Manufacturer: Reprise / Wea
Brand: SHEPHERD,KENNY WAYNE
Kenny Wayne Shepherd's reverence for his musical roots are center-stage on Ten Days Out...Blues From The Backroads, a CD+DVD package that features the guitarslinger and Double Trouble rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton performing with some of the greatest blues players of our time as well as lesser-known but historically significant bluesmen. Traveling to their hometowns to record everywhere from juke joints to front porches, from New Orleans to Kansas, Shepherd celebrates and becomes part of blues history with Ten Days Out...Blues From The Backroads. This "back-to-the-roots" road-trip documentary CD/DVD from blues-rocking guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd can be viewed in two ways--it's either the culmination of a long-held desire to promote and play with some unheralded blues veterans before they pass away (as six had already done since the recording was made, 2Â½ years before its early 2007 release) or a way to regain the blues audience Shepherd all but alienated on his artistically and commercially disappointing 2004 hard-rock release, The Place You're In. Ultimately, it succeeds on both accounts. Regardless of the project's inspiration, the results by and large justify whatever the means might have been to get this show on the road--literally and figuratively. Shepherd hit the highway for a week and a half along with producer Jerry Harrison (ex-Talking Heads), a portable studio, and backup musicians including the rhythm section from Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble. He searched out blues artists both obscure (the late guitarist Etta Baker, who plays in her kitchen, is a highlight) and better known (Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and B.B. King) for a series of acoustic and electric jams, all of which feature Shepherd--who, to his credit, generally keeps his hot-dogging tendencies in check. A closing concert featuring members of Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters' bands never quite generates the heat it should, but country bluesmen Cootie Stark, Neil Pattman, and harmonica ace Je...
Manufacturer: Elektra Off Roster
Bloomfield, Bishop and Butterfield knocked down walls between black and white with their strong love of blues and their equally powerful chops. Here are Born in Chicago; Blues with a Feeling; Last Night; Mellow Down Easy , and the rest of their 1965 debut! A slew of albums by young white men out of their minds in love with music made by older black men came from both sides of the Atlantic during the mid-1960s, but two records really laid the groundwork for the decade's blues revival--the self-titled releases by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers out of London and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band out of Chicago. Both bands were led by harmonica-blowing vocalists; both featured ascending guitar gods--Eric Clapton with Mayall and Mike Bloomfield with Butterfield. Butterfield's ensemble, however, came of age closer to the roots of the music. The rhythm section heard on the group's 1965 debut was hired away from Howlin' Wolf, and Butterfield, while still in his early 20s when the album shipped, was already a familiar face on the Windy City's club circuit. "Born in Chicago" opens the album on a gritty note that never flags through this 11-track landmark. The slashing duo guitars of Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop and Butterfield's flash harp helped make Muddy Waters fathomable for a new audience and, decades later, it's still easy to understand how. --Steven Stolder
A key catalyst of the late-'60s British blues boom, this 1966 milestone brought Mayall attention and Clapton to the brink of stardom. This might be the best British blues album ever, with All Your Love; Parchman Farm; Hideaway; Rambling on My Mind (featuring Clapton's first recorded vocals!) and more. Bonus tracks: both sides of their rare Lonely Years/Bernard Jenkins single, recorded prior to the LP!
Brand: Butterfield Blues Band, Paul
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band absolutely nailed it right out of the gate with their smoking 1965 debut album. The self-titled LP spotlighted the blues-guitar genius of Mike Bloomfield alongside Butterfield's impassioned vocals and wailing harmonica, abetted by a rock-solid supporting cast of Elvin Bishop on rhythm guitar, keyboardist Mark Naftalin and Howlin' Wolf's rhythm section, Jerome Arnold on bass and drummer Sam Lay. Lionized in seminal issues of Crawdaddy! magazine at the time, the Butterfield Blues Band's first shot was also the perfect set-up for the more exotic stylings of album number two, East-West. This exact reproduction features all-analog mastering from the original master tapes!
Hoodoo Man Blues is not only Junior Well's initial LP appearance, it is damn near the first LP by a Chicago blues band. Chess and a few other labels had issued 45's by Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howling Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, etc. but virtually no one had tried to capture the Chicago blues sound free of limitations of juke-box/airplay promotion. Delmark is proud of the part Hoodoo Man Blues played in the popularization of the real Chicago blues and of Junior Wells. But the credit belongs to Junior, Buddy, Jack and Billy - they made the music. We just sat and dug it.''One of the truly classic blues albums of the 1960s, and one of the first to fully document the smoky ambience of a night at a West Side nightspot in the superior acoustics of a recording studio. Wells just set up with his usual cohorts - guitarist Buddy Guy (billed as 'Friendly Chap' on first vinyl pressings), bassist Jack Myers, and drummer Billy Warren - and proceeded to blow up a storm, bringing an immediacy to Snatch It Back and Hold It, You Don't Love Me, Chitlin con Carne, and the rest of the tracks that is absolutely mesmerizing. - Bill Dahl, ALL MUSIC GUIDE. This 1965 album is where vocalist and harmonica player Junior Wells comes into his own. An early collaboration with Buddy Guy, the two of them sum up the 1960s funk-rock-blues that lay ahead. Hoodoo Man Blues inspired Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, and a host of other musician-fans. Wells and Guy don't shy from creating James Brown-funkified blues, or from putting a rock edge to their blues; but neither do they shy from traditional blues. Their version of "Good Morning Little School Girl" is a proper update--still menacing, with less of a country blues feel. Also not to be missed is the instrumental workout "Chitlin Con Carne." --Robert Gordon
Manufacturer: Chess / MCA
Brand: LITTLE WALTER
Little Walter's huge wailing harp sound makes it easy to understand why people call the harmonica the "Mississippi Sax." This 20-song CD contains all of his biggest numbers, including Juke; My Babe; You're So Fine; Blues with a Feeling; Sad Hours; Mean Old World , and more from the harp-blowing blues master. Marion "Little Walter" Jacobs is perhaps the most influential harmonica player on contemporary blues, and his collection is a great place to start. He was trained by Muddy Waters, but brought a more swinging feel to blues. Muddy and his band accompany Little Walter on many hits, as do Robert "Jr." Lockwood, the Aces, and other Chicago greats. In the 1950s, Little Walter's popularity eclipsed even Waters', his style a little more relaxed and pop-oriented. Walter's versions of many songs are the standards: "Blues with a Feeling," "You're So Fine," "Juke." Great stuff. --Robert Gordon
(VINYL LP) Hoodoo Man Blues is not only Junior Well's initial LP appearance, it is damn near the first LP by a Chicago blues band. Chess and a few other labels had reissued 45's by Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howling Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, etc. but virtually no one had tried to capture the Chicago blues sound free of limitations of juke-box/airplay promotion. Delmark is proud of the part Hoodoo Man Blues played in the popularization of the real Chicago blues and of Junior Wells. But the credit belongs to Junior, Buddy, Jack and Billy - they made the music. We just sat and dug it.Hoodoo Man Blues is considered by most blues aficionados and fans to be one of the best blues albums of all time. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was chosen by the readers of Living Blues magazine as a top ten Desert Island Blues disc. Recorded on September 22 & 23, 1965 Hoodoo Man Blues was the first studio album to capture a working Chicago blues band doing essentially what they did on stage without time constraints to accommodate the singles market. Of course both Junior Wells & Buddy Guy went on to become international blues stars.
This 1969 live recording at the Fillmore East was not just a turning point in Mayall's music but also in his career, becoming his first gold album and his most successful release. A heavy lead-guitar sound was abandoned for an intimate setup of acoustic and slide guitars, bass, sax, flute and percussion. Includes three unissued bonus performances from that night.
Manufacturer: Elektra Off Roster
One of the greatest guitar albums of all time and a real '60s classic, with Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield trading licks on the mind-bending title cut in particular. If the Butterfield Blues Band's groundbreaking debut earned the respect of the group's elder influences, this one won over (and guided) the blues boys' psychedelic peers. Highlighted by the 13-minute-plus title track (an Eastern-influenced jam cowritten by guitarist Mike Bloomfield), East-West stretches the boundaries of the blues. It would prod many lesser groups to explore, with generally dreary results, interminable free-flight explorations. But while East-West and a cover of jazzman Cannonball Adderly's "Work Song" ventured in new directions, Paul Butterfield and company remained rooted in solid Chicago blues. East West presents the best of both worlds. --Steve Stolder
Brand: Butterfield Blues Band, Paul
1966's East-West, the second album from the Butterfield Blues Band -- and their last with lead guitarist Mike Bloomfield -- found the group branching out from the electric blues and adding elements of modern jazz and the music of India, most notably on the landmark title track, which paved the way for much of the musical experimentation of the late '60s.