Blues, Electric Blues and R&B

The Vaughan Brothers – Family Style

xxxxx

  • Jimmie and Stevie Ray’s 1990 release finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with superb nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish – just shy of our Shootout Winner – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Space, clarity, transparency, and in-the-room immediacy are some of the qualities to be found on this pressing – it’s guaranteed to soundly beat any copy you’ve ever heard
  • “Jimmie makes his vocal debut on ‘White Boots’ and ‘Good Texan,’ and the brothers blur the lines between their expected guitar styles — Stevie sometimes going for a less sustainy twang, Jimmie moving into Albert King territory.”

(more…)

Stevie Ray Vaughan – The Sky Is Crying

xxxxx

  • You’ll find insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of the most blistering performances of electric blues we have ever had the pleasure of rocking out to
  • Hands down the best sounding SRV recording — Little Wing is an absolute MONSTER on this White Hot side one and a Demo track to beat them all
  • 4 stars: “Doing away with vocals, Vaughan augments Hendrix’s concise two-and-a-half minute original, turning the track into a nearly seven-minute-long electric tour de force. The cover would earn Vaughan his sixth Grammy, for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, in 1992.”

This is one of the most blistering recordings of electric blues-rock we’ve ever played. Few other records recorded in the ’80s have this kind of BIG, BOLD sound. Maybe none. The sheer impact and wallop of this music is a real treat, but only if you have the right pressing (and the right kind of stereo to play it on, of course).

Stevie’s take on Jimi’s Little Wing is the surest proof that SRV was one of the greatest Electric Blues Guitarists of All Time. I know of no other guitar showcase to compete with it. Sonically it’s a knockout, with one of the tallest, widest and deepest soundstages I have ever heard on record. It brings to mind Gilmore’s multiple solos on Money from the hottest Dark Side of the Moon pressings, high praise indeed. Little Wing deservedly won SRV the Grammy in ’92 for Best Rock Instrumental. Click on the Little Wing tab above to learn more.

And, if you want to here Stevie channel Wes Montgomery instead of Jimi Hendrix, take a listen to Chitlins Con Carne. (more…)

Smoky Babe – Hottest Brand Goin’

xxxxx
xxxxx

  • Smoky Babe makes his Hot Stamper debut here on this superb pressing, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it throughout
  • The mono sound is gloriously ANALOG, so smooth and full-bodied – no other copy in our shootout had this kind of exceptionally realistically relaxed sound
  • 4 stars: “Smoky Babe, aka Robert Brown, laid down a good set of down-home country blues on this 1961 session, with occasional assistance from harmonica players Clyde Causey and Henry Thomas… it’s sung with conviction, and the guitar playing is emphatic and chunkily rhythmic.”

(more…)

The Robert Cray Band – Strong Persuader

xxxxx

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last, this is a superb copy of Strong Persuader – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is the album that propelled Cray into the mainstream, earning him a spot on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest albums of the 80’s, 5 stars on AMG, and endless accolades from critics and fans alike
  • Clear and open, but still fairly analog sounding, this copy has the right sound for the kind of electric blues Cray brought back from the dead in the ’80s
  • 5 stars: “The set that made Cray a pop star, despite its enduring blues base… his innovative expansion of the genre itself that makes this album a genuine 1980s classic.”

(more…)

Taj Mahal – Live & Direct (Direct to Disc)

xxxxx

This is a Minty looking Crystal Clear Direct-to-Disc LP with Very Little Sign of Play. It’s an EXTREMELY rare title, one of the rarest and best Crystal Clear Direct Discs, with very good sound as I recall. 

“… several outstanding performances by Taj and his International Rhythm Band. Indeed, ‘Little Brown Dog’ catches Taj in one of his transcendental live moments when he gets so down in the groove you never want him to stop.” – AMG Review

Sunnyland Slim – Slim’s Got His Thing Goin’ On

xxxxx

  • Off the charts “Triple Triple” (A+++) sound for this classic Sunnyland Slim blues album – both sides earned our top grade of A+++
  • Huge, Tubey Magical and dynamic, with solid weight down low and lots of space around the instruments, this copy is guaranteed to fill your listening room with truly brilliant electric blues
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more space, richness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this White Hot stamper pressing than on any other in the world (and if you don’t see it our way, feel free to return the record for a full refund)
  • “‘Slim’s Got His Thing Goin’ On’ may be classic, but it’s not ordinary. More, it’s totally unique. The blend of electric guitars, harmonicas and pianos is wonderful, production just rocks.”

(more…)

Muddy Waters – Sings Big Bill Broonzy

xxxxx

  • Waters’ superb 1960 tribute to Big Bill Broonzy makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more space, richness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • We found this title to be exceptionally well recorded, which means this copy has true DEMO DISC QUALITY sound
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Waters’s tribute album to the man who gave him his start on the Chicago circuit, this stuff doesn’t sound much like Broonzy so much as a virtual recasting of his songs into Muddy’s electric Chicago style.”

(more…)

Muddy Waters – The Real Folk Blues

xxxxx

  • An outstanding copy of this compilation album with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last – mostly quiet vinyl too
  • Like its Audiophile Favorite brother, Folk Singer, also on Chess, The Real Folk Blues is another exceptional live-in-the-studio recording, with some of the best sound Chess ever managed
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Once Chess discovered a white folk-blues audience ripe and ready to hear the real thing, they released a series of albums under the Real Folk Blues banner. This is one of the best entries in the series…”

*NOTE: On side one, a mark makes 5 very light ticks at the end of track 2, Screaming And Crying.

This 1965 recording pressed on ’80s vinyl has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back. (more…)

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Volume II

xxxxx

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout  
  • A shockingly well-recorded album – we had no idea an old Everest reissue could sound like this (since most of them are just awful)
  • Real down home blues with killer sound featuring Lightnin’ backed by drums and horns – this one is a lot of fun
  • For some strange reason unknown to us, the musician depicted on the front cover here isn’t Lightnin’ Hopkins, but T-Bone Walker!

(more…)

Junior Wells – It’s My Life

xxxxx

  • A superb copy of Junior Wells’ recording from Chicago in ’66 (this is the read deal, folks!) with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound – just shy of our Shootout Winner – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Bigger and bolder, with more bass, more energy, and more of that “you-are-there-immediacy” of a live performance that set the best vintage pressings apart from reissues, CDs, and whatever else might be out there
  • “Cut from the same cloth as Wells’ classic Hoodoo Man Blues LP from the same period, It’s My Life, Baby! captured the Junior Wells-Buddy Guy team in great form, both in the studio and live at Pepper’s Lounge on 43rd Street. This album tends a bit more towards slow blues, including a rare example of Wells’ chromatic harmonica playing on ‘Slow, Slow,’ but there are fine uptempo pieces…”

(more…)