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Electric Blues

album: Age Don't Mean A Thing

Robert Finley: Age Don't Mean A Thing $13.00

September 30 will see the emergence of a major new soul music voice with Robert Finley’s debut album ‘Age Don’t Mean a Thing’ on Big Legal Mess Records, a Fat Possum imprint. Already, the New York Times has called the 62 year old north Louisianan singer “more than convincing… venerable but vigorous” and he has performed at NYC’s prestigious GlobalFest and at the King Biscuit Festival. He is set to follow that with an appearance at LA’s Skirball Center on August 18. Produced by Bruce Watson and Jimbo Mathus, the album traverses the classic Booker T & The MGs-esque Memphis groove of “I Just Want To Tell You,” the tough soul-blues of the title track, “Snake In My Grass,” and “Is It Possible To Love 2 People,” the romantic deep soul of “Make It With You,” danceable funk on “You Make Me Want To Dance,” the tremolo- and organ-soaked heartache of “It’s Too Late.” Finley proves himself a powerful songwriter, penning seven of the album’s nine tracks himself. Facing vision troubles after careers in the US Army and as a civilian carpenter, Finley has decided to pursue music full-time with the assistance of the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Finley traveled north to Memphis to work with members of the Bo-Keys. Players include a who’s who of the Memphis soul scene including drummer Howard Grimes (Al Green, Otis Clay, Syl Johnson, OV Wright), Marc Franklin (Bobby “Blue” Bland), Jimbo Mathus (Elvis Costello), Al Gamble (St. Paul & The Broken Bones, the Hold Steady, Alex Chilton), Kirk Smothers (Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Guy), Reba Russell (U2, BB King), Harold Thomas (James Carr), Daunielle Hill (Solomon Burke).
album: Albert White & the Rockers

Albert White: Albert White & the Rockers $12.00

This album takes recordings from two different sweat-soaked 70s nights. One, The New Palladium on Bankhead Highway, was the premier venue for the top touring black acts of the day. The Rockers delivered high-energy funk and soul exactly as it’s supposed to be; greasy horns, Hammond B3, passionate vocals, funky tight and fervor galore! The second venue was the equally urban Sportsman Oasis Ballroom. Both electrifying nights were captured by a low-fi cassette recorder placed on the stage. Produced and remastered by Music Maker’s in-house engineer, Ardie Dean, the recordings are given all the polish they could afford. The experience of delving deeply into Albert’s catalog left Ardie with a deep respect for Albert’s mastery: “Albert White is a consummate guitarist with impeccable credentials. Raised by blues legend Piano Red aka “Dr. Feelgood,” he oozes Rhythm & Blues integrity. A masterful soul singer, it’s no wonder that Steve Cropper and Elvin Bishop both played on Albert’s award winning “Soul of the Blues” CD.”
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: Black Lucy's Deuce

Lee Gates: Black Lucy's Deuce $12.00

"In this album Gates delivers a blast of back-alley danger the likes of which we seldom hear anymore in blues." -David Whiteis, Living Blues After performing for 52 years, Lee has finally started his recording career, this being his second release. In this album, Lee is backed by guitarist Cool John Ferguson, bassist Sol and Ardie Dean on Drums.
album: Boogie is My Name

Jerry McCain: Boogie is My Name $12.00

McCain, a brilliant man who writes hilarious songs, has been recording since the '50s on a host of legendary Southern record labels such as Excello and Trumpet. I have been friends with Jerry ever since I went to visit him at his home in Gadsden, Alabama in 1995. During that visit, we recorded an acoustic CD which we released a few years ago. In 1999 I arranged a CD deal for Jerry that was produced by the legendary Mike Vernon with guests such as Jonnie Johnson, Jimmie Vaughn and others. Unfortunately, the label Cello soon went out of business after the CD's release in 1991. That was a very difficult time for Jerry. Since that incident, Jerry has grown extremely skeptical about recording and has traveled less and less to perform. Drummer/producer Ardie Dean and I have been encouraging Jerry to keep recording his songs as he keeps on writing them (and cracking us up singing them to us on the phone). So earlier this summer, Ardie and Greg "Boom" Rowell got Jerry in the studio and made yet another magnificent Jerry "Boogie" McCain release. Jerry lets the world know that yes there is still real blues being written and recorded in 2003. Hats off to this grand master! -Tim Duffy
album: Cool Yule

Cool John Ferguson: Cool Yule $12.00

Cool Yule has a universal appeal that stretches beyond the borders of Christmas. You can play this CD all year long. It is an instrumental masterwork performed and arranged by one of the world's finest musicians. Performing on drums, bass, and up to three guitars, Cool John creates a post-modern Holiday Music classic. This CD captures all the emotions of Christmas. Rejoice in the poetic lyricism by one of our all-time masters of music.
album: Double Bang!

Ironing Board Sam: Double Bang! $20.00

After playing professionally for more than 55 years, Ironing Board Sam has amassed a staggering repertoire of both originals and classic blues and R&B songs. A truly gifted and engaging performer, Sam’s powerful, soulful voice and remarkable piano prowess remain undiminished. Double Bang is a result of those decades of experience combined with a creative and talented soul with a joy of spirit that is unrivaled. The Sydney Morning Herald said of Sam: “Ironing Board Sam, 73 years young, sang like his pants were on fire and attacked his keyboard as if it had sinned. He even dragged it from its stand and played it kneeling on the floor.”
album: Georgia Drumbeat

James Davis: Georgia Drumbeat $12.00

James Davis was born in 1931, in Houston County, Georgia. His ancestors have been in this area since 1845 when white plantation owner William M. Davis bought 200 slaves from South Carolina and 200,000 acres of farmland around Perry, GA. James grew up farming with his parents and, at the age of 14, he quit school and began to work in the sawmills. From then on out James started playing guitar. There have been musicians in the Davis family for generations; his sister is the great gospel singer, Essie Mae Brooks. After he learned the guitar, James would play with his father and his uncle. They called it the "Saturday Night Drumbeat".
album: Live at The Hamilton

Captain Luke and Cool John Ferguson: Live at The Hamilton $12.00

Captain Luke's voice like honey dripping on hot chocolate and the beautifully stunning guitar of Cool John Ferguson breathe new life and nuance into this set of old songs. In 2012, Tom Meyer and Bart Farrell invited their friend Captain Luke (84) to perform a special show at The Hamilton, a new venue they opened just three blocks from the White House. Captain Luke, from Winston-Salem, NC, used to sing locally with the legendary 5 Royale’s in the 50s. And for the last 60 years, he has been king of Winston-Salem's drink-house milieu. Cool John Ferguson from Beaufort, SC is a youngster by Music Maker’s standards, a living bridge between his Gullah heritage and the psychedelic rock and roll and R&B of his childhood. When these two Carolina men join together onstage, jaws drop. -Tim Duffy, MMRF Founder
album: One Man Band

Adolphus Bell: One Man Band $12.00

“I got the advantage over a lot of artist. I got my whole band by myself.” Feet flying, eyes flashing, hands on the guitar and song coming from the heart, that’s the Adolphus Bell One-Man Band.
album: Route 66

Eddie Tigner: Route 66 $12.00

Eddie Tigner played with the legendary blues guitarist Elmore James when he lived in Atlanta during the early 50's. On this album, Eddie presents a great set of standards such as "Route 66", "Rag Mop" and "Fly Right" featuring his singing, piano and backed by an expert band.
album: Super Spirit - VINYL

Ironing Board Sam: Super Spirit - VINYL $18.00

Super Spirit is the newest album from Ironing Board Sam, released on Big Legal Mess Records and produced by Bruce Watson and Jimbo Mathis. Dangerous Minds said, "[On Super Spirit] Sam’s backed by a solid group of players, and the record includes soulful covers of songs written by Jack Oblivion, Ann Peoples, Roy Hawkins, and Mick Collins. Collins wrote “I Can’t Take It,” originally recorded by titans of Detroit garage rock, the Gories, as “I Think I’ve Had It,” and included on their raucous debut, Houserockin’ (1989). Ironing Board Sam’s version absolutely cooks, melding rock, soul, and blues to fine effect. Sam possesses the kind of weathered, soul-drenched voice that only a seasoned R&B veteran has these days. In the age of sterile Auto-Tuned vocals, we need him more than ever. Sam possesses the kind of weathered, soul-drenched voice that only a seasoned R&B veteran has these days. In the age of sterile Auto-Tuned vocals, we need him more than ever." Glide Magazine called Super Spirit, "... perhaps his finest album yet." No Depression said, "Even though his latest, Super Spirit, is a studio record, it has the same energy and wildness as his live performances... Sam is in fine shape here, taking on all comers and laying em out, his spirit and his skills stronger than ever." Among Ironing Board Sam’s many triumphs of the past few years – returning several times to New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, playing Newport Folk Festival, performing at Lincoln Center, appearing on the PBS News Hour, signing with Big Legal Mess for his new album ‘Super Spirit’ is one of his proudest accomplishments.
album: Super Spirit Gift Package

Ironing Board Sam: Super Spirit Gift Package $250.00

The Super Spirit Gift Package includes a Universe Pendant designed by Ironing Board Sam and his latest release on 12" Vinyl. Super Spirit is the newest album from Ironing Board Sam, released on Big Legal Mess Records and produced by Bruce Watson and Jimbo Mathis. Dangerous Minds said, "[On Super Spirit] Sam’s backed by a solid group of players, and the record includes soulful covers of songs written by Jack Oblivion, Ann Peoples, Roy Hawkins, and Mick Collins. Collins wrote “I Can’t Take It,” originally recorded by titans of Detroit garage rock, the Gories, as “I Think I’ve Had It,” and included on their raucous debut, Houserockin’ (1989). Ironing Board Sam’s version absolutely cooks, melding rock, soul, and blues to fine effect. Sam possesses the kind of weathered, soul-drenched voice that only a seasoned R&B veteran has these days. In the age of sterile Auto-Tuned vocals, we need him more than ever. Sam possesses the kind of weathered, soul-drenched voice that only a seasoned R&B veteran has these days. In the age of sterile Auto-Tuned vocals, we need him more than ever." Glide Magazine called Super Spirit, "... perhaps his finest album yet." No Depression said, "Even though his latest, Super Spirit, is a studio record, it has the same energy and wildness as his live performances... Sam is in fine shape here, taking on all comers and laying em out, his spirit and his skills stronger than ever." Among Ironing Board Sam’s many triumphs of the past few years – returning several times to New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, playing Newport Folk Festival, performing at Lincoln Center, appearing on the PBS News Hour, signing with Big Legal Mess for his new album ‘Super Spirit’ is one of his proudest accomplishments.
album: The Mighty Flood

Alabama Slim and Little Freddie King: The Mighty Flood $12.00

When Hurricane Katrina struck, Milton “Alabama Slim” Frazier and his cousin Little Freddie King made it out of New Orleans with their lives but not much else. The story of their encounter with the storm is related in the two versions of the Mighty Flood that bookend this disc’s dozen selections and give it its name. Slim, who takes the vocals on all but two tracks, comes by his nickname honestly- he was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and stands almost seven feet tall. As harrowing as his account of Katrina is, it gains power from its understated delivery (like John Lee Hooker’s Tupelo, on which it was modeled). Slim also employs the device of updating an old blues theme by transforming "Tin Pan Alley" into "Crack Alley." The other tracks include a version of Mr. Charlie by the way of Lightnin’ Hopkins, a Going Upstairs that¹s loosely based on Howlin’ Wolf’s "No Place to Go", and "I Got The Blues", which bears a faint resemblance to Buddy Guy’s "Dam Right I’ve Got The Blues." These, and all of Slim’s other performances, owe their primary stylistic debt to Hooker and Hopkins, with King supplying most of the guitar work and Slim adding simple rhythm patterns on some cuts. The occasional assist from varying combinations of harmonica, bass, and drums is unnecessary but unobtrusive, though it helps add drive to King’s gospel piece "Lord, I’m Good For Something." His other lead, on "I Don’t Know What To Do", is a moody number cut from much the same cloth as his cousin’s efforts. This is one of those rare albums where the listener enjoys the sensation of sitting in on a private gathering of friends playing and singing with and for one another. -Jim Dekoster, Living Blues