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Oddio Overplay Showcase Vol 2 - Blues Done Got A Hold Of Me
Oddio Overplay Showcase Vol 2 - Blues Done Got A Hold Of Me

This showcase is predominantly blues from the 1930s and '40s. Most of this collection is provided by Italian label KLF Records and British label TKO Records. The sample tracks for blues rereleases on both labels are hosted by Vitaminic, a mammoth of a site for learning about, listening to, and purchasing music from all over the world.

An amazing, historic collection of 686 blues and folk recordings is accessible from the Library of Congress in the John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip online exhibit. To learn more about the blues, an American art form, please visit What Is The Blues? at The Blues Foundation.

The following recordings are made available online by the artists, their labels, or other representatives. The intention of posting links here is to inform visitors to this site of some of the great music out there. The site informs you of these links to shared music online as a means of supporting the artists. Please enjoy these selections and consider buying music from these great blues artists!

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[artists pictured left to right according to playlist]

Ladies With The Blues
Ladies With The Blues
1.   Billy Holiday - Blues
Lady Day. "The first popular jazz singer to move audiences with the intense, personal feeling of classic blues, Billie Holiday changed the art of American pop vocals forever. Almost fifty years after her death, it's difficult to believe that prior to her emergence, jazz and pop singers were tied to the Tin Pan Alley tradition and rarely personalized their songs; only blues singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey actually gave the impression they had lived through what they were singing." - from bio
2.   Sarah Vaughan - Body And Soul
"Possessor of one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century, Sarah Vaughan ranked with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday in the very top echelon of female jazz singers. She often gave the impression that with her wide range, perfectly controlled vibrato, and wide expressive abilities, she could do anything she wanted with her voice." - from bio
3.   Bessie Smith - Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
"The first major blues and jazz singer on record and one of the most powerful of all time, Bessie Smith rightly earned the title of 'The Empress of the Blues.' Even on her first records in 1923, her passionate voice overcame the primitive recording quality of the day and still communicates easily to today's listeners." - from bio
4.   Ma Rainey And Her Georgia Jazz Band - Countin' the Blues
Mother of the Blues. Ma Rainey's heyday was the 1920s-30s. Legend goes that she gave singing lessons to young Bessie Smith. She had been singing the blues for more than 20 years before she made her recording debut in 1923 with Paramount records. This diva was one of the most influential of blues artists. bio
Country Blues Artists
Classic Country Blues
5.   Robert Johnson - Love In Vain
King of the Delta Blues. "If the blues has a truly mythic figure... it's Robert Johnson, certainly the most celebrated figure in the history of the blues. Of course, his legend is immensely fortified by the fact that Johnson also left behind a small legacy of recordings that are considered the emotional apex of the music itself." - from bio

Hear 24 of those recordings and download eight for free at The Original 78's of Robert Johnson. Columbia Records released Robert Johnson's November 1936 and June 1937 recordings as King Of The Delta Blues Singers [CL 1654]. It is still widely available. I love it. The Complete Recordings is considered an essential blues release and is available from Legacy/Columbia.

6.   Sonny Boy Williamson - The Bluebird Recordings 1937-1938 - Bluebird Blues
Sonny Boy. "Easily the most important harmonica player of the pre-war era, John Lee Williamson almost single-handedly made the humble mouth organ a worthy lead instrument for blues bands.... Williamson's extreme versatility and consistent ingenuity won him a Bluebird recording contract in 1937." - from bio
7.   Blind Willie McTell - Talkiní To You Mama
"Willie Samuel McTell was one of the blues' greatest guitarists, and also one of the finest singers ever to work in blues. A major figure with a local following in Atlanta from the 1920s onward, he recorded dozens of sides throughout the 1930s under a multitude of names" - from bio
8.   Lonnie Johnson - Racketeer's Blues
"Blues guitar simply would not have developed in the manner that it did if not for the prolific brilliance of Lonnie Johnson. He was there to help define the instrument's future within the genre and the genre's future itself at the very beginning, his melodic conception so far advanced from most of his pre-war peers as to inhabit a plane all his own. For more than 40 years, Johnson played blues, jazz, and ballads his way; he was a true blues originator whose influence hung heavy on a host of subsequent blues immortals." - from bio
9.   Big Bill Broonzy - Glory Of Love
"In terms of his musical skill, the sheer size of his repertoire, the length and variety of his career and his influence on contemporaries and musicians who would follow, Big Bill Broonzy is among a select few of the most important figures in recorded blues history. In this country he was instrumental in the growth of the Chicago Blues sound, and his travels abroad rank him as one of the leading blues ambassadors.... Literally born on the banks of the Mississippi,... Broonzy began his recording career with Paramount in 1927." - from bio
10.   Josh White - John Henry
"Josh White was a major figure in the Piedmont blues tradition. The first part of his career saw him as apprentice and lead boy to some of the greatest blues and religious artists ever, including Willie Walker, Blind Blake, Blind Joe Taggart, and allegedly even Blind Lemon Jefferson." - from bio
11.   Brownie McGhee - Not Guilty Blues - Picking My Tomatoes
"The leading Piedmont-style bluesman on the planet, venerated worldwide for his prolific activities both on his own and with his longtime partner, the blind harpist Sonny Terry." - from bio
City Blues Artists
Classic City Blues
12.   John Lee Hooker - Boogie Stomp
The Hook. "He was beloved worldwide as the king of the endless boogie, a genuine blues superstar whose droning, hypnotic one-chord grooves were at once both ultra-primitive and timeless. But John Lee Hooker recorded in a great many more styles than that over a career that stretched across more than half a century." - from bio
13.   Sunnyland Slim - Jivin' Boogie 1947-48 - Johnson Machine Gun
"He was born Albert Luandrew in Mississippi and received his early training on a pump organ. After entertaining at juke joints and movie houses in the Delta, Luandrew made Memphis his homebase during the late '20s, playing along Beale Street and hanging out with the likes of Little Brother Montgomery and Ma Rainey. He adopted his colorful stage name from the title of one of his best-known songs, the mournful 'Sunnyland Train.' (The downbeat piece immortalized the speed and deadly power of a St. Louis-to-Memphis locomotive that mowed down numerous people unfortunate enough to cross its tracks at the wrong instant.)" - from bio
14.   Robert Nighthawk - Sweet Black Angel
"Of all the pivotal figures in blues history, certainly one of the most important was Robert Nighthawk. He bridged the gap between Delta and Chicago blues effortlessly, taking his slide cues from Tampa Red and stamping them with a Mississippi edge learned first hand from his cousin, Houston Stackhouse." - from bio
15.   Shoe Shine Johnny - So Glad I Found You
"An accomplished slide and finger-style player, as well as emotional vocalist, Johnny Shines spent most of his youth in and around Memphis and the Delta area playing Jukes and parties. His first musical influence was Howlin' Wolf which earned him the nickname of "Little Wolf" at the start of his career. Shines met Robert Johnson (who eventually became his biggest influence) in Memphis in 1934 and traveled with him through the South... until Johnson's death in 1938. After Johnson's death Shines settled in Chicago in 1941.... He recorded for, among others, Chess Records; many of which were unreleased as Johnny Shines and some cuts which were released under the name 'Shoe Shine Johnny.'" - from bio
16.   Memphis Slim - Now I Got The Blues
"An amazingly prolific artist who brought a brisk air of urban sophistication to his frequently stunning presentation, John 'Peter' Chatman better known as Memphis Slim assuredly ranks with the greatest blues pianists of all time." - from bio
17.   Albert Ammons - Boogie Woogie Stomp
"Albert Ammons was one of the big three of late-'30s boogie-woogie along with Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis.... Ammons played in Chicago clubs from the 1920s on, although he also worked as a cab driver for a time. Starting in 1934, he led his own band in Chicago, and he made his first records in 1936. In 1938, Ammons appeared at Carnegie Hall with Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis, an event that really helped launch the boogie-woogie craze.... Albert Ammons worked steadily throughout the 1940s, playing at President Harry Truman's inauguration in 1949; he died later that year." - from bio
Modern Blues Artists
Modern Blues
18.   Lowell Fulson - The Original West Coast Blues - You're Gonna Miss Me
"Lowell Fulson has recorded every shade of blues imaginable. Polished urban blues, rustic two-guitar duets with his younger brother Martin, funk-tinged grooves that pierced the mid-'60s charts, even an unwise cover of the Beatles' 'Why Don't We Do It in the Road!' Clearly, the veteran guitarist, who's been at it now for more than half a century, isn't afraid to experiment." - from bio
19.   Charles Brown - Rockin' Blues
"How many blues artists remained at the absolute top of their game after more than a half-century of performing? One immediately leaps to mind: Charles Brown. His incredible piano skills and laid-back vocal delivery remained every bit as mesmerizing at the end of his life as they were way back in 1945, when his groundbreaking waxing of "Drifting Blues" with guitarist Johnny Moore's Three Blazers invented an entirely new blues genre for sophisticated postwar revelers: an ultra-mellow, jazz-inflected sound perfect for sipping a late-night libation in some hip after-hours joint. Brown's smooth trio format was tremendously influential to a host of high-profile disciples Ray Charles, Amos Milburn, and Floyd Dixon, for starters." - from bio
20.   Ray Charles - [I Have Had My Fun] Goin' Down Slow
"Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there is his singing; his style is among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th-century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis and Billie Holiday. He's also a superb keyboard player, arranger, and bandleader." - from bio
21.   Champion Jack Dupree w Muddy Waters - Come Back Baby
"A formidable contender in the ring before he shifted his focus to pounding the piano instead, Champion Jack Dupree often injected his lyrics with a rowdy sense of down-home humor. But there was nothing lighthearted about his rock-solid way with a boogie; when he shouted "Shake Baby Shake," the entire room had no choice but to acquiesce." - from bio
22.   Bo Diddley - Who May Your Lover Be
This track provided by BubblegumMachine.com   "Diddley produced greater and more influential music than all but a handful of the best early rockers. The Bo Diddley beat bomp, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp is one of rock and roll's bedrock rhythms.... Diddley's hypnotic rhythmic attack and declamatory, boasting vocals stretched back as far as Africa for their roots, and looked as far into the future as rap. His trademark otherworldly vibrating, fuzzy guitar style did much to expand the instrument's power and range. But even more important, Bo's bounce was fun and irresistibly rocking, with a wisecracking, jiving tone that epitomized rock & roll at its most humorously outlandish and freewheeling." - from bio