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Tampa Red Vol 1 1928 - 1929

Tampa Red, vocal, bottleneck slide guitar

With contributions by: “Georgia Tom” (Thomas A. Dorsey) vocal, piano; Forster & Harris, vocal; Madlyn (Red Hot Shakin’) Davis, vocal; Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon, vocal; Martell Pettiford, guitar; Herman Brown, kazoo, washboard; Carl Reid, jazzhorn, jug.

Genres; Country blues, Pre-war Chicago blues, hokum, blues guitar, blues piano, bottleneck slide guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Includes detailed discography.

From this CDs booklet notes.
Through Train Blues was a strange one to kick off a recording career with and one cannot help but wonder if the gentle huffing and puffing of a tuba to fill out a bass rhythm was Tampa’s idea or that of someone else trying to be creative at the recording session for Paramount records. Either way, it kind of works, depending on one’s mood and at least it gets Tampa off the mark with some characteristic slide guitar playing and a song.

For the moment, that was it…, one side and no more! The recording was issued as a flip side to Blind Lemon Jefferson “How Long How Long” (Document DOCD-5019) maybe as a ploy to encourage the market to listen to Tampa. After four months Tampa was in the recording studio again but this time only as a session man for Foster And Harris (Ma Rainey’s Boys) as they played out The Alley Crap Game a performance which would be taken up by the two blues brothers from Georgia Robert “Barbecue Bob” Hicks and Charlie “Laughing Charlie” Hicks in 1930 with their “Dark Town Gamblin’ – Part 1 (The Crap Game)” (Document DOCD-5048). Dodging the ricocheting dices, Tampa provides a gentle slide guitar accompaniment and keeps out of the arguing between the two gamblers. Continued...

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Tampa Red Vol 2 12th January to 27th June 1929

Tampa Red, vocal, guitar, bottleneck-slide guitar.

The Hokum Boys: Tampa Red, vocal, guitar; Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano.
Tampa Red’s Hokum Jug Band: Tampa Red, vocal guitar; unknown, piano; Bill Johnson, stand-up bass; Herman Brown, washboard; Carl Reid, jazzhorn, jug; Frankie “Half Pint” Jaxon, vocal.
Gospel Camp Meeting singers: Vocal group; accompanied by Tampa Red, guitar; possibly Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano.
Lil Johnson, vocal

Genres: Blues, Blues Guitar, Blues piano, Hokum Blues.

Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Detailed discography.

From this CDs booklet notes.
The first session included here is a remake of a session that took place in December 1928. Why the original titles were not released, is not quite clear. Anyway, the January 1929 session showed a mixture of straight, low down blues and so-called “hokum blues”. This was to become Tampa Red’s trademark for the next three or four years. Following the success of “It’s Tight Like That”, Tampa Red and Georgia Tom recorded a couple of titles in mid-tempo with a refrain and double-entendre lyrics, often combined with a tongue-in-cheek-way of looking at things. (What about this as a definition for “hokum”?) On five titles we also hear Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon, an enigmatic singer, who fits perfectly in Tampa’s hokum concept. Continued...

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Tampa Red Vol 3 1929 - 1930

Tampa Red, vocal, bottleneck slide guitar.

With contributions by;

Jenny Pope, vocal.
Georgia Tom, vocal, piano.
Jasper Taylor, washboard.
Frankie-Half-Pint Jaxon, vocal.
Bill Johnson, stand-up bass.
And others…

Genre; blues guitar, blues piano, hokum, bottleneck slide guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Detailed discography.

Taken from this album's booklet notes.
You might call it a period of transition, for after a fulminate start with their success of "It's Tight Like That" and a period of follow-ups, the duo of Tampa Red and Georgia Tom gradually left the "hokum" genre and concentrated more and more on two easy things: the swinging, jazz-influenced up-tempo pieces like "Easy Rider", and they got deeper and deeper into the real slow blues numbers, exploring several aspects of blues playing, and it is plain to hear that especially Tampa Red was getting more and more self confident in his playing refining his guitar style to a degree that he really became a champion, or in other words, a "guitar wizard". Continued...


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Tampa Red Vol 4 1930 - 1931

Tampa Red, vocal, guitar.

Includes recordings by Sweet Papa Tadpole (possibly Walter Coleman) accompanied by Tampa Red on guitar.

With contributions by: Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano; Carl Reid, washboard Frankie “Half Pint” Jaxon, vocal.

Genres: Blues, Bottleneck-slide Guitar, Hokum Blues, Early Chicago Blues.

Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Detailed discography.

From this CDs booklet notes
Tampa Red had been a permanent resident of Chicago since 1925. The same is true for some of his colleagues, like Bumble Bee Slim or Big Bill Broonzy. Those were the people who created what I would like to call the First Chicago Blues. Common to them was an urban approach to the blues, a more sophisticated siyle. Their singing was less expressive, but full of subtleties. There was no "shouting" or "grumbling" in between the vocals. Their lyrics were less concerned with cows, mules, crops or other important things of country life, but rather dealt with attributes of the city. The use of the piano as an accompaniment to guitar playing is another characteristic trait. Thus Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, though residents of Indianapolis, were able to appeal to the musical taste of urban blacks. And this also explains the success of the duo of Tampa Red and Georgia Tom in Chicago.

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