Down to the Core: Skip James
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Chess records reissues its stuff periodically. Artists include Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Little Walter, Etta James, Chuck Berry, and many others included on compilations. I can't vouch for the sound quality of each reissue but you can check out one or two and then go from there.
Some SACDs of the blues worth checking out include:
Hoodoo Man Blues by Junior Wells, a classic
Addressing the Nation with the Blues by Byther Smith
Mississippi Magic by Terry Evans
Last Fair Deal by Rory Block
Luke and the Locomotives by Robert Lucas
Dealin' by Joe Beard
Robert Johnson, The Centennial Collection, released last year to mark his 100th birthday, is the best sounding collection of his music by a pretty wide margin. It's incredible how much noise they removed from the 78s while still leaving the music.
I have the chess boxes of Muddy, Dixon and Howlin' Wolf. Great stuff. For some reason the CDs in the Muddy box have begun to physically deteriorate. On the playing side, and it started not long after purchase.
I have the Robert Johnson initial Box issue. I might try the one you mentioned. The sound quality on the first one contained just too much noise for me. Same with the Bessie Smith boxes.
Hoodoo Man Blues is indeed a classic. Chicago.
Thanks for you input and info.
Robert Lucas's first 5 albums were recorded by Audiquest Cable using tubes and they do sound very fine indeed. All these albums are great slices of the blues genre.Layaway is my favorite with Chiropracter Blues. I love the line "Let me pop a bone in you baby." He was a very gifted blues guitarist,vocalist and harp player who Od on H a few years back.
Don't know if your into vinyl but Sundazed has Canned Heat/ Canned Heat on 180 gram licorice and it's the original Mono mix. Sounds awesome and the Heat took it all the way to the bank with this one. No crossover songs just straight up covers of some of the blues greats and afew of their original material. The heat had been gigging around for free for years honing their sound for this moment and made the most of it.
I sometimes think there is a subliminal component to certain threads. The other day O-10 was talking about the 60s-70s and the next thing I know I have Sly and the Stone on the box. Then he mentioned world music and I found my self listening to Ellington's Far East Suite. Now today I have been listening to the blues all day.
A few good ones from today's listening:
Jimmy Dawkins -- 'blues and pain' // 'kant sheck dees bluze' // 'tribute to orange'. The last one with Gatemouth Brown and Otis Rush. Very sophisticated arrangements by blues standards. Good guitar work. Excellent Sound.
Dawkins has a great voice for the blues, sort of reminds me of the KINGS. B.B. and Albert.
Gatemouth adds his 'Texas Swing' sound.
"And since when has 50's technology and Tube equipment been a benchmark for great sound?" Shakey, maybe you ought to tell him that numerous guitar amps of the tubed variety are still in production today, many are considered collector's items for the sound, and many "new" amps have been modelled on the old tube ones. Also, many effects boxes strive to emulate that sound as well. The same goes for tubed audio equipment-some people love old Heathkits and Dynacos, and though far from "perfect" sound, many still love them. Recording companies like EMI still use some tube circuits to record, including certain brands considered to be audiophile labels.
There is some blues from the 50s and 60s that I think is complimented by scratchy vinyl. Makes it feel like more of a period work. I'd rather listen to my very worn Prestige Mose Allison records on Prestige - even with all the noise - than the CD version any day. That's just my odd opinion of course. No right or wrong. enjoy the tunes.