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mercredi 22 novembre 2017




Toute la diversité des blues du Texas sont représentés dans ce volume 5.
               Le guitariste et chanteur Banny Price demeure un artiste peu documenté. Il était actif dans les années 1960 autour de Shreveport (son lieu de naissance) et jusqu'à Dallas. Il a réussi à enregistrer deux remarquables séances l'une pour Ram et l'autre à Tyler (Texas) aux Robin Hood Brians Studios produite par Ken Demary, donnant le désormais classique You love me pretty baby, très influencé par Otis Rush. On ne sait ce qu'est devenu ce fort intéressant bluesman.

               Little Hat Jones est par contre une figure légendaire des premiers blues texans, ayant enregistré une excellente œuvre sous son nom pour Okeh en 1929 et 1930 ainsi qu'en tant que guitariste derrière Texas Alexander. Né Dennis ou George Jones le 5 octobre 1899 à Bowie Cy (Texas), il semblait avoir disparu sans laisser de traces après 1930. Mais la ténacité du chercheur Robert Tilling a permis dans les années 1990 de découvrir un article, une interview, un enregistrement parlé et joué et des photos prises du bluesman en 1962-64 pour The Monitor, un journal local de Naples (Texas) par Morris Craig! Ce sont ces cinq titres si longtemps ensevelis au fond d'un tiroir que nous présentons ici, autant un document historique que le dernier témoignage d'un des pionniers du Texas blues. Au moment de son interview, Little Hat Jones était un retraité du dépôt de munitions de la Red River Army à Texarkana. Il décède à Linden (Tx) le 7 mars 1981.

               Le chanteur et saxophoniste Conrad Johnson (1915-2008) a écumé les salles de bals et les cabarets de l'Est du Texas à la tête de son orchestre. Outre la poignée de disques sous son nom, il a beaucoup enregistré derrière nombre d'artistes comme L.C. Williams, Lonnie Lyons... et a aussi été un professeur de musique de renom à Houston.
Conrad Johnson

               Enfin, le chanteur et pianiste Carl Campbell (1933-93) a démarré sa carrière musicale à Houston dès 1948, enregistrant pour Freedom, Peacock, Sittin' In With. Il a longtemps dirigé son propre club, Carl's Club à Houston où il es produisait régulièrement.

               Merci à Robert Tilling (cf son article sur Little Hat Jones dans Blues & Rhythm n° 135 ainsi qu' à Sir Shambling pour celui sur Banny Price.

                                                                                         Gérard HERZHAFT

               Several facets of the Texas blues are featured on this volume 5.

               Singer and guitar player Banny Price is quite ill documented. He was playing for sure during the 1960's around Shreveport and East Texas. He recorded two excellent sessions, once for Ram Records at Shreveport and another at Tyler's Texas Robin Hood Brian Studios, produced by Ken Demary with the masterpiece OtisRushesque You love me pretty baby. Unfortunately, we don't know what happened after that to this very interesting bluesman.

               Little Hat Jones, on the contrary, is a legendary bluesman, having recorded classic tracks for Okeh in 1929-30 and also backing Texas Alexander. Born Dennis (or George) Jones on 5 October 1899 at Bowie Cy (Tx), he seemed to have disappeared after 1930. But blues researcher Robert Tilling's tenacity finally unearthed (during the late 1990's) an article, an interview (with live recordings!) and photos from Little Hat Jones that were done in 1962-64 by a local journalist Morris Craig for The Monitor, a newspaper from Naples (Tx). This is the last testimony of one of the true Texas blues pioneer. At that time, Jones was a retired man from the Red River Army Depot at Texarkana. Little Hat Jones died at Linden on 7th March 1981.

               Singer and sax-player Conrad Johnson (1915-2008) has had a long career as a musician and bandleader who recorded a handful of tracks under his name but many more behind other Texas artists. Johnson was also (and maybe foremost) a well known music teacher at Houston.

               Singer and pianist Carl Campbell (1933-93) started a musical career in Houston at an early age (1948!), recording several sessions for Freedom, Sittin' In With, Peacock... He was also running for a long time his own Carl's Club in Houston in which he was regularly playing.

               Thanks to Robert Tilling for his article on Little Hat Jones in Blues & Rhythm 135/171 and Sir Shambling for infos about Banny Price.
                                                                                         Gérard HERZHAFT

BANNY PRICE, vcl/g; Elgie Brown, t-sax; band. Shreveport, La. July 1964
01. Rushing
02. There goes the girl
03. Monkey see, monkey do
Banny Price, vcl/g; band. Tyler, Tx. 1965
04. You love me pretty baby n°1
05. You love me pretty baby n°2
06. You know I love you
LITTLE HAT JONES, vcl/g. Naples, Tx. 1964
07. All around the water tank
08. Little Hat rag
09. New Dallas blues
10. Saint Louis blues
11. You don't mean me no good
CONRAD JOHNSON, a-sax/vcls; Jimmy Vincent, tpt; Sam Williams, t-sax; Ed Harris, b-sax; vcls; band. Houston, Tx. 1948
12. Ugly Mae
13. Shout it out
Conrad Johnson, vcl/a-sax; Johnny Vincent, tpt; Sam Williams, t-sax; Ed Harris, b-sax; band. Houston, Tx. 1972
14. Fisherman blues
15. Howling on Dowling
CARL CAMPBELL, vcl; band. Houston, Tx. March 1949
16. Between midnight and dawn
17. Ooh Wee baby
Carl Campbell, vcl; Goree Carter, g; Joe Houston, t-sax; band. Houston, Tx. Mayi 1949
18. Gettin' high
19. Going down to Nashville
Carl Campbell (as King Tut), vcl; Henry Hayes, a-sax; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Willie Johnson, pno; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. 12 January 1950
20. You've been fiddling around
Lonely blues
Why did you leave me baby?
Lonely blues
Carl Campbell, vcl; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Henry Hayes, a-sax; Willie Johnson, pno; Goree Carter, g; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. March 1950
21. Cotton picker's blues
22. My heart is going down slow
Carl Campbell, vcl; Henry Hayes, a-sax; Elmore Nixon, pno; band. Houston, Tx. September 1950
23. Traveling on
24. Early morning blues
Carl Campbell, vcl; band. Houston, Tx. septembre 1958
I love you baby

11 commentaires:

  1. Texas Blues Volume 5:


  2. Merci Gérard de nous offrir cette liste à savourer.

  3. Very interesting collection Gerard. Thank you very much indeed.

  4. Always good to see a new collection posted on Blue Eye. Some fine stuff here too....Carl Campbell with Goree Carter and Elmore Nixon. Many thanks for sharing all this great music Gerard.

  5. Bonjour et merci pour cette belle anthologie Texane. Et les titres retrouvés de Little Hat Jones ne sont pas ceux qui font le moins saliver..un superbe cadeau ! Encore bravo pour votre sens du partage Gérard.

  6. Thank you for continuing to provide such interesting collections of music. I appreciate your efforts and am impressed with the quality of the offerings.

  7. Thank you yet again for another first rate share. With appreciation.....

  8. As always, thank you so much. When I think of your blog, I am always thrilled by the discovery of information concerning and sounds of artists with whom I was previously unfamiliar or knew little about.

    I also enjoy greatly your willingness to retain the bilingual notes. It has to be a hell of a lot of work but, like the books I have read by you, it serves as testament to your selfless and ongoing contribution to my and others' education about the blues and your encyclopedic knowledge of and love for the genre. I am tremendously grateful for this, and, too, Marc's, and Xyro's blogs and have fumbled to express my thanks with the words above to convey how much you, in particular, have done to keep this music vital and alive during the most important parts of its history.

    I realize many of your followers are far more knowledgeable about the artists and history than I am but, for me, you and the other two bloggers have rescued so many great artists from obscurity. What a tremendous and all too often overlooked contribution blues men and women have made to the culture of my country and the world; your work shows why we can never take it for granted.

    When I first read the main character's explanation for his attraction to and understanding of the importance of the blues in "Un Long Blues En La Mineur" (which is available in translation in English from Amazon), I thought you succinctly and deftly expressed what some of us in the U. S. who are not as articulate about the genre's importance in our lives intuitively feel. I greatly appreciated that you were able to look at and understand from a distance as well as, after your visits to the U. S., close-up and, too, through friendships with blues people, why the blues must survive and, of course, evolve. Above all, you captured why the blues is so important and vital as a expression of the musical genius and culture of a people. And you continue to do so as well as pay homage to each artist's talent in each entry in this blog.

    I don't comment often enough and have undoubtedly written too much this time, but this collection is especially meaningful to me because I lived in Dallas for ten years, knew Deep Ellum and east Texas well and was always disconcerted by the number of Texans who regarded the blues either as a relic and unsophisticated expression of the problems and issues of a bygone era or knew nothing about the state's significant contribution to the genre and its history. Your Texas series expresses so well what was and is so great about the music there and is a joy to listen to. Again, thank you.

    1. Thank you very much Felimid for your very kind and very interesting letter. The compliments make me blush through the net! And your accounts about how the blues was seen (or not seen) in Texas some decades ago are very rewardings. For the text in English, I don't try to translate my French text (a boring task) but I write directly in English, hence probably the language/ grammar mistakes one can find on it. All the best to you

  9. Désolé pour mon retard pour commenter vos magnifiques partages .meilleurs voeux pour l'année qui vient !