Kelly Joe Phelps ~ Hattie’s Hat

28 03 2009

kjpWestern Bell, the new record from Kelly Joe Phelps, was released last week and i was pleasantly surprised at this latest offering. it is a different kind of front porch music than i expected; more like listening to him noodling around on his guitar than a collection of songs. not much for beginnings middles and ends, and Hattie’s Hat is just about as country blues as Western Bell gets. it’s closer to KJP’s jazz roots than to the stomp box and gin bottle slide flavour of his early work, and probably more string-virtuoso in a Bill Frisell way than anything else. i do miss the strength and wisdom of his smoky vocals but don’t get me wrong; none of this is a criticism. Western Bell is full of lovely sounds and easy feel..

DOWNLOAD Kelly Joe Phelps ~ Hattie’s Hat


BUY Western Bell direct from KJP’s online store.

Robert Pete Williams ~ Free Again

10 12 2008

rpwagaini looked for this record, originally recorded for Prestige Records in 1961, for many years, having had it loaned to me by a professor of mine while at school. between that prof and a harp-blowing friend i made during my brief residence in Ottawa, i was introduced to the whole world of the blues. all of the tapes i made of those records were long ago played right out, or left in a box of obsolete technologies. eventually i gave up the active search and was overjoyed last night to discover it all zipped up and ready for download at Blues Town.. and on a post almost a year old no less!

the son of Louisiana sharecroppers, Williams was jailed in 1956 for killing a man in a club (he claimed in self defense). he was discovered – and recorded – in Angola Penitentiary by Dr. Harry Oster and Richard Allen: ‘ethnomusicologists’ of the sort that really were ultimately responsible for the folk music explosion in the 60s (though they weren’t the only ones, by any means.)

as far as i’m concerned if you look up country blues in the dictionary, it should read something like: 1. Robert Pete Williams. 2. Sonny Terry. 3. Mississippi Fred McDowell. see also: Rev. Gary Davis.

DOWNLOAD Robert Pete Williams ~ Free Again

VISIT the illustrated RPW discography

BUY RPW records from Fat Possum Records and Arhoolie Records.

[via Blues Town]