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Acoustic Blues

album: Biscuits For Your Outside Man

Various Artists: Biscuits For Your Outside Man $12.00

Food and music have always gone hand in hand around here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Musicians work in restaurants and cooks go to the clubs to hear bands after work in equal measure. I remember one night years ago when there was a show we all wanted to see. I don’t remember the band now, but as soon as we got done, a bunch of us line cooks went tearing down the street to the Cat’s Cradle. We still had our aprons on even. The club was crowded and loud, but I could hear a woman beside me say to her friend, “It smells like someone is cooking a steak in here!” Actually, as usual, it was the music that was cooking. The language of the Blues is especially effective in using the metaphors of food and cooking. It’s both honest and funny. It may seem elemental and primitive at first, but to me, it is great poetry. This marvelously curated collection presents this at its best. Some songs are sexy, some are silly. All are clever. A few, like “Shortnin’ Bread” are familiar, but many were unknown to me. I don’t remember having heard either “Chicken Pie” or “Cabbage Man” before. Both were cool discoveries. There are narratives like “Old Bill” and the wonderful “Lima Beans” will delight both the cook and the poet alike. Listen to this collection as a whole. The songs of course can each stand on their own but together they have a wonderful feel of working people intelligently and unselfconsciously examining their lives with music. It makes sense that that thing as elemental as food and the table would find their way into song. Play this music when you sit down to dinner. It’s as satisfying as a T-bone steak. - Bill Smith
album: Cabbage Man

Sam Frazier, Jr.: Cabbage Man $12.00

Following in a line of black country singers that include Charley Pride, Linda Martell, Ray Charles and more recently Darius Rucker. Sam Frazier, Jr. sings the sweet songs that have defined country music. He sings the blues and croons plaintive melodies on his trusted harmonica. Out of the backwoods of Alabama, Sam has been a staple of the black country music scene that emerged in the late 1970's in the Deep South. From the first note, one can hear the experience of many hard years coming up from the farm and onto the stages of those traveling shows. Just sit back, open a bottle of wine with your loved on and enjoy the stories, the soul and the love sung in the way only Sam Frazier knows how! -- Dom Flemons (The American Songster)
album: Deep in the South

Guitar Gabriel: Deep in the South $12.00

"Guitar Gabriel is dead — gone nearly three years. He was a blues man who didn't attain the fame of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King or any of the other kings of the blues. When he was 45, in 1970, he almost cracked the big time with a single, "The Welfare Blues," but he then quickly faded into obscurity. The late Mr. Gabriel — Robert Jones to his boyhood friends — has been given another chance with the release of an excellent dozen-song disc of original blues. It's too late for him but not for those of us who are still breathing air. On this disc, the namesake of that earlier Gabriel can also tear down walls. His voice has a resigned, weary quality that talks its way through his melodies at an easy walking tempo. Although his was a good voice, it was his guitar playing that distinguished him. On his steel string acoustic, Gabriel fingerpicked in a rare style that mixes rhythm and melody. For a quick point of reference, think of the hippie-picker-grown-old, David Bromberg. The liner notes, consisting of John Creech's well-written short story about meeting Guitar Gabriel, is the prize in this crackerjack album." -Dan Aquilante, New York Post
album: Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill
Signed VINYL + CD

Dom Flemons: Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill Signed VINYL + CD $25.00

Where the Chocolate Drops focused on one style of music, Flemons takes a broader approach on Prospect Hill, an album that encompasses folk tunes, ragtime, early jazz and rock and roll and fife-and-drum music... ... Flemons' songs may draw heavily from old styles, but Prospect Hill is never locked in the past. "I've worked a lot of years, trying to balance that," he says. "I tried to make sure when I presented songs, I made them as good as the old songs I might try to interpret." Prospect Hill is a well-traveled album, with songs set in locales ranging from Arizona to Georgia, from San Francisco to Nashville. "These are all places that meant something to me," says Flemons, who lives near Chapel Hill, N.C. - USA Today
album: Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill VINYL

Dom Flemons: Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill VINYL $20.00

Where the Chocolate Drops focused on one style of music, Flemons takes a broader approach on Prospect Hill, an album that encompasses folk tunes, ragtime, early jazz and rock and roll and fife-and-drum music... ... Flemons' songs may draw heavily from old styles, but Prospect Hill is never locked in the past. "I've worked a lot of years, trying to balance that," he says. "I tried to make sure when I presented songs, I made them as good as the old songs I might try to interpret." Prospect Hill is a well-traveled album, with songs set in locales ranging from Arizona to Georgia, from San Francisco to Nashville. "These are all places that meant something to me," says Flemons, who lives near Chapel Hill, N.C. - USA Today
album: Etta Baker - Railroad Bill 12" Vinyl

Etta Baker - Railroad Bill 12" Vinyl $18.00

**This record includes digital download of all of Etta Baker's albums on Music Maker and never before seen video content** "Possessing a stunning beauty, Etta's husband refused to let her travel and perform away from home. She never stopped playing music! This gracious grandmother was the source of a great deal of joy and surprise when I found out that she still played guitar after I heard her early recordings in the '60s. One of the signature chords of my guitar vocabulary comes from her version of 'Railroad Bill.' This was the first guitar picking style I ever learned." -- Taj Mahal
album: Grasshopper Pie

Slewfoot and the Angels: Grasshopper Pie $12.00

Slewfoot's debut release for Music Maker showcases his incredibly diverse and original songwriting. With vocal partner Cary B, "Grasshopper Pie" features a stellar array of New Orleans' finest. New Orleans second-line, the blues and even Hawaiian slack-key combined.
album: High Steppin' Momma

Clyde Langford: High Steppin' Momma $12.00

Clyde Langford of Centerville, Texas learned guitar from Joel “Thunder” Hopkins as a young boy. He grew up in the cotton fields and as a young man he joined the Army. Returning from service he began a career of digging wells by hand. Clyde never stopped playing his music. In this field recording, his old Gibson guitar rattles, hums and grinds as his hypnotic serenade carries you way back into deep Texas blues.
album: Music Makers with Taj Mahal

Various: Music Makers with Taj Mahal $12.00

album: My Name is Precious

Precious Bryant: My Name is Precious $12.00

When we met Precious many years ago, no one knew who she was except true Blues scholars. We were directed to her by our friend Axel Kustner who knew of her from the work she recorded in the late '60s and early '70s with folklorist George Mitchell. In the years that have passed, Precious has become a true legend of Georgia Blues. She has traveled far and wide entertaining audiences around the world. As of late, she is content to stay home and perform locally. Music Maker has been there to lend a helping hand to Precious during times of need. We have sent thousands of postcards of the photo on this album over the years to folks around the world. We have always believed in Precious, as she is one of the last great Georgia Blues women we know. She is a very special person and a deeply committed friend. In this CD we did not hold back. We went through hours of recordings and have presented 26 songs showcasing her unique voice and infectiously charming style. The recording quality is absolutely stellar, among the finest audiophile recording quality one will ever stumble across.
album: Prospect Hill

Dom Flemons: Prospect Hill $12.00

Where the Chocolate Drops focused on one style of music, Flemons takes a broader approach on Prospect Hill, an album that encompasses folk tunes, ragtime, early jazz and rock and roll and fife-and-drum music... ... Flemons' songs may draw heavily from old styles, but Prospect Hill is never locked in the past. "I've worked a lot of years, trying to balance that," he says. "I tried to make sure when I presented songs, I made them as good as the old songs I might try to interpret." Prospect Hill is a well-traveled album, with songs set in locales ranging from Arizona to Georgia, from San Francisco to Nashville. "These are all places that meant something to me," says Flemons, who lives near Chapel Hill, N.C. - USA Today
album: Railroad Bill

Etta Baker: Railroad Bill $12.00

Etta Baker of Morganton, NC, was born in 1913 and has played the guitar since the age of three. She was the premier female Piedmont blues guitar instrumentalist, played the guitar everyday and was constantly working on new arrangements. Etta maintained a beautiful yard and garden, and was matriarch of 108 members in her immediate family. Etta constantly worked on new arrangements, one of the results of her work was this album. These recordings were made in her home and yes, a finch really did fly in her living room, sat atop the door and performed a wonderful duet.
album: Tarboro Blues

George Higgs: Tarboro Blues $12.00

George Higgs hails from Edgecombe County, North Carolina and is a wonderful guitar and harp player in the Piedmont tradition. Throughout the 40’s and 50’s he was a popular performer at fish fries and house parties and later on performed gospel with a local quartet. He apparently recorded for the Trix label in the early 70’s but these sides were never issued. 'Tarboro Blues' is a beautifully played debut filled with mostly traditional songs sung in a deeply moving and personal manner. Higgs is a moving singer, powerful harp blower and has a gentle, propulsive guitar style that make for engaging listening. Voted the best blues album of 2001 by Living Blues. Higgs rolls through a set of traditional material like the driving 'My Hook’s In The Water', the heartfelt 'Geraldine', the good time feel of 'Greasy Greens' and the moving “'Sides to Every Story.' Fans of bluesman like Pink Anderson and Peg Leg Sam will certainly want to investigate this record." -Jeff Harris, Bad Dog Blues
album: The Beginning of the Music Maker Story CD & DVD

Guitar Gabriel: The Beginning of the Music Maker Story CD & DVD $30.00

This CD package also includes the full-length documentary DVD Toot Blues, by Chris Johnstone and Anna Ferrarie. Produced by a grant from Paul Allen and Martin Scorcese, the film presents the complete story of MMRF and its efforts to bring together and document the talented artists and vital heritage of the traditional American blues scene. Includes rare footage, interviews, and joyous live performances.
album: Turn off the Fear

Carl Rutherford: Turn off the Fear $12.00

Here is grandfatherly Carl Rutherford's devastating take on "The Old Rugged Cross" and other jewels that showcase his unique blend of Buck Owens-style twang, old time goospel number and harrowing mining songs, making him a true American original. -CD Baby Reviews