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Piano Discoveries 1928 - 1943




This compilation disc contains an astonishing array of blues and boogie-woogie piano artists that will be of interest to anyone who has an ear for this genre of music. Some of the selections are outtakes, while others are never-before-released recordings. The latter are from vinyl records that were made in the ’40s. Among the artists featured are Lee Green, Judson Brown with Charlie “Bozo” Nicherson, Leroy Carr with Scrapper Blackwell, Charles “Cow Cow” Davenport, Georgia Tom with Tampa Red, Memphis Slim, Little Brother Montgomery, Roosevelt Sykes with Walter Davis, Thomas A. Dorsy, Ivy Smith, Ezra Howelett Shelton, Cripple Clarence Lofton, Jimmy and Mama Yancey, and Alonzo Yancey. The quality of the recordings is variable, but listening to them is still worthwhile for their historical and musical value. The repertoire ranges from the well-known The Girl I’m Looking For, Beer Drinking Woman, and Church House Blues to the more obscure Mama and Jimmy Blues, Deep End Boogie, and Poor Old Bachelor Blues. Dialogue by various artists is interspersed throughout this fascinating historical document. – Rose of Sharon Witmer.

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Tampa Red, the essential DOUBLE CD
Tampa Red was born Hudson Woodbridge in Smithville, Georgia in January 1904. Following the death of his parents he moved to Tampa, Florida to live with his Grandmother Whittaker. He got his nickname from his hometown in Florida and the colour of his hair – red! This double CD compilation illustrates the music and style of Tampa Red, from his risqué lyrics to the creation of "hokum" music, Tampa Red was a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene and was one of the best bluesmen of his era.

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Rude Dudes - Part 2 Of Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey

Double CD.
Various Artists.
Informative, 12 page, full colour illustrated, booklet notes by Neil Slaven & Bill Wyman.
Detailed Discography.

Banana In Your Fruit Basket, If It Don't Fit Don't Force It and He's Just My Size? Well, no prizes for guessing what they're all about. But what is a Southern Can, who is the Boy in the Boat and why a Man O' War? This excellent double CD, with twelve page full colour booklet, is packed with some of the most intriguing and often humorous Hokum, Blues, Jazz and Boogie-Woogie pieces based on the subject of sex. Outrageous double entendres and curious metaphors are abound. If Bananas, Lollypops, Fish and Jelly be the food of love, then play on! Continued...

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Blues, Blues Christmas 1925 - 1955

Various artists
Double album with full colour 20 page booklet by Jeff Harris. 
Detailed discography
The idea of Christmas themed blues and gospel numbers stretches back to the very dawn of the recorded genres. “Hooray for Christmas” exclaims Bessie Smith to kick off her soon to be classic “At The Christmas Ball”, which inaugurated the Christmas blues tradition when it was recorded in November 1925 for Columbia. A year later, circa December 1926, the gospel Christmas tradition was launched when the Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers recorded “Silent Night, Holy Night” for Paramount Records. After these recordings it was off to the races with numerous Christmas blues numbers recorded by singers of all stripes, a pace that continued as blues evolved into R&B and then rock and roll. Continued...

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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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Tampa Red Vol 5 1931 - 1934

Tampa Red, vocal, guitar.

With contributions by: Georgia Tom (Thomas A. Dorsey), vocal, piano; Black Bob, piano.

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

Informative booklet notes by Teddy Doering.
Detailed discography.

From this CD's booklet notes.
This fifth volume of Tampa Red's early recordings marks two important events in his career: the splitting up of his duo with Georgia Tom, and the end of his Vocalion recordings. The CD starts as a continuation of his earlier recordings, featuring hokum songs and down home blues. Don't Leave Me Here can be heard in two versions, the first being recorded in Chicago in October 1931 and the second recorded in February 1932 in New York! On the May 7,1932 session, Tampa Red is solo again, and he plays two wonderfully relaxed blues. Then there is a gap of almost two years, probably caused by the Depression, as it happened to so many other blues and jazz artists. When the gap was over, things had changed. 

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Tampa Red Vol 6 1934 - 1935
DOCD-5206 Tampa Red Vol. 6 Complete Recorded Titles 14th April 1934 to 26th February 1935. Tampa Red, vocal, electric guitar, National steel guitar, bottleneck-slide guitar, kazoo. With contributions by: Henry “45” Scott, piano; And others… Genres; Early, Electric, Chicago Blues, Bottleneck-Slide Guitar. Informative booklet notes by Alan Balfour. Detailed discography. At the sessions of June and October 1934, Tampa Red’s repertoire was very much a mixture of what he had recorded for Vocalion (DOCD-5073 - 5076). There were, however, some notable exceptions. For the first three months of 1934 Tampa had been absent from recording and during that time Leroy Carr had found success with his “Mean Mistreater Mama” (DOCD-5137). Perhaps at Bluebird’s behest Tampa Red recorded a word for word, vocal inflection for vocal inflection, copy of the song as Mean Mistreater Blues. To his own bottleneck accompaniment and augmented by a jug player and strumming guitarist, the song was driven along by the compelling rhythm that the simple use of such instruments produced. Continued...

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