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Welcome to the Club [Federal]
     

Welcome to the Club [Federal]

 
The King Records subsidiary Federal recorded a fair amount of blues from Chicago's West Side in the early '60s. This compilation gathers together 24 such sides, including three previously unissued tracks and hitherto unavailable full extended versions of the songs on the Willie Wright and the Sparklers' single "Gibble Gobble"/"Bloodhound." Several of these performers,

Overview

The King Records subsidiary Federal recorded a fair amount of blues from Chicago's West Side in the early '60s. This compilation gathers together 24 such sides, including three previously unissued tracks and hitherto unavailable full extended versions of the songs on the Willie Wright and the Sparklers' single "Gibble Gobble"/"Bloodhound." Several of these performers, like Wright (who sometimes recorded with the could-that-have-really-been-his-name Sammy Jr. Faggitt), have been virtually forgotten; just a couple, Syl Johnson (later to make a greater name as a soul singer) and Eddy Clearwater (represented here by both sides of a 1961 single), made significant headway. While this CD does serious collectors a commendable service by assembling these rarities in a nice package, the music itself's largely only so-so, and a long way from Freddy King (a Federal artist, but not represented on this disc), Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, and Otis Rush, to name just a few of the best West Side blues musicians of the era. Often showing the influence of early-'60s rock & roll and R&B (as on Clearwater's "Twist Like This"), the singing and playing is usually good, but the songs are usually derivative and unexceptional; Wright's "Gibble Gobble," to take just one example, leans heavily on the riff that powered James Brown's "Night Train." Some of the better numbers are ones that step a little further outside the blues idiom, like Lee "Shot" Williams' "You're Welcome to the Club," with its minor-keyed horn blares; Wright's "I'm Gonna Leave You Baby and I'm Goin' Away to Stay" (with singer Jesse Anderson), which has a brass-driven jazzy swing; and Johnson's "I Resign From Your Love," which is more like early Wilson Pickett than Chicago blues. Johnson does flash some straighter blues chops on "(She's So Fine) I Just Gotta Make Her Mine," which boasts some superb hollow-echoed guitar.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/08/2004
Label:
Ace Records Uk
UPC:
0029667001526
catalogNumber:
1009
Rank:
81895

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