CD Odds & Ends (CD 1331918),
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Odds & Ends

  • 1. Double Trouble
    2. Ease My Mind
    3. Honey, Don't Let Me Go
    4. Rockinitis
    5. Go on Fool
    6. Those Lonely, Lonely Nights
    7. Feelin' Good
    8. Look What You Done
    9. Jump with You Baby
    10. Summertime
    11. Ain't What You Say
    12. Easy
    13. Lover Not a Fighter
    14. How Long I Have to Wait
    15. Don't Boss Me
    16. One More Time
    17. Keep a Knockin'
    18. Hand to Mouth
    19. Dig That Crazy Chick
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1004

  • Credits
    EngineerGary Mankin; Alan Goldwater

    Personnel: Sue Foley (vocals, guitar); Ronnie Jacobsen, Shorty Lenoir, Ron Thompson, Buddy Reed (guitar); Nancy Wright, John Firmin (saxophone); Doug Rynack, Sid Morris, Kevin Zuffi, Jim Pugh (piano); Bill Zelinski, Mark Lignell, June Core, Kenney Dale Johnson, Jimi Bott, Bob Grant (drums).
    Liner Note Author: Mark Hummel.
    Recording information: DAve Wellhausen Studios, San Francisco, CA (1982-2006); Magic Sound, Santa Cruz, CA (1982-2006).
    Many of Mark Hummel's records have presented various odds and ends compiled over his lengthy career as a prominent sideman or leader, and this one is no different. Apparently the master tapes of this collection were lost or unavailable, and it's clear the digital dubs that comprise these tracks were taken directly from vinyl LPs. You can hear the uncued silent delays on the intros, and crackling sounds of not-so-pure 33 1/3 platters on the CD mixes. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable group of tunes culled from three previous albums -- Sunny Day Blues, Up & Jumpin', and High Steppin', with the opener, "Double Trouble" featuring Kid Anderson, being the lone previously unreleased track. Hummel has always kept good company since his days backing John Lee Hooker, and this recording, featuring various configurations of his Blues Survivors, is no different. Some of the guests include Mannish Boys guitarist Frank Goldwasser (aka Paris Slim), guitarist and vocalist Sue Foley in her salad days, bassist Carl Severied and excellent pianist Jim Pugh (both from the Robert Cray Band), and drummer Jimi Botti, known for his work with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Rod Piazza's Mighty Flyers. A small horn section pops up occasionally, each band is tight, rockin' and dedicated to authentic electric blues, and most of the tunes are blues standards save one each from Hummel or Foley and two by the formidable Rick Estrin. There's a lot of music on this CD to be heard, and of the 19 tracks, you get classics like Jimmy Reed's slow rocker "Honey Don't Let Me Go" (sung as "Baby, don't let me go"), Magic Sam's "Look What You Done" with Foley rocking, strutting, and playing the solo, the Dave Bartholomew/Fats Domino evergreen (and feature for Pugh) "Go on Fool," Little Richard's "Keep a Knockin'" in good old rock & roll trim, and the Gershwins' "Summertime" with sweet help from the legendary Charles Brown. Lesser known but just as potent are Billy Boy Arnold's jam "Rockinitis," Louis Prima's novelty bop jive "Dig That Crazy Chick," Junior Parker's longer talking blues-boogie shuffle "Feelin' Good," the slow-train blues (penned by Big Walter Horton) "Easy" featuring Foley's twangy guitar, and the Johnny Otis easy swinger "Ain't What You Say." Everything here is meticulously played, fairly concise, and done with ultimate heart and soul. Hummel's "Ease My Mind" adopts the Chicago style of rockin' and rompin' shuffle beat, Estrin's tough "Don't Boss Me" is a perfect rock/jump/swing combo, and Foley pines on the downtrodden "How Long I Have to Wait." There's so much variety presented here, and excellent musical values, that Odds & Ends deserves much more than a single listen, not to be dismissed as a bunch of alternate takes or afterthoughts. Because of the timeless nature of these tunes, this disc -- his 14th overall -- should rank high on any blues fan's wish list, and is a great overview of Mark Hummel's career in a time capsule. ~ Michael G. Nastos

  • Critic Reviews
    Living Blues (p.54) - "[I]t's Hummel who remains the star of this show, his imposing amplified harmonica a clear sign that he was already a master of the instrument nearly three decades ago."
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