Nombre total de pages vues

lundi 28 novembre 2016



This volume gathers for the first time together the two parts of this world acclaimed "blues novel" about the career of Theodore Roosevelt Young who, from the Mississippi cototon fields to Beale Street in Memphis and then the Chicago ghetto will become the new King of the blues


The youth and the genesis of a great bluesman… and of one of the most famous titles in the history of blues:
Catfish blues or Rolling Stone that will give its name to the band of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards!
Mississippi, Years 1930ies. Theodore Roosevelt Young, a young Black raised by his mother, has only one role-model: his uncle Eddie, this “bad Negro” who has chosen the traveling life of a bluesman.  Against all odds, from Delta to Memphis and at the junction of Lyon, Ms., Theodore will walk in the footsteps of his uncle Eddie, following his dream and becoming Catfish the bluesman.  And this after a passionate path, painful and made of encounters vivid in color. 

Gérard HERZHAFT who knew a number of great bluesmen and Muddy Waters in particular, describes with feeling and accuracy of tone the world of Black Mississippi of the 1930ies, the world of blues.  Re-issued several times, Grand Prix High School of Ile de France, adapted into a cartoon, this novel considered as one of the “great novels on blues”, is finally available in paperback and in a new english translation.


          The young Amos, who has nothing but a vague memory of his natal Mississippi, lives in Chicago with his alcoholic father since the death of his mother, shortly after their arrival to the North.  Amos sells newspapers by shouting out, but dreams of becoming a great harmonica player like Slender Bill, the aging king of Chicago blues in the years 1947-48.  Thanks to cousin Steve who knows all sorts of traffic in the ghetto, Amos has the opportunity to penetrate into the world of the Chicago blues.  He encounters Catfish, a musician who begins to be known, and he also succeeds in softening Slender Bill and his wife who take him under their protective wing.   
          But the paths to glory are tortuous: Slender Bill who no longer has favor with anyone except with the aged female listeners, is a good professor but is he the future of Amos?  When the brothers Silverberg, who moved from one ghetto to another by emigrating from Central Europe to America, decide to launch a new and very ambitious blues label, they choose to promote Catfish who, precisely, is looking for a young harmonica player. 

"In Chicago, a harmonica sobs the blues" is partly a follow up to  "Catfish blues".  It is not just another novel on the blues.  Gérard Herzhaft describes the characters, the dialogues, the situations of the Chicago blues such as it were with the blue words that have the color, the flavor and the consistency of the blue notes.



United Kingdom:





vendredi 18 novembre 2016



Ce nouveau volume de blues et R&B venant du Texas met l'accent sur quatre artistes mal connus.
            Louis Howard, un chanteur et probablement guitariste, a joué avec ses orchestres les Charms, les Red Hearts et d'autres dans l'agglomération de Dallas-Fort Worth pendant une décennie durant les années 50 et 60, se produisant dans les clubs ou bien ouvrant les spectacles de vedettes noires en tournée texane. Son premier disque donne de beaux blues où brille la guitare de Cornell Dupree. Après un disque en duo avec un certain Arthur Noiel, Howard s'est davantage tourné vers la Soul et son dernier disque a été enregistré à Miami avec le groupe les Rocketeers de Frank Williams.
            Encore plus obscur, le chanteur Charles Maxfield n'a enregistré qu'une séance en janvier 1954 à Houston en compagnie de l'orchestre du saxophoniste Leo Baxter.
            Le guitariste et chanteur Perry Cain (né le 22 février 1925 à Waverly, Tx) a été très actif sur la scène de Houston dans les années 1940-50, enregistrant une excellente petite œuvre dans laquelle brille le pianiste Buster Pickens. Durant la décennie suivante, Perry a surtout été DJ de la station de radio KCOH à Houston. Il est décédé le 24 avril 1975 à Houston, Tx.
            Enfin, Tee Bee Fisher est en fait le pseudonyme du guitariste et chanteur Cajun Joey Long (Joseph Longoria) né à Zwolle (La) le 17 décembre 1932. Long a joué à La Nouvelle Orléans avec quantité d'orchestres avant de s'installer à Houston, enregistrant notamment avec Clarence Frogman Henry, Ivory Joe Hunter, Doug Sahm, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Walter Price et T-Bone Walker ainsi qu'une oeuvre plus tournée vers le Rock sous son nom ainsi que des séances de blues en tant que Tee Bee Fisher. Long est mort le 22 mars 1995 à Houston. Johnny Winter comme Billy Gibbons ont reconnu son influence.
            Merci à Sir Shambling et Bob Eagle (Blues/ A regional experience) pour les renseignements sur Louis Howard et Perry Cain.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            This new opus of Texas blues and R&B puts the focus on three ill-known blues artists and one better known but recording here under a long time mysterious nickname.
            Louis Howard, a singer and probably guitarist, has been active during a decade (c. 1956-66) on the Dallas-Fort Worth area with several bands he led, namely The Charms or The Red Hearts. He played in the local clubs and opened for big touring acts. His first 45 gives two strong blues with nice guitar solos and fills by Cornell Dupree. After a record in duo with a certain Arthur Noiel, Howard made two more singles in a more Soul vein, the last being recorded in Miami with Fred Williams' Rocketeers.
            Even more obscure is singer Charles Maxfield who recorded a sole session in Houston in January 1954 backed by saxophonist Leo Baxter's band.
            Guitarist and singer Perry Cain (born 22nd February 1925 at Waverly, Tx) was very active in the Houston blues scene during the late 1940's and 1950's, recording a number of singles in which pianist Buster Pickens shines throughout. During the 1960's, Perry was a noted DJ at KCOH's Houston. He died 24 April 1975 at his Houston's home.
            Tee Bee Fisher is none other that Louisiana singer/guitarist Joey Long (Joseph Longoria, born at Zwolle, La. on 17 December 1932. Long acquired quickly a strong reputation as a guitarist and he played in New Orleans and then Houston with numerous bands, recording behind Clarence Frogman Henry, Ivory Joe Hunter, Lightnin' Hopkins, Doug Sahm, Big Walter Price, T-Bone Walker.... He also recorded under his own name on a more rock oriented genre and his influence on Johnny Winter and Billy Gibbons was very strong. Joey died in Houston on 22 March 1995.
            Thanks to Sir Shambling and Bob Eagle (Blues/ A regional experience) for the infos about Louis Howard and Perry Cain.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

CHARLES MAXFIELD, vcl/g; Leo Baxter, t-sax/vcls; band. Houston, Tx. 20 janvier 1954
01. Don't do me wrong
02. Somebody's got to go
03. The two timer
04. The world is turning over
TEE BEE FISHER (Joey Long), vcl/g; band. Houston, Tx. 1963
05. Don't worry about me
06. Don't change my mind
Tee Bee Fisher, vcl/g; band. Houston, Tx. 1966
07. Sweet little angel
08. Five long years
09. If you see my baby (as Wee Willie Smith)
LOUIS HOWARD, vcl/g; saxes; Cornell Dupree, g; Chuck Rainey, bs; dms. Dallas, Tx. 1963
10. You're too much
11. I've got the feeling
Louis Howard, vcl/g; band. Fort Worth, Tx. 1965-66
12. Do as you please
13. Comin' home
Louis Howard, vcl/g; The Rocketeers, band. Miami, Fl. 1966
14. I'm a happy man
15. Please forgive me
PERRY CAIN, vcl; Buster Pickens, pno; Skippy Brown, bs. Houston, Tx. 13 janvier 1948
16. All the way from Texas
Cry cry cry
Perry Cain, vcl; Nathaniel Haskins, t-sax; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Buster Pickens, pno; Skippy Brown, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. décembre 1948
17. Big timing Grandma
18. My heart belongs to you
Perry Cain, vcl; Bill Hayes, a-sax; Buster Pickens, pno; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. 1950
19. I want to cry
20. My baby loves me so
21. Reckless
22. I'm just another fool (Goree Carter, vcl/g)
23. Hurry home baby

Found a new love