Trudy Lynn – Royal Oaks Blues Cafe (2013)

frontcover1Houston native Trudy Lynn has been singing rhythm and blues since the 60’s and has had albums issued on several labels since her Ichiban debut in 1989. In recent years she has not been prolific but, as she explains in the sleevenotes, she was searching for the right songs. The result is an album that brings together some fairly obscure songs from blues singers and writers of yesteryear with two of Trudy’s own compositions.
Trudy has a seasoned voice which has enough grit to convey the emotions of the songs, an excellent example being “Country Man Blues”, a song once covered by Candye Kane. Here Trudy’s voice really conveys the slightly risqué lyrics and both Steve and Jonn contribute significantly. The piano features on “Street Walkin’ Daddy”, a hit in 1950 for Margie Day but Jonn plays some wonderfully relaxed guitar too. Trudy’s own songs stand up well in comparison: her “Every Side Of Lonesome” has a live feel with lots of handclaps and backing vocals, Jonn on slide and Steve’s harp almost buzzing in the background, a very catchy shuffle with strong vocals from Trudy. “Down In Memphis” is Trudy’s other credit, a short tune with some striking harp leading on a rocking little number in praise of the Bluff city. Several of the songs Trudy has selected to sing here are what might be described as ‘suggestive’, trudylynn2none more so than Clara Smith’s “Whip It To A Jelly” which closes the album with Steve’s harp working very well with Trudy’s vocal, a late night piece with Jonn on acoustic guitar. Jay McShann’s “Confessin’ The Blues” provides a strong opener, a song that goes back to the 40’s, all three front line players providing strong solos.
On Don Robey’s “Play The Honky Tonks” (a hit for Marie Adams in 1951) Randy’s piano is well to the fore.
My research failed to discover anything about four other songs here. “Feel It” is credited to B Campbell, another suggestive lyric in a performance which, especially Steve’s harp, is relaxed but effective. Another relaxed performance is the fine “Effervescent Daddy” (E Bennett) on which Trudy’s voice is a little smoother than is typical of the album where she usually has more grit in her vocals. However, on this song she is much smoother, as befits the style of the song. “I’m Gonna Put You Down” (W Booze) is a slow blues on which Trudy’s expressive, deep voice is very effective and “Red Light” (V Green) is an upbeat rocker which makes use of some of the same imagery as “I Caught The Katy” and is a real toe-tapper as Jonn ramps up the pace in his solo as the piano and harp underpin Trudy’s vocals.
There is plenty to enjoy here and it is good to hear Trudy in such good voice, sounding very much like the early female pioneers that she has sought to celebrate on this Album. (by bluesblastmagazine.com)
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Personnel:
Steve Krase (harmonica, background vocals on 04.)
Eugene ‘Spare Time’ Murray  (bass)
Carl Owens (drums)
Jonn Del Toro Richardson (guitar)
Trudy Lynn (vocals)
Randy Wall  (piano)
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Richard Cholawian (drums on 07.)
Rock Romano (bass, background vocals on 04.)
Robert ‘Pee Wee’ Stephens (piano on 04. + 07., background vocals on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Confessin’ The Blues (McShan) 3.51
02. Play The Honky Tonks (Robey) 4.27
03. Feel It (Campbell) 4.44
04. Every Side Of Lonesome (Lynn) 3.56
05. Country Man Blues (unknown) 3.57
06. Street Walkin’ Daddy (G.Day/M.Day) 5.35
07. Red Light (Green) 4.38
08. I’m Gonna’ Put You Down (Booze) 5.19
09. Down In Memphis (Lynn) 2.43
10. Effervescent Daddy (Bennett) 4.10
11. Whip It To A Jelly (Smith) 5.05

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Peter Guralnick – The Listener’s Guide To The Blues (1982)

frontcoverThis is another out of print book from my Collection of Music books …

By delving into the livesm influences and recordings of the great blues makers, The Listener´s Guide To The Blues provides a unique tour through the growth and development of one of America´s finest Musical forms.

“If you were to only get one book about the blues, this is it. It provides all the necessary biographical and background information in short, readable chapters, and then discusses the albums most worth checking out for every artist and every style. Indispensable” (Patrick)

Abouth the author:

Peter Guralnick is an American music critic, writer on music, and historian of US American popular music, who is also active as an author and screenwriter. He has been married for over 45 years to Alexandra. He has a son and daughter, Jacob and Nina.
Guralnick’s first two books, Almost Grown (1964) and Mister Downchild (1967), were short story collections published by Larry Stark, whose small press in Cambridge, Larry Stark Press, was devoted to stories and poems. Mona Dickson, writing in MIT’s The Tech (May 13, 1964) gave Almost Grown a favorable review.
After Guralnick graduated from Boston University in 1971 with a master’s degree in creative writing, he began writing books chronicling the history of blues, country, rock and roll and soul.
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Peter Guralnick with Chuck Berry, 2012

His two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis in 1994, followed by Careless Love in 1999, placed the story of Presley’s career into a rise and fall arc. Encompassing more than 1,300 pages (including 1,150 pages of text), the work countered earlier biographies such as Albert Goldman’s Elvis from 1981 with an in-depth, scholarly examination of Presley’s life and music. Guralnick had previously written on Presley in the The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, starting with the first edition in 1976, said article having been reprinted for each subsequent edition.

Larry Stark Press published Peter Guralnick’s second book in 1967. A first edition is currently valued at $200.
In contrast to contemporaries such as Lester Bangs, Ian Penman and Nick Tosches, whose music writings are marked by idiosyncratic, self-referential and highly personal styles, Guralnick’s writing is characterized by a colloquial approach that is clean and understated by comparison. In his best passages, he has an ability to simultaneously empathize and remain objective. Writing as a music fan, his enthusiasm powers his writing but doesn’t overpower it.
Guralnick wrote the script for A&E’s documentary, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, and he also scripted Sam Cooke – Legend, narrated by Jeffrey Wright. (by goodreads.com)
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This is an essential book about the blues and about all These great blues recordings through the last century
Here are some pics from the good … before you can read the book:
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Papa George Lightfoot – Natchez Trace (1969)

originalfrontcover1Thanks to a handful of terrific 1950s sides, the name of Papa Lightfoot was spoken in hushed and reverent tones by 1960s blues aficionados. Then, producer Steve LaVere tracked down the elusive harp master in Natchez, cutting an album for Vault in 1969 that announced to the world that Lightfoot was still wailing like a wildman on the mouth organ. Alas, his comeback was short-lived; he died in 1971 of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

Sessions for Peacock in 1949 (unissued), Sultan in 1950, and Aladdin in 1952 preceded an amazing 1954 date for Imperial in New Orleans that produced Lightfoot’s “Mean Old Train,” “Wine Women Whiskey” (comprising his lone single for the firm) and an astonishing “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Lightfoot’s habit of singing through his harp microphone further coarsened his already rough-hewn vocals, while his harp playing was simply shot through with endless invention. Singles for Savoy in 1955 and Excello the next year (the latter billed him as “Ole Sonny Boy”) closed out Lightfoot’s ’50s recording activities, setting the stage for his regrettably brief comeback in 1969. (by Bill Dahl)

One of the finest of southern juke joint bluesmen, Papa George Lightfoot’s music was totally untainted by the folk and blues revivals of the late 50s and mid-60s. Born Alexander Lightfoot in Natchez on March 2, 1924, the Deep South harmonica player and singer recorded for Peacock, Aladdin, Imperial and Savoy. His 1954 Imperial side papageorgelightfoot01Wine,Women,Whiskey was later issued in England in 1969 as a single on Liberty. Later that same year, Lightfoot was tracked down by Steve La Vere and recorded at the new Malaco studio in Jackson, Mississippi on 21st July 1969. The session was originally released as “Natchez Trace” by Vault Records of California and saw almost simultaneous release in the UK on Liberty Records. Among the sides is New Mean Old Train, an updated version of Mean Old Train, a song Lightfoot recorded earlier for both Imperial and Savoy. “Goin’ Back To The Natchez Trace” presents the earlier LP together with 5 previously unissued tracks and an extended spoken monologue. The recordings have been completely restored from original analogue master tapes, the sound quality vastly improved upon and the music totally remixed by Vie Keary at Chiswick Reach Studio, London, on valve equipment. If you previously knew this LP when it was available on either Vault, Liberty or Crosscut, you are in for a big (and pleasant) surprise. Papa George is accompanied by a fine little group including soul man Tommy Tate on drums, Carson Whitsett on piano, Jerry Puckett on guitar and Ron Johnson on bass. Following the album’s release he appeared at the famous Ann Arbor, Michigan Blues Festival in 1970 but, before he could capitalise on his turn of fortune, he died suddenly on 28th November, 1971 at Natchez Charity Hospital. “Goin’ Back To The Natchez Trace” stands as a testament to his music and to the kind of Deep South blues now long gone.

This is one of the blues harmonica Albums I´ve ever heard ! A real forgotten hero of the Blues !

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Personnel:
Ron Johnson (bass)
Papa George Lightfoot (vocals, harmonica
Jerry Puckett (guitar)
Tommy Tate (drums)
Carson Whitsett (piano)

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Tracklist:
01  My Woman Is Tired Of Me Lyin’ (Lightfoot) 7.08
02. New Mean Old Train (Lightfoot) 3.30
03. Love Me Baby (Lightfoot) 5.15
04. Goin’ Down That Muddy Road (Lightfoot/LaVere) 4.17
05. Ah, Come On Honey (Lightfoot) 4.08
06. I Heard Somebody Cryin’ (Lightfoot) 4.21
07. Take It Witcha (Lightfoot) 4.11
08. Nighttime (Lightfoot) 6.05

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