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dimanche 1 décembre 2019

HOWLIN' WOLF/ Complete Live Recordings 1963-72

HOWLIN' WOLF/ Complete Live Recordings 1963-72 (Re-up)


           
Après avoir essayé de regrouper tous les enregistrements effectués "live" par Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), nous tentons d'en faire de même avec Howlin' Wolf.
            La tâche a été - si possible - encore plus compliquée car s'étendant sur une décennie. Même si Howlin' Wolf a été saisi en concert (au Copacabana Club de Chicago) en 1963 pour une parution sur un LP Argo, il lui a surtout fallu se rendre en Europe avec l'AFBF 1964 pour y être substantiellement enregistré, soit dans le cadre de la tournée officielle soit durant la deuxième tournée qu'il a effectué dans la foulée avec Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin et Clifton James. Il faut noter que peu de ces concerts n'ont été enregistrés pour être publié. Il s'agit essentiellement d'enregistrements effectués par des radios nationales et locales à travers l'Europe dont les stations diffusaient des extraits. Leur qualité technique est correcte dans l'ensemble et permet d'apprécier la teneur complète d'un concert du Wolf à l'époque.
            Les choses se précipitent par la suite. Après que les Rolling Stones durant leur première tournée américaine aient insisté auprès de Shindig, l'émission musicale TV de la chaîne ABC, très populaire auprès des ados, pour qu'y apparaisse Howlin' Wolf avant eux, les concerts américains du Wolf se multiplient et avec eux, les enregistrements sur du matériel de fortune et sans passer par le système d'amplification. A l'exception du concert du 26 janvier 1972 à Alice's Revisited, aucune de ces bandes n'était destinée à être publiée. Elles sont apparus sur des labels plus ou moins pirates au cours des années avec un son souvent très médiocre voire éprouvant. Nous avons essayé d'améliorer autant que possible leur "qualité" sonore mais la tâche a été souvent trop rude! Malgré tout, nous les proposons ici en tant que documents.
            Même s'il n'était encore qu'un jeune sexagénaire, Wolf était très malade, les années de son épouvantable enfance marquée par la violence, l'abus et les privations faisant leur néfaste effet sur sa santé. Après un accident de voiture le 1er janvier 1973, son système rénal arrête de fonctionner et, devant plusieurs fois par semaine subir une dialyse rénale, il continue (par nécessité financière) à tourner et jouer en public. Mais il est très diminué et souvent chante entièrement assis et seulement quelques morceaux, laissant l'essentiel du concert à son orchestre, dirigé par Eddie Shaw. Plusieurs disques pirates de ces dernières années ont paru ici et là que nous avons choisi de ne pas les faire figurer ici, la dernière fois où le Wolf apparaît dans toute sa splendeur étant, à notre avis, le Ann Arbor Jazz & Blues Festival de 1972.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            After those of Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), we have tried to gather all (or the most possible!) live recordings of another blues master, Howlin' Wolf!
            The task has been - if any!- even more complicated because spanning on a decade.
            Even if Howlin' Wolf has been recorded live at the Copacabana Club in 1963 for the Argo LP's "Folk Festival of the Blues", the bulk of his 1960's live recordings was mostly done in Europe. He was one of the big star of the AFBF 1964, taking the dedicated European audiences by storm. His success was such that he and some members of the AFBF line-up (Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin and Clifton James) embarked in the wake for a further tour of Europe until November 1964. If few of those European 1964 gigs were recorded to be issued on LP, they were done by radio stations with good technical equipments and for the purpose to broadcast some tunes during their jazz programmes. Now they are a testimony of what the Wolf sounded at that time when he was in full possession of his considerable talent and stage presence.
            In the USA, Wolf's career took a decisive turn when the Rolling Stones - while touring America in 1965 - insisted with ABC's Shindig, a TV programme very popular to teenagers, that Howlin' Wolf would appear before us. Thus, suddenly, Wolf would be able to be lined-up in festival and concert halls throughout the country before a white audience! Apparently, several of those (and probably still much more laying in the vaults) were recorded, very often on primitive equipments. With the exception of the 1972 Alice's Revisited venue, none of those US recordings had to be issued. They appeared throughout the years on more or less confidential bootleg albums. The sound is sometime very poor and, although we have tried to improve it with our home studio, it's quite often still very bad. We have included them anyway here for documentary purpose more than listening pleasure!
            Unfortunately, even he was only in his early 60's, the Wolf was beginning very ill, the dreadful years of his childhood when he suffered greatly violence, abuse and unbelievable bad treatments (he got his hoarse voice because he wasn't allowed by his uncle to sleep in the house, even during cold winters and he had to beg for food to passengers' trains during the nearby stops) took their harmful toll. After a bad car accident during 1973 New Years' eve, Howlin' Wolf had henceforth to undergo kidney dialysis several times a week. Although he had still to play gigs throughout the country for making a living, he was strongly diminished and mostly played and sung seated and only a few numbers, leaving most of the set to his band, led by Eddie Shaw. Several bootleg recordings of those late concerts have also popped up but we have chosen not to feature them. 
                                         Gérard HERZHAFT
 Pour répondre à de nombreuses demandes, je remets à jour cet article avec de nouveaux liens. Mais, ayant eu des problèmes pour conserver ces liens la première fois, je ne peux savoir combien de temps ils pourront rester valides. Ce sera donc la dernière fois que je mes remettrai en ligne. Aussi, prenez les tant que cela est possible.

I've reuploaded this article and links to answer to numerous queries. But, as I have had problems to keep those links available, I can't say how long they will be available. In any case, it is the last time that I'm re-posting them. So grab them while it lasts!

HOWLIN WOLF/ Complete Recordings 1963-72/ Discography

The very best Howlin' Wolf biography that really explains the man, his greatness and his masterworks has been written by Mark Hoffman, certainly one of the very best blues books


18 commentaires:

  1. HOWLIN WOLF Live; 1963-72
    CD1:
    https://mega.nz/#!mdglDKpL!ESiMu3Am7LfNEH4DczWUArLQqABy8wQERXsU-uv12SM
    CD2:
    https://mega.nz/#!yRoh0CqT!5ER59FlmJpSgpjMqI_A51WWQiXDxD8QprYaqQM6f3SM
    CD3:
    https://mega.nz/#!ONwjSCTR!AZL91t7pLTTI66fK35Nukd8vw8I-caZ268KktGWBocs
    CD4:
    https://mega.nz/#!OJ4BhKYB!7os82pXwIm29oUStimDudHSpcA-9qd0zgZ3PVg3pUs0
    CD5:
    https://mega.nz/#!Xd5j1QYJ!EQMnv4YI_LYI9wce7SfT28DvDZeBYCtXpaDTEMN4Fuk
    CD6:
    https://mega.nz/#!rFxFjaTK!2AH_PuR30fh70lh5T5wdr9swauwCKDbL2GfU7OIjKMA

    OK? Grab'm while you can. I don't know how long it will last!
    And don't forget to say thank you!

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  2. I did not know about his sad childhood!

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    Réponses
    1. Yes he had a dreadful childhood. His father left his mother when he was a baby and she remarried with a bad man who didn't want her former son living with them. So one morning she threw her son aged of 9 out of their home, even without a pair of shoes. He went then to live with an uncle who used him as a semi-slave, beating him severly for anything... If you're interested, his best biography has been written after years of hard researches and multiple intervews with relatives and witnesses by my friend Mark Hoffman, a stunning book about a true blues giant
      https://www.amazon.com/Moanin-Midnight-Life-Times-Howlin/dp/1560256834/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Hoffman+Howlin%27+Wolf&qid=1575279475&s=books&sr=1-1

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  3. Un grand MERCI, Gérard!

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  4. Thank you very much for the Wolf live recordings. Can't hardly wait to listen. Would have loved to have seen him in his prime, climbing the curtains and stuff.

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  5. Thank you. His live recordings have been hard to find!

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  6. Hi Gerard. Is there information available on the Black & Blue label discography and unissued tracks. I love their albums but there does not seem to be much on the internet about them.

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    Réponses
    1. Yes there is even a book that lists the complete Black & Blue discographie. It has been published in France by AFAS in 1995. I don't know if it's still possible to get it. I've just seen one copy was sold by Amazon.com at a dreadful price!

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  7. Thanks again for this great job. Your encyclopedia still amazes me every day. For when an update?

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  8. Thanks again. I remember going to his museum in West Point, MS a few years ago and taking in the other Howlin Wolf sites (murals, statue, etc) in the town.

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  9. thank you! looking forward to llisten these

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  10. Merci, Gerard. I saw Wolf once in '69 in a small folk club in Detroit. I remember his large body sprawled on a (sturdy) wooden chair, growling the blues, with Hubert Sumlin perched over his left shoulder playing sublime guitar licks. Not to be forgotten.
    Sam

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  11. Fantastic post. Moaning At Midnight is a great book. Best I've read regarding him. Thanks tons.

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  12. Many thanks for this. Your hard work and generosity are greatly appreciated.

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  13. Jack Kerouac's Cat6 décembre 2019 à 03:06

    Thank you very much, Gerard!

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  14. What a fantastic compilation! Many thanks, Gerard!

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  15. Wonderful tracks, thanks Gerard. I saw Wolf 3 times, including an amazing show at Max's Kansas City NY after his auto accident. Wolf entered by crawling down the club's carpet, his head rolling from side to side! He vaulted into his chair and played 5 or 6 songs, and then, exhausted, left the band to finish by themselves. The other shows were earlier, with incredible performances and a band that included the amazing Sunnyland Slim on piano. Grateful I had a chance to see the Wolf in his prime....

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