Memphis Jug Band - Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1-3 (1990) [Memphis Blues / Country Blues]; FLAC (tracks+.cue)

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Memphis Jug Band - Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1-3 (1990) [Memphis Blues / Country Blues]; FLAC (tracks+.cue)

Unread postby Mike1985 » 25 Aug 2016, 06:03

Artist: Memphis Jug Band
Album: Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1-3
Genre: Memphis Blues / Country Blues / Jug Band
Label: Document Records
Released: 1990
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
    Vol. 1 (24th February to 13th February 1928):
  1. Sun brimmers blues (take 2)
  2. Stingy woman-blues (take 2)
  3. Memphis Jug blues (take 2)
  4. Newport news-blues (take 1)
  5. Sometimes I think I love you
  6. Sunshine blues
  7. Memphis boy-blues
  8. I`m looking for the bully of the town
  9. I packed my suitcase, started to the train
  10. State of Tennessee blues
  11. Bob Lee junior blues
  12. Kansas City blues
  13. Beale Street mess around
  14. I`ll see you in the spring, when the birds begin to sing
  15. Snitchin` gambler-blues (take 2)
  16. Evergreen money blues
  17. Coal oil blues
  18. Papa long blues
  19. Peaches in the springtime
  20. She Stays Out All Night Long

    Vol. 2 (13th February 1928 to October 1929):
  1. She stays out all night long (take 2)
  2. Lindberg hop (overseas stomp) (take 1)
  3. Sugar pudding
  4. A black woman is like a black snake
  5. On the road again
  6. Whitewash station blues
  7. Stealin` stealin`
  8. Jug band waltz
  9. Mississippi River waltz
  10. I can`t stand it
  11. What`s the matter?
  12. Dirty butter (Minnie Wallace, vcl)
  13. The old folks started it (take 1) (Minnie Wallace, vcl)
  14. Feed your friend with a long handled spoon
  15. I can beat you plenty
  16. Taking your place
  17. Tired of you driving me
  18. Memphis yo yo blues
  19. K.D. moan
  20. I whipped my woman with a single-tree

    Vol. 3 (1930):
  1. Everybody`s talking about Sadie Green
  2. Oh ambulance man
  3. Cocaine habit blues
  4. Jim Strainer blues
  5. Cave man blues
  6. Fourth Street mess around
  7. It won`t act right
  8. Bumble bee blues
  9. Meningitis blues
  10. Aunt Caroline dyer blues
  11. Stonewall blues
  12. Spider`s nest blues
  13. Papa`s got your bath water on
  14. Going back to Memphis
  15. He`s in the jailhouse now
  16. Got a letter from my darling
  17. Round and round
  18. You may leave but this will bring you back
  19. Move that thing
  20. You got me rollin'

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Vol. 1: It's appropriate that the breakthrough to recording for Memphis jug bands should have been spearheaded by the Memphis Jug Band, even if it no longer appears that Will Shade's group was the first of its kind in the city. The good sales of their first coupling both ensured that Victor recorded them extensively for three years, and paved the way into the studio for the bands led by Gus Cannon, Jed Davenport and Jack Kelly. The Memphis Jug Band's sound changed considerably with time, but it was always instantly recognisable; at the outset, the band comprised Will Shade and Will Weldon, whose two guitars make a sound often very like that of St. Louis bluesman Charlie Jordan; Ben Ramey, whose chugging, inventive kazoo shared the melodic duties with the harmonica that Shade also played; and Charlie Polk, who played the instrument that gave the band its name. (Was it really Walter Horton, aged nine, playing harmonica on Sometimes I Think I Love You and Sunshine Blues?; the cry of "Toot it, Mister Tooter!" on the former track affords no clue, but it sounds like Shade onSunshine Blues, which has only one guitar.)
Charlie Polk's other role with the band was as a dancer and comedian; perhaps it was his primary role, for he was sometimes a rather reticent jug player - even on Memphis Jug Blues! I'll See You In The Spring, When The Birds Begin To Sing, is a raggy, pop-influenced number that points to the stylistic versatility that was one of the Memphis Jug Band's strengths, allowing them to play for audiences both working class black and country club white. At these early sessions, though, they emphasised blues numbers, perhaps in line with record company wishes. Shade recorded a number of takes of his theme tunes, Sun Brimmers Blues and the lyrically interesting Newport News - Blues, later remade as Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues.
The other members of the band also sang from time to time, often contributing attractive, raggedy harmonies, or spoken comments. Shade's wife, Jenny Clayton, joined the group for three numbers, one of which ends with an instrumental chorus or Careless Love; at these early sessions it's not unusual for the records to end with quite lengthy instrumental sections. I'm Looking For The Bully Of The Town is one of such, with only two verses, followed by a long kazoo showpiece. Jenny Clayton's session with the band was her only one, but it also saw the important addition of Vol Stevens, who played guitar and a hybrid instrument called the banjo-mandolin. He blends perfectly with the ensemble; it was guitar that he played on a lovely relaxed Kansas City Blues, recorded only nine days after Jim Jackson's hit version, and therefore not a cover of it.
The four songs recorded at the Memphis Jug Band's 13th February 1928 session were the last to feature Will Weldon, later to reappear in Chicago playing Hawaiian guitar in a very different style, and Charlie Polk was also about to depart. Their replacements were respectively Charlie Burse and Jab Jones; the considerable difference they made to the band's sound can be heard on Document CD DOCD-5022.-- Document Records

Vol. 2: When the Memphis Jug Band reassembled in September 1928 to cut eight titles for Victor, they began in larky mood. New member (on disc at least) Jab Jones sang what was nominally a tribute to Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic the previous year, but his version of the Lindyhop is a crazy, almost surrealist one. Sugar Pudding, a version of "Take Your Fingers Off It", marked the debut of Jones's thunderous jug, replacing the less forthright Charlie Polk. The other new member was the extrovert Alabaman guitarist and singer Charlie Burse. He was one of the singers on both On The Road Again, whose chorus refers to Monk Eastman's eponymous gang, active in New York in the late 1890s, and the hybrid A Black Woman Is Like A Black Snake, with its 12 bar verse and 8 bar chorus. The cryptic Whitewash Station opened proceedings on 15th September, followed by the Memphis Jug Band’s most famous number, the beautiful Stealin' Stealin', relaxed, nostalgic, and superbly played. The two waltzes that closed the session, though unusual on race records, were probably no novelty to the band, which would have been expected to play such pieces for dancing by both blacks and whites.
It was a year before the band returned to the microphones, and violinist Milton Roby (correct spelling) was added in place of Vol Stevens, bringing his broad, bluesy tones, learned on the medicine shows, to four songs that sound very much of that milieu — some of them obviously cleaned up for recording — and also to two provocative, sexy vocals by Minnie Wallace: Dirty Butter has fine piano and The Old Folks Started It has complex harmonica from Will Shade. A two day session in October 1929 began with the band in slightly lacklustre mood, though they perked up for Tired Of You Driving Me. This date saw the debut on record of Tewee Blackman, Will Shade's guitar teacher, older than Shade, and a very accomplished player. His arpeggio style is heard on more records than the standard discography allows, but he was seldom heard to better effect than on Memphis Yo Yo Blues and K. C. Moan. The first title featured the forthright, sensual singing of Hattie Hart, interwoven, like Minnie Wallace's, with imaginative harmonica work. K. C. Moan is perhaps the Memphis Jug Band's finest recording, excellent two guitar work supporting long, drawn-out notes on the harmonica and an intricate kazoo solo from Ben Ramey, apart from Shade the only member of the band who'd played on their first records. The vocal completes a spellbinding performance. The session ended with a light-hearted song about marital violence (a singletree, or swingletree, is the crosspiece of a plough). With a nonchalant "bam-bam-be-deedle-am", the Memphis Jug Band left the recording studio. By May, 1930, when the Jug Band next recorded, unemployment in the US stood at over four million. The band, doubtless recognising that folks wanted to be lifted out of their troubles, didn't let the Depression affect their music, as can be heard on DOCD-5023.-- Document Records

Vol. 3: Everybody’s Talking About Sadie Green, proclaimed the Memphis Jug Band's new singer, Charlie Nickerson, on the first song of fourteen that were to be recorded on six days between 12th May and 5th June 1930. Besides the addition of Nickerson's ingratiating vocals, perfect for hokum and dance tunes, Hambone Lewis had been brought in to play powerful jug, replacing Jab Jones, who'd left after a row with Will Shade over his drinking habits.
The great Hattie Hart turned up again, duetting with Shade on the mildly obscene Oh Ambulance Man, with the jug providing a lewd commentary. Cocaine Habit is probably Hart's greatest performance; the song dates from the turn of the century, when cocaine was both legal and endemic in Memphis, with Lehman's Drugstore on Union the main source. Also telling of real life events was Jim Strainer Blues, about a murder that took place, according to Johnny Shines, in Raleigh, Tennessee. Cave Man Blues, another bawdy piece, makes an uneasy joke about Floyd Collins, a potholer whose death in 1925, trapped by a rock fall, was exploited by newspaper press journalism that relied little on the facts. Fourth Street Mess Around is given a strange, melancholy treatment, with unusual minor chords, but It Won't Act Right is more conventionally cheerful, and marks the first appearance on record of Charlie Burse's lunatic scat singing.
On 28th May, Memphis Minnie, who occasionally worked with the band in Handy's Park, joined them to record versions of her big hit and her most personal number. Bumble Bee is notable for superb guitar duetting — possibly with Tewee Blackman, who is referred to by name on Cave Man Blues, and is probably on other performances from these sessions also. Will Shade also cut a remake; Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues was "Newport News — Blues" from 1927 renamed. Stonewall Blues, being about prison, should properly be "Stone Wall Blues". The 5th June session saw Hattie Hart's final appearances with the jug band, and Charlie Nickerson cut the delightful Going Back To Memphis, issued under his own name. It was Nickerson who sang lead at the Memphis Jug Band’s last Victor session, in November 1930, at which the musicians concentrated on cheerful dance tunes. Jab Jones had been reinstated, and Vol Stevens was back with his banjo-mandolin, and surely he, not Will Weldon, is the masterly mandolinist on the last four songs. Their version of the medicine show standby He's In The Jailhouse Now, was adapted for white consumption, as shown by the line about voting being white folks' business. Less distasteful to us is the witty "If he have a political friend, judge sentence he will suspend". For most of these songs, however, the accent is on musical brilliance, the band's pleasure in their perfectly integrated playing very evident from the spoken comments.-- Document Records

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