Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
Lonnie Johnson Vol 3 1927 - 1928

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Lonnie Johnson


Lonnie Johnson
01 - St. Louis cyclone blues Listen
02 - Bedbug blues part 2 Listen
03 - 6/88 Glide Listen
04 - Tin Can Alley blues Listen
05 - Bitin` fleas blues Listen
06 - Life saver blues Listen
07 - Blue ghost blues Listen
08 - Untitled Listen
09 - The St.Louis train kept passing by Listen
10 - When a man is treated like a dog Listen
11 - It`s hot - let it alone Listen
12 - Bearcat blues Listen
13 - Why should I grieve after you`ve gone Listen
14 - Low land moan Listen
15 - Sweet potato blues Listen
16 - Kansas City blues - part 1 Listen
17 - Kansas City blues - part 2 Listen

Lonnie Johnson with Hayes and Prater
18 - Memphis stomp Listen
19 - Violin blues Listen

20 - Keghouse blues Listen
21 - Shiftin` my gear blues Listen

Lonnie Johnson
22 - playing with the strings Listen
23 - Stompin` `em along slow Listen
24 - Away down in the alley blues Listen
25 - Blues in G Listen

Lonnie Johnson, vocal, guitar, violin.

Includes two titles by "Keghouse", vocal.
With contribtuions by: John Erby, piano; Jimmy Blythe, piano; Nap Hayes, guitar; Mathew Prater, mandolin.

Genres: Blues, Blues Guitar, Blues Violin, String Band, New Orleans Blues.

Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

From this CDs booklet notes.
When Lonnie Johnson returned to Okeh’s New York studio in October 1927, he began with an account of the cyclone that had just struck St. Louis, where he had until recently been living. Elzadie Robinson recorded the same song that November, but Lonnie’s version was made a mere four days after the storm, which took 84 lives in five minutes, and caused immense damage. In a very different mood was Bedbug Blues Part 2, a sequel to the popular “Mean Old Bed Bug Blues” that he’d cut in August (see DOCD-5064). October and November found Johnson cutting more of his elegant instrumentals, and Okeh still reluctant to issue them, apparently preferring his imaginative stories in song like Life Saver Blues and Blue Ghost Blues (and, in Bitin’ Fleas Blues, yet another attempt to exploit the craze for blues about parasites).

It may have been frustration with Okeh that led Johnson to make extra contractual recordings for Gennett in December, with the pianist Jimmy Blythe. He was careful to do deep disguise; the record labels credited him as Bud Wilson or George Jefferson (and Blythe as Duke Owens or Willie Woods), while the company files noted that Wilson/Jefferson was one James O’Brien! The masquerade is transparent, though, as Lonnie spans his range; from blues, both homiletic and narrative, to hot instrumental, to sentimental ballad. Less than a week after the Gennett sessions, Johnson was back on Okeh, guesting with Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, and furthering his campaign to define the role of the guitar as a soloing instrument in jazz.


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