mercredi 28 avril 2010

Honky Tonk! The King & Federal R&B Instrumentals

With Bill Doggett and Freddy King alone, the King/Federal labels had two of the most popular and significant instrumental R&B/rock hitmakers of the 1950s and early '60s. Both are represented by their most popular instrumental tracks (four by Doggett, three by King) here. But this compilation, assembling 24 instrumentals from 1948-1964, also demonstrates that King/Federal was quite active in the instrumental R&B field beyond its work with those two artists. In many of the 24 cuts (particularly the earliest ones), the label mined R&B/jazz crossover sounds with a smoky barroom flavor. Giving the sleeve a casual glance, most would assume that the material for the most part flopped upon release, but actually a few of these were big (if virtually forgotten) R&B hits, like Todd Rhodes' "Blues for the Red Boy" (from 1948), Earl Bostic's effervescent "Flamingo" (from 1951), and Sonny Thompson's shuffling "Long Gone" (1948), a groundbreaker in that it not only sat atop the R&B charts for a long time but also made the pop Top 30. Beyond that, things do get rather generic, even though there are some relatively big names like Mickey Baker and King Curtis (heard backing Washboard Bill) and future James Brown sideman Jimmy Nolen (who shines on blues guitar on the 1956 single "After Hours"/"Strollin' With Nolen"). There's no denying, however, that Doggett's massive and classic "Honky Tonk" (parts one and two are both here) and King's snazzy blues guitar instrumentals are easily the most worthwhile items on board. There is, however, one other great cut: Johnny "Guitar" Watson's astonishingly futuristic 1954 workout "Space Guitar" (released under the billing Young John Watson), one of the great relatively obscure classics of the mid-'50s.

01 - Honky Tonk, Pt. 1 - Bill Doggett
02 - Honky Tonk, Pt. 2 - Bill Doggett
03 - Hide Away - Freddie King
04 - Blues for the Red Boy - Todd Rhodes
05 - Flamingo - Earl Bostic & His Orchestra
06 - Long Gone, Pt. 1 - Sonny Thompson
07 - Long Gone, Pt. 2 - Sonny Thompson
09 - Big Push - Cal Green
10 - After Hours - Jimmy Nolen
11 - Slow Walk - Bill Doggett
12 - San-Ho-Zay - Freddie King
13 - Washboard Story - Mickey Baker, King Curtis, Washboard Bill
14 - Early in the Morning Blues - Johnny Otis, Johnny "Guitar" Watson
15 - Green's Blues - Cal Green
16 - Gainesville - Roy Gaines
17 - Strollin' With Nolen - Jimmy Nolen
18 - In the Morning - Mickey Baker, King Curtis, Washboard Bill
19 - Space Guitar - Johnny "Guitar" Watson
20 - Louisiana Hop - Pete "Guitar" Lewis
21 - River Boat Dock - Mickey Baker, King Curtis, Washboard Bill
22 - Let's Rock (Let's Surf Awhile) - Johnny Otis, Johnny "Guitar" Watson
23 - Stumble - Freddie King
24 - Hold It - Bill Doggett

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2 commentaires:

  1. Various Artists : Honky Tonk! The King & Federal R&B Instrumentals :

    Link :

  2. Early In The Morning Blues by Johnny Otis with Johnny Guitar Watson is "rather generic"? Seriously?