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Mark Anderson (Victoria, BC, Canada)
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Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
by Robert Gordon
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.72
34 used & new from CDN$ 8.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Biography Of Muddy Waters, Oct. 3 2014
Robert Gordon has written several high quality books on American music history, including this very interesting biography of Muddy Waters.

Muddy Waters was one of the most influential musicians in blues history and this is a very interesting biography of Waters. If you're a blues fan, this book would be a very worthwhile read.

Overall, a very good book.

Respect Yourself
Respect Yourself
by Robert Gordon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.75
40 used & new from CDN$ 19.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good History Of Stax Records, Oct. 3 2014
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This review is from: Respect Yourself (Hardcover)
This is a very well researched and well written history of Stax Records. It not only covers the great music that came from Stax and the musicians who made it, but also the twisted business affairs that ultimately led to the label's demise.

Overall, a very worthwhile read if you're interested in music history.

Can't Even Do Wrong Right
Can't Even Do Wrong Right
Price: CDN$ 17.31
31 used & new from CDN$ 14.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good 2014 Album From Elvin Bishop, Oct. 3 2014
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I listened to a lot of Elvin Bishop's music back in the 1970s but lost touch with his music since then. So I bought this 2014 Elvin Bishop release to see what Elvin Bishop's latest material sounds like.

It sounds very good. Some great playing and a lot of humorous lyrics. Five of the ten songs are Elvin Bishop compositions, the rest are covers, including: Blues With A Feeling (by Walter Davis), an instrumental of Roscoe Gordon's No More Doggin', Bo Weevil by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholemew.

Guest artists include Charlie Musselwhite and Mickey Thomas, who did vocals on some of Elvin Bishop's 1970s albums.

The total playing time is just under 40 minutes, which is a little disappointing. I would have liked to hear more of this.

But overall, a very good new Elvin Bishop album.

Bourinot's Rules of Order: A Manual on the Practices and Usages of the House of Commons of Canada and on the Procedure at Public Assemblies, Including Meetings of Shareholders
Bourinot's Rules of Order: A Manual on the Practices and Usages of the House of Commons of Canada and on the Procedure at Public Assemblies, Including Meetings of Shareholders
by Geoffrey Stanford
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
34 used & new from CDN$ 2.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful Book For Any Canadian Who Attends Political, Civic or Private Meetings, Sept. 12 2014
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Bourinot's Rules of Order are the standard rules followed in Canadian government, business and private meetings. The better known Roberts Rules of Order are not as widey used in Canada as Bourinot's. If you attend Canadian meetings and/or are eligible to participate in those meetings, a knowledge of Bourinot's Rules of Order is very useful.

This short book provides a very useful explanation of Bourinot's Rules of Order. If you attend Canadian civic meetings or are a member of any Canadian group that has meetings, this book would be useful to you.

I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll
I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll
Price: CDN$ 18.25
20 used & new from CDN$ 14.50

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Album From One Of The Great Delta Bluesmen, Sept. 8 2014
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This is an excellent Mississippi Fred McDowell album from 1969. It's just McDowell on electric guitar and vocals, with a bass player in the background on some tracks.

Mississippi Fred McDowell was one of the slide guitar masters in Delta blues and this album is a showcase of his guitar prowess.

If you're not familiar with Mississippi Fred McDowell, consider that Bonnie Raitt took slide guitar lessons from him. Listen to Bonnie Raitt play slide guitar and then listen to this album. Mississippi Fred McDowell's influence on Bonnie Raitt's playing becomes pretty clear when you compare them. The Rolling Stones also covered a Mississippi Fred McDowell number, You Gotta Move, on their Sticky Fingers album. (Note: You Gotta Move is not on this album.)

Mississippi Fred McDowell was one of the great Delta bluesmen. If you're not familiar with his music, this album would be a good introduction. If you already know about McDowell, this CD would be a worthwhile addition to your collection.If you're interested in slide guitar, this is an album you should have.

The sound is very good and McDowell is at the top of his game. Overall, a very worthwhile CD for any Delta blues fan,

Roy Brown & New Orleans R&B
Roy Brown & New Orleans R&B
Price: CDN$ 21.12
8 used & new from CDN$ 21.12

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Collection Of New Orleans R&B From Late 1940s and Early 1950s, Sept. 5 2014
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This is a very good 4CD set from JSP Records featuring two CDs (about 50 minutes each) of Roy Brown's best recordings from 1949-1952. These include all his best known material like Good Rockin' Tonight, Cadillac Baby, Butcher Pete and many more. The set also includes one CD of David Bartholomew material from 1947-52 and one CD of Doctor Longhair from the same period, so this is a great sample of New Orleans R&B from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Roy Brown is often overlooked today but he was one of the leading R&B stars in the late 1940s and early 1950s. His career declined during the late 1950s as he was eclipsed by rock n' rollers who copied his style.

The sound on this collection is good.

The price has jumped since I ordered this one in August 2014. It was about $30 when I bought it; it's now over $40 (September 2014). I suggest the distributor should drop the price a bit.

Mississippi Fred Mcdowell
Mississippi Fred Mcdowell
Price: CDN$ 16.25
28 used & new from CDN$ 10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent 1962 Recording Of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sept. 5 2014
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This is an excellent Mississippi Fred McDowell CD.

If you're not familiar with Fred McDowell, you may be familiar with some of his students and some of his compositions covered by others. McDowell taught Bonnie Raitt to play slide guitar and his song You Gotta Move was covered by the Rolling Stones on their classic 1971 album Sticky Fingers.

This album is just Fred McDowell on guitar and vocals, recorded in his living room in Como, Mississippi in 1962.

The sound is very good and the material is excellent. This is an excellent recording of one of the great Mississippi bluesmen.

If you like authentic Mississippi blues, this one is well worth your attention.

Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences
Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences
by Catherine Pelonero
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.03
38 used & new from CDN$ 2.46

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book On A Notorious Murder That Raised Some Fascinating, And Disturbing, Issues And Questions, Sept. 5 2014
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This is an excellent book on the Kitty Genovese murder in 1964. As far as I'm aware, it's the only detailed book on the Genovese murder published over the last four decades, which is somewhat surprising given the notoriety of the case, its implications and the changes that it led to; among other things, the 911 emergency system was implemented by New York City as a direct result of the Genovese murder and later copied throughout North America.

The Genovese case is a fascinating, and disturbing, social commentary. Kitty Genovese, a 28 year woman returning home to her apartment in Kew Gardens, in the New York City borough of Queens, early one spring morning in 1964 was randomly targeted by a serial killer named Winston Moseley, who was driving around Queens looking for a lone woman to kill. He spotted Kitty Genovese getting into her car, followed her home and attacked her on the street in front of her apartment building. Moseley intercepted Genovese on the street and stabbed her at least twice. Police later determined that her screams and calls for help were heard by nearly 40 people (and probably by many more who later denied it), yet nobody called the police. One man yelled at Moseley from an upstairs apartment, causing Moseley to temporarily retreat. Kitty Genovese staggered around the corner to the rear of the building and hid in a hallway, all the while calling for help. No help came and nobody called the police.

Moseley then returned, hunting for Genovese. He found her hiding in the apartment building hallway where she had taken shelter and finished what he had started on the street, inflicting numerous stab wounds, cutting off her clothing and attempting to rape her as she lay dying in a pool of her own blood.

The case was reported extensively, with extensive coverage being given to the fact that many people heard Genovese screaming for help, looked out their windows and saw Moseley attacking her on the street, but did nothing to help and did not even bother to call the police.

In the words of one witness (amazingly, a friend and neighbour of Genovese), "I didn't want to get involved..."

This is a well written and well researched book about an interesting, and disturbing, murder case. Well worth reading.

On a personal note, I can offer some commentary on the central question in the Genovese case: why nobody called the police or was reluctant to "get involved."

In the fall of 2012, I came across a 15 year old girl in obvious medical distress on a public street (it tuned out she had overdosed on Ecstasy) and clearly unable to care for herself. There were about 30-40 people standing around but nobody called the police or ambulance, so I did. Two of this girl's "friends," a 17 year old male and an 18 year old male, approached me and told me to put my phone away and go away (I'm paraphrasing). I said that wasn't going to happen. These two then attacked me in an apparent attempt to get me stop calling the police and ambulance. I won the ensuing fight but nobody intervened to help me (I'm in my 50s). When the police arrived, I had one of these upstanding young citizens face down in the gutter while the other was standing a safe distance away making threats toward me. The police promptly arrested them both. Both were charged with assault.

The police were great but the rest of my experience of this event was very negative.

I was at work when this happened so I claimed Workers Compensation benefits for injuries: these two individuals tried to scratch my eyes out so I had some facial lacerations and I aggravated a shoulder injury I had suffered a month or so before the incident and for which I was seeing a physiotherapist.

Since I had made a Workers Compensation claim, my employer was required by law to conduct a WCB investigation. For this investigation, I was interviewed by an employer representative who directly asked me, "When these two guys told you to put your phone away and walk away, why didn't you just do that?" My response was something to the effect of, "Are you seriously suggesting that I should just walk away from a young girl in obvious medical distress on a public street and just leave her there?" The issue was not pursued further but the fact the question was asked in the first place was somewhat disturbing. My employer then challenged my Workers Compensation claim on the grounds that my getting involved in this situation was not part of my job. The Workers Compensation Board, to its credit, rejected that argument.

But the Workers Compensation Board initially rejected my claim for my shoulder injury on the grounds that the emergency room doctor only reported an "existing shoulder injury", not an "aggravation of an existing shoulder injury." That claim rejection was later overturned on appeal.

So, it seems, Good Samaritans are not exactly rewarded for their actions in today's society.

The assault case went to court several months later. I won't go into details but suffice to say I walked out of court with a complete distain for the courts, the prosecutor and the defence lawyers. All I'll say about it is that the courts certainly put up a huge disincentive toward Good Samaritans who do "get involved."

So the issues raised by the Genovese case regarding the reluctance of crime witnesses to get involved are certainly still relevant today. This book is well worth reading for anyone interested in these issues.

Paramount Masters,the
Paramount Masters,the
Price: CDN$ 30.39
22 used & new from CDN$ 24.89

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent 4 CD Collection Of Rare 1920s and 1930s Blues Recordings, Aug. 28 2014
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This review is from: Paramount Masters,the (Audio CD)
This is an excellent collection from JSP Records of 1920s and early 1930s blues recordings from the Paramount label, which went out of business in 1934.

As noted by other reviewers, Paramount's masters and its the written records of its recording sessions were lost so these recordings were collected from used 78 rpm recordings recovered by collectors over the years.

Paramount recorded some major blues artists of the 1920s and early 1930s. Better known Paramount artists like Charley Patton and Roosevelt Sykes are included in this collection. But a lot of these recordings are by obscure artists who were very good musicians but who have been long forgotten and have left little in the historical record apart from a few of their surviving 78 rpm records.

There are some very good, but largely unknown, blues musicians on this collection. If you're a Delta blues fan interested in the origins of the blues, this 4 CD collection is well worth your attention.

There's a lot of great music here. There are also some real eye openers. As one example, Track 9 on CD A is a 1929 recording called Keep A-Knockin' by James "Boodle It" Wiggins, an artist I'd never heard of. But I really started paying attention when I heard the tune and lyric. It's the song Keep A Knocking made famous by Little Richard in the 1950s, but this Wiggins track was recorded in 1929. I checked my Little Richard Greatest Hits CD for the song writing credit on the Little Richard version; R. Penniman (i.e. Little Richard) is credited as song writer but there's no mention of James Wiggins, despite the clear evidence that Wiggins recorded the song 25 years before Little Richard did. Little Richard clearly didn't give Wiggins a well deserved song writing credit.

That's just one little unknown gem in this collection. There are many others.

If you're a blues fan or you have an interest in American music history, this 4 CD collection is well worth your attention.

Louis Jordan: Son of Arkansas, Father of R&B
Louis Jordan: Son of Arkansas, Father of R&B
by Stephen Koch
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.70
26 used & new from CDN$ 12.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good, But Short, Biography Of Louis Jordan, Aug. 28 2014
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This is a good, but short, book on Louis Jordan, a musician who should be far better known than he is today. Louis Jordan was one of the most influential figures in 20th century American music - he has been cited as such by people like Chuck Berry, James Brown and B.B. King - but he does not get the historical recognition he deserves.

This book goes a short way toward rectifying that situation. It has some very good information on Louis Jordan's music and some very interesting information on his life and times, but I would have liked to have seen more details of Jordan's life and music.

There are some fascinating subjects that just get glossed over in this book:

- Louis Jordan's manager in his peak years was Berle Adams, who left the personal management business to become a leading executive at MCA and a major player in the music business. Adams brought bands like The Who to the MCA label. This book gives some information on Berle Adams but it could give so much more.

- Louis Jordan's strange song writing credit and royalty arrangements with his wife (later ex-wife; she stabbed Jordan after a domestic dispute, inflicting some serious injuries) Fleecy Moore gave Moore undeserved credit for co-writing many of Louis Jordan's biggest selling songs. After their divorce, Fleecy Moore continued to receive royalties on these songs and her descendants still own the rights, and collect the royalties, for them. Fleecy Moore certainly fleeced Louis Jordan, but while this book mentions these strange financial arrangements it doesn't go into detail about the reason(s) Jordan entered into such strange business arrangements which cost him millions in royalties. I find the business end of the music business to be very interesting and I would have liked to read far more about why Fleecy Moore ended up with the song writing credits and royalty rights she received and IMHO did not deserve and did nothing to earn.

- Louis Jordan's producer during his peak years was Milt Gabler, who had a long career in the music business. After producing Louis Jordan, Gabler produced Bill Haley & The Comets, who covered some Jordan songs and clearly copied Louis Jordan's style with Gabler's active encouragement. I would have liked to read more about Milt Gabler.

- Louis Jordan was a contemporary of, and rubbed shoulders with, some major figures in American music history. I would have liked more information on those major figures and Jordan's relationships with them. This book has some good information about this but could have taken it much further.

Overall, a good book but a short one. This book is well worth reading for anyone interested in Louis Jordan and/or American music history. For the casual fan it is very worthwhile; for those with a more serious interest in music history, this book is a very good starting point for additional research into Louis Jordan.

The author is clearly a long time Louis Jordan fan. I would encourage him to do a far more detailed follow up to this book, going into greater detail about Jordan's life and music.

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