Genuine Negro Jig


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The Carolina Chocolate Drops are as much about revelation as revival. On its Nonesuch debut, Genuine Negro Jig, the trio brings exuberance, humor, virtuosity and an infectious
acoustic groove to its exploration of a near-forgotten brand of banjo-driven string-band music originating more than a century ago in the foothills of North Carolina, the Piedmont region where band members Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson were raised. In this rural area, musicians, both black and white, once shared and swapped tunes. Over the decades, the importance of the African-American role in string-band music was diminished, its sound and significance
co-opted by minstrel shows and segregated by record labels. CCD — under the tutelage of nonagenarian fiddler player Joe Thompson, one of the last surviving Piedmont musicians – have reclaimed the old-time songs, making them vital and fresh for right now, reasserting in the process the African roots of the banjo.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops have won over crowds at the Newport Folk Festival, on such National Public Radio shows as Mountain Stage and A Prairie Home Companion, and on tours through Europe. Denzel Washington personally selected the trio to appear in his critically acclaimed 2007 directorial effort, The Great Debaters. In a review of a CCD Kennedy Center performance, The Washington Post declared, 'Their set was anything but academic… these instrument-swapping residents of Durham, N.C., kept the audience active with speedy strumming, jug-blowing and percussion via carved
hand-held bones and foot-banging syncopation.' The Boston Globe concurred: 'The acoustic trio – banjo, fiddle, guitar – managed the minor miracle of evoking a sepia- drenched era of mountain music… Giddens, Robinson and Dom Flemons, all multi- instrumentalists and vocalists, conveyed their deep knowledge with a sense of reverence and studied antiquity- including their simple, era-appropriate costumes – and a contagious, abundant joy.'
After two self-recorded independent releases, CCD chose to work with producer Joe Henry on Genuine Negro Jig. As with his production on Allen Toussaint's The Bright Mississippi, Henry emphasizes simplicity, clarity, interaction; with its striking lack of studio frills, the emphasis is on the spirit of these performances, which are often as intense as they are exhilarating.
Uptempo numbers like live-show favorite 'Cornbread and Butterbeans' and 'Sandy Boys' are immediate standouts, though slow-burning, moody tracks like 'Kissin' and Cussin' and 'Snowden's Jig (Genuine Negro Jig)' prove to be
downright haunting. The versatile Giddens performs the Celtic-style balladry of 'Reynadine' acapella; she's equally convincing taking lead on a brilliant recasting of the 2001 Blu Cantrell R&B-dance hit, 'Hit Em Up Style' Genuine Negro Jig starts out with the specific but winds up with the universal; this is music that has literally traveled continents and
centuries to achieve a brand new relevance, a shared history still in the making.

Black Rock


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Just awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the UK's prestigious Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, blues-rock guitar hero and singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa is set to release his tenth full-length solo album, BLACK ROCK, on March 23, 2010. This album was recorded at, and named for, Black Rock Studios in Santorini, Greece. With this album, we wanted to explore a world feeling, and this was the inspiration behind going to record in Greece and using some of the best Greek musicians to add a little flavor to a couple of the tracks. But it s by no means a world album. We wanted Joe s usual youthful and energetic tones to play alongside the worldly vibes of the Greek bouzouki and clarino, said producer Kevin Shirley. Bonamassa says, It was the kind of record Kevin and I wanted to make. We needed to rock again a bit like on my first album. I wrote the whole thing there. Also Joe signed up Blues legend B.B. King for a duet on his new album. The song they perform together is a rendition of the Willie Nelson-penned song, Night Life, which appeared on King s 1967 album BLUES IS KING. Shirley says about the experience, This is a rollicking Stonesy-vibe version of the Willie Nelson song on which B.B. King duets with Joe, both vocally and on his famous Lucille guitar. What a joy and an honor to work with the legend who is possibly the pivot point and unifying musician between Blues and Rock. Other tracks appearing on BLACK ROCK include Jeff Beck s Spanish Boots, Leonard Cohen s poetic Bird On A Wire, Otis Rush's Three Times A Fool, Bobby Parker's Steal Your Heart Away, Blind Boy Fuller's Baby, You Gotta Change Your Mind, John Hiatt's I Know A Place, and James Clark's Look Over Yonders Wall, as well as the originals When The Fire Hits The Sea, Quarryman's Lament, Wandering Earth, Athens To Athens and Blue and Evil.

THE BEST OF K.C. & THE SUNSHINE BAND


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Budget-priced 1996 compilation on EMI featuring 16 of the funky '70s disco band's best. Contains eight of their top 40hits, including all five of their #1 smashes: 'Get Down Tonight', 'That's The Way (I Like It)', '(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty', 'I'm Your Boogie Man' and 'Please Don't Go', plus the #2 'Keep It Comin' Love'.

Smokestack Lightning: Complete Chess Masters


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"When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said, 'This is for me.' This is where the soul of man never dies."

–Sam Phillips Perhaps the most unique and powerful performer in the history of the blues, Chester Arthur Burnett, a/k/a Howlin' Wolf, created a remarkable catalog of music for Chess Records beginning 60 years ago, in 1951, right into the 1970s. The Mississippi native first brought his ferocious, attacking style to Sam Phillips's Memphis studio, and the legendary founder of Sun Records would then send the recordings to Chess in Chicago. Less than three years later, Wolf migrated to the Windy City and thereafter recorded directly for Leonard and Phil Chess. Within another year, Willie Dixon was brought in as studio bassist and contributing songwriter. The result of these musical interactions was Wolf creating a litany of masterworks throughout his first decade of recording, a stellar songbook that ranged from his great first Chess single, "Moanin' At Midnight" b/w "How Many More Years," through the last session presented on this box set featuring three classic Willie Dixon tunes: "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man" and "Spoonful." There's also "Evil," "Smokestack Lightnin'," "I Asked For Water," "Sittin' On Top Of The World" and so on. The 97 tracks here on these 4 CDs (including many rarities) are simply the recordings that established a legend –the crux of the reason The Wolf is celebrated by music fans of all stripes. Accompanying this music is a 45-page booklet filled with historic photos (many quite rare) and two sets of liner notes–one focusing on Sam Phillips and The Wolf by much heralded author Peter Guralnick, and a more general overview of Wolf's first decade of recording by noted blues expert and producer Dick Shurman.

The Fame Studios Story 1961-73


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The Fame Studios Story 1961-1973 is the lynchpin of Ace's extensive catalogue campaign spotlighting the recordings and artists associated with the Fame label and studio of Muscle Shoals, Alabama – home of the Muscle Shoals Sound.

The 75-track, 3CD set is an open-minded, celebratory overview of this world-famous institution's golden era, when under the stewardship of owner Rick Hall, Fame birthed countless recordings that have come to define Southern Soul music.
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