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Playlist - Kitty, Daisy & Lewis' "78 selections" including Sonny Boy Williamson, Alabama Smith, The Mighty Sparrow and more
The London-based family trio of Kitty, Daisy and Lewis Durham are really all encompassing. With their influences including nods to R'N'B, swing and calypso to name a few and boasting the ability to play pretty much any instrument in existence between them, it's hardly surprising that their record collections extend not just into vinyl, but into 78s. "These records were marketed towards a predominantly black audience," says Lewis of his antique selections. "They are more common on 78rpm discs than 45rpm disks as this technology was still fairly new and many blues listening audiences had not updated their phonographs."
Jazz Gillum - Sarah Jane
"Recorded in 1936, this is a great Chicago blues record with no electric instruments. The lyrics are risqué and a heavy swing with virtuoso harp wizardry by Bill 'Jazz' Gillum backs them. He was shot in the head during an argument."
Wilmoth Houdini - Sweet Papa Willie
"A great 1930s Trinidad calypso with the great backing band of Gerald Clark's Night Owls. Not much is known about Wilmoth Houdini."
John Lee Hooker - Real Real Gone
"I bought this record from a friend who is also a passionate blues, jazz and gospel collector. The record is just John Lee playing dirty blues guitar and singing. The label credits him as John Lee Booker as he was under contract to another label at the time. Many artists used pseudonyms to get round contracts."
Julian Dash - Holiday In Cuba Pt.1 / Pt.2
"This is an energetic record and goes down well in clubs. It's an instrumental with a heavy Cuban influence. However, it's essentially an R&B record. It's a two-part record so you have to flip it over to hear the second part of the song."
Jimmy Smith - Mama
"Not the organ player Jimmy Smith but another one. Upbeat R&B with Jimmy hollering over the top. Recorded in the early 50s, I bought this disk from a collector in Switzerland."
Barbecue Bob - I'm On My Way Down Home
"Columbia records made many talent scout trips to Atlanta, Georgia during the late 1920s and early 1930s. One artist was found who was a cook in a barbecue restaurant. This song is about his woman leaving him so he's going back home. His guitar style is unusually different to his other records."
The Mighty Sparrow - Sir Garfield Sobers
"One of the kings of Calypso sings "better luck next time, Australia" when the West Indies beat Australia in 1960 at cricket. The recording was probably made by Emory Cook who was a technical whiz and a lover of music. Cook came up with several patents one being his micro-fusion process for the manufacture of phonograph records. Some of the LPs include extempo battles, which is when two calypsonians battle it out taking in turns to insult their opponent. Calypso makes you feel good."
Alabama Slim - Eloise
"I got this record from a friend called Mike Rowe who has taught me lots about the blues. We both enjoy curry and real ale together as well. It's a real electric country blues record with a great low down feel. Alabama Slim was a pseudonym for Ralph Willis. I also have another record by him on where he uses the name Sleepy Joe And His Washboard Band."
Rev A.W. Nix - Black Diamond Express Train To Hell
"This is a beautiful and classic sermon with no musical instruments except the human voice. It is an extremely powerful sermon whereby Nix leads you through the journey of a train bound for hell with the devil as the conductor, the train stopping at stations to pick up drunkards, thieves and gamblers."
Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee Williamson) - Ground Hog Blues
"Not to be confused with the second Sonny Boy (Rice Miller). The first Sonny Boy was mugged and murdered in the 1940s. Every harmonica player after Sonny Boy either tried to copy him or was very influenced by him and it's needless to say what the reason for that is. Ground Hog Blues is not one of his signature records like Good Morning Little School Girl, Decoration Day or Bring Another Half Pint, but, for me I can't see that he has one record better than another. All of Sonny Boys records are absolutely first class and he never made a bad one. His lyrics, phrasing and harp magic have added up to him being one of the biggest influences on blues post 1945."
Head to Kittydaisyandlewis.com for more.
11:40 AM | 19/03/2012
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