Country Blues Collector’s Items – Various Artists – Complete Recorded Works (1924-1928) – Times Ain’t gonna Make Me Stay
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Country Blues Collectors Items
The Complete Recorded Works (1924 1928)
Featuring the recordings of:
Ed Andrews, vocal / guitar. Kid Brown And His Blue Band: Kid Brown, vocal; accompanied by unknown, clarinet / alto sax; unknown, piano; unknown, banjo. Emery Glen, vocal / guitar. Sammy Brown, vocal; acc. unknown, guitar on 8; or possibly Cripple Clarence Lofton or own piano on 9; 2nd vocal on 9. Lewis Black, vocal / guitar. Johnnie Head, vocal / guitar / kazoo. “Mooch” Richardson, vocal / guitar. “Mooch” Richardson, vocal; accompanied by Lonnie Johnson, guitar on 19, 20 / speech on 19; own guitar on 20. “Mooch” Richardson, vocal / guitar; Lonnie Johnson, guitar. T. C. Johnson And “Blue Coat” Tom Nelson: T. C. Johnson, vocal / guitar; Tom Nelson, violin. “Blue Coat” Tom Nelson, vocal / violin; T. C. Johnson, guitar. Johnson-Nelson-Pokchop: Porkchop, vocal; accompanied by vocal chorus on 24; another, vocal on 25; T. C: Johnson, guitar on 25; probably different musician, guitar on 24.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Georgia Blues, Arkansas, Blues, Memphis Blues, Country Blues Guitar, 12-String Guitar, Blues Piano, Blues Violin, Porkchop,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. Looking at the chronological history of recorded country blues, the two sides, included here by Ed Andrews, certainly qualify as the first. Though Sylvester Weaver had recorded two sides for OKeh five months prior to Andrews April 1924 session, the Weaver sides are guitar instruments and played in a much more sophisticated style. Recorded in Atlanta, he plays a twelve-string guitar, an instrument that seems to be unique to that city for the most part and his strumming technique interspersed with short bass runs and simple vocal style mark him as an early blues practitioner, used to playing for dancing in the country juke joints and the urban barrel houses. As with most of the artists included here, virtually nothing is known of Kid Brown. Bo-Lita, a mid-tempo blues, with accompaniment by probably Snapp’s Ginger Snapps with Troy C. Snapp on piano, was recorded for the short-lived Black Patti label in 1927. Though recorded in Atlanta and accompanying himself on the twelve-string guitar, much of Emery Glen‘s guitar style is reminiscent of some of the Memphis players. On Two Ways To Texas the melodic riffs bring to mind, Furry Lewis. As in the case of Ed. Andrews, Glen’s playing style is nowhere near as sophisticated as some of his Atlanta contemporaries, like Willie Baker or Blind Willie McTell but does lend a tasty counterpoint to his laid back vocal style. Two distinctively different sides by Sammy Brown make him a stylistic non-entity. On Barrel House Blues his vocal performance is accompanied by an unknown guitarist and has much of the feeling of the more primitive country blues of the time, whereas The Jockey Blues, with probably Cripple Clarence Lofton on piano, is typical of urbanized blues. Brown seems more comfortable in the latter piece and lyrically it is a unique work. A small report in the 10th March 1928 edition of the Pittsburgh Courier, headed New Stars For Columbia informed its readers that Lewis Black, another new find, came from a logging camp in Arkansas. He wears a coon skin cap all the time and is called the Daniel Boone of the Blues. His recordings are without a doubt some of the most primitive and intriguing early blues ever recorded. Played in open G tuning, they have a pure African feel and this, combined with his troubled vocal delivery and poetic lyrics, indicate an artist that was probably more concerned with personal expression than in pleasing any given audience. With his smooth chordal guitar, horn-like kazoo and clear tenor voice, Johnnie Head may have come from a vaudeville / medicine show or even a jazz background. With that sort of history it is unfortunate that these two sides comprise his entire recorded output. A native of the Arkansas / Memphis area, Mooch Richardson was obviously an accomplished musician. The variety in guitar parts and lyrical composition attest to this. The songs, with Lonnie Johnson‘s accompaniment, have much of the same feel as the latters session with Texas Alexander but given Richardson’s talent it remains a mystery as to why OKeh deemed it necessary to pair him with Johnson. The two blues and the two “novelty” songs of T. C. Johnson and Blue Coat Tom Nelson again represent a wide repertoire steeped in the medicine show tradition. The assorted T. C. Johnson groups show an incredible mastery of styles, from blues to gospel to the hillbilly and pop tunes of the day.Lonnie Sherman April, 1993. Copyright 1993 & 2015 Document Records