Arhoolie Presents American Masters, Vol. 2: 15 Down Home Urban Blues Classics

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
A collection of urban blues from various releases in Arhoolie's catalog, this album starts out with some straightforward boogie blues with Sonny Boy Williamson, then moves into proto-rock & roll with Big Mama Thornton and some stride piano from Big Joe Duskin. Earl Hooker provides some slower guitar blues, and Charlie Musselwhite updates the blues harp tradition a bit in "Up and Down the Avenue." John Littlejohn exemplifies the Chicago scene and Joe Turner brings it back to proto-rock & roll. Katie Webster brings a full band into the picture with a higher tempo number involving the whole range of instruments, and Omar Shariff not the actor pumps out some stripped...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
A collection of urban blues from various releases in Arhoolie's catalog, this album starts out with some straightforward boogie blues with Sonny Boy Williamson, then moves into proto-rock & roll with Big Mama Thornton and some stride piano from Big Joe Duskin. Earl Hooker provides some slower guitar blues, and Charlie Musselwhite updates the blues harp tradition a bit in "Up and Down the Avenue." John Littlejohn exemplifies the Chicago scene and Joe Turner brings it back to proto-rock & roll. Katie Webster brings a full band into the picture with a higher tempo number involving the whole range of instruments, and Omar Shariff not the actor pumps out some stripped down piano blues with emotion at the core laid bare. Bee Houston almost sounds like a ska musician, Juke Boy Bonner combines guitar and bluesharp, and Good Rockin' Robinson presents a wailing, although rather rare, blues violin instrumental along with his vocals. Piano Red almost sounds like he's singing along with a player piano, Johnny Young provides another look at the more contemporary Chicago scene, and the album finishes on Charles Ford with a stuttering approach for the band and a rocking little solo line for his guitar. There are certainly urban blues compilations of better quality such as the Blues Masters series on Rhino, but this one isn't bad as a quick sampler. Give it a listen if you can't find the more comprehensive items locally, and start digging deeper from there.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/5/1996
  • Label: Arhoolie Records
  • UPC: 096297010228
  • Catalog Number: 102

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Pontiac Blues (2:43)
  2. 2 Big Mama's Bumble Bee (4:12)
  3. 3 Cincinnati Stomp (2:04)
  4. 4 Anna Lee (6:30)
  5. 5 Up & Down the Avenue (2:42)
  6. 6 Been Around the World (5:22)
  7. 7 Wine-O-Baby Boogie - Pete Johnson (2:35)
  8. 8 I Know That's Right (3:45)
  9. 9 The Raven - Omar Shariff (4:23)
  10. 10 You Think I'm Your Good Thing - Bee Houston (3:15)
  11. 11 Going Back to the Country (2:55)
  12. 12 Ups and Downs (6:15)
  13. 13 Atlanta Bounce (2:40)
  14. 14 Wild, Wild Woman (2:40)
  15. 15 Gibson Creek Shuffle (3:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Juke Boy Bonner Track Performer
Earl Hooker Track Performer
Charlie Musselwhite Track Performer
Piano Red Track Performer
Big Mama Thornton Track Performer
Big Joe Turner Track Performer
Katie Webster Track Performer
Johnny Young Track Performer
Big Joe Duskin Track Performer
Charles Ford Track Performer
John Littlejohn Track Performer
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Track Performer
L.C. "Good Rockin'" Robinson Track Performer
Technical Credits
Big Joe Turner Composer
Tom Diamant Producer
Elmore James Composer
Marshall Sehorn Composer
Chris Strachwitz Producer
Wayne Pope Cover Design
Dix Bruce Artwork, Photo Restoration
Willie Perryman Composer
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