Archive for the Elmore JAMES Category

Elmore JAMES – King of the Slide Guitar:The Fire,Fury,Enjoy Recordings 1992

Posted in BLUES, Elmore JAMES on December 7, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Elmore JAMES – King of the Slide Guitar:The Fire,Fury,Enjoy Recordings 1992
Recording Dates 1959 – 1962
Blues

Elmore’s last great recordings occurred in the 1960s when he was signed by New York producer/label-owner Bobby Robinson. Unlike many of his contemporaries, James seemingly got better as the years went by and while none of the sides feature a slide guitar anywhere near as nasty as his early Modern and Flair recordings, he’s still obviously giving it all on each and every side. These recordings are the ones most commonly issued on James and have surfaced on so many different compilations  all with varying levels of sound quality that it would be futile to list them all here. Fortunately, to make things easier we have this two-disc 50-song box set rounding up at least one extant take of everything Elmore recorded with Robinson at the helm. While some of the material are recuts of his best known tunes (“Dust My Broom” resurfaces here in two versions from two different sessions and the version of “It Hurts Me Too” included here it was originally cut for Chief in the late ’50s  became a posthumous hit for him), the majority of it breaks new ground and stands as some of Elmore’s most emotion-laden work. Nice essays in the booklet make up for the disgusting art work that adorns the box.
By Cub Koda.
**
Once you’ve scooped up James’ earlier recordings (the ’51-’56 singles on Meteor and Flair), this is where you go for the rest. These two CDs contain (almost) every song Elmore James recorded for Bobby Robinsons Fire, Fury and Enjoy labels down in Louisiana in the early 60s, and it is a veritable gold mine.
Among these fifty tracks are superb, powerful re-recordings of most of James’ previous hits, as well as lots and lots of newer material. “Dust My Broom” rocks with unbelievable power, and James does a superb reading of Robert Nighthawk’s “Anna Lee” and some fiery instrumentals, particularly “Bobby’s Rock” and “Up Jumped Elmore”.

Of all the blues box sets I have heard, the material on this album is of the most consistently high quality. There is nary a weak track among the fifty, and even the lesser known songs are great. Just listen to “She’s Got To Go”, “Talk To Me Baby” (originally recorded for Chess Records), “Early One Morning” and the powerful “Look On Yonder Wall”.
If you like Elmore James and his fiery slide guitar attack, larger-than-life voice and rocking sax-and-piano arrangements, you can’t go wrong with this incredible set of music. It’s better than Muddy Waters’ Chess box set, and at least as good as Howlin’ Wolf’s.
By Docendo Discimus.
**
Mississippi born and raised, Elmore James learned his trade in the Delta in the 1930s, emerging in the early 1950s as the godfather of modern electric guitar, and no guitarist who ever plugged an instrument into an amp is free of his influence. Not only did he create the template for electric slide players everywhere, he also reworked his amps until they delivered a raw, overdriven sound that became endemic in pop and rock music a decade later, and no punk band ever sounded more ragged or passionate than Elmore James in full stride. James recorded for some dozen labels during his short recording career (he died in 1963 of a heart attack at the age of 45), and he is one of those rare artists whose recorded output was seamless from the first to the last. His first recording, one of many versions he would do of Robert Johnson’s “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” was made for Lillian McMurray’s Trumpet label in 1951, and the raw power, swooping slide runs and impassioned singing that track displayed were repeated time and time again on his subsequent releases. This wonderful three-disc set includes that first version of “Broom” along with a half-dozen other versions (and a half-dozen more under different titles) that James recorded for Trumpet, Mel London’s Chief Records, and Bobby Robinson’s Fire label between 1951 and 1963. But James wasn’t a one-trick pony, and aside from recycling killer version after killer version of “Dust My Broom,” this set also contains his classic takes on the majestic “It Hurts Me Too,” “The Sky Is Crying,” “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” and his rewrite of another Johnson standard, “Standing at the Crossroads.” Check out the distortion, dirt and tone of his guitar on little known tracks like “Got to Move” and “Find My Kind of Woman,” or the ragged yet elegant drive of “Can’t Stop Loving My Baby” or “Elmore Jumps Up (Up Jumped Elmore),” to hear why he remains a guitarist’s guitarist to this day. And don’t forget James as a vocalist, either. He sang like his life depended on it every second, which is why there is literally no Elmore James collection that won’t deliver the goods. This is no exception.
By Steve Leggett.
**
Cd 1:
01. The Sky Is Crying
02. Baby Please Set A Date
03. Held My Baby Last Night
04. Dust My Broom
05. Bobby’s Rock
06. Rollin’ And Tumblin’
07. Done Somebody Wrong
08. Something Inside Of Me
09. I’m Worried
10. Fine Little Mama
11. I Need You
12. Early One Morning
13. I Can’t Stop Loving You
14. Strange Angel
15. She Done Moved
16. My Baby’s Gone
17. Stranger Blues
18. Anna Lee
19. (My) Bleeding Heart
20. Standing At The Crossroads
21. One Way Out
22. My Kind Of Woman
23. Person To Person
24. Find My Kind Of Woman (Previously Unreleased Alternate Take)
25. Find My Kind Of Woman
26. So Unkind

Cd 2:
01. Got To Move
02. Shake Your Moneymaker
03. Look On Yonder Wall
04. Sunnyland Train
05. Mean Mistreatin’ Mama
06. Go Back Home Again
07. You Know You’re Wrong
08. You Know You Done Me Wrong
09. I’ve Got A Right To Love My Baby
10. Every Day I Have The Blues
11. Dust My Broom
12. It Hurts Me Too
13. Talk To Me Baby
14. Can’t Stop Loving My Baby
15. She’s Got To Go
16. Hand In Hand
17. Pickin’ The Blues
18. Twelve Year Old Boy
19. I Believe
20. I Gotta Go Now
21. Up Jumped Elmore
22. Make My Dreams Come True
23. Back In Mississippi (A Conversation)
24. Blacksnake Blues
**

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Elmore JAMES – The Sky Is Crying 1965

Posted in BLUES, Elmore JAMES on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Elmore JAMES – The Sky Is Crying 1965
SSR LP 7002

Blues

Even if you’ve never heard Elmore James, you know his music. His passionate vocals and guitar work (particularly his signature slide guitar lick for “Dust My Broom”) virtually provided the blueprint for the modern blues rock movement on both sides of the Atlantic. James’s gripping style is clearly echoed in the sounds of the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Allman Brothers, and Eric Clapton, to name a mere handful. For anyone not familiar with the source material, James’s work can be revelatory. This excellent set collects his most memorable recordings, including “I Can’t Hold Out, “Done Somebody Wrong,” “Shake Your Moneymaker,” and, of course, “Dust My Broom.” As can be heard, James didn’t just suggest the sound of rock, he rocked out himself.
By Steve Futterman.
**
A1. The Sky Is Crying 2:47
A2. Dust My Broom 2:54
A3. I Held My Baby 2:50
A4. Fine Little Mama 2:32
A5. Bobbie’s Rock 2:09
A6. I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You 2:33
B1. I Done Somebody Wrong 2:30
B2. Rollin’ and Tumblin’ 2:30
B3. One Way Out 2:25
B4. My Bleeding Heart 3:05
B5. I’m Worried 2:44
B6. Standing at the Crossroads 2:56
**

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