Hustlin' Blues

Hustlin' Blues

4.0 1
by Ma Rainey
     
 

Far too much has been written about Ma Rainey's physical appearance. Doubly damned by nitwit notions of glamour and racist stereotyping, Gertrude Rainey was unfairly ridiculed by her contemporaries and has been chided for not looking like Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, or Billie…  See more details below

Overview

Far too much has been written about Ma Rainey's physical appearance. Doubly damned by nitwit notions of glamour and racist stereotyping, Gertrude Rainey was unfairly ridiculed by her contemporaries and has been chided for not looking like Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, or Billie Holiday ever since. In addition, the inferior sound quality of the records she cut for Paramount, the phonograph division of the Wisconsin Chair Company, from 1923 to 1928 has been a stumbling block for generations of listeners accustomed to the latest refinements in sound reproduction. Happily, with the 2005 release of Hustlin' Blues, 53 sides spanning Ma Rainey's entire recording career are now available in "digitally remastered" condition, meaning that the 78-rpm surface noise has been eliminated for the most part, and efforts have been made to modify the fidelity to the point where 21st century listeners who are conditioned by high-definition media will (it is hoped) not recoil. The songs are well chosen, and most of her best tunes are included here: "See See Rider," "Hear Me Talking to Ya," "Dream Blues," the very jazzy "Ya-Da-Do," and the famous "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Inevitably, certain important titles were not included. The omission of Lil Henderson's "Trust No Man," for example, is most unfortunate. Among the instrumentalists were young Louis Armstrong and other members of the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra including saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, clarinetist Buster Bailey, and trombonist Big Charlie Green. As for her appearance, Gertrude Rainey needs to be appreciated as the beautiful woman that she was. Get yourself a good array of close-up photographs, find the one that's right for you, and stare intently into her eyes while she sings of love, life, and the human condition. Her approach to clothing and accessories was similar to that of Esther Bigeou from New Orleans, who sang on records with Clarence Williams and Armand J. Piron. Hustlin' Blues is a milestone in the re-appreciation of vintage African-American music, and of Ma Rainey's music in particular. All that remains is for the other half of her recorded legacy to be similarly cleaned up and issued on a sequel edition. If they do get around to it, the producers ought to pay closer attention to the correct presentation of song titles, at least five of which were botched on this edition. "Ma Rainey's Mystery Blues," for example, is really called "Ma Rainey's Mystery Record."

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/15/2005
Label:
United States Dist
UPC:
0825947137622
catalogNumber:
592

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Barrel House Blues
  2. Bo Weavil Blues
  3. Ma Raineys' Mystery Record
  4. Moonshine Blues
  5. Southern Blues
  6. Dream Blues
  7. Lost Wandering Blues
  8. Lucky Rock Blues
  9. Southbound Blues
  10. Ya-Da-Do
  11. Shave 'Em Dry
  12. Farewell Daddy Blues
  13. Toad Frog Blues
  14. See See Rider Blues
  15. No Easy Rider Blues
  16. Army Camp Harmony Blues
  17. Goodbye Daddy Blues
  18. Fore Day Hon'ry Scat
  19. Levee Camp Moan
  20. Memphis Bound Blues
  21. Stormy Sea Blues
  22. Stack O' Lee Blues
  23. Titanic Man Blues
  24. Wringing and Twisting Blues
  25. Yonder Comes the Blues
  26. Jealousy Blues

Disc 2

  1. Mountain Jack Blues
  2. Down in the Basement
  3. Sissy Blues
  4. So Soon This Morning
  5. Don't Fish in My Sea
  6. Little Low Mama
  7. Misery Blues
  8. Big Boy Blues
  9. Blues Oh Blues
  10. Damper Down Blues
  11. Oh Papa Blues
  12. New Bo Weavil Blues
  13. Hellish Rag
  14. Ice Bag Papa
  15. Georgia Cake Walk
  16. Ma Raineys' Black Bottom
  17. Black Cat Hoot Owl Blues
  18. Hear Me Talking to You
  19. Hustlin' Blues
  20. Prove It on Me Blues
  21. Travelling Blues
  22. Black Dust Blues
  23. Black Eye Blues
  24. Blame It on the Blues
  25. Leaving This Morning
  26. Sweet Rough Man
  27. Big Feeling Blues

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Album Credits

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Hustlin' Blues 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all of the "classic" female blues singers, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey has to be my favorite. No other woman of that era sang with anything approacing her emotion and raunchy good humor. If you don't want to invest in her complete recordings, HUSTLIN' BLUES is a good introduction. It covers her entire recording career, from 1923 to 1928. It gives you over half of her output, and that's great news! However, there are two things which detract from this set. For one thing, the re-issue quality is poor, even considering the fact that many of the songs were recorded in 1923. I've heard much better re-issues of all of this material. The other problem is that one of the songs, "No Easy Rider," is not by "Ma" at all! Actually, the singer sounds more like a poor man's Bessie Smith. Despite these two drawbacks, however, the set is worth getting.