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samedi 5 septembre 2020

AFBF 1963/ The Very Complete Sessions




A.F.B.F. 1963
The Very complete sessions
October 1963. Recorded in various locations in Germany, France and Great Britain

Memphis Slim, vcl/pno: M.T. Murphy, g; Willie Dixon, bs; Bill Stepney, dms.
01. Wish me well
02. Blues everywhere I go
03. Slim's boogie
04. Everyday I have the blues
05. John Henry
M.T. Murphy, g; Memphis Slim, pno; Willie Dixon, bs; Bill Stepney, dms.
06. Muphy's boogie
07. Matt's guitar boogie
Willie Dixon, vcl/bs; Memphis Slim, pno; M.T. Murphy, g; Bill Stepney, dms.
08. Nervous
09. Sittin' and cryin' the blues n°1
10. Sittin' and cryin' the blues n°2
11. Crazy for my baby
Lonnie Johnson, vcl/g.
12. Careless love
13. Another night to cry
14. See see rider
Victoria Spivey, vcl/ukulele/piano; Willie Dixon, bs; Bill Stepney, dms.
15. Grant Spivey
16. T.B. blues
Victoria Spivey, vcl; Lonnie Johnson, g; Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), hca; Willie Dixon, bs; Bill Stepney, dms.
17. Black snake blues
Big Joe Williams, vcl/g.
18. I have no friends
19. Cripple and blind blues
20. Down in the bottom
21. Baby please don't go
22. Mean stpefather
Otis Spann, vcl/pno; Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), hca; M.T. Murphy, g; Willie Dixon, bs; Bill Stepney, dms.
23. Going down slow
24. Had my fun
25. Spann's blues
Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), vcl/hca
26. Bye bye bird
27. Sleeping by myself
28. Sonny Boy's harmonica boogie
Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), vcl/hca; M.T. Murphy, g; Otis Spann, pno; Willie Dixon, bs; Bill Stepney, dms.
29. Keep it to yourself
30. The things you do
31. I don't know
32. Nine below zero
33. Walk when I walk
34. Cheatin' blues
35. Sad to be lonesome
36. Someday baby
37. The sky is crying
Muddy Waters, vcl/g.
38. Captain you treat me so mean
39. Rolling stone
Muddy Waters, vcl/g; Otis Spann, pno; M.T. Murphy, g; Willie Dixon, bs; Bill Stepney, dms.
40. Sun rose this morning
41. My home is on the delta
42. Five long years
43. Got my mojo working n°1
Add Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller); hca.
44. Got my mojo working n°2
Finale: Everybody
45. Bye bye blues



dimanche 23 août 2020

LADIES SING THE BLUES/ Volume 5


LADIES SING THE BLUES/ Volume 5


     
     Well... If those ladies featured in the 5th Volume of our series are all good or even great singers, if most of the tracks are good blues with more than a jazz flavor, if they are backed by soulful and very professional bands, they largely stay mostly anonymous artists and with the notable exception of Mabel Robinson, very few is known about her outside their recorded works. At least to me, and despite strong researches through my books and magazines collections and of course the web. Of course, all eventual contributions from readers who'd know better would be greatly appreciated!
            Helen Proctor, a fine singer, recorded only six tracks, two in 1938 and four more the following year when she was the featured singer of Henry "Red" Allen's popular band. We don't know either her whereabouts or what she became after the war.
            Not much is either known about R&B singer Pearl Traylor who recorded between 1945 and 1951 for Modern and Okeh. Several fine tracks with a minor hit with Around the clock Parts I & II. She is backed by great musicians like pianists Hadda Brooks or Willard McDaniel and Chuck Norris on the guitar.
           
Daisy Mae Diggs is also a good jazzy singer from Philadelphia who recorded eight numbers in the mid-50's with her Hepcats, a small jazz group with guitarists Al Russell and Billy Butler. Not much is known about her except that apparently she appeared as a young dancer with the Les Hite's band in the 1933 movie Sing, Sinner, Sing! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=35&v=l2z0QFu6udE&feature=emb_logo)

            And now with Mabel Robinson, born Mabel Brown on March 29, 1914 at Cape Charles, Va. Living in Boston since 1931, she started a career as a singer and pianist during the early 1940's, recording six tracks with Sammy Price on the 88s. This led her to be the featured singer on several bands like those of Louis Jordan, Skeets Tolbert, Sammy Davis Sr (father of Sammy Davis Jr) or Roy Haynes. She married Mr Simms in 1939 and appeared as Mabel Robinson Simms, singing and playing piano in numerous
Boston clubs for decades, as a solo act or with numerous bands. In 1956, she formed the Mabel Robinson Trio with her sister Frances Brown, playing as a regular act at the famous Boston's Moulin Rouge situated in the former Hotel Vendome in the Back Bay. She resigned her musical career in 1968 and died in Boston on January 27, 2005 after being honored by the Boston Jazz Society. She apparently didn't record outside the tracks featured here although there are rumours of an album she would have made in the 1950's.
                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

HELEN PROCTOR, vcl; Pat Jenkins, tpt; Sam Massenberg, tpt; Al Cooper, clt/a-sax; b-sax; Rudy Williams, a-sax; Ed Mc Neil, t-sax; Oliver Richardson, pno; Grachan Moncur, bs; Alex Mitchell, dms. New York City, 19 août 1938
01. Someone outside is taking your mind
02. You'll never miss the water
Helen Proctor, vcl; Henry Red Allen, tpt; Buster Bailey, clt; Lil Armstrong, pno; Ulysses Livingston, g; Wellman Braud, bs; O'Neill Spencer, dms. New York City, 13 octobre 1939
03. Blues at midnight
04. Cheatin' on me
05. Let's call it a day
06. Take me along with you
MABEL ROBINSON, vcl; Four Blackamoors, vcls; band. New York City, 23 juillet 1941
07. You don't know my mind
08. Somebody's getting my love
09. Don't give up the old love
10. Search your heart and see
Mabel Robinson, vcl; Sammy Price, pno; William Lewis, g; Herman Autrey, tpt; David Young, t-sax; Vernon King, bs; O'Neill Spencer, dms. New York City, 20 janvier 1942
11. Me and my chauffeur
12. I've got too many blues
PEARL TRAYLOR, vcl; Hadda Brooks, pno; Bill Davis, bs; Al Wichard, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1945
13. Lonesome gal
14. Daddy somebody's got to go
15. Nightmare boogie
Pearl Traylor, vcl; Vernon Biddle, pno; Howard Mc Ghee, tpt; Teddy Edwards, t-sax; James King, a-sax; Robert Kesterson, bs; Roy Porter, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. septembre 1945
16. Playboy blues
17. Around the clock I & II
18. Gee I'm lonesome
Pearl Traylor, vcl; Hadda Brooks, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1946
19. Jive I like
Pearl Traylor, vcl; Teddy Buckner, tpt; Freddie Simon, t-sax; Maurice Simon, b-sax; Willard Mc Daniel, pno; Chuck Norris, g; Warren Owens, bs; Walter Murden, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 26 juin 1951
20. Come on daddy let's play tonight
21. Three ball Sam (The pawnshop man)
DAISY MAE DIGGS, vcl/dms; Al Russell, pno; Joe Sewell, t-sax; Billy Butler, g; Arthur Russell, g; Doc Starkes, bs. Philadelphie, Penn. 31 mars 1955
22. Want me a man
23. Woman trouble (vcls: Al Russell)
24. Lonesome playgirl
25. Stuff you got to watch
Daisy Mae Diggs, vcl/dms; Billy Butler, g; Arthur Russell, g; Jimmy Butts, bs; Gene Johnson, pno; band. Philadelphie, Penn. 1956
26. Hop scotch
27. Frosty's groove
28. Fanny Duncan
29. Corn pone


dimanche 9 août 2020

SIDNEY MAIDEN/ Complete Recordings

SIDNEY MAIDENComplete Recordings (Re-up) 

              
Même si les quelques disques publiés par l'harmoniciste et chanteur Sidney Maiden lui valent une certaine réputation auprès des amateurs, sa vie demeure obscure. Même ceux qui l'ont enregistré ne se rappellent que peu de lui ou ne l'ont pas interviewé.
               Sidney naît en 1923 à Monroe en Louisiane, son père décède ou disparaît quand il a un an. Elevé par sa mère, il travaille très jeune dans une plantation tout en apprenant l'harmonica en écoutant des musiciens locaux mais surtout les disques de John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, une influence qui sera dominante dans sa musique.
               Incorporé en 1942, Sidney sert sur le front Pacifique puis est basé dans le comté de Contra Costa en Californie d'où il est libéré de ses obligations militaires. Il décide de rester en Californie, travaille dans les chantiers navals et s'associe avec K.C. Douglas pour jouer dans les bars fréquentés par les récents migrants noirs venus du Sud Ouest. En 1948, Maiden enregistre avec K. C. Douglas son "hit" Mercury boogie et chante sur la face B l'évocateur Eclipse of the sun, devenu un petit classique du down home blues californien.
               Il forme un petit orchestre, les Blues Blowers, et pendant quelques années joue les week ends un peu partout dans la baie d'Oakland. En 1952, Sidney enregistre à San Francisco une séance pour Imperial dont seulement deux titres (Thinking the blues et Honey bee blues) ont paru sur un 78t.
               On retrouve Maiden dans les studios de Los Angeles trois ans plus tard, gravant un titre d'un 45t qu'il partage avec le guitariste Cool Papa Sadler: Hurry hurry baby.
               A ce moment là et les années suivantes, Sidney vit autour de Fresno, travaillant dans la riche arboriculture de cette région. Il fait partie d'un petit groupe de bluesmen de cette ville comme Al Simmons et Guitar Slim Green qui jouent sous le nom des Boys of Fresno que l'infatigable Johnny Otis enregistre. Une fois de plus Sidney ne grave qu'un titre, Hand me down baby.
               C'est son vieux compère K.C. Douglas, devenu une figure incontournable du blues revival de Californie, qui l'emmène dans les studios pour plusieurs séances pour Chris Strachwitz et Kenneth Goldstein. Maiden accompagne K.C. et le superbe pianiste texan Mercy Dee Walton et enregistre aussi en 1961 un album complet qui paraît sur le label Bluesville et dans lequel l'influence de John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson apparaît considérable.
               Ce disque se vend de façon confidentielle et Sidney disparaît définitivement. Selon Richard Riggins (Harmonica Slim), qui vivait à Fresno, Sidney serait retourné en Louisiane peu de temps après ces séances afin de s'occuper de sa mère. Il serait décédé autour de sa ville natale de Monroe en 1970.
               Ce mp3 rassemble l'intégrale des enregistrements effectués par Sidney Maiden en vedette
               Merci à Kempen, Pierre Monnery et Gerrit Robs pour leur aide dans cette recherche.
                                                                                         Gérard HERZHAFT

               Although the handful of records he made has earned him some reputation among the blues buffs, Sidney Maiden's life and whereabouts are quite obscure and he has unfortunately never been interviewed.
               Born on a plantation near Monroe (La) in 1923, Sidney loses his father at a very early age and has to work in the fields with his mother. He learns the harmonica with local musician and utmost in listening to the records of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson.
               In 1942, Sidney is drafted and sent on the Pacific front. Discharged in 1945 on a base in the Contra Costa County, Maiden decides to stay in California, works in several plants. He met there K.C. Douglas (see the item on him on this blog), plays with him around the Bay. In 1948 they record a successful 78 for producer Bob Geddins. Sidney blows his harmonica behind K.C. on the famous Mercury boogie and sings as well on the flip, the classic Eclipse of the sun.
               Sidney leads a small band, The Blues Blowers, that play a little bit everywhere and he records for the Imperial label in 1952 a lengthy session. But only two titles are issued (Thinking the blues and Honey bee blues)
               He must waits 1955 to record again (still a sole title, Hurry hurry baby) with the Los Angeles guitarist Cool Papa Sadler.
               At that time and the subsequent years, Sidney resides in the Fresno area, making a living out of the fruit tree industrie. He is part of the small group of downhome bluesmen who live in Fresno (Al Simmons, Guitar Slim Green) called just The Boys of Fresno. They record for Johnny Otis and, once again, Maiden sings only on one title (Hand me down baby).
               His old friend K.C. Douglas who has, meanwhile, become some kind of a folk icon among the Californian blues revival circles brings Sidney again in the studios for several sessions for Chris Strachwitz and Kenneth Goldstein. Maiden blows behind K.C. and the wonderful Texas piano player Mercy Dee Walton. And in 1961 he also manages, at last, to record a good LP under his own name in which he displays a very strong influence of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson.
               After that, Sidney Maiden disappears completely. Accordingly to Richard Riggins (Harmonica Slim) who also lived in Fresno, Sidney, shortly after his album, went back to Louisiana to take care of his ageing mother and he would have died around Monroe (La) in 1970.
               This mp3 comp gathers all the recordings made by Sidney as a leader.
               Thanks to Kempen? Gerrit Robs and Pierre Monnery for their help and contributions to this article.
                                                                                         Gérard HERZHAFT

SIDNEY MAIDEN/ The Complete Recordings
Sidney Maiden, vcl/hca; K.C. Douglas, g. Oakland, Ca. 1948
01. Eclipse of the sun
Sidney Maiden, vcl/hca; band. San Francisco, Ca. 15 avril 1952
02. Working woman
03. Up the river blues
04. Broke and busted
05. Harpin' the boogie
06. Honey bee
07. Honey bee blues
08. Thinking the blues
Sidney Maiden, vcl/hca; Cool Papa Sadler, g; g; Bee Brown, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 28 juin 1955
09. Hurry hurry baby
Sidney Maiden, vcl/hca; Guitar Slim Green, g; H. Robinson, pno; Al Simmons, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1957
10. Hand me down baby
Sidney Maiden, vcl/hca; Mercy Dee Walton, pno; K.C. Douglas, g; Otis Cherry, dms. Stockton, Ca. 5 février 1961
11. Chicago blues
12. Mercy's party
Sidney Maiden, hca; Mercy Dee Walton, pno; Otis Cherry, dms. Berkeley, Ca. 16 avril 1961
13. Sidney's shuffle
Sidney Maiden, vcl/hca; K.C. Douglas, g. Berkeley, Ca. 16 avril 1961
14. Buy me an airplane
15. Sweet little woman
16. My black name
17. Sidney's fox chase
18. San Quentin blues
19. Tell me somebody
20. Blues and trouble
21. Hand me down baby
22. Sidney's worried life blues
23. Me and my chauffeur
24. Coal black mare
25. I'm going back home


mercredi 29 juillet 2020

SHORTY LE BLANC/ Louisiana Swamp Music


SHORTY LE BLANC/ Louisiana Swamp Music
With Jay Stutes & Cleveland Crochet

           
In 1960, Sugar bee recorded in Lake Charles by the locally renowned Cajun band of ace musicians: fiddler and leader Cleveland Crochet, accordionist Shorty Le Blanc, steel guitarist Jay B. Stutes, bass player Charlie Babineaux and drummer Clifton Newman climbed extremely high in the Charts, certainly the first major "hit" coming from Cajun country since "Jolie Blonde" and probably the first by a Cajun band itself. Under the wise direction of producer Eddie Shuler (he asked the band to sing in english for a possible wider appeal), the band proved able to keep the deep feeling of Cajun Music while adding a Rock'n'roll backbeat, a driving steel-guitar lead and accordion solos sounding like a blues harmonica plus devastating vocal by Stutes.
            As Shuler told to author John Broven: " During the session... the wailing sounds (that blasted) over the speakers told me the record was chartbound ".
            At first, the local radio stations didn't want to airplay Sugar bee. " I had all kinds of trouble trying to some airplay... I took it to the stations in Lafayette and Baton Rouge but they said it didn't have the right sound... it wasn't Cajun! In desperation I took it to Beaumont where I hoped KJET, a colored station would help with Clarence Garlow as the DJ... the result was like a snowball going down a mountain. It just got bigger and bigger... ".
            In the british pioneer blues magazine Blues Unlimited, Mike Leadbitter wrote in April 1963 a rave review of the record: " Singer is a guy named Jay Stutes whose hysterical shouting vocals and powerful steel guitar make this Cajun-cum-R&B disc into a masterful solo performance. The roaring accordion backing is by Shorty Le Blanc "
           
Vorris "Shorty" Le Blanc was born 24 December 1923 in Lake Arthur (La) from a large family of nine children, almost all playing an instrument. The father Jules Le Blanc was a noted accordionist who played regularly on fais do-do (literally "go to sleep" because the large dance floors had an upper room where the children were sleeping, watched by their grandmothers while the parents danced and drank all night) and brought Vorris with him at an early age. After discharged from the Army during the war years, Shorty Le Blanc married Ruby McGee and worked as a machine shop worker while fronting several bands. Sugar bee made it possible for Le Blanc to make a living from his music a couple of years, recording under his name or as a backing musician for Country stars like Jimmy C. Newman. Unfortunately, Shorty Le Blanc died in a car crash on 25 May 1965 at the early age of 42.
            The great singer and steel guitarist, occasionally drummer and bassist Jay Stutes (Jesse Llyod Stutes Sr) was born on 7 September 1933 in Morse (La) and was most of his life a truck driver while playing during week ends. His fiercery vocals and stinging steel guitar must be largely credited to the artistically and commercially success of Sugar bee and most of the tracks he recorded with Crochet, Shorty Le Blanc or under his name. During the 1970's he joined Blackie Forester and the Cajun Aces and recorded with Joel Sonnier. He died in Jennings, La. on 19 May 2000.
           
Fiddler and bandleader Cleveland Crochet was born on 30 January 1919 in Jennings, La but moved to Lake Charles at an early age. He made a living as an ironworker playing music during the week ends. He was the leader of The Hillbilly Ramblers when they recorded Sugar bee for Eddie Shuler. He recorded again during the 1960's but played mostly on local clubs or fais do do. He died in Lake Charles on 28 November 2011.
                                                           Gérard Herzhaft





I borrowed many infos for this article from the essential John Broven's book South to Louisiana/ The Music of the Cajun Bayous.

 Shorty Le Blanc (Vorris Leblanc), vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; Charlie Babineaux, g; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1957
01. Chere meon (Sha meon waltz)
02. Midnight blues
03. Come back little girl (vcl: Jay Stutes)
04. Telephone Port Arthur (vcl: Jay Stutes)
Shorty Le Blanc, acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. octobre 1960
05. Sugar bee n°1 (vcl: Jay Stutes)
06. Sugar bee n°2 (vcl: Jay Stutes)
07. Drunkard's dream
Shorty Le Blanc, vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1961
08. Sweet thing (vcl: Jay Stutes)
09. Hound dog baby
Shorty Le Blanc, vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. mai 1962
10. Kaw Liga (vcl: Jay Stutes)
11. Soldier's waltz
12. Long long note on my door (vcl: Jay Stutes)
13. Demain, moi je vais me marier (Wedding day) (vcl: Jay Stutes)
14. La branche de mûrier (Waltz of the mulberry limb)
15. Coming home (vcl: Jay Stutes)
Shorty Le Blanc, vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. juin 1963
16. Boss Cajun
17. La valse de chagrin
18. Waltz of a broken heart
Shorty Le Blanc, acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; Ivt Vanicor, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1964
19. My little cabbage
20. Good morning blues (vcl: Jay Stutes)
21. Time and time again (vcl: Jay Stutes)
22. Forgot I was married (vcl: Ivy Vanicor)
23. Three year waltz (vcl: Ivy Vanicor)
24. Rambler's lonely dream (vcl: Ivy Vanicor)
25. Tears of sorrow (vcl: Bradley Stutes)
Jay Stutes, vcl/st-g; band. Lake Charles, La. 1979
26. Hey! Boss man



samedi 18 juillet 2020

ALEC SEWARD/ Complete Recordings 1944-65

ALEC SEWARD



Cet excellent chanteur et guitariste né le 6 mars 1901 à Newport News en Virginie est venu très tôt à New York (à la fin de 1923), à un moment où l'impact du blues d'inspiration rurale était alors très faible dans la "Grande Pomme". Contrairement à de nombreux autres, Seward ne s'est jamais fondu dans la scène du blues jazzy et du R&B new-yorkais qui s'est développée. Mais il est demeuré fidèle au blues traditionnel de la ceinture du tabac où il avait grandi et appris à jouer. L'énorme succès de Blind Boy Fuller a évidemment beaucoup marqué Alec Seward qui utilisera à satiété le style de Fuller.
Seward est un des premiers bluesmen noirs à s'intégrer dans le mouvement folk progressiste qui est parti de New York et de Washington dans les années 1930 auprès de musicologues et d'activistes pour qui le blues noir était une forme de folk song comme les autres. Il rencontre ainsi tous les Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston qui le feront enregistrer avec eux et le présenteront souvent dans leurs émissions de radio. En même temps, Seward fait équipe avec Louis Hayes (un bon chanteur-guitariste originaire de Caroline). Il enregistre entre 1944 et 1946 avec Hayes un nombre de très belles faces en duo vocal et instrumental sous le nom de Jelly Belly & Guitar Slim, The Blues Kings ou The Back Porch Boys.
Hayes, à l'exception de quelques titres pour Apollo, ne retrouvera plus les chemins des studios et disparaîtra on ne sait quand ni où. Seward, lui, peaufine son blues auprès de Brownie Mc Ghee (il se dit qu'il a été un élève de l' école "du blues" qu'avait ouverte Brownie à Harlem!), son frère Sticks Mc Ghee, Champion Jack Dupree, Leroy Dallas, Sonny Terry et tous ceux qui émargent à ce country blues new yorkais plus ou moins souterrain et marginal mais qui n'en demeurera pas moins vivace durant plusieurs décennies.
La guitare expressive et bluesy de Seward va à merveille avec son timbre de voix, embrumé et laconique, et ses compositions sont souvent fortes bien que son titre le plus célèbre (Late one Saturday evening) est dû à la plume de Big Bill Broonzy. Alec retournera sporadiquement dans les studios. On le trouve en 1953 avec Sonny Terry pour une brillante séance du label Elektra qui le voit chanter sur quatre titres.
            Il lui faudra attendre encore douze ans de plus pour le voir graver un album pour le label Bluesville, cette fois en compagnie de l'harmonica de Larry Johnson, un talent alors jeune et prometteur de la scène newyorkaise.
            Bien que très malade, Seward continuera à se produire sporadiquement dans différents clubs folk mais son affection l'empêchera de s'éloigner trop de son domicile newyorkais et il devra hélas refuser l'offre d'une tournée européenne ce qui, n'en doutons pas, aurait fait beaucoup pour élargir son audience. Il décède à New York le 11 mai 1972.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            Alec Seward was born 6 May 1901 at Newport News (Va) and was already a good guitarist when he came to New York in the mid-20's. Unlike many of the bluesmen coming to live in New York City, the black music scene being then essentially jazz oriented, Alec always played only his acoustic blues (music being not for him his main job), more and more influenced by the huge commercial success of Blind Boy Fuller's records, particularly on his many lowdown deep blues.
            During the early post war years, Alec Seward was part of the New York folk revival, meeting Moses Asch, Alan Lomax and playing, recording and broadcasting with Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie or Cisco Houston... During the same time, he also created a blues duo with another East Coast bluesman Louis Hayes from Carolina with whom he recorded between 1944 and 1946 some vocal and instrumental duets under several nicknames (Jelly Belly & Guitar Slim, The Blues Kings, The Back Porch Boys). Here are included only the tracks from those sessions where Seward is the sole singer.
            Hayes will only record a couple of tracks for the Apollo label before vanishing into obscurity while Seward befriended with Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry (he was said to be a student of the short lived Brownie's School of the Blues!). Seward recorded four excellent tracks with Sonny Terry in 1953, particularly the gripping Big Bill Broonzy penned Late one Saturday evening where his expressive and very bluesy guitar playing blends in perfectly with his smoky and laconic voice.
            Although he played regularly in house parties, folk clubs and on some radios, Alec would have to wait another twelve years to record a whole album for the Bluesville label, this time backed by a then young promising bluesman Larry Johnson (who plays harp behind Alec). But very ill, Alec won't be able to tour Europe in the late 1960's. He died in New York 11 May 1972.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


ALEC SEWARD
Complete Recordings 1947-65
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Louis Hayes, g. New York City, september 1947
01. Big hip mama
02. King Kong blues
03. Friday the 19th blues
04. Be kind blues
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Louis Hayes, g. New York City, 1948
05. Don't leave me all by myself
06. Railroad blues
07. Bad acting woman
08. Early morning blues
09. Hard luck blues
10. Why oh why
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Louis Hayes, g. Baltimore, MD. 1949
11. I've been dreaming
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Sonny Terry, hca. New York City, december 1953
12. Late one saturday evening
13. Little Annie
14. Down in the bottom
15. Hard luck blues
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Larry Johnson, hca. New York City, 1965
16. Big hip mama
17. Evil woman blues
18. Going down slow
19. Sweet woman
20. Some people say
21. Creepin' blues
22. I made a mistake in love
23. Piney woods
24. Late saturday evening
25. Let a good thing do