Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter Steve James has carved a niche for himself in the acoustic and folk-blues scene through a lot of touring. He's built his fan base the old-fashioned way, without the support of an international record company marketing machine.
One of the great blues albums of the early '80s, Classified captures the legendary New Orleans pianist James Booker not long before his premature death at the age of 43 on November 8, 1983. Recorded in a series of sometimes problematic sessions in 1982 – producer Scott Billington details them in his terrific liner notes on the 2013 reissue of the record, which is remixed and expanded – Classified appeared just a few months before Booker's death, so it's hard not to read it as something of a final statement.
'The Godfather of Soul.' 'The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.' 'Mr. Dynamite.' 'Soul Brother Number One.' For more than 50 years, these and other honorifics have described American music icon James Brown.
Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of a newly re-mastered, re-mixed and expanded 3 disc clamshell box edition of the classic album, “Barclay James Harvest and Other Short Stories”. Recorded and released in 1971, the album was the third by BJH and was recorded at Abbey Road studios and was co-produced by the band and ex-Pretty Things member Wally Allen. Widely regarded (along with “Once Again”) as one of the band’s early masterpieces, “…Other Short Stories” featured such classic tracks as ‘Medicine Man’, ‘Ursula (The Swansea Song)’, ‘The Poet’ and the epic ‘After the Day’. The album was critically acclaimed upon its release by Harvest Records and was also issued by Sire Records in the United States with some remixed versions of tracks. The album also featured the Barclay James Harvest symphony orchestra conducted by Martyn Ford and arrangements by Toni Cooke and Martyn Ford.
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the release on Goldwax of James Carr’s recording of ‘The Dark End Of The Street’, a record rightly hailed as a benchmark in soul, and in southern soul in particular. James’ recording of Dan Penn and Chips Moman’s genre-defining song is one of dozens but it was the first and is by unanimous consensus the best.
James Moody’s first Argo album revealed not only his remarkable abilities as a jazz flutist, but also sold gratifyingly, proving, we guess, that you have the same admiration for him that we do. So this is the second of what will undoubtedly become a series of Moody portraits in vinylite.
Moody’s abrupt emergence as a flutist of great ability should come as no surprise to those familiar with his career. Since his initial national exposure as tenor soloist with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band in 1947, through his prolonged stay in Europe from 1948-51, where he influenced and spurred into action many overseas jazzmen and became equally known for his alto work, right up to the present time, as leader of his own group, his distinctive style and fluent technique on the saxes have made him notable…
Muddy Waters had his second coming 30 years ago, when longtime friend and disciple Johnny Winter and his Blue Sky label returned him–after a series of listless recordings aimed at the rock audience–to the raw, powerful authenticity of his timeless Chess material with a series of powerful albums. Beginning with 1977's acclaimed Hard Again, a subsequent tour produced Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live, recorded onstage in Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia with Muddy's band, Winter, and harmonica player/vocalist James Cotton. Enough live material remained for Legacy to release an expanded version with an entire second disc of unissued concert material. It seems even that wasn't the end. This collection returns again to those remarkable concerts, featuring Muddy on five tracks, among them a rousing "I Can't Be Satisfied," "Trouble No More," "Caldonia," and the closing "Got My Mojo Workin'." Winter and Cotton are no less powerful, Cotton redoing Jackie Brenston's hit "Rocket '88'" and Winter ripping up John Lee Hooker's "I Done Got Over It" and "Mama Talk to Your Daughter."