Chicago Urban Blues 1923-1945

Chicago Urban Blues 1923-1945


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Acrobat's Chicago Urban Blues 1923-1945 is a concentrated anthology of historic recordings by individuals with ties to communities all across the southern United States. This collection includes well chosen examples by pianists Meade "Lux" Lewis, Bob Robinson (of Hokum Boys fame), Roosevelt Sykes, Clarence "Pinetop" Smith, and Jimmy Yancey, who played on one of only two recordings known to have been made by vocalist Faber Smith. Amos Easton, also known as Bumble Bee Slim, was backed on the ivories by Myrtle Jenkins, who also made records with Priscilla Stewart, Mary Mack, and the State Street Swingers. There's enough female energy in here to settle anybody's business. You hear Ida Cox accompanied by pianist Lovie Austin; Bertha "Chippie" Hill by Richard M. Jones, and Hannah May, who might have been Victoria Spivey's sister Elton Spivey, with Georgia Tom Dorsey and Tampa Red. Lil Johnson sings "My Stove's in Good Condition" backed by pianist Black Bob and guitarist Big Bill Broonzy. "Squat It" comes from a large body of works generated by the team of Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy. Sippie Wallace sings the "Bedroom Blues," and her little brother Hersal Thomas performs his own "Suitcase Blues," which became a staple of the piano blues repertoire and received its best reinterpretation on a 1939 Blue Note recording by Albert Ammons. Shelton Brooks' "I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's Gone" gets the definitive treatment by Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon and Tampa Red's Hokum Jug Band. The Chicago-based Harlem Hamfats promise "We Gonna Pitch a Boogie Woogie," which seems like a precedent for Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle." There are offerings by guitarists Lonnie Johnson, Tommy McClennan, and Kokomo Arnold; wry observations on female behavior by Washboard Sam and Memphis Slim; a beautiful testimonial by Big Maceo Merriweather, and classic harmonica blues from Sonny Boy Williamson and Jazz Gillum. This excellent core sample from the first half of the 20th century has a lot in common with Chicago in Mind, an equally fine collection put together by Catfish in 2000. The two complement each other perfectly, and having in common only Ida Cox's "Chicago Bound Blues" could coexist neatly in anyone's personal stash of vintage Windy City blues.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/06/2003
Label: Acrobat
UPC: 0824046519421
catalogNumber: 194
Rank: 223994

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kokomo Arnold   Guitar,Vocals
Big Bill Broonzy   Guitar,Vocals
Blind John Davis   Piano
Georgia Tom   Piano,Vocals
Tommy McClennan   Guitar,Vocals
Roosevelt Sykes   Piano,Vocals,Spoken Word
Sippie Wallace   Vocals
Jimmy Yancey   Piano
Albert Ammons   Piano
Ida Cox   Vocals
Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon   Vocals
Richard M. Jones   Piano,Spoken Word
Lil Johnson   Vocals
Leroy Batchelor   String Bass
Black Bob Hudson   Piano
Peter Chatman   Piano,Vocals
Shirley Clay   Cornet
Alfred Elkins   String Bass
Jazz Gillum   Harpsichord,Vocals
Ransom Knowling   String Bass
Meade "Lux" Lewis   Piano
Horace Malcolm   Piano
Horrace Malcom   Piano
Herb Morand   Trumpet
Odell Rand   Clarinet
Bill Settles   String Bass
Faber Smith   Vocals
Jasper Taylor   Washboard
Sonny Boy Williamson   Harmonica,Vocals
Hersal Thomas   Piano
Lillian "Lil" Green   Vocals
Bertha "Chippie" Hill   Vocals
Myrtle Jenkins   Piano
Artie Starks   Clarinet,Spoken Word
Pearlis Williams   Drums
Simeon Henry   Piano
Hannah May   Vocals
Cora Grainger   Piano

Technical Credits

Devereaux Meriweather   Composer
Hersal Thomas   Composer
Mike Rowe   Liner Notes

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