Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Rent Parties & Good Times: Rags Blues Stomps
Genres: Country, Blues, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
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The only barrelhouse piano CD you'll ever need
jive rhapsodist | NYC, NY United States | 06/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are not enough superlatives to describe this collection. It gives a brilliantly curated overview of the Barrelhouse Piano genre. And what is this genre? Some sort of mix of Boogie Woogie, classic Blues Piano, elements of '20's Jazz practice (extremely simplified)...Like that...Many of the essential classics are here, most notably some of the few recordings of Pine Top Smith, including his Pine Top's Boogie Woogie, which was a huge hit arranged for Tommy Dorsey (!) during the Swing Era. But this solo version, with its hectoring spoken orders (" When I stop, don't move a peg!") is the one. And you've got to love someone who can sing a line like "I can't use a woman if she won't help me rob and steal" so plaintively (Pine Top's Blues). In fact - and this is not faint praise - the spoken asides on these tracks are often as amazing as the music. Meade Lux Lewis' seminal masterpiece, the pungently bitonally colored Honky Tonk Train Blues is here, but so are many great tracks by lesser forgotten masters. Let's face it, most of these players had only a couple of great licks and tricks, but they were brilliant in husbanding them. Nonetheless, this creates the situation where this kind of survey disc is probably the best way to experience this music. Jim Clarke's Fat Fanny Stomp contrasts a very delicate variety of Barrelhouse with obsessively double-entendre lyrics - and it's his only recording! Cow Cow Davenport's Cow Cow Blues presents some of the key phrases of R and B in their prehistoric form. Romeo Nelson stretches the 12 - bar form to some surrealistic phrase lengths (about the only one here to do this). There's a lot of screaming, hollering and whooping spread throughout this disc, particularly on the exultant final track, Mozelle Anderson's aptly-named Tight Whoopie. But there's not a loser in the bunch. Highly recommended."