Netflix Documentary On Robert Johnson

Netflix has made a new documentary about the life of legendary Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson, whose guitar playing in the 1930’s was pioneering for the genre and laid the template for rock’n’roll.

The film is called ‘Remastered: Devil at the Crossroads’ because Johnson was said to have made a deal with the Devil at a crossroads in rural Mississippi, and it explores how people believed that everything he touched was cursed.

This film examines more worldly interpretations of these myths and how they might have affected today’s blues stars, including contributors Keb’ Mo’, Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Bonnie Raitt.

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Unissued R&B Track Gets Release On 45rpm After 69 Years

Ace records recently found an unissued track, ‘Bartender Knock Me A Zombie’ in the the vaults of Sensation Records.

Recorded almost seventy years ago by The Four Shades of Rhythm for the Detroit based label Ace made it available to BBC Radio 6’s Cerys Mathews who played the track on air generating much interest amongst listeners.

So much so they have released it on a 45rpm disc. Click on the graphic at the top and read the Ace ‘Right Track’ press booklet for more information!

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Skiffle Tribute On BBC Four April 12th

65 years ago Lonnie Donegan started a music revolution in the UK with his recording of Lead Belly’s ‘Rock Island Line’ – it started the skiffle boom when thousands of skiffle bands spread throughout the land.

On April 12th at 9:00pm UK songster Billy Bragg presents a tribute to the song and to the skiffle boom – and it looks like it is well worth watching. Washboard’s at the ready!

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New Set From Rory Gallagher Due May 31st.

In what would have been the 50th year of Rory Gallagher’s recording career, UMC have announced the release of ‘BLUES’ on 31st May. From the vaults of the Gallagher estate’s tape archive comes this collection of rare and unreleased recordings of Rory playing blues material, ranging from never heard before tracks to special guest sessions and lost radio sessions, from 1971 right through to 1994.

Formats include a 15 track CD / 2LP version; a limited edition blue vinyl 2LP and a deluxe 36 track 3CD version showcasing Rory’s performances of electric, acoustic and live blues.

The Deluxe set comprises 90% unreleased material and features performances with Muddy Waters, Albert King, Jack Bruce, Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber. The Deluxe Edition also comes with an extensive booklet comprising previously unseen pictures of Rory plus a new essay by Blues / Rock writer Jas Obrecht.

Renowned for his blistering live performances and respected for his dedication to his craft, Rory died in 1995, aged just 47, yet his reputation has continued to flourish in the years since.

From his first album with Taste through his final solo album, Rory remained true to his own musical vision.

Like the American bluesmen he admired, he created an instantly identifiable sound.

Rory was influenced by many blues artists including Buddy Guy, B. B. King, Blind Boy Fuller, Big Bill Broozny, Muddy Waters and Lead Belly. But unlike many of his peers in the U.K., especially during the 1960s and 1970s, Rpry did not specialise in note-perfect copies of other artists songs.

As he explained to an interviewer in 1978, “I never started out to be a strict recreator of the blues or even a modern young bluesman. I wanted to be me.”

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Record Store Day 2019

Record Store Day 2019 takes place on Saturday, April 13th, at record stores across the world.

Started in 2008, the yearly event is meant to celebrate record store culture by bringing together fans, artists and thousands of independent vinyl shops, and features exclusive releases, reissues and hard-to-find vinyl and CD gems for record collectors everywhere.

The official list of special releases for 2019 is now available. Among the highlights this year are special 10 inch vinyl blues releases from Blind Willie McTell and Robert Johnson’s ‘Kind Hearted Woman Blues/ Terraplane Blues’, plus a collectable Albert King album.

Fans of 1960s and 1970s rock bands check out The Doors, Jethro Tull, Van Morrison’s ‘Astral Weeks’, Ten Years After, double vinyl albums of original Woodstock performances by Janis Joplin, Canned Heat and Sly And The Family Stone and the highlight a vinyl album of Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks – Original New York Test Pressing’.

This years ambassador’s for Record Store Day are Pearl Jam,

Check out the complete list on the official Record Store Day website.

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Cassette, Compact Disc, Jazz, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Rock & Roll, Soul, Vinyl, Website, World Music | Leave a comment

UK record company will press your ashes into a working vinyl album.

For those dedicated vinyl record collectors, a UK company, called And Vinyly, is offering to press our ashes into playable vinyl records upon our demise. 

The company’s slogan is “Live On From Beyond The Groove.” 

During manufacture, your ashes are sprinkled onto the raw piece of vinyl, one teaspoon per record, just before it is pressed by the plates. You can decide what music is on the record and presumably what colour vinyl you would prefer. 

Many people choose clear vinyl so the bits of ashes can be seen.  Of course adding ash filler to the vinyl does add some crackling surface noise, but hey, it’s a vinyl record! 

The company does not do 45’s yet, or picture sleeves. 

To read about the service visit The Vintage News article or to watch the company’s video about this click And Vinyly.

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Springsteen On Broadway

It’s 45 years since of Springsteen’s debut album ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.’ released in 1973. The album sold poorly, but it started of a career spanning years of sell out three-hour stadium gigs and world tours.

Now 69, he undertook a one man residency at the 975 seat Walter Kerr Theatre, on Broadway, playing 236 shows, five nights a week from October 2017 to late November 2017 with additional dates booked through the end of June 2018 and another run between March and December 2018.

He played guitar, harmonica and piano, performing songs for his extensive catalogue interspersing them with reminiscences from his childhood and career. They are humorous, poignant and capture important times in his personal life and musical career. His wife Patti Scalia appeared at most shows duetting with her husband on ‘Tougher Than The Rest’ and ‘Brilliant Disguise’.

Commencing with ‘Growin’ Up’, he talks about his early life – a humdrum existence of school, church, holidays, Christmas, weddings, funerals and green beans!

That was it until a seismic shock hit the collective nervous system of the USA when Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. Springsteen says that if they knew what would going to happen “they would have shut that shit down”. It also encouraged the seven years old Bruce to take up ‘that thing below the waist’ – a guitar.

He says that he never worked in a factory, or worked hard labour and never worked five days a week – “until now”. He had never ‘raced in the streets’, or done the things he sang about – but he says he did have good, tight band.

His songs reflected working class life. His father hated working in a local rug factory, in a car factory, in a plastics factory and as a truck driver.

His recollection of being sent to a local bar to fetch his dad home is a wonderfully told story. He talks about his pride in his mother, who loved dancing to 1940s swing bands and who held down a good job at an insurance company.

The intros and monologues are filled with stories of small town USA. ‘My Hometown’ recalls a time before the good industrial jobs left the USA and the racial tensions in school. On the intro to ‘The Promised Land’ Springsteen says: “Jersey was in the boon docks”. A place where nobody came and nobody left and runs through the dead end gigs he played in N.J. – drive in movies, weddings, supermarket openings, church halls, before moving to the west coast to try to make it big.

Although the set list and scripted monologues changed little you can feel the sheer emotion on ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’ when he is speaking about his friendship with the late E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemons.

The CD contains ‘Long Time Comin’’ (on which explains his complex relationship with his father) and ‘The Ghost Of Tom Joad’, both substituted for the duet he performed with Patti when his she took ill.

‘Born In The USA’ is a eulogy for friends killed in action in Vietnam, delivered with anger and bitterness.

‘Tom Joad’ has a damning spoken intro on those “in the highest offices of our land who want to speak to our darkest angels, who want to want to call up the ugliest and the most divisive ghosts of America’s past, who want to destroy the idea of America for all. That’s their intention.”

‘The Rising’, the anthem written for New York fire fighters after ‘9/11’ is taken at a reflective pace, but ‘Dancing In The Dark’ brings back the good times (even done solo) and is met with a thunderous applause.

Springsteen says his is “an American story – a long and noisy prayer and hopes he has been a good travelling companion” He has. There are not many performers who could pull off a stunning show like this – but as a review of a show many years ago in an English music paper once said “Springsteen delivers.”

‘Springsteen On Broadway’ is the soundtrack to the Netflix film of the same name issued by Columbia as a 2 CD set, or on vinyl as a 4 LP set.

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South To Louisiana – revised and updated published in March.

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Country/Hillbilly, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, Roots, Soul | 1 Comment

Paramount’s Rise & Fall – Out in April

How did a chair manufacturer in rural Wisconsin come to dominate the new “race record” field in the 1920s?

The fascinating story unfolds in this landmark study of Paramount records – the label that introduced Ma Rainey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Skip James and other blues greats to the world. But there’s more to the Paramount story than its legendary blues recordings.

Alex van der Tuuk reveals the history of the people and companies behind the label in the third edition of this classic work. Now in full colour.

“An invaluable study… it’s exciting to have this essential book available again.” – The late Samuel Charters

 “The very best and most compelling journey into the world of a small record company that recorded some of America’s greatest talent.”

– Gayle Dean Wardlow

 “A must-read for everyone interested in early blues, jazz or country music!”

Rhythm & News

 “A solid contextual narrative [to] which all future work should refer.”

ARSC Journal


Alex van der Tuuk is the author of Paramount’s Rise and Fall (2003, 2012, 2019), Out of Anonymity: The Paramount and Broadway Territory Bands (2014) and The New Paramount Book of Blues (2017). Together with Guido van Rijn he compiled the five-volume The New York Recording Laboratories Matrix Series between 2011 and 2015.

Product Details

  • Format:                       Lavishly illustrated full colour paperback
  • Edition                        Fully revised third edition
  • Publication Date:      April 2019
  • Price:                          30 Euros
  • Publisher:                   Agram Blues Books
Posted in 78rpm, Blues, Country/Hillbilly, Gospel, Rare Records, Roots, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blues Unlimted Exhibition In Bexhill Museum

Bexhill Museum is pleased to announce a new exhibition for 2019 – BLUES UNLIMITED.

Did you know Bexhill was the birthplace of Blues Unlimited Magazine?

This small exhibition explains the foundations of the magazine and the personnel involved. It charts the story of how a publication originally produced by hand grew to be read by people such as the Rolling Stones and how Blues Unlimited secured its place in the annals of music history.

In 1963 former Bexhill Grammar School boys Mike Leadbitter and Simon A. Napier founded the world’s first magazine exclusively devoted to blues music.

Their dedication to the magazine produced world class research that is still considered pre-eminent in its field.

The story of the magazine is told through text, photographs and other exhibits including copies of the magazine, books and ephemera.

Exhibition opens January 21st. The museum is open 7 days a week until mid-December. Opening hours 10-5 Tues-Fri, 11-5 Sat, Sun, Mon and bank holidays.

Our telephone number is 01424 222058.

Please see our website for full contact details.

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Magazine, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Roots, Soul, Vinyl | 3 Comments