Friday, August 3, 2012

Please help me.....

Here's a cut a friend and I have been paying some attention to lately. Seems it may be a rare example of James Booker playing both piano and organ on a single record....the organ bit being overdubbed. Sure sounds like him, in fact I can't imagine it's anyone else.

Beyond that, this is the b-side of one of two 45s recorded by Katherine Holt, both on the Booker label. As far as I know, nothing is known about her.

The flip-side of this 45 gets the occasional play, but you rarely hear this tune. Checking DJ playlists online, I can only find two spins listed. Unsurprisingly, one of those being on WWOZ, New Orleans.....which is, without a doubt, one of the greatest radio stations in the world.

*Blows a kiss to Billy Delle* [wherever you are].

Hope ya'll enjoy. It's from 1963...........

[addendum: I don't think any of Katherine Holt's recordings have ever been comped]


  1. Sorry to disappoint, but it's not Jamed Booker on either organ or piano. The label was owned by a Rev. Robert Booker, no relation. Neither the piano nor organ haveJames Booker's pacing and flourishes. The piano is basic and a bit clunky. The beginning of the organ sounds sort of Bookerish, but then becomes more routine. There are a couple of stylistic flourishes later on, but someone else's style. Too bad, cause it would be great to discover rare sides, but alas ,,

    1. You don't disappoint me. Unless you have info to share about the session, I consider your take on the tune to be an opinion. What I'm listening to is the attack....I consider it similar to Booker's, and I'm not the only one.

      I might add that many of the secular sides on Booker/Invicta appear to have been recorded within a very short period time.....quite a few, if not all, sounding like they might be first or second takes.

      Btw, if you're implying that I'm somehow confused by the label name, then think again.

    2. Actually, it sounds like the same pianist is playing here, on the first version of the tune. Perhaps I was wrong in assuming the pianist was Johnson himself?

      The song was recorded around the same time as the Katherine Holt sides, could have even been the same day.

      Speaking of "pacing and flourishes", here are the four tunes James Booker is known to have played on in 1963.

  2. Replies
    1. Hey Red, always a pleasure to have you chime in.

      Saw the new video and am looking forward to more Soul Detective Road Trip updates.

      You and John Broven together? Priceless.

  3. ana-b: Yes, you're right, mine was an opinion, too. I've just been listening to tons of James Booker's session recordings lately, and the backing on the Katherine Holt track doesn't jibe. I know about his playing on the Shirley and Lee sides, but the style here is quite different. Anyway, I have enormous respect for your incredible work on this blog, so apologies if you heard it as a dis.

    1. No dis intended, no dis felt.

      I'm just used to arguing my positions. I may not always be right, but I'm not always wrong either.

      And I'm perfectly willing to accept that it's not Booker playing on the record [with proof]. But ya see, I too have listened intently to his records.......enough to know that Booker didn't always knock your socks off with his playing. Which is why I posted the later Shirley and Lee sides. From a "Booker" perspective, they are utterly boring.....that is, when you can even hear the keyboards at all.

      So, if it's not Booker, then who is it?. Irrespective of your charge of pedestrianism, the playing is actually quite distinctive. It's the song which is awkward. Even in New Orleans, it's not like every unknown Joe off the street corner can play like that.

      I suggest that the list of 'possibles' may be much smaller than you think.