Thursday, September 04, 2014

Not to be missed...The Byrds - 1968-11-02 and 1969-05-23 (Bootleg) (Superb Sound Quality)

Size: 339 MB
Bitrate: 320
Found in OuterSpace
Some Artwork Included

Notes from the sleeve... 
Possibly the earliest recorded show to feature the Clarence White - Gene Parsons - John York lineup, and in fact, York couldn't have been in the Byrds more than a week or so. And, as Roy Josephson comments, there are some real highlights and some disappointments. Clarence is absolutely incredible here, especially in the first part of the tape. His guitar is very out front. There appear to be 2 sets. Old Blue is great; Time Between excellent - McGuinn forgets what album it's on. Clarence adds a whole new dimension to Mr. Spaceman - possibly his best work at this show. Blue Suede Shoes is a real hoot. 

Goin Back, Rock 'n' Roll Star, This Wheel, Back Pages and He Was a Friend are the same versions as on the FM broadcast tape. Drug Store Truck Driving Man is a dasslc with a long Ralph Emery story from Roger, harmony from Clarence, and Clarence doing the steel part on his stringbender. Stanley's Song is incomplete but good, done during the pre-show sound check I'd say, although it's In the middle of the tape. Pretty Boy Floyd is done with all guitars - it appears McGuinn says he left the banjo at the hotel. A strong version indeed. 

The show deteriorates toward the end of the tape in the second set. 

A second R & R Star is not as strong as the first. McGuinn just can't cut Hickory Wind, and York is no better. And King Apathy and Bad Night at the Whiskey are just shadows of what's on the album. There are feedback problems. York gets a little carried away on harmony. Clarence's guitar fades to the back of the mix on some numbers. There's feedback, bad distortlon, poor mix and cutting out. I don't hear Gene Parsons on anything but drums. There's lots of commentary from McGuinn. Some guy In the audience hollers for 100 Years and McGuinn does an impromptu first verse. It really didn't sound like there were many people in the audience. Nashville West is a strong closer though. I think Clarence and Gene could play that in their sleep by then. 

Recorded in late '67 and released early '68 the album "The Notorious Byrd Brothers" became a Byrds masterpiece and one of the greatest rock albums ever. Struggles within the band led to a creative high peak  but also to the firing of David Crosby. Although the album sleeve showed only the remaining members Crosby had contributed his part on almost half of the songs on the album. Soon after its release Michael Clarke also left the group.

McGuinn and Hillman who had proved their potential as a songwriting team on "Younger" and "Notorious" were joined by  Hillman's cousin Kevin Kelly on drums and Gram Parsons on guitar and vocals. McGuinn and Hillman at first intended to continue the folk-jazz-country-rock direction of the "Notorious" album but Parsons convinced Hillman to do some more pure country stuff.

After McGuinn had accepted the idea the album "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" became another innovational work of the band who had always refused to walk the easy road. The Byrds toured Europe in May 68 with Doug Dillard (picture right) on banjo as touring member but, after more hassles within the band Parsons quit not long after, followed by Kevin Kelly. The lineup during the South Africa Tour in July wasHillman, Carlos Bernal, McGuinn, Kelly

McGuinn and Hillman added Clarence White and Gene Parsons to the line up and fulfilled some contractual obligations but it didn't take long and Chris Hillman left the band to form The Flying Burrito Brothers  together with Gram Parsons leaving Roger McGuinn as the only original member. McGuinn decided to go on with White, Gene Parsons and bassist John York. The Burritos'first album "The Gilded Palace Of Sin" was released March '69.

In the summer of 1968 Gene Clark  teamed up with Doug Dillard to form  Dillard And Clark . They recorded "The Fantastic Expedition Of Dillard And Clark"  mostly with Clark originals and cooperations between Clark, Dillard and Bernie Leadon combining bluegrass, folk and rock. Although a minor classic of its era and with good reviews the album sold dissapointingly. 

The Byrds were back in the studio  in 1969 to record the album "Dr.Byrds And Mr.Hyde", released in March with a new Dylan song "This Wheel's On Fire" and some strong McGuinn compositions, one of them a collaboration with Gram Parsons from the "Sweetheart" days, "Drug Store Truck Drivin'Man". The new line up could set stages on fire, especially with White's lead playing but missed the vocal quality of the original band.

The Byrds - Netherland Single 1969
Dillard & Clark recorded their second album "Through The Morning, Through The Night" in the summer of '69 with the help of Hillman, Sneaky Pete amongst others. Bernie Leadon had quit the band before to join the Burritos. The album included some Clark classics like "Kansas City Southern" and "Polly" but missed the freshness of the recordings in '68. Michael Clarke joined the band in summer but became jobless again when Dillard & Clark broke up. Michael found a new engagement in the Flying Burrito Brothers the same year and took part on the recording of the group's second album "Burrito Deluxe", released in May 1970. 

Soon after its release founder member Parsons was fired because of his unreliability towards band's obligations. He was replaced by Rick Roberts with whom the Burritos recorded their third album "The Flying Burrito Brothers" in 1971. Another change within the band happened in 1969 with the quitting of Chris Ethridge who was replaced by Bernie Leadon. The band's last album "The Last Of The Red Hot Burritos" was recorded live in 1971 and released in February 1972. At that time the line up had changed again with Al Perkins replacing Sneaky Pete on pedal steel guitar and Kenny Wertz replacing Bernie Leadon on guitar. Bernie Leadon had left after their third album to form The Eagles.

The Byrds - Netherland Single 1965
After the "Red Hot" release Hillman called it a day and disbanded the group. Relived in 1975 by Pete and Ethridge and performing in different line-ups this kind of Burritos never found the acceptance of Hillman.

After having been fired from the Byrds David Crosby found new partners in Stephen Stills (ex-Buffalo Springfield) and Graham Nash (Hollies) to form American supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash. Their first album "Crosby, Stills And Nash"  became a huge success with its sparkling harmonies and fantastic guitar work. CSN were accompanied by Dallas Taylor on drums. The Byrds recorded the album "Ballad Of Easy Rider" in the autumn of 1969 bringing the band back to a minor fame. The bad times for McGuinn were over and there was even a new audience especially in Europe that didn't mourn after the loss of the original members but enjoyed the Byrds' full power stage appearances.

The Byrds
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco 
California November 2 1968
Excellent stereo soundboard

01. Old Blue
02. My Back Pages - Baby What You Want Me To Do
03. Mr Spaceman
04. Time Between
05. Goin' Back
06. Blue Suede Shoes
07. He Was A Friend Of Mine
08. So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star
09. Drug Store Truck Driving Man
10. This Wheel's On Fire
11. Stanleys Song
12. Pretty Boy Floyd
13. Eight Miles High
14. You Don't Miss Your Water
15. So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star
16. Hickory Wind
17. King Apathy III
18. Bad Night At The Whiskey
19. Nashville West 

Bonus Concert:
The Byrds Ash Grove 
Los Angeles May 23, 1969
Excellent stereo soundboard

01. Lover Of The Bayou
02. You AIn't Going Nowhere
03. Welcome Back Home
04. Old Blue
05. My Back Pages
06. Baby What You Want Me To Do
07. He Was A Friend Of Mine
08. Truck Stop Girl
09. guest intros
10. Break My Mind - with Linda Rondstat
11. I'm Moving On - with John Hammond
12. Take A City Bride
13. Chestnut Mare
14. This Wheel's On Fire
15. It's Alright Ma - Ballad Of Easy Rider
16. Jesus Is Just Alright
17. Turn! Turn! Turn!
18. Mr. Tambourine Man
19. Eight Miles High (incomplete)

Part 1: Link
Part 2: Link
Part 1: Link
Part 2: Link
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco today
Avalon Ballroom in the 60's concert picture (Band Unknown)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rare 1st Album: Little Walter -The Best of Little Walter (1st Album US 1957)

Size: 87.6 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Best of Little Walter is the first LP record by American blues performer Little Walter. First released in 1958, the compilation album contains ten Little Walter songs that appeared in the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B chart from 1952 to 1955, plus two B-sides. The album was first released by Checker Records as LP-1428, which was the first LP record released by Checker, and then released on Chess Records with the same catalog number.

The album cover features a black-and-white photo portrait shot by Grammy award winning photographer Don Bronstein of Little Walter holding/playing a Hohner 64 Chromatic harmonica and liner notes by Studs Terkel, who had written Giants of Jazz. The original LP featured a black label.

Little Walter, born Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968), was an American blues musician and singer, whose revolutionary approach to the harmonica earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, for innovation and impact on succeeding generations. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. Little Walter was inducted to the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 in the "sideman" category making him the first and only artist ever inducted specifically as a harmonica player.

Jacobs was born in 1930 in Marksville, Louisiana and raised in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, (although recently uncovered census data suggests he may have been born earlier, possibly as early as 1925) where he first learned to play the harmonica. After quitting school by the age of 12, Jacobs left rural Louisiana and travelled around working odd jobs and busking on the streets of New Orleans, Memphis, Helena, Arkansas and St. Louis. He honed his musical skills on harmonica and guitar performing with much older bluesmen such as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Sunnyland Slim, Honeyboy Edwards and others.

Little Walter - Color outtake from first album cover.
Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he occasionally found work as a guitarist but garnered more attention for his already highly developed harmonica work. According to fellow Chicago bluesman Floyd Jones, Little Walter's first recording was an unreleased demo recorded soon after he arrived in Chicago on which Walter played guitar backing Jones. Jacobs reportedly grew frustrated with having his harmonica drowned out by electric guitarists, and adopted a simple, but previously little-used method: He cupped a small microphone in his hands along with his harmonica, and plugged the microphone into a public address system or guitar amplifier. 

He could thus compete with any guitarist's volume. However, unlike other contemporary blues harp players such as Sonny Boy Williamson I and Snooky Pryor, who like many other harmonica players had also begun using the newly available amplifier technology around the same time solely for added volume, Little Walter purposely pushed his amplifiers beyond their intended technical limitations, using the amplification to explore and develop radical new timbres and sonic effects previously unheard from a harmonica, or any other instrument. Madison Deniro wrote a small biographical piece on Little Walter stating that "He was the first musician of any kind to purposely use electronic distortion."

Jacobs made his first released recordings in 1947 for Bernard Abrams' tiny Ora-Nelle label, which operated out of the back room of Abrams' Maxwell Radio and Records store in the heart of the Maxwell Street market area in Chicago. These and several other early Little Walter recordings, like many blues harp recordings of the era, owed a strong stylistic debt to pioneering blues harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee Williamson). Little Walter joined Muddy Waters' band in 1948, and by 1950, he was playing acoustic (unamplified) harmonica on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records. 

The first appearance on record of amplified harmonica was Little Walter's performance on Muddy's "Country Boy" (Chess 1452), recorded on July 11, 1951. For years after his departure from Muddy's band in 1952, Chess continued to hire Little Walter to play on Waters' recording sessions, and as a result his harmonica is featured on most of Muddy's classic recordings from the 1950s. As a guitarist, Little Walter recorded three songs for the small Parkway label with Muddy Waters and Baby Face Leroy Foster (reissued on CD as "The Blues World of Little Walter" from Delmark Records in 1993), as well as on a session for Chess backing pianist Eddie Ware; his guitar work was also featured occasionally on early Chess sessions with Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers.

Jacobs had put his career as a bandleader on hold when he joined Muddy's band, but stepped back out front once and for all when he recorded as a bandleader for Chess's subsidiary label Checker Records on 12 May 1952. The first completed take of the first song attempted at his debut session became his first hit, spending eight weeks in the number-one position on the Billboard R&B chart. The song was Juke, and is still the only harmonica instrumental ever to be a number-one hit on the Billboard R&B chart. (Three other harmonica instrumentals by Little Walter also reached the Billboard R&B top 10: Off the Wall reached number eight, Roller Coaster achieved number six, and Sad Hours reached the number-two position while Juke was still on the charts.) Juke was the biggest hit to date for Chess and its affiliated labels, and one of the biggest national R&B hits of 1952, securing Walter's position on the Chess artist roster for the next decade.

Little Walter scored fourteen top-ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts between 1952 and 1958, including two number-one hits (the second being "My Babe" in 1955), a level of commercial success never achieved by his former boss Waters, nor by his fellow Chess blues artists Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Following the pattern of "Juke", most of Little Walter's single releases in the 1950s featured a vocal performance on one side, and a harmonica instrumental on the other. Many of Walter's vocal numbers were originals that he or Chess A&R man Willie Dixon wrote or adapted and updated from earlier blues themes. In general, his sound was more modern and uptempo than the popular Chicago blues of the day, with a jazzier conception and less rhythmically rigid approach than other contemporary blues harmonica players.

Upon his departure from Muddy Waters' band in 1952, he recruited a young band that was already working steadily in Chicago backing Junior Wells, The Aces, as his new backing band. The Aces consisted of brothers David and Louis Myers on guitars, and drummer Fred Below, and were re-christened "The Jukes" on most of the Little Walter records on which they appeared. By 1955 the members of The Aces/Jukes had each left Little Walter to pursue other opportunities, initially replaced by guitarists Robert "Junior" Lockwood and Luther Tucker, and drummer Odie Payne Others who worked in Little Walter's recording and touring bands in the '50s included guitarists Jimmie Lee Robinson and Freddie Robinson. Little Walter also occasionally included saxophone players in his touring bands during this period, among them a young Albert Ayler, and even Ray Charles on one early tour. By the late 1950s, Little Walter no longer employed a regular full-time band, instead hiring various players as needed from the large pool of local blues musicians in Chicago.

Jacobs was frequently utilized on records as a harmonica accompanist behind others in the Chess stable of artists, including Jimmy Rogers, John Brim, Rocky Fuller, Memphis Minnie, The Coronets, Johnny Shines, Floyd Jones, Bo Diddley, and Shel Silverstein, and on other record labels backing Otis Rush, Johnny Young, and Robert Nighthawk.

Jacobs suffered from alcoholism and had a notoriously short temper, which in late 1950s led to a series of violent altercations, minor scrapes with the law, and increasingly irresponsible behavior. This led to a decline in his fame and fortunes beginning in the late 1950s, although he did tour Europe twice, in 1964 and 1967. (The long-circulated story that he toured the United Kingdom with The Rolling Stones in 1964 has since been refuted by Keith Richards). The 1967 European tour, as part of the American Folk Blues Festival, resulted in the only film/video footage of Little Walter performing that is known to exist. Footage of Little Walter backing Hound Dog Taylor and Koko Taylor on a television program in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11 October 1967 was released on DVD in 2004. Further video of another recently discovered TV appearance in Germany during this same tour, showing Little Walter performing his songs "My Babe", "Mean Old World", and others were released on DVD in Europe in January 2009, and is the only known footage of Little Walter singing. Other TV appearances in the UK (in 1964) and the Netherlands (in 1967) have been documented, but no footage of these has been uncovered. Jacobs recorded and toured only infrequently in the 1960s, playing mainly in and around Chicago.

In 1967 Chess released a studio album featuring Little Walter with Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters titled Super Blues.

A few months after returning from his second European tour, he was involved in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub on the South Side of Chicago. The relatively minor injuries sustained in this altercation aggravated and compounded damage he had suffered in previous violent encounters, and he died in his sleep at the apartment of a girlfriend at 209 E. 54th St. in Chicago early the following morning. The official cause of death indicated on his death certificate was "coronary thrombosis" (a blood clot in the heart); evidence of external injuries was so insignificant that police reported that his death was of "unknown or natural causes", and there were no external injuries noted on the death certificate. His body was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL on February 22, 1968. His grave remained unmarked until 1991, when fans Scott Dirks and Eomot Rasun had a marker designed and installed.

Music journalist Bill Dahl described Little Walter as "king of all post-war blues harpists", who "took the humble mouth organ in dazzling amplified directions that were unimaginable prior to his ascendancy." His legacy has been enormous: he is widely credited by blues historians as the artist primarily responsible for establishing the standard vocabulary for modern blues and blues rock harmonica players. His influence can be heard in varying degrees in virtually every modern blues harp player who came along in his wake, from blues greats such as Junior Wells, James Cotton, George "Harmonica" Smith, Carey Bell, and Big Walter Horton, through modern-day masters Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, William Clarke, and Charlie Musselwhite, in addition to blues-rock crossover artists such as Paul Butterfield and John Popper of the band Blues Traveler. Little Walter was portrayed in the 2008 film, Cadillac Records, by Columbus Short.

Little Walter's daughter, Marion Diaz Reacco, has established the Little Walter Foundation in Chicago, to preserve the legacy and genius of Little Walter. The foundation aims to create programs for the creative arts, including music, animation and video. Stephen King's novel Under the Dome (2009) features a character named Little Walter Bushey, based on Little Walter.

Personnel: The following people contributed to "the Best of Little Walter album":

Little Walter – lead vocals, harmonica
 Muddy Waters – guitar on "Juke" and "Can't Hold Out Much Longer"
 Jimmy Rogers – guitar on "Juke" and "Can't Hold Out Much Longer"
 David Myers – guitar
 Louis Myers – guitar
 Leonard Caston – guitar on "My Babe"
 Robert Lockwood, Jr. – guitar on "My Babe"
 Willie Dixon – bass, producer
 Elgin Evans – drums on "Juke" and "Can't Hold Out Much Longer"
 Fred Below – drums
 Studs Terkel – sleeve notes

Recorded: May 12, 1952 – January 25, 1955 in Chicago, Illinois, Checker LP 1428

01. "My Babe" (Willie Dixon)  2:44
02. "Sad Hours"  3:15
03. "You're So Fine"  3:07
04. "Last Night"  2:46
05. "Blues with a Feeling (Rabon Tarrant, re-written by Jacobs)"  3:10
06. "Can't Hold Out Much Longer"  3:03
07. "Juke"  2:47
08. "Mean Old World (T-Bone Walker, re-written by Jacobs)"  2:57
09. "Off the Wall"  2:52
10. "You Better Watch Yourself"  3:04
11. "Blue Light"  3:14
12. "Tell Me Mamma" 2:47

13. "Juke" (Alternate) [1952]  3:06
14. "Off the Wall" (Alternate) [1953]  2:57
15. "Last Night" (First Version) [1954]  2:55

1. Link
2. Link