The Mississippi Sheiks Vol. 2 – Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order (12 June 1930 - 24 October 1931)
Catalogue number. TMR157
Third Man Records
The Mississppi Sheiks, featuring: Walter Vincson (Jacobs), guitar/vocal; Lonnie Chatman, violin, with Bo Chatman (Carter), vocal/guitar/
Genres: Country Blues, Mississippi Blues, String Band.
New sound restoration by Gary Atkinson.
Sleeve Notes by “Sir” Mick Middles.
Includes detailed discography.
The family string band that crashed boundaries, achieved crossover success and helped remap the musical landscape in times of the Great Depression.
Although initially forming in Bolton, Mississippi around 1926, it would be four years before The Sheik’s arrived at Okeh’s field recording unit in Shreveport, Louisiana, where their subsequent work would yield two enormous hits, ‘Sitting on Top of the World’ and ‘Stop and Listen Blues’. The former song became a multi-million seller, elevating The Sheiks to massive crossover appeal and literally re-shaping the American musical landscape. In time, the song would attain the status of a national standard and was subsequently recorded by Howlin’ Wolf, The Grateful Dead, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Jeff Healey, John Lee Hooker and, indeed, Jack White among many others.
Although it is commonly believed that they took their name from the Rudolph Valentino film, ‘The Sheik’, it was actually their first producer, Polk Brockman, who gave them their name in response to the pop hit of the day, ‘Sheik of Araby’.
The Mississippi Sheiks recorded over seventy songs during six active years which, as stated, spanned a period of intense and constricting depression. Had circumstances been more favourable, then further mainstream success would have seemed inevitable.
Nevertheless, the eventual implosion of this fine and fluctuating band has, if anything intensified their legendary status as the decades have passed.
Each recording, taken from the Document vaults, has been revisited and painstakingly sound restored whilst taking great care to preserve the integrity of original the recordings found on these incredibly rare and historic items. Many being “only known” copies to have survived.