- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: April 11, 2011
- Label: Jsp Records
Photographers: Joe Houston; Peppermint Harris; Smokey Hogg; Big Mama Thornton.
This interesting box set packages 103 sides of vintage Texas blues, jazz, and early R&B recorded in Houston studios immediately after WWII between 1947 and 1951, a boom time when clubs and independent labels were flourishing in the city, and it ends up being both a musical snapshot of a particular place at a particular time and a fun and varied playlist to listen to -- the box set version of a hat trick. Full of rare sides of boogie piano, uptown blues, and swinging little jazz-blues orchestras, Houston Might Be Heaven has some delightful gems, Carl Campbell's swirling, clarinet-led "Goin' Down to Nashville," L.C. Williams' blues piano ballad "Louise," Smokey Hogg's reckless, loose, and yet somehow endearingly lovely "She's Always on My Mind," and Peppermint Harris' sparse and stately take on "Rainin' in My Heart" among them, all of which show what a fine and bright music scene Houston had going in the postwar period. There's a nice groove to this whole set. ~ Steve Leggett