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Lead Belly - Bridging Lead Belly (1999)

Posted By: Designol
Lead Belly - Bridging Lead Belly (1999)

Lead Belly - Bridging Lead Belly (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 167 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 101 Mb | Scans included
Label: Rounder Select | # CD 1151 | Time: 00:41:41
Oldies, Folk-Blues, Country Blues, Acoustic Blues

Bridging Lead Belly connects two Leadbelly recording sessions. The first is 12 tracks recorded for the BBC in 1938. The final five selections come from a 1946 live recording. Leadbelly is a master of the acoustic country-blues. We hear this on the yodeling of "I'm Goin' Mother" that he shares the same roots with another rural tradition, that of the "singing cowboy." Beside such melancholy ballads, there are hearty tracks full of pep such as "Boll Weevil" and "(Baby) Take a Whiff on Me." The live recording is from a house party. A real gem in this section is "Frankie and Albert." Here Leadbelly elaborates to great length on the relationship. He does this – to the point where it becomes part soap opera and part social drama – of these two mythical figures of the blues.

VA - Newport Folk Festival: Best Of The Blues 1959-68 (2001) 3CD Set

Posted By: Designol
VA - Newport Folk Festival: Best Of The Blues 1959-68 (2001) 3CD Set

VA - Newport Folk Festival: Best Of The Blues 1959-68 (2001) 3CD Set
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 874 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 395 Mb | Scans ~ 35 Mb | 02:52:09
Acoustic Blues, Delta Blues, Country Blues, Folk-Blues | Label: Vanguard | # 193/95-2

This three-CD set documents some historic country-blues performances by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Bukka White, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Mance Lipscomb. The urban side of things is well represented by Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters with Otis Spann, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and The Chambers Brothers turning in a riveting rendition of “See See Rider.” Included here are 11 previously unreleased tracks. A must for acoustic-blues fans.

Guy Davis - Sweetheart Like You (2009)

Posted By: Designol
Guy Davis - Sweetheart Like You (2009)

Guy Davis - Sweetheart Like You (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 380 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 176 Mb | Included | 01:02:31
Modern Acoustic Blues, Folk Blues, Country Blues | Label: Red House | # RHR CD 211

Guy Davis continues to explore the almost forgotten territory of acoustic African-American folk music, field hollers, shouts, rags, and gospel songs in a style that predates the blues and has much in common with the white Appalachian music that existed until the record companies separated it into race and hillbilly music. "Slow Motion Daddy" is a salacious ragtime original with a syncopated rhythm that recalls Rev. Gary Davis and Willie McTell. Davis plays banjo and harmonica and hams it up giving the performance a sly humor. "Follow Me Down" is a 12-string guitar showcase that pays homage to Leadbelly's "Mr. Tom Hughes' Town" a tale of racism and high life in the big city. Nerak Patterson adds electric guitar to a cover of "Hoochie Coochie Man" in an arrangement that crosses the Delta with South Side Chi town. Davis delivers the tune with a growling sexuality and leaves Patterson room for a tasty solo. "Can't Be Satisfied" is another Muddy Waters' tune, this time played claw hammer style on the banjo, with Davis adding harmonica and delivering another playful vocal.

Guy Davis - Skunkmello (2006)

Posted By: Designol
Guy Davis - Skunkmello (2006)

Guy Davis - Skunkmello (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 382 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 151 Mb | Scans ~ 118 Mb
Label: Red House Records | # RHR CD 192 | Time: 01:05:38
Contemporary Blues, Folk-Blues, Soul-Blues

Guy Davis is a smart singer/arranger, having realized sometime back that the blues world encompassed more than electric Chicago bands and Delta-style soloists. On Skunkmello, he finds joy in moving from style to style, and even improvising by throwing several things into the mix to see what will happen. The collection kicks off with two covers, the first a rewritten version of "Natural Born Eastman" followed by a take on "Goin' Down Slow." The first moves at a brisk pace, fired by Davis' gruff vocal and backed by a spry acoustic mix, while the latter delves deeply into electric barroom blues. There's fancy claw-hammer banjo on "Shaky Pudding," and banjo blues on the lazy "Po' Boy, Great Long Ways from Home." To the average blues fan, this eclectic approach adds variety and keeps the collection intriguing from beginning to the end.

Fotheringay - Essen 1970 (2011)

Posted By: Designol
Fotheringay - Essen 1970 (2011)

Fotheringay - Essen 1970 (2011)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 249 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 98 Mb | Scans ~ 98 Mb
British Folk, British Folk-Rock | Label: Thors Hammer | # THCD 006 | Time: 00:42:55

Fotheringay were a short-lived offshoot of Fairport Convention, featuring key member and leader Sandy Denny. The band's only studio album, a self-titled record featuring Denny's own compositions and several covers, arrived in 1970. (A second album was planned but never completed, although guitarist Jerry Donahue later completed the project and released it in 2008 as Fotheringay 2.) While Fotheringay's work proved to be interesting and beguiling, the band nevertheless broke up in 1971, with Denny going on to launch a solo career. She also sang in duet with Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore," becoming the only guest vocalist to perform on any of the band's albums.

Chris Smither - It Ain't Easy (1984) Extended Reissue 1989

Posted By: Designol
Chris Smither - It Ain't Easy (1984) Extended Reissue 1989

Chris Smither - It Ain't Easy (1984) Extended Reissue 1989
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 217 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 110 Mb | Scans included
Blues, Folk, Folk-Rock, Blues-Rock | Label: Genes/Adelphi | # GCD 1031 | 00:40:09

Following two releases for Poppy Records in the early '70s, as well as a third recording that never saw the light of day, Chris Smither finally returned in 1984 with It Ain't Easy. Armed simply with guitar and voice, Smither delivers a dozen tunes (14 on the CD reissue) that embody the best tradition of blues and folk. Whether it's his originals, a standard like "Glory of Love," or material by the likes of Randy Newman, Chuck Berry, Mississippi John Hurt, and Howlin' Wolf, Smither infuses every track with the same timeless quality. Though he may, on occasion, choose rather standard folk, blues, and rock & roll fare ("Green Rocky Road," "Sittin' on Top of the World," "Maybelline") Smither never treats the songs as if they were museum pieces. In his hands, they're given a life and vitality they probably haven't seen in years. His masterful guitar work and dark, resonant baritone are ideally suited to the songs on It Ain't Easy. Like Mississippi John Hurt or Reverend Gary Davis, his playing is that perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication, discovering and filling harmonic voids without ever overstating or wasting a single note. There's not a false moment on the entire record. Highly recommended. (AMG)

Maria Muldaur, Women's Voices For Peace Choir ‎- Yes We Can! (2008)

Posted By: Designol
Maria Muldaur, Women's Voices For Peace Choir ‎- Yes We Can! (2008)

Maria Muldaur, Women's Voices For Peace Choir ‎- Yes We Can! (2008)
feat. Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Jane Fonda, Holly Near, Odetta
Amma, Anne Lamott, Marianne Williamson, Jean Shinoda Bolen

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 438 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 163 Mb | Scans included | 01:07:10
Blues, Soul, Blues Rock, Folk Blues, Jazz-Blues | Label: Telarc | # CD-83672

There are a number of arguments to be made for and against Maria Muldaur's 2008 antiwar statement Yes We Can! on Telarc (before actually listening to it; remember, we live in a cynical culture). The "perceived" negatives all relate to the intent of the recording and who it's supposed to reach (no doubt an expression of the same set of beliefs rooted in Muldaur's 1960s music), and the fact that it's loaded with guests (in all fairness, these star-studded affairs seldom work). On Yes We Can!, her guests include Muldaur's old friends (Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Jane Fonda, and Holly Near) and influences (Odetta) and new pals (writers/spiritual gurus Anne Lamott and Marianne Williamson, and Indian spiritual teacher Amma). Does it read as if it is yet another exercise in self-referential backslapping? Yep. But don't believe everything you read on the back of a CD jacket. The positives are all musical.

Guy Davis - Chocolate To The Bone (2003)

Posted By: Designol
Guy Davis - Chocolate To The Bone (2003)

Guy Davis - Chocolate To The Bone (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 272 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 115 Mb | Scans ~ 113 Mb
Label: Red House Records | # RHR CD 164 | Time: 00:49:44
Blues, Modern Acoustic Blues, Country Blues, Folk-Blues

With each new release, the clothes of an old bluesman fit Guy Davis more and more comfortably. By now the blues are completely a part of who he is, so when he reworks an old Sleepy John Estes song into the opener, "Limetown," it feels completely natural; even with the familiar "Rollin' And Tumblin'" riff. He mixes it up well between covers and originals, taking in quite a range – there's John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, and Blind Lemon Jefferson all sitting amicably together in his style; as well as some pieces like "Step It Up And Go" that are just plain old. His own material is less familiar, of course, but just as good, with the careful (if not wholly accurate) patina of age about it. Perhaps the best thing about Davis is that he never tries to be something he's not; there's no fake Southern accent. What you hear is what you get. And while he's hardly the guitar genius that Charley Patton and Robert Johnson were, he's more than adequate, and his excellent band backs him up solidly and subtly, never stepping out too far. There's plenty of talent in Davis, but there's also an obvious and deep love for the blues, especially the rural country blues, and he brings to his music a real timelessness. The man just keeps getting better and better.

Guy Davis - Give In Kind (2002)

Posted By: Designol
Guy Davis - Give In Kind (2002)

Guy Davis - Give In Kind (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 348 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 135 Mb | Scans ~ 86 Mb
Label: Red House Records | # RHR CD 161 | Time: 00:58:39
Modern Acoustic Blues, Country-Blues, Folk-Blues

Guy Davis has developed into a consummate bluesman. He's listened hard to classic Delta blues and based his style on it, without ever becoming a carbon copy of the greats. Instead they're his jumping-off point into something as individual as "Layla, Layla," where didgeridoo makes an appearance, or the poignant "Joppatowne." Equally adept on guitar, banjo, and harmonica, he's become a force of nature, with the ability to write a song like "I Don't Know" that sounds as if it had come directly from the '30s, alongside covers of Fred McDowell, Big Bill Broonzy, and Sleepy John Estes. The originals and older work mesh perfectly, the sign of a real bluesman. And, of course, he's capable of working the other side of the coin to blues, in gospel, as the closer, "God's Unchanging Hand," clearly shows. This is the tradition reborn and revitalized. Davis' support is wonderfully sympathetic, but he's completely at the center of things, the motivator and mover of this music, and a purveyor of the real blues. His lineage is obvious, and he's the new generation, doing it right and keeping it real.

Muddy Waters - 'The Real Folk Blues' (1966) + 'More Real Folk Blues' (1967) 2 LP in 1 CD, Remastered 2002

Posted By: Designol
Muddy Waters - 'The Real Folk Blues' (1966) + 'More Real Folk Blues' (1967) 2 LP in 1 CD, Remastered 2002

Muddy Waters - 'The Real Folk Blues' (1966) + 'More Real Folk Blues' (1967)
2 LP in 1 CD, Remastered 2002

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 289 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 159 Mb | Scans ~ 163 Mb
Chicago Blues, Folk Blues | Label: MCA/Chess | # 088 112 822-2 | Time: 01:09:31

Waters' The Real Folk Blues and More Real Folk Blues, combined here onto one CD, were not exactly random collections of tracks – the quality was too consistently high for them to just have been picked out of a hat. Still, it was a pretty arbitrary grouping of items that he recorded between 1947 and 1964. In fact, they hail from throughout his whole stint at Chess, virtually; at the time these albums were first issued, though, all of the material on More Real Folk Blues was from the late '40s and early '50s. They didn't exactly concentrate on his most well-known songs, but they didn't entirely neglect them either, including "Mannish Boy," "Walking Thru the Park," "The Same Thing," "Rollin' & Tumblin' Part One," "She's Alright," and "Honey Bee," amongst somewhat more obscure selections. So ultimately, this disc's usefulness depends on your fussiness as a collector – if it's the only Waters you ever pick up, you'll still have a good idea of his greatness, and if you don't mind getting some tracks you might already have on more avowedly best-of sets, you'll probably hear some stuff you don't already have in your collection.

Rev. Gary Davis - Rev. Gary Davis Live at Gerde's Folk City February, 1962 (2009) 3CD Set

Posted By: Designol
Rev. Gary Davis - Rev. Gary Davis Live at Gerde's Folk City February, 1962 (2009) 3CD Set

Rev. Gary Davis - Rev. Gary Davis Live at Gerde's Folk City February, 1962 (2009) 3CD Set
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 927 Mb | Scans ~ 34 Mb | Time: 02:44:24
Label: Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop | # SGGW 114/5/6
Acoustic Blues, Folk Blues, Gospel

Rare concert recordings from 1962 made by Stefan Grossman of the Rev. Gary Davis at the legendary folk club Gerdes Folk City. These three CDs span Rev. Davis repertoire of blues, rags, novelty tunes and gospel songs.

Tom Rush - Tom Rush (1965) Remastered Reissue 2001

Posted By: Designol
Tom Rush - Tom Rush (1965) Remastered Reissue 2001

Tom Rush - Tom Rush (1965) Remastered Reissue 2001
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 256 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 120 Mb | Scans included
Folk, Folk-Blues | Label: Collectors' Choice Music | # CCM-231-2 | Time: 00:44:53

It's unfortunate that Tom Rush's third album has such a strong reputation among rock listeners – not that it doesn't deserve it, but it sort of distracts them from this album, which was as natural a fit for rock listeners as any folk album of its era. Rush's debut album is filled with a hard, bluesy brand of folk music that's hard on the acoustic guitar strings and not much easier on his voice; he sings stuff like "Long John" and "If Your Man Gets Busted" with a deep, throaty baritone that's only a little less raw than John Hammond's was while doing his work of the same era. Rush had the misfortune to be equated with Bob Dylan, but he had a more easygoing and accessible personality that comes out on numbers here such as Woody Guthrie's "Do-Re-Mi" and Kokomo Arnold's "Milkcow Blues," which are thoroughly enjoyable and quietly (but totally) beguiling. Additionally, he isn't such a purist that he felt above covering a Leiber & Stoller number such as "When She Wants Good Lovin'."

John Lee Hooker - Live At Sugar Hill, Vol. 2 (2002)

Posted By: Designol
John Lee Hooker - Live At Sugar Hill, Vol. 2 (2002)

John Lee Hooker - Live At Sugar Hill, Vol. 2 (2002)
XLD | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 427 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 212 Mb | Scans included
Delta Blues, Country Blues | Label: Fantasy | # 00025218771429 | Time: 01:16:12

Why they kept these 19 recordings locked up in some vault for 40 years is beyond comprehension. A chunk of the Live at Sugar Hill material – recorded at a club in the Bay Area – was issued by Fantasy as Boogie Chillun on LP in 1972. It is available on CD minus one track under the same title. As good as that material was, these tracks from the very same gig are hands down some of the sexiest, deepest blues John Lee Hooker ever recorded – and that's saying something. Accompanied only by his hollow-bodied electric guitar and his foot on the floor, Hooker takes listeners through a performance so intimate that you wonder if there was an audience present – there is clapping, but not much. Versions of "Crawling King Snake," "Bottle Up and Go," "Let's Get It," "Jelly Jelly," "What's the Matter Baby," "You Don't Miss Your Water," "I Can't Hold On," and others get perhaps their definitive versions here. The opening track, "You Torture My Soul," is one of Hooker's most poignant moments, full of venom and vulnerability. In addition to the stellar performances, Hooker's guitar playing here is perhaps the finest of his career

Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women (1990)

Posted By: Designol
Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women (1990)

Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 276 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 126 Mb | Scans included
Modern Acoustic Blues, Folk-Blues | Label: Alligator | # ALCD 4780 | Time: 00:42:37

In 1984, three middle-aged women (guitarist Gaye Adegbalola, bassist Earlene Lewis and pianist Ann Rabson) came together to play blues as Saffire. Their 1990 Alligator CD is still Saffire's best all-around recording. Even overlooking the novelty of three women giving a female and middle-aged slant to the blues, this is a highly enjoyable and musical set. Assisted on three numbers by Mark Wenner's harmonica, Saffire plays spirited versions of such tunes as "Middle Aged Blues Boogie," "Even Yuppies Get the Blues," "Fess Up When You Mess Up," "I Almost Lost My Mind" and their theme "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues." Recommended.

Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy - Good Time Music for Hard Times (2009)

Posted By: Designol
Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy - Good Time Music for Hard Times (2009)

Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy - Good Time Music for Hard Times (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 325 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 145 Mb | Scans included
Folk-Blues, Jug Band | Label: Stony Plain | # SPCD 1332 | Time: 00:46:58

"America's First Lady of Roots Music", Maria Muldaur, returns to her original roots - Jug Band Music! Maria first recorded in the early 60's with both The Even Dozen and The Jim Kweskin Jug Bands. Here she has reunited with several of her former jug band mates and recorded many tunes from the classic jug band era (early 30's), as well as two hilarious newly penned gems by Dan Hicks. Special guests include John Sebastian, David Grisman, Taj Mahal, Dan Hicks, Fritz Richmond and sensational discovery Kit Stovepipe.