Various – 16th Anniversary Sampler
This first Earwig blues sampler commemorates the 16th anniversary since label Producer and CEO Michael Frank began the label by taking Frank Frost, Sam Carr, and Jack Johnson -- The Jelly Roll Kings -- into a Memphis studio to record Rockin' The Juke Joint Down (4901). Since that magic session, these guys have made four Earwig albums between them.
Earwig has concentrated on middle-aged and elder bluesmen who are under-represented in recordings and live performance. Honeyboy Edwards, Sunnyland Slim, Homesick James, and H-Bomb Ferguson - seminal figures in the history of the blues - all made new recordings on Earwig. The label also made the first album recordings of Lester Davenport, Aron Burton, Lovie Lee, Big Jack Johnson, and John Primer as bandleaders rather than as sidemen. And the label has proudly released private tapes produced by Little Brother Montgomery - one of the most important blues and traditional jazz pianists of all time.
These musicians and more make up the Earwig story -- 16 years and 18 cuts -- featuring every Earwig artist. Check it out!
1. Jelly Roll King - Frank Frost / The Jelly Roll Kings - 2:20 2. Lightnin' Struck the Poor House - Old Friends / Kansas City Red / Arthur Lee Stephenson - 4:40 3. Hair Like a Horse's Mane - Jim Brewer - 3:27 4. Oil Man - Big Jack Johnson - 3:52 5. Be Careful How You Vote - Albert Luandrew / Sunnyland Slim - 3:35 6. I'm Gonna Build My Bed on the Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea - Little Brother Montgomery - 2:58 7. Bottom of the Harp - Louis Myers - 4:32 8. Wes Cide Bluze - Jimmy Dawkins - 4:59 9. Eyes Full of Tears - David Honeyboy Edwards - 3:21 10. When the Blues Hit You - Lester Davenport - 4:26 11. Cairo - John Primer / James "Son" Thomas - 5:27 12. Shake Your Apple Tree - H-Bomb Ferguson - 4:02 13. Past, Present, and Future - Aron Burton - 6:52 14. Stick Candy - Lovie Lee - 2:30 15. Better Know What You Runnin' From - Homesick James Williamson - 3:24 16. Come Here Mama - Little Willie Anderson - 2:37 17. Young Girl - Big Leon Brooks - 3:38 18. Sittin' Here Wonderin' - Louisiana Red - 3:35
1. AllMusic - Scott Yanow
Earwig was founded in 1979 by Michael Robert Frank, and it quickly become one of the top blues labels, recording artists based on the quality of their music rather than on sales potential. To celebrate Earwig's 16th anniversary, this 18-song collection of music from the label's catalog was put out in 1995. There is impressive variety on the single CD, with the settings ranging from Little Brother Montgomery's solo piano to rockish blues groups and everything in between. The selections were well chosen, and although sticking to the blues (no Motown, R&B, or soul music here), the disc shows the wide variety of music that appeared in the 1980s and '90s in the blues world. Overall, this CD gives one an excellent overview of some of the treasures in the Earwig catalog.
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