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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Flashbacks, Vol. 1, High & Low Drug Songs 1917-1944 by Various Artists

Label: Trikont Records.
Release Date: September 5, 2005.
Releases: 2000, 2002, 2005.
Recording Date: 1917 - 1944.

Styles: Country Blues, Chicago Blues, Swing, Vocal.

Listeners under the impression that drug music began with "White Rabbit" and ended with "White Lines" would be wise to pick up the first and best volume in the German Trikont label's excellent Flashbacks series -- compiling 25 jazz, blues, and vocal cuts from the first-half of the 20th century, the set documents World War II-era vice and sin at its finest, deftly mixing radio hits with utter obscurities. The songs range from the benign (Gene Krupa's "Feeling High and Happy") to the explicit (the Memphis Jug Band's "Cocaine Habit Blues"), and while some of the selections are clearly reaching to justify their thematic inclusion -- Bukka White's immortal "Fixin' to Die Blues" almost certainly has nothing to do with "fixing" in the junkie lexicon sense of the term -- the pacing and sequencing are dead-on, and even novelty throwaways like Harry "The Hipster" Gibson's "Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?" stand up to repeated listening in this context. Excellent remastering and liner notes (in both English and German) round out the package. - Review by by Jason Ankeny

Credits: Allen - composer; Andreas Koll - mastering; Asa Martin - primary artist, composer, vocals, guitar; Baron Lee and The Blue Rhythm Band - primary artist; Ben Ramey - kazoo, vocals; Benny Carter - composer, trumpet; Berlin - composer; Bernd Windisch - masteringBig Bill Broonzy - primary artist, guitar; Bill Kenny - vocals; Billy Banks - vocals; Blind John Davis - piano; Bloom - composer; Blue Lu Barker - primary artist; Bobby Bennett - guitar; Bukka White - primary artist, vocals, guitar; Buster Bailey - clarinet; Cab Calloway - composer, vocals; Cab Calloway and His Orchestra - primary artist; Champion Jack Dupree - primary artist, composer, vocals, piano; Charlie Burse - guitar; Charlie Fuqua - vocals;  Charlie McCoy - guitar; Chick Webb - drums; Chick Webb & His Orchestra and Ella Fitzgerald - primary artist; Cozy Cole - drums; Cuba Austin - vocals; Danny Barker - composer, guitar; Dick Justice - primary artist, vocals, guitar; Don Redman - composer, arranger, reeds; Dyrenforth - composer; Ella Fitzgerald - vocals; Florence Desmond - primary artist, vocals; Fred Flynn - drums; Fred Waring - vocals; Gene Krupa - composer, drums; Gene Krupa and His Orchestra - primary artist; George Thomas - vocals; Gordon - composer; Green - composer; Hambone Lewis - jug; Harry "The Hipster" Gibson - primary artist, composer, vocals, piano; Hattie Hart - composer, vocals; Keith Chandler - liner notes; Herb Morand - trumpet; Herbert Payne - primary artist, tenor vocals; Hias Schaschko - graphics; Horace Malcolm - piano; Howard - composer; Ivory Watson - vocals; James Sherman - piano; Jean Brady - vocals; Joe McCoy - guitar; John Lindsay - bass; Johnson - composer; Jonah Jones - trumpet, vocals; Jordan - composer; Kansas Joe - primary artist, vocals, guitar; Koehler - composer; Lizzie Douglas - composer; Lonnie Johnson - guitar; Louis Armstrong - primary artist, vocals; Mack Walker - bass; McKinney's Cotton Pickers - primary artist; Memphis Jug Band - primary artist; Memphis Minnie - primary artist, vocals, guitar; Mills - composer; Odell Rand - clarinet; Orville Jones - vocals; Peter Cleighton - primary artist, composer, vocals; Porter Grainger - piano; Rafaz - composer; Ray Noble - leader; Ray Noble & His New Mayfair Dance Orchestra - primary artist; Revel - composer; Robert Lockwood - guitar; Robinson - composer; Rosetta Howard - vocals; Roy Hobbs - mandolin; Russel - composer; Sam Price - piano; Stuff Smith - violin; Stuff Smith and His Onyx Club Boys - primary artist; The Harlem Hamfats - primary artist; The Ink Spots - primary artist; The Mills Blue Rhythm Band - primary artist; Traditional - composer; Unknown Artist - bass; Victoria Spivey - vocals; Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson - primary artist; Waring's Pennsylvanians - primary artist; Washboard Sam - washboard; Webb - composer; Wellman Braud - drums; Werner Pieper - producer, liner notes; White - composer; Will Shade - harmonica; Williams - composer.

Recording Information (Recording locations and dates): 1) - , Mar. 25, 1938; 2) Chicago, Jun. 13, 1940; 3) Los Angeles, Aug. 21, 1944; 4) New York, Aug. 11, 1938; 5) Chicago, Jun. 5, 1930; 6) New York, Mar. 13, 1936; 7) New York, Apr. 19, 1929; 8) Chicago, Jul. 1, 1941; 9) London, Feb. 23, 1933; 10) New York, Apr. 28, 1932; 11) New York, Mar. 28, 1939; 12) New York, Feb. 24, 1932; 13) New York, Oct. 28, 1927; 14) New York, Aug. 17, 1938; 15) Chicago, Mar. 8, 1940; 16) Memphis, May 17, 1930; 17) New York, Aug. 17, 1932; 18) Chicago, May 20, 1929; 19) Richmond, Apr. 5, 1933; 20) Chicago, Jan. 25, 1932; 21) Chicago, Oct. 21, 1938; 22) - , Mar. 7, 1939; 23) New York, Apr. 15, 1938; 24) Chicago, Apr. 24, 1941; 25) London, 1917.

Tracks: 1) That Cat Is High - The Ink Spots; 2) Junker's Blues - Champion Jack Dupree; 3) Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine? - Harry "The Hipster" Gibson; 4) Don't You Make Me High - Blue Lu Barker; 5) I'm Wild About Stuff - Joe McCoy; 6) You'se A Viper - Stuff Smith and His Onyx Club Boys; 7) Selling That Stuff - McKinney's Cotton Pickers; 8) Moonshine Man Blues - Peter Cleighton; 9) Cigarettes, Cigars - Florence Desmond; 10) Minnie The Moochers Wedding Day - The Mills Blue Rhythm Band; 11) The Ghost Of Smoky Joe - Cab Calloway And His Orchestra; 12) Let's Have Another Cup O' Coffee - Waring's Pennsylvanians; 13) Dope Head Blues - Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson; 14) Wacky Dust - Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald; 15) Fixin' To Die - Bukka White; 16) Cocaine Habit Blues - Memphis jug Band; 17) Reefer Man - Baron Lee and The Blue Rhythm Band; 18) Cocaine - Dick Justice; 19) Jake Walk Papa - Asa Martin; 20) Kickin' The Gong Around - Louis Armstrong; 21) The Candy Man - The Harlem Hamfats; 22) Repeal The Blues - Ray Noble & His New Mayfair Dance Orchestra; 23) Feelin' High And Happy - Gene Krupa and His Orchestra; 24) Knockin' Myself Out - Big Bill Broonzy; 25) Smoke Clouds - Herbert Payne.