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Cool Cool Blues: The Classic Sides 1951-1954

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Rice Miller or Alec or Aleck Miller -- everything about this blues great is somewhat of a mystery probably didn't need to take the name of the original Sonny Boy Williamson John Lee Williamson to get noticed, since in many ways he was the better musician, but Miller seemed to revel in confusion, at least when it came to biographical facts, so for whatever reason, blues history has two Sonny Boy Williamsons. Like the first Williamson, Miller was a harmonica player, but he really sounded nothing like his adopted namesake, favoring a light, soaring, almost horn-like sound on the instrument. He was also a natural songwriter, and his blues-based compositions show a sharp ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Rice Miller or Alec or Aleck Miller -- everything about this blues great is somewhat of a mystery probably didn't need to take the name of the original Sonny Boy Williamson John Lee Williamson to get noticed, since in many ways he was the better musician, but Miller seemed to revel in confusion, at least when it came to biographical facts, so for whatever reason, blues history has two Sonny Boy Williamsons. Like the first Williamson, Miller was a harmonica player, but he really sounded nothing like his adopted namesake, favoring a light, soaring, almost horn-like sound on the instrument. He was also a natural songwriter, and his blues-based compositions show a sharp attention to detail unusual in a genre built largely on cliché and a handful of repeated patterns. This four-disc collection brings together all of his first recordings, done for Lillian McMurry's Trumpet Records, a tiny Jackson, MS, label that issued Williamson's sides from 1951 until 1955, at which time his contract was bought out by Chicago's Chess Records, who then began issuing his sides on the Checker imprint. From the first track here, the sparse and urgent "Eyesight to the Blind," it is obvious that Williamson was something special, with a clear vision of what he wanted to do, and song after song here exhibits a rough and wild joy, walking the blues side of the street with a loose-limbed swagger. Particularly striking is "Mighty Long Time," a duet of sorts featuring Williamson on vocals and harmonica, and Cliff Givens of the Southern Sons Gospel Quartet on vocal bass. Givens' sung bassline gives the tune an odd, eerie, and atmospheric edge, and it is simply a remarkable recording. The great slide guitarist Elmore James also shows up on several cuts, including the delightfully realized "Pontiac Blues," and Williamson adds his harp to the first-ever version of James' classic "Dust My Broom." Many of the tracks here feature Williamson in his role as a sideman, adding harmonica textures to recordings by James, Big Joe Williams, Luther Huff, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Bobo Thomas, Jerry McCain, Willie Love, Sherman "Blues" Johnson, Tiny Kennedy, and Wally Mercer, making this set a stunning survey of early-'50s country blues. Williamson's Checker sides were better recorded, but the ragged skill at work on these Trumpet recordings really shouldn't be missed. Without going to a Delta juke joint on a hot Saturday night, you can't get much closer to the center of the blues than this.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/14/2006
  • Label: Jsp Records
  • UPC: 788065776626
  • Catalog Number: 7766
  • Sales rank: 85,774

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Eyesight to the Blind (3:03)
  2. 2 Crazy About You Baby (3:01)
  3. 3 Stop Crying (2:55)
  4. 4 Do It If You Wanna (2:29)
  5. 5 Cool, Cool Blues (2:44)
  6. 6 Come on Back Home (2:46)
  7. 7 I Cross My Heart (2:43)
  8. 8 West Memphis Blues (2:49)
  9. 9 Sonny Boy's Christmas Blues (2:36)
  10. 10 Pontiac Blues (2:42)
  11. 11 Mighty Long Time (2:57)
  12. 12 Nine Below Zero (2:50)
  13. 13 She Brought Life Back to the Dead (2:31)
  14. 14 She Brought Life Back to the Dead (3:17)
  15. 15 Too Close Together (2:34)
  16. 16 Stop Now Baby (2:42)
  17. 17 Mr. Down Child (2:30)
  18. 18 Cat Hop (2:55)
  19. 19 Gettin' out of Town (2:24)
  20. 20 Red Hot Kisses (2:35)
  21. 21 Going in Your Direction (2:38)
  22. 22 Empty Bedroom (2:40)
  23. 23 Boppin' with Sonny (2:47)
  24. 24 From the Bottom (2:40)
  25. 25 Ni Night by Myself (2:53)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Mama Don't Allow Me (2:45)
  2. 2 Delta Blues (2:40)
  3. 3 Overhauling Blues (2:45)
  4. 4 Whistling Pines (2:34)
  5. 5 Friends and Pals (2:37)
  6. 6 Juanita (2:35)
  7. 7 She Left Me a Mule (2:32)
  8. 8 Bad Heart Blues (2:45)
  9. 9 Dirty Disposition (2:45)
  10. 10 1951 Blues (2:39)
  11. 11 Bull Dog Blues (2:49)
  12. 12 Rosalee (2:29)
  13. 13 My Baby Boogies All the Time - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (3:04)
  14. 14 I Wonder - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (2:15)
  15. 15 Gotta Find My Baby - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (3:00)
  16. 16 Make a Little Love - Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (3:08)
  17. 17 Catfish Blues (2:55)
  18. 18 Dust My Broom - Elmore James (2:46)
  19. 19 East of the Sun (2:45)
  20. 20 Wine-O-Wine (2:43)
  21. 21 Stay out of Automobiles (2:31)
  22. 22 Middle of the Night (2:54)
  23. 23 Love to Make Up (3:02)
  24. 24 Crazy 'Bout That Mess (2:22)
  25. 25 Fall Guy (2:28)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Take It Easy Baby (2:56)
  2. 2 Little Car Blues (2:58)
  3. 3 Everybody's Fishing (2:19)
  4. 4 My Own Boogie (3:01)
  5. 5 Feed My Body to the Fisher (2:31)
  6. 6 Falling Rain (3:01)
  7. 7 Vanity Dresser Boogie (2:28)
  8. 8 Seventy Four Blues (3:03)
  9. 9 21 Minutes to Nine (2:32)
  10. 10 Shady Lane Blues (2:48)
  11. 11 Nelson Street Blues (2:47)
  12. 12 V-8 Ford (2:47)
  13. 13 Shout Brother, Shout (2:35)
  14. 14 Way Back - Willie Love (3:03)
  15. 15 Pretty Baby Blues (2:55)
  16. 16 Sugar Mama (3:13)
  17. 17 Hot Fish - Sherman Johnson (2:27)
  18. 18 Lost in Korea - Sherman Johnson (3:22)
  19. 19 Early in the Morning Baby (2:29)
  20. 20 Stange Kind of Feeling (2:30)
  21. 21 Blues Disease (2:28)
  22. 22 Don't Lay This Job on Me (3:05)
  23. 23 Have You Heard About the Farmer's Daughter (2:49)
  24. 24 Too Old to Get Married (2:41)
  25. 25 If You Don't Mean Business (2:16)
  26. 26 Hey, Miss Lula (2:24)
Disc 4
  1. 1 She's Crazy (2:49)
  2. 2 309 (2:43)
  3. 3 Sonny's Rhythm (2:20)
  4. 4 City of New Orleans (2:29)
  5. 5 Keep It to Yourself (3:13)
  6. 6 Going in Your Direction (1:49)
  7. 7 Clowning with the World (2:43)
  8. 8 I Ain't Beggin' Nobody (2:45)
  9. 9 Shuckin' Mama (2:22)
  10. 10 From the Bottom (2:45)
  11. 11 She's Crazy (2:52)
  12. 12 Sonny's Rhythm (2:24)
  13. 13 Keep It to Yourself (2:34)
  14. 14 Going in Your Direction (2:38)
  15. 15 From the Bottom (2:42)
  16. 16 I Ain't Beggin' Nobody (2:45)
  17. 17 From the Bottom (2:42)
  18. 18 Gotta Find My Baby (3:13)
  19. 19 Gotta Find My Baby (2:44)
  20. 20 Worried Blues (3:03)
  21. 21 Lonesome World Blues (2:29)
  22. 22 Wonderful Baby (2:44)
  23. 23 Willie Mae (2:47)
  24. 24 Worried Blues (2:53)
  25. 25 Shout Brother, Shout (2:35)
  26. 26 Willie Mae (2:46)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Primary Artist
Willie Love Piano, Vocals
Jerry "Boogie" McCain Harmonica, Vocals
Big Joe Williams Guitar, Vocals
James Williams Guitar
Tiny Kennedy Vocals
Rusty Alfred Drums
Junior Blackman Drums
Milton Campbell Guitar
Christopher Collins Guitar
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Guitar, Vocals
Bill Fort Tenor Saxophone
Herman Fowlkes Bass
Cliff Givens Bass, Vocals
T.J. Green Bass
Robert Hamp Tenor Saxophone
Buck Henson Bass
Lonnie Holmes Guitar
Duke Huddleston Tenor Saxophone
Luther Huff Guitar, Vocals
Percy Huff Guitar
Elmore James Guitar, Vocals
B.B. King Guitar
Richard "Dickie Boy" Lillie Tenor Saxophone
Walter McCain Drums
Calvin Newborn Guitar
Phineas Newborn Jr. Piano
Raz Roseby Bass
Richard Sanders Baritone Saxophone
Wilburn Steinberg Bass
Houston Stokes Drums
Bobo "Slim" Thomas Guitar, Vocals
J.V. Turner Guitar
Alex Wallace Drums
Leonard Ware Bass
Carlton Wells Saxophone
Joe Willie Wilkins Guitar
Bernard Williams Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Lester Williams Guitar
Ford Nelson Piano
Johnny Morgan Bass
Joe Dyson Drums
J.W. Walker Piano
Carl "Wimpy" Jones Guitar
Wally Mercer Track Performer
Technical Credits
Cliff Givens Contributor
Neil Slaven Liner Notes
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