Blue Belles With Attitude From Vaults Modern / Var

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    Blue Belles With Attitude From Vaults Modern / Var Ace
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Review

Review Text Those vaults of Modern Records contain an enormous amount of recordings of R&B from the 1940s and 1950s, which have spawned a lengthy series of CD reissues on Ace. This 28-track collection focuses on, as you can probably guess from the title, women blues and R&B singers from the mid-'40s to the mid-'50s. A couple of these performers did make a mark beyond the corridors of collector-dom, those being Helen Humes and, in what are probably the sides of most significant interest to aficionados, previously unreleased alternate takes of Esther Phillips' first two 78s (when she was billed as Esther Jones with the Johnny Otis Orchestra). Otherwise, it's a mixture of pretty obscure singles by pretty obscure singers, along with a good number of previously unreleased tracks, some of whose origins are so murky that they're simply billed to "Unknown." Some very notable figures of the Los Angeles postwar R&B scene -- Otis, Howard McGhee, Maxwell Davis, and Johnny Moore -- lead some of the backup bands. In all, though, it's one of Ace's many Modern various-artists compilations whose appeal is almost exclusively for the early R&B/jump blues (and occasional boogie) specialist, mixing some swaggering earthy performances with more refined, urbane, less uptempo ones. It's not often that a tune or vocal jumps out as something special; in the main it features serviceable songs in the style with spirited execution where the attitude indeed outpaces the material. "Lonely Girl" is a standout not so much for singer Cordella DeMilo as Johnny Watson, who contributes some great hard electric blues guitar riffs that far outshine everything else going on in the track. As an odd footnote, Del Graham, who does one of the smoothest numbers with the ballad "Mr. T 99," is the mother of none other than funk star Larry Graham. ~ Richie Unterberger

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Ain't Gonna Hush - 3:35
  2. 2. Blue and Lonesome - 2:22
  3. 3. Mr. T 99 - 3:42
  4. 4. Two Years of Torture - 3:54
  5. 5. Lonely Girl - 3:06
  6. 6. Be Bop Boogie - 3:30
  7. 7. Hey, Hey, Baby - 2:29
  8. 8. Hambone Blues - 3:15
  9. 9. Nightmare Blues - 3:57
  10. 10. Gee I'm Lonesome - 3:26
  11. 11. I Gotta Guy - 3:01
  12. 12. Hey Little Boy - 4:04
  13. 13. Great to Be Rich - 3:36
  14. 14. Georgia Brown Blues [aka Hip Shakin' Mama] - 3:36
  15. 15. Daddy, Somebody's Got to Go - 3:34
  16. 16. I Ain't in the Mood - 3:50
  17. 17. I'm Tellin' You Baby - 2:25
  18. 18. That's Fat Jack - 3:36
  19. 19. 24 Hours a Day - 4:43
  20. 20. Down in Texas - 2:19
  21. 21. Found Me a Sugar Daddy - 3:52
  22. 22. Too Many Women - 2:27
  23. 23. Play Boy Blues - 3:14
  24. 24. Mean Ole Gal - 3:50
  25. 25. Good for Nothin' Man - 2:19
  26. 26. Be My Lovey Dovey - 2:23
  27. 27. Pick-Up - 3:52
  28. 28. Vivianne's Boogie - 3:58

Product Details

Release Date
8/11/09 

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