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!
Frank Frost: 1. Jelly Roll King - 2:16 Various: 2. Lightnin' Struck the Poor House - 4:40 Jim Brewer: 3. Hair Like a Horse's Mane - 3:27 Big Jack Johnson: 4. Oil Man - 3:52 Sunnyland Slim: 5. Be Careful How You Vote - 3:35 Little Brother Montgomery: 6. I'm Gonna Build My Bed on the Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea - 2:58 Louis Myers: 7. Bottom of the Harp - 4:32 Jimmy Dawkins: 8. Wes Cide Bluze - 4:59 David Honeyboy Edwards: 9. Eyes Full of Tears - 3:21 Lester Davenport: 10. When the Blues Hit You - 4:26 John Primer: 11. Cairo - 5:27 H-Bomb Ferguson: 12. Shake Your Apple Tree - 4:02 Aron Burton: 13. Past, Present, and Future - 6:52 Lovie Lee: 14. Stick Candy - 2:30 Homesick James Williamson: 15. Better Know What You Runnin' From - 3:24 Little Willie Anderson: 16. Come Here Mama - 2:37 Big Leon Brooks: 17. Young Girl - 3:38 Louisiana Red: 18. Sittin' Here Wonderin' - 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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