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Fedora FCD 5021
Jesse Thomas
Easy in the Apple

New Orleans is renowned for the vibrancy and diversity of its music. Jesse Thomas, or Young Jesse as he was once known, is an artist who was bought up in an era when Crescent City R&B was at the peak of its popularity. Born, off Rampart Street, where "the music flowed day and night", Jesse senses were assailed by the vibrancy of it's rich musical heritage. On this set Jesse pays tribute to many of the artists he has worked with including Chris Kenner, Fats Domino, Huey "Piano" Smith, Professor Longhair, Guitar Slim, Earl King and Little Richard, and Jesse's considerable talent and the sheer exuberance of his performance make this a treasure trove for all lovers of New Orleans rhythm and blues. As Jesse says "I play finger poppin', hip slappin', exasperating Mardi Gras ... with the fever of the flavor", and you'd better believe it.

Jesse Thomas- vocals; Richard Bennett- piano; Paul Metzky- guitar; Tony Morgan- bass; Lorenzo Boston- drums; Chris Millar- drums; Charles Otis- percussion

Tracks: Ya-Ya; Those Lonely; Lonely Nights; Sick & Tired; Go to the Mardi Gras; Something You Got; Slippin' & Slidin'; The Things I Used To Do; A Certain Girl; Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu; I'm in Love Again; Jock-A-Mo (Iko-Iko).


 A Certain Girl

 Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu

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Fedora FCD 5005
Robert "Bilbo" Walker
Rompin' & Stompin'

Like any force of nature, Robert "Bilbo" Walker is difficult to describe. His wide-ranging influences include Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, Sam Cooke and Chuck Berry. One might say that Bilbo is a reversal of previous blues trends in that he brings the music of the city back to the Delta with his flamboyant stage act and exciting brand of raw blues. Bilbo covers a number of tunes by his idols Howlin' Wolf ("Shake For Me", "Moanin' At Midnight"), Muddy Waters ("Still a Fool") and Junior Parker ("Mystery Train") in a rompin', stompin' record of the blues, the whole blues and nothing but the blues. So put the disc in the player and do whatever you have to do to enjoy yourself - because enjoyment is what Bilbo's music is all about.

Robert "Bilbo" Walker- vocals/guitar; Clarence Walker- guitar; Jeff Henry- bass; Chris Millar- drums

Tracks: Baby How Long; Take Yo' Hand Off A Me; Mustang Sally; Cut You A Loose; Something On Your Mind; Mel's Hideaway; Shake For Me; Moanin' At Midnight; Still A Fool; Mystery Train.

 Baby How Long

 Cut You a Loose

 Mel's Hideaway

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Fedora FCD 5025
Ollie Watkins
Used To Keep Me Worried

Picture this scenario: A box of 78rpm acetates languish in a forgotten closet. Enter: a record exec who buys the lot. After days of sifting through un-memorable renditions of forgettable tunes, he happens upon a set wrapped in cardboard, seemingly unplayed since they were cut decades ago. Out of the grooves comes the voice and music of a powerfully individual bluesman - biting guitar playing, soulful vocals and recorded reminiscences of a troubled man and mind. Cut to a meeting of the record company: They sample the music and the decision is unanimous - this is music that must be heard. "It can only happen in the movies," you think, but this is precisely the tale of these long lost recordings of the enigmatic blues legend, Ollie Watkins. Watkins is remembered by only a handful of people now as being seen playing the streets and informal gatherings of California's Central Valley in the late 50's and early 60's (when these recordings were made). Coming out of Oklahoma in the 1920's, most certainly moving through Texas on his way to California, no one knows what happened to Ollie after he cut these records. Fedora is proud to introduce this genuine and unaffected artist who mysteriously vanished from the blues landscape.

Olie Watkins- guitar, harmonica,vocals, recollections.

Tracks: Country Boy; Let Me Go; "Mr. Lou Wants Me To Tell My Life Story" (Interview with Ollie); California Blues (Blue Yodel Number 4); Precious Lord; Greyhound Bus; Baby Doll; "...Saw My Mother, When She Got Me Out Of The Nuthouse (Interview With Ollie); Used To Keep Me Worried; Woman I've Been knowin';Lord I Want To Go Through; I'm Twenty One; Baby Doll (Alternate Take); I Ain't Never; "Call Him Mister Now...Respect Him" (Interview With Ollie); California Blues (Blue Yodel Number 4); Twist.

 Country Boy

 Baby Doll


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Fedora FCD 5027
John Weston
I Tried To Hide From The Blues

Out of Brinkley Arkansas, not far from The King Biscuit Blues Festival, comes songwriter/performer John Weston. Weston came late to the blues after amassing more than half a century of life experience and brings his world-wise message to every song he pens and performs. A one man band, playing harp, guitar and bass drum simultaneously and providing his own vocals, Weston brings along his drummer of choice since 1989, Carla Robinson and has FEDORA cohort Dave Riley sit in on bass. With the exception of Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway" the release features all Weston originals notable for their raw power and hard drive. Weston's music is unvarnished and from the heart. It romps and stomps and tells a little story about its creator. What more do you want from the blues? If you haven't made the acquaintance of John Weston yet, don't miss this opportunity, which he himself says is his best record.

John Weston- vocals/harmonica/bass drum; Dave Riley- bass; Carla Robinson- drums.

Tracks: I Tried To Hide From the Blues; Gotta Deal With the Blues; Pretty, Pretty Woman; Monkey On My Back; I'm Not Your Junkman; Blinded Fool; Key to the Highway; A Man Down There; You're the Same; Of All the Girls In the World; Phony Woman; Not Guilty; Mama, I Love Her; Bubba's Blues.

 I Tried To Hide From the Blues

 I'm Not Your Junkman

 Key To the Highway

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Fedora FCD 5019
Arthur Williams
Ain't Goin' Down

After 40 years as a sideman, Arthur Williams is now looked up to as one of the last of the great juke-joint harp blowers. Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago & St. Louis, Arthur's music represents the last generation of that true down-home blues of the Delta. The sounds of Sonny Boy II and Little Walter can be heard in Arthur's playing along with a heavy dose of rugged individualism. Arthur is backed on this, his second Fedora outing, by a cast of St. Louis, Memphis and Mississippi musicians, that includes, on drums, the one and only Sam Carr (with whom Arthur played in the 1960s). So if you are looking for the real thing, look no further: Arthur Williams is a genuine as they come. No pretense, no BS, just pure, good-timin' blues laid down as they were meant to be.

Arthur Williams- harp/vocals; Bob Lohr- piano; Jesse Hoggard- guitar; Charles 'Nephew' Davis- bass; Sam Carr- drums

Tracks: Poison Ivy; Since I Met You Baby; Arthur's Blues; Ain't Goin' Down; Slop The Hogs; See See Rider; Water In My Gas Tank; East St. Louis; C'mon Baby; Mojo Ain't Working; Go On Little Girl; Arthur's Dozens.

 Ain't Goin' Down

 Slop the Hogs

 East St. Louis Blues

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Fedora FCD 5013
Arthur Williams
Harpin' On It

Harkening back to the "Golden Age of Chicago Blues," filtered through the Delta and refined in St. Louis, harmonica ace and Blues singer Arthur Williams and his searing St. Louis band (featuring Boo-Boo Davis on drums and vocals) pump out Blues and Boogie like there's no tomorrow! Along with being coached by Little Walter as a teenager in Chicago and playing and recording with Frank Frost in the 1960's, Arthur Williams demonstrates that his talent is a major one that will thrill harp connoisseurs and lovers of 1950's-style Chicago Blues to no end.

Arthur Williams- harp/vocals; Bob Lohr- piano; Larry Griffin- guitar; Charles 'Nephew' Davis- bass; James 'Boo Boo' Davis- drums/vocals; Jimmy Lee Kennett- guitar; Chris Millar- drums

Tracks: Can't Stand To See You Go; Ain't Goin' Back To East St. Louis; Harpin' On It; One Room Country Shack; Mama Talk To Your Daughter; Runnin' Down The Dirt Road; Mean Old World; Chitlins And Hot Sauce; Goin' To Memphis; Mother-In-Law Blues; Talkin' Too Much.

 Ain't Goin' Back to East St. Louis

 One Room Country Shack

 Chitlins & Hot Sauce

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Fedora FCD 5009
Willie Willis
Can't Help But Have the Blues

Willie Willis is back in the studio! This new record is even finer than Willie's "Down Home In Dallas" which was no small achievement in itself. There was a "loose, party-time" vibe in the studio and that comes through on the exuberant music on this CD. At the soundboard with producer Chris Millar was legendary Bob Sullivan, sound engineer behind works by such names as Zuzu Bollin, Anson & the Rockets, Bob Wills, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and even Elvis Presley. Willis' deep, low-down voice will remind you, at times, of Texas' classic blues shouter, Zuzu Bollin, and you'll be stirred by the rhythms of "If You Want To Get Funky" and the John Lee Hooker l'hommage, "Deep Ellum Boogie." With Willie are his long-time sax-playing friend, Wilford Sims and the great Hash Brown lending his guitar talents.

Willie Willis- vocals/guitar; Wilford Sims- saxophone; Jessie Ray- keyboards; Hash Brown- guitar; Bobby Henderson- bass; Roach- drums

Tracks: Willie's Back; If You Wanna Get Funky; Willie's Blues; Deep Ellum Boogie; I Love A Woman; Laundromat Blues; Dallas Shuffle; What's On Your Mind; Can't Help But Have The Blues; Brothers Together.

 Willie's Back

 Deep Ellum Boogie

 Laundromat Blues

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Fedora FCD 5014
U.P. Wilson
On My Way

Ask Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cornell Dupree, Zuzu Bollin, Frankie Lee Sims, Lowell Fulson and just about any other Bluesman to put together their short list of MONSTER guitarists and you will invariably see the name U.P. Wilson. Wilson teetered on the brink of a major career on a number of occasions but chose to be near his growing children and remain at home. Wilson's aggressively powerful axework is well to the fore on this great 1988 session, with him dominating the ensemble not only with his guitar playing, but also with his vocal prowess. Also included as a special bonus are two tracks from a recently discovered recording of U.P. Wilson caught live at one of the legendary "Rent Parties" which are part and parcel of blues/jazz history. U.P. Wilson was nicknamed the 'Texas Guitar Tornado' for, like a Tornado, he is an unforgettable force.

U.P. Wilson- vocals/guitar; Bill Eden- saxophone; Wilford Sims & 'Worm'- saxophones; Steve 'Hook' Herrera- harmonica; Paul Orta- harmonica; Matt McCabe- keyboards; Mike Kindred- keyboards; Eddie James Stout- bass; Freddie Walden- drums

Tracks: U.P. Express; Cross Cut Saw; Reconsider Baby; Bluebird Boog-A-Loo; Hold On Baby; Mean Old World; Como Station; I'll Be Coming Home; 7 Comes 11; On My Way; Cold, Cold Feeling; Slice 'N' Dice.

 U.P. Express

 Reconsider Baby

 Bluebird Boog-A-Loo

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