The blues recording industry began in New York City and for most of the 1920s, musicians travelled from all parts of the country to make their mark in the recording studio. Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey were amongst the most popular female singers but they were soon rivaled by the likes of Lonnie Johnson, Robert ‘Barbecue Bob’ Hicks, Texas Alexander and Mississippi John Hurt. Kansas Joe McCoy cut ‘When The Levee Breaks’, justly famous in its Led Zeppelin incarnation, in the city.
The fourth of Motorpsycho’s expanded archival sets revisits 1997’s Angels and Daemons at Play – a chronological and developmental follow-on from the earlier Blissard set…
Jethro Tull's 11th studio album, Heavy Horses, is one of their prettier records, a veritable celebration of English folk music chock-full of gorgeous melodies, briskly played acoustic guitars and mandolins, and Ian Anderson's lilting flute backed by the group in top form. 2018's 40th Anniversary "New Shoes Edition" is a three-CD/two-DVD box packaged similarly to the anniversary versions of Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, Minstrel in the Gallery and Songs from the Wood. It includes a Steven Wilson stereo remix of the album and nine "associated studio recordings" – seven on the first disc are previously unreleased – and a 1978 concert from Berne, Switzerland spread across discs two and three, remixed by King Crimson's Jakko M. Jakszyk. The two DVDs feature 97 audio and video tracks, with studio work (including bonus tracks) remixed to 5.1 (and stereo) by Wilson, with the live material handled by Jakszyk. The latter two discs also include a flat transfer of the original album's mix, some promotional video footage, and two period television ads.
It is no exaggeration to call Little Walter the Jimi Hendrix of the electric harp: he redefined what the instrument was and what it could do, pushing the instrument so far into the future that his music still sounds modern decades after it was recorded. Little Walter wasn't the first musician to amplify the harmonica but he arguably was the first to make the harp sound electric, twisting twitching, vibrant runs out of his instrument; nearly stealing the show from Muddy Waters on his earliest Chess recordings; and so impressing Leonard Chess that he made Muddy keep Walter as his harpist even after Waters broke up his band. Chess also made Walter into his studio's house harpist and started to release Little Walter solo records with the instrumental "Juke" in 1952. "Juke" became a smash hit and turned Little Walter into a star, making him a steady presence on the '50s R&B charts.