BLOG

LAST week, we talked about the phenomenal contribution of 1960s label Chess Records to the blues. With a catalogue that included Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little Walter, Memphis Slim. Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Otis Rush and even rock ‘n’ roll star Chuck Berry, it came out with a slew of amazing records. This week, we list down nine great records released by Chess.

Muddy Waters/ At Newport 1960: This features the memorable concert by Muddy Waters at the 1960 Newport jazz festival at Newport, Rhode Island. Featured are classic songs like ‘I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man’, ‘I Got My Mojo Workin’ and ‘Goodbye Newport Blues’. John Lee Hooker/ House of the Blues: Before this album was released in 1959, Hooker was already famous for the songs ‘Boogie Chillen’ and ‘Crawling King Snake’. This was his first release on Chess, and features the songs ‘Walkin the Boogie’, ‘Ground Hog Blues’.

Memphis Slim/ Memphis Slim: The American pianist and singer first hit the headlines in 1947 with ‘Everyday I Have the Blues’. This album was released in 1961, and features great tracks like ‘Tijuana’, ‘Blues for my Baby’ and ‘I Guess I’m a Fool’. Big Bill Broonzy and Washboard Sam: The album looks like blues singer and guitarist Broonzy, performed together. But they recorded separately. Broonzy renders ‘Jacqueline’, ‘Lonesome’ and ‘Romance Without Finance’, and Washboard Sam sings ‘Never Never’ and ‘I’m A Lonely Man’.

Howlin’ Wolf/ Howlin’ Wolf: Chester Arthur Burnett, aka Howlin’ Wolf, was one of the most stunning blues singers, guitarists and harmonica players ever. This 1962 LP contained all his greatest hits, including ‘Wang Dang Doodle’, ‘Backdoor Man’, ‘Spoonful’ and ‘Goin’ Down Slow’. Johnny Guitar Watson/ The Blues Soul of Johnny Guitar Watson: Watson was a popular blues, soul and funk singer and guitarist, who played in the style of T-Bone Walker. This 1964 release contains some of his rarer songs, like ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams’, ‘Misty’ and ‘Witchcraft’. The Real Folk Blues/ Sonny Boy Williamson II: Part of the ‘Real Folk Blues’ series that had records of Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim and John Lee Hooker. Williamson, singer and harmonica legend, renders ‘Peach Tree’,‘Bringin It On Home’ and ‘Too Old To Think’.

Buddy Guy/ I Left My Blues in San Francisco: This 1967 album marked the debut LP of guitarist-singer Buddy Guy, who till then had released EPs for Cobra Records and played back-up on many Chess albums. ‘Buddy’s Groove’ and ‘Crazy Love’ are the stand-out tracks. Etta James/ At Last!: Though originally released by Argo Records in 1960, it was re-released by Chess a couple of years later. It was noted for its varied choice, from jazz standards to blues numbers to doo-wop to rhythm ‘n’ blues.

Leonard Cohen knew his music and the blues world is richer for it

  • Electric Blues
    Electric Blues
  • Texas Blues - Electrifying
    Texas Blues - Electrifying
  • Chess Records - A Pioneering Blues Label
    Chess Records - A Pioneering Blues Label
  • Blues Power - Women Empowered
    Blues Power - Women Empowered
  • For The Past Couple Of Decades
    For The Past Couple Of Decades
  • The Jump Blues
    The Jump Blues
  • A Lonely Sound
    A Lonely Sound
  • The Blues Soul Crossover
    The Blues Soul Crossover
  • The Blues Had A Baby
    The Blues Had A Baby
  • Eternal Charm of Pre-War Blues
    Eternal Charm of Pre-War Blues
  • Stage Names of Blues Musicians
    Stage Names of Blues Musicians
  • The Blues Standards
    The Blues Standards
  • Blues Conscience
    Blues Conscience
  • Joyce Arora on selecting the Blues artists
    Joyce Arora on selecting the Blues artists
  • Joyce Arora on the concerts
    Joyce Arora on the concerts
  • Luke Kenny - Festival Director on 'Simply The Blues'
    Luke Kenny - Festival Director on 'Simply The Blues'
  • Luke Kenny in conversation about 'Simply The Blues'
    Luke Kenny in conversation about 'Simply The Blues'
  • Memphis - Cradle of the Blues
    Memphis - Cradle of the Blues
  • Ministry of Blues
    Ministry of Blues
  • Overdrive Trio
    Overdrive Trio
  • Smokestack
    Smokestack
  • Soulmate
    Soulmate
  • The Idea behind 'Simply The Blues'
    The Idea behind 'Simply The Blues'
  • Ground Zero Blues Club
    Ground Zero Blues Club
  • Killing Floor - Still Rockin
    Killing Floor - Still Rockin
  • Live At The Regal
    Live At The Regal
  • Blues Harp - Plaintive Wail
    Blues Harp - Plaintive Wail
  • When I First Met The Blues
    When I First Met The Blues