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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!


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
Grapevine (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy
Sockin soul from an under-heard Chicago legend! Johnny Moore was one of the best deep soul singers in the Windy City scene of the late 60s – but an artist who only ever recorded singles across a variety of labels, so he's not as well remembered as album-oriented artists, like Syl Johnson or ... CD
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
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
Southside Blues Jam
Delmark, Early 70s. New Copy (reissue)
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
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
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
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
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
Parchman Farm
Columbia/Traffic, 1940. New Copy (reissue)
The complete Vocalion and Okeh Records 78s of the great Bukka White – a blues singer who was maybe a few years later than some of the first big stars from the Mississippi scene – but who's gone onto have a legacy and impact that will last for years to come! Bukka's got a very strong ... LP, Vinyl record album
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 ... LP, Vinyl record album
Cotillion, 1969. New Copy (reissue)
They got the title right on this one – and the album's a smoking batch of tunes that captures Freddie in all his guitar-driven glory! The set features Freddie working with a tight Atlantic studio group that includes King Curtis, David Newman, James Booker, and Billy Butler – but the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Raining In My Heart
Excello, Early 60s. New Copy (reissue)
Classic work from Slim Harpo – an album that kicks off with one of his biggest hits ever, and follows with plenty of great tunes as well! Things here are pretty rootsy and stripped-down – lots of spare, slowish rhythms (but a few funkier ones too!) – and instrumentation that's ... 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
Fremeaux & Associates (France), Late 20s/1930s/1940s/1950s/Early 60s. New Copy 2 CDs
Caribbean voodoo hits the American scene – served up here in a host of different mid-century styles – from jazz, to blues, to R&B – with some other nice surprises in between! The voodoo component of the tracks comes through either in the subject matter, or in the rhythmic ... 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
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
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, 2018. New Copy Gatefold
A pretty great little collection – put together by Memphis music expert Robert Gordon in support of his book of the same name! The sounds here aren't overdone Memphis cliches – no Elvis hits or Stax Records standards – and instead, the record showcases those criss-crossing modes ... 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
West Side Soul
Delmark, 1967. New Copy (reissue)
A classic bit of indie blues from the Chicago scene – featuring some great players from the second generation after Chess Records stopped picking up the younger local talents! Magic Sam leads the group on vocals and guitar, and he's working here with Mighty Joe Young on guitar, Odie Payne on ... LP, Vinyl record album
Nighthawk, Late 40s/Early 50s. New Copy (reissue)
Great work from the Chicago blues underground – rare tracks pulled from a time before labels like Chess and Vee Jay handled most of the big artists, and talents were spread between a handful of much smaller indies! The music here marks that key Chicago transition from rural to urban – ... 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
Kent/Ace (UK), Early 60s. New Copy
CD...$8.99 14.99
One of the standout classics from BB King's legendary run at Kent – a classic album with a cool little cover to boot! Arrangements on the set are by Maxwell Davis – who has this great way of bringing out some of the jazzier currents in BB's music – almost the same Memphis blend ... CD
Yazoo, 1931. New Copy (reissue)
Exactly the kind of a record to show why Skip James was really a cut above most of his contemporaries – a bluesman who works here with a sense of darkness and foreboding that really sets a chill to most of his tunes! There's less of the usual short-term sadness and smaller complaints of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Rough Guide, Late 20s/Early 30s. New Copy
Not the popular ragtime material you'll know from Scott Joplin and 70s revival years – and instead a batch of raw early blues sides, all from the 78rpm generation! Titles include "Have More Faith In Jesus" by Reverend Gary Davis, "Money Never Runs Out" by Cannon's Jug ... LP, Vinyl record album
I Feel Good
Paula, 1969. New Copy (reissue)
Gritty work from John Lee Hooker – a set recorded at the end of the 60s in Paris, at a time when that city was playing host to some of the hippest blues work of the decade! The style here is very much like John Lee Hooker of a decade before – simple, stark, and unadorned – with a ... LP, Vinyl record album
Ace (UK), Late 50s. New Copy
Rootsy blues from the great Excello Records – most of it recorded not too far from the Tennessee city in which the label made its home! The southern scene in the 50s was going through plenty of changes – partly because of all the migration northwards that started during the wartime ... CD
Big Bill's Blues
Columbia/Traffic, 1958. New Copy (reissue)
A classic album from the great Big Bill Broonzy – issued at the end of the 50s as part of the big book in folk blues – even though Broonzy was one of the few artists keeping that style strong during the earlier postwar years! The album's wonderfully respectful – maybe more in the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jazz Line (Germany), 1980. New Copy 2CD
A searing live set from Albert Collins – recorded overseas at the start of the 80s, and with an edge that may well beat most of his American records from the time! The well-recorded date captures Collins at his best in all elements – as a guitarist, singer, and even as an entertainer ... CD
Ace (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy
If you think Vee Jay and Chess Records were the sole gatekeepers to Chicago blues in the 50s, then think again – because the city was filled with loads of great tiny labels turning out excellent work – such as the trio of imprints featured in this collection! Ace digs really deep this ... CD
Modern/Ace (UK), Late 40s/Early 50s. New Copy
Early work from Jimmy Witherspoon – but the kind of sides that show that Jim had something different to offer, even from the start! The music's partly in the hip R&B mode of LA in the postwar years, but there's also a deeper sort of sound too – a bit of jazz swinging amidst the ... CD
Think (Japan), 1960s. New Copy
Blues 45s – but material that's also pretty close to the funky 45 spirit of the 60s too – given that most of these cuts have a pretty raw groove! The blues element usually comes from a guitar or harmonica element, or a way of vocal phrasing – but much of the background ... CD
Chess/Friday Music, 1962. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)
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
Night After Night
Delmark, 2017. New Copy
Deep-burning Chicago blues from Corey Dennison – one of the few contemporary players who can still hold onto the electric fire from that moment when the Windy City scene first broke wide to much larger national appeal! Corey sings with a full, raspy style – and augments his lyrics with ... CD
Memphis Breakdown
Sun/ORG, Mid 50s. New Copy
Doctor Ross is definitely the harmonica boss – one of those key postwar blues musicians who made his instrument as important to the scene as the guitar was back in the 20s and 30s! The music here was all recorded by Sun Records, but is a lot more raw and stripped-down than some of the more ... LP, Vinyl record album
Mamlish, Late 40s/Early 50s. New Copy (reissue)
A killer collection of rare blues from the Mamlish label – an imprint who brings the same sort of historical sensitivity that you might now from collections on Yazoo Records! As with that company, the music here is mostly pulled from vintage 78s, and given fresh presentation for a whole new ... LP, Vinyl record album
Black Cat Trail
Mamlish, Late 40s. New Copy (reissue)
A great collection of postwar blues – material that springs forth from a wealth of rare 78rpm recordings – and which includes a number of tracks that you may never hear otherwise! The set looks at the sort of records that were pivotal in pushing blues forward in the years after the war ... LP, Vinyl record album
Sony, 1920s/1930s/1940s/1950s/1960s/1970s/1980s/1990s. New Copy 3CD
The title might seem a bit all-encompassing – but given the talents of the mighty Ralph Peer, it certainly fits! Peer was one of the most pioneering figures in the early days of the recording industry – a talent scout who would endlessly search the country, especially the south, for ... CD
Children Of Zion – In Concert
Kicking Mule, 1974. Near Mint-
... LP, Vinyl record album
Natural Boogie
Alligator, 1974. Near Mint-
... LP, Vinyl record album
Soul To Soul
Epic, 1985. Near Mint-
... LP, Vinyl record album
Unk In Funk
Chess, 1974. Very Good
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 ... LP, Vinyl record album
Real Blues
Tradition, 1970. Very Good
... LP, Vinyl record album
Delmark, 1978. Very Good
A sharp live set, recorded in 1975 by Trio Records in Tokyo – with Rush on guitar and vocals, Jimmy Johnson on second guitar, Sylvester Boines on bass, and Tyrone Centuray on drums! LP, Vinyl record album
Prestige, 1963. Very Good
Fuller sings and plays 12 string guitar – and also serves up a bit of washboard, fotdella, harmonica, and kazoo too! LP, Vinyl record album
Best Of Muddy Waters
Chess, Early 50s. Very Good
Less a "best of" than an early full album that brings together some of Muddy Waters' earliest recordings for Chess – a great collection of early singles recorded in Chicago between 1950 and 1954! The work's relatively spare and rootsy overall – a great example of Chicago ... LP, Vinyl record album
Prestige/Bluesville, 1964. Very Good
... LP, Vinyl record album
Crudup's Mood
Delmark, Late 60s. Very Good+
Also features bass from Willie Dixon! 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
 
Updated September 24, 2018


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