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Chicago - The Blues Yesterday Volume 14

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Chicago - The Blues Yesterday Volume 14

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01. I hate to see you go
02. Do the mosquito
03. Can't stand your evil ways
04. My spirit will be with you
05. Bleeding heart
06. Did you do the mosquito?

J.L. Smith – vocals
James Scott Jr – guitar
Little Mack Simmons – harmonica
Lafayette Leake – organ
Jerome Arnold – bass
Earl Phillips – drums
Chicago, 1968

07. Got my top let down
08. If it's too late

J.L. Smith – vocals
Freddie Roulette – steel guitar
Johnny "Big Moose" Walker – piano
Mack Thompson – bass, drums
Chicago, January 1969

09. Come dance with me
10. Tears won't help you baby

J.L. Smith – vocals
Abb Locke – tenor saxophone
Big Walter Horton – harmonica
Johnny Twist Williams – guitar
Johnny Littlejohn – guitar
Calvin Jones – bass
Bill Warren – drums
Chicago, November 1969

11. Earth worm I & II

Cash Mc Call (Maurice Dollison) – vocals, guitar
+ band
Chicago, 1963

12. You ain't too cool
13. Let's get a thing going on
14. You mean everything to me

Cash Mc Call – vocals, guitar
John Avant – tuba
Willie Henderson – baritone saxophone
Monk Higgins – piano
Sidney Lennear – guitar
David Henderson – bass
Ham Hamilton – drums
Chicago, 1966

15. I'm in danger
16. S.O.S.
17. Don't change on me

Cash Mc Call – vocals, guitar
Monk Higgins – piano, horns
Phil Upchurch – bass
Morris Jennings – drums
Chicago, 1967-68

18. More power to you

Cash Mc Call – vocals, guitar
+ band
Chicago, 1971

19. I'm wading in deep water
20. It's been so long baby
21. Whiskey ol' whiskey
22. I gotta find my baby

Tommy Malone – vocals
Bill Reese – guitar
+ band
Birmingham, Al. 10 January 1955

23. Cow cow shake
24. Worried life

Tommy Malone – vocals
Bill Reese – guitar
+ band
Birmingham, Al. 1960

 

Let's start the 14th (!) volume of our Chicago/ The Blues Yesterday series with singer J.L. Smith (James L. Smith) who, despite the ten very good or even excellent tracks he has recorded in the late 1960's is still largely only a name. He was for sure sporadically singing his blues in the Chicago clubs, certainly until the early 1980's and was probably from Mississippi. He has in particular recorded for the tiny Friendly Five label, owned by Chicago guitarist and cab driver Freddy Young with whom some say he was also a colleague. Whatever! His complete recorded output that we can now feature is first rate and feature some of the top notch Chicago blues musicians of the era.

Cash McCall (born Maurice Dollison in New Madrid, Missouri on January, 21st 1941) is a well known and greatly appreciated blues, Funk, Soul, Jazz guitarist. He has graced numerous sessions (Chess notably) with his precise, fluid, expressive and very bluesy guitar playing. He has also recorded several albums under his name which can be still easily found. This is not the case of his early 45s. Thus this selection of his most bluesy early recordings.

At last, the blind singer Tommy Malone (sometimes billed as Blind Tom Malone) is mostly an unknown. He hailed from Birmingham, Alabama, where he was the featured singer of guitarist's Bill Reese band with whom he recorded four excellent tracks in 1955. We find our man again this time in Chicago in 1960 with once again Reese, recording two titles for Mayo Wiliams' Ebony label. He has disappeared after that.

This anthology wouldn't have been possible without the strong help and generosity of Steve Wisner. Steve, when during the 1970s very few blues records were still done in Chicago, produced some of the very best Chicago blues albums by Eddie C. Campbell (his first and still his greatest to my ears, King of the Jungle), Good Rockin' Charles, Mojo Buford and many more. ---Gérard Herzhaft, jukegh.blogspot.com

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