FEATURED ARTIST / S
|Cannon's Jug Stompers|
|Noah Lewis' Jug Band|
|Cannon and Woods (The Beale Street Boys)|
Cannon And Woods (The Beale Street Boys); Gus Cannon vocal, banjo; Hosea Woods, vocal, guitar.
Cannon's Jug Stompers; Gus Cannon, vocal, banjo, jug; Hosea Woods, vocal, banjo; Noah Lewis, vocal, harmonica.
Noah Lewis, harmonica solo.
Noah Lewis' Jug Band; Noah lewis, vocal, harmonica; Sleepy John Estes, guitar; Yank Rachel, mandolin; Ham Lewis, jug. Mrs Van Zula Carter Hunt, vocal.
Genres; Blues, Memphis Blues, Country Blues, Jug Band, Blues Banjo, Blues Harmonica.
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
From this album's booklet notes:
After Cannon's Jug Stompers recorded in September 1928 (see Document DOCD-5032) it was about a year before Gus next faced the mikes; when he did, it was as one half of "Cannon And Woods" (The Beale Street Boys)", making a disc for Brunswick in breach of his contract with Victor. "Woods" was Hosea Woods, older even than Gus, a splendid singer with a strong falsetto, and about to replace Elijah Avery as the Stompers' second banjoist and guitarist. Gus Cannon is said to play guitar on the Beale Street Boys sides, but as the instruction to "Percolate that banjo!" is given to "Joe" (i.e. Banjo Joe), it seems more likely that Woods is the guitarist.
The Jug Stompers reassembled to record on 1st and 3rd October 1929. On the intervening day, Noah Lewis made his debut as a name artist with three harmonica solos; a white fiddle piece, with Lewis's falsetto whoops replacing the fiddler's pizzicatos; and a meditative blues that admirably demonstrates Noah's masterful breath control. The full jug band started with remakes: Last Chance had been one of the Cannon And Woods numbers, and Tired Chicken Blues was "Heartbreakin' Blues" from the previous year, with a new, ribald last verse. Going To Germany, on the other hand, really is heartbreaking; there are few songs more yearningly sung than this Noah Lewis performance.
The most famous song from this session, though, was undoubtedly Walk Right In, Gus's theme song, which he'd made up with Ashley Thompson around 1910. In the '60s, it was recorded by a white folk group, the Rooftop Singers, and went to No. 1 in the charts.
Cannon's Jug Stompers made their last session in November 1930, adding Wolf River Blues to their list of songs about places around Memphis. Bring It With You When You Come shows a hillbilly influence in its first verse, and Prison Wall Blues marries a pop-influenced, sixteen bar structure to some rather edgy jokes about the Southern prison system.
In their time, they had been the finest jug band in Memphis, bringing emotional depth to their blues, enthusiastic humour to their novelty numbers, and exceptional musicianship to all their songs and instrumentals.