Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Blues Images Presents 20 Classic Blues Songs from the 1920's - 2016 Calendar and CD

I've been buying the Blues Images calendars for a number of years now and they never fail to impress. The imagery is always terrific and there is always plenty of information on these cool, old artists, with advertising, birthdays, death days and much more.

This year's CD, as usual, is packed with great tunes from the 1920's, opening with the acoustic blues of Jim Jackson's "My Monday Blues", followed by Blind Willie Johnson's duet with an unnamed female in "When the War Was On", Charlie Kyle's "Walking Blues", Barbecue Bob's "Atlanta Moan" and Papa Charlie McCoy's appropriately titled "Boogie Woogie".

It continues with Curly Weaver and Ruth Willis dueting on "Some Cold Rainy Day" with some nice slide work, and then Blind Blake excites with some Piedmont pickin' in "Wabash Rag" and Blind Lemon Jefferson also inspires with his playing in the haunting "'Lectric Chair Blues". There's a big change of pace next with the bouncin' jug music of "Beale Street Breakdown" by Jed Davenport and His Beale Street Jug Band and its wild, piercing harmonica work before settling down again for Spark Plug Smith's quieter, acoustic ode to the ladies of the night, "Vampire Women".

Ma Rainey is credited with the big band/Dixieland-ish "Georgia Cake Walk", although the dialogue sounds like it is two men, and then we get a bit of music introducing Black Billy Sunday's boisterous sermons "The High Cost of Sin" and "Will You Spend Eternity in Hell" - great bits of evangelical high energy! We get to catch our breath again with the Hattie Hyde's nice guitar/harmonica "Special Question Blues" and "T & NO Blues".

Charlie Kyle returns with "No Baby" (somewhat reminiscent of "St. Louis Blues"), as does Papa Charlie McCoy in the mandolin-driven "Country Guy Blues" and Blind Lemon Jefferson with "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean". The comp ends with Jaydee Short's scratchy but snappy "Tar Road Blues" and "Flaggin' It To Georgia".

Consistently high quality music and an entertainingly fun calendar! Well worth getting all around!