Various – Juke Joints Vol 4 – That’s All Right With Me – 4CD
The latest in JSP's tremendous ‘Juke Joints Blues' series and no sign yet of the dreaded Law Of Diminishing Returns. If you loved the last three in the series (JSP7796, JSP4213 and JSP77150), then I can report that the JSP cupboard is far from bare. In fact, a real case could be made that this is actually the best yet in the series!
A strong claim I know but the evidence to support it is laid out in front of me; 4 complete CDs containing a whole slew of raw, ragged and exciting late-40s and early-50s blues and R&B from the southern states of America as would have been heard on the jukebox (or from a live band if you were lucky) in the juke joints and taverns of the period.
As on the previous volumes, there is a decent smattering of well-known artists to offer initial comfort that you are on safe ground. Lightnin Slim's I'm Him enters the fray early in the set and offers an archetypical reminder that Otis Hicks at his very best was surely just about as good a down-home blues singer as there has been. With Lonesome Sundown and Lazy Lester also in attendance on particularly strong cuts, the remarkable Louisiana swamp blues sound, as popularised by Excello, is strongly represented here. But there is a admirable stretch of geographical coverage and regional flavours contained within these four CDs. On the first CD alone you get the formative Chicago blues sound from Tony Hollins' influential Crawlin' King Snake (with Sunnyland Slim on lovely rolling piano), knock-out Memphis blues from L.B. Lawson on the bouncy Can't Love Me And My Money Too and Willie Nix's Let's Take A Little Walk (featuring Walter Horton blowing some tasty harp and Willie Johnson riffing away on guitar as he would also be doing at this time for Howlin' Wolf). Elsewhere, Cousin Leroy's stunning highlight of Highway 41, recorded in New York in 1957 (with Champion Jack Dupree on piano), employs the crazy riff that Bo Diddley later popularised on Diddy-Wah-Diddy, and King Charles barely-controlled 1954 instrumental Bop Cat Stamp clearly is stomping down the path toward emergent rock and roll.
And as well as all of the souped-up, high voltage rocking cuts that road-mapped the future direction of blues and rock and roll, there are also superb examples of already established country blues stylings, such as the admirable Texas blues of Luther Stoneman on January 11 1949 Blues and James Tisdom's bittersweet Last Affair Blues.
The long and short of it is there are simply too many great pieces of music contained here to spend any more time writing about it. Right now, I could be listening instead to Bob Gandy's riotous I Believe Yo' Got A Sidekick or The Leap Frogs seductive Dirty Britches. Suffice to say, each of the previous box sets in the Juke Joint Blues series quickly became big, big sellers and, if there is any justice left in this crazy world, this will continue with this glorious addition. Let's just hope there are more to follow!
Leap Frogs: 1. Things Gonna Change - 2:46 Charlie Bradix: 2. Boogie Like You Wanna - 2:42 Cousin Leroy: 3. Catfish - 2:32 Ernest Lewis: 4. Loudella - 3:07 Lightnin' Slim: 5. I'm Him - 3:14 Eddie Burns: 6. Notoriety Woman - 2:57 Wright Holmes: 7. Drove from Home Blues - 2:38 John Hogg: 8. Black Snake Blues - 2:29 Frankie Lee Sims: 9. Cross Country Blues - 2:51 Sonny Boy Johnson: 10. Netta Mae - 3:43 Tony Hollins: 11. Crawlin' Ki ng Snake- 3:08 L.B. Lawson & James Scott Jr: 12. Can't Love Me and My Money Too - 2:30 Manny Nichols: 13. Tall Skinny Mama Blues - 2:56 Willie Lane: 14. Howling Wolf - 2:46 The Sugarman: 15. Which Woman Do I Love - 2:09 Monister Parker: 16. You Gonna Need Me - 2:22 James Tisdom: 17. Cadillac Blues - 2:50 Sonny Boy Davis: 18. Rhythm Blues - 2:34 John Brim: 19. Hard Pill to Swallow - 2:46 Big Son Tillis: 20. I'm Going Upstairs - 2:35 Left Handed Charlie: 21. Whole Lotta Drinkin' on the Block - 2:45 Willie "Bo" Thomas: 22. I Don't Know What's Happening Baby - 2:33 Willie Nix: 23. Let's Take a Little Walk - 2:31 Rattlesnake Cooper: 24. I Treated You Wrong - 2:36 Detroit Slim: 25. Nelly Mae - 3:42 Thunder Smith: 26. Big Stars Are Falling - 2:22 Square Walton: 27. Fish Tail Blues - 2:28
Woodrow Adams: 1. Last Time - 2:54 Joseph Butler: 2. Texas Blues (T.P. Railer) - 2:46 Duke Bayou: 3. That's All Right with Me - 3:07 Lafayette Thomas: 4. Weekly Blues - 2:37 Smokey Hogg: 5. Blue and Lonesome Blues - 3:13 Andrew Thomas: 6. My Baby Quit Me Blues - 2:34 Cousin Leroy: 7. Waitin' at the Station - 2:48 Ernest Lewis: 8. No More Lovin' - 3:17 Beverley Scott: 9. Southern California Blues - 2:26 Elmon Mickle: 10. Lonesome Highway - 2:18 James Tisdom: 11. Overhaul Blues - 3:10 Little Al: 12. Easy Ridin' Buggy - 2:15 Jesse Fuller: 13. Mr. Engineer - 3:44 Sonny Boy Davis: 14. I Don't Live Here No More - 2:31 Bob Gaddy: 15. Operator - 2:38 Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson: 16. Gone with the Wind - 2:46 Lightnin' Slim: 17. You Did Me Wrong Baby - 2:55 Big Son Tillis: 18. I Got a Letter - 3:20 Sonny Boy Johnson: 19. She's Alright with Me- 3:01 Phillip Walker: 20. Playing in the Park - 2:01 Frankie Lee Sims: 21. Single Man Blues - 2:53 Sam Kelly: 22. Ramblin' Around Blues - 2:35 Leap Frogs: 23. Dirty Britches - 2:46 Lonesome Sundown: 24. Leave My Money Alone - 2:52 Henry Smith: 25. Good Rockin' Mama - 2:22 Perry Cain: 26. All the Way from Texas - 2:17 Willie Nix: 27. Riding in the Moonlight - 3:14
Bob Gaddy: 1. I (Believe You Got a Sidekick) - 2:14 Willie Nix: 2. Midnight Showers of Rain - 3:02 Lazy Lester: 3. Tell Me Pretty Baby - 2:20 Sonny Boy Johnson: 4. Quinsella - 2:54 Monister Parker: 5. Black Snake Blues - 2:45 Doug Quattlebaum: 6. Don't Be Funny Baby - 5:26 Little Son Willis: 7. Nothing But the Blues - 3:43 Larry Dale: 8. Midnight Hours - 2:58 Black Diamond: 9. Lonesome Blues - 2:30 Rattlesnake Cooper: 10. Lost Woman Blues - 2:59 Willie Lane: 11. Black Cat Rag - 2:37 Cousin Leroy: 12. Goin' Back Home - 2:17 David "Pete" Mckinley: 13. Shreveport Blues - 2:47 James Tisdom: 14. I Feel So Good - 2:53 Woodrow Adams: 15. Train Is Comin' - 3:04 Lafayette Thomas: 16. The Thing - 2:14 Lightnin' Slim: 17. Rocky Mountain Blues - 2:45 Arthur Gunter: 18. Honey Babe - 2:33 Ernest Lewis: 19. Little Mae Belle - 3:09 Elmon Mickle: 20. I Got to Get Some Money - 2:31 L.B. Lawson & James Scott Jr.: 21. Flypaper Boogie - 2:25 Square Walton: 22. Pepper Head Woman - 2:21 John Hogg: 23. Worryin' Blues - 2:35 Frankie Lee Sims: 24. Home Again Blues - 2:49 John Brim: 25. I Love My Baby [Take 1] - 2:54 Left Handed Charlie: 26. Miss My Lagnion - 3:13 Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson: 27. Freedom Train Blues - 2:41
Little Al: 1. No Jive - 3:07 Cousin Leroy: 2. Highway 41 - 2:28 Luther Stoneham: 3. January 11, 1949 Blues - 2:38 Willie Lane: 4. Too Many Women Blues - 2:27 Woodrow Adams: 5. Train Time - 2:49 Andrew Thomas: 6. I Love My Baby - 2:27 Big Son Tillis: 7. Rocks Is My Pillow - 3:05 James Tisdom: 8. Last Affair Blues - 3:23 Lazy Lester: 9. Bloodstains - 2:23 Smokey Hogg: 10. Misery Is My Life - 3:14 Frankie Lee Sims: 11. Don't Forget Me Baby - 2:47 King Charles: 12. Bop Cat Stomp - 2:12 Henry Smith: 13. Lonesome Blues - 3:21 Lonesome Sundown: 14. Lonesome Whistler - 2:41 Willie Nix: 15. Truckin' Little Woman - 2:40 Larry Dale: 16. Please Tell Me - 2:33 Ernest Lewis: 17. West Coast Blues - 3:01 Thunder Smith: 18. Cruel Hearted Woman - 2:30 Johnny Wright: 19. Up for It [Take 1] - 3:00 Phillip Walker: 20. Louisiana Walk - 2:32 Little Son Willis: 21. Skin and Bone - 3:57 Blue Charlie: 22. Don't Bring No Friend - 2:52 Lightnin' Slim: 23. That's All Right - 3:56 Manny Nichols: 24. Worried Life - 2:42 Rattlesnake Cooper: 25. Rattlesnake Blues - 3:08 Big Son Tillis: 26. Cold Blues - 2:43 Beverley Scott: 27. Shakin' the Boogie - 2:51
1. AllMusic - Steve Leggett
Four discs of ragged, rocking blues and R&B that might have blasted from a jukebox in the 1950s South, this generous set features both familiar names and not-so-familiar names, and that's part of the fun of it. Included are rare sides like the Leap Frogs' "Things Gonna Change," Willie Nix's "Midnight Showers of Rain," and Cousin Leroy's "Highway 41." Welcome to Saturday night.
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