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Blues — Recently Added

XOur Chicago roots run deep here, with plenty of postwar Chicago blues -- plus delta blues, folk blues, electric blues, pre-war blues, and more!


King, Early 60s. New Copy
Killer early material from Freddy King – a blues album, but one that's also got a strong resonance with instrumental soul and early funk! The record is "Strictly Instrumental" – as the cover says – and a nice batch of short bluesy groovers that feature Freddy's great ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), 1950s/1960s. New Copy 2CD
There's been plenty written about the music of New Orleans – but this great little set pays tribute to the rich legacy of blues music just a bit west of the Crescent City – the hotbed of postwar material that flowed from the city of Baton Rouge! There's a really special vibe to this ... CD
Fat Possum, 2000. New Copy (reissue)
Late work from RL Burnside – done in that raw, raspy style that really helped set fire to the second half of his career! The production and instrumentation show a bit of the attention that Burnside was getting from the indie rock world – but at the core of the record, the vocals and ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jazz Line (Germany), 1977. New Copy 2CD
Well-recorded material from Louisiana Red – a blues musician who really hit his stride in the 70s, but with a style that feels a lot more vintage overall! Red works here with just vocals and guitar – and a bit of harmonica – in a mode that's like the 60s albums on Arhoolie, but ... CD

Howlin Wolf

Howlin Wolf Album
Cadet/Get On Down, 1968. New Copy (reissue)
A killer album of funky blues – recorded by Howlin Wolf during the period when Chess/Cadet was backing its older artists up with some of the newer funk musicians it had working in its studios! The overall sound works quite well – and although purists at the time moaned at the way ... LP, Vinyl record album
Columbia, 1965. New Copy (reissue)
A great return to recording for Son House – a musician who'd stopped playing the guitar in the postwar years, but rose again to fame during the great folk blues revival of the 60s! The style here is every bit as classic as some of Son's earliest music – just recorded a lot better, too ... LP, Vinyl record album

Muddy Waters

Unk In Funk
Chess/Get On Down, 1974. New Copy
Muddy Waters definitely put the "unk" in funk – although back in his day, the word meant something different than in the 70s! This set features some great late Muddy for Chess – produced in conjunction with Ralph Bass, Muddy's longtime associate in the studio, and done with a ... CD
Fire/Sunset Blvd, Early 60s. New Copy 3CD
A massive collection of late work from Elmore James – a 3CD set that brings together all of his famous material for Bobby Robinson's Fire Records, plus rare alternate takes, and some unusual bonus material as well! James passed away right after this work was recorded, but he's really on fire ... CD
Mississippi, Late 20s/1930s/1940s/1950s/1960s. New Copy
Wonderful work from that special place where blues and gospel intersect – where the spirit comes to play with more secular expressions – and the result is something completely sublime! The work here spans the space of a few decades, but is unified by the strong presence of guitar on ... LP, Vinyl record album
Think (Japan), 1960s. New Copy
A killer collection of rare blues material – and one that's pretty darn funky at times too! The set dives deep into the very underground world of the blues 45 – not the previous scene of rare 78rpm recordings that have been documented heavily for decades – but the later ... CD

Jimmy Rogers

Blues, Blues, Blues
Atlantic, 1999. New Copy 2LP (reissue)
The legendary Jimmy Rogers works here with a whole host of famous guest stars – or "all-stars", as they're listed on the label – a lineup that includes Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Taj Mahal, Stephen Stills, Jeff Healey, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and Lowell ... LP, Vinyl record album
King/Sundazed, 1962. New Copy (reissue)
Hardly the surf album you might expect from the title – although the set is a killer batch of guitar instrumentals – with more than enough power to blow any west coast groups right off the beach! At this early point in his career, Freddie King is way more than just a blues guitarist, ... LP, Vinyl record album
King/Sundazed, 1962. New Copy (reissue)
A well-titled record, as Albert King here plays with the large sound and big tone that would make him one of the best up-and-coming bluesmen of the 60s – a key player in the already-electrified generation, and possibly the greatest example of the new confidence that was coming into the genre ... LP, Vinyl record album
Modern Harmonic, 1969. New Copy (reissue)
One of the more obscure Lightning Hopkins albums of the 60s – a very spare session recorded in Los Angeles for the Vault label – but done with a vibe that's like some of Hopkin's earliest material from the 78rpm generation! The only difference is that the recording quality is superb ... LP, Vinyl record album
Third Man, 1969. New Copy 2LP Gatefold
A fantastic document of the first-ever Ann Arbor Blues Festival – the start of a great event that would blossom into other styles of music in the 70s, but which stood as a strong blues-based event in its initial year of 1969! In some ways, the three day series of concerts is a roots answer ... LP, Vinyl record album
Vanguard/Craft, 1968. New Copy (reissue)
We love our Buddy Guy here in Chicago – and this set cut for Vanguard, one of his first full solo albums with his own band will always be a favorite! Buddy's late 60s sound was as charismatic as he'd always be, but there's an understated approach to his lead that's really wonderful, and hits ... LP, Vinyl record album
Atlantic/Sundazed, 1969. New Copy (reissue)
A funky bit of blues from Otis Rush – the guitarist's debut album, and a surprisingly great batch of tracks recorded at Fame Studios! Production is by Mike Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites, who are clearly going for more of a crossover sound than Rick Hall might have given the set – but ... LP, Vinyl record album

Muddy Waters

Electric Mud
Cadet/Third Man, 1968. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)
The funk-tinged, pyschedelic soul album from Muddy Waters – one that irritated many a blues purist in its day – but it's finally reaching its earned status as a leftfield gem! You know, in the immediate years after this one (and similar funky blues albums on Chess/Cadet) was released, ... LP, Vinyl record album
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy
One of the funkiest albums ever from Junior Parker – a great little set that shows he had a lot more to offer than just the average bluesman! The album's got a nice little soul sound in the backings – tight rhythms from Horace Ott, who nicely avoids a lot of the cliches that the blues ... CD

Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, & Bo Diddley

Super Super Blues Band (colored vinyl pressing)
Checker/Jackpot, 1967. New Copy (reissue)
A group that definitely lives up to its name – given that the lineup features the Chess Records stalwarts Bo Diddley, Howlin Wolf, and Muddy Waters! The set's maybe a bit more in the mode of Wolf or Waters than some of Bo's own records – although there's a bit of that riffing spark of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Yazoo, Late 20s. New Copy (reissue)
He may be blind, but he's plenty satisfied – and so are we, with this excellent package of rare 78rpm recordings from Willie Johnson! The sound quality is great – which is important, as Willie's got a style of guitar that's almost lighter in tone than some of his contemporaries – ... LP, Vinyl record album

Mississippi John Hurt

1928 Sessions (180 gram pressing)
Yazoo, 1928. New Copy (reissue)
Vintage work from Mississippi John Hurt, but somehow amazingly clear and crisp in this classic LP presentation! The tunes are wonderfully earthy – just vocals and guitar from Hurt, in a style that's definitely blues, but which has some surprisingly jazzy inflections at times – at least ... LP, Vinyl record album
Case Quarter, 1970s. New Copy
Really raw work by Reverend Charlie Jackson – gospel in subject, but delivered in a style that's much more blues overall – thanks to a stripped-down presentation, and lots of electric guitar from the man himself! The Rev comes across here like some cat recorded out at a juke joint in ... CD
Fat Possum, 1968. New Copy
Astoundingly strong early recordings by Mississippi blues hero RL Burnside – with violence-tinged songs performed with a clearer, though no less tough voice than we heard on the songs that made him a bit more famous in 1990s! Includes RL's takes on traditionals played on acoustic guitar and ... LP, Vinyl record album

Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick & The Hearts

Square Dance With Soul
Asch, 1969. New Copy
A wild little record – and hardly the set of square dance material that you might expect! Instead, the album's a weird blend of folk, blues, and a little bit of soul – delivered by Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick in a jaunty, upbeat style that's downright optimistic – at one level ... CD

John Lee Hooker

Sittin Here Thinkin
Muse, Late 50s. New Copy (reissue)
Great gritty sides from the mighty John Lee Hooker – material with a slightly obscure origin, but recorded in the late 50s, right in a stretch when he was cutting some of his classics! Hooker's guitar and vocals are center stage – both growling with a hell of a lot of soulful power ... LP, Vinyl record album
Mercury/BGO (UK), 1967/1969. New Copy
CD...$8.99 14.99
A pair of late 60s gems from the bluesy singer Junior Parker – back to back on a single CD! Like It Is features standout soul from the great Junior Parker – a singer who started out in blues, and already had a big legacy of music for Sun and Duke Records by the time of this Mercury set ... CD

Howlin Wolf

Change My Way
Chess/Traffic, Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy
Almost a decade's worth of great work from Howlin Wolf – late 50s and early 60s recordings done for Chess Records in Chicago, nicely packaged up here in an archival series album with full notes on the sessions and music! Nearly all tracks are originals by Wolf – aka Chester Burnett ... CD

Bo Diddley

Big Bad Bo
Chess/Get On Down, 1974. New Copy
CD...$8.99 14.99
Heavy funk from the legendary Bo Diddley – one of his amazing comeback albums from the early 70s for Chess, all of which are plenty darn great! For this set, Bo's traded in the scratchy guitar mode of his classic work for a sweeter, tighter funk-based sound – a groove that's supported ... CD

Champion Jack Dupree

Sings The Blues
King/Gusto, Early 50s. New Copy
Early King Records material by Champion Jack Dupree – a hell of a pianist, and a heck of a great singer too – working almost as a raconteur on some of the best songs on this collection! The music has deep roots in New Orleans, where Jack must have really honed his piano skills – ... CD

Jessie Mae Hemphill

Run Get My Shotgun
Fat Possum/Big Legal Mess, 1989. New Copy
Jessie Mae Hemphill might look like an 80s blues artist on the cover, but the record's got a much more vintage vibe – as the set features field recordings done on New Years Eve in 1989, with Jessie Mae singing in a style that seems geared to ring in the year with the ghosts of the past! The ... LP, Vinyl record album
Bluesway/BGO (UK), 1966. New Copy
CD...$8.99 14.99
Otis Spann made some great records over the years, but he sounds especially nice on the handful of sessions he did for the Bluesway label – which seem to take a Chess Records approach, then give the whole thing an extra-added punch! Otis is in the lead on piano and vocals, but the group's ... CD
Liberty/BGO (UK), 1968/1969. New Copy 2CD
CD...$8.99 16.99
Two early solo albums from Tony McPhee – one of which is more of a mixed group affair overall! First up is Me & The Devil – fantastic acoustic blues from Tony McPhee – maybe best known as a member of The Groundhogs, but working here in a looser, more stripped-down mode – ... CD

BB King

Live & Well
BGO (UK), 1969. New Copy
CD...$8.99 14.99
BB King not just live, but well-recorded in the studio too – in this classic ABC set that showcases both sides of his talents! Side one is the live set – and it's arguably better than any of the previous other concert recordings he did for the label – with a tighter, moodier feel ... CD
Sunset Blvd, 1963/1975. New Copy 2CD
A double-header from Bukka White – a set that features his 1963 album for Takoma Records, plus a rare German concert from the 70s! CD1 features the record Mississippi Blues – gruff and deep down beautiful Mississippi Blues from Bukka White – released on John Fahey's Takoma label ... CD
MCA/BGO (UK), 1959/1964. New Copy
CD...$8.99 14.99
Two classics by Muddy Waters – back to back on a single CD! On the first record, the Big Bill in the title is Big Bill Broonzy – a key influence on midcentury bluesmen all over the US, and paid tribute to nicely here by Muddy Waters! Given this tribute approach, the sound's a bit ... CD
Warner/BGO (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy 2CD
CD...$8.99 16.99
A trio of Warner Brothers albums from Taj Mahal – all served up as a single collection! First up is Brothers – one of the better records that Taj Mahal cut during in the later 70s – probably because it was a soundtrack, and pushed the groove into some interesting places – ... CD

Freddie King

Larger Than Life
RSO/BGO (UK), 1975. New Copy
CD...$8.99 14.99
The last album recorded by Freddie King – mostly done at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin – which continues the great 70s update the Texas bluesman was bringing to his sound! There's bits of soul and funk in the mix, but Freddie is still the main attraction in the lead – ... CD
ABC/BGO (UK), 1975/1977. New Copy
CD...$8.99 16.99
A pair of ABC Records classics from Bobby Blue Bland – back to back on a single CD! First up is Get On Down – brilliant later work by Bobby Blue Bland – done with backings that are much fuller than on his earlier albums – a mixture of strings and horns that really expand ... CD

Big Mama Thornton

In Europe
Arhoolie, 1965. Near Mint-
Big Mama Thornton may well be best-remembered as the woman who gave the world "Hound Dog" – which later catapulted Elvis to fame – but over the years she continued to be a hell of a singer, with a rich legacy of music that more than stands on its own! Witness this mid 60s ... LP, Vinyl record album

Jimmy Reeves Jr

Born To Love Me
Checker, 1970. Near Mint-
A great mix of older and newer Chess Records blues modes – and a set cut by one of the lesser-known artists to work for the label! At some level, Jimmy Reeves Jr hearkens back to some of the more folksy blues artists who recorded for Chess in the 50s – but the setting here is slightly ... LP, Vinyl record album
Blue Horizon, 1969. Sealed
A great session, produced by Otis Spann, who also plays piano in the small group – with Paul Osher on harmonica, Sammy Lawhorn on guitar and bass, SP Leary on drums, and Johnny Young on vocals, mandolin, and guitar! LP, Vinyl record album

Bo Diddley

His Greatest Sides
Chess, Late 50s. Near Mint-
Raw, ragged, rough, and ready – killer early work by Bo Diddley, clearly in a class by itself! The Bo Diddley groove isn't blues, isn't soul, and isn't R&B – it's instead a mad blend of rhythm, scratchy guitar, and spontaneously playful vocals that few other singers could ever hope ... LP, Vinyl record album

Memphis Slim

Real Folk Blues
Chess, 1950s/Early 60s. Very Good+
Memphis Slim's installment in this excellent LP series from Chess – 60s packagings of earlier recordings done by key bluesmen in the Chicago scene, with slightly improved fidelity but enough of the "real folk blues" sound to warrant the title! Instrumentation here is a bit more ... LP, Vinyl record album

RL Burnside

Sounds Machine Groove
Sutro Park, 1979/1980. Near Mint-
Early work from RL Burnside – Mississippi country blues, recorded by David Evans during a few trips to Memphis in 1979 and 1980 – and pretty monumental stuff overall! The sides are billed as the first-ever recordings of RL playing electric guitar – and also the first non-solo ... LP, Vinyl record album
Flyright (UK), 1954. Near Mint-
Obscure 50s work from Lightning Slim – recorded by Jay Miller, who issued most of his work on Excello – but who got these sides out on the much smaller Feature label! LP, Vinyl record album

Junior Wells

Southside Blues Jam
Delmark, 1969/1970. Very Good+
An incredible slice of Chicago blues – and maybe one of the most important contributions Delmark ever made to the Windy City scene! The album captures Junior Wells in all his rough and raw brilliance – working in territory that's quite similar to the Chess Records vibe of the early 60s ... LP, Vinyl record album
Third Man, 1969. New Copy 2LP Gatefold
A fantastic document of the first-ever Ann Arbor Blues Festival – the start of a great event that would blossom into other styles of music in the 70s, but which stood as a strong blues-based event in its initial year of 1969! In some ways, the three day series of concerts is a roots answer ... LP, Vinyl record album

Guitar Shorty

Alone In His Field
Trix, 1974. Sealed
Just Guitar Shorty on vocals and guitar – on titles that include "Near The Cross", "Pull Your Dress Down", "Jessie Jones", "Like A Damn Fool", "Easter Blues", and "Boogie Now". LP, Vinyl record album
Specialty/Ace (UK), Mid 50s. Near Mint-
Hip work from one of the important early bluesmen on Specialty records – a hell of a guitar player, as you'd guess from his name – but also a singer with the same kind of raw charms as Johnny Watson in the 50s! LP, Vinyl record album
 
Updated November 15, 2019


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