Pristine Blues Collection Vol. 1 - PABX014

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Pristine Blues Collection Vol. 1 - PABX014

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Overview

10 Blues Albums featuring Robert Johnson, Tampa Red, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell, Skip James


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This set contains the following albums:

Click below to expand note:
ROBERT JOHNSON Legendary Blues, Volume 1 - PABL001

"The most important blues musician who ever lived"
Eric Clapton on Robert Johnson

Newly restored using XR remastering technology 


This experimental release came as a result of a late-night conversation with the head of another classical record company, following discussion of the wider possibilities of Pristine Audio's XR remastering system. As XR relies on modern reference recordings to precisely re-equalise older recordings in order to correct the inadequacies of vintage recording systems, it's often hard to use outside of the classical sphere. However, the music of Robert Johnson has been widely recorded, and it was possible to find modern equivalents of many of these recordings, from which I was able to derive further equalisations for the remaining tracks.

What emerges from this process is quite remarkable - for perhaps the first time one is able to hear the full range, power and versatility of both Johnson's singing and playing in a sound quality that is more 1950's or 1960's than the 1930's hotel room, where these immensely influential recordings were made.

The sample chosen here, Ramblin' On My Mind, gives a very good indication of what to expect from the rest of the tracks, sound-wise. One or two of them have emerged even better from the remastering process than this. The overall effect of this collection is stunning to hear, especially for anyone used the thin sound of all previous Johnson reissues. Once you've heard this remastered collection you will not wish to return to anything else.

N.B. Due to a compilation error, track 8 "When you've got a good friend" appears twice on this issue, and another song, prepared for this release, was omitted. This missing song appears on Volume Two of our Robert Johnson Legendary Blues releases (PABL002), which will complete the entire set of his recordings.

Andrew Rose

ROBERT JOHNSON Legendary Blues, Volume 2 - PABL002

"You want to know how good the blues can get? Well this is it."
Keith Richards on Robert Johnson

Newly restored using XR remastering technology


After the success of our experimental release of Robert Johnson 'Legendary Blues' the requests for the rest of his recordings came in thick and fast. I also took note of the comments - and criticisms - of that issue whilst preparing this release.

In preparing a "new" Robert Johnson release, one should be clear that there is little point in duplicating that which has already been issued. Each has its flaws - some of them glaring, others more subtle - and each has its adherents. My aim with Volume Two has been to both keep with those who've written to say that the first volume was by far the best remastering Johnson they'd ever heard, whilst hopefully addressing some of the concerns of others and bringing them 'on board' as well.

One example of this, heard on Volume One (PABL001), was a reasonably subtle use of reverberation, which was present in the source material used for that release (though not on the originals), and not added by me. Volume Two has been sourced from a variety of origins and no reverb has been added. My aim has been both to bring you a cleaner sound wherever possible, and - using XR remastering - one that is more authentic to the overall tonal quality of Johnson's voice and guitar, despite the limitations of the recording equipment of the day.

I have also, in preparing this release, been able to make minor speed corrections to some of the tracks, basing my conclusions on analysis of electrical mains hum harmonics found buried in many of the tracks, and repitching to between 0.2 and 2.5% (where a semitone is approximately 6%).

This release brings together all of the remaining known releases of Robert Johnson's recordings. It has been programmed in order of recording, omitting those already issued on Volume One. Where this issue contains two takes of a particular song, I have relocated the second take to later on the recording. This is a personal preference and a departure from releases which group takes together.


Andrew Rose

TAMPA RED The Man With The Gold Guitar - PABL003

Tampa Red - "The Man With The Gold Guitar"

Newly restored using XR remastering technology


Tampa Red is the second blues artist to receive the 'XR' treatment, following our issue of the complete Robert Johnson recordings a month ago. Once again, great care was taken to find suitable recordings with which to construct tonal references and reshape the sound profiles of these mainly late-1930's recordings, the process at the heart of the XR remastering system.

Clearly some sides have survived the intervening years better than others, and it's interesting to find better overall sound quality lurking in the earliest of these recordings, 1934's Grievin' and Worryin' Blues than in some of the records from later in that same decade. It's easy to speculate on why this might be the case - I've noted similar declines in surface quality in UK pressed discs during the 1930's - but one should perhaps avoid jumping to conclusions.

I've avoided running these tracks in order of recording dates, and have instead compiled them to create a perhaps more musical flow for the listener. I am aware in doing this that each listener would probably make a different choice.

The two recordings from 1942 include one of Tampa Red's biggest hits, the innuendo-laden I Want To Play With Your Poodle, and what seemed to me its natural partner in crime, She Wants To Sell My Monkey. I will leave it to the listener to decide how best to interpret the lyrics here - what I find most musically interesting is how the addition of drums to the piano, guitar and kazoo instrumentation already common in earlier recordings, coupled with the ongoing development of his musical style, looks forward with astonishing foresight to the major revolution in popular music which was to arrive a decade or more later. Indeed, one can even hear in the off-beat kazoo playing, coupled with the jaunty rhythms, the origins of 1960's Jamaican ska music, which grew out of the copying and adapting of blues-based music to be heard on American radio stations picked up in Jamaica at the time, and would of course later slow down and evolve into reggae - by which time Tampa Red was destitute and largely forgotten...

Andrew Rose

MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT The Man From Avalon - PABL004


Mississippi John Hurt - "The Man From Avalon "


"MJH would have been mighty pleased...
I see you as having helped to create a whole new dimension."

Fred Bolden, Mississippi John Hurt's nephew


Because of his musical renaissance in the 1960's I was lucky to be able to use much more recent recordings of Mississippi John Hurt performing some of the same songs as he'd cut back in 1928 as sonic references in the XR remastering process for this release. The results have been especially pleasing and should serve to bring the listener even closer to the unique music and spirit of John Hurt.


Two of the tracks provided a particular challenge, including our full-lenth sample Frankie, which despite myriad reissues over the years appears not to have been addressed. By analysing pitch variations in the opening two songs, recorded in Memphis using mobile equipment, I discovered a pitch variation across the length of the recording, indicating that the speed of the motor driving the cutting lathe varied more or less as shown in the following graph:


MJH repitch graph


Because the disc was replayed and transferred at a constant speed, the effect on the pitch is the exact opposite, thus the curve shown above represents the actual sliding repitch required to even out the song 'Frankie'.


 


This pitch problem can be seen in the following graphic - the horizontal lines indicate harmonics of the guitar part. Because there are no modulations in key during the song we'd expect to see pretty much straight lines running across the screen, but as you can see, set against a ruler line, the opening of the song is far from straight - we're looking therefore at the incorrect pitching caused by the cutting lathe's motor:


Frankie graphic 1


 


Once the variable repitch settings (above) have been applied, and after a further fine-tuning, you can see the effect on these harmonics quite clearly:


Frankie repitched graphic


 


Analysis of the other Memphis song, 'Nobody's Dirty Business' showed an almost identical pitch problem consistent with the theory of an inconsistent motor driving the cutter's turntable. After some discussion with a number of experts as to the most likely cause of this, various hypotheses were put forward. The most authoritative response I'm quoting directly:


"Recording companies had portable recording outfits that toured the "Territories" and places such as New Orleans, especially after the introduction of electrical recording in 1925.  Such outfits were invariably (lead-acid secondary) battery operated due to the variability (or even lack of) mains electricity supplies.    Speed regulation was often manual, and not very precise.   (Even the major studios used dc for this function to isolate themselves from eccentricities in the mains supply; some even used gravity feed to drive the lathe - notably EMI even into the '50s, until the arrival of the LP).   I am not aware of recording outfits that used spring drive for the lathe at this time.  (The BBC of course developed its miniature disc cutter during the war, which used spring drive for the turntable, and batteries only for the cutting amplifier - and there was that portable EMI tape recorder in the early '50s that used the same configuration).

I would suggest that the pitch behaviour observed suggests a partially discharged battery, where polarisation of the plates can occur during discharge, leading to increased voltage drop and hence lower speed.  During the break between takes, the cells recover.  I can't propose a scenario relating to increased cutter drag, because this should decrease as the surface speed under the cutter (and hence drag) decrease as the cutter moves from outer to inner diameter.
"


Further discussion of the discovery and resolution of this issue can be found at the Mississippi John Hurt Musuem website's online forum


Andrew Rose

BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON That Black Snake Moan - PABL005

20 Classic Recordings newly remastered

As selected by members of The Blindman's Blues Forum


This collection has to be one of the most challenging restoration and remastering tasks I've ever undertaken. Paramount Records was notorious for its poor recordings and especially poor pressings, which were cheaply made, in-house, for perhaps the poorest mass audience in America, for whom the term 'disposable income' would probably have been unknown.

To compound this problem, Paramount melted down all of their metal masters during the Great Depression in order to try and raise funds, though even this was was not enough to save them from closure in 1935.

Since then their recordings of some of the greatest early Blues artists have challenged both restorers and listeners - even at their very best, some are virtually unlistenable. The selection presented here is based upon an informal poll of contributors to an excellent (bu now alas defunct) online Blues forum, The Blindman's Blues Forum, and includes a number of sides which were recorded more than once. In most cases I've chosen the least bad (I hesitate to use the word 'best' in this context) pressing to work from - with the sole exception of the title track, which stems from the original 1926 Paramount release and not the later 1927 OKeh re-recording.

My chief aim here has been to address often dreadful tonal imbalances, bringing both greater warmth and clarity to the singing and playing, using the latest technologies to make a marked improvement upon previous attempts to remaster these sides. I think I can claim at least a partial victory here - but the listener should be aware that, with any recordings of the kind of original quality to be found here, there will perhaps always remain severe constraints as to what is possible. As such the track order here is designed to be as easy as possible on the listener's ears, rather than following any chronological order.


Andrew Rose

CHARLEY PATTON Dirt Road Blues - PABL006

20 Classic Recordings newly remastered

All tracks selected by members of The Blindman's Blues Forum


When I first started issuing remastered Blues recordings, almost immediately requests started coming in for a remastering of Charley Patton, more than any other performer. I knew I had an old Patton CD on the shelf somewhere but didn't recall much about the sound quality or the music, to be frank.

When I put the disc on (and I don't intend to tell you which one it was!) I remembered why I was so ignorant of Patton's music - the sound was absolutely dreadful. A few days later, requests on Blues forums for Patton were being met with comments along the lines of "there's no point" and "it can't be done". I felt I knew what they were talking about!

So he went on the back-burner - I started to acquire suitable source material but for neary six months avoided making a real start, beyond a few preliminary tests. Meanwhile I found myself working on other, almost equally difficult material, building up a new repertoire of remastering tricks and techniques, until finally I felt ready to see whether I could do Patton justice.

The original material is rough - some worse than others. Where I've had a choice of takes I've generally gone for the better quality sound, hence the inclusion of the inussued out-take of "Elder Green Blues" rather than the version Paramount decided to release on 78rpm disc.

As with our Blind Lemon Jefferson release, I turned to the experts to democratically choose the 20 tracks which appear here. They vary both musically and in terms of sound quality quite widely, and certainly provide an excellent introduction to Patton's music. In many cases the start of the discs are noisiest, settling down after perhaps 30 seconds or so as the music often starts to pick up speed and energy.

Musically many of these tracks are incredible. Patton seems capable of supplying two voices in call/answer mode, whilst playing what sounds like three separate guitar lines and supplying a percussion section - all at the same time. His singing style, often slurring the words beyond recognition (though most can be found online if you search for his lyrics) contrasts with the clearly comprehensible speaking voice heard on a number of tracks, and displays a wide and varied range of style and technique.

My aims in carrying out this particular remastering were two-fold: to clear away as much of the 'crud' of noise and distortion as possible, and to re-equalise the sound to make everything both clearer and more realistic.

In both of these aims the XR remastering technique brings with it clear benefits - and here follows the really technical bit. Using a three-hour-long compilation of dozens of different male blues singers, covering a wide range of music and all accompanied by acoustic guitar, I generated an average frequency spectrum with which to guide the re-equalisation, which allows us to counteract many of the tonal flaws in the original recording equipment. Then closely-targetted noise reduction strips away swathes of noise, pushing the NR to the limits of what it can do alone. From this I can generate a new soundprint for the song with which to re-equalise once more the original Patton recording, this time at much finer resolution. This allows the equalisation to act as a secondary, noise-reducing filter as well as re-setting the tonal balance of the music as already described. After this equalisation it's now possible to use regular digital noise reduction to dig even further into the disc noise, thus revealing more of the sound of Patton and his guitar ever before.


Andrew Rose

BLIND BLAKE No Dough Blues - PABL007

The king of ragtime guitar & master of 'piano guitar'

"A great player, a great musical figure ... he was fabulous" - Ry Cooder


The output of the Paramount Record Company in the late 1920's and early 1930's is among the most frustrating in the history of recorded sound. On the one hand, they managed to assemble what has come to be regarded as one of the greatest 'stables' of blues musicians ever to record under one label, and of those, Blind Blake is most certainly in the very top rank.

On the other hand, their production values and methods were abysmal. Disc quality was so poor that even when new and unplayed their products were so shoddy and inferior that they lost distribution deals and some shops refused to stock them. Rather than invest in metal masters strong enough to withstand the requirements of pressing a hit record, they used cheap, soft metal parts which quickly deteriorated. If a hit was on the cards they merely recalled the musician and got them to re-record the song and make a new, poor quality master - hence the existence of several versions of a number of Blind Blake's output in varying degrees of sound quality, often ranging from poor to abysmal.

In putting together and remastering this collection I've tried to balance a number of requirements: firstly to put together a representative sample of Blake's entire recorded career between 1926 and 1936, secondly to cover a range of styles, and thirdly to try and find the best sounding surviving recordings from which to work.

The latter means, inevitably, that there is some considerable overlap with other one-disc sets. So do we really need another Blind Blake collection? Well it is my belief that, thanks to recent advances in sound restoration and remastering, it is most certainly worth revisiting these recordings once again. I've aimed not just to reduce background noise, but also to re-equalise to varying degrees a majority of the tracks in order to compensate for the sonic inadequacies of the Paramount originals. In most cases this has resulted in a much fuller and well-rounded sound, as well as a smoother and more convincing top end. Alas all too often the high treble simply disappears into the surface hiss, and one can debate for ever the precise balance of top end hiss suitable allowable in order to discern the music buried within it - for each track a careful judgment has been necessary, based on the widely varying quality of the original material.


Andrew Rose

BLIND WILLIE MCTELL Searching The Desert For The Blues - PABL008

The king of 12-string acoustic blues - 26 of the very best

In astonishing newly XR-remastered sound quality - surely the best ever!


Like many pre-war Blues artists, Blind Willie McTell recorded for a number of record companies, often at the same time, under a variety of pseudonyms. Fortunately for the lover of vintage blues, none of these was the notorious Paramount record company, and as a result we have a body of work which not only stands up musically, but in terms of recording and pressing quality as well - unlike the recordings of the likes of Charley Patton, Blind Blake and Blind Lemon Jefferson, for example.

In some respects this ought to make the audio restorer's job easier, you might think. Alas, life is rarely that simple - with higher quality originals to begin with, one inevitably aims higher and is less able to settle for anything less than excellence.

In compiling this CD, I initially worked on some 40 tracks by Blind Willie McTell, in many cases from two or three different sources. Each was taken a considerable way along the road of restoration and remastering in order that a judgment could be made (a) between different copies of the same recording, and then (b) between the complete set to narrow it down to a full CD (and I apologise here both for having to leave some excellent material out, and for leaving some rather small gaps between tracks in order to squeeze as much on as possible).

Then comes the painstaking job of "finishing" - a near-forensic examination of each track, looking for individual clicks, surface swishes and other extraneous noises, and attempting to remove or reduce them, one by one, as well as varrying out further final noise and hiss reduction. For a set such as this, which had already taken several weeks to assemble, this finishing work took a further three full days of intensive effort to complete.

What do I hope to achieve with all this effort? The finest-sounding and most representative collection of pre-war recordings by McTell ever assembled. No doubt some will dispute the track selections - especially some are here on musical merit., others on sonic merit - but put together as a whole I do feel this considerably improves on all previous issues of this material that it's been my pleasure to listen to over the years. I hope you'll feel similarly!


Andrew Rose

SKIP JAMES Yola My Blues Away - PABL009

Idiosyncratic, original and unique - Skip James' 1931 set

An all-time blues classic - these rarest of recordings fully restored and remastered


I have written elsewhere on this site about the poor quality of recordings emanating from the Paramount Records company in the late 1920s and early 1930s, where it seemed no corner could not be cut, technically, and no expense not saved in the production of desperately inferior pressings of some of the finest blues ever cut.

In the case of Skip James, whose sole visit to the Paramount recording studio in Grafton, Wisconsin in the February of 1931 resulted in his entire recorded output prior to the mid-1960s, the blues-lover is even less well served, as James's nine records sold appallingly badly - it's now estimated by one well-regarded discography that only around thirty copies exist in total of his entire Paramount output, with many of the discs having only one or two known copies (see below).

The net result of this is that, despite numerous reissues of this short canon over recent years, the original source material ain't getting any better. There's no collector quietly sitting on a collection of mint pressings ready to spring a surprise on the blues music world. Nobody has a copy of, for example, What Am I To Do (the most badly pressed and damaged of the set) which lacks the blasts of distortion every time James plays a loud piano chord - and it's distortion of the destructive kind, which obliterates permanently the music from which it derived.

Thus it is to the audio restoration engineers such as myself to try to make the best of what we do have, taking a variety of different approaches to the same set of originals. My approach is two-fold, in a way which is perhaps unique in this field. First of all, as most of us do, I aim to reduce as much as possible the shortcomings of the medium - in this case those appalling disc surfaces, with their clicks, crackles, hiss, rumble and distortion. Secondly, and this is what differentiates the XR remastering process from others, I aim also to address the shortcomings in the equipment used to make those recordings - the poor quality microphones and accompanying studio equipment which did such a poor job of reproducing the sound of Skip James even before it reached the disc master.

Using sophisticated computer analysis and tonal modelling of both these early recordings, and those much better quality discs he cut in the 1960s, we're able to get a good idea of what went wrong first time round, and where best to adjust the tonal response of the older recordings to get closer to a realistic sound, undoing as much as possible the tonal deficiencies of the original recording equipment.

Finally, because this has the side-effect of exacerbating aspects of the surface noise problems already discussed, there's then an extended period of fine-tuning, balancing, compromise and fixing in which I try to preserve the tonal improvements whilst keeping the newly-revealed surface noises to a minimum. It's a careful balancing act, and requires one to accept that some of these tracks can never sound as good as one would like.

What I have achieved, however, is what I believe is a major renovation and restoration which allows us to assess these recordings in a new light - and marvel at just how good Skip James was. It's an incredible set, rightly regarded as one of the most important of the early blues recordings, and well worth spending the huge amount of studio time in remastering that was required to produce this album.


Andrew Rose

ROBERT JOHNSON Phonograph Blues - PABL010

Robert Johnson Mint Test Pressings
XR Remastered For Outstanding Sound Quality


"It took guitar playing, songwriting, delivery, to a totally different height. And at the same time it confused us, because it wasn't band music, it was one guy ... Robert Johnson was like an orchestra all by himself. Some of his best stuff is almost Bach-like in construction"
- Keith Richards, Rolling Stones, "A Life" (2010)

Robert Johnson's influence on a generation of musicians cannot be overstated. The release, in 1961, of an LP called King of the Delta Blues was perfectly timed to capture the imagination of a new generation of young, often white and British musicians eager to explore this mysterious musical form, and talented enough to go on to become some of the most legendary popular music artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

That LP was put together by Columbia producer Frank Driggs, and in the process of compiling tracks a number of test pressings were made from original metal masters onto super-quiet surfaces using originla 78rpm presses just before they were abandoned by record companies around the world. A set of these, in mint condition - just ten sides in all - found its way to Pristine, and forms the basis for this incredible mini-album of Robert Johnson's music, released to coincide with the 80th anniversary of his first recordings in November 1936.


But what you hear is not what you'd expect from an 80 year old recording - instead the combination of these astonishing test pressings and Pristine's XR remastering process brings you - for the first time - the sound of Robert Johnson in full high fidelity sound. In informal comments via e-mail, two legendary multi-platinum-selling musicians expressed separately and simply their first impressions: "WOW ! Brilliant !" - "Remarkable... really...."

"I kind of got hooked on it because it was so much more powerful than anything else I had heard or was listening to. Amongst all of his peers I felt he was the one that was talking from his soul without really compromising for anybody. In one way or another, he's been in my life since I was a kid."
- Eric Clapton, NPR (2004)

Andrew Rose

Click below to expand track listing:
ROBERT JOHNSON Legendary Blues, Volume 1 - PABL001
  1. Sweet Home Chicago
  2. Phonograph Blues
  3. Travelling Riverside Blues
  4. 32-20 Blues
  5. Come On In My Kitchen
  6. Me and the Devil Blues
  7. Preachin' Blues
  8. When You Got A Good Friend
  9. Ramblin' On My Mind
  10. They're Red Hot
  11. I'm A Steady Rollin' Man
  12. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
  13. Milkcow's Calf Blues
  14. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom
  15. Terraplane Blues
  16. Walkin' Blues
  17. When You Got A Good Friend
  18. Stop Breakin' Down Blues
  19. Little Queen of Spades


ROBERT JOHNSON Legendary Blues, Volume 2 - PABL002


  1. Kind Hearted Woman Blues (Take 2)
  2. Ramblin' On My Mind (Take 2)
  3. When You Got A Good Friend (Take 2)
  4. Come On In My Kitchen (Take 2)
  5. Phonograph Blues (Take 2)
  6. Dead Shrimp Blues
  7. Cross Road Blues
  8. Last Fair Deal Gone Down
  9. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
  10. Stones in My Passway
  11. From Four Until Late
  12. Hell Hound On My Trail
  13. Little Queen Of Spades (Take 2)
  14. Malted Milk
  15. Drunken Hearted Man
  16. Me And The Devil Blues (Take 2)
  17. Stop Breakin' Down Blues (Take 2)
  18. Traveling Riverside Bllues (Take 2)
  19. Honeymoon Blues
  20. Love In Vain Blues
  21. Milkcow's Calf Blues (Take 2)
  22. Cross Road Blues (Take 2)
  23. Drunken Hearted Man (Take 2)
  24. Love In Vain Blues (Take 2)


TAMPA RED The Man With The Gold Guitar - PABL003


  1. She's Love Crazy (3:00) 24/6/41
  2. Delta Woman Blues (3:07) 11/10/37
  3. Bessemer Blues (2:48) 15/5/39
  4. It's A Low Down Shame (2:57) 24/6/41
  5. Hard Road Blues (2:57) 27/11/40
  6. So Far, So Good (2:43) 24/6/41
  7. You Missed A Good Man (3:34) 1/11/35
  8. Anna Lou Blues (2:53) 10/5/40
  9. Got To Leave My Woman (3:19) 14/3/38
  10. Kingfish Blues (3:08) 22/3/34
  11. Love With A Feeling (2:58) 16/6/38
  12. Travel On (2:24) 11/10/37
  13. Deceitful Friend Blues (3:02) 11/10/37
  14. When The One You Love Is Gone (3:08) 4/5/37
  15. It Hurts Me Too (2:32) 10/5/40
  16. Witchin' Hour Blues (3:13) 27/10/34
  17. Grievin' And Worryin' Blues (3:05) 14/6/34
  18. Let Me Play With Your Poodle (2:39) 6/2/42
  19. She Wants To Sell My Monkey (3:20) 6/2/42
  20. Why Should I Care? (3:26) 14/3/38

All songs written and performed by Tampa Red (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, piano, kazoo)
with Carl Martin (guitar, 17), Henry Scott (guitar, 16), Black Bob (guitar, 7, 10, 11?), Willie B. James (guitar, 2, 12, 13, 14, 20), Blind John Davis (piano, 3, 8, 15), Ransom Knowling (bass, 1, 3, 4, 6), Big Maceo Merriweather (piano, 1, 4, 6, 18, 19), Clifford 'Snags' Jones (drums, 18, 19), and others not known
All recorded in Chicago except tracks 2, 9, 11, 12, 14, 20, Aurora, Illinois

MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT The Man From Avalon - PABL004
  1. Frankie (3:29)
  2. Nobody's Dirty Business (3:00)
  3. Stack O' Lee Blues (3:00)
  4. Candy Man Blues (2:48)
  5. Blessed Be The Name (2:49)
  6. Praying On The Old Camp Ground (2:39)
  7. Blue Harvest Blues (2:56)
  8. Spike Driver Blues (3:17)
  9. Louis Collins (3:02)
  10. Got The Blues Can't Be Satisfied (2:54)
  11. Ain't No Tellin' (2:58)
  12. Avalon Blues (3:06)
  13. Big Leg Blues (2:51)


Tracks 1 & 2 Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, 14th February 1928 (most likely in a hotel room)
Tracks 9, 11, 12 recorded at OKeh Studios, New York City, 21st December 1928
All other tracks recorded at OKeh Studios, New York City, 28th December 1928
Issued as OKeh 78s: 2560 (1,2); 8654 (3,4); 8666 (5,6); 8692 (7,8); 8724 (9,10); 8759 (11,12) - Track 13 was unissued

BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON That Black Snake Moan - PABL005

1 Pneumonia Blues (24 Sept. 1929) 3:26
2 Long Lonesome Blues (c. May 1926) 3:07
3 Southern Woman Blues (24 Sept. 1929) 3:13
4 That Crawlin' Baby Blues (24 Sept. 1929) 2:48
5 D. B. Blues (c. Aug. 1928) 2:50
6 How Long How Long (c. July 1928) 2:51
7 Jack O' Diamond Blues (c. May 1926) 2:55
8 Lonesome House Blues (c. Oct. 1927) 2:32
9 Rabbit Foot Blues (c. Dec. 1926) 3:02
10 Matchbox Blues (14 March 1927) 2:59
11 'Lectric Chair Blues (c. Feb. 1928) 2:38
12 Easy Rider Blues (c. April 1927) 3:00
13 Shuckin' Sugar Blues (c. Nov. 1926) 3:10
14 See That My Grave's Kept Clean (c. Feb. 1928) 2:59
15 Stocking Feet Blues (c. Nov. 1926) 3:13
16 That Black Snake Moan (c. Nov. 1926) 3:12
17 Hangman's Blues (c. Aug. 1928) 3:30
18 Wartime Blues (c. Nov. 1926) 3:14
19 Bad Luck Blues (c. Dec. 1926) 2:56
20 Sunshine Special (c. Oct. 1927) 2:44

CHARLEY PATTON Dirt Road Blues - PABL006

1 Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues (14/6/29) 3:01
2 Down The Dirt Road Blues (14/6/29) 3:01
3 Pony Blues (14/6/29) 3:02
4 It Won't Be Long (14/6/29) 3:21
5 Pea Vine Blues (14/6/29) 3:06
6 Tom Rushen Blues (14/6/29) 3:09
7 A Spoonful Blues (14/6/29) 3:15
8 Shake It And Break It (But Don't Let It Fall, Mama) (14/6/29) 3:08
9 Elder Green Blues (Oct. 1929) 3:05
10 Circle Round The Moon (Oct. 1929) 2:35
11 Some Of These Days I'll Be Gone (Oct. 1929) 2:52
12 When Your Way Gets Dark (Oct. 1929) 3:10
13 Heart Like Railwood Steel (Oct. 1929) 2:52
14 Jim Lee, Part 1 (Oct. 1929) 3:01
15 High Water Everywhere, Part 1 (Oct. 1929) 3:00
16 Rattlesnake Blues (Oct. 1929) 2:49
17 Some Summer Day (June 1930) 3:03
18 Moon Going Down (June 1930) 3:18
19 Dry Well Blues (June 1930) 3:22
20 Revenue Man Blues (31/1/34) 2:38

BLIND BLAKE No Dough Blues - PABL007
  1. Blake's Worried Blues - c.10/26
  2. West Coast Blues (2nd recording, 1st take) - c.10/26
  3. Skeedle Loo Doo Blues (1st take) - c.11/26
  4. Dry Bone Shuffle (2nd take) - 13/4/27
  5. Hey Hey Daddy Blues - c.10/27
  6. Sea Board Stomp - c.10/27
  7. Southern Rag - c.10/27
  8. He's In The Jailhouse Now - c.11/27
  9. Wabash Rag - c.11/27
  10. Doggin' Me Mama Blues - c.5/28
  11. No Dough Blues - c.5/28
  12. Panther Squall Blues - c.5/28
  13. Fightin' The Jug - 20/6/29
  14. Early Morning Blues (2nd recording, 1st take) - c.10/26
  15. Chump Man Blues - 17/8/29
  16. Georgia Bound - 17/8/29
  17. Hastings St. - 17/8/29
  18. I Was Afraid Of That, Part 2 - 17/8/29
  19. Ice Man Blues - 17/8/29
  20. Too Tight Blues No 2 - 17/8/29
  21. Blind Arthur's Breakdown - c.9/29
  22. Guitar Chimes Blues - c.9/29
  23. Diddie Wah Diddie No 2 - 29/5/30
  24. Hard Pushing Papa - 29/5/30
  25. Rope Stretchin' Blues Part 1 (2nd take) - c.10/31
  26. Depression's Gone From Me Blues - c.6/32


BLIND WILLIE MCTELL Searching The Desert For The Blues - PABL008
    1. Stole Rider Blues 40309-2 rec. 18.10.1927
    2. Mama, Tain't Long Fo' Day 40310-1 rec. 18.10.1927
    3. Mr. McTell Got The Blues (take 2) 40311-2 rec. 18.10.1927
    4. Three Women Blues 47185-2 rec. 17.10.1928
    5. Dark Night Blues 47186-1 rec. 17.10.1928
    6. Statesboro Blues 47187-3 rec. 17.10.1928
    7. Loving Talking Blues 47188-3 rec. 17.10.1928
    8. Come On Around To My House Mama 19302-2 rec. 30.10.1929
    9. Kind Mama 149319-2 rec. 31.10.1929
    10. Drive Away Blues 56599-1 rec. 26.11.1929
    11. Talkin' To Myself 150257-2 rec. 17.4.1930
    12. Southern Can Is Mine 151904-1 rec. 23.10.1931
    13. Broke Down Engine Blues 151905-1 rec. 23.10.1931
    14. Painful Blues 151907-1 rec. 23.10.1931
    15. Scarey Day Blues 405003-1 rec. 23.10.1931
    16. Low Rider's Blues 405084-1 rec. 31.10.1931
    17. Georgia Rag 405085-1 rec. 31.10.1931
    18. Rollin' Mama Blues 71603 rec. 22.2.1932
    19. Lonesome Day Blues 71604-1 rec. 22.2.1932
    20. Mama, Let Me Scoop For You 71605 rec. 22.2.1932
    21. Searching The Desert For The Blues 71606-1 rec. 22.2.1932
    22. Warm It Up To Me 14008-2 rec. 14.9.1933
    23. Savannah Mama 14035-1 rec. 18.9.1933
    24. Love-Makin' Mama 14045-1 rec. 19.9.1933
    25. Lord, Send Me An Angel 14050-1 rec. 19.9.1933
    26. Lay Some Flowers On My Grave C-9952-A rec. 25.4.1935


SKIP JAMES Yola My Blues Away - PABL009
      1. Cherry Ball Blues (L-748-2)
      2. Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues (L-752-2)
        Paramount 13065
        2 known copies
      3. 22-20 Blues (L-765-1)
      4. If You Haven't Any Hay Get On Down The Road (L-766-1)
        Paramount 13066
        between 5 and 10 known copies
      5. Illinois Blues (L-749-1)
      6. Yola My Blues Away (L-753-1)
        Paramount 13072
        2 known copies
      7. How Long "Buck" (L-761-1)
      8. Little Cow And Calf Is Gonna Die Blues (L-763-1)
        Paramount 13085
        2, maybe 3 known copies
      9. Devil Got My Woman (L-746-1)
      10. Cypress Grove Blues (L-747-2)
        Paramount 13088
        8 known copies
      11. I'm So Glad (L-759-1)
      12. Special Rider Blues (L-760-2)
        Paramount 13098
        2 known copies
      13. Four O'Clock Blues (L-750-1)
      14. Hard-Luck Child (L-751-2)
        Paramount 13106
        4 known copies
      15. Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader (L-754-1)
      16. Be Ready When He Comes (L-755-2)
        Paramount 13108
        3 known copies
      17. Drunken Spree ((L-758-2)
      18. What Am I To Do (L-764-1)
        Paramount 13111
        1 known copy


ROBERT JOHNSON Phonograph Blues - PABL010


SIDE ONE: 1936

When You Got A Good Friend (Take 2)  (2:56)
Recorded 1936-11-23.  Matrix Number: SA 2584-2

Ramblin' On My Mind  (2:57)
Recorded 1936-11-23.  Matrix Number: SA 2583-1

Phonograph Blues  (2:44)
Recorded 1936-11-23.  Matrix Number: SA 2587-1

Possession of Judgement Day  (2:40)
Recorded 1936-11-27.  Matrix Number: SA 2633-1

When You Got A Good Friend (Take 1)  (2:42)
Recorded 1936-11-23.  Matrix Number: SA 2584-1

Recorded at The Gunter Hotel, 205 E Houston St, San Antonio, Texas


SIDE TWO: 1937

I'm A Steady Rollin' Man  (2:40)
Recorded 1937-06-19.  Matrix Number: DAL 378-1

Stones In My Passway  (2:32)
Recorded 1937-06-19.  Matrix Number: DAL 377-2

Hellhound On My Trail  (2:40)
Recorded 1937-06-20.  Matrix Number: DAL 394-2

Love In Vain  (2:25)
Recorded 1937-06-20.  Matrix Number: DAL 402-2

Milkcow's Calf Blues  (2:19)
Recorded 1937-06-20.  Matrix Number: DAL 403-1

Recorded at 508 Park Avenue, Dallas, Texas