Read Review




Blues Images (CAL2016)

CD has tracks by Jim Jackson, Blind Willie Johnson, Charlie Kyle, Barbecue Bob, Papa Charlie McCoy, Curley Weaver And Ruth Willis, Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jed Davenport And His Beale Street Jug Band, Spark Plug Smith, Ma Rainey, Black Billy Sunday, Hattie Hyde, Jaydee Short

It’s that time of year again when all true blues lovers of a certain vintage get the colly-wobbles in their tummy - yes, its the appearance of a new Blues Images calendar!

The 2016 edition is the 13th in the series and once again offers a host of beautiful photography and advertising artwork from a bygone era that we have all come to love.

This year, as with each previous year so far, John Tefteller and his dedicated team have again surpassed themselves with twelve more art masterpieces including high quality photographic reproductions (some being quite rare) of Charlie Kyle, Papa Charlie McCoy, Ruth Willis, Curley Weaver, Spark Plug Smith and Ma Rainey, as well as advertising imagery relating to 78rpm releases from the 1920s of Jim Jackson, Blind Willie Johnson, Barbecue Bob, Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jed Davenport And His Beale Street Jug Band and Billy Black Sunday.

As always, the calendar comes with a free CD which contains 12 songs that directly match up to the monthly calendar artwork. The highlights of these this year include well-known classics such as Jim Jackson’s My Monday Blues, Blind Willie Johnson’s When The War Was On,Lectric Chair Blues by Blind Lemon Jefferson and Georgia Cake Walk by Ma Rainey, alongside lesser known artists and titles such as Vampire Women by Spark Plug Smith, The High Cost Of Sin by Black Billy Sunday and Walking Blues by Charlie Kyle.

And, as with each of the previous volumes, the CD includes a good deal of additional material as bonus cuts, as usual notable for a rarity value and of significant interest to collectors. Some of these are sides from artists featured in the calendar itself - most notably, two never before heard songs by Papa Charlie McCoy (Boogie Woogie and Country Guy Blues). There are however also some super-rare sides included from artists not otherwise appearing in the calendar. These include two sides from Hattie Hyde (more often known as Hattie Hart) in the company of members of the Memphis Jug Band on T & N O Blues and Special Question Blues. The prize for the rarest inclusions here though must go to two thought-lost Jaydee Short sides, Tar Road Blues and Flaggin’ It To Georgia, found languishing as 78s in a cabinet of a 90 year old woman and restored here through a mix of skill, love, luck and technology.

The sound quality of the re-mastered CDs contained alongside these calendars is always better and clearer than you tend to find elsewhere. You may however acknowledge  an even higher standard of presentation this time as the Blues Images team has joined forces with American Epic, a company preparing for a 2016 feature film length film, to be shown on PBS and the BBC, celebrating the first wave of recorded music in America in the 1920s and 1930s. This will include some tie-in releases in the future but the first benefit of the partnership - the most advanced and sophisticated techniques for transferring and restoring vintage discs - is included here for Red Lick customers to now enjoy. 

Just when I thought the Blues Images calendar couldn’t possibly become any more impressive, they go and prove me wrong (once again!). 


Review Date: October 2015

Go Back to Reviews