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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!


Otis Spann with Fleetwood Mac

Biggest Thing Since Colossus
Blue Horizon, 1969. New Copy (reissue)
A really great moment in the spotlight for the legendary Chicago bluesman Otis Spann – an artist who often appeared on records by bigger talents of his generation, but didn't always get to shine this brightly on his own! The album's a very reverent session that has Spann's piano and vocals ... LP, Vinyl record album
Arhoolie, 1965. New Copy (reissue)
Raw North Mississippi blues from Fred McDowell – some of best of the 60s – or any other era! Recorded on portable equipment in 1964 and 1965 sessions in Como and Holy Springs, MS and Berkeley, CA – and capturing the buzz of his guitar and grain in his voice so beautifully! A ... 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
Fat Possum, 1964. New Copy
One of the most legendary bluesmen of the early 78rpm generation – heard here in a wonderfully-recorded set from 1964! The session came at a time when Skip James was hardly getting any mainstream attention, but had been rediscovered by a younger generation – which led to the fledgling ... LP, Vinyl record album

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
Chess, 1959. New Copy (reissue)
Classic raspy vocals from the legendary Howlin Wolf – singing here in a way that definitely lives up to his nickname! The sound here is spare and stripped down, with very little accompaniment – usually just a bit of guitar, piano, bass, and drums – and sometimes not even all that ... LP, Vinyl record album

Lightnin Hopkins

Lightnin' Hopkins
Folkways, 1959. New Copy (reissue)
A late 50s session, but an album that captures Lighnin Hopkins in a rootsy style that could well hearken back to the 78rpm blues records of the 30s – thanks to production by Samuel B Charters, who captured Hopkins alone making music in his apartment in Houston! The tracks have that ... LP, Vinyl record album

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
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
Chess, 1961. New Copy (reissue)
About as pure as you can get for John Lee Hooker – a classic set of cuts for Chess, recorded with a feel that's almost folksy at times! The guitar has a raw edge that goes way back to the delta – and the overall approach is much more gritty than even some of Hooker's labelmates at the ... LP, Vinyl record album

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

Lightnin Hopkins

Blue Lightnin'
Jewel, 1965. New Copy (reissue)
A really nice later set from legendary Texas blues titan Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins – done up for the Jewel label with a bit of the spark that was missing from the hit & miss work he did earlier in the decade for Bluesville! Blue Lightnin' also has a down and dirty style in spots, ... 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
Third Man, Late 40s/Early 50s. New Copy 2LP
Some of the rootsiest work recorded during the early years of John Lee Hooker – most of it done for the Sensation label in Detroit, but with a vibe that could easily go back to the country sound of a decade before! The one difference is that Hooker's firmly expressive on most numbers – ... LP, Vinyl record album
Third Man, Late 40s/Early 50s. New Copy 2LP
Some of the rootsiest work recorded during the early years of John Lee Hooker – most of it done for the Sensation label in Detroit, but with a vibe that could easily go back to the country sound of a decade before! The one difference is that Hooker's firmly expressive on most numbers – ... LP, Vinyl record album
Vanguard/Craft, 1968. New Copy (reissue)
A great early album from Junior Wells – and one that really opens up that more soulful side of his talents that was becoming a Chicago hallmark at the time! The set was produced by Samuel Charters, but has none of the rootsy vibe of his earlier work on Folkways – and instead matches ... 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

Muddy Waters

After The Rain
Cadet/Get On Down, 1969. New Copy (reissue)
Muddy's grooving hard and funky – with help from Cadet studio funksters like Charles Stepney, Phil Upchurch, Louis Satterfield, and Morris Jennings – one of the best ever of the once oft-maligned, now oft-beloved funk era Chess/Cadet albums! After The Rain has more of Muddy's classic ... LP, Vinyl record album
Fat Possum, 1990s. New Copy 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
A strong collection of (mostly) early-to-mid 90s recordings by Mississippi blues legend Junior Kimbrough – compiling his Fat Possum recordings and as a set that really is essential! It includes recordings captured Junior's Juke Joint in Chulahoma, MS, home recordings and more – raw and ... LP, Vinyl record album
Arhoolie, 1964. New Copy (reissue)
Delta blues, recorded right near their source – an early southern recording by Arhoolie Records – one that captures Mississippi Fred McDowell at his best! Fred's mostly on acoustic guitar, alongside his tremendous vocals – really stretched-out, well-inflected lyrics that could ... LP, Vinyl record album
Chess/Jackpot, Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy (reissue)
The title definitely gets it right – as this 70s collection brings together most of the best Chess Records material by Howlin Wolf from the late 50s and early 60s – almost all of them small combo sides that present the man in all of his raspy, growling glory! The tracks span a space ... 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
Yazoo, Mid 30s. New Copy (reissue)
A great document of an amazing blues tradition – bottleneck guitar, offered up here in a host of original 78s from the 30s! The style is one that was co-opted often in later years, but is presented here at its roots – with a nice, gritty feel overall – and use of the mode that's ... 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
Chess/Elemental (Spain), 1965. New Copy
A mid-60s smoker from the great Bo Diddley – a set that's maybe more obscure than some of his initial classics, but equally great! Bo's completely on fire right from the start – fast-riffing his guitar with that rhythm he invented, and which bore his name for decades to come – ... CD

Taj Mahal/Lightnin Hopkins

Sounder
Columbia/Varese, 1972. New Copy
One of the rootsiest albums ever recorded by Taj Mahal – a set that begins with a song by Lightnin Hopkins, then seems to have Taj echoing a lot of the spareness of that work! The film's set in the 30s, and the music is very rootsy rural blues – with just Taj Mahal on vocals, steel-bodi ... CD
Fat Possum, Early 80s. New Copy (reissue)
An album recorded in the Netherlands, but a set that hits right to the heart of RL Burnside's Mississippi roots – thanks to a beautifully spare, careful presentation of the music! Most numbers feature just Burnside on vocals and guitar – with a vibe that's similar to the field ... LP, Vinyl record album

Magic Sam

Black Magic
Delmark, Late 60s. New Copy (reissue)
Rough-edged blues from the west side of Chicago – a stone classic from the mighty Magic Sam – a player who was taken from us all too soon! On the west side, they mix plenty of soul in with their blues – and you can definitely hear that on this stone smoker – a record that ... LP, Vinyl record album

Lowell Fulsom

Tramp Years
Kent/Ace (UK), Late 60s. New Copy
Funky blues from the great Lowell Fulsom! Lowell's best known to the world for his classic "Tramp", a tight funky number that virtually created a whole subgenre of soul, as Otis Redding and Joe Tex were quick to cut answer records to cash in on the action. Nobody could beat Lowell's ... CD
Mississippi, Late 70s. New Copy
Amazing blues from the Georgia scene of the 70s – music that hardly feels like other versions of the genre coming out at the time – partly thanks to the raw recording quality of these tracks! Most of the music features just a singer and guitar – sometimes just one or the other ... LP, Vinyl record album

Little Milton

Annie Mae's Cafe
Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1986. New Copy
Great work from a time when Little Milton was really reviving his sound – at times almost going back to the mix of soul and blues in his roots, but in a different style than at Chess – thanks to the production style of Malaco Records! The label's warm southern glow is just right for ... CD
Stag O Lee (Germany), 1950s/Early 60s. New Copy
Skip the "rock" in the title, because this set is pure blues all the way through – filled with rare treasures from those years when the electric guitar first started dominating the music – with a heady sound that rang from the Chicago scene down to Texas – and all the ... CD
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
Stag O Lee (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy
Skip the "rock" in the title, because this set is pure blues all the way through – filled with rare treasures from those years when the electric guitar first started dominating the music – with a heady sound that rang from the Chicago scene down to Texas – and all the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jazz Line (Germany), 1977. New Copy 2LP Gatefold
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 ... LP, Vinyl record album
Southland, 1984. Very Good
With Thomas Burt, Sunnyland Slim, Junior Kimbrough, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Frank Edwards, and Phil Wiggins & John Cephas. LP, Vinyl record album

Muddy Waters

Electric Mud
Cadet, 1968. Near Mint- Gatefold
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

Howlin Wolf

More Real Folk Blues
Chess, 1967. Very Good+
A much earlier set of tracks than the first volume of Real Folk Blues from Howlin Wolf – mostly material recorded in the mid 50s, both in Chicago and Memphis – all with a really nitty gritty sort of feel! There's a rough and rootsy mode going on here – one that has Wolf's raspy ... LP, Vinyl record album
Riverside, Late 20s. Very Good+
... LP, Vinyl record album
Blue Sky, 1979. Very Good+
... LP, Vinyl record album

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
Columbia, 1968. Very Good
The first album in a mighty legendary run from Taj Mahal – one of the first generation of blues musicians to really learn to recast their sound for the younger crossover generation! By that, we don't mean that Taj is commercial at all – it's just that he's kind of reclaiming the blues ... LP, Vinyl record album

Big Bill Broonzy

Last Session Part 3
Verve, 1957. Very Good+
... LP, Vinyl record album
Chess, 1950s/1960s. Very Good+ 2LP Gatefold
Way more than just the usual Windy City hits – and instead a really thoughtful collection of rare Chess material – with tracks by JB Lenoir, Elmore James, Floyd Jones, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush, Robert Nighthawk, John Brim, Big Boy Spires, Willie Mabon, and others! LP, Vinyl record album
La Val, 1972. Near Mint-
A compelling classic of raunchy blues – and a real standout in the indie scene of the 70s! The album features a very unique first side – one that's almost a party record at points, as Chick Willis runs through a live 21 minute take on the title tune – complete with some very ... LP, Vinyl record album
Deja Vu (Italy), Very Good+
... LP, Vinyl record album

Albert King

I Wanna Get Funky
Stax, 1973. Very Good
Albert King hardly has to make the statement in the title – as the record's plenty funky throughout, and has that great mix of blues with hipper 70s styles that you'd find in his best material for Stax Records! King's at the core, both on vocals and guitar – but the set also features ... LP, Vinyl record album
Swaggie (Australia), Late 20s. Very Good+
... LP, Vinyl record album
United Artists, 1972. Very Good-
Titles include "Funny How Time Slips Away", "Hard Luck Blues", "No One Knows", "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water", and "Going Down Slow". LP, Vinyl record album

Howlin Wolf

Howlin Wolf
Chess, Early 60s. Very Good-
Howlin Wolf is really getting into his thing here – tightening it up a bit from his earliest years at Chess, and moving into a groove that would forever make him one of the key artists to record for the label! The raspy, rootsy feel of earlier years is still in place – but the ... LP, Vinyl record album
 
Updated March 20, 2019


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