The flaming Appalachian gospel you can hear in Little Richard, James Brown, Elvis, especially Jerry Lee. Songs and sermons, 300-plus pages of riveting oral history, lyrics, 290 photos. Total Dust To Digital class.
Sleazy rhythm and blues — cult classics like Jail Bait, Greasy Chicken — kicking off a career including production and writing for Stevie, Ike, Funkadelic and co, and stints at Motown and Chess. Detroit legend.
At the wild, searing fountainhead of Zydeco: the black accordionist and singer with white fiddler Dennis McGee, on Afro-Creole scorchers, waltzes, blues and breakdowns. Cajun’s Robert Johnson.
Her 1956 Atlantic debut, key to the splitting of jazz singing into rhythm and blues and soul. Lavern was Memphis Minnie’s niece. Her stage-name in her teens was ‘Miss Sharecropper’.
For Your Precious Love started out as a Bandera recording (subsequently leased to Vee-Jay), made by co-owner Vi Muszynski — and there are eleven Impressions sides here, seven of them previously unissued.
Gospel soul classic from 1971, with Gene Barge, Phil Upchurch and Richard Evans, besides the rapturous Youth For Christ Choir. Good enough for Donny Hathaway, good enough for me.
From the end of the 1940s, amazingly — heady with New Orleans traditions and innovativeness, a riotous blend of heavily syncopated Caribbean rhythms and laid-back Southern swagger.
The seminal Memphis bluesmen Frank Stokes and Dan Sane, recording for Paramount in the late 1920s.
Hats off every time to the founding father of New Orleans rhythm and blues. DB holds the master recipe for soul-ska-rhumba-blues gumbo. Just check the tracklisting for a sense of his achievement. Don.
Thoroughly entertaining downhome blues, intricate ragtime, hokum and instrumental guitar stomps.
Babe Kyro Lemon Turner’s wonderful Texan take on Hawaiian steel — impassioned, singing, refined. From 1960 — though he started out in the late-twenties (with Smokey Hogg), and recorded in the thirties.
The essential, wildly original ragtime-style finger-picking of the Floridian blues god.
One of the very greatest blues guitarists of all time. These sides are from the Paramount Studios in Chicago, May 1928, featuring singer Bertha Henderson (also Daniel Brown and Elzadie Robinson).
Lovely recordings from the Gennett Studios in Indiana, several with accompaniments by the great, great barrelhouse pianist Charlie Spand, from Detroit. With all-time classics like Hastings Street.