Various – Barrelhousin’ Around Chicago – The Legendary George Paulus 1970’s Recordings – 2CD
The Blues world has legends and creative giants – but there’s also genuine ‘folk’ performers who played clubs, bars, barber shops, street corners and barbecues. George Paulus produced and recorded these fascinating local musicians – and legends too. This double album features a bunch of his Chicago recordings.
“I play all the old stuff, new stuff too, hell I been around!”
Lyin’ Joe Holley
Joe Carter: 1. Mama Talk To Your Daughter - 2. You’re The One - 3. Rock Me - John Wrencher: 4. Now Darlin’ - Billy Branch: 5. Hoochie Coochie - Sam Johnson: 6. Country Girl - Mac Thompson: 7. Somethin’ Wrong - Earl Payton: 8. Parkway Boogie - James Henderson: 9. Hey Baby - Jimmy Miller: 10. Somebody Have Mercy - Easy Baby: 11. Good Morning Mr. Blues - Frank Jr.: 12. Wee Little Room - Walter ‘Big Red’ Smith: 13. Bottleneck Blues - Blind Joe Hill: 14. Boogie In The Dark - 15. She Fool Me - Kansas City Red with Eddie Taylor: 16. Standing Around Cryin’ - 17. Crawling King Snake –
Lyin’ Joe Holley: 1. Big Machine Blues - 2. So Cold In The USA - 3. Five More Numbers - 4. Drinking Budweiser - 5. Moon Is Rising - 6. Dope Around Town - 7. Old Twister - 8. Big Leg Woman - 9. Early One Morning - 10. How Long - 11. Swanee River Boogie - 12. Monkey Face Woman - 13. Drunken Woman - 14. Three Kinds Of Fool - 15. Rebate Blues - John Lee Granderson: 16. Lonesome Blues - 17. Rollin’ & Tumblin’ - Blind Will Dukes: 18. Terraplane Blues - 19. Mean Hearted Woman - 20. Hobo Blues -
The Blues world has always been full of legends and creative giants. But surrounding them have been a massive number of genuine ‘folk’ performers – amateur or semi-professional musicians who played in local clubs and bars for their communities, played in the backrooms of barber shops, played on street corners or neighbourhood barbecues. We have some of the legends here of course. Billy Branch on what must be his first recordings. Eddie Taylor playing on the Kansas City Red session. The great bass man Mac Thompson who was a working sideman, but who here makes a rare side as leader. But the rest, like so many marvelous artists who popped up into a wider world only through a rare visit to a recording studio, they made their mark on the world with a session or two that left their names in the history books of this music forever.
Like the musicians, the Blues recording world has seen some genuine creative geniuses in producers and the often unsung recording engineers. But the scene has also seen a bunch of those amateur label owners and producers who came along and recorded some great music, maybe made a little noise for a short while and then disappeared, usually with a much lighter wallet than when they started. George Paulus was one of those people. He produced sessions, he recorded interesting and fascinating musicians who no one else would give a chance to. He tried his hand at label owning, and like so many others retired financially bruised, but having had a (hopefully) amazing life experience.
This double album features a bunch of his Chicago recordings. Disc A has a set of great group sessions and these have ‘the sound’, that real old style Chicago sound that so few can do now. Disc B has some of the solo recordings – yes, Lyin’ Joe Holley genuinely in the back room of a barber shop!
John Stedman, JSP Records
Recording Lyin’ Joe Holley in a barber shop
What I’d like to know is how you know about all those old cats from way back?” “Well Joe”, I reply, “Being a maniac for blues I collected all those records to hear a different kind of jive that went down in juke joints and house parties.” To Joe it seemed rather amazing that young white dudes would be hip to the old stuff, and stranger still that one would have the records. “Man” he says, “I wish I had some of those old things.”
As we left the bar where Joe sat in with the house band, Joe stated that these boys played okay but with their goddam amps turned up so high so he didn’t feel at home, plus he had been drinking for some time. Joe promised to be sober as a judge for an impromptu session in a couple of days. “Saturday” he says, “You drop by to the Provident Barber Shop, where I play every Saturday anyway.” This promised to be interesting at any rate – never before did I hear a piano in a barber shop! The area in which the Provident Barber Shop is the heart of the Chicago Black Ghetto and a particularly dangerous place, but only a couple of blocks from a large hospital, hence if any disasters occurred, help would not be too far off.
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