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Everybody singin' like somebody else's body. And that's pretty spooky if you think about it. I like the shows where the guy... he's like 18 years and white and he's comin' up on stage before a 90 years old bluesman [pantomimes lurching onto stage, plays really old sounding blues, wails incomprehensibly]... And then the 90 years old bluesman comes on and says, 'OK man, whassup?' Everythin's gotten like kinda spaced if you think about it... - Jerry Ricks, Port Townsend 97

Author Topic: Smoky Babe  (Read 4410 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Smoky Babe
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:36:32 PM »
I don't have any Smoky Babe, what's the disc to get?

[edit: changed topic title, removed "Re." from begining so it sorts better in discogs tag results]
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 11:07:26 AM by Rivers »

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 12:52:39 AM »
I don't have any Smoky Babe, what's the disc to get?

Anything by Smoky Babe is worth having (in my humble opinion).  I have a couple of LPs, but I assume some stuff is available on CD now. You'll have to do a bit of research.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline oddenda

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 03:53:16 AM »
Stephan Wirtz MUST have a listing for him!

Peter B.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 05:31:04 AM »
Stephan Wirtz MUST have a listing for him!
Peter B.
Of course he does http://www.wirz.de/music/smokyfrm.htm

Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 05:31:57 AM »
sho nuff he does: Illustrated Smoky Babe discography  ;)

(isn't there a theory about the 'duplication of events'? Has that anything to do with 'great minds'?)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 05:53:58 AM by Stefan Wirz »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 06:25:13 AM »
There are only two Smoky Babe CDs that I'm aware of: "Louisiana Country Blues" on Arhoolie (which he shares with Herman Johnson) and "Hottest Brand Goin'" on Original Blues Classics (which is out of print and hard to find). You can't go wrong with either one. Both were recorded by Harry Oster at around the same time (1960 or so), and they are excellent. I don't believe he recorded any additional material that would fill an album of his own, but he does have a couple tracks on Arhoolie's "Country Negro Jam Session," which is also highly recommended.
Jeff

Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 06:33:32 AM »
just had a look at the 'New Testament' (Fancourt/McGrath) and obviously there are so many 'unissued' Smoky Babe tracks to fill two more CDs. Anyone knows if they're only on some list or actually available on tape ?

(to give truth the honour, there are 24 'unissued' tracks, that makes one well packed CD)  >:D
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 09:46:19 AM by Stefan Wirz »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 06:53:30 AM »
just had a look at the 'New Testament' (Fancourt/McGrath) and obviously there are so many 'unissued' Smoky Babe tracks to fill two more CDs. Anyone knows if they're only on some list or actually available on tape ?

This is similar to something I looked into a while back in regard to Clarence Edwards' numerous unissued tracks (like Smoky Babe, Edwards' tracks were recorded by Harry Oster in 1960). Arhoolie owns these recordings now, and when I contacted Chris Strachwitz about the Edwards' recordings he indicated that they would probably not be issued. If the unissued Smoky Babe tracks were also recorded by Harry Oster, then I assume Arhoolie owns them as well. Whether or not they might be reissued is up in the air (in the case of the Clarence Edwards' tracks, Chris Strachwitz felt they weren't up to snuff. If the Smoky Babe tracks were going to be issued, it seems like Arhoolie would have done so when they put out the Smoky Babe CD, instead of splitting it with Herman Johnson. Just a guess.)
Jeff

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 07:09:44 AM »
Hi folks, I split this off into its own topic.

I agree with the opinions so far, get everything.  :P It's not much to get anyway. And for the two Arhoolies, if you order through Arhoolie direct online and have another Arhoolie disc you've been thinking of picking up, they give you a pretty good discount for 3 or more CDs. The Louisiana disc gets you Herman Johnson as well, who is wonderful in a very different way. The Jam Session disc gets you a pile of great music.

Jam Session disc is reviewed here: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=782.0

« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 07:12:41 AM by uncle bud »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 07:45:13 AM »
BTW, I have a hard time imagining 2 CDs' worth of Smoky Babe material being not good enough to issue, unless there is something wrong with the actual tape. Smoky Babe just seems like a player who is almost always ON. Perhaps a tune or two might go awry, but 2 CDs of songs? I wonder whether it's more a question of not wanting to bother, for lack of a market or another reason.

Offline Lyndvs

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 07:52:18 AM »
all the Smoky Babe cd`s are great-my favourite is the arhoolie disc-it`s just so alive.A few months ago RedLick records in the uk had a batch of Smoky Babe`s"hottest brand.."cd`s on clearance-i replaced my vinyl copy-for just ?6.00!.They may still have some?!.
    It is out of print and i`ve seen copies on amazon for"silly"money.
        take care
lyndvs.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2009, 09:04:06 AM »
Hottest Brand Goin' has long been one of my favorite records (I have the LP) and Smokey Babe invites comparison with almost anyone in the canon really. Is there a more swingin' back country Mississippian? I don't think so.
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Offline jpeters609

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2009, 11:18:28 AM »
BTW, I have a hard time imagining 2 CDs' worth of Smoky Babe material being not good enough to issue, unless there is something wrong with the actual tape. Smoky Babe just seems like a player who is almost always ON. Perhaps a tune or two might go awry, but 2 CDs of songs? I wonder whether it's more a question of not wanting to bother, for lack of a market or another reason.

I agree, wholeheartedly. In the case of the Clarence Edwards recordings that Arhoolie has decided to keep in the can, Chris Strachwitz indicated that the problem was with Butch Cage's fiddle playing. Evidently, Butch just wasn't feelin' it on those songs! Perhaps the unissued Smoky Babe recordings also suffer from a problem with a backing musician.
Jeff

Offline Johnm

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 11:25:12 AM »
Hi Mark,
I agree that all the Smoky Babe recordings I've heard have been excellent, but would choose "Hottest Brand Going" if I had to select one.  You can't lose, though, really.  If you get the "Louisiana Blues" one on Arhoolie you get all the great Herman E. Johnson material.  Get it all, there's not that much stuff out there.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Rivers

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Re: Smoky Babe
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 03:31:58 PM »
Many thanks guys. Arhoolie here I come.