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Homesick JAMES and Snooky PRYOR – The Big Bear Sessions 2003

Posted in BLUES, Homesick JAMES, Snooky PRYOR on December 2, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Homesick JAMES and Snooky PRYOR – The Big Bear Sessions 2003


2003 release combines the renowned blues singer/slide guitarist’s 1973 (Home Sweet Homesick James), 1974 (Shake Your Boogie), & 1975 (Homesick James & Snooky Pryor) albums, for the first time on CD, with four bonus tracks, ‘If I Could Live My Life All Over Again’ (live), ‘Baby Please Set A Date’ (live), ‘Dangerous Woman’, & ‘Sloppy Drunk’. 39 tracks.
This double-CD set of Homesick James and Snooky Prior is remarkable in that it is the first time the entire collection of these sessions has been assembled. There are 39 cuts over two discs. Included are three complete albums and cuts from two different compilations. James did one of these records himself, Home Sweet Homesick James, but Shake Your Boogie and the self-titled duet album were with Prior. The album with Prior is the most satisfying here because of the rawness of the backing band and the loose spooked-out groove of the proceedings — more like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnsidemore… than Muddy Waters. The version of “Crossroads” sounds like an entirely different song yet loses none of its power because of its hypnotic boogie. The earliest solo slide guitar material by James, like his version of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Lonesome Train,” also has the repetitive groove goin’ on, but the guitar playing is so phenomenal it’s distracting. The material from Shake Your Boogie is a straight-up good-time blues record; it’s funky, greasy, and vulgar in all the best ways. The sound of the recording is also very warm and immediate. He and Prior just get to it, burning up one blues classic after another. Again, James’ slide playing is intense as hell; he’s always on the beat, and letting the bottleneck ring against Snooky’s harp. Even on the more laid-back tunes such as “Bottle Up and Go,” the energy just crackles in the mix. The mix of originals to covers is about even, but it hardly matters since these cats make every tune their own. Once more, what these archival recordings prove is that Big Bear was a far more important label than originally thought, and they captured late performances by some of the absolute masters of the genre. This is essential.
Disc 1:
01. Highway 51 (Homesick James) 4:20
02. Lonesome Train (Homesick James) 5:15
03. Homesick’s Original Dust My Broom (Homesick James) 3:13
04. Kissing in the Dark (Homesick James) 2:20
05. Crossroads (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:48
06. Shake Your Money Maker (Studio) (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 2:48
07. Careless Love (Studio) (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:59
08. Tin Pan Alley (Studio) (Homesick James) 2:39
09. Dust My Broom (Studio) (Homesick James) 3:38
10. The Woman I Love (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:02
11. Drivin’ Dog (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:52
12. Homesick Blues Again (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 4:12
13. If I Could Live My Life All Over Again (Live) (Homesick James) 4:19
14. Baby Please Set a Date (Live) (Homesick James) 2:55
15. Shake Your Money Maker (Live) (Homesick James) 4:32
16. Dust My Broom (Live) (Homesick James) 3:22
17. Worried About My Baby (Live) (Homesick James) 3:47
18. Gotta Move – Can’t Stay Here No More (Live) (Homesick James) 3:13
19. Tin Pan Alley (Live) (Homesick James) 3:55
20. Careless Love (Live) (Homesick James) 5:13

Disc 2:
01. Shake Your Boogie (Snooky Pryor) 3:19
02. Bottle Up and Go (Snooky Pryor) 4:04
03. You Don’t Know My Name (Snooky Pryor) 4:30
04. Bluebird Blues (Snooky Pryor) 4:36
05. Can’t Love Me and Homesick Too (Snooky Pryor) 3:26
06. Baby Left Me a Mule to Ride (Snooky Pryor) 2:56
07. Jump and Shout (Snooky Pryor) 3:04
08. Gonna Have a Good Time (Snooky Pryor) 3:48
09. So Sweet (Snooky Pryor) 4:48
10. Crazy ‘Bout You (Snooky Pryor) 3:18
11. Nothin’ But Trouble (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:05
12. Cross Town (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 4:01
13. After You There Won’t Be Nobody Else (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:55
14. I Feel Alright (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:31
15. She Knows How to Love Me (Homesick James and Snooky Pryor) 3:28
16. Dangerous Woman (Snooky Pryor) 3:57
17. Sloppy Drunk (Snooky Pryor) 3:22
18. Sweet Home Chicago (Homesick James) 4:05
19. Mailman (Homesick James) 3:16

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