Sleepy John Estes Legendary Country Blues Artists (4-CD)

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Format: CD  (4 Discs)
Item:  JSP 7779

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CD Details

  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Released: September 10, 2007
  • Label: Jsp Records

Tracks on Disc 1:

  • 1.The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair
  • 2.Broken-Hearted, Ragged and Dirty Too
  • 3.Divin' Duck Blues
  • 4.Little Sarah
  • 5.Black Mattie Blues
  • 6.T-Bone Steak Blues
  • 7.Milk Cow Blues
  • 8.Street Car Blues
  • 9.Expressman Blues
  • 10.Whatcha Doin?
  • 11.Poor John Blues
  • 12.Stack O' Dollars
  • 13.My Black Gal Blues
  • 14.Sweet Mama
  • 15.Down South Blues
  • 16.Stop That Thing
  • 17.Someday Baby Blues
  • 18.Who's Been Telling You Buddy Brown Blues
  • 19.Married Woman Blues
  • 20.Drop Down Mama
  • 21.Government Money
  • 22.I Wanna Tear It All the Time
  • 23.Vernita Blues
  • 24.I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More
  • 25.Floating Bridge

Tracks on Disc 2:

  • 1.Need More Blues
  • 2.Jack and Jill Blues
  • 3.Poor Man's Friend (T Model)
  • 4.Hobo Jungle Blues
  • 5.Airplane Blues
  • 6.Everybody Oughta Make a Change
  • 7.Liquor Store Blues
  • 8.Easin' Back to Tennessee
  • 9.Fire Department Blues (Martha Hardin)
  • 10.Clean Up at Home
  • 11.New Someday Baby
  • 12.Brownsville Blues
  • 13.Special Agent (Railroad Police Blues)
  • 14.Mailman Blues
  • 15.Time Is Drawing Near
  • 16.Mary Come on Home
  • 17.Jailhouse Blues
  • 18.Tell Me How About It (Mr Tom's Blues)
  • 19.Drop Down (I Don't Feel Welcome Here)
  • 20.Don't You Want to Know
  • 21.You Shouldn't Do That
  • 22.When the Saints Go Marching In
  • 23.Lawyer Clark Blues
  • 24.Little Laura Blues
  • 25.Working Man Blues
  • 26.Harlem Bound
  • 27.Stone Blind

Tracks on Disc 3:

  • 1.Blue and Worried Woman
  • 2.Sugar Farm Blues
  • 3.Stack O' Dollars Blues
  • 4.Night Latch Blues
  • 5.Squeaky Work Bench Blues
  • 6.Gravel Road Woman
  • 7.J.L. Dairy Blues
  • 8.Rachel Blues
  • 9.Lake Michigan Blues
  • 10.I'm Wild and Crazy as Can Be
  • 11.When You Feel Down and Out
  • 12.Texas Tommy
  • 13.It's All Over
  • 14.My Mind Got Bad
  • 15.Hobo Blues
  • 16.It Seems Like a Dream
  • 17.Army Man Blues
  • 18.38 Pistol Blues
  • 19.Worried Blues
  • 20.Biscuit Baking Woman
  • 21.Insurance Man Blues
  • 22.Up North Blues
  • 23.Yellow Yam Blues
  • 24.Tappin' That Thing
  • 25.Rainy Day Blues
  • 26.Peach Tree Blues

Tracks on Disc 4:

  • 1.She Loves Who She Please
  • 2.Bye-Bye Blues
  • 3.Loudella Blues
  • 4.Katy Lee Blues
  • 5.All Night Long
  • 6.She Walks Like My Woman
  • 7.Weary Worried Blues
  • 8.Back and Side Blues
  • 9.I Want to Live So God Can Use Me
  • 10.Ain't That News?
  • 11.Give Me That Old Time Religion
  • 12.In My Father's House
  • 13.Trouble Trouble Blues
  • 14.Tennessee Worried Blues
  • 15.I'll Work Up to You Someday
  • 16.Old Bachelor Blues
  • 17.Black Gal Swing
  • 18.Get Up and Go
  • 19.Every Time My Heart Beats
  • 20.80 Highway Blues
  • 21.A Hard Pill to Swallow
  • 22.Come Back Home, Little Girl
  • 23.Crazy 'Bout My Black Gal
  • 24.Trembling Blues
  • 25.Let Me Squeeze Your Lemon
  • 26.Down the Highway

Product Description:

Personnel: Sleepy John Estes (vocals, guitar); Sleepy John Estes; Yank Rachell (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Son Bonds (vocals, guitar, kazoo); Charlie Pickett (vocals, guitar); Sonny Boy Williamson I (vocals, harmonica); Big Joe Williams (guitar); 'Tee', Sonny Boy Williamson II , Tee (harmonica); Johnny Hardge (piano); William Michell, Alfred Elkins, Raymond Thomas (bass instrument); Brass Band (washboard); Robert Lee McCoy (guitar, harmonica); Dan Tobin Smith, Elijah Jones (guitar); Hammie Nixon (harmonica); Lee Brown (kazoo, piano); Jab Jones (piano); Washboard Sam (washboard).
Additional personnel: Brownsville Son Bonds (guitar); Son Bonds, Yank Rachell, Charlie Pickett.
Liner Note Author: Neil Slaven.
Recording information: Aurora, IL (09/24/1929-??/??/1947); Chicago, IL (09/24/1929-??/??/1947); Memphis (09/24/1929-??/??/1947); New York, NY (09/24/1929-??/??/1947).
During the folk and blues revival of the 1960s, John Adam "Sleepy John" Estes experienced what the entertainment industry referred to as a comeback. This meant that a young and ethnically diverse generation of listeners was able to hear him perform in person, creating a surge in popularity that led to further recording sessions and a European tour while generating interest in the records he'd made prior to the Second World War. In 2007, Estes' early works were remastered, annotated, and reissued by JSP on the four-CD set Legendary Country Blues Artists along with recordings of comparable vintage by James "Yank" Rachell, Son Bonds, and Charlie Pickett. The radial pattern of this collection is geographically centered in Brownsville, Tennessee, northeast of Memphis and not far from Ripley where Estes was born in January 1904. JSP's selection begins with 14 sides cut for the Victor label in Memphis during the autumn of 1929 and the spring of 1930. These were variously released as by Estes, Rachell, or the Three J's Jug Band. The participation of pianist Jab Jones constituted a strong link with the Memphis Jug Band, and Rachell's mandolin compares nicely with that of Charlie McCoy. Estes' high-pitched vocals are similar to the keening of Frankie Half Pint Jaxon and J.B. Lenoir. The rural sounds of the duos, duets, and small groups in this set have tones and textures in common with those by the Mississippi Sheiks and Peg Leg Howell, minus the fiddles.
The first of Estes' 30 Decca recordings were made in Chicago in July 1935; more than half were waxed in New York in 1937 and 1938. In June, 1940 Estes was back in Chicago waxing what were to be his last six Deccas in collaboration with guitarist Robert Nighthawk. The third disc in this set is devoted to the early recordings of Yank Rachell. Although he is mainly remembered as a mandolin player, this set provides numerous examples of his guitar technique as well. Rachell was a convincing vocalist who sounded at times a little like the young Muddy Waters. Many of his sides, which were cut in Chicago and New York during the years 1934-1941, feature harmonica legend John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson and master percussionist Washboard Sam. The fourth disc opens with Rachell but is mainly devoted to Brownsville Son Bonds, who sometimes emulated the style of East St. Louis legend Peetie Wheatstraw and in turn appears to have had some measure of influence on John Lee Hooker. There's also a fair amount of action by mouth organist Hammie Nixon, who put down the harp and blew jug on four gospel tunes recorded in 1934. Estes is heard on some of the Bonds sides, as well as a set of hokum performances stoked with kazoo and washtub bass which were recorded for Victor's Bluebird series in 1941 by a group billed as the Delta Boys. This outstanding archive of classic rural blues closes with four titles cut in New York in early August 1937 by Charlie Pickett, Nixon, and pianist Lee Brown. It's worth noting that the Document label has devoted an entire CD to Brown's recordings from the years 1937-1940.
The blues compiled on JSP's Sleepy John Estes box is strongly steeped in the lessons of real life. Stories are woven throughout the music and the textual annotations that come with each disc in the set. As members of a racially designated underclass, each of these men subsisted throughout most of their lives as manual laborers. Estes for example was a born sharecropper, while Rachell farmed and worked the railways. Life was tough and death could be sudden. Williamson, in fact, was robbed and murdered while walking home from a gig on the South Side of Chicago in June 1948, less than a year after Bonds was shot to death while sitting on his front porch at midnight in Dyersburg, just north of Ripley. Estes lived until 1977, Nixon passed in 1984, and Rachell survived into 1997. Some of the material on this set was reissued by JSP in 2002 on a double-disc compilation, The Legendary 1928-1930 Recordings, along with tasty cuts from Cannon's Jug Stompers and the Noah Lewis Jug Band. Other labels which have made passes at reproducing these early sides include Document, Classic Blues, Yazoo, and Fremeaux. JSP's four-CD box set is by far the most thorough and comprehensive survey of historic early sides by Estes and his running buddies from Brownsville. It is recommended for casual listening while preparing food at home, working in the garden, or driving around on back roads. ~ arwulf arwulf
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Product Info:

  • UPC: 788065777920
  • Shipping Weight: 0.83/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 4 items