28 hot rockers, cool boppers and Cajun thumpers from Louisiana and South East Texas. This exciting new addition to our popular “By The Bayou” series features 28 tracks from the vaults of Louisiana and South East Texas record men J.D. Miller, Eddie Shuler, Sam Montel, Pappy Daily, Huey Meaux, George Khoury, Joe Ruffino, Diamond Jim Wheeler and Melvin Dodge, plus tracks by Louisiana artists recorded by Murray Nash and Dee Marais. This might be the 16th in the series but it continues to unearth unknown goodies and dust off long-forgotten gems.
Ten volumes into their seemingly never-ending, always-excellent By the Bayou series, Ace returns to R&B for Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies. Like nearly all of its predecessors, this is primarily archival – i.e., there aren't a lot of familiar names, but there are acts that have popped up on previous Bayou installments because, at this point, it's been proven that the well is deep but not fathomless. Newly discovered cuts by unknowns can hardly be called "recycling," and this, like its cousins, is pretty close to straight-up aural dynamite.
A limited edition 2CD set featuring 52 rare studio and live recordings, including 20 previously unissued. Package includes a bumper 40-page booklet containing many unpublished photographs and a definitive 12,000 word essay incorporating interviews with several band members. Johnny & the Hurricanes fans – standby to celebrate! This is unlike any other compilation on the market. Instead of the same old titles forever recycled, we have collected together many tracks that you will be hearing for the first time. With 20 unreleased tracks plus piles of rarities this bumper set is easily the most exciting release in decades from one of rock’n’roll’s most-loved bands.
Stupendously rare or unissued New Orleans R&B and blues in incomparable sound quality. Despite being based in Linden, New Jersey, DeLuxe recorded all across the USA in the company’s formative period in an attempt to score hits. DeLuxe was the first indie to tap into what was going on in the Crescent City in the years immediately following WWII. The label’s biggest find during that time was Roy Brown, the subject of two CDs in our “King & DeLuxe Acetates” series. In “Beef Ball Baby!” you can hear the surviving acetates of some of the other highly talented people DeLuxe recorded in New Orleans in the acetate era.
Raw blues gems trawled from the swamps of South Louisiana, plus a touch of zydeco. Ten tracks are previously unreleased or alternate takes, while the other 18 are extremely rare. Baton Rouge was arguably the blues centre of Louisiana and just about all of the artists featured in this compilation spent part of their lives there. Long-time favourites Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester, Slim Harpo and Silas Hogan certainly honed their skills in its clubs and bars, although they travelled some 70 miles west to record at J.D. Miller’s studio in Crowley. Everything here emanated from Miller’s studio or from his close rival Eddie Shuler’s facility in Lake Charles, except series newcomer Chris Kenner’s track, which was cut in New Orleans. Other artists new to the series are Henry Gray, Juke Boy Bonner, Elton Anderson, Ramblin’ Hi Harris and Schoolboy Cleve.
It may open up with Aaron Neville's 1993 rendition of George Jones' classic "The Grand Tour," but Ace's 2012 compilation Behind Closed Doors: Where Country Meets Soul focuses on the golden age of country soul – the late '60s and early '70s, the age when the borders between these two strands of southern American music became decidedly blurring. And many of the 23 cuts on Behind Closed Doors are firmly within the Southern soul tradition – slow, smoky, gritty, and soulful, anchored by languid stride piano and buttressed by muscular horns.
The great bluesman B.B. King, who died in 2015, was one of the few artists whose every note was of interest. This 25-track CD of mostly previously unissued recordings are drawn from his sessions for Modern Records between 1954 and 1962. Be Careful Baby is a rare thing a B.B. King song that has never been released before in any version, while two tracks appeared on Ace's 2014 RPM compilation Speak Easy. The version of Catfish Blues is from a completely different session to the familiar issued version and from B.B.'s commentary appears to be the version he played on the road. There are many comments from B.B. and the band which provide an insight into the recording process and B.B.'s relaxed and informal manner in the studio. The CD ends with a previous unheard interview, recorded backstage at the Fillmore Ballroom in San Francisco with radio station KSAY at the 10/10 spot on your dial. All tracks are from the original master tapes.
Sweet Dreams: Where Country Meets Soul, Ace's second dip into the country-soul well, is every bit as good as its 2012 predecessor. Basically, it's cut from the same cloth as the first volume, concentrating on recordings from the late '60s but stretching deep into the '70s (Millie Jackson's "Sweet Music Man" dates from 1977), with Ted Taylor's 1962 "I'll Release You" and Orquestra Was' 1996 "Forever's a Long, Long Time Ago" functioning as de facto ringers. "Forever's a Long, Long Time Ago" may fit aesthetically but certainly not sonically, as it's a crisp digital blast on a collection devoted to warm, lush, analog soul.
If the release of Cold Cold Heart proves anything, it's that Where Country Meets Soul is one of Ace Records' most popular series of the 2010s. If this third volume proves anything else, it's that the well of country-soul has hardly been tapped dry by compiler Tony Rounce and the label. Apart from a handful of tracks cut in the early '60s right in the wake of Ray Charles' groundbreaking Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music plus a few sides cut in the disco era or later, Cold Cold Heart is firmly grounded in the late-'60s heyday of soul music.
Not a set of country-styled soul music – as you might guess from the title – and instead a package that shows the undeniable influence that soul music songs had on the sound of country music in the 60s and 70s! The flipside of the scene has been well-documented on collections of western-tinged soul music we've stocked in the past – but this great set is the first we've ever heard to show the way that country singers were able to easily pick up hit soul songs of the time, then recraft them completely with a whole new sort of style!