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mercredi 29 juillet 2020

SHORTY LE BLANC/ Louisiana Swamp Music


SHORTY LE BLANC/ Louisiana Swamp Music
With Jay Stutes & Cleveland Crochet

           
In 1960, Sugar bee recorded in Lake Charles by the locally renowned Cajun band of ace musicians: fiddler and leader Cleveland Crochet, accordionist Shorty Le Blanc, steel guitarist Jay B. Stutes, bass player Charlie Babineaux and drummer Clifton Newman climbed extremely high in the Charts, certainly the first major "hit" coming from Cajun country since "Jolie Blonde" and probably the first by a Cajun band itself. Under the wise direction of producer Eddie Shuler (he asked the band to sing in english for a possible wider appeal), the band proved able to keep the deep feeling of Cajun Music while adding a Rock'n'roll backbeat, a driving steel-guitar lead and accordion solos sounding like a blues harmonica plus devastating vocal by Stutes.
            As Shuler told to author John Broven: " During the session... the wailing sounds (that blasted) over the speakers told me the record was chartbound ".
            At first, the local radio stations didn't want to airplay Sugar bee. " I had all kinds of trouble trying to some airplay... I took it to the stations in Lafayette and Baton Rouge but they said it didn't have the right sound... it wasn't Cajun! In desperation I took it to Beaumont where I hoped KJET, a colored station would help with Clarence Garlow as the DJ... the result was like a snowball going down a mountain. It just got bigger and bigger... ".
            In the british pioneer blues magazine Blues Unlimited, Mike Leadbitter wrote in April 1963 a rave review of the record: " Singer is a guy named Jay Stutes whose hysterical shouting vocals and powerful steel guitar make this Cajun-cum-R&B disc into a masterful solo performance. The roaring accordion backing is by Shorty Le Blanc "
           
Vorris "Shorty" Le Blanc was born 24 December 1923 in Lake Arthur (La) from a large family of nine children, almost all playing an instrument. The father Jules Le Blanc was a noted accordionist who played regularly on fais do-do (literally "go to sleep" because the large dance floors had an upper room where the children were sleeping, watched by their grandmothers while the parents danced and drank all night) and brought Vorris with him at an early age. After discharged from the Army during the war years, Shorty Le Blanc married Ruby McGee and worked as a machine shop worker while fronting several bands. Sugar bee made it possible for Le Blanc to make a living from his music a couple of years, recording under his name or as a backing musician for Country stars like Jimmy C. Newman. Unfortunately, Shorty Le Blanc died from cancer on 25 May 1965 at the early age of 42.
            The great singer and steel guitarist, occasionally drummer and bassist Jay Stutes (Jesse Llyod Stutes Sr) was born on 7 September 1933 in Morse (La) and was most of his life a truck driver while playing during week ends. His fiercery vocals and stinging steel guitar must be largely credited to the artistically and commercially success of Sugar bee and most of the tracks he recorded with Crochet, Shorty Le Blanc or under his name. During the 1970's he joined Blackie Forester and the Cajun Aces and recorded with Joel Sonnier. He died in Jennings, La. on 19 May 2000.
           
Fiddler and bandleader Cleveland Crochet was born on 30 January 1919 in Jennings, La but moved to Lake Charles at an early age. He made a living as an ironworker playing music during the week ends. He was the leader of The Hillbilly Ramblers when they recorded Sugar bee for Eddie Shuler. He recorded again during the 1960's but played mostly on local clubs or fais do do. He died in Lake Charles on 28 November 2011.
                                                           Gérard Herzhaft



A lot of thanks to Shorty Le Blanc's grandchild for his help.


I borrowed many infos for this article from the essential John Broven's book South to Louisiana/ The Music of the Cajun Bayous.

 Shorty Le Blanc (Vorris Leblanc), vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; Charlie Babineaux, g; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1957
01. Chere meon (Sha meon waltz)
02. Midnight blues
03. Come back little girl (vcl: Jay Stutes)
04. Telephone Port Arthur (vcl: Jay Stutes)
Shorty Le Blanc, acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. octobre 1960
05. Sugar bee n°1 (vcl: Jay Stutes)
06. Sugar bee n°2 (vcl: Jay Stutes)
07. Drunkard's dream
Shorty Le Blanc, vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1961
08. Sweet thing (vcl: Jay Stutes)
09. Hound dog baby
Shorty Le Blanc, vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. mai 1962
10. Kaw Liga (vcl: Jay Stutes)
11. Soldier's waltz
12. Long long note on my door (vcl: Jay Stutes)
13. Demain, moi je vais me marier (Wedding day) (vcl: Jay Stutes)
14. La branche de mûrier (Waltz of the mulberry limb)
15. Coming home (vcl: Jay Stutes)
Shorty Le Blanc, vcl/acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; S.J. Barrios, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. juin 1963
16. Boss Cajun
17. La valse de chagrin
18. Waltz of a broken heart
Shorty Le Blanc, acc; Cleveland Crochet, fdl; Jay Stutes, st-g; Ivt Vanicor, g; Bradley Stutes, bs; Clifton Newman, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1964
19. My little cabbage
20. Good morning blues (vcl: Jay Stutes)
21. Time and time again (vcl: Jay Stutes)
22. Forgot I was married (vcl: Ivy Vanicor)
23. Three year waltz (vcl: Ivy Vanicor)
24. Rambler's lonely dream (vcl: Ivy Vanicor)
25. Tears of sorrow (vcl: Bradley Stutes)
Jay Stutes, vcl/st-g; band. Lake Charles, La. 1979
26. Hey! Boss man



samedi 18 juillet 2020

ALEC SEWARD/ Complete Recordings 1944-65

ALEC SEWARD



Cet excellent chanteur et guitariste né le 6 mars 1901 à Newport News en Virginie est venu très tôt à New York (à la fin de 1923), à un moment où l'impact du blues d'inspiration rurale était alors très faible dans la "Grande Pomme". Contrairement à de nombreux autres, Seward ne s'est jamais fondu dans la scène du blues jazzy et du R&B new-yorkais qui s'est développée. Mais il est demeuré fidèle au blues traditionnel de la ceinture du tabac où il avait grandi et appris à jouer. L'énorme succès de Blind Boy Fuller a évidemment beaucoup marqué Alec Seward qui utilisera à satiété le style de Fuller.
Seward est un des premiers bluesmen noirs à s'intégrer dans le mouvement folk progressiste qui est parti de New York et de Washington dans les années 1930 auprès de musicologues et d'activistes pour qui le blues noir était une forme de folk song comme les autres. Il rencontre ainsi tous les Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston qui le feront enregistrer avec eux et le présenteront souvent dans leurs émissions de radio. En même temps, Seward fait équipe avec Louis Hayes (un bon chanteur-guitariste originaire de Caroline). Il enregistre entre 1944 et 1946 avec Hayes un nombre de très belles faces en duo vocal et instrumental sous le nom de Jelly Belly & Guitar Slim, The Blues Kings ou The Back Porch Boys.
Hayes, à l'exception de quelques titres pour Apollo, ne retrouvera plus les chemins des studios et disparaîtra on ne sait quand ni où. Seward, lui, peaufine son blues auprès de Brownie Mc Ghee (il se dit qu'il a été un élève de l' école "du blues" qu'avait ouverte Brownie à Harlem!), son frère Sticks Mc Ghee, Champion Jack Dupree, Leroy Dallas, Sonny Terry et tous ceux qui émargent à ce country blues new yorkais plus ou moins souterrain et marginal mais qui n'en demeurera pas moins vivace durant plusieurs décennies.
La guitare expressive et bluesy de Seward va à merveille avec son timbre de voix, embrumé et laconique, et ses compositions sont souvent fortes bien que son titre le plus célèbre (Late one Saturday evening) est dû à la plume de Big Bill Broonzy. Alec retournera sporadiquement dans les studios. On le trouve en 1953 avec Sonny Terry pour une brillante séance du label Elektra qui le voit chanter sur quatre titres.
            Il lui faudra attendre encore douze ans de plus pour le voir graver un album pour le label Bluesville, cette fois en compagnie de l'harmonica de Larry Johnson, un talent alors jeune et prometteur de la scène newyorkaise.
            Bien que très malade, Seward continuera à se produire sporadiquement dans différents clubs folk mais son affection l'empêchera de s'éloigner trop de son domicile newyorkais et il devra hélas refuser l'offre d'une tournée européenne ce qui, n'en doutons pas, aurait fait beaucoup pour élargir son audience. Il décède à New York le 11 mai 1972.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            Alec Seward was born 6 May 1901 at Newport News (Va) and was already a good guitarist when he came to New York in the mid-20's. Unlike many of the bluesmen coming to live in New York City, the black music scene being then essentially jazz oriented, Alec always played only his acoustic blues (music being not for him his main job), more and more influenced by the huge commercial success of Blind Boy Fuller's records, particularly on his many lowdown deep blues.
            During the early post war years, Alec Seward was part of the New York folk revival, meeting Moses Asch, Alan Lomax and playing, recording and broadcasting with Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie or Cisco Houston... During the same time, he also created a blues duo with another East Coast bluesman Louis Hayes from Carolina with whom he recorded between 1944 and 1946 some vocal and instrumental duets under several nicknames (Jelly Belly & Guitar Slim, The Blues Kings, The Back Porch Boys). Here are included only the tracks from those sessions where Seward is the sole singer.
            Hayes will only record a couple of tracks for the Apollo label before vanishing into obscurity while Seward befriended with Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry (he was said to be a student of the short lived Brownie's School of the Blues!). Seward recorded four excellent tracks with Sonny Terry in 1953, particularly the gripping Big Bill Broonzy penned Late one Saturday evening where his expressive and very bluesy guitar playing blends in perfectly with his smoky and laconic voice.
            Although he played regularly in house parties, folk clubs and on some radios, Alec would have to wait another twelve years to record a whole album for the Bluesville label, this time backed by a then young promising bluesman Larry Johnson (who plays harp behind Alec). But very ill, Alec won't be able to tour Europe in the late 1960's. He died in New York 11 May 1972.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


ALEC SEWARD
Complete Recordings 1947-65
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Louis Hayes, g. New York City, september 1947
01. Big hip mama
02. King Kong blues
03. Friday the 19th blues
04. Be kind blues
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Louis Hayes, g. New York City, 1948
05. Don't leave me all by myself
06. Railroad blues
07. Bad acting woman
08. Early morning blues
09. Hard luck blues
10. Why oh why
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Louis Hayes, g. Baltimore, MD. 1949
11. I've been dreaming
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Sonny Terry, hca. New York City, december 1953
12. Late one saturday evening
13. Little Annie
14. Down in the bottom
15. Hard luck blues
Alec Seward, vcl/g; Larry Johnson, hca. New York City, 1965
16. Big hip mama
17. Evil woman blues
18. Going down slow
19. Sweet woman
20. Some people say
21. Creepin' blues
22. I made a mistake in love
23. Piney woods
24. Late saturday evening
25. Let a good thing do

jeudi 16 juillet 2020

LONNIE BROOKS/ From Guitar Jr to Lonnie Brooks

FROM GUITAR Jr TO LONNIE BROOKS




FROM GUITAR JUNIOR TO LONNIE BROOKS



            Comme Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks est né en Louisiane, a été très influencé par Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) avant de monter à Chicago et y devenir un artiste important du Chicago blues. Mais, à la différence de Buddy Guy, Brooks a, lui, substantiellement enregistré en Louisiane avant de recommencer une carrière différente à Chicago, changeant de pseudonyme au passage.
            En fait, tout commence avec Lee Baker Jr qui naît à Dubuisson (La), une bourgade très proche de Ville Platte, le 18 décembre 1933. Son père, banjoïste à ses heures, lui inculque l'amour de la musique et le jeune Lee écoute les musiques jouées autour de lui: Cajun, Jazz, Pop... Comme beaucoup, il quitte la ferme familiale à l'adolescence pour tenter sa chance dans le grand port du Golfe du Mexique, Port Arthur. La grande vedette du début des années 50 dans cette région est le guitariste et chanteur Guitar Slim (auteur de l'immortel Things I used to do) qui marque autant par ses talents de guitariste électrique torride, son chant passionné que par son jeu de scène. C'est totalement sous l'influence de Guitar Slim que Lee Baker apprend la guitare, se met à chanter et fait quelques remplacements dans divers orchestres locaux dont celui de Clifton Chenier.
            Mais c'est l'avisé producteur Eddie Shuler qui repère le jeune Lee Baker Jr, séduit par sa capacité à imiter Guitar Slim à la perfection. Il rebaptise son protégé Guitar Jr afin que nul ne puisse se tromper sur la filiation assumée et volontaire et l'enregistre pour son label Goldband dans le style néo-orléanais de son idole dès 1957. Le succès est au rendez-vous avec Family Rules et The crawl, devenus des classiques louisianais entre blues et Swamp Pop. Guitar Jr fait aussi des progrès très rapides à la guitare et à la mort de Guitar Slim en 1959, il décide de donner un autre tournant à sa carrière. Il quitte la Louisiane qu'il pense trop fermée et part s'installer à Chicago où d'autres Guitar Jr existent déjà. Lee Baker Jr aka Guitar Junior devient alors Lonnie Brooks, un patronyme venu de la famille de sa mère.
            La mutation à Chicago se fait difficilement et Lonnie Brooks doit substantiellement adapter son style de chant et de guitare aux canons en vigueur aux bords du Lac Michigan. Mais là aussi comme son compatriote Buddy Guy, il conservera toujours nombre de traits musicaux et scéniques de Guitar Slim.
            Pendant un temps, Lonnie Brooks végète dans les petits clubs, accompagne Jimmy Reed, enregistre quelques 45t pour différents petits labels qui sont aujourd'hui difficiles à trouver. En 1969, lors d'une tournée en Californie, le label Capitol où travaille Wayne Shuler (le fils d'Eddie) lui fait enregistrer son premier album (Broke & Hungry) sous le nom de Guitar Jr et dans le pur style louisianais des productions Goldband. Le LP de bonne facture se vend très mal et notre bluesman retourne à Chicago et conservera désormais le nom de Lonnie Brooks.
            Quelques années plus tard, l'excellente série Living Chicago blues du label Alligator révèlera vraiment Lonnie Brooks qui, en quelques disques, s'imposera comme un des principaux talents du nouveau Chicago blues teinté de Soul et de Funk avec, chez Brooks, de très fortes réminiscences de Guitar Slim.
            Nous avons regroupé ici la quasi-totalité des titres que Lee Baker/ Guitar Jr/ Lonnie Brooks a enregistrés entre 1957 et 1969 et qui permettent de voir un artiste qui se cherche, forge progressivement son style qui puise à différents terreaux. Une fois encore merci à Hartmut Münnich et Benoit Blue Boy pour le prêt de leurs rares 45t.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Like Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks was born in Louisiana, was also strongly influenced by Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones from Things I used to do fame), and also transplanted this very Louisiana style in Chicago.
            But unlike Buddy Guy, Lonnie recorded several records and at least two hits in his native state before moving to Chicago.
            Born Lee Baker Jr (on 18 December 1933 in Dubuisson, near Ville Platte) from a farming family with a banjo playing father, the young man went to the burgeoning Port Arthur on the Gulf Coast in the early 50's to make a better living. The big name of the era and the whole South West was Guitar Slim whose incendiary guitar playing, scorching vocals and stage histrionics persuaded Lee Baker to learn guitar and try his luck as a musician in the very style of his idol. After some local gigs and a short stint with Clifton Chenier, the young man was really discovered by Eddie Shuler, head of Goldband Records. Eddie renamed Lee Baker as Guitar Jr, featured him as a rival of Guitar Slim and recorded him in 1957 in a Louisiana bluesy Swamp Pop style. Family rules and The crawl were local hits and soon Guitar Jr toured the South, becoming quickly a very good guitar player on his own while retaining a strong influence of Guitar Slim.
            At the untimely death of Slim, Guitar Jr who was on tour with Sam Cooke, decided to quit Louisiana and Goldband altogether to try to launch a wider career in Chicago. But the times were hard in the Windy City and nobody was really waiting for a newcomer from the South West who was there largely unknown. As there were already several Guitar Jr playing the blues in Chicago, Lee Baker took the name of Lonnie Brooks, apparently from his mother's family.

            Lonnie played and recorded with Jimmy Reed and, during the 60's, went into the studios for several labels (mostly small ones), waxing some hard to find tracks. In 1969, while on tour in California, Lonnie was recorded by Capitol whose producer Wayne Shuler (the son of Eddie) knew him of course from his Louisiana days. For his first album (Broke &Hungry he took again the Guitar Jr moniker and the Louisiana style. But the album went nowhere and our man was soon back in Chicago, this time as Lonnie Brooks for good.
            Some years later, Alligator's Bruce Iglauer gave him his real start featuring him on his magnificent Living Chicago Blues series. With subsequent albums for the label, Brooks was finally recognized as one of the leading name of a new kind of Modern Chicago blues, mixing Soul, blues and, of course in the case of our man, still a strong influence of Guitar Slim.
            This .mp3 collection gathers most of his early recordings. Once again, many thanks to Hartmut Münnich and Benoit Blue Boy for the generous share of their collections.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT




New Links/ cf Comments





LONNIE BROOKS
Complete Early Recordings
Lonnie Brooks (Lee Baker Jr or Guitar Jr) vcl/g; Clarence Garlow, g; Danny George, t-sax; Leroy James, a-sax; Joe Joseph, pno; Willie Chiasson, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1957
01. I got it made
02. Family rules
03. Roll roll roll
04. Broken hearted rollin' tears
Lonnie Brooks , vcl/g; , vcl/g; similar band. Lake Charles, La. 1958
05. The crawl
06. Now you know
07. Going crazy baby
08. Tell me baby
Lonnie Brooks , vcl/g; , vcl/g; Danny George, t-sax; Leroy James, a-sax; Joe Joseph, pno; Willie Chiasson, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1959
09. Pick me up on your way down
10. Get it
11. Please
12. Love me love me Mary Ann
13. Ooh Wee baby
Lonnie Brooks , vcl/g; , vcl/g; Leroy James, t-sax; Katie Webster, og; Sid Lawrence, bs; Little Brother Griffin, dms. Lake Charles, La. 19 janvier 1960
14. Love me love me
15. Knocks me out
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Lefty Bates, g; bs: dms. Chicago, Ill. 11 mai 1960
16. All of my life
17. The hoss
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; og; bs; dms. Chicago, Ill. 1 novembre 1962
18. Mr Hot Shot
19. The popeye
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Billy Emerson, og; King Edward, g; Nolan Struck, bs; Jerome Price, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1964
20. I'm not going home
21. Figure head
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Detroit Jr, pno; Nolan Struck, bs; Jerome Price, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1965
22. The train
23. The frog
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Joe Evans, flt/t-sax; Detroit Jr, pno/og; Pete Randolph, bs; Harold Tidwell, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1967
24. Demonstrating (Let it all hang out)
25. One sunny day
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; band. Chicago, Ill. 1967
26. Good soul lovin
27. Soul meeting
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Harmonica Fats, hca; Don Randi, pno; Don Peake, g; Lyle Ritz, bs; Paul Humphrey, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 6-8 octobre 1969
28. Things I used to do
29. Go to the Mardi Gras
30. Texas Flood
31. Tom Cat blues
32. Rooster blues
33. The train and the horse
34. Broke & hungry
35. When there's no way out
36. Dont touch me baby
37. Bed bug blues
38. Wee wee hours
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Willie Mabon, pno; Hubert Sumlin, g; Little Mack Simmons, hca; Dave Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms. Paris, Fr. décembre 1974
39. Big leg woman
40. Crazy about my baby
41. Crosscut saw
42. Reconsider baby
43. Sweet home Chicago
44. The train and the horse
45. Two guitars shuffle
46. Mama talk to your daughter
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Bob Levis, g; Rob Waters, pno; Harlan Terson, bs; Robert Taylor Layton, dms. Chicago, Ill. 24 mars 1977
47. Let's talk it over
48. Hard gamblin' woman
49. Crash head on into love
50. If you want me to love you
51. Reconsider baby
52. Greasy man
Lonnie Brooks, vcl/g; Bob Levis, g; Rob Waters, pno; Harlan Terson, bs; Casey Jones, dms. Chicago, Ill. avril 1978
53. Don't answer the door
54. Two headed man
55. Cold lonely nights
56. Move over little dog

Benoit Blue Boy qui connaît particulièrement les productions Goldband nous apporte ses corrections et amendements à cette discographie:
Il y a 3 versions de Goin' Crazy dont une qui a été nommée "Oo Wee Baby". Ces titres on eté retouvés au studio Golband en 1982 mais c'est le meme morceau ,meme seance.
Family Rules  (enregistré fin 1956) a été un hit en Louisiane & East Texas en 1957
Tous les titres Goldband datent de 1956 - 59 &  les Mercury datent d'une seule seance a Chicago  1960 ". 

There is some confusion on the 1957-59 Goldband's recording dates. Benoit Blue Boy who knows very well the Goldband sessions gives very different dates and even titles with three versions of Goin' Crazy (one named Oo Wee baby). Family rules would have been recorded in 1956. All the Goldband sides were recorded between 1956 and 1959.

mercredi 15 juillet 2020

DETROIT Jr/ Complete Early Recordings

DETROIT Jr/ Complete Early Recordings
(New Links)

           
De l'Arkansas (où il est né à Haynes le 26 octobre 1931) à Detroit et Flint - un séjour qui lui donnera son surnom - puis Chicago en 1955, l'itinéraire d'Emery Williams Jr ne diffère guère de celui de la plupart des bluesmen de sa génération. Les années d'apprentissage passées dans les juke-joints du Sud laissent leur marque sur son jeu de piano, sans subtilités mais puissant et carré, ainsi que sur sa voix qui semble perpétuellement essayer de dissiper une brume épaisse de fumées et de vapeurs d'alcool. Son ton laconique fait encore davantage ressortir l'humour grinçant de la plupart de ses compositions.
            Pris sous l'aile protectrice d'Eddie Boyd dès son arrivée à Chicago dans les années 50, Detroit Jr devient un pilier des clubs de la ville. Il fait partie des orchestres de Morris Pejoe, Lefty Dizz, Little Mack Simmons et enregistre pour Bea & Baby, Chess, CJ, Palos plusieurs blues marquants dont certains sont des succès locaux: Money tree et le désopilant Call my job en 1965. Mais le Chicago blues de cette époque est en crise et seuls les grands noms vont réussir à survivre. Detroit Jr reprend son rôle d'accompagnateur dans divers groupes, en particulier derrière Howlin' Wolf. Le Blues Revival ne fait que l'effleurer malgré, en 1971, un excellent microsillon, Chicago urban blues, produit par Al Smith où Detroit Jr, en grande forme, est accompagné par le guitariste Mighty Joe Young. Cette verve est intacte sur les quatre titres que le pianiste enregistre en 1980 pour l'anthologie Living Chicago blues (Alligator).
            Par la suite, Detroit Jr a continué d'écumer les clubs de Chicago, parfois en compagnie du guitariste L.C. Roby, enregistrant encore quelques excellents albums, notamment Blues on the Internet, son dernier pour Delmark. Il décède le 9 août 2005 à Chicago.
            Tous nos remerciements pour Steve Wisner, Robert Barleigh. et Blues4Sale qui nous ont généreusement fourni les titres les plus rares de Detroit Jr.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            From Haynes, Arkansas (where he was born on 26 October, 1931) to Detroit and Flint where he get his nickname and where he worked three years in automobile plants to Chicago in 1955, Emery Williams Jr has followed the same path that many Chicago bluesmen. He learned the church organ at an early age and became a noted piano player in local juke joints. He will always keep his no-nonsense «barrelhouse» style of playing and his effective and fascinating voice, seeming always winning a hard battle against alcohol vapors and curls of smoke. All along his career he will also be able to write some first rate blues filled with a very personal wry and caustic humor.
            When in Chicago, Detroit Jr was taken under his wing by Eddie Boyd who introduced him in clubs and studios. During the 1950’s and 60’s Detroit Jr played with several bands (Morris Pejoe, Lefty Dizz, Little Mack Simmons) and recorded substantially for Bea & Baby, Chess, C.J., Palos, gaining local hits with Money tree or Call my job, two titles that have become blues classics until this day. But in the mid-60’s, the times were hard for the blues. Despite a very good LP for Al Smith, his solo career went nowhere and Jr found a better and steady job as a regular member of the Wolf Gang, behind Howlin’ Wolf and, after Wolf’s death, with Eddie Shaw’s Wolf Gang. He will have to wait the 1980’s and his excellent participation to Alligator’s legendary series Living Chicago Blues to resume his solo career, touring Europe quite often, staging on the main blues festivals and recordings several good albums whose the best might be his last for Delmark, Blues on the Internet. Detroit Jr died in Chicago on August 9th, 2005.
            A lot of thanks to Steve Wiseman, Robert Barleigh and Blues4Sale who have generously shared their very rare records.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


DETROIT Jr/ Early Recordings
Complete Recordings
Detroit Jr (Emery Williams Jr), vcl/pno; Little Mack Simmons, vcls; Eddie King, g/vcls; Bob Anderson, bs; Robert Whitehead, dms. ChicagoIll. 18 février 1960
01. Money tree
02. So unhappy
Detroit Jr, vcl/pno; saxes; Eddie King, g; Willie Dixon, bs; Fred below, dms. ChicagoIll. Mai 1960
03. Too poor
04. You mean everything to me
Detroit Junior, vcl/pno; Milton Bland, t-sax; Phil Upchurch, g/bs; Freddy Robinson, g/bs; Billy Davenport, dms; Harold Burrage, bells/sp. Chicago, Ill. 1960
05. This time for Xmas
06. Christmas day
Detroit Junior, vcl/pno; Johnny Campbelle, t-sax; saxes; band; The Troyettes, vcls. Chicago, ill. 1962
07. Money’s no problem
08. Different dances
Detroit Junior, vcl; saxes; James Wheeler, g; Lafayette Leake, pno; Johnny Howard, bs; dms. ChicagoIll. 11 juillet 1964
09. Zig zag
10. I’ll find me another girl
11. Can't take it
12. Mother in law
13. Don't unpack
Detroit Junior, vcl/pno; Ike Perkins, g; band. ChicagoIll. 29 mai 1965
14. Talk fast
15. It’s bad to make a woman mad
Detroit Junior, vcl/pno; Maria, vcls; Lonnie Brooks, g; bs; Harold Tidwell, dms. ChicagoIll. juillet 1965
16. Call my job
17. The way I feel
Detroit Jr, vcl/pno; Fenton Robinson, g; Burgess Gardner, t-sax; Bob Anderson, bs Billy Davenport, dms. ChicagoIll. 1966
18. All through with love
19. Come on in
Detroit Junior, vcl/pno; Lafayette Leake, pno; band; Louis Satterfield, bs. ChicagoIll. 27 septembre 1967
20. Secret love
21. Young blood
Detroit Junior, vcl/pno; Mighty Joe Young, g; Little Mack Simmons, hca; Jimmy Richards, bs; Bill Warren, dms. ChicagoIll. 1972
22. Money crazy
23. Windy city blues
24. Dance with me baby
25. So unhappy (1972)
26. Welfare blues
27. Don’t get in my shape
28. Call my job
29. My weakness is women
30. Alice
31. Christmas blues (1972)