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Juke Joint Saturday Night

Album: Juke Joint Saturday Night: Classic Piano Blues Rags & Stomps
# Song Title   Time
1)    Pratt City Blues - Jabo Williams
2)    Jab's Blues - Jabo Williams
3)    On the Wall - Louise Johnson
4)    If You Haven't Any Hay Get on Down the Road - Skip James
5)    Heavy Suitcase Blues - Charley Taylor
6)    Vicksburg Blues - Little Brother Montgomery
7)    No Special Rider Blues - Little Brother Montgomery
8)    Polock Blues - Jabo Williams
9)    By the Moon and Stars - Louise Johnson
10)    Louisiana Bound - Charley Taylor
11)    Gotta Shave 'Em Dry - James Wiggins
12)    22-20 Blues - Skip James
13)    Forty-Four Blues - James Wiggins
14)    Fat Mama Blues - Jabo Williams
15)    Evil Woman Blues - Boodle It Wiggins
16)    Long Ways from Home - Louise Johnson
17)    All Night Long Blues - Louise Johnson
18)    Black Gal Makes Thunder - Rudy Foster
19)    Corn Trimmer Blues - Rudy Foster
20)    Army Blues - Kingfish Bill Tomlin
21)    Hot Box - Kingfish Bill Tomlin
22)    3-6 and 9 - Roosevelt Sykes
23)    Gamblin' Man's Prayer - Piano Kid Edwards
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Performers include: Skip James, Little Brother Montgomery, Louise Johnson, Jabo Williams.
  • Audio Remasterer: Richard Nevins.
  • Liner Note Author: Bob Hall.
  • Capable of producing music at a sufficient volume, the piano was a widely popular instrument in African-American entertainment spots across the south in the 1920s and 1930s. Like the guitar, its ability to combine harmony and melody simultaneously also made it very versatile for both solo performance and group accompaniment. Juke Joint Saturday Night collects 23 of the sort of piano "blues, rags, and stomps" one might have heard at a weekend hot spot during the early part of the century. Kicking off with a pair of dazzling piano instrumentals from "Jabo" Williams, the compilation highlights barrelhouse players Louis Johnson, James Wiggins, Little Brother Montgomery, Skip James, and many more. Best known for his inimitable guitar pieces, James had an equally unique approach to the piano. "22-20 Blues" demonstrates his wild, animated attack. The song is answered immediately with James Wiggins' "Forty-Four Blues." Also included is the tamer but no less accomplished "If You Haven't Any Hay," featuring James' call and response piano work and a shuffle rhythm provided by his feet. The Mississippi bluesman acquired the melody for his "Special Rider Blues" from Little Brother Montgomery, in exchange for teaching the latter "Vicksburg Blues." A showcase for his milky vibrato and punctuated with unusual bass runs, "Vicksburg" would become Montgomery's most popular number. Another prominent presence on Juke Joint, Louise Johnson, first recorded at a session arranged by Charlie Patton. Johnson's vibrant and bawdy "On the Wall" was apparently representative of her fast-living reputation. By the late '30s, jazz and other urban music styles began eclipsing country-blues in popularity. While the brass and woodwind instruments began replacing acoustic guitars, the piano managed to survive. Musicians like Roosevelt Sykes (heard here on "3-6 and 9") bridged the gap between the older blues and the developing jazz, spanning both during his successful career. Like many Yazoo releases, Juke Joint offers a portrait of a style in one of its purest forms, before times and tastes forced it to change. ~ Nathan Bush
Professional Reviews
Living Blues (7-8/01, p.19) - Rated as "Best Blues Historical/Reissue-Prewar Album of 2000".
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