These Blues Is Meant To Be Barrelhoused
Blue Goose 2003, Front cover
Blue Goose 2003
Various Artists:
'These Blues Is Meant To Be Barrelhoused'

Blue Goose 2003
side 1side 2
1 No place to go
(Hine) 2:02
Graham Hine
1 Beggin' Woman
(Price - Joseph) 2:31
John Lewis
2 East Village Rag
(Lewis) 1:03
John Lewis
2 Wimp Wompin' Blues
(Calt - McNichol) 2:55
Stephen Calt & Kenneth McNichol
3 Bad Feeling Blues
(Blake) 2:56
Larry Johnson & Woody Mann
3 Sociology Rag
(Lewis) 2:53
John Lewis
4 Have You Had Your Look, Mush?
(Hine) 1:52
Graham Hine
4 Walking Blues
(P.D. arr. Hine - Lewis) 2:05
Graham Hine
5 U.S.A. Blues
(Lewis) 2:17
John Lewis
5 Barrelhouse Blues
(Johnson - Mann) 2:10
Larry Johnson & Woody Mann
6 Seabord Train Blues
(Johnson) 2:56
Larry Johnson
6 Rocks In My Bed
(Carr) 4:24
Graham Hine
7 Keep A Knockin' An' You Can't Come In
(P.D., arr. Fleder - Johnson) 2:27
Larry Johnson & Rob Fleder
  He's In The Jailhouse Now
(P.D., arr. Bookbinder) 3:27
Roy Bookbinder
8 I Waited
(Lewis) 2:50
John Lewis
9 John Henry
(P.D., arr. Williams) 3:04
Bill Williams
21:27 20:25
Various Artists: Roy Bookbinder, Stephen Calt, Rob Fleder, Graham Hine, Larry Johnson, John Lewis, Woody Mann, Kenneth McNichol, Bill Williams,
Blue Goose's first anthology album provides a good cross-section of today's most talented country blues musicians, with emphasis upon little-exposed performers who offer new sounds to the listening public. They range from traditional musicians from the rural South like Bill Williams to comparative fledglings like Woody Mann and Rob Fleder whose playing reflects an intimate involvement and understanding of the blues heritage. They are not to be commended for nebulous "authenticity" or "sincerity" of approach, which qualities are often trumpeted by devious blurb-writers to mask the artistic failings of blues performers. Rather, each musician presented on this LP has passed the same rigorous criterion applied to the 1920's artists whose works are selected for Blue Goose's sister label, Yazoo Records.
Graham Hine and John Lewis are star members of Brett Marvin and his Thunderbolts, a popular English rhythm and blues group. Both have performed widely in British pubs. An extended portrait of Hine is available on Blue Goose L-2002, Bottleneck Blues, which includes a solo rendition of his showpiece, No Place To Go. The twenty-one year old Hine is both a skillful innovator and an inspired interpreter of the great Robert Johnson, whose well-known Walkin' Blues appears as a duet with John Lewis on this album. His brilliant instrumental, Have You Had Your Look, Mush? borders on the jazz idiom. Its title derives from a phrase current among English street-walkers, "mush" being roughly equivalent to "man". Behind Lewis' playing and singing on Rocks In My Bed, Hine supplies the treble-string snapping attack popularized by Scrapper Blackwell, and since associated with many piano-guitar duets.
John Lewis stands out as one of the few pianists in the current blues revival, and one of the least eclectic modern-day blues artists. He was born in Southampton in 1947 and began playing at the age of ten. His interest in black music dates to his early teens when his father purchased a Fats Domino album. "I was in the other room listening to television," he recalls, "and it was very distracting ... I just couldn't concentrate on this sort of Roy Rogers program." He attempted to copy Domino's playing, but admits that "it never came out the same way he did it." By the mid-1960's he had become a devotee of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson, both of whom affected his pianistic approach. "It was guitarists who influenced my piano-playing more than pianists," he says. Although he performs Cousin Joe's Beggin' Woman and uses the ideas of boogie pianists like Albert Ammons, compositions like I Waited and Sociology Rag have no precedent in the blues idiom. Today Lewis prefers lone pub dates to his appearances with Brett Marvin because a solo setting permits him greater harmonic and structural latitude. Presently, he hopes to create folk-styled melodies a la Henry Thomas: "very beautiful, simple things, just using three chords, no sevenths or anything like that."
At the age of eighteen Woody Mann is already one of America's most accomplished blues guitarists, and he is only beginning to hit his stride. He hails from East Williston, Long Island and currently attends college in Ohio. When he first took up guitar five years ago he was influenced by the folk and bluegrass sounds then prevalent in New York coffeehouses. Around 1967 he was introduced to blues via Dave Van Ronk, subsequently progressing to Gary Davis and Blind Blake, Mann's superior technical facility enables him not only to faultlessly mimic Blake's classic Bad Feeling Blues, but to spin out the constant variations at which Blake excelled. His other Blue Goose offering, Barrelhouse Blues, is in the vein of Leroy Carr's influential Mean Mistreater Blues, but again displays an uncanny assortment of riffs in the key of A.
The vocalist of both pieces is Larry Johnson, whose Blue Goose LP has already brought him acclaim as one of today's truly outstanding blues artists. A native of Georgia now living in New York, he is like Mann and Roy Bookbinder a protege but not an imitator of Reverend Gary Davis. His sedate Seaboard Train Blues, which has been in his repertoire for years, is indebted to the vocal melody of Tommy Johnson's Cool Drink Of Water, and finds him playing in the key of A. Besides accompanying Woody Mann, Larry sings and adds bass riffs to Rob Fleder's graceful lead guitar work on Keep A Knockin' But You Can't Come In, an adaptation of the James 'boodle It' Wiggins recording originally featuring piano accompaniment by Bob Call. In the fashion of traditional country bluesmen who appropriated musical themes, Fleder conceived his instrumental work upon the vocal line of the original. Fleder, who currently hosts a blues show on WBAI and is an authority on both blues and white country music, plans to create further guitar renditions of blues piano classics. Besides playing guitar, he is also a proficient fiddler.
Bill Williams, a 72-year old bluesman from Greenup, Kentucky, will be featured on a forthcoming Blue Goose LP. The previously unrecorded Williams ranks among the most polished and proficient living traditional bluesmen, and has a large repertoire embracing ragtime, hillbilly, and even pop material. He is also the only known living associate of Blind Blake, his own favorite guitarist. John Henry, a blues "standard" that was widely recorded by country artists of the 1920's, is performed in the key of G.
Stephen Calt and Kenneth McNichol hail from Palisades, New York, and began playing together about four years ago. Each disdains ragtime sounds for frantic blues rhythms, and has a largely inimitable musical style. The instrumental Wimp Wompin' Blues began as an offshoot of Willie Brown's M&Q Blues, but the addition of McNichol's spontaneous upper-register runs, reminiscent of Henry Townsend, far removes it from its roots in Mississippi blues.
Roy Bookbinder, a New Yorker who has frequently appeared at various local coffeehouses, is another graduate of the Gary Davis finishing school for ragtime guitarists. He is also one of the few white bluesmen who has developed real skills as a stage entertainer, as his engaging version of He's In The Jailhouse Now demonstrates. His treatment of this "standard" owes much to Pink Anderson, whom Bookbinder recently visited in Spartenburg, South Carolina, and greatly impressed with his smooth playing.
Produced For Blue Goose Records, a div. of Yellow Bee Productions
by Nick Perls

All songs written by artists appearing on this LP are copyright to Yellow Bee Music, (BMI)
ENGINEER: Nick Perls
NOTES: Maggie de Miramon
COVER ART: Nick Perls


Graham Hine is a member of  Brett Marvin & The Thunderbolts

Stefan Wirz

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