Delmark 50 Years of Jazz & Blues - BLUES
Delmark (2003) DD-905
2 CDs, 33 tracks, 131 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: July 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Bob Koester's Delmark label is celebrating its golden anniversary in fine form with this
sparkling 2-CD set packed with blues gems from the past. While the imprint began as an
outlet for jazz music, Koester soon began issuing blues albums by Speckled Red, Junior
Wells, Big Joe Williams, Sleepy John Estes, and many others. While this two-CD set only scratches the surface of Delmark's deep vaults, it does a superb job of spotlighting the talent that has graced its grooves for years. Although most of the material here has seen prior commercial release, there are a number of previously unissued tracks that will thrill collectors, including disc one's alternate take of Ways Like An Angel by Junior Wells from his States recordings in 1953 and a riveting Big Joe Williams performance on Midnight Creep. Disc two collects five more unissued cuts with Magic Sam's
wrenching 'live' rendition of Everything's Gonna Be Alright from 1968, J.B. Hutto's
Love Retirement with careening slide licks, Johnny B. Moore slicing through Broke
Man, Sleepy John Estes sounding as if he's in your living room during My Time Is
Drawing Near, and Jimmy Burns with the closer, Back To The Delta. If it were only
the unissued gems making this worthwhile, the budget-line price would still be fair, but in
addition, there's Otis Rush cutting deep in I Can't Quit You, Baby and Willie Kent's I
Had A Dream, but add piano players like Albert Ammons, Speckled Red, Roosevelt
Sykes, and Sunnyland Slim, or guitarists Luther Allison, Steve Freund, Syl Johnson, and Dave
Specter, or harp flash from Carey Bell, gripping vocal showcases from Tail Dragger, Big Time
Sarah, Jesse Fortune, and others and you have a superb collection of blues. Whether
focusing on modern practitioners or rifling through the catalogs of vintage labels, Delmark
has a long and influential history as one of the premier blues labels and this superb two-disc
compilation gathers a solid cross-section of artists and styles. www.delmark.com has plenty
more information on this release and a mind-boggling array of others. Help celebrate
Delmark's 50th birthday with a copy of this winner. In addition, the wonderful cover art by
Kevin Belford will also be available as a 50th Anniversary poster, but only for a limited time.
Your purchase through this Amazon.com link helps to support this website.
Simply click on the cover at left or the Amazon buy button (if there is one) to order this CD NOW!
"This review is copyright © 2003 by Craig Ruskey, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without permission."
Copyright reuse notice: If you would like to reprint or use this review please include the above copyright notice, contained within the quotation marks, PLUS this statement: "Used with permission." Then send an email to Ray at: email@example.com indicating how you are using the review or the website page address it will be appearing on. Thanks!
You can help support this blues website by making a contribution (click on the banner below for details).
Or mail a donation to: Ray Stiles % Blues On Stage, PO Box 582983, Mpls, MN 55458. Thanks!
Web Design SPECIAL, get your own website for just $50.
Web Hosting & Design:
Web Hosting & Design.
Most affordable web hosting and design services available.
Find out how you can host your current site at Blues On Stage, or how I can help you design your own website!
If you would like your CD reviewed, please send TWO (2) copies, along with promotional material to:
Blues On Stage
PO Box 582983
Minneapolis, MN 55458-2983
E-mail Ray Stiles @ firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.