Doom and Gloom
Posted in 1920s,1930s,Country Blues on 01.29.08

My computer is in tip top shape. Time Machine managed to scramble my password upon restore which didn’t make my life easier, I’ll say that.
If anyone has any information on the Folklore programs at Western Kentucky, Georgia State or UNC(Chapel Hill) let me know. Thanks!

Doom and Gloom is the latest pre-war related release on the Trikont label and like always it’s a fantastically researched and document release two things that almost never ever go together. The theme behind Doom and Gloom and pretty self explainartory – though War and Wrecks might be more clear – as most of the songs deal with wars and accidents and ships sinking (this is also the theme behind People Take Warning) more so than gloom per se. The set is also smartly bookended with two wonderful Blind Willie Johnson songs and features some real deep cuts from family faces like Charlie Poole, Big Bill Broonzy and Casey Bill Wheldon which is always refreshing. The two tracks I’m highlighting are a solid pre-war side from Big Bill Broonzy about the great flood of 1927, and I’ve sadly neglected Big Bill even though he is one of the finest blues guitar players of all time. The second side is the Sinking of the Titanic by Richard Rabbitt Brown who I hadn’t heard before – but according to the linear notes played mostly in brothels which makes me want to seek out the rest of his recordings.

update: apparently I have heard Richard Rabbitt Brown before, he’s on The Anthology as well as Goodbye, Babylon I’ve never really noticed him until now though. There is also a movement that says he might have recorded under Blind Willie Harris

Buy It Here!!!

Big Billy Broonzy – Southern Flood Blues (1937)
Richard Rabbitt Brown – Sinking of the Titanic (1927)

Down But Not Out
Posted in Meta on 01.16.08

Sorry for the recent silence. My beloved Macbook’s logicboard died over the weekened and I’m furiously F5ing the Apple repair site for a status update. I wouldn’t be so worried if the status wasn’t shippment pending – I remember when I worked at an Apple repair shop we sent everything out next day shipping, our store also didn’t sound like a teen club also.

In other techincal news Verizon users can download Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee ringtones. Where are my Bessie Smith ringtones?!

We should be back up in running by the end of the week, with any luck.

Victrola Favorites
Posted in 1920s,1930s,Country,Honey,World on 01.08.08

John Bondurant left a couple of comments on the Buel Kazee and Wise County posts from a few months ago – and linked to Berea College’s wonderful collection digitalized field recordings from Kentucky and the greater Appalachia area. It’s a revelatory website and really well laid out – you can even search by county! Check it out here.

I received the new Dust To Digital Release, Victrola Favorites from Ms. Honey for Christmas, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since then. I think that Dust To Digital is a pretty hit and miss reissue group – but all their releases have a striking amount of detail and love poured into the song choices (though the art direction and build quality of another one of their new releases, Art of Recording, leaves a lot to be desired and has prevented me from reviewing it fairly thus far.) and this one might be their best work yet.

The set is loosely themed around a collection of 78s from around the world compiled by collectors Jeffery Taylor and Robert Mills and design to simulate a Victrola parlor or I guess more accurately – their Victrola parlor where they play long forgotten 78s they have found from all corners of the world and through many different means. The collection of sides is wonderfully sequenced and each song moves smoothly into the next despite being all different corners for the world. The names and records are mostly unfamiliar to me – which is a pleasant surprise – as this is not just a good collection of sides in the way Goodbye, Babylon or Tikont’s Flashback series are, but it’s a masterful and well documented collection of songs, unheard a much more challenging feat – and one that puts this collection on a short list for one of the best collections of songs that I’ve ever heard. The collection is two discs and held in the covers of a 144 page booklet with amazing detail shots of the 78 labels, sleeves and advertising that accompanied these sides. I can’t really say this strongly enough, but I highly recommend this release.

Buy It Here !

Kelly Harrell – O! Molly Go Ask Your Mother (1927)
Carlos Ramos – Torre De Belem (1931)

For Passwords.
Posted in Post-War on 01.07.08

I’m sorry for the confusion about passwords, but I don’t know of any way to edit the password page to explain how the password system works. The way it works is you click here and it takes you to my donate page – where you can donate some money me out with increasing server costs and I send you a password that allows you to access the videos and the stagolee files among other things. This week I should have reviews of the new Dust To Digital releases, Art of Field Recording and Victrola Favorites.

I’ve been in wonderful Nashville for the past week, and I picked a collection of Ike Turner’s Chicago Sessions – recorded for Cobra and while I think that his best work without Tina was compiled on the wonderful Ike’s Instrumentals on Ace, this compilation features Ike with some great vocalists like Betty Everett and the underrated and seldom heard Tommy Hodge. This track was recorded by Ike and a stellar band in 1958 and features the aforementioned Tommy Hodge on vocals singing his heart out in one of the best electric blues performances I’ve heard. Ike passed away late last year and I was saddened that many of the bloggers who chose to pay homage to Ike’s legacy (and not just for his abusive relationship with Tina) no one I read post anything about Ike’s early rock and roll years.

Ike Turner – Down and Out (1958)