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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Dreaming the Blues, The Best of Charlie Spand

Label: Yazoo, Shanachie Records
Release Date: January 8, 2002
Releases: June 21, 2005
Recording Time: 66 minutes

Styles: Piano Blues

Some folks say that piano man Charlie Spand was born in Elljay, GA, a small town in the Appalachian foothills north of Atlanta. That statement, like most of the information associated with this artist, is based upon research and speculation. What's known for sure is that Charlie Spand was one of several heavy-hitting blues, boogie-woogie and barrelhouse pianists who performed on Brady and Hastings Streets in Detroit, MI during the '20s. It is also known that in 1929 Spand moved to Chicago where he began hanging out and gigging with guitarist Blind Blake. Most verifiable of all is the fact that between June 1929 and September 1931 Spand recorded 24 sides for the Paramount label in Richmond IN, Chicago IL and Grafton, WI. In 1992 the Document reissue label released Spand's Complete Paramounts in chronological order. In 2002, the folks at Yazoo brought out Dreaming the Blues, a chronologically shuffled survey of these same recordings with noticeably improved sound quality. Yazoo did not include "Tired Woman Blues," an alternate take of "Got to Have My Sweetbread" or an incomplete breakdown of "Levee Man Blues." Yazoo did include Spand's spoken introduction from a song on a Paramount's blues sampler, "Hometown Skiffle," originally released in 1929 and reissued in 1997 by Black Swan Records, a division of the GHB Jazz Foundation, Inc., in New Orleans, LA. The Paramount recordings of Charlie Spand are refreshingly honest and real. Seven of these tracks (from the Richmond sessions that took place during the summer of 1929) have guitar accompaniments; most of these are attributed to Blind Blake, who rattles off a bit of friendly conversation on "Hastings Street." The only other Charlie Spand recordings known to exist are eight sides cut for the Okeh label in June of 1940. The producers at Document have vowed to reissue these rare sides "on CD at a later date."
by arwulf arwulf

Credits: Willie Brown - composer; Bob Hall - liner notes; Richard Nevins - remastering; Bessie Smith - composer; Charlie Spand - composer, primary artist; Francis Wilford-Smith - producer.

Tracks: 1) Hometown Skiffle (Intro); 2) Good Gal; 3) Got to Have My Sweetbread; 4) Back to the Woods Blues; 5) Soon This Morning Blues; 6) Moanin' the Blues; 7) Mistreatment Blues; 8) Ain't Gonna Stand for That; 9) Dreamin' the Blues; 10) Levee Camp Man; 11) Fetch Your Water; 12) In the Barrel Blues; 13) Hastings St.; 14) Thirsty Woman Blues; 15) Big Fat Mama Blues; 16) Mississippi Blues; 17) She's Got Good Stuff; 18) Evil Woman Spell; 19) Soon This Morning #2; 20) Room Rent Blues; 21) 45th St. Blues; 22) Georgia Mule Blues; 23) Hard Times Blues.