Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

"Document 5000 Series "

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Tommy Johnson 1928 - 1929

Tommy Johnson; vocal , guitar.
With contributions by; Charlie McCoy , guitar; Kid Ernest Michall, clarinet, Charley Taylor, piano and others...
 
Genres: Mississippi Blues, Country Blues, Blues guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Paul Oliver.
Detailed discography.
 
Charley Patton is often considered to be the father of the Mississippi Blues, and the young, ill-fated Robert Johnson epitomised the Mississippi Blues as its most agonised exponent. But there is no doubt that the music of Tommy Johnson epitomised the Mississippi Blues at its most expressive and poetic. Johnson achieved the perfection of a regional vocal and instrumental tradition, while realising its potential for the development of a unique and personal means of communication. Continued...



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Son House & The Great Delta Blues Singers 1928 - 1930

Twenty-four tracks featuring: Son House, Willie Brown, Kid Bailey, Garfield Akers, Joe Callicott, Jim Thompkins, Blind Joe (Willie) Reynolds, Rube Lacy.

 

Genres: Mississippi Delta Blues, Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Bob Groom.

Detailed discography.

 

Have you ever put an album into a player and been shocked as a surge of intensity, both beautiful and at the same time disturbing hits you like nothing before? You're mesmerised, finding it hard to believe that this is a man, relying on little more than his relentless, pounding rhythmic guitar playing and his own dark, rich, voice. These are the first few seconds of Son House's My Black Mama Part 1 recorded for Paramount in 1930 and just a hint to what is to come. This album is not just an album of singers. It is a snapshot of some of the finest bluesmen to have recorded. This is the blues un-distilled. Raw, hard hitting, being exorcised and torn like a demon from man's tormented soul. This is undoubtedly the best collection of vintage Mississippi blues singers guitarist available. After being in the Document catalogue for over fourteen years it is still one of our best sellers. Blues fans certainly know a classic when they see one. Continued...




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The Greatest Songsters 1927 - 1929
THIS CD IS NOW PERMANENTLY OUT OF STOCK. IT IS NOW AVAILABLE AS DISC 1 OF A 3-CD BOX SET; DOCD-5678. THE BOX SET ALSO INCLUDES DOCD-5045 AND DISC 3 HAS TRACKS BY CEDAR CREEK SHEIK, ROBERT HILL AND VIRGIL CHILDERS.



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Furry Lewis 1927 - 1929

Furry Lewis; vocal, guitar, bottleneck-slide guitar.
 
Genres: Memphis blues, Country blues.
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.
 
Walter "Furry" Lewis was born in 1893 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and moved to Memphis around 1900. Taking up music at an early age, he played in the streets and bars, and at social functions. In April, 1927 he got his first opportunity to record. On the first three titles, the simple rhythm guitar is played by Landers Waller, with Charles Johnson supplying the pleasant, old-fashioned mandolin. It sounds as though Lewis accompanies himself on Rock Island Blues and Jelly Roll where the playing is more complex, and more integrated with the vocals. Whoever the instrumentalists were, Furry's high voice, with its strong vibrato, was unmistakable from the first. Continued...



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Skip James 1931

Skip James; vocal, guitar, piano.
Mississippi blues, Miississippi blues guitar, country blues guitar.
 
Informtive booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

With his high, eerie falsetto and haunting guitar tunings, Skip James sounds like no other country blues player. Although his lyrics were generally drawn from the floating bag of clichés that showed up in countless blues songs, his atmospheric recordings, done in 1931 for Paramount, gave James' songs the appearance of poignancy, and his sad, lonely vocal style made them all seem heartfelt. When he was rediscovered in the mid-'60s, his skills were still intact, and he made several solid recordings for Vanguard and other labels, but his reputation really rests on the 18 tracks from the 1930s presented here. Continued... 




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Blind Willie McTell Vol 1 1927 - 1931

The recordings from DOCD-5006 have been re-mastered and brought together with those from DOCD-5007 and DOCD-5008, along with recordings which have since been found, following these productions, to create  a three CD set; DOCD-5677 'Blind Willie McTell: Statesoboro Blues - The Early Years (1927 - 1935)'. It includes a 20 page colour illustrated booklet, with updated information, written by Dave Evans.

Click here for full information:

'Blind Willie McTell: Statesoboro Blues - The Early Years (1927 - 1935)'

Further recordings by Blind Willie McTell can also be found on:

Blind Willie McTell 1940 - Library of Congress Recordings

Blind Willie McTell & Curley Weaver 1949 - 1950




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Blind Willie McTell Vol 2 1931 - 1933

The recordings from DOCD-5006 have been re-mastered and brought together with those from DOCD-5007 and DOCD-5008, along with recordings which have since been found, following these productions, to create  a three CD set; DOCD-5677 'Blind Willie McTell: Statesoboro Blues - The Early Years (1927 - 1935)'. It includes a 20 page colour illustrated booklet, with updated information, written by Dave Evans.

Click here for full information:

'Blind Willie McTell: Statesoboro Blues - The Early Years (1927 - 1935)'

Further recordings by Blind Willie McTell can also be found on:

Blind Willie McTell 1940 - Library of Congress Recordings

Blind Willie McTell & Curley Weaver 1949 - 1950




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Blind Willie McTell Vol 3 1933 - 1935

The recordings from DOCD-5006 have been re-mastered and brought together with those from DOCD-5007 and DOCD-5008, along with recordings which have since been found, following these productions, to create  a three CD set; DOCD-5677 'Blind Willie McTell: Statesoboro Blues - The Early Years (1927 - 1935)'. It includes a 20 page colour illustrated booklet, with updated information, written by Dave Evans.

Click here for full information:

'Blind Willie McTell: Statesoboro Blues - The Early Years (1927 - 1935)'

Further recordings by Blind Willie McTell can also be found on:

Blind Willie McTell 1940 - Library of Congress Recordings

Blind Willie McTell & Curley Weaver 1949 - 1950




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Charley Patton Vol 1 1929

Charley Patton, vocal, guitar, bottleneck slide-guitar.
Includes performances by Henry Sims.
 
Genres: Mississippi Country Blues, Delta Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Extensive, detailed booklet notes by Bob Groom.
Detailed discography.
 
Patton is considered, with some justification, to be the archetypal, Mississippi Delta blues singer / guitarist. His guitar playing, including his bottleneck slide guitar technique, coupled with his gritty vocal delivery created a mixture of some of the most primitive yet sublime recordings to be made in the "pre-war blues" era. Many of his recorded performances are so powerful as to be unsurpassed within the genre. At the same time he had an overpowering presence that embodied the very essence of the Mississippi Blues. Equally, he can well be thought of as a songster, in view of his wide-ranging repertoire of blues, ballads, rags, spirituals and popular songs that he displays on his recordings which are presented on Document's three volumes of Charley Patton's recordings. Certainly, he was a showman and entertainer whose live performances could be sombre, melancholy, intense or humorous. Yet he differs from his "songster" contemporaries like Mississippi John Hurt and Mance Lipscomb in that he used solid blues as a vehicle for an intensely personal musical expression. These three volumes present all of his issued recordings. His original 78 rpm records are extremely rare. In many cases there are only single known copies which are now the prized possessions of collectors. Continued...



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Charley Patton Vol 2 1929

Charley Patton Vol 2; Late November / Early December 1929
 
Charley Patton, vocal, guitar, bottleneck slide-guitar.
Includes performances by Henry Sims.
 
Genres: Mississippi Country Blues, Delta Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Extensive, detailed booklet notes by Bob Groom.
Detailed discography.
 
Charlie Patton is considered, with some justification, to be the archetypal, Mississippi Delta blues singer / guitarist. His guitar playing, including his bottleneck slide guitar technique, coupled with his gritty vocal delivery created a mixture of some of the most primitive yet sublime recordings to be made in the “pre-war blues” era. Many of his recorded performances are so powerful as to be unsurpassed within the genre.  At the same time he had an overpowering presence that embodied the very essence of the Mississippi Blues. Equally, he can well be thought of as a songster, in view of his wide-ranging repertoire of “ blues, ballads, rags, spirituals and popular songs“ that he displays on his recordings which are presented on Document’s three volumes of Charley Patton’s recordings. Certainly, he was a showman and entertainer whose live performances could be sombre, melancholy, intense or humorous. Yet he differs from his “songster” contemporaries like Mississippi John Hurt and Mance Lipscomb in that he used solid blues as a vehicle for an intensely personal musical expression. These three volumes present all of his issued recordings. His original 78 rpm records are extremely rare. In many cases there are only single known copies which are now the prized possessions of collectors. Continued...



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Charley Patton Vol 3 1929 - 1934

Charley Patton, vocal, guitar, bottleneck slide-guitar.

Includes performances by; Henry Sims, vocal, violin; Bertha Lee, vocal; Willie Brown, guitar.

Genres: Mississippi Country Blues, Delta Blues, Country Blues Guitar

Extensive, detailed booklet notes by Bob Groom.
Detailed discography.

Charlie Patton is considered, with some justification, to be the archetypal, Mississippi Delta blues singer / guitarist. His guitar playing, including his bottleneck slide guitar technique, coupled with his gritty vocal delivery created a mixture of some of the most primitive yet sublime recordings to be made in the pre-war blues era. Many of his recorded performances are so powerful as to be unsurpassed within the genre. Truly, Charley Patton was a man amongst men. Despite his small, physical, stature he had an overpowering presence when he performed, that embodied the very essence of the Mississippi blues. Equally, he can well be thought of as a songster, in view of his wide-ranging repertoire of blues, ballads, rags, spirituals and popular songs  that he displays on his recordings which are presented on Document's three volumes of Charley Patton's recordings. Certainly, he was a showman and entertainer whose live performances could be somber, melancholy, intense or humorous. Yet he differs from his contemporaries like Mississippi John Hurt and Mance Lipscomb in that he used solid, earthy blues as a vehicle for an intensely personal musical expression. These three volumes present his complete issued recordings. All of his original 78 rpm records are extremely rare and in many cases there are only single known copies which are now the prized possessions of collectors. Continued...




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The Beale Street Sheiks (Stokes & Sane) 1927 -1929

Frank Stokes, vocal, guitar.
Dan Sane, vocal, guitar.
 
Genres: Memphis Blues, Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Includes detailed discography.
 
It was in 1927 that Frank Stokes and Dan Sane made their first recordings for Paramount, by which time they were one of the tightest guitar duos in blues, with Sane’s flat-picked embellishments sliding through Stokes’ strong but nimble rhythms like fish through the sea.
 
Original 78 rpm records of the Beale Street Sheiks fall into the “extremely rare” category, suggesting that their records sold in low quantities, perhaps poorly. Perhaps the duo’s style sounded a little aged for the record buying public who also had the choice of the merriment and “low down, dirty blues” of the Memphis Jug Band or the slick slide guitar playing of the young Furry Lewis or the driving blues of the feisty Memphis Minnie. Yet the music of the Sheiks is regarded as a pure delight and a wonderful insight into blues carried forward by two older men who were there at the beginning. Continued...



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