Like many black American blues and R&B artists, New Orleans singer and pianist Champion Jack Dupree found more respect and recognition in Europe than he did in his homeland, and he relocated to Europe in 1959, only rarely returning to the U.S. He cut several albums there, including the two included in this double-disc set from Beat Goes On, From New Orleans to Chicago
, recorded in London in 1966, and Champion Jack Dupree and His Blues Band
, tracked in the same city a year later (both were originally released on London Decca). Of the two, the latter release is the stronger (thanks in no small part to guitarist Mickey Baker
), although From New Orleans
is probably better known, mainly for the presence of Eric Clapton
and John Mayall
at the sessions. Throughout, listeners are treated to Dupree's thundering barrelhouse piano, his Emerald City vocals (always delivered, it seems, with a slight wink), and -- in the case of the 1967 album -- a solid and rocking backing band. Highlights include "Ain't It a Shame" and "Down the Valley" from the first disc and "Louise," "Come Back Baby" (an almost Cajun chunk of near-swamp pop), and "Georgiana," a ballad in the Ray Charles
mold, from the second. Seldom have the blues been delivered with more open-ended glee, and fans of this engaging artist will undoubtedly be pleased that these albums are back in print, and packaged together.