CD The Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 5: Back in the Alley 1949-1954 (CD 1317598),
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The Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 5: Back in the Alley 1949-1954


  • 1. Hard Times - Johnny Fuller
    2. It's Your Life - Johnny Fuller
    3. I've Done Everything I Can - Walter Robertson
    4. Johnny's Low Down Blues - Johnny Fuller
    5. This Is the End aka the End - James Reed
    6. My Mama Told Me - James Reed
    7. Dr Brown - James Reed
    8. I Think My Time Is Here - Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters (previously unreleased, Take 1)
    9. Josephine - Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters (previously unreleased, Take 6)
    10. Beer Drinkin' Woman - Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters (previously unreleased, Take 4)
    11. I'm Prison Bound aka Doin' Time Blues - Lowell Fulson
    12. My Baby Left Me aka Some Old Lonesome Day - Lowell Fulson
    13. You Had a Good Man - Roy Hawkins (previously unreleased, Take 1)
    14. Just a Poor Boy - Roy Hawkins (previously unreleased, Take 2)
    15. You Better Hold Me - James Reed (previously unreleased)
    16. Oh People - James Reed
    17. My Love Is Real - James Reed
    18. I Walk All Night - Johnny Fuller
    19. Back Home - Johnny Fuller
    20. Sputterin' Blues - Walter Robertson
    21. Buddy - Johnny Fuller
    22. Prowling Blues - Johnny Fuller
    23. End aka This Is the End, The - James Reed (previously unreleased)
    24. Dr Brown - James Reed (previously unreleased, alternate take)
    25. Couldn't Be a Dream - Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters (previously unreleased, Take 1)
    26. I'll Get a Break Someday - Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters (previously unreleased, Take 7)
    Read More...
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1194

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    While the first four volumes of this series focused on just-post-World War II blues recorded at various locations in the south, this fifth installment turns its focus to somewhat more citified blues cut between 1949 and 1954 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the sides found their way to releases on the Modern family of labels, though some of them appear here for the first time. But the main common denominator is record label owner/manager/songwriter Bob Geddins, who was involved in the careers of all of the artists who recorded these 26 tracks. Two of the performers, Lowell Fulson and Jimmy McCracklin, had pretty successful careers; one, Roy Hawkins, had some success and notoriety (primarily for doing the original version of "The Thrill Is Gone"); and the others (Johnny Fuller, Walter Robertson, and James Reed) aren't even known to most blues collectors. A collection of such rare cuts -- even the ones by Fulson, McCracklin, and Hawkins will be unfamiliar to most of their fans -- has pretty specialized appeal, as the songs are average to the verge of being clichd. But it's an acceptable reflection of earthier California blues styles of the era, if hardly the best introduction to the subgenre. A few of the McCracklin tracks (most of which are previously unissued) count among the liveliest items, especially "Josephine" and "I'll Get a Break Someday," which are rawer than the subsequent recordings with which he'd attract most notice. The 1949 Fulson single on the CD is barely urbanized rural blues, and while much of the rest of the disc is more in line with the more refined, more jazzy ballad-tinged form of West Coast blues, it often has a gloomier aura than most such music. ~ Richie Unterberger

  • Critic Reviews
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.105) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Not only a fine tribute to one of blues' less trumpeted movers, but an often mesmerising picutre of a vital era in American blues history."
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