American recordings from the 1920s and 1930s. Most of these were originally issued on commercial 78s.

For the first time ever this much overlooked and historically vital area of American musical development has being focused on with this 3 CD release. Featuring a mixture of well-known songs by some of American music's most celebrated stars and rare versions from some lesser known but equally relevant artists, this release covers all bases, containing 75 numbers recorded in the USA with their origins in the British Isles, encompassing Old-Timey, Blues, Cajun, Bluegrass, Gospel, and Country. These songs have passed from the old nation to the new one where they became standards.

It should come as no surprise to readers of this Magazine to find out that many British songs and tunes travelled across the Atlantic, carried there by various waves of immigrants. We all know that during the period 1916-18 Cecil Sharp spent a total of 52 weeks in the Appalachian Mountains collecting such songs and, as I mentioned in a couple of MT articles - When Cecil Left the Mountains and When Cecil Left the Mountains Part 2 - we know that many of these same songs were recorded on commercial discs by people who had picked them up from friends and relatives. Some years ago I set about collecting many of these 78s in the hope that they could be reissued on an LP. I was particularly interested in the number of Child ballads which had been recorded in the 1920s and early '30s by some of the commercial record companies. In the end, nothing came of this project, but now I find that I was not alone in thinking this way, because Nehi records have reissued a set of recordings many of which I would have included on my proposed LP. And there is not just one album. In fact we now have no less than three CDs-worth of material which has now been made available to us all.

Almost all of the tracks heard on this set were originally issued on commercial 78s. Daw Henson's 1937 recording of Lady Margaret and Sweet William is from an Alan Lomax recording made in eastern Kentucky for the Library of Congress. It is a fascinating recording, not only for the song itself, but also for the guitar accompaniment which, at times, carries the ballad's melody in a manner similar to that used on the Appalachian dulcimer, the tune sliding up and down the guitar's first string. Lomax also recorded Pete Steele's version of Pretty Polly, although, when Lomax returned to Kentucky the following year, he found that Steele had moved a few miles north into Ohio. Lomax then recorded another British ballad from Steele, a version of The Farmer's Curst Wife which Steele called Lack Fol Diddle I Day. This recording is not included on the Nehi set, though it is available on the 7-CD Yazoo set of Kentucky Mountain Music (Yazoo 2200), but we do get another version of this ballad, namely Bill & Belle Reed's The Old Lady & The Devil. I am not too sure where the Reeds came from, although many of the people who recorded with them that day in 1928 had been bussed in from Corbin, KY, so there is a possibility that they also came from somewhere in that area. However, there does seem to be a similarity in both text and tunes to versions of this ballad which have been recorded in Virginia from singers such as Texas Gladden, her brother Hobart Smith and Horton Barker that I wonder if there could be a possible connection here. (Alternately, of course, it could be that this is one of the ballads which always seem to be similar, no matter where they are collected.) Another Lomax, this time Alan's father John Lomax, was responsible for recording Blind Willie McTell's instrumental version of the hymn Amazing Grace for the Library of Congress.

All of the other recordings heard here were issued on commercial 78s. I G Greer, who sings us a version of the Child ballad Earl Brand, did record for the Library of Congress, but the recording reissued here was made in New York in 1928 for Paramount Records. Greer, who is accompanied by his wife playing the dulcimer, was actually an academic. There is a Hall named after him at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Isaac Garfield Greer (1881 - 1967) was originally from Watauga County, NC and, as a young man, collected a number of songs and ballads from this musically rich area of the Appalachians. Was he, I wonder, related to Doc Watson's singing relatives Sophronie and Dolly Greer, who can be heard on the Smithsonian/Folkways album The Watson Family (SF 40012)?  Rather surprisingly the commercial companies also recorded a good number of other Child ballads, many of which are included on this set. These include versions of The Maid Freed from the Gallows, Our Goodman, The Wife of Usher's Well, Lady Alice, Barbara Allen, The Daemon Lover, The Farmer's Curst Wife, Young Hunting, Sir Hugh and The Golden Vanity. One instrumental track, Wild Hogs in the Red Bush which was recorded by Frank Hutchison and Sherman Lawson in 1928, is credited in the booklet notes as being a tune used for the Child ballad Sir Lionel, when it is actually a version of the tune Miss MacLeod's Reel, which American fiddlers often call Hop High Ladies. I do wonder if Steve Roud, who wrote the booklet notes, is confusing this track with another instrumental, this time titled Wild Hog in the Woods, which was recorded in 1931 by Lonesome Luke and his Farm Boys., which is indeed a tune related to the Child ballad. While mentioning the booklet notes it should be said that these deal solely with the history of the songs and ballads and not with the performers.

The remaining tracks are mainly comprised of British and Irish folk songs, and range from ancient pieces, such as versions of The Gosport Tragedy, The Girl I Left Behind Me (actually performed by Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers, with vocals by Riley Puckett and not Uncle Dave Macon as the notes say. The 1927 Tanner recording was issued on Columbia 78 15170-D and this is the track that is used here), The Unfortunate Rake, The Drowsy Sleeper, Froggie Went a-Courting, No, John, No, Wild and Wicked Youth and The Derby Ram to a number of songs which probably stem from the Music Halls; although one song, which is often thought to be a relatively modern piece, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, can actually be traced back to a song called A Charming Country Life, which was written by Tom D'Urfey in 1706 and performed in the opera The Kingdom of the Birds. The Song Maxwell Girl, a lively performance by Taylor's Kentucky Boys is said to be a version of the murder ballad The Oxford Girl, but it is not. It is actually a version of the song Round Town/Alabama Girls Won't You Come Out Tonight. It's a Long Way to Tipperary (with a lead vocal by fiddler Clayton McMichen and not Riley Puckett as stated in the notes), In a Cottage by the Sea, Champagne Charlie is My Name and My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean are, of course, later Music Hall pieces.

Also included in this group of songs are two fascinating tracks recorded by The New Arkansas Travellers, who are one of life's mysteries. The singer, we think, was one A P Bishop who was accompanied on Tickled 'Em and Handy Man by a guitar and mouthorgan(s). Both songs employ the same tune and are clearly from the British Music Hall stage. In fact, Handy Man is the same song that Cyril Poacher recorded as Slap Dab (Whitewash) and which can be heard on the MT CD Plenty of Thyme (MTCD303). It was original called The Amateur Whitewasher and was written in 1896 by F Murray & F Leigh. The Travellers' recordings were made in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1928, although it has been occasionally suggested that the two tracks may have actually been recorded in England. The singer certainly sounds to be English (from the East-End of London?) but he remains a biographical blank and one does wonder just what the Americans made of him! Occasionally, one or two songs have titles which suggest an American origin. For example, Darby & Tarlton's Columbus Stockade Blues is a song which actually owes much to the British folk song Go and Leave Me if You Wish It, while Bill Shepherd's Aunt Jane Blues is a version of The Unfortunate Rake.

This really is a lovely collection of songs and ballads performed by some of the greats of Old-Timey music. If you are new to this sort of music, then I can heartily recommend the set. But, if like me, you have been collecting this sort of music for some years, then it would be worthwhile checking your collection before making this purchase, because just about all of these recordings can be found elsewhere and you may already have the material sitting on your shelves. -Michael Yates (

Via: B0b Chorba

Disc 1
1. John Hammond: Purty Polly (Roud 15; Laws P36B)
2. Gid Tanner: The Girl I Left Behind Me (Roud 262; Laws P1; G/D 5:1059; Henry H188)
3. Fiddlin' John Carson: The Boston Burglar (Roud 261; Laws L16; G/D 2:260; Henry H691)
4. Riley Puckett: The Boston Burglar (Roud 261; Laws L16; G/D 2:260; Henry H691)
5. Kelly Harrell: O! Molly Dear Go Ask Your Mother (Roud 22621; Laws M4)
6. Charlie Poole: The Highwayman (Roud 144; Child 95; G/D 2:248)
7. Earl Johnson: Three Nights Experience (Roud 114; Child 274; G/D 7:1460; Henry H21ab)
8. Fess Williams: Gambler's Blues (Roud 2; Laws Q26/B1; G/D 7:1404; Henry H680)
9. Dock Boggs: Pretty Polly (Roud 15; Laws P36B)
10. Taylor's Kentucky Boys: Maxwell Girl (Roud 738)
11. B. F. Shelton: Pretty Polly (Roud 15; Laws P36B)
12. Grayson & Whitter: Handsome Molly (Roud 454; G/D 6:1192; Henry H625)
13. Grayson & Whitter: Rose Conley (Roud 446; Laws F6)
14. Leake County Revelers: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean (Roud 1422; Henry H7)
15. Gid Tanner: Old MacDonald Had a Farm (Roud 745)
16. Gid Tanner: It's a Long Way to Tipperary (Roud 11235)
17. Charlie Parker & Mack Woolbright: Will the Weaver (Roud 432; Laws Q9)
18. Darby & Tarlton: Columbus Stockade Blues (Roud 459; G/D 6:1145)
19. Buell Kazee: Lady Gay (Roud 196; Child 79)
20. Buell Kazee: The Butcher's Boy (Roud 409; Laws P24)
21. New Arkansas Travellers: Handy Man (Roud 1754)
22. New Arkansas Travellers: I Tickled 'Em (Roud 22313)
23. Roy Harvey: George Collins (Roud 147; Child 42, 85)
24. Ernest V. Stoneman: Down on the Banks of the Ohio (Roud 263; Laws P35; G/D 2:200)
25. Blind Willie Davis: Rock of Ages (Roud 30920)

Disc 2
1. Carter Family: I Have No One to Love Me (But the Sailor in the Deep Blue Sea) (Roud 273; Laws K12; G/D 6.:1245)
2. Sam Mcghee: As Willie and Mary Strolled by the Seashore (Roud 348; Laws N28; G/D 5:1035; Henry H118)
3. Grayson & Whitter: Where Are You Going, Alice? (Roud 266; Laws N40; G/D 5:1036; Henry H5, H693)
4. Frank Luther: Barbara Allen (Roud 54; Child 84; G/D 6:1193; Henry H236)
5. Chubby Parker: King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O (Roud 16; G/D 8:1669)
6. Frank Hutchison: Wild Hogs in the Red Brush
7. Carolina Tar Heels: Can't You Remember When Your Heart Was Mine? (Roud 14; Child 243; G/D 2:332)
8. Bill & Belle Reed: The Old Lady & The Devil (Roud 160; Child 278; G/D 2:320)
9. Stoneman Family: The Spanish Merchant's Daughter (Roud 146)
10. Leake County Revelers: Molly Put the Kettle On (Roud 7899)
11. Rutherford & Foster: Storms May Rule the Ocean (Roud 4628)
12. Kelly Harrell: Cave Love Has Gained the Day (Roud 3597)
13. Carolina Tar Heels: Rude and Rambling Man (Roud 490; Laws L12; G/D 2:260; Henry H691)
14. Charlie Poole: He Rambled (Roud 126; G/D 3:645)
15. Dick Justice: Henry Lee (Roud 47; Child 68)
16. I. G. Greer: Sweet William and Fair Ellen Pt.1 (Roud 23; Child 7; G/D 2:220)
17. I. G. Greer: Sweet William and Fair Ellen Pt.2 (Roud 23; Child 7; G/D 2:220)
18. Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots: Three Men Went A-Hunting (Roud 283; G/D 2:283)
19. Clarence Ashley: The Coo Coo Bird (Roud 413; G/D 6:1157; Henry H479)
20. Wilmer Watts & His Lonely Eagles: Sleepy Desert (Roud 22621; Laws M4)
21. Nelstone's Hawaiians: Fatal Flower Garden (Roud 73; Child 155)
22. Carson Brothers & Sprinkle: The Old Miller's Will (Roud 138; Laws Q21; G/D 3:703)
23. Coley Jones: Drunken Special (Roud 114; Child 274; G/D 7:1460; Henry H21ab)
24. Charlie Poole: My Gypsy Girl (Roud 229; Laws O4)
25. Bradley Kincaid: Barbara Allen (Roud 54; Child 84; G/D 6:1193; Henry H236)

Disc 3
1. Carolina Buddies: In a Cottage By the Sea (Roud 1743)
2. Clarence Ashley: The House Carpenter (Roud 14; Child 243; G/D 2:332)
3. Gid Tanner: Devilish Mary (Roud 1017)
4. The Oaks Family: Wake Up, You Drowsy Sleeper (Roud 22621; Laws M4)
5. Jimmie Tarlton: Lowe Bonny (Roud 47; Child 68)
6. Bill Shepard: Aunt Jane Blues (Roud 2; Laws Q26/B1; G/D 7:1404; Henry H680)
7. Blind Blake: Champagne Charlie's My Name (Roud V17415)
8. Carter Family: I Never Will Marry (Roud 466; Laws K17; G/D 6:1244)
9. Asa Martin: Crawling and Creeping (Roud 329)
10. Carter Family: Sinking in the Lonesome Sea (Roud 122; Child 286; G/D 1:37)
11. Carter Family: Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By) (Roud 3409)
12. Big Bill Broonzy: Keep Your Hands Off Her (Roud 11659)
13. Daw Henson: Lady Margaret and Sweet William (Roud 253; Child 74; G/D 2:337)
14. Pete Steele: Pretty Polly (Roud 15; Laws P36B)
15. Coon Creek Girls: Pretty Polly (Roud 15; Laws P36B)
16. Dixon Brothers: Story of George Collins (Roud 147; Child 42, 85)
17. Leadbelly: The Gallis Pole (Roud 144; Child 95; G/D 2:248)
18. Cliff Carlisle: Black Jack David (Roud 1; Child 200; G/D 2:278; Henry H124)
19. Blue Sky Boys: Mary of the Wild Moor (Roud 155; Laws P21; G/D 6:1175)
20. Morris Brown Quartet: Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes (Roud V3830)
21. Carter Family: Black Jack David (Roud 1; Child 200; G/D 2:278; Henry H124)
22. Blind Willie McTell: Amazing Grace (Roud 5430)
23. Wade Mainer: Ramblin' Boy (Roud 490; Laws L12; G/D 2:260; Henry H691)
24. Carter Family: The Wave on the Sea (Roud 122; Child 286; G/D 1:37)
25. Bill Monroe: Footprints in the Snow (Roud 4660)


Recorded by Laurent Jeanneau (Kink Gong)

CD release gather both volumes (Music of Southern Laos AKULP1009 and Music of Northern Laos AKULP1010) Akuphone presents a collection of recordings of various musical practices from the Laotian provinces of Champasak, Attapeu, Sekong, Saravan, Luang Namtha and Phongsaly. These documents are a perfect introduction to the traditional music of South Laos minority groups. Popular modern music is widely spread but visitors are barely ever exposed to ancient acoustic practices from villages. As a matter of fact, mouth organs of various sizes exist among the Hmong and Bit as well as amazing vocal techniques among the Lantene, Ahka or Khmu who combine simultaneous singing and flute notes. This collection also compels one to discover the Brao gongs, the Triang bamboo flutes, the Lao, Ta Oy, Alak, OI, Pacoh or Nyaheun mouth organs as well as the powerful singing accompanying these instruments. Caught on the spot, these outstanding testimonies were collected between 2006 and 2013 by Laurent Jeanneau, aka King Gong. Through his researches, this self-taught ethnologist has gradually become one of the specialists of the field, building up a collection of complete and fascinating sound archives which contribute documenting parts of this immaterial heritage. MUSIC OF SOUTHERN AND NORTHERN LAOS brings some light on a region of South East Asia still largely unknown from the general audience as well as the recently reborn ethnographic musical industry. This compilation will delight both molam/khene lovers and beginners unused to South East Asian sounds.

1. Brao Lave Gongs 5:09
2. Ta Oy Courting Song 4:46
3. Triang Pao Kabang 1:12
4. Nyaheun - Jeu Phawn Peng Gawng Ploung Ken 2:57
5. Katu Song 4:21
6. Lao Lam Saravan 6:12
7. Oi Duet 3:17
8. Alak Gongs 3:03
9. Alak Khene Molam 2:51
10. Pacoh Trio 2:13
11. White Hmong Queej 5:15
12. Lantene (Moon) Women 5:04
13. Khmu Ou Tot 4:34
14. Khmu Ou Pi 1:12
15. Akha Chuluba 1:57
16. Bit - Protect The Forest 4:14
17. Dark Blue Yao (Moon) Ceremony 5:10
18. Akha New Year Song 6:49
19. Khmu Jiakoot 2:04


Psychedelic Peruvian Cumbia and Chicha from the archives of the Infopesa label (1968- 1982). All tracks have been taken from the original master tapes.

Alberto Maraví was the man behind the Infopesa label from Peru. A key figure in the creation of the Peruvian Cumbia, he recorded and produced legendary bands like Los Mirlos, Los Orientales de Paramonga, Juaneco Y Su Combo, Los Pakines and many more.

Original Records from the Infopesa label are now heavily sought after by collectors and discerning DJs worldwide, who marvel at the exotic mix of jungle sounds, reverb drenched electric guitars and delay effects. This CD is the perfect introduction to this amazing and one–of–a–kind genre.

"...This reminds me of a collection like Nuggets or the Ethiopiques series, which chronicle music that evolved in parallel with the mainstream of the time..."
– Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand)

A-List Psychedelic Cumbias!

“Cumbias Chichadélicas: Peruvian Psychedelic Chica” liberates music from the vaults of the Infopesa studio, one of Peru's great cumbia labels. The vinyl release has benefits over the mp3 album since it includes detailed liner notes and an introduction by Franz Ferdinand. That said, listeners of both formats can enjoy music that is mastered from the original tapes. The album kicks off with a highlight, Los Orientales de Paramonga's ‘Lobos al Escape.’ The dirty guitar work references Link Wray. Invoking the rainforest, chirping birds can be heard throughout ‘Cumbia de los Pajaritos.’ The pace picks up with ‘Me Robaron Mi Runa Mula,’ which is by the great Juaneco y su Combo. The psychoactive guitar playing in ‘Ramo de Rosas’ is breathtaking. Lost Beta 5's guitar work reminisces West African highlife guitar work during the same time period. Los Orientales de Paramong's ’La Danza del Mono’ is a classic for good reason. Eusebio y su Banjo contributes the first song with lyrics. Arre Caballito's tune lets the keyboard share space with the electric guitar. Juaneco y su Combo returns with yet another highlight, ‘Ya Se Ha Muerto Mi Abuelo.’ Packed with fun lyrics and strong keyboard playing, the song showcases a white hot rhythm section. Another golden classic, Los Mirlos' ‘Sonido Amazonico’ has the tastiest surf inspired guitar work. Sonido 2000's ‘Monito Saltarin’ could at moments be mistaken as Highlife music. The album closes with a Los Invasores de Progreso tune which sounds like it missed the golden age of Chica. Despite the giveaway price tag of $5.99, “Cumbias Chichadélicas: Peruvian Psychedelic Chica” stands as one of the finest collections of psychedelic cumbias. It comfortably sits aside “The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cumbia” and both volumes of “Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru.” As the Woodstock inspired art work (which earns additional points) suggests, this is a guitar-centric album that will delight Northern listeners. -Delite Rancher

1. Los Orientales De Paramonga - Lobos Al Escape (1970) 2:35
2. Los Mirlos - Cumbia De Los Pajaritos (1972) 2:52
3. Juaneco Y Su Combo - Me Robaron Mi Runa Mula (1977) 3:09
4. Los Pakines - Ramo De Rosas (1972) 3:24
5. Los Beta 5 - El Bicho (1973) 2:50
6. Los Orientales De Paramonga - La Danza Del Mono (1972) 2:50
7. Eusebio Y Su Banjo - Mi Morena Rebelde (1981) 3:30
8. Manzanita Y Su Conjunto - Arre Caballito (1968) 3:11
9. Los Rumbaney - El Poncho (1969) 3:01
10. Juaneco Y Su Combo - Ya Se Ha Muerto Mi Abuelo (1980) 4:21
11. Los Mirlos - Sonido Amazónico (1973) 2:42
12. Manzanita Y Su Conjunto - Vírgenes Del Sol (1968) 3:00
13. Sonido 2000 - Monito Saltarín (1977) 2:25
14. Juaneco Y Su Combo - Volando (1974) 3:08
15. Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos - Mi Gran Noche (1969) 2:58
16. Los Invasores de Progreso - Todos Juntos (1982) 3:05


Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, GEORGE MITCHELL recorded extensively in the South. Mitchell concentrated mainly on local blues traditions recording some famous bluesmen and many otherwise ignored artists. The George Mitchell Collection was originally released as a series of forty-five EPs on Fat Possum, this LP contains Mississipi’s favorite fourteen tracks. This LP represents songs from many well known blues musicians such as FRED MCDOWELL, FURRY LEWIS and JOE CALICOTT, as well as some from criminally under represented artists like JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL, ROSA LEE HILL and JOHN LEE ZIEGLER. Comes with a short booklet of photos, discographical notes and recollections.

Portland, Oregon’s Mississippi Records (named for the street on which the label is headquartered rather than any particular geographical/cultural pattern in their releases) has again and again proven itself a godsend for music fans interested in recordings of forgotten and marginalized artists. Their releases, often hand-assembled and produced in relatively limited quantities, catalog field recordings, early folk music, obscure post-punk, free jazz, and music from around the world, but the area in which the label has been most consistent is in its reissues of early blues musicians. Been Here All My Days, a collection of highlights from the archives of amateur folklorist George Mitchell, is no exception.

Many albums released or re-released by Mississippi have an interesting back story, either regarding the musicians themselves or the reasons behind the music’s initial fade into obscurity. Therefore, to fully grasp the overarching concept of the album rather than just to view it as a collection of songs, one must first consult the extensive liner notes. George Mitchell was seventeen years old in 1961 when he and his friends drove from their Atlanta home to Memphis in order to track down any of the blues musicians they loved who might still be alive. Beginning the following year, Mitchell spent over two decades travelling through the South with a tape recorder and an overwhelming desire to document an era of American music which was rapidly drawing to a close.

The bulk of the recordings, especially those compiled on Been Here All My Days, reflect something of a transitional period in the music so beloved by Mitchell. While there is a strong inclination towards the rural country blues of the early 20th century, there are no efforts to constrain the music by placing it in a fixed frame of reference devoid of past or future–a common occurrence in retrospective efforts such as these. Almost all the musicians included possess some connection with early gospel music, and while some turned towards more secular pursuits, the connection with the past is inescapable. As singer Green Paschal puts it: “I don’t like these jumped up songs that people sing now… I believe in the old way. I just like the old songs.” Others saw more of a connection with more contemporary sounds–the energy of amplified Chicago blues, rhythm and blues, and early rock and roll. George Mitchell recalls Georgia bluesman John Lee Ziegler performing Sam Cooke songs accompanied by a spoon player.

The album loses some conceptual cohesion, however, when it attempts to find a historical place for the music. On the one hand, the music compiled by Mitchell is portrayed as a vibrant, vivacious enterprise, regardless of how far removed by time, culture, and geography a listener may be. While George Mitchell was likely just as much of an outsider to rural African-American communities in the deep South as other folklorists like Alan Lomax or Harry Smith (although the liner notes’ assertion that Lomax was a northerner are in fact mistaken), his approach is described as less stodgy and academic than that of the more rigorous ethnomusicologists. His Georgia accent was also more familiar and relatable to those whom he recorded, which by extension allowed him to document looser, more accurate portrayals of the blues, as it actually sounded as performed by little-known but greatly talented practitioners. The recordings are an incredible testament to the evolution of musical tradition in the hands of individuals who often possessed little more than their instrument and their voice. There is an easy-going, casual nature to the recordings which aids their quality. One gets the feeling of being present in the room with the musicians as they played, a feeling undoubtedly encouraged by the performers’ ease around the unassuming southern boy recording them.

In attempting to dismiss or diminish the aims of more traditional ethnomusicologists and music critics, the liner notes claim that such individuals strive for documents steeped in academic versions of authenticity, to the extent that the actual music is attached to a fixed place in history at best, and portrayed as a historical oddity at worst. Which is a fair criticism–just to pick out one example, for all the brilliant work Greil Marcus produced, his relegating of long-standing folk traditions like the fife-and-drum bands of North Mississippi to the category of “Old, Weird America” casts such music in the role of the empirical other. It becomes something to be gawked at and dissected rather than genuinely appreciated for its own aesthetic contributions to America’s cultural oeuvre. While the liner notes to Been Here All My Days seem to have no problem pointing out these attitudes, however, sometimes their tone becomes almost reactionary. Just because some “self-proclaimed blues ‘scholars’” hope to retrospectively categorize and isolate the music they love does not necessarily mean that hip hop is the only living form of blues in the South, as the liner notes claim. It is a strange argument, one at odds with both the praise lavished upon the individuals making and recording the music, and the fact that many musicians whose first recordings were made by George Mitchell–R.L. Burnside comes to mind–lived and performed well into the 21st century.

Arguments about consistency and authenticity aside, however, the music compiled on Been Here All My Days is an absolutely necessary addition to any collection of early blues, due to the circumstances of its creation. While the low-fidelity recordings from the 1920s-50s possess an evocative charm, sometimes the lack of sonic clarity can undermine the music’s power. And while many recordings made by the same artists later in life (especially those compiled by the aforementioned ethnomusicologists and a handful of labels attempting to capitalize on the popularity of otherwise-forgotten artists in the wake of the early 1960s folk revival) benefit from advances in recording technology, many of the performances lack the creative spark of older material. This may be due to the performers’ unease in front of strangers attempting to document their art as if it were some near-extinct flower to be catalogued for future generations of botany textbooks, or may be caused by the simple and inevitable ravages of age.

Been Here All My Days sidesteps all those potential pitfalls. While some of the artists might have been able to offer a more fiery performance in the decades prior to these recordings, there is a seasoned maturity present on these recordings. The performers display a facility with the songs which lends each more leeway when adding the sort of personalized touches that can only be acquired with decades of experience. Many of the artists have internalized their surroundings to such a degree that in songs like John Lee Ziegler’s “Who’s Gonna Be Your Man,” or Houston Stackhouse’s “Big Road,” weeping slide guitars hum like August cicada cries and loose-limbed drums thump like distant train rumbles. That said, this does not at all undermine the material’s sophistication. The call-and-response vocal harmonies of “Hold My Body Down” by Robert Johnson (whose obscurity may be related to his sharing a name with the most famous/infamous blues musician of all time) possess an eerie cadence, not dissimilar to the ensemble arrangements of Sacred Harp singing, as Johnson alternates lines with a choir of his eight gospel-singing children. Or for material more inclined towards a minimalist aesthetic, Jessie Mae Hemphill’s “Going Home” is a song stripped to its barest essence, an a capella rendition which might seem basic if not for the harmonic interplay with her backing vocalist.

The performances are as strong in lyrical realms as they are in the musical aspects. The aforementioned Robert Johnson song intimates apocalypse and resurrection, a Book Of Revelation crammed into a concise three-minute meditation on mortality and transcendence. Furry Lewis’s “Good Morning Judge” approaches the protagonist’s day in court with a smirking sense of humor that can’t quite cover up the song’s tragic core: the plight of the poor and uneducated who fall victim to the prejudiced machinations of the law. “They accused me of murder and I never even hurt a man / they accused me of forgery and I can’t even sign my name,” Lewis sings. In couplets like that, much of the approach of these musicians is epitomized: the ability to channel adversity into creativity; the knowledge that there are two types of experiences in the world – good experiences on one hand, and on the other, ones that can inspire songs.

The material presented on Been Here All My Days might represent variations on the blues which are too subtle for casual fans. There is none of the thundering darkness of (the other) Robert Johnson or the loping pathos of Skip James, but the artists compiled offer a great insight into the ways in which a variety of people could internalize an art form as a means of creating something intensely personal. Mississippi Records has a near-perfect track record in terms of uncovering such material, and this is no exception. Beginners might be well-advised to seek out some of the label’s other compilations such as I Woke Up One Morning In May or Last Kind Words, both better introductions to the breadth of early blues in general. However, Been Here All My Days is absolutely recommended for anybody interested in music, of historical importance, which refuses to sacrifice timeless qualities like individuality and heart. -Marilyn Drew Necci

A1 John Lee Ziegler - Who's Gonna Be Your Man 4:47
A2 Rosa Lee Hill - Bullying Well 2:07
A3 Fred McDowell - Shake 'Em On Down 3:03
A4 Jimmy Lee Williams - What Makes Grandma Love Grandpa 4:15
A5 James Davis - Old Country Rock #1 3:56
A6 Houston Stackhouse - Big Road Blues 2:39
A7 James Shorter - Search Me Lord 2:44
B1 Jessie Mae Hemphill - Home Going 2:34
B2 Precious Bryant - Georgia Buck 2:34
B3 Mississippi Joe Callicott - Country Blues 3:37
B4 Lonzie Thomas - Rabbit On A Log 2:33
B5 Green Paschal - Trouble Brought Me Down 1:47
B6 Furry Lewis - Good Morning Judge 5:50
B7 Robert Johnson - Hold My Body Down 2:51

Vinyl rip by Nicolab


Incredible Afro/highlife/disco hybrid and impossibly rare.

'Lost 1980 album from Nigerian guitarist, remastered from vinyl.'

'Excellent classic High-Life reissue from Strut Records. Originally released in 1980 in Nigeria on Electromat Records. The original now fetches upwards of £300.'

'First ever reissue of sought-after Nigerian highlife / disco original LP, Officially licensed from Joe King Kologbo estate. Includes the killer DJ track 'Sugar Daddy’, dope 15 minute Nigerian disco-funk work out with amazing synths.'

Strut present the first in a series of essential original LP reissues exploring rare and under-rated African, Latin and Caribbean music classics, curated by Duncan Brooker. In January 2017, the series kicks off with 'Sugar Daddy', an experimental highlife / disco outing by Nigerian highlife guitarist Joe King Kologbo.Building his career as a composer and player with Eastern Star Dance Band at their residency at the Atlantic Hotel in Aba, Eastern Nigeria, Joe King Kologbo was forced to flee to Ghana when the Biafran War broke out in 1967. As his son Oghene recalls, when war came, everything just scatter. He lost his house, everything.'Joe King played with a variety of bands in Ghana including Real Ruby's, a jazz highlife big band, before returning to Lagos in 1971. By the time he recorded the 'Sugar Daddy' LP for the tiny Electromat label in 1980, he was one of the older musicians on the circuit. Oghene Kologbo remembers, My Mum used to say, 'I hope you don't go and play guitar everywhere and play around, don't go and be Sugar Daddy!' All my father's friends nicknamed him 'Sugar Daddy' so he did the song in a fun way. He was a nice man. He never did 'playboy'.Since he was based in the East during his early days, he was not as well known nationally as some of the other highlife players of the time,' continues Oghene,'so it's nice that this album is coming out again. It brings back good memories.

1. Sugar Daddy 15:36
2. Come Back Lina 7:34
3. All Fingers Are Not Equal 7:00


Vinyl is close to mint

Jamaican Heroes is a 1980 reggae album by Prince Far I. The musicians included Roots Radics and The Flying Lizards. Mixed by the Prince himself and Dave Hunt, with Crucial Bunny engineering, the set is stronger than the previous "Free From Sin". Even if the themes are similar, with a Rastafarian - Biblical vision as the main issues, Prince Far I's "Jamaican Heroes" goes a step further. The voicing is even more profound and sometimes complex, with the result of delivering a whole darker texture. The nine tracks album opens with "Deck Of Life" with the Abyssinians' "Satta Massagana" providing the rhythm. "The Vision" is based on the immortal "Stalag" rhythm. Follows " Natty Champion" versioning "Big Fight", a single previously cut for Joe Gibbs. "Read A Chapter" a Rastafari statement. "Golden Throne" is a about repatriation. The following title track "Jamaican Heroes" features Ari Up of the Slits on the back and of course is a tribute to the nation's heroes. "Prison Discipline" talks about avoiding imprisonment. "Musical History" is about inferior deejays. The set closes with "Jah Will Provide". Prince Far I style, with its committed Rastafarian themes, delivers as usual uncompromising statements about the Most High guidance. The cover was designed by Jill Mumfield. -yardie-reggae

While the great Prince Far I, dean of the "conscious" DJs and owner of the most distinctive voice in reggae music, made many great albums over the course of his relatively brief recording career, few of them carry as much of an emotional and spiritual wallop as this one. Much of the credit must go to the Roots Radics band, which was at the peak of its powers when Jamaican Heroes was recorded in 1980 and which delivers a set of rich, dark grooves that fits perfectly with Far I's dread vision and stern delivery. On "Read a Chapter," Far I admonishes those whose spiritual consciousness is insufficiently developed and helpfully details his own prayer regimen; on "Golden Throne," he calls on his brethren to leave Babylon, put down the comb, and return to Africa. "Musical History" finds Far I chanting in a more traditional rhythmic style, to fine effect, while he decries the conditions of prison life in "Prison Discipline." All of the performances on this album have a certain something special about them, raising the album as a whole to the same level as such other classic albums as Voice of Thunder and Under Heavy Manners. Hopefully, this gem will soon be reissued on CD, at which point it will be one of the best introductions to the work of this legendary reggae figure. -AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

A1 Deck of Life 4:43
A2 The Vision 4:23
A3 Natty Champion 4:07
A4 Read a Chapter 4:20
A5 Golden Throne 3:55
B1 Jamaican Heroes 3:24
B2 Prison Discipline 4:15
B3 Musical History 3:54
B4 Jah Will Provide 2:54


the inspirational uk producer collaborates with moroccan gnawa players on some glorious takes captured live in london.

maalem houssam guinia is the son of the late gnawa legend and previous holden-collaborator maalem mahmoud guinia, and you can hear the inspiration on the synth gurus amazing ‘animal spirits’ album from 2017. lead track ‘pass through the fire / bouri bouri manandabo’ sees the swirling organs of holden’s gnawa-inspired ‘pass through the fire’ supplemented with a selection from the guinia’s traditional call-and-response repertoire, thereby completing the collaborative circle. over on the b-side it’s holden’s turn to contribute hazy pads to the affecting, sonorous standard ‘youmala’ and frantically cycling arpeggios to the energetic ‘baba hamouda’. -resident

After spreading his wings with The Animals, James Holden really stretches out with North African Gnawa musician Maalem Houssam Guinia in ‘Three live Takes’

Holden helms modular synth while Houssam Guinia provides mesmerising vocals and jangling lines of the three-string Guembri (or Sintar), underpinned by backing vocals and rasping Krakebs (large iron castanets) from Hamza Guinia, Mohamed Benzaid, Amine Bessi and Khalid Charbadou.

In all ‘Three Live Takes’ Holden traces and gilds Maalem Houssam Guinia’s Gnawa fire with washes of astral colour and whirligig chromatic spirals, firstly reservedly on ‘Youmala’, until they collectively reach a transcendent terminal velocity, before taking taking a more central role in the roiling swell of ‘Pass Through The Fire + Bouri Bouri Manandabo’ with its cascading climax, and then gelled in hypnotic, swingeing, and incendiary style synched with the raucous chorus of ‘Baba Hamouda’. -boomkat

1. Pass Through The Fire / Bouri Bouri Manandabo 5:34
2. Youmala 6:51
3. Baba Hamouda 5:01


Probably the finest album made by the Orquesta Riverside.

Sweet, swingin' mambos, perky dance music with a heavy stylistic debt to the master of the form, Perez Prado. Vocalists Tito Gomez and Merceditas Valdes add some fizz to the proceedings, while bandleader Pedro Vila has the orchestra going full-tilt the whole time... Fun stuff! Recommended. -DJ Joe Sixpack

Orquesta Riverside was one of the better all-white Cuban bands of the post-World War II era. Formed in Havana in 1938, they were for many years a radio favorite. They played in a jazz-influenced style and were popular with tourists as well with Cuban natives. They reached their greatest popularity under the direction of alto sax player Pedro Vila and were best known for the musical talents of clear-voiced singer Tito Gomez and pianist/arranger Pedro "Peruchin" Justiz, all of whom are prominently featured on the 1953-1959 recordings found on this CD. (JV)

1. Bayamo 2:37
2. Yayabo 2:53
3. Los Gallegas Bailan Mambo 3:08
4. Adolorido 2:59
5. Cuban Blue 2:27
6. Vereda Tropical 2:52
7. Pobre Luna 3:02
8. Ritmando Chachachá 3:08
9. El Paso Del Mulo 2:41
10. Chambeleque 2:39
11. Bajo Un Palmar 2:44
12. Oye Simón 2:56
13. Me Has Engañado 2:46
14. Ya Se Fue Mi Ilusión 2:47
15. El Barbero De Sevilla 2:42
16. Esto Se Pone Sabroso 2:33
17. Vayan Vayende 2:22
18. Conga Carnaval 2:34
19. Cha Cha Cha De Los Perros 2:50
20. No Me Vayas A Engañar 2:36
21. Oye Como Gozo Mama 3:15
22. Me Voy Pa' Pinar Del Rio 3:03

Sierra Leone

2018 CD re-issue of 1972 album on Oom Dooby Dochas of Geraldo Pino's super rare afro-funk album 'Afro Soco Soul Live'. One of the hidden heroes of African popular music, singer, guitarist and band leader from Sierra Leone, Geraldo 'Pine' Pino had a major influence on the burgeoning afrobeat/soul/funk scene in West Africa during the '60s and '70s. 'Afro Soco Soul Live' is a live album at the top of the game, stretching out for heavy Afro-funk jams!

He was born in Sierra Leone in the 1930s. Fact is that Gerald Pine was son to a lawyer working in Nigeria, lost his mother and sister at a very young age and found relief in music. He played social clubs by the early 60s with his newly founded band THE HEARTBEATS delivering cover-versions of American hits and Congolese rumba tunes that were then utterly popular in the West Africa area. Due to the influence of Congolese popular musicians Franco and Dr. Nico he adopted the more exotic sounding stage name of Geraldo Pino and he moved on from there. THE HEARTBEATS literally played until their fingers bled in popular night clubs in Sierra Leone, became one of the highest earning bands of Western Africa and were even able to put up their own television show after television had been introduced in Sierra Leone in 1962. All those developments put Geraldo Pino and his band in the position as leading figures in the African popular music that even a legend such as Nigerian cult musician Fela Kuti, who is often credited with originally creating the so called “Afro Beat” style stated Geraldo Pino and THE HEARTBEATS as major influence which even made him setting sail to the USA to introduce his musical vision over there for he could not match with Geraldo Pino concerning popularity in Africa. This of course is a whole different story. Geraldo Pino lived and played in his area, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and created some of the hottest funky sounds with sophisticated sound gear, outstanding clothing and songs that made your blood boil. After a few 7” releases throughout the 1960s the first real album of GERALDO PINO & THE HEARTBEATS hit the scene in 1972. “Afro soco soul live” is as the title suggests an album that has been recorded at a concert and Geraldo Pino often communicates with the utterly enthusiastic audience, gives longer announcements between the songs or introduces his lead guitarist before he starts a simmering solo. All songs here have an average length of six minutes and despite their composed parts they show this free jammy flow. The basic style is funk with soulful vocals which gets mixed up with traditional African percussion grooves. This album swallows you with its mesmerizing rhythms. It's afro funk at best with a frantic atmosphere whirling up from the ever flashing percussive arrangements. The funky Hammond B – 3 organ is omnipresent on all the tracks and duels with the wild and completely unleashed lead guitar from time to time. Repetative chord progressions and harmonies decorate the solid rhythmmical base and deprive you of your senses while you get deeper and deeper into a trance like state moving and floating along on the dancefloor. Due to the crisp and clear sound this record gives you the feeling of being right at the scene, everything sounds and feels so vivid, even after more than four decades. So it is no wonder that this record is a popular gem in Western Africa but how is the reception from the European and American fans of furious funk music? Well, Geraldo Pino has become a legend in his home area but just a short time before his death in 2008 people from the Western World really discovered him and his amazing band. Original copies of this album go for several hundred USD if they ever turn up. So a reissue of this sacred gem of African funk music from the early 70s has been long overdue. A record that is made to let dancefloors smoke and tremble and the musicianship is sheer amazing! 

1. Blackman Was Born To Be Free 6:47
2. Man Pass Man, Iron De Cut Iron 6:23
3. Right In The Centre 6:17
4. On The Spot 5:24
5. Woman Experience 5:29
6. Afro Soco Soul Live 6:32


''archiving a 78 with my custom Technics SL-1200MK4''

By the late 1940s, mento music arose as a unique style of Jamaican music. Mento is similar to Trinidadian calypso and it is sometimes referred to as Jamaican calypso, but it is indeed a genre unto itself. It features a fair balance of African and European elements and is played with acoustic instruments, including a banjo, guitar, and the rumba box, which is like a large-scale bass mbira which the player sits upon while playing. One of the most fun aspects of mento music is the lyrical content, which frequently features extended bawdy double entendres and political innuendo.

What is Mento Music?

Via: kokosroko

1. Bargie [10 inch] - Hubert Porter with The Tower Islanders
2. Bongo Man [10 inch] - Louise Bennett acc. by the Caribbean Serenaders
3. Brown Skin Gal [10 inch] - Hubert Porter with The Tower Islanders
4. Calypso Cha Cha Cha [10 inch] - Count Lasha and His Calypsonians
5. Caribbean Curtsy [10 inch] - The Silver Seas Calypsos with Eddie Brown
6. Daphne Walkin' [10 inch] - Clyde Hoyte with George Moxey Quartet
7. DAY OH; Linstead Market [10 inch] - The Wigglers
8. Day-O (Banana Boat Song) [10 inch] - George Browne and his Jamaican Calypso Band
9. Doctor [7 inch] - Porter Calypso Star Band (vocal by Lord Composer?)
10. Doctor by Rudy King & The Calypso Bombers (archiving a 78 with my custom Technics SL-1200MK4)
11. Donkey City [10 inch] - Lord Flea with The Jamaican Calypsonians
12. Don't Fence Her In [10 inch] - Hubert Porter with the Jamaican Calypsonians
13. Dr. Kinsey Report [10 inch] - Lord Lebby and The Jamaican Calypsonians
14. Etheopia [10 inch] - Lord Lebby and The Jamaican Calypsonians
15. Farewell To Jamaica [10 inch] - George Browne and his Jamaican Calypso Band
16. Four Days Love [10 inch] - The Ticklers (Vocals: Harold Richardson)
17. Gal A Gully; Matilda [10 inch] - Lord Composer and His Silver Seas Hotel Orchestra
18. Glamour Gal [10 inch] - The Ticklers (Vocals: Harold Richardson)
19. Healing In The Balm Yard [10 inch] - The Ticklers (Vocals: Harold Richardson)
20. Highlights From The Silver Seas Floor Show [10 inch] - Hubert Porter with The Silver Seas Calypsos
21. Hill and Gully Ride; Mandeville Road [10 inch] - Lord Composer and his Silver Seas Hotel Orchestra
22. Honey Bee [10 inch] - Bedasse with Chin's Sextet
23. Honeymoon [10 inch] - Bedasse with Local Calypso Quintet
24. Industrial Fair [7 inch] - Bedasse with Chin's Calypso Sextet
25. Is She Is, Or Is She Ain't [10 inch] - The Charmer with the Johnny McCleverty Calypso Boys
26. Lignum Vitae [10 inch OKeh] - Sam Manning with Adolphe' Thenstead's Mentor Boys
27. Limbo [10 inch] - Lord Tickler with The Jamaican Calypsonians
28. Limbo [10 inch] - The Wigglers Trio (Vocals by Denzil Laing)
29. Linstead Market [10 inch] - Louise Bennett acc. by the Caribbean Serenaders
30. Lord Lebby & The Jamaican Calypsonians - Hol'im Joe
31. Mabel [10 inch] - Lord Fly and His Orchestra
32. Maintenance [10 inch] - Joseph Clemendore (Cobra Man) with Ganny Gabbinson & His Calypso Band
33. Mama No Want No Rice No Peas [10 inch] - Lord Lebby with The Jamaican Calypsonians
34. Mary Ann [10 inch] - Hubert Porter with the Jamaican Calypsonians
35. Mary Ann; Brown Skin Gal [10 inch] - Denzil Laing Trio (The Wigglers)
36. Mattie Rag; Brown Skin Gal [10 inch] - Lord Flea and The Jamaican Calypsonians
37. Medley of Jamaican Mento-Calypsos #1 [10 inch] - Lord Fly with Dan Williams & his Orchestra
38. Medley Of Jamaican Mento-Calypsos #2 [10 inch] - Lord Fly with Dan Williams & his Orchestra
39. Miss Goosey [10 inch] - Lord Power and his Calypso Quartet
40. Miss Goosie (Medley) [10 inch] - Hubert Porter and The Jamaican Calypsonians
41. Money Is King [10 inch] - Bedasse with Local Calypso Quintet
42. Montego Calypso [10 inch] - Clyde Hoyte with George Moxey Quartet
43. Mother Bad Mine [10 inch] - Count Lasher and His Calypso Quintet
44. Night Fall In Zion [10 inch] - Laurel Aitken
45. Night Food [10 inch] - Bedasse with Calypso Quintet
46. No Money No Music [10 inch] - Bedasse with Local Calypso Quintet
47. Not Me [10 inch] - Denzil Laing Trio (The Wigglers)
48. Not Me [10 inch] - Hubert Porter and The Jamaican Calypsonians
49. Perfect Love [10 inch] - Count Lasher and His Calypso Quintet
50. Perseverance [10 inch] - Count Lasha and His Calypsonians
51. Rough Rider [10 inch] - Bedasse with Local Calypso Quintet
52. Rum & Coconut Water [10 inch] - Hubert Porter and The Jamaican Calypsonians
53. Run Mongoose; Linstead Market [10 inch] - Lord Flea with The Jamaican Calypsonians
54. Sampson and Delilah [7 inch] - Bedasse with Chin's Calypso Sextet
55. She 'Pon Top [10 inch] - Baba Motta and His Jamaicans
56. Sollas Market [10 inch] - Lord Power and his Calypso Quartet
57. Strike, Strike, Strike [10 inch] - Lord Fly with Dan Williams and His Orchestra
58. Susie [10 inch] - Baba Motta and His Jamaicans
59. Sweet Jamaica [10 inch] - Lord Lebby with The Jamaican Calypsonians
60. Talking Parrot [7 inch] - Porter Calypso Star Band (vocal by Count Lasher)
61. The Little Fly [10 inch] - Lord Fly and His Orchestra
62. The Mermaid [10 inch] - The Wigglers
63. The Naughty Little Flea [10 inch] - Lord Flea and His Calypsonians
64. Tomato [10 inch] - Marie Bryant acc. Mike McKenzie Quintet featuring Bertie King (alto sax)
65. Ugly Woman [10 inch] - Hubert Porter and The Jamaican Calypsonians
66. Walk And Talk [10 inch] - Bedasse with Calypso Quintet
67. Whai, Whai, Whai [10 inch] - Lord Fly with Dan Williams & his Orchestra
68. Wheel And Turn Me [10 inch] - Lord Flea and The Jamaican Calypsonians


Reissue of Nigerian psychedelic rock/funk album, originally released by Amba in 1974. This version comes with the French girlie cover. It was released under the title 'Afro Funk Music' by the Soul Posters label, also in 1974.

The Funkees hit London in 1973 as the tightest, funkiest and most audacious bands to come out of Africa. Hardened by endless touring and an unrelenting battle with BLO and Monomono to be the best band in Nigeria, they were in prime musical condition, ready to finally lay down their first album. The result was Point Of No Return, a balls-to-the wall Afro funk-psych-rock monster that placed them, without question, on the top of the Afro funk pile. From the audacious opening instrumental title track to the funky finale, ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’, the musicianship is jaw dropping, with a rhythm section so tight you couldn't slip a cigarette paper between them. ‘Abraka’, ‘Dancing In The Nude’ and ‘Ole’ find Jake Sollo, Harry Mosco and Sonny Akpabio at the height of their powers, playing songs fashioned from the sweat of years playing live and the soca and calypso influences of the West African and Caribbean musicians they played with in London. Point of No Return is rightly regarded as a landmark of psychedelic Afro Funk. It's also one that marks out The Funkees as not just one of the best bands in Nigeria or Africa, but in London and across the world too. -Peter Moore

1. Point Of No Return 4:29
2. Abraka 3:31
3. Ole 4:29
4. Dancing In The Nude 4:30
5. Life 5:09
6. I Can't Be Satisfied 4:26


Muriel's Treasure, Vol. 1: Vintage Calypso from the 1950s & 1960s

Released September 1, 2017
Volume 1 of 4
Curated and restored by Irwin Chusid
Digital restorations from best-available vinyl sources
With love from Muriel

1. Lord Kitchener - Muriel and De Bug 2:59
2. Roaring Lion - Trinidad, Land of Calypso 2:41
3. Mighty Sparrow - The Slave 7:02
4. Duke & the Jamaica 5 - Bloodshot Eyes 2:50
5. Calypso Mama - Run, Joe 2:10
6. George Symonette - Coconut Water, Rum and Gin 2:15
7. Fabulous McClevertys - Don't Blame It on Elvis 2:30
8. Duke of Iron - Fifty Cents 2:33
9. Mighty Zebra - Man Smart, Woman Smarter 2:45
10. Duke & the Jamaica 5 - Hungry Woman 3:06
11. Lili Verona - Massa Johnny 2:42
12. Duke of Iron - The Music Lesson 2:33
13. Duke Errol & the Lords - Mama Look-A Boo-Boo 2:47
14. Lord Brynner - Hang Them High 3:54
15. Lord Kitchener - Smoke a Cigarette 2:38
16. Count Lasher & Williams - Mufradite 2:54
17. Talbot Brothers - Too Much Rock & Roll 2:29
18. Duke Errol & the Lords - Shame & Scandal in the Family 3:02
19. Mighty Dougla - Split Me in Two 3:49
20. Mighty Zebra - We Like Ike 2:58
21. Duke Errol & the Lords - Back to Back, Belly to Belly 3:02
22. Lord Christo - Trip to Mars 3:43
23. Two-Gun Smokey - Vacation 2:33
24. Nap Hepburn - The River 4:36
25. Mike Alexander & the Pott Steelers - You Are My Sunshine 2:23

Muriel's Treasure, Vol. 2: Vintage Calypso from the 1950s & 1960s

Released September 1, 2017
Volume 2 of 4
Curated and restored by Irwin Chusid
Digital restorations from best-available vinyl sources
With love from Muriel

1. Percy Dixon - Bloodshot Eyes 2:07
2. Duke of Iron - Calypsonian Invasion 3:21
3. Lord Kitchener - The Wrecker 3:30
4. Marie Bryant - Don't Touch Me Tomato 3:00
5. Fabulous McClevertys - Landlady Want de Rent 2:31
6. Mighty Sparrow - Castro Eating Banana 4:14
7. Lord Christo - Boy Days 3:11
8. Lord Creator - Mr. Rake and Scrape 2:47
9. Unknown - Brown Skin Girl 2:24
10. Lord Nelson - I Got the Itch 2:42
11. Duke of Iron - Undercover Man 2:21
12. Lord Spectacular - Lazy Man 2:43
13. Mighty Gypsy - Sucker 3:00
14. Mighty Prince Galloway - Confusion Men 2:57
15. Count of Monte Cristo & Congo Bey - Run Joe 2:14
16. Sir Jablonski - More Pork 2:58
17. George Symonette - Camilla 2:32
18. Lord Creator - Race Track 2:54
19. Talbot Brothers - Atomic Nightmare 2:28
20. Tony Johnson - Linstead Market 2:05
21. Lord Invader - Reincarnation 3:48
22. Telco Orchestra - Belmont Jackass 3:33
23. Mighty Zebra - The Bedbug 2:53
24. The Sparrow - Donkey Want Water (Hold 'Em Joe) 2:20
25. Mighty Duke - Play Them 3:52

Muriel's Treasure, Vol. 3: Vintage Calypso from the 1950s & 1960s

Released September 1, 2017
Volume 3 of 4
Curated and restored by Irwin Chusid
Digital restorations from best-available vinyl sources
With love from Muriel

1. Roaring Lion - Ugly Woman 3:03
2. Lord Melody - Michael, Please Remove Your Face 3:09
3. Mighty Sparrow - Kennedy and Khruschev 3:52
4. Calypso Mama - Don't Touch Me Tomato 2:14
5. John L. Nichols - Meshuggener 3:25
6. Lord Spectacular - New York Situation 2:33
7. Black Czar - Bamboo Dance 2:54
8. The La Motta Brothers - Breakfast in a Flying Saucer 2:01
9. Baldhead Growler - Sausage 2:38
10. Lord Invader - New York Subway 3:10
11. Brownie - The Bedbug Song 2:24
12. Lord Creator - Archie Buck Them Up 3:12
13. Lord Christo - Shakespearean Quotations 3:15
14. Duke of Iron - I Left Her Behind for You 3:10
15. Colin Kelly - The Snorkel Song 2:02
16. Lord Messam - Take Her to Jamaica 3:05
17. Macbeth the Great - Cab Calloway 3:16
18. Lloyd Simmons - Hair in Your Teeth 3:55
19. Lord Flea & His Calypsonians - Calypso Bebop 2:12
20. Lord Kitchener - Women in New York 2:53
21. Mighty Panther - Big Bamboo 3:40
22. Sir Jablonski - Isabel 2:31
23. Sparrow's Troubadours - Mas in Madison 4:12
24. Two Gun Smokey - Donkey Race 2:38
25. Lord Nelson - Stella 3:21

Muriel's Treasure, Vol. 4: Vintage Calypso from the 1950s & 1960s

Released September 1, 2017
Volume 4 of 4
Curated and restored by Irwin Chusid
Digital restorations from best-available vinyl sources
With love from Muriel

1. Nap Hepburn - Belmont Jackass 3:47
2. Mighty Sparrow - Stupid Married Man 4:04
3. Lord Melody & Marjorie Johnson - Sack Dress 3:24
4. John L. Nichols - The Alien 2:58
5. Andre Toussaint - Watermelon Spoilin' 2:40
6. Lord Christo - The Landlord 2:19
7. Black Czar - Rookoombey 2:53
8. Calypso Mama - Monkey 2:19
9. Hayden - He Like It, She Like It 3:10
10. Duke of Iron - It's the Rhythm We Want 2:59
11. Lord Kitchener - My Pussin 3:40
12. Lord Creator - Short Shorts 3:27
13. Lord Jayson & His Limbo Gang - Why Must a Man Wander 2:38
14. Lord Flea & His Calypsonians - Bachelor's Life 2:20
15. Duke Errol & the Lords - Island Woman 2:42
16. Herbert Howard - Saxophone 2:43
17. Mighty Panther - Nora Nora 2:47
18. Mike Alexander & the Pott Steelers - Obeah Wedding 4:48
19. Roz Croney - Limbo Like Me 2:42
20. Two Gun Smokey - Bush 2:50
21. Edmundo Ros - One at a Time 1:50
22. Mighty Robin - The Princess & the Cameraman 3:26
23. Ross Talbot - Short Skirts and Poly Pants 2:12
24. Shake Keane - Baionga 2:08
25. Lord Rhumbago & the Caribbeans - Melody de Amour 2:09


All Hail Lucia Pamela!

Over 50 years ago Lucia Pamela loaded her pink Cadillac up with some musician friends, a slew of instruments, a weird batch of space ballads, and headed for the moon.

Their mission? Not some pre-Apollo scientific space exploration, but rather the first, and possibly only, interplanetary recording session (unless, of course, you consider some of Sun Ra's early intergalactic jazz explorations).

The product of this expedition was the now legendary Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela in the Year 2000 (Lucia was apparently a time traveler as well).

Lucia insists Into Outer Space was recorded on the moon. Not only that, she's not entirely happy with lunar acoustics. "The air is so thin everything sounds different up there", she once noted in an annoyed tone.

Certainly those primitive recording facilities contributed to the unique sound of Lucia's crudely recorded cult classic.

How to explain the sound of Into Outer Space? For starters, one critic called Lucia the "missing link between Sun Ra and the Shaggs". That's a start, but it's nowhere near the complete story. Lucia isn't nearly derivative enough to be neatly pigeonholed between other artists, no matter how out-there they may be.

Approximate the following and come to your own conclusions. Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela is the sound of a ragtime band lost in another galaxy, hopelessly whacked out on alien hallucinogens, desperately trying to pull together history's strangest concept album.

Which is exactly what Into Outer Space is -- a startlingly weird concept album.

The premise: Lucia pays a visit to Moontown and reports back on her findings. An Indian wedding. More oriental people than she expected. Lots of animals. No taxes. A virtual paradise. Except of course for the recording facilities.

For those of you having trouble visualizing Lucia's adventure, the entire mission was documented in the extremely rare Lucia Pamela Coloring Book. The book is central to the myth and legend of Lucia Pamela. It's a sci-fi-folk-art adventure story, complete with smoking dogs and nut people. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you too can have your very own copy of this amazing work of art. Just download the complete coloring book (3.8 MB) in the convenient Acrobat file format. You can view and print the file with the free Adobe Acrobat file reader.

It's worth noting that Lucia is sponsoring an international coloring contest. It's been going on since 1969. She's still accepting entries because she doesn't want to rush anyone. So take your time, but remember to send your entry.

The coloring contest was memorialized in a brilliant song by the British band Stereolab. "International Colouring Contest" sounds like it might have been the theme to the Lucia Pamela Variety Hours, circa 1959. You can hear the song on the group's "Mars Audiac Quintet" LP.

While Into Outer Space was Lucia's first (and apparently only) commercial release, her long and illustrious musical career is recounted in vivid detail in the original liner notes to Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela. My personal history with Lucia is briefly recounted in the reissue liner notes.

If any of this musical weirdness sounds even remotely interesting, you owe it to yourself to find a copy of the Into Outer Space With Lucia Pamela reissue.

Many questions can be made about this album, such as "how did she manage to record this mess?" My only answer is this: shut up and just be glad she did. I don't know what exactly to make of it, and I doubt anyone else would. But it's embarassingly fun. The story of Lucia Pamela can be looked for on the internet in various places, but I'll say this much: Lucia is this crazy lady who has mastered many instruments and managed to get the opportunity to record. The big question is whether the world was ready for Lucia at the time. Uh, no. And I don't think we'll ever be until the end of time. See, when I say 'crazy' I'm not just blowing smoke up your ass here. In real life, she claimed to be a space traveler. She reports that she went up there in her pink Cadillac with all her instruments and friends and 'the acoustics up there were terrible.' Despite the ridiculous claims about its history, this album is actually a lot of fun to hear. The album is so mind-bogglingly left field that you really don't want to turn it off. You just have to keep going, just to see how weird it gets. The best part is that every so often, a cool hook "gets your toes a-tapping, and your nose a-twitching, and other body parts doing various things." ( - Colin Mochrie, Whose Line Is It Anyway) The genre itself is hard to describe; it's mostly ragtime, and despite the poor quality of the sound (what do you expect from an obscure album from the 60s?) it sure makes you smile, no matter what the cause. -wyattte

1. Moontown 1:08
2. Walking on the Moon 3:11
3. Flip Flop Fly 3:25
4. Dear Me 3:20
5. You and Your Big Ideas 2:17
6. What To Do Is the Question 3:20
7. Hap-Hap-Happy Heart 2:36
8. Indian Alphabet Chant (a-i-iddy-i-o-o-o) 2:39
9. Why? Because I Want To! 3:10
10. In Love, In Love 2:40
11. I've Got a Song 3:18
12. Blue Wind 2:53
13. In the Year 2,000!!! 1:35

A.k.a. (1992)

Incl. Lucia Pamela Coloring Book PDF
Originally recorded in 1969.
Recorded on the moon (according to Lucia Pamela.)


Original songs from Epirus

The music of Epirus is one of the most complete and beloved traditional musical particularities in our country. Many foreigners interested in our music consider it as one of their favorite, maybe because it is based on anhemitonic scales with a world-wide spread in the East and the West. This album contains some of the most beautiful examples of the music of Epirus done in old authentic performances.

1. Kitsos Harisiadis - Lamentation Arvanitiko (1928-1928)
2. Agathoklis Mouskas, A. Sakelariou - A Young Sherperdess Was Tumbling Down (N. York appr. 1930)
3. Elias Litos, Lazaros Rouvas - Skaros (1928-1929)
4. Alexis Zoumbas - Liaskovitsi (N. York 1928-1929)
5. Tassos Halkias - Priest's Wife From Xiromero (1945)
6. The Five Glyniotes - Vlacha (sheperdess) (1931)
7. Kitsos Harisiadis - Lamentation (In Do) (table song) (1929)
8. Manthos Halkias - Merko Lamentation (N. York 1928)
9. The Nikos Halkias group - I Was Walking In The Sand (appr. 1945)
10. Alexis Zoumbas - Thiako (N. York 1928-1929)
11. Miltiadis Kazis - Old Lady Nikolakena (N. York 1928-1929)
12. unknown composer - I Fell Off The Tree Missis Giorgena
13. Elias Litos, Lazaros Rouvas - Fissouni (1929)
14. P. Beskaris & N. Annastassiou - What Do You Want From Me syrtos (appr. 1945)
15. Tassos Halkias - Tears (appr. 1945)
16. Kitsos Harisiadis - Double Bagpipes Of Epirus (1929)
17. George Bakas, Polyxeni Litou, D. Bazis - A Basil I will Become At Your Window
18. Kitsos Harisiadis - Strotos Bridal Dance From Pogoni (1928-1929)
19. George Bakas, Polyxeni Litou, D. Bazis, Lazaros Rouvas - For Your Sake My Darling Yannopoula

From rare US 78-speed discs. From the collection of Konstantinos Papakonstantinou or Pappas and Charilaos Pavlopoulos. The photos come from the archives of Aristomenis Kalyviotis. Cleaning and production Grigoris Phalereas.

Armenians in Istanbul

Udi Hrant Kenkulian, the blind master of the oud, is regarded as one of the greatest innovators of modern ud playing, and one of the most unique singers of his genre.

''..if you have any taste for the secret museum of humankind, the performances here will leave you dizzy.''

Born blind, Hrant Kenkulian (b. 1901; d. Aug. 29, 1979) was one of the most innovative, influential, and virtuosic oudists of the 20th century. Armenian, he was born in Adapazari in the Marmara region of north-west Turkey. During the Armenian genocide, his family fled to Konya from 1915-18 but returned to Adapazari before settling in Istanbul. 

His youth was further marked with sorrow as he lived in poverty, felt passionate unrequited love, and had attempts at surgical restoration of his sight in Vienna fail. Even so, he began to record in the late 20s, and his renown as a performer grew. In 1937, he married the love of his life. In 1950, he was gifted a trip to the United States, where his recordings had been available for over a decade, for another medical procedure to restore his sight. Although it was not successful, his performances were more than well received. 

The broadcaster and autodidact ethnomusicologist Leo Sarkisian remembers that at Hrant’s New York City debut, Hrant was led on stage, sat down, and began to play only with his left hand, hammering-on and pulling-off the strings, without even having plucked a note before the largely Armenian audience began to shed tears at the depth and beauty of his playing, just in the first few minutes of his performance. 

Hrant left an indelible mark on American oudists, teaching and performing widely and recording along side jazz players including Johnny Griffin throughout the decade. In the early 60s, he performed in Greece, Lebanon, France, and Armenia. He continued to perform until just a few months before his death in Istanbul. 

Harold Hagopian, the son of one of Hrant’s key students Richard Hagopian, issued nearly four hours of Hrant’s music about a decade ago. This collection seeks to expand on his collections by re-releasing another hour heart-rendingly beautiful material recorded by Hrant during his time in the U.S. for the Aris, Near East, Hrant, Smyrnaphon, and Yildiz labels (in order of appearance). Only two of these 20 performances seem to have been available since they were originally issued about 60 years ago. -Ian Nagoski (Canary Records)

1. Bu Gege (Tonight) 3:10
2. Hijran Achmish Sineme (Separation Opened A Wound On My Heart) 3:21
3. Nenni (Lullaby) 3:09
4. Her Zaman Bir Olur Mu (Will Every Time Be the Same?) 2:49
5. Chataraban pt. 1 3:32
6. Chataraban pt. 2 3:32
7. Hrant Taxim no. 1 4:29
8. Hrant Taxim no. 2 5:28
9. Antif Tarere Taparesank (We Wandered For Countless Ages) 3:07
10. Dance Armenian ("Dasnachors"/ Fourteen) 2:59
11. Serut Inzi Misht Gayre (Your Love Burns Me Always) 3:14
12. Halley (Men's Dance) 3:00
13. Her Sabah Her Seher (Every Morning, Every Dawn) 2:46
14. Uzun Chayir (Long Meadow) 2:58
15. Anush Yarin (To My Sweet Love) 2:55
16. Agin 4:09
17. Husseini Taxim 4:06
18. Hijaz Taxim (1) 04:11
19. Mehtaba Sordum (I Asked The Moonlight) 2:48
20. Hijaz Taxim (2) 3:09


The marimba is a vivid legacy of African presence in Latin America, but only on the Pacific coast of southern Colombia and northern Ecuador does it keep its close connections to a strongly African culture. Hailing from small towns along the river-ridden Colombian coast, the seasoned women singers of Grupo Naidy raise their voices to the accompaniment of marimba and drums, performing their unique styles of music known collectively as currulao.

Grupo Naidy, based in Cali, Colombia, play a marimba and drum music known as currulao, a strikingly African-inflected style that has flourished on the Pacific coast of southern Colombia and northern Ecuador (the group's repertoire also embraces juga, arrulo, salve, bunde, alabao, and canto de boga pieces). Led by percussionist Irlando "Maky" Lopez, Grupo Naidy include marimba virtuosos Jose Antonio Torres and Budilo Cauma Renteria and cantaora singer Juana Maria Angulo. Grupo Naidy had just finished recording their first album in 2004 (Arriba Suena Marimba: Currulao Marimba Music from Columbia, released on Smithsonian Folkways in 2006) when two other members of the group, brothers Alex Cuama Valencia and Jiminson Cuama Valencia, were shot and killed in Buenaventura. -Steve Leggett

'The ensemble Grupo Naidy play and sing heavily rhythmic, rolling pieces based around traditional material on this recording. Call-and-response interplay between women's voices, insistent pummeling rhythms on various percussion instruments, and marimba dominate the arrangements. While the group is Colombian, the music is quite African-influenced in nature, to the point where some listeners with a general familiarity with world music might not guess the performers were South American. The haunting, somewhat doleful quality of the women's voices is highlighted on the percussion-less "Oi, Ve (Listen, Look)," though it's atypical of a set that usually makes the propulsive rhythms a key feature. The 36-page booklet presents overviews of the musical style, the specific musicians featured on the recording, and the songs performed on the album, in both English and Spanish.'

'While the marimba reminds us of the rich culture bequeathed by African slaves to Latin American artistic traditions, it is only in the Pacific coast of southern Colombia and northern Ecuador where it has kept close connections to a traditional 'African' culture. On the disc ¡Arriba Suena Marimba! the female singers of Grupo Naidy, accompanied by marimba and drums, represent the preservation and perseverance of the culture and tradition of a fugitive community (palenques) who escaped slavery in the nineteenth century and mined for gold hidden in the rich water network that forms the Pacific river basin. As the community travel from river to river, gathering herbs for medicine, fishing, and panning for gold, they recite poems, jokes and stories and hold currulaos: musical gatherings in which the river-people congregate at the local marimba house to sing and dance.

This disc, recorded in the city of Cali, captures the virtuosity of the marimberos. Usually, two marimberos play simultaneously, one playing an ostinato-like pattern in the lower register while the other provides melodies and improvisations in the upper register. The liner notes explain that 'local folklore recounts the legendary musical battles of the marimberos against the devil, who challenges them to virtuosic musical duels in which prize is their very soul.' The marimbas are accompanied by bombos (bass drum), cununos (wooden drums) and guasa (bamboo tube filled with seeds used to keep time while the singers sing). In addition to the currulao, this disc also has tracks in other polyrhythmic genres such as juga, bunde, alabao, and canto de boga.

The female choir is distinctive in both timbre and harmony. Their gravely voices contrast with the rich harmonies which, in turn, are sung in counterpoint to the lilting, often calypso-like rhythms of the percussion ensemble. The songs themselves have a call and response structure which evokes the sound of community. Often they are poignant lullabies: the opening track El botellón is performed at a child's funeral accompanying their direct ascent into heaven. At other times they reflect women's influence and power in the community. Track 2, Una mañanita, references the thorny rose as a metaphor for a woman's protective power: 'Don't step on this rose … if you do, she'll prick your feet'. Other songs evoke Catholic imagery. Track 8 is a juga, which is normally held on a saint's feast day, for el Niño Dios (the Christ Child) sung for Three Kings Day in the street processions; track 11 is in adoration for the popular San Antonio sung to thank him for prosperity and good fortune. Other songs describe everyday stories involving all members of the community and clearly illustrate the central role that music plays in providing this community with an enduring and evolving sense of itself.

The CD is accompanied by adequate notes by Michel Birenbaum Quintero which outline a little of the musical contexts and are followed by short biographies of each musician. There are many anecdotal passages and mentions of accolades the musicians and the group have received. However, as I reached the end of reading the notes I was struck by sadness as I read that two of the musicians were shot and killed on a street corner in Buenaventura after a rehearsal.' -Iain Foreman

1. El Botellón (The Jug) 4:17
2. Una Mañanita (One Morning) 3:52
3. Mi Gallo Corococó (My Rooster Crows) 4:11
4. Dolores 5:54
5. ¿Lo Que Suena, Qué Será? (That Sould, What Could It Be?) 4:22
6. La Maravilla (The Marvel) 4:28
7. Oí, Ve (Listen, Look) 3:39
8. Lo Que Me Trajo El Niño Dios (What The Christ Child Brought Me) 3:54
9. ¿A Cómo Vende La Piangua? (How Much Is The Piangua?) 5:01
10. Pango 5:08
11. Vamos A Adorar A Antonio (Let's Worship Saint Anthony) 4:35
12. Salomé 4:03

Incl. PDF

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Old time lost great Belly dance music

'Known as "The King of Belly Dance Music," George Abdo and his Flames of Araby Orchestra combine Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptian, Armenian, Greek, and Turkish musical traditions to create a uniquely American belly dance soundscape. Abdo's music is based on the repertoire, instrumentation, and performance styles of the Middle East while also incorporating influences from American pop and jazz. A prototype for "World Beat," Abdo and His Flames of Araby helped bring Middle Eastern music and belly dancing to mainstream North American audiences. Culled from his 5 best-selling albums, this compilation showcases rich vocals and lively rhythms played on violin, oboe, 'ud, qanun, darbukka, and bouzouki as well as guitar, piano, bass, and drums.'

Singer George Abdo was a legend in Middle Eastern communities in the United States and abroad. For many years, he reigned at the now-defunct Averof supper club in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he presented an appealing, exciting mix of new material and old favorites, arranged in his inimitable style. Abdo was a fusion pioneer before "fusion" existed as a genre. An Egyptian American, he created a multi-ethnic environment in which one national identity bled into another. On any evening, his bandstand might have included Armenians, Syrians, Greeks, Lebanese, and Egyptians. He blended one group's musical loves with another's, as when he adapted tunes by such renowned Arab composers as Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab with new Greek lyrics, such as on "Ta Mavra Matia Sou (Your Black Eyes)." He switched between languages and styles flawlessly, often within a single tune, such as on "Raks Mustapha (Mustapha's Dance)," in which he alternates easily between French and Arabic. A song like "Allah, Ya Lubnan (God, My Beautiful Lebanon)" demanded an international platoon of electric violin, qanun (hammered dulcimer), congas, claves, and Chinese gong, among other instruments. But it was Abdo's warm, sensuous croon and the superb musicianship of his players that were prized above all else by professional dancers and enthusiastic audiences alike, and this best-of disc captures his talents in full bloom in both studio and live recordings.

Sure, some of this music sounds a little dated now--it's hard to take the Spain-via-Hollywood-and-Cairo strums of the song "Sahirrnee (Bewitched)" as anything but camp. Even so, Abdo still exerts an electrifying hold, especially on tunes such as "Ya Gameel (Oh Gameel)," in which he lets go with thrilling improvisations, or in the dynamic whirl of "Hadouni, Hadouni." Smithsonian Folkways' typically exemplary liner notes with lengthy essays, bibliography, and discography complete this must-have package for Middle Eastern enthusiasts. But even if you don't know an 'ud from a bouzouki, Abdo draws you into his happily multicultural world, and soon enough you'll be doing the debkeh right alongside his Averof dancers. Tragically, Abdo died a mere two weeks before this album was released in May 2002; he was killed in a car accident on the way to his 65th birthday party. This is a fitting tribute to a singular talent. --Anastasia Tsioulcas

1. Ya Gameel (Arabic Love Ballad) 6:09
2. Ruh Tum Bi Salama (Go In Peace) 4:55
3. Ta Mavra Matia Sou (Your Black Eyes) 5:02
4. Raks Araby (Arabic Dance) 2:53
5. Hadouni, Hadouni 3:45
6. Allah, Ya Lubnan (God, My Beautiful Lebanon) 4:16
7. Raks Averof (Dance At The Averof) 3:26
8. Raks Mustapha (Mustapha's Dance: Complete Belly Dance Routine) 11:40
9. Min Feegis (Don't Leave Me) 4:20
10. Raks El-Malek (Dance For The King) 5:16
11. Sahirrnee (Bewitched) 6:15
12. Noora Ya Noora (Noora's Dance) 5:18
13. O Paliatzis (The Junk Man) 4:26
14. Dio Cardias (Two Hearts) 2:40
15. Imm Al-Manadili (The Charm Of Your Scarf) 4:08


Incl. PDF


In 1955 France discovered the merengue, a new dance that was all the rage in America. Singer Gérard La Viny, who ran the famous West Indian cabaret ‘La Canne à Sucre’ in Paris, brought the dance back from Saint-Domingue… and two brothers from Martinique, Barel & Honoré Coppet, adapted its rhythm into a Creole style to make it one of the most popular dances of the French Caribbean.

“Anyone should find plenty to enjoy here” par Blues & Rhythm
Honoré Coppet and Anatole « Barel » Coppet were clarinet-playing brothers from Martinique, the former born in 1910 and the latter ten years later. They moved to mainland France in 1947 and over the next few years they formed bands together and separately, playing Caribbean music in outfits that would contain several horns and rhythm sections augmented with percussions. At the very end of 1955, the merengue, a lively style from the Dominican Republic, rapidly gained in popularity in France. Early the next year, the brothers recorded the first eight titles on this collection in this “new” style (though including two biguines) for Philips – these performances have a vitality and enthusiasm to them that avoids many of the “tropical” stereotypes of the time. The remaining sixteen titles were recorded at several sessions for Odéon, and include the traditional sounds of biguines and waltz as well as the merengue, with lyrics generally in French creole (try Barel’s “Moin Planté Bananes” for a fine example). The final four titles include renowned trombonist Al Lirvat in the line-up, and he adds a more modern jazzy style. Anyone with an interest in vintage Caribbean music should find plenty to enjoy here and those who have followed Frémeaux’s reissue programme of French-Caribbean music so far should certainly acquire this as soon as possible. Hopefully there will be more… -Norman Darwen

1. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais - Moin Ni On Loto Nef (1956)
2. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais - Merengue Roulé (1956)
3. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais - Ce L'amou Cé La Vie (1956)
4. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais - Missie L'abbé (1956)
5. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais - Vive Vaval (1956)
6. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais - Pas Reproché Moin (1956)
7. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais - C'est Le Merengue (1956)
8. Barel Coppet Et Ses Antillais -Ti Beber (1956)
9. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais - Chantez, Dansez, C'est Carnaval (1956)
10. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais - La Belle Des Isles (1956)
11. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Moin Planté Bananes (1956)
12. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Doudou Prends Patience (1956)
13. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Rouvé Canal La (1957)
14. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Mon Rêve (1957)
15. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Ménage Moderne (1957)
16. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Moin Caï Démayé (1957)
17. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Foute Zote Mové (1957)
18. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Mon Coeur (1957)
19. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Non Dodo Pa Ka Fé Sa (1958)
20. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Jeannine (1958)
21. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Prends Courage (1959)
22. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Carmen (1959)
23. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Espoir (1959)
24. Honoré Coppet Et Son Orchestre Antillais -  Pas Piqué Graine Dé A. (1959)