The Mississippi Sheiks - Complete Recorded Works Vol 2 - Delta Blues Folk - Sealed 180 Grm LP
The Mississippi Sheiks - Complete Recorded Works Vol 2
Label: Third Man Records
Series: Document Reissues Volume 2
Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Recorded June 12, 1930 to October 24, 1931
Style: Country Blues
A1 Jail Bird Love Song 2:53
A2 Yodeling Fiddling Blues 3:08
A3 Baby Keeps Stealin' Lovin' On Me 3:06
A4 River Bottom Blues 3:04
A5 Bootleggers' Blues 3:30
A6 Loose Like That 2:59
A7 Sitting On Top Of The World No. 2 3:16
A8 Your Good Man Caught The Train And Gone 3:09
A9 Times Done Got Hard 3:24
B1 Unhappy Blues 3:21
B2 Still I'm Traveling On 3:00
B3 Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down 3:22
B4 She Ain't No Good 3:11
B5 Ramrod Blues 2:48
B6 Stop And Listen Blues No. 2 3:11
B7 Church Bell Blues 3:17
B8 Please Don't Wake It Up 3:27
B9 Please Baby 3:27
The Mississippi Sheiks were a popular and influential guitar and fiddle group of the 1930s. They were notable mostly for playing country blues but were adept at many styles of United States popular music of the time, and their records were bought by both black and white audiences. Country blues is often seen as being the domain of individual musicians, a stereotype propagated by the way such delta blues performers as Robert Johnson and Charley Patton have entered the popular consciousness. Of the smaller number of groups playing at the time, the Mississippi Sheiks are among the better known and most influential among their peers.
In 2004, they were inducted in the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. Their 1930 blues single "Sitting on Top of the World" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
The Mississippi Sheiks consisted mainly of the Chatmon family, who came from Bolton, Mississippi and were well known throughout the Mississippi Delta; the father of the family had been a "musicianer" during times of black slavery, and his children carried on the musical spirit. Their most famous (although by no means permanent) member was Armenter Chatmon - better known as Bo Carter - who managed a successful solo career as well as playing with the Sheiks, which may have contributed to their success. The band named themselves after Rudolph Valentino's film The Sheik (1921).
When the band first recorded in 1930, the line-up consisted of Carter with Lonnie and Sam Chatmon, and Walter Vinson. Charlie McCoy (not to be confused with Charlie McCoy, a later American musician) played later, when Bo Carter and Sam Chatmon ceased playing full time. It was Lonnie Chatmon and Vinson who formed the real centre of the group.
Bo Carter's solo work is notable for being sexually suggestive in songs such as "My Pencil Won't Write No More" and this is carried on to an extent with the group; however, like Carter himself the Mississippi Sheiks rarely used double entendres. They primarily earned their income like Robert Johnson and Skip James. They toured throughout the South of the U.S., but also reached as far north as Chicago and New York.
Their first and biggest success was "Sitting On Top Of The World" (1930), later to be recorded by Howlin' Wolf, Nat King Cole, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills (numerous times), Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and Jack White, and re-done by Robert Johnson, and called Come On in My Kitchen. Throughout their five active years, the Mississippi Sheiks recorded over seventy songs for the Okeh, Paramount and Bluebird labels.
When the band dissolved in 1935 the Chatmon brothers gave up music and returned to being farmers, the most common occupation of black people in rural Mississippi.
Walter Vinson and the Chatman Brothers made their first records together in Shreveport, LA and San Antonio, TX in February and June 1930. Those performances, which were captured by an Okeh field recording unit, were reissued in the early '90s on Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 of Document's four-volume series which presented the group's complete works in chronological order.
Volume 2 opens with their first "home turf" session, which took place at the King Edward Hotel in Jackson, MS on December 15, 1930, followed by five titles recorded four days later, and ten selections from a session that took place it Atlanta, GA on October 24, 1931. The Sheiks at this point consisted of singing guitarist Vinson, who engaged at times in gentle passages of Tommy Johnson-like blue yodeling, and fiddler Lonnie Chatman, whose bowing technique called up awesome tonalities that resonate today like textural premonitions of what Sugarcane Harris accomplished some 40 years after these records were made. The Sheiks' remake of "Sitting on Top of the World" is definitive, and "Things About Comin' My Way" uses the same melody with similar results. In the liner notes, blues historian Chris Smith plausibly suggests that the Sheiks handled requests for songs they didn't know by inventing similarly titled originals on the spot.
"Honey Babe Let the Deal Go Down," he theorizes, resulted from a request for a tune by Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, while "Lazy Lazy River" could have been concocted as a sort of "anti-cover" of an air by Hoagy Carmichael. On this collection, Vinson sings about interpersonal relationships, loneliness, depression, body odor, alienation, poverty, and death. Interestingly, the producers of this series did not include six additional titles (four of them waltzes) which were recorded on December 15, 1930 but issued under the name of the Mississippi Mud Steppers. Document has reissued these recordings on Mississippi String Bands and Associates 1928-1931 and threw a few in with Charlie McCoy's recordings from 1928-1932.
Mississippi Sheiks - Jail Bird Love Song
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Mississippi Sheiks - Lazy, Lazy River
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|Format||LP, 180 Gram|
|Label||Third Man Records|