Bluesville Years, Volume 11 - Blues is a Heart's Sorrow
by Various Artists
Fantasy Warehouse Clearance Sale (series)
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sku: FAN 9921
by Various Artists ~ Jumpin' the Blues $12.35
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- Released: March 21, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Prestige
- 1.I Hate to Be Alone - Roosevelt Sykes
- 2.Selfish Woman - Roosevelt Sykes
- 3.Everytime I Get to Drinkin' - Sunnyland Slim
- 4.Pity and a Shame - Mercy Dee Walton
- 5.I'll Go on Living - Jimmy Witherspoon
- 6.Sail on, Little Girl - Jimmy Witherspoon
- 7.How Long Blues - Jimmy Witherspoon
- 8.Last Night Blues - Lightnin' Hopkins / Sonny Terry
- 9.Train Is Coming, The - Henry Townsend
- 10.Nervous - Willie Dixon / Memphis Slim
- 11.You Have No Love in Your Heart - Lonnie Johnson
- 12.Evil Woman - Lonnie Johnson
- 13.Four Walls and Me - Lonnie Johnson
- 14.I'm Gettin' Long Alright - Mildred Anderson
- 15.Cry, Cry Baby - Little Brother Montgomery
- 16.Fool Blues - Curtis Jones
- 17.Good Women Blues - Curtis Jones
- 18.My Old Lonesome Blues - Pete Franklin
- 19.Dog House Blues - St. Louis Jimmy Oden
- 20.Some Sweet Day - St. Louis Jimmy Oden
Recorded between 1959 & 1963.
Remastered by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
As the title all but announces, this is a compilation of tunes devoted to the more disappointing and mournful side of the blues experience, all recorded for the Bluesville and Prestige labels between 1959 and 1963. In the blues genre, of course, you don't have to look very far to assemble a collection of sorrowful tunes. However, the 20-song compilation, largely comprised of well-known names such as Roosevelt Sykes, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lightnin' Hopkins, Willie Dixon, and Lonnie Johnson, isn't all that much of a downer. For the most part it's urban blues with a light blues-jazz crossover feel, as epitomized by the Witherspoon cuts, one of which even features Kenny Burrell on guitar. And Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Shirley Scott are on hand for Mildred Anderson's "I'm Gettin' Long Alright," with its exaggerated crying vocal noises. If you want something more down-home, there's Hopkins trading riffs with Sonny Terry on "Last Night Blues" (though even that has drums and bass), and Henry Townsend. Yet this might be better described as after-hours blues, often with somewhat downbeat lyrics and moods, but certainly classy, with an anguish that is more polished than raw. It's a rather patchy way to catch up on the Bluesville/Prestige catalog. But as most people don't want to accumulate a complete set of those LPs, this is a decent, though not great, overview of a slice of its discography. ~ Richie Unterberger
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