Nombre total de pages vues

jeudi 22 août 2013



Volume 2

Voici donc un deuxième volume consacré à la scène souterraine mais réelle du Country blues joué à Indianapolis jusque dans les années 1970 par un petit groupe de vétérans et leurs émules.
            Tout d'abord quatre titres supplémentaires par le chanteur et guitariste John Tyler (J.T.). Adams qui ne se trouvent pas sur l'album Bluesville qui lui avait été consacré. Il y est encore une fois accompagné de façon remarquable par Shirley Griffith (1908-74) dont on présente aussi quatre titres en vedette qui, eux non plus ne figurent sur aucun de ses deux albums.
            Pete Franklin (Edward Lamonte Franklin) est un natif d'Indianapolis (1928-75) qui a appris très jeune guitare et piano avec les musiciens de la ville dont Scrapper Blackwell. Dans les années 1940, il part tenter sa chance à Chicago, enregistre quatre titres en vedette en 1949 et accompagne sur disque Saint Louis Jimmy, Jazz Gillum, John Brim et Sunnyland Slim. Mais la vie à Chicago ne lui convient guère et il retourne à Indianapolis où il travaille en usine tout en jouant sporadiquement le blues. Il est lui aussi "découvert" par Art Rosenbaum et grave un album pour Bluesville en 1961. Les trois titres présentés ici ne figurent pas dans cet album.
            Bertha Lee Jones et James Easley sont aussi des musiciens "amateurs" qui gravitaient autour de Blackwell et autres.
Enfin James "Yank" Rachell (1910-97) est juste un résident d'Indianapolis depuis les années 1940. Il est un des fondateurs du "Brownsville blues", formé autour de son ami Sleepy John Estes qu'il a accompagné constamment sur scène et sur disque. Yank est surtout connu pour cela ainsi que par le fait qu'il est un des rares mandolinistes du blues. Mais son rôle dans l'émergence d'un Chicago blues orchestral est tout aussi important et les titres qu'il a enregistrés en 1941 pour Bluebird en compagnie de John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson (notamment ses compositions Hobo blues, Army man blues ou Ludella reprises par Jimmy Rogers ou John Lee Hooker) avec un subtil entrelacs guitare / harmonica et une forte affirmation du rythme annoncent très nettement ce que feront plus tard Muddy Waters et Little Walter.
            Les titres de cette anthologie sont bien davantage dans le style Country blues de Brownsville et débordent de feeling et d'émotion.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            In this second volume dedicated to the Indianapolis Country blues, there are four more excellent titles (not in any LP under their names) by J.T. Adams and Shirley Griffith (1908-74), a welcome add to their legacy.
            Pete Franklin (Edward Lamonte Franklin) (1928-75) was born in Indianapolis and knew quite well Scrapper Blackwell, learning to play guitar and piano. In the 40's, Pete went to Chicago to try his luck, recorded four titles for Victor in 1949, played also in the studio behind Jazz Gillum, Saint Louis Jimmy, John Brim or Sunnlyand Slim. But tired of the hectic Chicago life, he went back to Indianapolis where he played the blues only for house parties and friends. "Discovered" by Art Rosenbaum, he waxed a good Bluesville LP and three more titles. Those three are featured here.
            Bertha Lee Jones and James Easley are also part time blues musicians that gravitated around Blackwell et al.
            James Yank Rachell (1910-97) is certainly not a representative of the "Indiana Country blues" style, becoming just a resident of this town during the war years. Yank is mostly well known for being a major force behind the Brownsville blues of his friend Sleepy John Estes with whom he played and recorded extensively. He is also renowned as one of the few blues mandolin players. But Yank has also been an important figure of the then emerging Chicago blues bands. The records he made in 1941 with John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson with intertwining guitar and harmonica, a strong rhythm anticipate what Muddy and Little Walter will do later on. Some of his compositions like Ludella, Hobo blues or Army man blues will become classics after the war when recorded by others like Jimmy Rogers or John Lee Hooker. But his sessions featured here are much more in the Brownville blues of his youth and are full of deep blues feeling.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

Volume 2
J.T. Adams, vcl/g; Shirley Griffith, g. . Indianapolis, In. 1960
01. Kill it Kid
02. The Hop joint
J.T. Adams, vcl/g; Shirley Griffith, g. Indianapolis, In. 1 juin 1966
03. I don't feel welcome
04. Kentucky guitar blues
Shirley Griffith, vcl/g; J.T. Adams, g. Indianapolis, In. 1960
05. Maggie Campbell
06. Saturday blues
07. Indianapolis jump
08. Big road blues
Pete Franklin, vcl/g/pno. Indianapolis, In. 24 décembre 1963
09. Lowdown dirty ways
10. The fives
11. Penal Farm blues
Bertha Lee Jones, g. Indianapolis, In. 24 décembre 1963
12. Spanish blues
James Easley, vcl/hca; Pete Franklin, g; Raymond Holloway, g. Indianapolis, In. 17 juin 1961
13. Big leg woman
Yank Rachell, mdln; Shirley Griffith, g. Indianapolis, In. 17 juin 1964
14. Mandolin Stomp
Yank Rachell, vcl/g/mdln; Mike Stewart, g on *. Indianapolis, In. 1972
15. Tappin' that thing*
16. Pack my clothes and go
17. Skinny woman blues
18. Matchbox blues
19. Texas Tony*
20. Des Moines, Iowa
21. Shotgun blues*
22. Sugar Farm blues
23. Diving duck blues*
24. Wadie Green
25. Peachtree blues

16 commentaires:

  1. Indianapolis Cy Blues 2:


    1. I have a Spanish translation of more than seven years ago and honestly say that blues is my bible.

      I tried to download COUNTRY BLUES INDIANAPOLIS volume 2 but I can not.

      Thank you.

    2. Thank you for your nice comment. For the dwnld link there is no problem on my computers. As I told some other readers you should not use IE anymore and migrate to Firefox or Chrome. I unfortunately can't do more....

  2. Hi Gerard
    Thank you very much for another superb post. I will enjoy listening to this very much

  3. Dr Strasburg (US)22 août 2013 à 21:47

    Another outstanding entry! Listening to the mandolin blues playing of James Yank Rachell has me wondering how much research has been done on "Real Mandolin Blues". Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Greetings from Indianapolis!

  5. It's alright, it's OK!
    Better on the left side yet, Sir!

  6. Outstanding post, I enjoy both records of this set. Thanks so much. I have purchased your Encyclopedia of the Blues in English translation. It is a wonderful resource and I enjoy just reading it even when I am not looking for information on a particular artist. Thank you for working so diligently to foster more awareness of the blues and the artists who made the music.

    1. Thank you very much for your appreciation. It helps me a lot to go on this blog. Glad you appreciate my Encyclopedia in english. Unfortunately I have not been able to update the American edition which is thus quite different from the French and Spanish editions.

  7. Thanks, I will order the French edition given that it is more comprehensive.

  8. For any other person residing in the United States who reads French and is interested in the updated version of Monsieur Herzhaft's book, it is available from Amazon.CA ( in Canada)for a very reasonable price. If you have an account, Amazon.CA will already have your shipping and billing information once you log in. The English version is terrific, so an updated French edition is well worth the price!!!

    1. Thank you very much. I published the very first edition of my Encyclopédie du Blues in 1979; Another - enhanced - went out in 1985 under the title "Nouvelle Encyclopédie du blues". A 3rd, updated and much longer came in 1990 on the Seghers/Laffont label, titled again "Encyclopédie du blues". Meanwhile, my book was first translated in english in 1989. At last, in 1997, I rewrote entirely the book, much longer, more complete (I hope) that was published under the title "La Grande Encyclopédie du Blues" at Fayard in Paris, a major publisher. Since then, I have been able to (unfortunately too moderately) update the book at each new printing (about every two or three years). Each book has very different photographs.

  9. This is a fantastically enjoyable collection. Really superb stuff. Thank you so much for compiling and sharing!

  10. Looks like a great collection and I'm looking forward in particular to listening to these Yank Rachell tracks.

    As always many thanks Gerard.

    Bob Mac