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mercredi 18 juillet 2018



Although not often credited as a big name of the postwar Chicago blues, John Brim has been instrumental in creating the genre and most of his recordings may be considered as classics, notably the wonderful Rattlesnake and Tough times.
Born in Hopkinsville (Kentucky) on April, 10th 1922, John has been influenced by local bluesmen like guitarist Homer Wilson and harmonica player Phineas Cox. In 1941, he goes for work to Indianapolis, a town whose blues is still strongly affected by the music of the famous duo Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell. John quickly takes part of the local blues scene, meets Scrapper Blackwell, Jesse Eldridge, the great singer Harmon Ray and Pete Franklin whose whom he forms a duo à la Carr/Blackwell!
            In 1945, Brim leaves Indianapolis for Chicago, finds a good job in a laundry and plays in the Chicago clubs with Doctor Clayton, Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy and John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, all of whom leaving their marks on his style. The younger John is also soon part of the "new" Chicago blues scene and he becomes friends and plays with Muddy, Little Walter, Willie Mabon and while also playing frequently in Gary (Indiana) he meets there Jimmy Reed, Eddie Taylor, Albert King and a young singer/ harp player Grace Millard who soon becomes her wife. They form a band together with Albert King on the drums. Albert being a little bit erratic on stage and in his life, Grace progressively takes the drummer role on the band. One night, one of the patron is none other than the pianist Big Maceo who offers them to go to Detroit and record with him in 1950 for the Fortune label.
            Their recording career is then launched: John waxes another session with Roosevelt Sykes, signs with Joe Brown for his fledgling label JOB and records several stunning tracks in 1951-52, almost all masterpieces: broody voice, excellent lyrics, tight interaction between the guitar of Brim and the piano of Sunnyland Slim, a perfect updating of the Carr/ Blackwell music.
            But JOB is a small outfit that never pays his artists and in 1953, John Brim who wants more from his music is in the Chess studio with the cream of the Chicago bluesmen, particularly Little Walter, Louis Myers, Eddie Taylor and Fred Below: Rattlesnake, blatantly inspired by Hound Dog, is a hit but Chess, facing a lawsuit by Leiber and Stoller, composers of Hound Dog, has to withdraw the record. In 1953, Brim plays the guitar behind his friend Albert King on his first ever session and also waxes the very strong Tough times which will become his best selling number as well as his trademark and an all-time Chicago postwar blues classic!
            But there is not a strong feeling between John and Phil Chess and when, convinced by Jimmy Reed, he tries his luck at Vee Jay's (but no record issued whatsoever), Chess drops him definitively. The late 1950's are lean years for the deep blues like John Brim's. The Brims leave then Chicago for settling in Gary where they buy a laundry. But the music bug is still there, John teaching guitar and bass to his sons. And in 1971, the Brim family record a new 45 that unfortunately goes nowhere. He will have to wait 18 more years to be rediscovered by the valiant Austrian label Wolf, recording a new excellent session . Then, encouraged by young admirers, he will resume his musical career, appearing as a "living legend" in several festivals and recording two excellent CDs.
            He dies on October, 1st, 2003 four years after his wife Grace, leaving a small but brilliant record legacy.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

JOHN BRIM/ The Complete Recordings 1950-71
John Brim, vcl/g; Big Maceo, pno. Detroit, Mi. 1950
01. Bus driver
John Brim, vcl/g; Roosevelt Sykes, pno. Saint Louis, Mo. 1951
02. Dark clouds
03. Lonesome man blues
John Brim, vcl/g; Sunnyland Slim, pno/vcls; Moody Jones, bs. Chicago, Ill. 27 septembre 1951
04. Young and wild
05. I love my baby
06. Trouble in the morning
07. Humming blues
John Brim, vcl/g; Sunnyland Slim, pno; Eddie Taylor, g; Moody Jones, bs; Grace Brim, dms/hca. Chicago, Ill. 22 août 1952
08. Hard pill to swallow
09. Drinking woman
John Brim, vcl/g; Ernest Cotton, t-sax; Sunnyland Slim, pno; Pete Franklin, g; Big Crawford, bs; Alfred Wallace, dms. Chicago, Ill. octobre 1952
10. Don't leave me (No name blues)
11. Moonlight blues
John Brim, vcl/g; Little Walter, hca; Louis Myers, g; Dave Myers, g; Willie Dixon, bs; Fred Below, dms. Chicago, Ill. mars 1953
12. Rattlesnake
13. It was a dream
John Brim, vcl/g; Little Walter, hca; Eddie Taylor, g; Elga Edmonds, dms. Chicago, Ill. 4 mai 1953
14. Ice cream man
15. Lifetime baby
John Brim, vcl/g; Jimmy Reed, hca; Eddie Taylor, g; Grace Brim, dms. Chicago, Ill. mars 1954
16. Tough times
17. Gary stomp
John Brim, vcl/g; James Dalton, hca; W.C. Dalton, g; Grace Brim, dms. Chicago, Ill. janvier 1955
18. Go away
19. That ain't right
John Brim, vcl/g; Little Walter, hca; Robert Lockwood Jr, g; Willie Dixon, bs; Fred Below, dms. Chicago, Ill. 5 avril 1956
20. Be careful
21. You got me
John Brim, vcl/g; John Brim Jr, g; Steve Brim, bs; Grace Brim, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1971
22. You put the hurt on me
23. Movin' out

Alternate takes and tracks by Grace Brim are not included here

24 commentaires:

  1. New links for Complete John Brim:

    1. New New Links! JOHN BRIM Complete!PI5RBSTC!S1RyqLIbCjQ0cfJ7CPFYg8xpCAoLQ91bJpMU3bGK9Yg
      Grab it while it lasts

  2. Muchas gracias Gerard. Espero que te encuentres bien. Mucho blues. Un abrazo. Blues Syndicate

  3. Muchisimos gracias!

  4. Merci beaucoup Gérard.
    C'est toujours un plaisir extrême de lire tes explications averties dans tes posts.
    Thanks again

  5. Wonderful Gerard, many thanks for this one.

  6. Thank you SO much, Gerard. You are a wealth of knowledge and that you share such wonderful music with us is better than great :D

  7. Thank you very much for the update Gerard.

  8. Merci Gérard, grand travail comme toujours....

  9. Merci beaucoup Gérard
    Même les titres moins connus sont excellents et j'en ai découvert certains avec beaucoup de plaisir

  10. Merci a toi Gerard pour ce post magnifique

  11. another awesome post....thanks for your efforts to keep the old school blues alive and in some instances educating us.

  12. Thanks a lot for your great effort, and for
    bringing us such hidden gems!
    Cheers Daniel, from Spain...

  13. Thank you for this beautiful update!

  14. Quel travail abattu pour nous faire découvrir ces perles du blues... Vous êtes d'utilité publique, merci

  15. A belated thank you for this wonderful collection and for the information you provide here and in your books. More than a few are in English and available on Amazon and elsewhere, and I highly recommend them especially for folks like me who love the blues but don't have a deep knowledge of the genre and the artists who made and are continuing to make it. I cannot conceive of modern American music without crediting the blues as an essential part of its foundation.

    Another benefit of this blog that I greatly appreciate is learning from the comments in English and French of the experts and musicians who often contribute their reflections and appreciation, and on occasion music by the artists about whom you are writing. I wish I could articulate as well as they why the music and information you provide here is so vital for anyone who enjoys the music, but I can't so I'll just say thank you again for this and all of the other posts that have enhanced my blues collection.

  16. Many thanks Gerard, this blog keeps getting better
    and better, these compilations of yours are priceless!

  17. Could you kindly repost this? Thank you very much.

    1. JOHN BRIM/ New Links!PI5RBSTC!S1RyqLIbCjQ0cfJ7CPFYg8xpCAoLQ91bJpMU3bGK9Yg