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Reviews Written by
Mark Anderson (Victoria, BC, Canada)
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The Complete OKeh Sessions 1952-1955
The Complete OKeh Sessions 1952-1955
Price: CDN$ 11.29
22 used & new from CDN$ 3.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Great R&B From A Singer Whose Name And Work Are Not Very Well Known, But Should Be, Dec 9 2014
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I wasn't familiar with the name Big Maybelle or with her recordings until I came across her name while doing some music research.

I took a chance and ordered this CD as a relatively low cost introduction to Big Maybelle.

Great stuff. Big Maybelle had a great voice and Okeh Records gave her some first rate material to record, including a version of Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' On, which she recorded two years before Jerry Lee Lewis released his far better known cover on Sun Records in 1957.

This CD has 26 tracks, clocking in at just under 75 minutes total playing time, and the sound is good.

If you like classic R&B and you don't know about Big Maybelle, buy this and check her out. If you like classic R&B, you'll like this CD. I have no problem recommending this one.

After hearing this one, I'll be buying the Big Maybelle Complete Savoy Sessions CD, which covers her 1955-59 recordings.

Bill Wyman's Rude Dudes
Bill Wyman's Rude Dudes
Price: CDN$ 25.92
20 used & new from CDN$ 18.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection Of Vintage Blues Recordings (1928-41) About Sex, Selected By Former Rolling Stones Bass Player Bill Wyman, Dec 5 2014
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This review is from: Bill Wyman's Rude Dudes (Audio CD)
I have a copy of Bill Wyman's excellent Blues Odyssey book so I took a chance on ordering this 2 CD Bill Wyman compilation of 1920s and 1930s blues recordings. It turned out to be a excellent CD.

In this collection, Wyman has selected 40 songs about sex recorded by blue artists between 1928 and 1941. Since censorship standards of the time didn't allow direct reference to sex, these songs are full of imaginative analogies and double-entendre. The musicianship is top quality throughout.

The artists range from names many blues fans will find familiar (Lonnie Jonson, Victoria Spivey, Bo Carter, Roosevelt Sykes, Blind Willie McTell, Bessie Smith and Blind Boy Fuller to name a few) to obscure artists like Butterbeans and Susie, Whistlin' Rufus and Margaret Webster.

The re-mastering is very well done and the sound is excellent for recordings of this era. The collection was released by Document Records in 2003. Great selection of material. Highly recommended.

Cotton Pickin Blues
Cotton Pickin Blues
Price: CDN$ 14.61
17 used & new from CDN$ 8.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Compilation Of Tommy McClennan and Robert Petway Recordings From 1939-1942 With Good Re-Mastering, Dec 5 2014
This review is from: Cotton Pickin Blues (Audio CD)
This is very good collection of 18 Tommy McClennan recordings from 1939-42 and 7 recordings by McClennan's friend Robert Petway from 1941-42, released by Acrobat Records, a European label.

This is not a complete collection of all Tommy McClennan's or Robert Petway's recordings (the complete recordings of both McClennan and Petway are available through Amazon on Document Records releases) but it includes the best known material from both McClennan and Petway.

The re-mastering is well done and the sound quality is very good for recordings from this era.

The sound quality makes this a worthwhile purchase for blues fans who already known about Tommy McClennan and Robert Petway or who already have material from these two artists in their collection. For those unfamiliar with Tommy McClennan or Robert Petway, this would be a great introduction to these two influential, yet overlooked, Mississippi bluesmen.

Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation
Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation
by Yossi Klein Halevi
Edition: MP3 CD
Price: CDN$ 40.99
12 used & new from CDN$ 31.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Book - And The Audio Book Version Is Well Done, Dec 5 2014
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This is a really interesting concept for a book. The author follows several members of the IDF Parachute Reserve Battalion which captured East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount during the 1967 Six Day War and uses the lives of those paratroopers to explore subsequent Israeli politics and history.

One former paratrooper becomes instrumental in changing the Israeli economy from government control to a free market, entrepreneurial system; others become leaders of the settler movement; one is imprisoned as a traitor for supporting Palestinian terrorists.

The result is a very interesting book and audio book. It's well written and the author's writing style adapts well to narration. The audio book version is well done.

I have a forty minute commute to and from work and I typically pass the time listening to audio books. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

All the Classic Sides 1928-1937
All the Classic Sides 1928-1937
Price: CDN$ 40.38
19 used & new from CDN$ 23.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Cost Effective Way Of Getting The Complete 1928-1937 Recordings Of Big Bill Broonzy With Good Re-Mastering, Nov. 27 2014
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This 5 CD set from JSP Records contains all of Big Bill Broonzy's recordings for the period 1928-1937. JSP has released two additional sets covering Broonzy's later career.

BIg Bill Broonzy was one of the most popular, and best selling, US blues musicians during the period these recordings were made and, from the quality of this material, it's easy to see why that was the case. The material here is top quality and easily stands the test of time. Big Bill Broonzy was one of the great bluesmen and he should be better known than he seems to be today. This set, and the other two Broonzy collections from JSP, are a very cost effective way to get Broonzy's complete recordings.

The re-mastering is very good and the sound quality is good for recordings of this era. Other reviewers have criticized JSP Records use of noise suppression technology during their re-mastering, saying it detracts from the overall sound quality. The re-mastering on this set sounds good to my ear; it's certainly better than some other re-issues I've heard of Big Bill Broonzy recordings from this era.

Overall, this is a very worthwhile set for blues fans. It's a very cost effective way of getting the complete works of Big Bill Broonzy, one of the great bluesmen, with good re-mastering and decent, if short, liner notes.

For blues fans who aren't familiar with Big Bill Broonzy, he's definitely a musician you should check out. He was one of the great bluesmen. This set and the JSP 4 CD set of Big Bill Broonzy's 1937-1940 recordings are well worth your attention.

Recordings 1927-1933
Recordings 1927-1933
Price: CDN$ 41.99
30 used & new from CDN$ 23.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Cost Effective Way Of Getting Nearly All Jimmie Rodgers 1927-1933 Recordings With Very Good Sound, Nov. 27 2014
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This review is from: Recordings 1927-1933 (Audio CD)
This 5 CD set from JSP Records is a very cost effective way of getting almost all of Jimmie Rodgers recordings made between 1927 and 1933, the year Jimmie Rodgers died of tuberculosis.

The sound on this set is very good for recordings from this time period and the price is very reasonable for a 5 CD set.

Jimmie Rodgers was one of the great figures in 20th century American music. This 5 CD set is a very good way of getting almost all of his recordings with good digital re-mastering at a reasonable price.

Collection: The Blues Bureau Years
Collection: The Blues Bureau Years
Price: CDN$ 13.49
18 used & new from CDN$ 13.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Collection Of Rick Derringer's More Recent Work, Nov. 18 2014
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I was familiar with Rick Derringer's early 1970s solo work and with Johnny Winter And, but I hadn't listened to anything from Rick Derringer since then.

This album came up as a recommendation when I was browsing Amazon recently so I decided to take a chance and bought it without having heard it first. It turned out to be a good album.

Rick Derringer still has the guitar prowess I remember from the early 1970s. There's some very good tracks on this album.

If you liked early 1970s Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer's 1970s solo work, you might want to give this one a try.

The Original
The Original
Price: CDN$ 24.71
20 used & new from CDN$ 21.21

5.0 out of 5 stars A Cost Effective Way Of Getting The 1938-1939 Recordings Of One Of The Great Bluesmen, Nov. 18 2014
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This review is from: The Original (Audio CD)
This 4CD set from JSP Records is a cost effective way to get Sonny Boy Williamson's best recordings from 1938 to 1939. There's a second JSP set covering Sonny Boy Williamson's recordings from 1940 to 1948, the year of his death.

Sonny Boy Williamson was a major figure in blues history. He brought the harmonica from a backing instrument to a lead instrument in blues bands. Later harp players like Sonny Boy Williamson II (who blatantly appropriated Sonny Boy's name), Little Walter, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and many others all borrowed heavily from Sonny Boy Williamson.

Sonny Boy Williamson's 1938 recording Good Morning Little School Girl is rightly considered a blues classic and has been covered by many other artists up to the present day.

Along with Sonny Boy Williamson's own recordings, this set features tracks with Sonny Boy playing as a session musician behind other well known bluesmen, including Robert Lee McCoy (better known as Robert Nighthawk), Big Joe Williams, Yank Rachell and others. The complete set is 100 tracks of great blues from the late 1930s.

The sound is good for recordings from that era. Overall, a very cost effective way of getting Sonny Boy Williamson's recordings from this period.

Black Toppin'
Black Toppin'
Price: CDN$ 19.46
27 used & new from CDN$ 12.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Album From One Of The Best Blues Bands Currently On The Scene, Nov. 18 2014
This review is from: Black Toppin' (Audio CD)
I discovered the Cash Box Kings about a year ago when I borrowed a copy of their Holler And Stomp CD from my local public library. I liked Holler And Stomp so much that I promptly bought my own copy and I'm gradually buying the band's other CDs.

The Cash Box Kings are one of the best among the current blues bands on the scene. If you're a blues fan and you haven't heard these guys, this is a band you should check out.

This 2013 release is another great Cash Box Kings album. It's 13 tracks, just over 40 minutes total playing time, of first rate 1950s based Chicago blues.

One note for the Cash Box Kings CD distributors though. I'm having trouble getting some of their albums. I've had Live On I-94 on order through Amazon for almost a year and it still isn't available. You need to rectify the problems in getting the product out to the CD buying fans.

One more suggestion: some of the Cash Box Kings CDs are over $30 on Amazon's Canadian site. You really need to drop the CD prices to something more reasonable. Dropping the prices will undoubtedly result in higher sales and revenues for the band.

Aint A Gonna Lie To You
Aint A Gonna Lie To You
Price: CDN$ 15.01
26 used & new from CDN$ 10.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good CD Of Acoustic Guitar Blues From An Overlooked Bluesman, Recorded In 1967, Nov. 18 2014
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This review is from: Aint A Gonna Lie To You (Audio CD)
Joe Callicott is not a well known name among blues fans. He recorded two tracks for Brunswick Records (Fare Thee Well Blues and Travelin' Mama Blues) in a 1930 session at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. At a 1929 session he played guitar behind his friend Garfield Akers on Cottonfield Blues Part 1 and Cottonfield Blues Part 2.

Then he dropped out of view and blues researchers and historians completely lost track of him.

In 1967, blues researcher George Mitchell traced Joe Callicott to his home in Nesbit, Mississippi and recorded Callicott performing 12 songs on Callicott's front porch. This CD features those 12 tracks recorded by George Mitchell in 1967.

This is excellent acoustic blues, just one man on guitar and vocals. Joe Callicott was 67 when George Mitchell found him and made these recordings in 1967. Callicott's voice had held up well and, although he had given up the guitar for several years in the interval between his 1930 recordings and his rediscovery by George Mitchell in 1967, his guitar skills are still in evidence on these recordings.

The sound is very good for a field recording done on Callicott's front porch. The music is very good. Tracks include two renditions of Callicott's 1930 recording of Fare Thee Well Blues, an acoustic version of the blues classic Rollin' And Tumblin', a version of the well known blues song Frankie and Albert. The total playing time is just over 40 minutes.

Overall, a very worthwhile CD of acoustic guitar based country blues from a bluesman who was first recorded in 1929. If you like artists like Mississippi John Hurt, you'll like this one.

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