Hi everyone, not too early for Merry Christmas is it? It was an early Christmas here when these four fantastic albums arrived – absolutely great compilations of four fabulous genres. Get in quick, these are already going fast.
Another quick seasonal note, if you are stuck for a present for your music-addict friend, spouse, odd person you seem to have got into a gift-giving cycle with that you cannot break we have Gift Vouchers that can be used in-store or online. Drop us an email for details.
And onto the goodies…
I think most of you will be up to date with this great series which proves that Rock n Roll is not just the blues with electric guitar. THIS is Blues with electric guitar. On this edition, we have selections from Reinhardt, the boss of Stag o Lee and London’s very own Donna Driscoll. The Rman presents some real blues heavyweights including Howling Wolf, Lightnin Hopkins, Little Walter and Sonny Terry. You know this side is going to be all great stuff. Then he mixes in a few lesser-knowns who do not sound out of place in such illustrious company. On the flip side, Donna presents a super mix of under-the-radar tracks. She kicks off with three real tough guitar pounders, then we get a disguised 5 Royals vocal group mover before three fine female vocal floor fillers, the last one being a super example of the popcorn style. The final track seems to be unavailable on any other reissue and could have been included on the Vocal Group Madness LP I talk about later.
I have a real problem with instrumentals. I can never remember the dam titles. They are all that fast tough one, or the long sax break one or the one The Cramps used for whatever. Anyway this LP has been a firm favourite since arriving in the shop because it features the various instro styles that lurk just beneath the waves of the Surf catch-all genre. We have the pounding drum-led mid-tempo, the super-fast guitar-driven workouts, the fuzz-up toughs, the organ-screaming wildies and of course the brooding slow numbers. Part of the idea of surf music is it reflects the excitement of surfing. This LP really does that, the tension of not wanting to miss a great breaker, the buzz of catching a wave, the high of the ride in when the world falls away and just you and the sea and the sky matter and sometimes the crash and chaos of a wipeout. Then after hitting the beach, grab your board and paddle out again. I have not come across an LP that really puts it all together as well as this one. And what a great name. Surfin’ Burt.
Hell, I really can’t say anything about this album. It is the pick of the best (apart from not including any Sun tracks). Some of these, the Glen Glenn and Pat Cupp tracks, became instant club favourites when reissued by Ace in the late 70s, others like Junior Thompson and David Ray were revered even before that. The creamiest of the cropiest though are the Starday and Starday Custom tracks. The Hal Harris killer was unbelievably unissued until Ace found it on a tape in about 1978, the Orangie Ray Hubbard one was issued but a complete lack of sales combined with it being amazing made it one of the most sought-after rarities amongst collectors. So we have what some would call classics and next to these, we have some equally great tracks that despite their quality have remained the domain of collectors and never become the huge scene hits they should be. I am super happy that the mind-blowing Jimmy Stewart and Carl Trantham and Jerry Hanson tunes are being made available again.
I said I can’t say anything about this album, what I mean is I can’t really be very coherent without sounding like some gibbering fanboy.OK calm down – a quick note that a lot of the old albums you may have some of these tracks on used old 45s as masters, but here you get the real deal sound from the real deal master tapes and that alone is worth the price of any duplicating you may do with this album.
This came out some time back but never got the newsletter treatment as it sold out before I had a chance to write about it. I ordered a restock with the new stuff above and got the last three copies the Rman had. Yep, a 500 press sold out in a few months. You know what, I am going to cut this short and just say if you are a fan of vocal harmony sounds just get in quick before this is gone again. Oh, and it has a version of Stormy Weather to rival The Five Sharps. You know what though, to sign off with a bit of controversy I do think this is a pretty Doo Woppy rather than Vocal Harmony Rhythm and Blues collection.
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