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Sugar Babe was the first piece I learned, when I was a little boy about 13 years old. Reason I know this so good, I got a whippin' about it. Come out of the cotton-patch to get some water and I was up at the house playin' the git-tar and my mother come in; whopped me cause I didn't come back - I was playin' the git-tar. Yeah, I got a whippin' bout Sugar Babe - I never will forgit that one - Mance Lipscomb, from his biography

Author Topic: Favourite Recording Sessions  (Read 10247 times)

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Offline outfidel

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2008, 10:59:51 AM »
Blind Willie Johnson (6 songs) & Washington Phillips (5 songs) -- recorded separately by Frank Walker in Dallas, December 2-5 1927

Johnson: If I Had My Way; Mother's Children Have a Hard Time; It's Nobody's Fault but Mine; Jesus Make up My Dying Bed; I Know His Blood Can Make Me Whole; Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground

Phillips: Denomination Blues; Take Your Burden To the Lord and Leave It There; Paul and Silas in Jail; Lift Him Up That's All; Mother's Last Word To Her Son
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Online Johnm

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2008, 11:25:04 AM »
Wow, you aren't kidding, those are some great sessions, Michael!  I never knew that Washington Phillips and Blind Willie Johnson were ever in the studio at the same time.  There were a number of performances recorded in the sessions you cite that would make for a great session even if they were the only song recorded.  Whew!
All best,
Johnm

Offline outfidel

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2008, 01:18:42 PM »
Hi JohnM - It is an amazing set of songs recorded by Johnson & Phillips over the course of a few days. How cool would it have been had they recorded together? I imagine Johnson's slide & Phillips' zither/dolceola would have been an interesting contrast.

Also, I haven't read much about Frank Walker, but I wonder to what extent he realized the greatness of the music that he helped discover & record? Seems that guys like him & Ralph Peer were out trying to make records that would sell. They probably had no idea that, 80 years later, people would still marvel at the depth & beauty of this music.
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Offline Bill Roggensack

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2008, 03:10:20 PM »
I probably knew this once and had forgotten it, but in my current read (Hank Williams: The Biography, by Colin Escott et al.), the author notes that after starting with Okeh (looking after the "race" recording series), Peer went to Victor in 1925, where he agreed to take a nominal fee ($1) for each recording he arranged in return for taking the publishing (mechanical) rights. That eventually led to the formation of his publishing company, Southern Music (and later, Peer Music), and also to key involvement in setting up BMI. As an highly successful A&R man, he definitely turned up gems (including the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers at that incredible first recording session for both in Bristol TN), he really wasn't financially motivated by the sale of records. His payoff was to come from publishing original blues and country songs that derived from those recording sessions. He had is eye on a prize, but it was a little further out than the record companies he worked for ever realized.

An overview of Ralph Peer's life and accomplishments can be found here:
http://www.peermusic.com/aboutus/companyhistory.cfm

I can only imagine what stories he could tell! To do what he did, he must have had a real love for "roots" music, and thanks to him, we have access to a large cache of sonic time capsules.
Cheers,
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Offline jostber

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2008, 03:15:40 AM »
Hi JohnM - It is an amazing set of songs recorded by Johnson & Phillips over the course of a few days. How cool would it have been had they recorded together? I imagine Johnson's slide & Phillips' zither/dolceola would have been an interesting contrast.

Also, I haven't read much about Frank Walker, but I wonder to what extent he realized the greatness of the music that he helped discover & record? Seems that guys like him & Ralph Peer were out trying to make records that would sell. They probably had no idea that, 80 years later, people would still marvel at the depth & beauty of this music.

I believe Frank Walker worked with John Hammond at Columbia, and Mr.Walker also recorded and produced all of Bessie Smith's sessions at Columbia according to Chris Albertson.




Offline CF

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2008, 11:42:19 AM »
I listened to a lot of Lemon last week & I'll cite his second session as a favourite. 'Got the Blues', 'Long Lonesome Blues', 'Booster Blues' & 'Dry Southern Blues' were all recorded c.March 1926 in Chicago. This is some of the nuttiest, most technically breathtaking & original music that you'll ever hear. I'm always hearing new things each time I listen to him. This time around it struck me how frontier Lemon sounds. His music is obviously from a different age but it is uncommon as ever, and his control & speed of his ideas is 
remarkable. Lemon does sound like a musician working out of a tradition but it is one he has manipulated in such a personal & exciting way. You can hear that he must have spent a lot of time alone noodling & inventing.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline oddenda

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2008, 03:38:36 AM »
In more recent times is a session produced by Chris Albertson for Prestige/Bluesville atRudy VanGelder's studio in NJ: One LP came out entitled "Blues & Ballads" - Lonnie Johnson and Elmer Snowden w. Wendell Marshall on bass. When Fantasy reissued stuff on the Original Blues Classics line, this album was included, plus a second volume came later with the remaining (?) titles by the three. The music was sublime, but then Lonnie was that. I never tire of them.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2008, 07:03:11 PM »
I'm very partial to Willie McTell's last sessions. The pathos, and the uplift, are sublime. McTell was just so totally on. The world weariness is balanced by maturity and humor that gets me every time. Inspiring.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2008, 08:21:58 PM »
Not sure how many sessions exactly but I got turned on to Otis Rush's Cobra Sessions '56 - '58 recently, how did I miss that one. Legendary sessions and deservedly so. I'm not an electric blues guy but there's a lot about those recordings that sets them apart from the very first run through and it only gets better with repeated plays. Taste, sophistication, intelligence, ego-free, less is more. A pivotal disk, wish all electric blues were like this.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2008, 06:47:07 AM »
Not sure how many sessions exactly but I got turned on to Otis Rush's Cobra Sessions '56 - '58 recently, how did I miss that one. Legendary sessions and deservedly so. I'm not an electric blues guy but there's a lot about those recordings that sets them apart from the very first run through and it only gets better with repeated plays. Taste, sophistication, intelligence, ego-free, less is more. A pivotal disk, wish all electric blues were like this.
Flyright in 1980 obtained UK licence rights to the Cobra catalogue and managed to reissue the entire Rush recordings. See the range FLY LP560 to 594 at http://wirz.de/music/flyrifrm.htm and later CD reissues in 1990s.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 06:53:18 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2008, 08:21:53 AM »
I agree. And a big part of what made Otis Rush's Cobra sessions so great (in my opinion) was the presence of Ike Turner on second guitar for some of the tracks. Check those out ("Double Trouble" in particular), and you'll see they have a raw edge and excitement that sets them apart.
Jeff

Offline dj

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2008, 09:52:45 AM »
Quote
Flyright in 1980 obtained UK licence rights to the Cobra catalogue and managed to reissue the entire Rush recordings.

Paula issued them on CD in the States.  Apparently, all the Paula JOB and Cobra packages were straightforward reissues of the Flyright reissues, right down to the indifferent sound quality.  I see the Otis Rush stuff is out on Varese Sarabande now.  Anyone know if the sound is at all improved, or was the murkiness in the original recordings?

Offline Rivers

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2008, 06:12:00 PM »
My edition is on Fuel Records, released 2000, '...in cooperation with Varese Sarabande Records'. Sounds pretty good to me but I'm so used to 78s...

Neil Slaven's notes state: "His fifty-year career has contained some memorable recordings but none has surpassed the tortuous and tortured sounds that were coaxed from Eli Toscano's inadequately-equipped studio".

Nice package except no personnel listings, though we know Ike, Dixon, Horton and Little Walter are in there, and Little Brother Montgomery.

Once again doesn't count as one session ('56-'58) but it's legendary and usually packaged as a set of related sessions so I guess it almost fits.

If you like that you'll love Slim Harpo, The Excello Singles Anthology! A topic for Other Musical Interests perhaps. I'm very grateful to the guy who turned me onto those two records which I think are pivotal.

Offline dj

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2009, 05:45:29 PM »
One session I would have loved to attend is the one where Gennett recorded a bunch of St Louis artists in mid April of 1927.  There was a diverse group of vocalists, from vaudevillians to "classic" female singers to more country singers, with the absolutely wonderful Henry Johnson And His Boys holding things together instrumentally.  I would love to have been able to hear all the music live, to observe the personal interactions of such a diverse group, and to see what the heck Mr. Johnson was playing.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Favourite Recording Sessions
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2009, 05:56:11 PM »
Blind Willie McTell, Friday 23 October 1931, Atlanta:

Southern Can Is Mine
Broke Down Engine Blues
Stomp Down Rider
Scarey Day Blues

Oh to have been hanging around the studio at that one.

 


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