Home | CDs | Videos | Archives | Order

Modern Blues Recordings

Freddy King Sounds Better Than Ever on Modern Blues Recordings

     The classic Freddy King guitar instrumentals that inspired a whole
generation of rock guitarists sound better than ever on Just Pickin', a
two-record set from Modern Blues Recordings.

     Ten years after Freddy King's death, his influence still shows clearly
in the playing of Eric Clapton, Lonnie Mack, and bluesman Luther Allison --
to name just a few of the guitarists who came under his sway (and who still
perform some of the instrumentals on this album).

     Just Pickin' (MB2LP-721) presents 24 tunes on track-for-track reissues
of Freddy King's only two all-instrumental LPs: the original sixties King
Records recordings that left their mark on surf music, Pacific Northwest
rock 'n' roll, the British Invasion blues bands, and many other popular
music styles.

     Record one, originally released in l961 as Let's Hide Away and Dance
Away with Freddy King, features "Hide Away" -- Freddy's most successful
recording and the most popular blues instrumental ever -- "The Stumble,"
and 10 other medium- and up-tempo dance-blues tracks.  (Eric Clapton
recorded "Hide Away" with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and Peter Green
recorded "The Stumble" with the same group after he stepped into the slot
created when Clapton left Mayall to form Fresh Cream.)

     So broad was the appeal of Freddy's instrumentals that King Records
re-released the Let's Hide Away and... album, with crowd noises dubbed in
between the cuts, in 1963 under the title Freddy King Goes Surfin'.

     Record two, originally released in 1965 as Freddy King Gives You A
Bonanza of Instrumentals, complements rather than echoes record one,
featuring a slow blues, country, and rock 'n' roll ballad settings, and
horns on many of the 12 cuts.

     Both records are packed with great party music -- lively, danceable,
full of humor and fun.

     The album is also a treasury of classic blues guitar riffs and licks;
masterfully played, and sparkling in a variety of sparse, tasteful

     Digital remastering of the original King Records album master tapes
gives Just Pickin' a clarity and dynamic range superior to that of the
original releases (and the album costs less than a tenth of the price these
rarities now command).

     Great sound quality isn't all that sets this American-made, full-
color-cover album apart from other reissues.  Extensive liner notes trace
the music's origins and provide a detailed picture of Freddy King's life,
musical development, and influence on today's guitar music.

     The album's session notes are the most detailed and accurate ever
published for these instrumentals.

     Just Pickin' is available at record stores or by mail-order from
Modern Blues Recordings, P.O. Box 248, Pearl River NY 10965.

True-Stereo Modern Blues Reissue Sets Sound Restoration Milestone
     Freddy King's long out-of-print first LP is back, sounding better than
ever on Modern Blues Recordings -- in true stereo for the very first time.
     An audio information/image recovery system developed by Keith Keller's
Digital Soundscapes was used in remastering Freddy King Sings for this
reissue -- converting the original discrete-mono, two-track studio masters
to true stereo.

     The album includes most of the hits that made Freddy King (1934-1976)
the best-selling blues artist of 1961, and showcases the lean, rocking
vocal and guitar style that influenced Eric Clapton, Luther Allison, Peter
Green, Lonnie Mack, and countless other guitar players.

     Digital Soundscapes owner Keith Keller points out that application of
his company's technology to this reissue marks the first-ever conversion to
true stereo of discrete-mono source material -- setting a new milestone in
archival sound restoration.

     "We were lucky that the studio masters had been done in discrete
mono," says Modern Blues Recordings owner Daniel Jacoubovitch, "but that
still isn't stereo -- it's just part of the band out of one speaker, the
rest out of the other, and a big hole in the middle."

     "Thanks to Digital Soundscapes, the music now comes right out into the
room -- with more punch than it has on the discrete-mono source material."

     The results of the processing are, indeed, true stereo -- with
remarkably clear imaging and sparkling, live-music ambience that stand in
sharp contrast to the muddy, wandering sound produced by so called
"electronic stereo" processes.

     The procedures used on Freddy King Sings are also highly mono-
compatible.  Switching playback from stereo to mono doesn't cause any
audible drop in volume; it just makes the sound go back into the speakers -
- resolving into the mono image of the original releases (but with better
presence and less tape hiss).

     The album's exceptional sound quality also owes much to audio engineer
Randy Merryman's work in digitally remastering and carrying out the stereo
conversions of this reissue.  It was Merryman's diligent research that
located the discrete-mono masters for 11 of the album's dozen cuts,
providing the basis for their conversion to stereo.  (The one song for
which there was no such master is reissued in mono.)

     The reissue has an $8.98 list price and is available on LP (MBLP-722)
and cassette (MBCS-722).  The LP is packaged in the original King Records
album art and includes an insert with new, detailed album notes.

     Freddy King Sings is available at record stores or by mail-order from
Modern Blues Recordings, P.O. Box 248, Pearl River NY 10965.

Essential Albert King Recordings on New, All-Format Reissue

     The original Albert King recordings that revolutionized the sound of
electric blues are back in print on a new, all-format release from Modern
Blues Recordings.
     Let's Have A Natural Ball (MBR-723) presents 14 rare tracks, recorded
between 1959 and 1963 for Bobbin Records and King Records, that first
announced Albert King's fully-formed style.

     Three tracks -- including the bluesman's first recording of "Blues At
Sunrise" -- have previously been available only on long-out-of-print
singles.  Other selections include his first R&B hit, "Don't Throw Your
Love on Me So Strong," "I Walked All Night Long," "Ooh-Ee Baby," and the
rocking, bebop-tinged title tune.

     Here is the assertive, soaring guitar work that influenced Eric
Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and almost every other blues
guitar player of note over the past quarter century.

     These timeless recordings sound better than ever, thanks to exemplary
digital remastering.  Lively, extensive album notes present a wealth of new
information about the music.

     Let's Have A Natural Ball is available at record stores or by mail-
order from Modern Blues Recordings, P.O. Box 248, Pearl River NY 10965.

And now, here's...Johnnie

Rock 'n' Roll Piano Masters Soar on Label's New-Recordings Debut

     Johnnie Johnson, Clayton Love and Jimmy Vaughn pack 100 years of red-
hot rock 'n' roll history on Rockin' Eighty-Eights, a jumping piano-music
anthology from Modern Blues Recordings.

     Rockin' Eighty-Eights (MBR-1201, all formats) is the label's first
new-recordings release, following three issues of classic post-war blues by
Freddy King and Albert King.

     The album is an exuberant celebration of rock 'n' roll's piano-music
origins by three keyboard giants -- including Johnnie Johnson, whose
powerhouse playing fueled the young Chuck Berry's music and sparked Berry's
greatest hits.

     Johnson, Love and Vaughn head up an all-star cast on a dozen vital,
digitally-recorded vocal and instrumental selections featuring the Johnnie
Johnson Band and special guest artists.  Outstanding performances of new
compositions and traditional gems showcase a range of boogie-woogie, blues
and R&B piano styles.

     The album's three piano masters were all active in the 1950s St. Louis
R&B scene that was to have national influence on the sound of rock 'n' roll
and "modern" city blues.  All three have worked with Little Milton and
Albert King.  Johnson and Vaughn play on a number of the seminal Albert
King recordings reissued on Let's Have A Natural Ball (MBR-723, all

     Clayton Love's feelingful singing and fluid piano work have been honed
over a career that includes releases on the Trumpet, Groove, Aladdin and
Federal labels.

     Jimmy Vaughn (1925-1991) made his mark as a pianist, arranger,
composer and vocalist in performances and recordings spanning almost half a
century of blues, jazz and R&B.   His selections on Rockin' Eighty-Eights
are his final legacy.

     Rockin' Eighty-Eights is available at record stores or by mail-order
from Modern Blues Recordings, P.O. Box 248, Pearl River NY 10965.

New Orleans R&B Legend Tommy Ridgley Dazzles
On Modern Blues Recordings Debut
     A stellar collection of brand-new recordings by Crescent City R&B
giant Tommy Ridgley marks the third release on the Modern Blues label's
1200-series of contemporary-masters recordings.

     She Turns Me On (MBR-1203, compact disc, cassette -- and vinyl LP ! /)
presents this most enduring, continuously creative star of New Orleans R&B
on a dozen tracks of hard-driving blues, smoldering funk, and sweet,
soulful ballads.

     Since his first recordings for Imperial Records in 1949 -- and
continuing with releases on such labels as Atlantic, Herald, and Ric --
Ridgley has earned a reputation for exceptionally high standards in the
composition, selection, and performance of his recorded material.

     She Turns Me On may well be his best work yet.  The album showcases
Ridgley's soulful, powerhouse vocals on material covering the broad range
of musical styles his performances have encompassed over the years.  Six of
the album's tracks were composed by Ridgley.

     The album features an all-star ensemble of veteran Crescent City
musicians whose collective credits include session and touring work with
such other New Orleans legends as Lee Dorsey, Dr. John, Fats Domino and
Dave Bartholomew.

     "It kind of reminds me of the sound we used to get in the old days,"
said Ridgley.  "It's definitely Rhythm & Blues -- all the way."

     She Turns Me On is available at record stores or by mail-order from
Modern Blues Recordings, P.O. Box 248, Pearl River NY 10965.

Fresh Contemporary Blues by Little Hatch and the Houserockers
     Little Hatch and the Houserockers are living proof of blues music's
continuing vitality and capacity for self-renewal.

     Their Modern Blues Recordings debut, Well, All Right! (MBR-1204)
delivers a refreshing blast of the band's unique brand of up-to-the-minute
contemporary blues with deep, Mississippi-delta roots.

     Led by Mississippi-born, internationally-acclaimed singer/blues harp-
master Provine Hatch, Jr., the Houserockers serve up a distinctive, hard-
grooving kind of blues that sets them apart from the revivalist/traditional

     Well, All Right! showcases the band's outstanding ensemble playing
on 10 selections, recorded live in their hometown, Kansas City.  Eight of
the album's nine vocal selections are original Little Hatch compositions.

     Little Hatch was born in Sledge, Mississippi, on October 25, 1921. 
His family moved to nearby Tunica around the time he reached school age,
then to Helena, Arkansas, when he was entering his teens.

     After a World War II stint in the Navy, he moved to the Kansas City
area, setting out on a musical career that would establish his reputation
as that City's premier bluesman.  Local recognition of Hatch's stature has
included the official designation of his birthday as "Little Hatch Day" by
the Office of the Mayor, and the bestowal of a Lifetime Achievement Award
by the Kansas City Blues Society.  He has also been inducted into the
National Jazz Hall of Fame.  Overseas, European fans established the Little
Hatch fan club after a homemade recording of a Little Hatch performance at
a Kansas City bar saw its way to release on a small German label in the
early 1970s.

     Well, All Right! is available at record stores or by mail-order from
Modern Blues Recordings, P.O. Box 248, Pearl River NY 10965.

Home | CDs | Videos | Archives | Order