International/Shrapnel for links into the real blues crossroads where past and future meet head on! Oh yeah, let's not forget about Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher either!! ... Read more


52. Inspiration Information
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Asin: B0000CC833
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 52360
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Inspiration Information, the brainchild of guitar prodigy Shuggie Otis, more than justifies the cult following garnered in the years since its (largely ignored) 1974 release. Son of R&B legend Johnny Otis, Shuggie was a late-'60s celebrity due to his Super Session duets with Al Kooper. Opting out of arena rock -- he reputedly refused an offer to join the Rolling Stones -- the 19-year-old Otis spent three years in the studio generating this one-man opus. His multitracked rhythms recall the laid-back funk of the Meters embroidered with psychedelic filigree, and his voice resembles Allan Toussaint's. But in every other regard, this is singular, sexy music, dislocated in time. Drum machines propel "Island Letter" and the beat-box-plus-organ stabs of "XL-30" predate England's Young Marble Giants by several years. Also featured are four bonus cuts from the artist's 1971 set Freedom Flight, including "Strawberry Letter 23," which was later a hit for the Brothers Johnson. Heard here in its original form (with a surprise prog-guitar coda), the song conveys the impression of "Good Vibrations" being played by a lone musician. Unbelievably wonderful. - Billboard ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A lost gem
Strawberry Letter 23 by the Brothers Johnson has always been one of my favorites. I considered it the perfect song. For years it never occurred to me that there was another earlier version of the song out there. So when someone told me that the original was composed and sung by some guy named Shuggie Otis, I shrugged it off. No way it could be as good as the Brothers Johnson, I thought. My mistake.

I happened to hear Shuggie's version and was intrigued. But fearing there would be just one good song among clunkers, I was reluctant to buy the whole CD. Others persuaded me to buy it and I'm glad I did.

With his futuristic, laid back bluesy yet funky vibe, Shuggie proves to be the missing link between Sly Stone and Prince. Although drum machines are way overdone today, in 1971 it was still relatively rare and Otis puts them to good use. Songs like Strawberry 23, Aht Uh Mi Hed and Sweet Thang could still be considered visionary today.

This CD is a gem. It's too bad the record didn't see fit to keep Shuggie after less than sterling sales. He should have received more recognition and appreciation.

5-0 out of 5 stars if you don't get it, well, try--this is quality
A sure sign of a good album: it grows on you. A sign of a possibly even great album: you sort of don't even get it the first time, beacause it is in its own category, but for some reason you play it again, and you like it better . . . and it grows on you. Shuggie Otis is just musical. The guy has music in his bones. I'm not going to try to compare him to anyone . . . . He wrote "Strawberry Letter 23" if you know that. I don't know if it's true, but I do believe that the Stones offered him a job and I do believe that he turned them down; this album is better than Stones of the middle 70's, with the soul the Stones always revered and aspired toward. His music is laid back and pretty and funky, not mellow though; you want to ride along with the songs. It's like being stoned in a garden. I used to put on this music Sunday mornings when I was cooking a nice breakfast and in the mood for a good day. Now I just put it on when I'm in the mood for good music and a good mood. This is quality, but if you have to read the reviews, it's probably quality that'll take you in a slightly new direction. If you like good music no matter what the style, this is a strong pick. One thing's for sure, the music is not crap. Consider it a test of your eclecticism (an easy test for me in this particular case).

5-0 out of 5 stars a lost classic...
WOW!!! l grew up listening to the Motown greats and somehow l missed this artist. A friend turned me on to it and it is one of my all time favorites. The music is bright and jazzy but soulful and rock too. This guy is a freakin' genius. Thanks to David Byrne for rediscovering and rereleasing this gem. Seriously don't miss it. His version of his song strawberry letter 23 is solid.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great music!!!
A friend of mine gave this to me and I was totally blown away. I was just as impressed to learn about his history. I am just glad that Luaka Bop was able to release this amazing album. After hearing samples of his songs on Digable Planet's "For Corners"(Island Letter) and Dana Bryant's "Cat Daddy at the Shugah Shack"(Sweet Thang), it was nice to hear the original compositions and how time has not really affected them. The string and drum machine propelled "Aught ah mi hed" is amazing as is the original "Strawberry Letter 23". His tinkering with keyboards, drum machines, combined with his playing of traditional instruments is sublime and heartfelt. Beautifully made music!

5-0 out of 5 stars You will love this!
It's worth every star and then some. I don't write many reviews, save for Cds I love- this is easily in the top 10! ... Read more


53. Live in Cook County Jail
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Asin: B0000062Y5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5915
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

One of the greatest concert recordings of all time. How could it be less, with B.B. King performing some of his best material before a literally captive audience in an Illinois prison? "Worry, Worry" and "How Blue Can You Get" take on deeper meanings here, although King works the latter's camp lyrics as if he were in a juke joint. His mix of down-home humility and commanding stagecraft is instantly appealing. And his guitar barks, sings, and squeals with such authority that this is a bravura performance from the first bent, soul-searing note. A true desert-island disc. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars The King at his best!
When people talk about B.B. King's greatest albums they normally narrow the fight down to two albums: Live at the Regal and Live in Cook County Jail. For years blues fans have fought about who is the better of these two blues heavyweights. However any way you slice out Cook County Jail is the clear favorite.

The main reason that I think this is the superior recording is that it captures the King at his peak as a guitar player. This album is the reason he is one of the greatest guitar players ever. In the Regal he depended too much on his horns group, so we didn't hear enough of Lucille.

Then there's B.B. the performer. Something about these 2000 some odd prison inmates gave the King a buzz that night, because he was very loose that day, having fun with the crowd and going through fantastic versions of How Blue Can You Get, Worry Worry, Three 'o' Clock Blues, and (most notably) the always essential The Thrill is Gone. All coming with a flair that only he could have produced.

There are some albums that a blues fan should simply own so that he can declare himself a blues fan. Cook County Jail makes one. Live at the Regal makes two. Both are all time classics, and represent B.B. King at his all time greatest. So if you love great blues, jazz, and soul meshed together, which normally means you love great music, then you must own these two CDs. You ain't a blues fan if you don't.

5-0 out of 5 stars B.B. and Lucille, live and great as ever
Live in Cook County Jail is a wonderful live B.B. King record. I have only two complaints: The songs are soooooo short! Everyday I Have The Blues is like one minute long! The CD ends way too quickly. Also, B.B.'s live records tend to feature the same songs over and over. Several of the songs on Live In Cook County Jail can be found on Live At The Regal, and they're performed in very much the same way. Having said that, though, any live B.B. is great. His voice and guitar are amazing as always, and he has a great rapport with his audience (even when it consists of prison inmates).

5-0 out of 5 stars quite remarkable indeed
i was 12 years old when i first heard b.b. king and it was this exact album.it is still relevalt to me today as it was 15 years ago.this album was recorded live and as such it captures the very essence of a live act,touching and delivering a great emotinal impact followed by a great deal of exitment of the crowd.
it is a rare moment and you can take part in it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues you have GOT to have
I had this record in the '70's. I bought the CD in the '80's and I have never gotten tired of listening to it. This is one of the best all time CDs, blues of otherwise. My favorite BB King CD, and that is saying a great deal. Thank you BB!

5-0 out of 5 stars King Knew He Was Having A Good Day !
This is one of the very first BB records I ever purchased. It stands the test of time as a very great live blues record. What stands out the most is BB's playing on it. Lucille had an amazing tone too. This is a blues record through and through, don't let other less knowledgable reviewers throw you. It's pretty cool he knew at the time too that is was a magical day as he announced "Me and Lucille feel very very good today...". His band is outstanding too. The only down thing I can say about it is that after repetitive listens, Worry, worry, worry seems to drag on. That's no big deal.... ... Read more


54. Daddies Sing GoodNight: A Fathers' Collection of Sleepytime Songs
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Asin: B000000F3B
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6903
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Inspired by 1992's 'Til Their Eyes Shine: The Lullaby Album, an all-female collection of sleepy-time songs for children, Daddies Sing Good Night proves that men are no less tender in nurturing their wee ones. Or at least that's true of these men--including Jesse Winchester, Doc Watson, Peter Rowan, and the late Townes Van Zandt--who wrote the songs for their own offspring, and, in their day jobs, rank among the finest practitioners of folk, country, and bluegrass. In guiding their young charges to dreamworld, these fathers visit exotic lands, lonesome prairies, and even the wide heavens on the gossamer wings of horses. Parental listeners will likely detour into the recesses of their own hearts, in exploring the special bond and soothing strength of fatherhood. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Faithfully puts my son to sleep
Though I'm not a country music fan, I enjoy listening to this CD, too. It's very soothing, and the songs are hearfelt with some truly precious lines. "Green-pea toes" comes to mind, along with "today you have the hands of a baby, tomorrow the hands of a lady."

5-0 out of 5 stars Tender Fathers Sweetly Sing
Such a wonderful collection of loving songs, sung mostly by bluegrass and folk singers inspired by their own children. The words and melodies are both soothing to our baby and also so moving to her parents. Truly our favorite lullaby cd-- I would buy it for any parents who like good, folksy music and who have tender hearts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Our *favorite* lullaby CD!
This is absolutely our favorite lullaby CD. Adults can enjoy the music as much as children can! We played this CD on the way home from the hospital with our son, and love it as much now that he is 6 months old as we did then. Some of the songs, such as "Little One," bring tears to my eyes, while my husband has a great time singing "My Little Buckaroo," to our son. A fantastic collection of songs!

5-0 out of 5 stars My all-time favorite
The baby might be tired of this one, but, I can't stop listening to it. A must own for babies and parents who hate banal "baby" music.

5-0 out of 5 stars I never get tired of this CD!
I love, love, love this CD! I don't care for those typical, sappy lullaby CDs, but this CD is different. It has a wonderfully earthy, bluegrass feel to it. I get teary-eyed every single time I hear "Little One," and songs like "My Little Buckaroo" are so much fun! Mommies and Daddies both will love this CD. ... Read more


55. The Ultimate Collection
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Asin: B00004UAOR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6742
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Thank Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural and his group Buckwheat Zydeco for the many contemporary zydeco releases now available. It was Buckwheat's major-label breakthrough record, On a Night Like This, that brought this rural Louisiana dance music into the mainstream, at least for a time, and his zesty repertoire that won new legions of fans. His accordion prowess also liberated the instrument from its polka-band image. This excellent collection traces Buckwheat's trajectory from 1979 to 1988, peaking with his rollicking accordion-powered party poppers "Ma 'Tit Fille" and "Zydeco Honky Tonk." His roots are covered, too, with zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier's "Hot Tamale Baby" and rural-themed numbers like "I Bought a New Raccoon." There's also his collaboration with Eric Clapton--E.C. reprising the ripping solo of his "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad." But with Buckwheat, love's rarely sad. His deliciously uptempo, two-stepping blend of swamp-funk, rock, and R&B is a tonic for misery of any kind. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is It
While I'm more of a traditionalist-a la BeauSoleil-I can't get enough of the Zydeco fusion sound of Buckwheat. This man and his band just keep bringing it on and bringing people to their feet.

I've seen Buckwheat live twice-once in New Orleans and once in Lafayette-and the atmosphere is classic Cajun with a great mix of Zydeco.

Buckwheat is the undisputed King of Zydeco hands down and I know you'll enjoy this compilation if you have any love of Louisiana music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buckwheat Zydeco
Blues and zydeco hybred if you like both you can't loose with old Buckwheat! He really has his own sound, if you heard him before you already know that. This is a best of and you will have to decide if this blend is for you. Every album is fairly consistant, you might tire of this but you don't have to worry about big let downs when some wild notion results in something you would never buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars excellant!
HIGHLY RECOMMEND - IF NOT FAMILIAR W/ZYDECO OR BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO IN PARTICULAR - THIS IS A WONDERFUL INTRODUCTION! IF YOU'RE NOT NEW BUT WOULD LIKE TO COMPLETE OR ADD TO COLLECTION - THIS ALBUM WILL DEFINETLY COMPLIMENT! WILL DEFINETLY ROUNDOUT ANY COLLECTORS NEEDS FOR ZYDECO!

I DARE YOU TO SIT STILL LISTENING TO THIS MUSIC! ... Read more


56. The Road We're On
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Asin: B00007JGWD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13064
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Sonny Landreth's 10-year career as a leader has always seemed tenuous, because he's a one-dimensional singer and only an adequate songwriter. But these 12 numbers run deeper than his previous recordings. Like much of his catalog, they straddle the worlds of blues, Cajun and zydeco, and New Orleans party music, but the blues dominates. And that gives the conflagrant Mississippi-born and Louisiana-raised slide guitarist plenty of fuel. So he burns liberally at every turn, from the acoustic resonator guitar that opens and closes the disc to the percolating funk of "Hell at Home" and the Allmans-like, riff-driven intensity of "Fallin' for You." "A World Away" is this album's tour de force, with Landreth summoning soul from the seldom-used soft side of his voice and slow, moaning guitar lines, whose steel-on-steel cries echo the resigned heartbreak of the lyrics. The CD's sterling production puts Landreth's guitar front and center, which reaffirms the former John Hiatt and Clifton Chenier sideman's instrumental mastery. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a surprise!
I have always recognised that Sonny Landreth is one of the best slide guitarists around. However I have never been a "great" fan of him because I am not too much in "tune" with zydeco or cajun kind of music. I like it but it is not my passion, I prefer to listening to other genders, and the one that I like the best is the "blues". I bought his new CD because I read the above editorial review and apparently it would have been more focused on the "blues" rather than on other stiles. In his previous album "Levee Town" I found a song that from my point of view, or for my taste if you prefer, by it self worth the price of the entire CD: "Broken Hearted Road" a very solid traditional blues played with intensity and passion. As soon as I received the delivery from Amazon I put this record in my CD player with a lot of hope but also with a touch of scepticism. What a surprise! From start to finish this is a great blues collection! Other influences are still present of course, however blues rules this time. The opening track "True Blue" is a masterpiece and it gives you an immediate flavour of what is about to follow. Not bad songs on this CD, no a single one. Sonny shows his ability in playing slide but also "traditional" stile guitar as in the blues-rock oriented title track. Excellent guitar work throughout the entire album, excellent singing, excellent band, excellent mix and production. I can't possibly find a weakness on this CD. I just love it from start to finish. As far as I am aware this is one of the best blues release of at least the last 12 months (and maybe more). I think that we already have, so early in the year, a very serious contender for the "best traditional blues album" award when time will come. I hope that Sonny Landreth will continue following the "road he's on" and that with his next one he will be digging even deeper into the "Blues". I can't rate this CD less than five stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars SONNY IS AWESOME!
We just returned from the Fort Smith Blues Festival after witnessing Sonny Landreth perform. We purchased the Road We're On directly from him. Buy it, buy the others too! If you are a guitar fan, you'll no doubt admire the incredible, magical talent of Sonny Landreth.

He combines blues, cajun zydeco and rock and roll to his OWN unique style.

I've seen many slide guitar players in my life, but Sonny IS the MASTER!

4-0 out of 5 stars Heaven To My Ears
From the first notes of "True Blue" to the last chords of "Juke Box Mama," this release is heaven to my ears. Landreth has always been applauded for his musicianship, but often knocked for his lyrics. He gets them both right this time around.

From up-tempo rockers to slow burning blues, a lot of territory gets covered expertly on these tracks. As always, Landreth displays his chops as one of the best slide guitar players in the business. These tunes are more than guitar theatrics, though. There is more of an emphasis on the big picture. This music is a result of the fine art of song craft.

Lyrically, the mood of each song is enhanced with great metaphors and story telling. On "True Blue" you feel the pain as Landreth sings, "The hurt is pourin' down on you / You got to dig down deep to find / Strength to shelter you through." It is a tale about suffering and finding the strength to move on. "Hell at Home" conveys a little ditty about a domestic disturbance and global warming seems to be the topic of "The Natural World." Of course, there are a few tracks that you just want to crank up and who cares what he is saying! A well-rounded release from this incredible fret burner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Astonishing!
It gets better and better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Astonishing!
Sonny has kicked into high gear with his new release. Remarkable in every way musically. Recording is a little weak...too much overhead mic on the drums and then turned to mush in mastering by listening on a small Genelec monitoring system...Goddess forgive them for they know not what they do. None the less, get this CD and go to Guitar Player Heaven. ... Read more


57. Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues
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Asin: B0000032E9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 53530
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars I'd give it five if...
...there were more tracks like the first one: Buddy's 'Man of Many Words'. Sure, it's a re-write of Otis Redding's 'Hard to Handle', but it's a good re-write, and it has most of Derek and the Dominos,(Doctor John filling in on keyboards),-smoking- in support. Why not more Dominos?: Supposely there were many problems on these sessions, (mentioned, but not really explained in the notes), and they didn't even have enough material to release as an LP, until the two 'J. Geils Band' tracks were done quite a bit later.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
"Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play The Blues" is one of the duo's very best albums. Two tracks are Junior Wells-less, recorded by Buddy Guy with the J. Geils Band; the remaining eight songs feature a star-studded backing band which includes pianist Dr. John on several tracks, and some guy named Eric someting. Capton, something like that.

The song list is excellent, and so is the band, which sounds tight and supple, never threatening to overwhelm the two stars.
There are none of the erratic vocal performances or rambling solos that sometimes plagued the duo's live shows (this album is a studio recording). Junior Wells sizzles, laying down some great vocal performances. Buddy Guy's solos are controlled and disciplined, yet strikingly effective in up-tempo and ballad situations, and saxist A.C. Reed provides some soulful fills and gritty solos.

Among the highlights are a sizzling remake of T-Bone Walker's "T-Bone Shuffle", and a swinging "My Baby She Left Me".
Guy does a fine "Bad Bad Whiskey" with an otherwise very discreet Eric Clapton playing slide guitar, and he is entirely credible in a grinding Otis Redding mode on the southern soul stomper "A Man Of Many Words", and the up-tempo "This Old Fool". Junior Wells does a great rendition of "Come On In This House" and his Vanguard classic "Messin' With The Kid"

This CD certainly deserves its place among the other tremendous items in the Rhino/Atlantic R&B Masters series. Definitely recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars leave out two tracks
Five stars for sure if not for tracks 7&10. So it gets four stars instead. ... Read more


58. King of Delta Blues Singers
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Asin: B00000AG6X
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5019
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

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." Absolutely essential. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blues start here..
Which much anticipation and a little trepidation I decided to pick up "King of the Delta Blues Singers". It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was a nice surprise.

If you're a fan of the modern electric blues, you may be disappointed, as Johnson sang the blues with only his guitar. What he lacks in a backup band, he more than makes up for with a soulful voice, and great guitar playing. You can really hear the emotion pouring out of this man.

If you have an open mind and want to experience where the blues came from, you can't go wrong with this album. The two versions of "Traveling Riverside Blues" are worth the price alone.

On a side note, this could be on my copy only, but on some of the songs there may be a noticeable hissing sound, I guess it's understandable with these classic recordings being so old, and it shouldn't prevent you from enjoying them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Top Influence
Robert Johnson is without doubt the most influential musician of the 20th century. Many of the greatest rock bands of the later century such as Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, The Beatles a more recent the White Stripes my personal favorite the Rolling Stones and many more paid there debt to him. You will still hear some of his lyrics in much of todays music. I recommend this to anyone who listens to rock and/or blues because of how important Robert Johnson is to our music society. The 29 songs on this album are all of the songs Robert Johnson recorded in his short life. I am grateful that this music continues to be produced and that it is appreciated by so many people. For many this could be a new discovery. It has intriuged me since the day i first heard of Robert Johnson in the 1980's movie Crossroads. I rate this album with five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars ALMOST TOO GOOD FOR ME
Please, pardon my unskilled grammar and punctuation (and possibly, spelling).

I bought the Robert Johnson Boxed set years ago, because I felt it was a recording that you were supposed to have, if you considered yourself a true music obsess - o - file, but I later sold it, because I "did not get it." I knew of Johnson's mystique and reputation, but I could not connect with the "genius" thing that surrounded his music. Well, just about a month ago, I thought I would give Robert Johnson another try, so I purchased this album. And this time, "i got it."

I can only describe the multi dimensionality of these songs, which had previously escaped me, as staggering. You feel you are listening to the very architecture of almost every popular music style we hear today. What I find most amazing about his songs, is that you are almost convinced that you are listening to 3 guitar players and 2 or 3 singers, harmonizing with unreal precision. His voice jumps between registers, in such a way as to suggest there is another singer between them, much like one watches "2 frames of a film," but sees the magic of the "1 moving picture."

The relationship between the cords he is playing and the finger picking, again, seem to connect and relate in such a way as to suggest there are more fingers and chords being played than can be played with only 2 hands, and with unbelievable ease. He plays like he doesn't even have to think about it. And it all sounds freakishly "time nonspecific", as if he were playing, in the past, while copying his own sounds, from the present, like they were actually being written and defined today, and he was prophesying. I guess that would be the dictionary definition of "timeless." I find myself stuck between studying his songs from an objective point of view, and listening to them from a music fan point of view.

And his lyrics have a sophistication that belie his level of education. As if you are hearing the equations of very high brow poetry, filled in with the figures and variables of Johnson's substantially more modest and bleak cultural experience. And there is a genuine joy in his voice. THAT, I did not expect. As if he is saying "I CAN PLAY AND I AM BEING RECORDED AND LOWDY, MAMA! I AM A SOMEBODY!"

I naturally have to recommend this recording, but I would advise the newbie to the Johnson sound to, not "force" him or her self to see the brilliance of his work. That was what I was doing the first time around, and I missed it. It was only when I gave it permission to reveal itself, that Johnson's genius came forth.

And in all honesty, I don't really "enjoy" all these songs, as much as I marvel at all these songs. I listen with a distant awe, rather than from the perspective of personal taste. But I hope that over time, I will begin to enjoy this recording as I enjoy many of my favorite modern artists, of today. So, do purchase this album and give Mr. Johnson a go at it, but don't get down on yourself if you don't immediately hear what all the accolades are about. It took me 2 tries and 10 years to "get it."

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing sound
This is the official 1998 CD edition of the first-ever Robert Johnson compilation, issued by Columbia in 1961.
It has been remastered off the best-quality original 78s available, and Johnson's guitar takes on a fullness never heard on previous reissues (the equalization on this disc is extreme to a degree where it even sports some minute turntable rumble in the low end).

I still say that there is no really good reason to buy this CD instead of Columbia's 1990 box set "The Complete Recordings", but if you are looking for a single-disc overview, this one has almost all of Johnson's best songs (with the notable exception of "Sweet Home Chicago" and "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom"), and the sound quality is truly amazing. I have the box set, but I also have this CD, actually. The remastering is that good.

5-0 out of 5 stars superceded by the complete collection
This was the first of two single vinyl albums of Johnson's work reissued by Columbia in the 1960s that brought about the revival. However, for years this has been superceded by the complete collection of his work, the two volumes plus several outakes. Look for this here on Amazon. You will need the complete collection because, not only is it not much more, but once you hear even one track, you will want to hear it all, all of of it. ... Read more


59. Avalon Blues : Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002AEN
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5232
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Mississippi John Hurt recorded 13 country-blues songs for the Okeh Electric Records company in 1928. Then he vanished. Actually, he never went anywhere. Indeed, he never strayed from his hometown of Avalon, Mississippi. He simply put the guitar down. It was the Great Depression, times were tough, money was scarce, and he needed to work. Nearly 30 years later, a blues enthusiast tracked him down, took him back to Washington, D.C., and suddenly Mississippi John's musical career resumed as quickly as it had finished. He recorded again, but these first songs from the late 1920s--with John's melancholy voice and hypnotic guitar playing at its most inspired--are his greatest musical accomplishments. --Percy Keegan ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A treasury of the music of the 20th century
Mississippi John Hurt (1893-1966) is a strange man in the blues history.In fact, he's not really a blues musician,but rather, like his elder, Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter,1889-1949), a songster.He was a small, gentle man, who recorded these 13 sides in the twenties, and waited until the early sixties to be rediscovered;during the last years of his life,he toured,playing at Newport and other festivals, and recorded several albums, mostly for Vanguard.I always found that Hurt's voice was one of the most fascinating I ever heard; a swinging,mild voice,that tells a lot about the graciousness of the man.His guitar picking,which looks like beeing simple,is in fact one of the most difficult and original I ever heard.I wish I had such a thumb to play the bass parts on my guitar ! John Hurt plays some tunes that were already old tunes in 1928 : the haunting "Louis Collins",the eternal "Stack o'Lee",the classic "Candy man"(you can listen to outstanding versions of this tune by Reverend Gary Davis),some sacred tunes,"blessed be the name","praying on the old camp ground",and some blues,"Avalon blues","big leg blues",or "spike driver blues".By the way, Hurt was rediscovered in the early sixties because he recorded that tune,"Avalon blues".Listening to it,some people went to this town,hoping that he still was living there.Mississippi John Hurt is a master in the music of the past century,reaching the same rank as Blind Willie Johnson,Charley Patton or Skip James.His 1928 sessions will allways remain some of the greatest masterpieces in the blues history.I personnaly enjoy his music for more than twenty years,and I hope you'll do the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everlasting Blues
This cd, which represents the complete 1928 recordings of Mississippi John Hurt is truly blues everlasting. It is amazing to realize when listening to this that it was recorded that long ago. The quality of the songs, John Hurt's voice and his guitar playing skill are all superb.

As other's have mentioned John Hurt was born in 1892, and developed notoriety for his skills as a musician. He was recorded in 1928 and then vanished into the farmlands of Mississippi. With the resurgence of folk and blues music in the early 1960's many so-called lost artists were "rediscovered." Mississippi John Hurt was among these musicians. Rediscovered by a young blues enthusiast Tom Hoskins, who took a clue from a line in one of Hurt's songs "Avalon's my home, always on my mind" to track him down. From that time until his death in 1966 Hurt became a fixture on the folk circuit.

It really is not surprising that he was so well received in the 60's when one looks at this cd which represents Mississippi John's early work. It includes many truly classic songs, Frankie, Stack O'Lee, Candy Man, Spike Driver Blues and Nobody's Dirty Business. Lines such as "he was a bad man, cruel Stack o' Lee." "He was her man and he done her wrong" "angels laid him away," "You're so heavy make a good man change his mind" and "take this hammer, carry it to the captain" demonstrate the richness of both the folk tradition and Hurts music. Artists such as Jerry Garcia, Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal and Jesse Colin Young have felt compelled to perform his songs.

His voice is pure, sweet and pleasing. While it does not carry the angst of such early performers as Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, it's honesty is copied by others. His guitar playing is amazing and this alone could carry the cd. Artist who have been influenced by his style are Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Rory Block, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Sonny Landreth.

For those who are interested in folk, blues, the history of modern music or any of the artists mentioned this is a worthwhile cd to have.

4-0 out of 5 stars Silky smooth vocals, gorgeous guitar, psychotic lyrics.
This truly is a treasure of early 20th century music. And the story of Mississippi John Hurt's "discovery" and renewed career at the end of his life in the 1960's is just wonderful. For his guitar playing skills the man is probably a virtuoso or a genius - or both. The syncopated fingerpicking is as delicate and intricate as a finely sewn needlework. And his voice is gentle and sweet. Musically it is easy to listen to and riveting at the same time. But - there is a catch here . . . in some of these songs, juxtaposed against the gentleness of the playing and singing, are lyrics that will make your jaw drop in shock at their sheer brutality. Some seem like they were written by a psychopath. He sings to a jaunty ragtime accompaniment in his sweet gentle voice: "one of these days I'm gonna wake up boozy, grab a gun and kill my Suzie". Regardless of where or when it was written - how on earth did this guy figure this was good subject matter for a song? And he isn't being metaphorical. Even weirder is that thrown into the mix are some "spiritual" songs. I mean - one minute the guy's gonna kill his baby (and thinks that no one else should be concerned about it) and the next - he's praisin' the lord. Lyrically, this is stuff Charles Manson would relate to. In any event, the music is superb and most of the songs have relatively "normal" lyrics. The fingerstyle guitar playing is amazing and it alone makes this an album worth getting. Just tune out the bizarre lyrics in some of the songs. Four and a half stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gently rockin' blues...
This cd has a variety it is no doubt blues, however Hurt is more versitile then just a blues singer, he is a masterful guitar player, who picks ragtime melodies, and sings folksy style, while gently rocking both vocally and instrumentaly.

Hurt was ahead of his time by 30 years, before the folk music scene was huge in the 60's, also he was looking back 20 years to the 1910's and ragtime. An interesting mix 1n 1928 lookin to the past and the future ta make some great original and truly unique and from the heart warming blues.

An essential cd is the bottom line

5-0 out of 5 stars Gentle and Timeless
Mississippi John Hurt possessed a gentle and timeless voice and guitar playing skill. His guitar work is considered to be some of the greatest, and most complicated, in all of American music, and his voice is immediately soothing to even the savage beast. Songs like "Frankie," "Ain't No Tellin'," and "Avalon Blues" will surely leave many students of guitar simply breathless. To those who do not play any musical instruments, his flowing guitar technique is still dazzling, and his voice is more "homey" and "likeable" than perhaps anyone else's, even the great Louis Armstrong's. As a darling of the Blues/Folk Revival of the 1960s, Hurt often played the Pre-War songs we hear on this disc, and almost just as well as he did back in the old days, one might add. This is a great disc for both the musician and the listener in us all. ... Read more


60. The Best of Louis Jordan [MCA]
list price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002O17
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4092
Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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With 20 originals from Louis Jordan's '40s and early '50s heyday at Decca Records, Best Of is the definitive collection of the blues-jazz bandleader-singer's work. Most of the cuts are up-tempo jumpers with lyrics that tell sly tales of the black experience in midcentury: the house-partiers in "Saturday Night Fish Fry" end up in the slam, while the institution of marriage occasions a warning in "Beware."Jordan also dabbled in Latin and Brazilian rhythms on "Run Joe" and "Early in the Morning," and even added a major ballad, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'," to the standard repertoire. A major influence on Ray Charles, James Brown, and Chuck Berry, Jordan is a must-hear. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Jump" for joy!
If you were trying to find the exact midpoint between the swing-jazz era and the rock 'n roll era, this is it. This is one of the kinds of music that made rock 'n roll possible. Jump blues is what it was called, and Louis Jordan - composer, singer, bandleader, saxophonist - was its most successful and important practitioner. As jazz veered into the less commercially appealing bebop style, and delta blues was brought north during the pre and post-World War II northward migration of southern blacks, this hybrid musical form was standard entertainment at nightclubs, particularly but not exclusively those with black audiences, during the late 40s and early 50s. At the time, Billboard called this "race music", yet Jordan had great crossover appeal without "whitening" his style, and had several pop chart-topping million-sellers to his credit. These recordings of Jordan's band, the Tympani Five, date from 1942-1954, but are mostly from the late 40s. They include several boogie-woogie piano-driven tracks (like the very successful "Choo Choo Ch' Boogie"), some non-jump blues ("Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out") and a few tracks that actually do sound like early rock 'n roll ("Saturday Night Fish Fry"). The band even throws in a calypso number ("Run Joe"). Jordan also created what might be considered the first music videos that served as introductory fare at movie theaters.

Make no mistake, Jordan was more than a musician - he was an entertainer, and specifically, a comedian. There is a strong lacing of humor through almost every song. For example, in "Saturday Night Fish Fry", you will learn of the events that caused him to warn in the last verse "If you ever want to get a fist in your eye, just mention a Saturday night fish fry." In "Beware, Brother, Beware", Jordan gives an appreciative audience of men hilarious advice for the dubious objective of avoiding marriage at all costs: "If she saves your dough and won't go to a show......Beware! If her sister calls you brotha, you better get furtha.....Beware! If she calls on the phone and says 'are you alone', you say 'no I got three girls with me!'" In "Caledonia", Jordan squeals out the last syllable of the lady's name in such a way that you will instantly know this is what inspired Little Richard to squeal "Lucille" a few years later. In "Beans and Cornbread", we learn of a fight that almost breaks up the marriage of these two foods. There's a nice call and response in this song, in "I Want You to Be My Baby", and in "Five Guys Named Moe".

You can't help but love this guy, so buy this CD! The only good reason you could possibly have for not buying it is that you are buying the Boxed Set instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Hot
Jump blues is the most criminally overlooked musical style of the 20th Century, and Louis Jordan is unquestionably the master of it. Jump blues is rooted in the blues of the 20s and 30s (as well as swing music of the 30s and 40s), but it's a more uptempo, good-time style--it was the dance music of the 40s for venues where full big bands were impractical. The biggest difference between jump blues and raw, early r&b and rock & roll (both of which evolved a few years later) is that the horn section dominates the sound, not the electric guitar.

Raucous songs like Caldonia, Saturday Night Fish Fry, and Five Guys Named Moe (featuring an incredible sax solo) really capture the energy of the music. Check this out, and then go track down other, even less well-known jump blues artists like Wynonie Harris and Big Joe Turner. After you've heard this music, you simply won't believe that it's dissappeared almost without a trace for half a century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jordan--an important and refreshing influence of rock & roll
Sandwiched inbetween the dying days of big band and early rock-and-roll were 1940's R&B singers whose swinging sounds laced with jazz and blues influences provided a transition to what later became rock-and-roll. Roy Brown, Wynonnie Harris, and blues saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan were among these artists, and it's fair to say that because both Bill Haley and Elvis Presley covered their songs and got more attention than they did.

Louis Jordan's heyday was in the 1940's, and his shuffling, swinging "jump" sound combined with his goofy and humorous man-about-town schtick and sax solos. The earliest hit on here is slow "Knock Me A Kiss", was done in 1941.

A full nine years before Bill Haley, Jordan did "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" with an engaging boogie-woogieing piano and bass. Yes, remember, "Take me right back to the track, jack."
"Let The Good Times Roll" has a sound similar to "Heartbreak Hotel", which means early rock.

The partying "Saturday Night Fish Fry" is one of two songs that go beyond the average 2:30 time. It clocks in 5:20 but its excess length doesn't diminish the song. Hearing "It was rockin'" and the electric guitar there, this would've been a great Haley song.

"Caldonia" was the song that made me realize Jordan's connection to rock and roll, as I learned in my music class. That boogieing sound and Haley style rock just blends here, and the way he shouts "Caldonia" like "CaldoNYAAA" A singsong type monologue is included here, which shows another influence to rock.

"School Days" is basically a series of old nursery rhymes set to a snazzy jazzy beat. I remember those rhymes, e.g. Humpty Dumpty, Little Jack Horner, from the past, and was amused to hear them like this. "Five Guys Named Moe" has a similar sound.

Then there were songs with goofy titles like "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" of chickens telling the farmer to let them get to sleep because chickens have work to do laying eggs. "Beans and Corn Bread" has some silly lyrics. "Beans and cornbread had a fight/beans knocked corn bread outta sight/cornbread said now that's all right." "Barnyard Boogie" is plain silly piano and sax jazz, with Jordan going "oink oink" "moo moo" at times, and is about the animals boogieing in the barnyard.

Jordan could do city blues as well, as evidenced by "Buzz Me Blues", and the slower-paced "What's The Use Of Getting Sober", and "Somebody Done Changed The Lock On My Door." And with the Calypso Boys, he combined the Caribbean sound in his music in "Run Joe".

Most of his biggest hits are here, although not "GI Jive" or "Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby." Better get the Five Guys Named Moe album for those songs.

Jordan is unjustly underrated when taking the history of rock and roll into consideration and is an artist requiring more evaluation and examination. His music anticipated rock and roll a decade before "Rock Around The Clock" and small wonder Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and Van Morrison acknowledged his influence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential !!-- The Inventor of Rock and Roll
You can't live without this collection if you like Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, rockabilly, Diana Krall, or any of the current swing stuff.

You just can't!

Louis Jordan essentially invented rock and roll and Chuck Berry acknowledged Jordan's influence on his music. Listen to this disk and you will hear the original versions of classic tunes recorded by the great bluesmen and for the last 50 years! And some tunes recently repoularized by the current latter day swing bands. Asleep at the the Wheel has been doing Jordan tunes as part of their standard repetoire for 25 years. Check ut Early in the Morning for influences on guys like Nat King Cole as Well.

Like many an all time master, Jordan never really received a lot of credit in his day, but there aren't many who have had such a great influence. Check this disk out, you can't go wrong.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!
This is an absolutely fun CD. The influence Louis Jordan had on artist that came years later is evident. ... Read more


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