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samedi 16 avril 2016

LONESOME SUNDOWN





LONESOME SUNDOWN

           
Né le 12 décembre 1928 à Donaldsonville, Cornelius Green a connu l'enfance habituelle des Noirs du Sud rural: peu d'instruction, le travail de la canne à sucre, une guitare bricolée, l'Eglise du dimanche. Il gagne La Nouvelle-Orléans en 1945, travaille comme portier dans u casino, prend des cours de guitare avec Guitar Slim avant de travailler à Port Arthur dans une raffinerie. Il joue dans les bars du port avec Clarence Garlow, se lie avec Phillip Walker et Clifton Chenier qui propose à Green et à Walker d'être les guitaristes de son Zydeco band.
            En 1956, Cornelius Green quitte Chenier pour se marier et tenter sa chance en fondant son propre orchestre. Il s'installe à Opelousas, fait équipe avec Lloyd Reynaud, compose ses premiers blues. Après une première séance sans lendemain, Cornelius se présente auprès de J. D. Miller qui a installé un petit studio dans sa bourgade de Crowley. Le courant passe tout de suite entre J. D. Miller et Cornelius Green.
            En juillet 1956, Cornelius Green enregistre deux de ses compositions, le sombre et vibrant Lost without love et l'endiablé Leave my woman alone. J. D. rebaptise sa nouvelle "découverte" Lonesome Sundown. L'association Miller-Green va faire de Lonesome Sundown un des plus remarquables des bluesmen sudistes. Sundown est très ancré dans le terroir louisianais. Le back beat, la voix quelque peu traînante et chaude, les accompagnateurs maison de chez Miller (la pianiste Katie Webster, Lazy Lester à l'harmonica, le saxophoniste Lionel Torrence/Prevost mais aussi les guitaristes Guitar Gable, Leroy Washington ou Fats Perrodin) donnent une immanquable saveur marécageuse à ses blues. Mais Lonesome Sundown est aussi marqué par ses années à La Nouvelle-Orléans et à Port Arthur, sa participation à l'orchestre de Chenier et surtout par son admiration pour Guitar Slim qui ne se démentira jamais. Sundown passe aussi pour avoir nettement influencé un jeune guitariste de Baton Rouge, Buddy Guy dont plusieurs des premiers titres (Let me love you baby) rappellent fortement les disques de Lonesome Sundown.
            Dans les années qui suivent, Lonesome Sundown enregistre de façon conséquente pour Miller et sort disque sur disque, devenant un des favoris du Sud de la Louisiane et de l'Est du Texas. Mais ses disques ne réussiront pratiquement jamais à se vendre au-delà de cette aire géographique. Entre 1956 et 1964, seize 45-tours sont édités, fruits de cette association Miller-Sundown plus nombre de titres inédits qui ne verront le jour que bien plus tard. Tout est pratiquement excellent et beaucoup de morceaux sont de grands chefs-d'oeuvre du blues de l'après-guerre: l'extraordinaire Lonesome lonely blues avec une atmosphère encore assombrie par le saxophone crasseux à souhait de Lionel Torrence; I'm a mojo man qui qualifie peut-être le mieux l'ambiance du "mojo" et permet à Lazy Lester de briller à l'harmonica; Gonna stick to you baby, une de ces tentatives très réussies de marier le swamp blues au rockabilly.
            En 1965, Lonesome décide de se tourner vers la religion, rejoint l'Eglise de la foi apostolique de N. S. Jesus-Christ à laquelle il se consacre presque entièrement et redevient... Cornelius Green.
            Ce n'est que plus d'une décennie plus tard, poussé par son vieux compère Philip Walker et se rendant compte, grâce à plusieurs visites de journalistes britanniques qu'il était devenu une sorte de 'légende vivante" que Cornelius Green consentira à redevenir brièvement Lonesome Sundown, le temps d'un magnifique album enregistré en 1977 pour Bruce Bromberg, "Been gone too long".

            Cornelius Green décède le 23 avril 1995 à Gonzales (La). Son oeuvre demeure une des plus achevées du blues sudiste de l'après-guerre.
            Tous nos remerciements à Alfred Broussard pour son aide
Selon notre ami Benoit Blue Boy - qui connaît fort bien Lazy Lester avec qui il a joué et tourné très souvent - Lazy Lester n'est pas l'harmoniciste derrière Lonesome Sundown à partir des séances de 1961. Il s'agirait plutôt de Whsipering Smith.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


            Born 12 December 1928 at Donaldsonville (Louisiana), Cornelius Green has lived the usual harsh childhood of most of poor rural southerners, working on the cane fields at an early age. Hating this life, Cornelius goes to New Orleans in 1945 to work as a janitor in a Casino and takes his first guitar lessons with several local guitarists, including Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) who will stay as a very strong influence. The boom of the oil industry brings Green to Port Arthur where he starts to play the evening in local clubs with Clarence Garlow and Phillip Walker who shows him more guitar licks and will stay forever as a very good friend. But his real first professional job as a musician starts when Clifton Chenier hires Walker and Cornelius in his Zydeco band. Green tours several months and make his first recordings with Clifton.
            In 1956, Cornelius Green leaves Chenier's band to marry and settles in Opelousas. He plays locally and under the guidance of producer Lloyd Reynaud he starts to write his own blues. After a first session for Eddie Shuler's Goldband label (unissued at that time), Green goes to Crowley, auditioning for J.D. Miller who recognizes a great original talent and makes him record two titles, the mournful Lost without love and the boisterous Leave my woman alone. Miller issues the record under the moniker "Lonesome Sundown" that at first makes Cornelius Green angry! But the name will stay.
            With the wise tutelage of Miller, Lonesome Sundown becomes quickly one of the best deep southern bluesman from the late 1950's. Sundown's music is very rooted in the Louisiana Swamp genre created by Miller: a lazy backbeat, a drawling voice, striking compositions, wonderful backing musicians (from Lazy Lester to Lionel Torrence/Prevost through Katie Webster). But his first influences (notably Guitar Slim's) are still strong in almost all his recordings and make him apart of the other Miller's deep bluesmen. Lonesome Sundown will also have a certain influence on a young Baton Rouge guitarist named Buddy Guy whose many of his first Chicago records (like Let me love you baby) remind Sundown's style.
            During the following years (1956-64), Sundown records constantly and becomes a favorite of the South Louisiana/ East Texas blues scene. But with the exception of My home is a prison (and thanks to Slim Harpo's version) none of his 45s will really sell outside this area. Anyway, almost all his records are very good or excellent (the mournful Lonesome lonely blues with a great saxophone solo by Lionel Torrence; I'm a mojo man with a brilliant Lazy Lester; Gonna stick to you baby with its almost Rockabilly feel...).
            But in 1965, tired of the hectic musician's life, Lonesome Sundown gives up the blues, becomes a preacher with the Apostolic Faith Church and reverts his name to... Cornelius Green.
            He will stay out of the blues except for a brief time in 1976-77 when, convinced by his old friend Phillip Walker and the fact that he realized he has become a "legendary name" in Europe and particularly in England, he will make some club appearances, the time also to record for Bruce Bromberg a tremendously successful album, Been gone too long.
            Cornelius Green dies in his hometown of Gonzales (La) on 23 April 1995.
            Thanks to Alfred Broussard for his help.
 According to our friend Benoit Blue Boy who knows very well Lazy Lester, having toured and played with him for years now, Lazy is not the harp player behind Sundown after 1960. He thinks the harmonicist for those late sessions is probably Whispering Smith.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT



26 commentaires:

  1. LONESOME SUNDOWN/ 1956-64

    CD1:
    https://mega.nz/#!zUhSgagC!nEU-04Og03vd_Eq3HEAUscavooMKuWwt0di_Wm2ymEE

    CD2:
    https://mega.nz/#!zQAkQaaa!MHZyvhQpinbW9Y-AzrYLqCNAXwBBxvbgL9vOOkqgHvE

    OK?

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  2. One of my favourite artists. Thank you very much Gerard.

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  3. I appear to have "I Got A Love (Way Down In My Heart)" on Ace CDCHD 686 (Located In The Record Center Of The South). If this is right I can post this for you.

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    1. It would be very kind, Ballas. Thank you by advance. Only two titles were still missing.

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  4. Blessings and thanks, Gerard. The first two blues LPs I bought were Lonesome Sundown "Been Gone Too Long" and Phillip Walker "Someday You'll Have These Blues", both on Joliet.

    Perhaps a newer listener will discover Lonesome Sundown here just like I did back in 1978 with the original vinyl. Cheers and thanks.

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  5. Except for the occasional track on a comp the Joliet Lp was also my introduction to Lonesome Sundown. Great to have everything in one place and thank you Gerard for the work and Ballas for providing the 2 missing tracks.

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  6. merci Gérard une fos de plus de la qualité de tes posts. C'est formidable d'avoir rassembler toute ou presque l'oeuvre de Lonesome, éparpillées sur 3 ou 4 Flyright et au moins 2 Albums Ace; Je vois que tu as aussi repris quelques faces plus rares?. Je n'ai pas encore tout pointé mais Lonesome c'est du grand Blues! Hervé

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    1. Merci Hervé. Plusieurs titres en outre n'ont jamais été réédités ni sur LP ni sur CD

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  7. It is very nice to have all this great Lonesome Sundown music in one place. Thank you

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  8. Here is the link I promised - enjoy it.
    http://www105.zippyshare.com/v/bkfmC9qx/file.html

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    1. Thanks a lot, Ballas for "Ive got a love in my heart". I couldn't put the hand on it. There still is one Lonesome Sundown number missing!

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    2. I had a good look for the other track but it does not appear to have been released on an album - only on Excello 2264.

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    3. Right.In fact, several titles over here have never been reissued either on LP or CD, most of the time they are more "commercial" tracks, less blues but anyway it's interesting to be able to hear everything a great artist like Lonesome Sundown has waxed during the very brief time he was recording

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  9. OH!
    When I tried to download I got a love (way down in my heart) from Ballas' link, it wouldn't; it said it's "unsafe to download and was blocked by SmartScreen Filter".

    Is there a way round this that doesn't involve me in getting Firefox or Chrome?

    But thanks for the rest Gerard. I only have the LPs 'Been gone too long' on P-vine and 'Lonesome Sundown' on Excello ELECTRONICALLY RECHANNELLED TO SIMULATE STEREO it says, so I'm VERY glad to have this package.

    Al

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    Réponses
    1. Can't say about your dwld problem. It works very good for me (I use Firefox with adblock)... And thanks for your appreciation

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    2. I have encountered the same problem after Firefox and Google tightened its standards and I began receiving advisories that once reliable and safe servers, like Zippyshare and Ziddu, were unsafe and seemed to be replete with malware. I am responding in case others experience similar issues. Like you, I also use Firefox and Adblock. At first, the problem appeared to be site-specific and I erroneously assumed the individual sites or their contributors had begun posting unsafe downloads. I researched the issue and was advised to turn Adblock and other features off. Rather than turn anything off, I instead selected Ignore the Warning, downloaded, and then scanned the rar or zip file with my malware and antivirus programs prior to decompressing them. The issue seemed to be hypersensitive screening and standards that don't like certain advertisers and Zippyshare has belatedly confirmed my perception on a post on April 16, 2015.

      After employing the scanning strategy and finding that each compressed file from a previously reliable blogspot was, in fact, fine, I now just select Ignore Warning and download. I still randomly scan files and regularly scan my computer but the issue is now resolved; that is, there have been no malware or viral infections in my downloads from blogs as responsible as yours is in protecting the downloader's security.

      I apologize for the length of this response but have seen similar questions and remarks appear periodically on your and others' blogs and know how disconcerting such warnings are when one is trying to protect the integrity of one's computer. I hope this allays some concerns.

      More importantly, thank you for another great post. Sundown is superb and, in a word, your blog is "indispensable" to me. I also appreciate your post about the availability of 'Portrait En Blues' and will be ordering it from Amazon. I have three of your books in French and translations of two into English, and can attest firsthand to your semi-biographical novel and non-fiction writing about the blues and other music being well worth buying. You are a rare resource, an enthusiastic, profoundly knowledgable educator about the blues, and a wonderful writer, and I greatly appreciate that your posts continue to be bilingual. Thanks for all you have done and are still doing.

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    3. Thansk a lot for your appreciation, Feilimid! For zippy and others, the problems are beyond my reach. Apparently, someone (?)is trying to hook zippy, ziddu and others. I guess they will solve this problem. For me, with adblock and a good antivirus, I haven't met nothing really disturbing when downloading insofar...

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  10. It's OK now. I learned how to get around it. So I've got the track now.

    Many thanks.

    Al

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  11. Merci beaucoup pour ce nouveau post , je croyais avoir tout de ce grand bluesman , mais j'ai trouvé 6 inédits pour moi ici . THANKS !

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  12. Gerard, are you sure about the recording date and personnel of tracks 18-20 as THE BLUES DISCOGRAPHY 1943-1970 suggest that they were recorded in November 1957 and is rather more vague about the personnel than your information.

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    1. Yes, you're right. I took this info from a number of B&R. The session date is probably right. The personnel should be read as: prob. Buddy Guy, g; Tal Miller, pno... Thanks

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  13. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond Gerard.

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  14. Many thanks Gerard, I have a great fondness for the Crowley/Swamp/Excello blues and some of the finest you have gathered here. I've been away these past 2 weeks on holiday in Vietnam and didn't get back until last night. I didn't take a laptop with me, so I have lots of catching up to do with the various blues blogs, but today I start here.

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  15. Thanks for use Mega. Now, it's better than zippy. I have received the same warnings about virus and malware from zippy but i have not any problem.Sorry for my poor english.
    Pablo Crossroads

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