Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Memphis Harp & Jug Blowers 1927 - 1939

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FEATURED ARTIST / S
Little Buddy Doyle
Minnie Wallace
Beale Street Jug Band (see Jed Davenport)
Memphis Jug Band
Beale Street Rounders
Jed Davenport
Joe Williams

    TRACK LIST

Minnie Wallace
01 - Dirty Butter Listen
02 - The Old Folks Started It (take 1) Listen
03 - The Old Folks Started It (take 2) Listen

Jed Davenport
04 - How Long How Long Blues Listen
05 - Cow Cow blues Listen
06 - Beale Street Breakdown Listen

Jed Davenport
07 - You Ought To Move Out Of Town Listen
08 - The Dirty Dozen Listen
09 - Jug Blues Listen
10 - Save Me Some Listen
11 - Piccolo Blues Listen
12 - I`m Sittin` On Top Of The World Listen
13 - Talkin` `Bout Yo-Yo Listen

Minnie Wallace
14 - The Cockeyed World Listen
15 - Field Mouse Stomp Listen
16 - Let`s All Do That Thing Listen
17 - Pick `Em Up And Put `Em Down Listen

Little Buddy Doyle
18 - Hard Scufflin` Blues Listen
19 - Grief Will Kill You Listen
20 - Slick Capers Blues Listen
21 - Renewed Love Blues Listen
22 - Bad In Mind Blues Listen
23 - Three Sixty Nine Blues Listen
24 - She's Got Dry Goods Listen
25 - Lost Baby Blues Listen
26 - Sweet Man Blues Listen

Although Louisville is credited with the first flowering of jug band music, it was Memphis where it came to full maturity with the Memphis Jug Band, Cannon's Jug Stompers and the Beale Street Jug Band. A little taste of the MJB can be heard in the accompaniment to Minnie Wallace's 1929 recordings but the main attraction here is the wonderful Beale Street Jug Band, led by harmonica maestro and multi-instrumentalist Jed Davenport. This was probably and principally a studio conceived recording group as it included; Joe McCoy, recording artist, singer/guitarist and musical (and for a time life) partner of the great Memphis Minnie and another singer/guitarist who had already recorded, Henry L. Castle, known as Too Tight Henry (we won't speculate as to what was too tight!), Minnie herself was probably in there somewhere too, playing guitar. Davenport's first record featured him playing distinctive "talking" harp on instrumental covers of two major hits of the day by, respectively, Leroy Carr and Cow Cow Davenport, with guitar backing (probably by Joe McCoy). A few months later Brunswick / Vocalion's field unit were back in Memphis with a vengeance, recording twenty acts, including the Beale Street Jug Band, their answer to the two jug bands providing the Victor label with hits. Minnie Wallace's powerful vocal delivery suggests a tent show background; Dirty Butter, with Milton Roby's fiddle prominent in accompaniment, makes reference to Beale Street, while the chorus of The Old Folks Started It suggests it was also known as 'The Darktown Strut' and might even have harked back to minstrel show days. Six years on Wallace, again partnered with Memphis Jug Band leader Will Shade (playing distinctive high register harmonica), recorded two further sessions for Vocalion. In complete contrast to Minnie Wallace's tough, outgoing performances, Charlie "Little Buddy" Doyle recorded ten brilliant, introspective blues that mostly reflected the hard times he experienced and difficult personal relationships. The same excellent harmonica player seems to have been on both Doyle recording sessions but his identity remains in doubt. Hammie Nixon made a strong claim but so did Walter Horton and while aurally I favour the former identification, it could equally be that it is neither of them.

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