Monday, March 17, 2014

60 Years of Delmark Blues

Delmark 60 Years of Blues is one of two compilations in which Delmark Records celebrates its 60 years. Blues has been a strong part of Delmark’s catalog including recordings by Speckled Red and Big Joe Williams that were part of what the label originally called “Roots of Jazz.” In fact, when the historic Junior Wells Hoodoo Man Blues was issued it was part of this series (I still have my monaural vinyl LP of Hoodoo Man Blues). Such a compilation provides a glimpse of the label’s history as well as a sampler of some of its more current (and upcoming releases). Additionally, Delmark provides us with some unissued tracks from earlier albums and selections from forthcoming releases.

There are plenty of delights here ranging from Studebaker John’s opening lament When They Played the Real Blues, to Giles Corey psychedelic funk blues from a forthcoming new release. Recent releases by Linsey Alexander and Quintus McCormick are spotlighted along with selections from Eddie C. Campbell, Lurrie Bell (Channeling Otis Rush), Sharon Lewis and Tail Dragger. Among the delights is a previously unissued Rock Me Baby from Junior Wells from the sessions that produced Southside Blues Jam, an alternate take of the Little Walter Trio (with Muddy Waters and Baby Face Leroy Foster) doing I Just Keep Loving Her, Big Joe Williams on a 7-string guitar doing a strong 44 Blues, a previously unissued “Key to the Highway” by Detroit Jr., and Sleepy John Estes (with Hammie Nixon) performing Stop That Thing from the forthcoming Live in Japan CD. There is a fabulous track by Magic Sam from the recent Live at the Avant Garde album” and this compilation closes with Toronzo Cannon’s fervent Hendrix-inspired (but no Hendrix copy) John The Conquer Root. Over an hour of solid blues to be heard here.

I received from Delmark and last Monday I covered a similar compilation devoted to jazz. Here is Eddie C, Campbell performing.

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