Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Martin Bogan & Armstrongs|
Martin, Bogan & Armstrong (1974) / That Old Gang of Mine (1978)
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
Real old time music
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 10/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this band at the Bottom Line in 1976. I had gone down to the bottom line to see the headlining act, the New Lost City Ramblers. I had always admired the Ramblers and a good friend of mine was going to introduce me to them at the show. I didn't know who these people were and expected the usual opening act that is interesting but not very important.
However, first I noticed they were black like me, unlike almost every string band I had ever seen up to that point or since. The other thing I noticed was that they were excellent, entertaining, musically masterful, and great entertainers. They were marvellous. Everyone in the group I went with who had come to see the Ramblers, including a couple who were close friends of the NLCR thought that this was the better band and wished they had been on longer. Today knowing how much Mike Seeger, Tracy Schwartz, and John Cohen treasure traditional musicians whether urban or rural, I know they probably felt the same way!
For many reasons that I have written on elsewhere, the typical stereotype of string band music as white and rural is a sad distortion. Black string bands like this were alive and active in both country and the cities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. There are recordings by some of these musicians from the 1920s and 1930s in old time string bands in Tennessee from that era. This group in various segments kept playing until they passed on with the great fiddler, mandolin player, guitarist, and singer and artist Howard Armstrong leaving us just a year or so agi
Now the thing to do is not just to get this one, but look up each of them especially Carl Martin and Howard Armstrong and get the many records they produced and the great films now on DVD Louie Bluey and a sequel who name I cant recall at the moment that was made about Howard Armstrong. Another name most of the people recorded together on with one or two others is the Chicago String Band."
"last of the old time, lusty storytellers"
S. matz | city of angels | 01/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carl Martin, Ted Bogan, and Howard "louie bluie" Armstrong recorded this material during the seventies when they were enjoying a revival period. There is one more recording from this period titled "Barnyard Dance". To my knowledge, it was pressed to vinyl, and has yet to make to CD form. This CD is a compilation of two long players: "That old gang of mine", and "Martin,Bogan & Armstrong".
Howard Armstrong was the last surviving member of a string tradition that included such illuminaries as Yank Rachel and "Banjo" Iky Robinson, of whom are featured in terry zwygoff's documentary "louie bluie". This CD compliments and extends the rich, string tradition that is represented by the musicians featured in "louie bluie"; a string tradition that is sorely missed. There is another documentary about Howard and Barbara Ward-Armstrong titled "Sweet Old Song". Your life will be enriched by the musical and visual portraits of these American treasures. There are a couple of recordings from testament records that feature carl martin, but recordings are scarce. one more note: Howard contributed the front cover art."
A Wonderful Slice of Americana
Mark K. Mcdonough | Reston, VA USA | 05/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Americana" usually means young white musicians singing country/folk music. But the term also fits Martin, Bogan & Armstrong -- black string band musicians who obviously built an insanely eclectic repertoire while entertaining a couple of generations of people in Chicago. The selections range from kitschy Hawaiian to deep rural hokum to blues to 1920s pop (including a wonderful version of "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi," in which said sweetheart is said to be rather over-fond of gin). Sly humor, good playing, passion, and very good sound quality. The only thing that separates this from 5 stars is that it's a little uneven. But this material was originally released as 2 lps on Flying Fish in the late 70s, so you get a ton of music -- probably an album and a half of great material and half an album of ok material. Highly recommended."