Top Artists – Willie Dixon

Big Joe Williams – Blues For 9 Strings

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  • Blues for 9 Strings, featuring the great Willie Dixon on bass, makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Tubier, more present, more alive, with more of that “jumpin’ out of the speakers” quality that only The Real Thing (an old record) ever has
  • Big Joe Williams was an incredible blues musician: a gifted songwriter, a powerhouse vocalist, and an exceptionally idiosyncratic guitarist… When appearing at The Fickle Pickle, Williams played an electric nine-string guitar through a small ramshackle amp with a pie plate nailed to it and a beer can dangling against that. The total effect of this incredible apparatus produced the most buzzing, sizzling, African-sounding music one would likely ever hear.”

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Willie Dixon – Hidden Charms

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  • With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy will be very hard to beat – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • 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

It was pretty easy to separate the men from the boys in this shootout. A quick drop of the needle on each side would immediately answer our number one question: “How BIG is the sound?”. The copies that lacked top end extension or bottom end were just too boring. This is the BLUES, baby — you think it’s supposed to sound small?

Another problem we ran into on many copies was excessive smoothness. When a copies was overly rich or smeary, it usually lacked the “gritty” feel that music like this should have. I don’t know about you, but if I’m listening to the blues I am not looking for glossy sound. Give me the texture and the detail and the other qualities that Willie Dixon put on the tape. I don’t want his sound to be “fixed” after the fact.

This is some of the best modern blues sound money can buy! We picked up a bunch of these and shot ’em out, and most of the copies left us cold. The average pressing is still a decent sounding record, but the music works so much better on a Hot Stamper. A copy like this one gives you more detail and texture, more extension up top and real weight to the bottom end — absolutely crucial for this music.

Hidden Charms was produced by T Bone Burnett, a man who understands this music as well as any living soul, and also a man who knows how to get the most out of the artists he works with. The sound and the arrangements are perfectly suited to Willie’s material. Since most vintage blues recordings leave a lot to be desired sonically, and most modern “hi-fi” blues recordings are less than engaging musically, this album is the cure for the blues-lovin’ audiophile’s blues! (more…)

Jimmy Reed – Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall

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  • Jimmy Reed makes his debut on this site with this stunning copy of Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall
  • You’ll find Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on ALL FOUR sides of this killer album
  • A surprisingly good recording – this early stereo pressing is wonderfully big and rich, with natural tonality and more three-dimensional space than any other copy we played
  • It took us years to find enough early Vee-Jay stereo (and mono) pressings that played quietly in order to do this shootout, and here is the winner in all its glory!
  • 5 stars: “… In some ways, it almost does make for a greatest-hits compilation, as it contains most of Reed’s most popular tunes… it was highly popular and influential, making the Top 50 at a time when few blues LPs charted.”

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Willie Dixon – I Am The Blues

More Willie Dixon

More I Am The Blues

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES for this Red Label pressing, including a shootout-winning, A+++ side one. The sound here is big and open, with the kind of life and presence we just don’t hear on the typical pressings. And the material is TOP NOTCH — Dixon was one of the blues’ greatest songwriters, responsible for Spoonful, Hoochie Coochie Man, Little Red Rooster, Back Door Man and other songs you’ve probably heard your favorite classic rock band covering. (more…)