Elmore James: Blues Masters Vol. 1-Used 1972 Stereo LP

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  • Item Category: Entertainment
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jun 09,2011
  • Channel: Online Auction
Used 1972 Blue Horizon Stereo Compilation of Bandleader/Composer/Slide Guitar Master/Chicago Blues Vocalist Elmore James Entitled Blues Masters Volume 1, a Blue Horizon(U.S.)Production, Blue Horizon Records Distributed by Polydor Incorporated New York, N.Y. - "No two ways about it, the most influential slide guitarist of the postwar period was Elmore James , hands down. Although his early demise from heart failure kept him from enjoying the fruits of the '60s blues revival as his contemporaries Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf did, James left a wide influential trail behind him. And that influence continues to the present time -- in approach, attitude and tone -- in just about every guitar player who puts a slide on his finger and wails the blues. As a guitarist, he wrote the book, his slide style influencing the likes of Hound Dog Taylor , Joe Carter , his cousin Homesick James and J.B. Hutto , while his seldom-heard single-string work had an equally profound effect on B.B. King and Chuck Berry . His signature lick -- an electric updating of Robert Johnson 's "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom" and one that Elmore recorded in infinite variations from day one to his last session -- is so much a part of the essential blues fabric of guitar licks that no one attempting to play slide guitar can do it without being compared to Elmore James . Others may have had more technique -- Robert Nighthawk and Earl Hooker immediately come to mind -- but Elmore had the sound and all the feeling. A radio repairman by trade, Elmore reworked his guitar amplifiers in his spare time, getting them to produce raw, distorted sounds that wouldn't resurface until the advent of heavy rock amplification in the late '60s. This amp-on-11-approach was hot-wired to one of the strongest emotional approaches to the blues ever recorded. There is never a time when you're listening to one of his records that you feel -- no matter how familiar the structure -- that he's phoning it in just to grab a quick session check. Elmore James always gave it everything he had, everything he could emotionally invest in a number. This commitment of spirit is something that shows up time and again when listening to multiple takes from his session masters. The sheer repetitiveness of the recording process would dim almost anyone's creative fires, but Elmore always seemed to give it 100 percent every time the red light went on. Few blues singers had a voice that could compete with James '; it was loud, forceful, prone to "catch" or break up in the high registers, almost sounding on the verge of hysteria at certain moments. Evidently the times back in the mid-'30s when Elmore had first-hand absorption of Robert Johnson as a playing companion had a deep influence on him, not only in his choice of material, but also in his presentation of it. Backing the twin torrents of Elmore 's guitar and voice was one of the greatest -- and earliest -- Chicago blues bands. Named after James ' big hit, the Broomdusters featured Little Johnny Jones on piano, J.T. Brown on tenor sax and Elmore 's cousin, Homesick James on rhythm guitar. This talented nucleus was often augmented by a second saxophone on occasion while the drumming stool changed frequently. But this was the band that could go toe to toe in a battle of the blues against the bands of Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf and always hold their own, if not walk with the show. Utilizing a stomping beat, Elmore 's slashing guitar, Jones ' two-fisted piano delivery, Homesick 's rudimentary boogie bass rhythm and Brown 's braying nanny-goat sax leads, the Broomdusters were as loud and powerful and popular as any blues band the Windy City had to offer. But as urban as their sound was, it all had roots in Elmore 's hometown of Canton, MS. He was born there on January 27, 1918, the illegitimate son of Leola Brooks and later given the surname of his stepfather, Joe Willie James. He adapted to music at an early age, learning to play bottleneck on a homemade instrument fashioned out of a broom handle and a lard can. By the age of 14, he was already a weeke...

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