Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
Lonnie Johnson Vol 5 1929 - 1930

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Available as a download on eMusic


Lonnie Johnson
Spencer Williams
Victoria Spivey
Clarence Williams


Lonnie Johnson and Blind Willie Dunn (Eddie Lang)
01 - Bull frog moan Listen

Lonnie Johnson and Spencer Williams
02 - It feels so good - part 3 Listen
03 - It feels so good - part 4 Listen

Lonnie Johnson
04 - You can`t give a woman everything she needs Listen
05 - Sundown blues Listen
06 - From now on make your whoopee at home Listen
07 - Mr. Johnson`s blues no. 2 Listen
08 - Baby please don`t leave home no more Listen
09 - The new fallin` rain blues Listen

Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson
10 - You done lost your good thing now - part 1 Listen
11 - You done lost your good thing now - part 2 Listen

Lonnie Johnson and Blind Willie Dunn (Eddie Lang)
12 - Deep minor rhythm stomp Listen
13 - Midnight call (blues) Listen
14 - Hot fingers Listen
15 - Blue room blues Listen

Lonnie Johnson
16 - She`s making whoopee in hell tonight Listen
17 - Another woman booked out and bound to go Listen

Lonnie Johnson and Spencer Williams
18 - Once or twice Listen
19 - Monkey and the baboon Listen

Lonnie Johnson and Clarence Williams
20 - Wipe it off Listen

Lonnie Johnson
21 - Death Valley is just half way to my home Listen
22 - Headed for Southland Listen

Lonnie Johnson, vocal, guitar.

Includes duets with:
Eddie Lang, guitar.
Spencer Williams, vocal.
Victoria Spivey, vocal.
Clarence Williams, vocal.
With contributions by: J. Johnson, piano.

Genres: Blues, Blues Guitar, Jazz Guitar, Blues Piano.

Informative booklet notes written by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

From this CDs booklet notes.
Through 1929, Lonnie Johnson continued to explore three musical fields on record. With Eddie Lang, he pushed at the frontiers of jazz guitar with the tone poem Bull Frog Moan, displays of technique such as Hot Fingers and the yearning, pop-structured Blue Room. At the same time, he was cranking out third and fourth parts to It Feels So Good with Spencer Williams, and in a more adult, but still hokumbased vein, duetting with Victoria Spivey on a composition that much later became a favourite of B. B. King's. In June, he also made a six title session of blues. It's dangerous to read autobiography into blues lyrics too readily, especially with so facile a writer as Lonnie Johnson, but it's almost impossible to resist the suspicion that the tenor of most of the songs cut on 11 June 1929 denotes a marriage in trouble. Lonnie and Mary Johnson's marriage lasted until 1932, by which time they had had six children in seven years; but these songs, by turns deeply depressed, suspicious and angry, surely do not bespeak domestic contentment. The 1925 version of Falling Rain Blues had used rain as a metaphor for misery, and it's surprising that the new version is about floods; the remade Mr. Johnson's Blues is an extended lyric about the unhappiness of lost love, where in 1925 had it consisted of one verse, followed by an extended guitar solo. Of these sad songs, Sundown Blues is intriguing; it had been recorded the previous November by one Alec Johnson. In the notes to RST BDCD-6013, I speculated that Alec might have been the father of Memphis Minnie's brother-in-law; this version of Sundown Blues leads one to ask whether he was related to Lonnie, perhaps via Tommy Johnson's father, Idell, who was a connection of Lonnie's. Most likely, as Tommy's brothers don't seem to have recalled Alec Johnson, is that Lonnie just heard and liked the record, whose sentimental words are close to his own emotional aesthetic.

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