Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blues From Elmo Texas With Henry Qualls

Here is a review that likely appeared in the DC Blues Calendar. It was an excellent recording that Chuck Nevitt, a Dallas, Texas blues lover produced for his Dallas Blues Society label. I purchased my copy and this is still available. It is still in print. Blue Beat Music still shows it in print, but it also available from other sources including ebay. I am not sure whether the contact information for Dallas Blues Society Records is still good. Chuck still participates in the Blues-L internet list.

Those interested in down home blues will find a full plate on the Dallas Blues Society's wonderful release by Henry Qualls, Blues From Elmo, Texas. Backed by a sympathetic trio that includes rhythm guitarist Hash Brown's steady work, Qualls is featured on a variety of songs that include several classics associated with other Texas blues greats like Lightnin' Hopkins (Shotgun Blues) and Little Son Jackson (Rockin' and Rollin' aka as Rock Me), an instrumental rendition of Blind Willie Johnson's Motherless Children, along with his rocking adaptation of the traditional Long Gone

When he turns the old Newbeats hit, Bread and Butter, into a stomping blues or tears into an instrumental like The Elmo Stomp, Qualls and his group gets a rocking groove going that suggests some of the energy of a Hound Dog Taylor, though his band is a bit less prominent than Taylor's band, the House Rockers. He more than ably covers Jimmy Reed's Can't Stand to See You Go along with Lowell Fulson's Reconsider Baby while his slide playing is moving on the instrumental Death is Moving Across the World

Qualls' slightly gravelly singing certainly helps make the lyrics standout, while his deliberate, considered playing is quite effective. This album is a gem. And those wanting to hear him first might check out the four songs Qualls has on the Cannonball collection, Dallas Blues collection. You may have to contact the Dallas Blues Society directly at P.O. Box 190406, Dallas Texas 75219 for information on how to obtain this [214-5212583] (I obtained my copy from Blue Beat Music {}.

Here is a video of Qualls performing Long Gone. Sorry the sound is a bit rough on the video.

1 comment:

Terry Montgomery Groff said...

Played several gigs with Henry and Hashbrown which is an experience in and of itself. You always had to be on your toes when he would do his 11 1/2 and 13 bar blues changes. Many times we could tell that he was just trying to throw me and Bobby (Baranowski) off of our game by changing on purpose then he would smile when we caught it.

It was always fun and I miss that cantankerous old coot. :-)

Terry Montgomery