Louis Armstrong, Ambassador Satch, Satch Plays Fats and Satchmo the Great (Legacy Recordings/Sony) Reissues of three albums each offering bonus tracks are part of label's celebration of 100th anniversary of the influential legend's birth. He brings 20 of the great Fats Waller's compositions to life on Satch Plays Fats.
Barbara Carr, Stroke It (Ecko) Powerhouse blues singer returns with another collection of do-me-right tunes, including "Good With Your Hips," "Make Me Feel It," "A Good Woman Ain't Got No Time for a Cheatin' Man."
Canned Heat, 196776 Boogie House Tapes (RUF) Compilation from the electric, beloved-by-musicians boogie-blues band's salad days.
Chico Cesar, Chico Cesar (Putumayo) Retrospective of previously recorded material being released in the United States for the first time (although "Mama Africa" was included on the label's Brasileiro collection). The colorful Brazilian artist's public appreciation of American music can be heard in the reggae, blues-rock, mariachi, pop and funk flavoring his songs.
Ronnie Earl, Healing Time (Telarc) Muddy Waters-inspired contemporary blues guitarist, formerly of Roomful of Blues, makes his Telarc debut with 11-track collection that opens with "Churchin' " then circles back to spiritual themes with the slow-blues "Blues on a Sunday" and "Amazing Grace." Other titles include Waters' "Catfish Blues," "Bella Donna," "Glimpses of Serenity."
Sherri Jackson, Catalyst (Hybrid) The folk-pop singer/songwriter's passionate singing and fiddling while touring with the Furthur Festival convinced Los Lobos' Steve Berlin to produce her critically praised, eponymous 1997 debut. This time around, she's hooked up with producer Ed Tuton (Eagle Eye Cherry, Alannah Davis). Songs include the title track, "Simple Pleasures," "All Because of You."
Etta James, Chess Box (Uni/Chess) Three-disc box set chronicling the blues diva's seminal years at Chess includes great classics like "A Sunday Kind of Love, "At Last," "Stormy Weather," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and that's just the first disc. Generous collection also features career-making hits like "Tell Mama," "I'd Rather Go Blind," live and studio versions of favorites like "At Last," previously unreleased material, and duets with Harvey Fuqua and Sugar Pie DeSanto.
Tommy Ladnier, Steppin' on the Blues (ASV/Living Era) Fourteen songs from the renowned cornet and trumpet player who worked in New Orleans, Chicago, Europe before dying suddenly at age 39. Titles include "Double Crossin' Papa," "Kentucky Man Blues," "Maple Leaf Rag," "St. Louis Shuffle," "Travelin' Blues."
Larry Long, Well May the World Go (Smithsonian/Folkways) This 12-song collection from the Woody Guthrie-inspired troubadour includes 36 pages of detailed liner notes explaining the people and stories who inspired individual songs. Titles include "No Jobs in Texas," "Somalia," "Some Things Are Not for Sale, "Down With the Ku Klux Klan."
Laura Love, Fourteen Days (Zoe/Rounder) Spirited mix of Love's edgy folk-rock-meets-bluegrass-with-a-funky-Celtic-twist originals plus a cover of Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic" and a stunningly tender reading of the traditional "Shenandoah."
Mighty Sam McClain, Blues for the Soul (Telarc) Powerful singer's gospel-tinged blend of electric blues and Southern soul was inspired by Bobby "Blue" Bland and his own boyhood experiences singing in his mother's church choir in Louisiana. On his Telarc debut, he's backed by a four-man horn section on 12 original songs.
Billie and DeDe Pierce, Gulf Coast Blues (Arhoolie) Reissue of 1950s recordings by the New Orleans jazz-influenced husband-and-wife team includes three solo bonus tracks by pianist Billie.
Various Artists, Western Swing: Hot Hillbilly Jazz & Blues (ASV/Living Era) Compilation of artists such as Spade Cooley, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys performing chestnuts such as "Brain Cloudy Blues," "Sundown Blues," "Oklahoma Stomp," "Tulsa Twist," "When You're Smiling," "Chinatown My Chinatown."
Muddy Waters, Rolling StoneGolden Anniversary (UNI/Chess Records) Two discs presenting 50 remastered recordings made by the blues giant between 1947 and 1952, including alternate takes of "Rollin' Stone" and "All Night Long." Classics on the first disc include "I Can't Be Satisfied," "Burying Ground," "Down South Blues," "Kind Hearted Woman"; second disc features "Country Boy," "Rollin' Stone," "Sad Letter Blues," "Early Morning Blues."
Stan Webb, Jersey Lightning (Indigo [UK]) Detailed liner notes accompany 15 digitally remastered recordings made by the bluesy Brit between 197578, including the title track, "It's Alright," "Can't Keep You Satisfied," "Evil," "Little Bird," "Shake Your Money Maker."
(Click here for a full report about this week's releases.)