Monday, April 30, 2012

Every day would be a holiday.....

Ironing Board Sam [aka, Sam Moore] played at Jazz Fest yesterday. It was his first appearance in a very long time. I read something about it being 41 years since his last. Good for him.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the show. No free passes have come our way this year and we just sent the I.R.S. virtually everything we had in the savings account.

Too bad, as the Jazz Fest line-up is really very good this year. The most interesting I've seen since getting my degree.....and thus finally being able to attend. [As I've pointed out before, the scheduling of the festival conflicts with final exams.]

Anyway, Mr. Moore is now affiliated with the fine folks at the Music Maker Relief Foundation and that association appears to be doing him a boatload of good. Here's a link to his page on the Music Maker site where you can see a few video clips [the vodka ad is a hoot] and also listen to several mp3s ["Life Is Like A See Saw" is particularly nice].

Ya'll should def go see him if he comes to your town. On May 11, he'll be playing in both Durham and Hillsborough North Carolina.

Mostly you get to hear the funky flip-side of this 45, but I'm a fan of this ultra-nice cover of a tune originally recorded by Johnnie Morisette [I think that's right], on which Mr. Moore really gets to show off his vocal chops. Those horns are pretty sweet too.

Hope ya'll enjoy.......

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I said what I said 'cause I said what I wanted to say......

Seriously ya'll, this is one of my all time favorite records.

So, were Jessie Hill and Shirley Goodman the most unlikely duo ever waxed? Possibly. To say both were highly eccentric singers is putting it mildly. Who'd have imagined they'd sound so crazy-cool together?

Huey Meaux probably deserves kudos for that flash of brilliance, but honestly, I don't think you need to look farther than the credit given to Hill and Mac Rebennack for the arrangement to know what's really going on in this session. As far as I'm concerned, this is another killer track put together by those two. I only wish there had been many more.

And speaking of 'more', most of what was recorded during these sessions was later released on Meaux's Crazy Cajun label as an Lp titled, "You'll Lose A Good Thing". I don't think it's ever been issued on Cd, but there seem to be plenty of copies of the original album floating around. I suggest you buy it if you see it.

Hope ya'll enjoy...........

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I'm having equipment trouble. My amplifier problem [I've fried four since I started the blog] has been solved, but in the mean time [sure enough] my scanner has died.

I should be 100% by Saturday afternoon.

In the meantime, here are a few clips for your enjoyment.
Consider this post a mash note.

It's no secret [in some circles] that Frankie Vasquez is the shit. One of my present life goals is to either dance with the man for like maybe 15 seconds or alternatively give him a big smooch. Lets hope he doesn't have me arrested should the occasion arise.

Actually, you might consider this a mash-note to virtually the entire discography of older afro-cuban based music.

To say that the musicians in these clips are top-notch is such a major understatement. Most deserve a biographical notation of their own. But ya know, I'd rather just get on with it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Go Buy Records!!!

I like to think every day is Record Store Day around here, but of course tomorrow there are a bunch of special events going on around the country. So, ya'll be good boys and girls and go support your local independent vinyl [and Cd] merchants. Right?

Here's several unrelated clips celebrating a few of the shops I patronize in New Orleans and Austin [some more than others, but I've def bought records in all].

Fyi, the fourth clip would only load if I included it as part of a play list, so you may need to manually stop the player unless you want to watch the rest of the clips.

It's not that great of clip but I wanted to be sure and include something on Breakaway Records, a great shop that only opened a few months before I moved back home. Fans of the now-defunct blog, Second Line Social, may remember Gabe the owner. Even though I don't get to the shop very often [like twice since I moved], I still end up with a fair bit of Breakaway's stock through trades with a friend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When are you comin' home....

As I've mentioned before, the classic line-up of Cookie and The Cupcakes involved two lead singers, Cookie Thierry and Shelton Dunaway.....and generally speaking, when Dunaway did the vocals the records were credited to Shelton Dunaway and the Cupcakes.

Thus, this is actually a "Cookie and the Cupcakes" record.

The song has nothing to do with the largely New Orleans based Popeye dance craze of the early sixties. Ya see, 'Popeye music' is markedly down-tempo and this tune is of course 'up-beat'.

"Cindy Lou", another song recorded several years earlier by the Cupcakes under the name 'Boogie Ramblers', is very similar and of course makes no mention of the Popeye. In short, any references to the Popeye were included purely for the sake of making regional sales.

That's gotta be the great Katie Webster on piano. Totally besides the point, but ya know, if there was ever a woman who grew more beautiful as she aged, it was Katie. Girl def had the life-force in her. I saw her play when I was about 15 and won't be forgetting anytime soon.

Hope ya'll enjoy...........

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You'd be so nice to come home to......

Many of the old original press maroon Peacocks are tough to find. That's why I own a cheap copy with a badly off center label and some of the more outrageous vinyl blisters I've ever seen in any pressing.

Oh, and it's definitely been underwater as well.....and then had water dripping on it for some time afterwards. I can tell because the label partially dissolved into 'runs' which then dried in the grooves. In my experience, a very very difficult condition to clean.

So yeah, this 45 has seen some serious scrubbing, and now sounds about a thousand times better than when I bought it. But it's not perfect. The crackles you hear are left-over paper and ink in the grooves. There are no scratches in the vinyl.

Not to be flip, but if you don't know who James Wayne, aka James Waynes, aka Wee Willie Wayne, is, then you def need to use your google. I'm far too tired to lay it all out atm.

"Scott", listed as co-writer of the tune is very probably Joseph Scott, who more than anyone else is responsible for the 'sound' of Peacock/Duke recordings.

Hope ya'll enjoy...........

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lest we overlook the obvious.....

Cosimo Matassa is 86 years old today. Tomorrow night he'll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

About frigging time.

I'm pleased that RRHF voters finally got their collective head out. It's a very nice, well deserved, honor. The man is a living legend. I wouldn't be at all surprised if 50% of everything I've posted on this blog was either engineered, mastered, pressed, or distributed by Mr. Matassa. Often enough, all of the above.

I pulled out a nice sized stack of "classic" records before deciding to go with this one. It was a tough choice. So many famous recordings were cut at one or the other of Matassa's studios that I could easily have chosen amongst 50 others.

Ultimately, what gets me about this particular 45 is not that it's just a great two-sider......more like, it's impossibly good. A vinyl jewel. Everything about it conspires to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Silly thing's probably only worth a couple of bucks but I keep it in a nice plastic sleeve just like I do my rarer 45s.

Btw, Smiley Lewis was not a pianist. I've run into several peeps under that impression. In fact, one of the reasons why some of Lewis' recordings are occasionally reminiscent of Fats Domino's is that they used the same piano player [a small joke]. Fats, of course, covered "I Hear You Knocking" as well.

Anyway, that's either James Booker or Huey Smith at the keyboard. Dave Bartholomew [who recently won a Grammy Trustee award] would have been running the session.

And Cos Matassa was there, as he was during so many sessions, making sure it was all captured on tape.

Both sides were cut at the old J&M Studio at Rampart and Dumaine in a room about the same size as one I'm now sitting in. I seem to recall that Cos charged $15 an hour for studio time......which included his services as well.

As you may know, Cos hasn't been doing so well over the past year. Here's hoping that the award does him some good.

Happy Birthday Mr. Matassa....and Congratulations!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Many thanks to Marc, who in the comments of the last post pointed out the existence of rare footage of Hop Wilson and Lee Semien in this film [at 6:11]. But that's not all, 'cause ya see "On The Road Again" is stuffed with outrageously good one-of-a-kind performances from beginning to end, some of which I'm sure you've seen as lower quality clips on youtube.

Anyway, I personally had never seen the movie in it's entirety, and if you haven't either, then you owe it to yourself to take a look.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You better speak once and think twice....

Poppy/Poppa Hop is Hop Wilson, the steel guitar player. Here's a discography which just so happens to include one for the Ivory label as well.

Ivory was owned by Lee Semien, aka, King Ivory. It's been my experience that any recording he was involved with is worth checking out. But good luck finding those Ivory 45s......

For those not interested in hunting down the vinyl, there are several comps associated with these two men. "I Met A Strange Woman"is included on the super nice "Hop Wilson & His Buddies", and on "Steel Guitar Flash" as well.

King Ivory is well represented by both "Beating The Odds" and "The Bitch Done Quit Me".

Hope ya'll enjoy.............

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A charge to keep [in mind]....

The original version of this song was recorded by the Georgia based Echoes of Zion in either 1949 or '50. Given that the Echoes were known for re-working much older songs, it's possible the tune dates from a good deal farther back. Anyone know for sure?

Actually, it doesn't matter if the song was old or new because the style of singing is what's important. Although somewhat gussied-up [the Echoes were pros after all], this is an example of a moaning-hymn. Or maybe I should say its done in the style of an old pre-Gospel moaning hymn.....which was never meant for 'groups'. It's purely a 'congregational' style.

Anyway, this is one of the few recordings of this type by a Gospel group that I've heard [not that I've heard everything]. What's interesting is that this later version sounds quite a bit like the original, perhaps even better, depending on your taste.

Relatively cheap, nice, copies of this record can also be found on the Nashboro label. Original label releases tend to go for more, which is why I own a beater.

Prepare to be awed.........