Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Howlin' Wolf - Complete Chess Recordings 1951-1969 Discs 4 & 5

Disc 4 & 5 feature 24 and 25 more songs to wet your whistle.
Some of the best songs Willie Dixon ever wrote are on disc 5.
And disc 4 is mostly Chester Burnett or Howlin' Wolf's written
songs. How can you compare? You can't compare
"I Asked For Water" to "Down In The Bottom", they're both
equally great. One particular song was written by both Burnett
and Dixon and that is "Howlin' For My Darling". Again, they are
all strong songs, even the ones,that aren't blues ready classics are
still better than many other blues artists best works. Maybe it's
the delivery, and the emotional content. You bet it is.
Sam Phillips "When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said,This is for me.
This is where the soul of a man never dies!"
Then Wolf came over to the studio...he was six foot six, with
the biggest feet I've ever seen...He would sit there with two
feet planted wide apart,playing nothing but the French harp,
and I tell you, the greatest show you could see to this day
would be Chester Burnett in my studio".
The first session at Sun Records was held on May 14th or
in July of 1951,with the Wolf, Willie Johnson, and
Willie Steele (Ike Turner added his energetic style on piano
on "How Many More Years") There was no attempt to tone
down the powerful sound of the band,indeed the first
results encapsulate the Wolf's sound: the eerie moans and
howls,the rasping and menacing voice,the consistent lyrical
theme of being cheated and abused,all fueled by aggressive
harp and guitar playing.
The results were new,exciting and immediate. I give you,
both discs 4 and 5, it's the mostest daddy-o.
Howlin' Wolf 4

Howlin' Wolf 5

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Howlin' Wolf - Complete Chess Recordings 1951-1969 Disc 2 and 3

Discs 2 and 3 have 21 and 20 tracks each, and
MANY songs you never heard before.
A lot of tracks
are alternate takes,
and many songs are never played
on the radio-EVER!
So there's a wealth of music
that is begging to be loved
by you. My favorite song
must be Forty-Four. I'm not
really so sure what the
song means,but it lumbers along,
and I think
he's singing about carrying a gun,to do some
He wears this gun so long,it made his shoulder
I think that's what he's singing, but I guess the
lyrics don't
mean that much for me,I like the
melody and the
stomping and the piano,which
takes an active role in this
song. It's menacing.
I also like the Wolf's fine fine harmonica playing.

I like the guitar, I like the stomp.I like the drumming.

Nobody plays this song on the radio?!
What's wrong with you?
I'm guessing if some opened
minded blues DJ
played it, listeners would call and
ask about this song,and love it. If you love this band,
and Howlin' Wolf's music, I urge you to read a book
called Moaning At Midnight-The Life And Times Of Howlin'
Wolf By James Segrest & Mark Hoffman. It's a complete
biography of an amazing guy. It's a fantastic book.
From the Introduction: "He was one of a kind.Nobody I heard
before him or after him had that fantastic delivery-that certain
something in his voice that seemed like a sword that'd
pierce your soul when he'd sing. Wolf was already a great singer
and musician when I first met him. To my mind, he's one of the
greatest ever.We'll never see another like him." -B.B. King
Go ahead and pierce your soul here.
Howlin' Wolf 2

Howlin' Wolf 3

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Howlin' Wolf - Complete Chess Recordings 1951-1969 Disc 1

Howlin' Wolf born Chester Burnett June 10,1910 -
January 10th,1976.

He's one of my favorite musicians,and singers,ever!
This is from the series on Charly Records, and is very hard to find,
and worth tracking down, simply because it's so full of music,
it's hypnotizing, it's emotional,it's the greatest blues recordings,made
from an amazing man.
I'm not the only person who feels this way...So recollected
Robert Palmer on seeing Howlin' wolf perform in 1965,but that was
only the beginning: "The signal to finish (the show)led to a grand finale
of Wolf feigning an exit,and suddenly making a flying leap for the
curtain at the side of the stage. Holding the microphone under his
beefy right arm and singing into it all the while,he began climbing
up the curtain,until he was perched far above the stage,the thick
curtain threatening to rip...then he loosened his grip ...slid right back
down...hit the stage,cut off the tune,and stalked away,to the most
ecstatic cheers of the evening. He was 55 years old".
I wish I could have seen that!!! As if the singing and playing didn't
slay you, the climbing the curtain surely made you shit your pants,
what a showman! Well, while you listen to this disc,please think of
that image.This is a powerful performer, and they don't make 'em
like this anymore.
Howlin' Wolf 1

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chuck Berry - The Chess Years Red Box - Reelin' And Rockin'

The final three discs to this set. I wasn't trying to keep it from
the fans, just busy doing other musical things. Trust me, I'd never
keep you from Chuck Berry,he's just too cool!
Well, the last remaining discs here have 14 tracks,16 and 24
per disc, and are just as important of any of the other discs!
Now, you are a hipster. Don't forget Chuck inspired The Beatles,
The Stones, and The Beach Boys, and untold thousands more
musicians, and then all of the non musicians who are just fans!
He's in a class all by himself!
Chuck 7

Chuck 8

Chuck 9