This Week's Releases: Rosalie Sorrels, Lonnie Johnson ...

Lonnie Johnson material was recorded in a friend's living room, never previously released.

  • Amazing Rhythm Aces, Stacked

    Deck/Too Stuffed to Jump and Toucan Do It Too/Burning the

    Ballroom Down (Collector's Choice Music) — Tied up in a

    Byzantine tangle of licensing tape for years, the soulful, country-blues

    influenced band's 1970s recordings for the ABC label finally are being

    reissued. Stacked Deck offers bandleader

    COLOR="#003163">Russell Smith's classic "Third Rate Romance."

  • Lavern Baker, Precious

    Memories/Lavern Sings Bessie Smith (Collectables Records) — The

    1991 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee shows her gospel and blues

    colors here, cutting loose on classic hymns such as "Precious Memories,"

    "Carrying the Cross for My Boss" and "Somebody Touched Me" as well as

    earthy Bessie Smith nuggets

    including "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out," "Money Blues" and

    "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight." Two albums in one

    package, 24 tracks total.

  • Bryan Bowers, Friend for

    Life (Flying Fish/Rounder) — The autoharp gets a front seat on

    virtuoso player Bowers' 21-track blend of bluegrass, country, mountain

    folk and gospel. The old-timey collection includes "Cluck Old Hen," "Old

    Joe Clark," "Glory Land," "Amazing Grace," and "Sitting on Top of the


  • Charles Brown, Blues & Other

    Love Songs (32 Records) — Aptly titled reissue gathers 20

    tunes, including sublime heartbreakers such as " 'Round Midnight," "I've

    Got a Right To Cry" and "Fool That I Am."

  • Solomon Burke, Proud Mary

    — Bell Sessions (Sundazed) — The big-voiced singer's 1969

    classic, recorded in Muscle Shoals, Ala., for Bell Records.

    First-time-on-CD reissue includes the original 10 tracks, plus four rare

    Bell singles (including "In the Ghetto") and three previously unreleased

    tracks — "She Thinks I Still Care," "Change Is Gonna Come" and "The

    Mighty Quinn."

  • Peter Bruntnell, Normal for

    Bridgwater (Slow River/Rykodisc) — Son

    Volt members Eric Heywood

    and Dave Boquist journeyed to Boston

    to join Bruntnell's band for this sometimes rootsy, sometimes rocking

    album. Broad-minded lyric content runs from small-town malaise to

    cryogenics to heartbreak to getting drunk on cider.

  • R.L. Burnside, Mississippi

    Hill Country Blues (Swingmaster [UK]) — Import compilation of

    19 traditional acoustic blues numbers, rearranged Mississippi juke-joint

    style. Red Ramsey contributes

    harmonica to "Rolling and Tumbling," one of three tunes recorded in

    1967, but otherwise it's pure Burnside, straight up. Songs include "Miss

    Maybelle," "Long Haired Doney," "Poor Boy," "Greyhound Bus Station."

  • R.L. Burnside,

    COLOR="#003163">Ranie Burnette and

    COLOR="#003163">Johnny Woods, Going Down South

    (Swingmaster [UK]) — Fifteen-track import compilation. Five cuts

    were recorded by Burnside in New Orleans in 1986 with

    COLOR="#003163">Curtis Salgado playing harmonica on "Going

    Away Blues" and a backwoods take on a classic folk tale, "Stack O'Lee

    and Billy Lyons." Burnside played guitar on two of three cuts recorded

    by Woods in 1984 in the Netherlands, "Suzanna Blues" and "My Jack Don't

    Drink No Water." Woods recorded "So Many Cold Mornings" and "She's

    Loving Another Man" at Burnside's Mississippi home in 1981. Five other

    tracks were recorded by Burnette, one in Mississippi and four in the

    Netherlands in 1980.

  • Johnny Cash, Legend at His

    Best (Collectables Records) — Limited-edition two-CD box set of

    the Man in Black's seminal Sun Recordings includes a copy of Cash's 1997

    autobiography, "Cash" (written with Patrick Carr), and 30 songs. Tracks

    include "I Walk the Line," "Get Rhythm," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Luther

    Played the Boogie," Lead Belly's

    "Rock Island Line," "Blue Train" and "Home of the Blues."

  • Charivari, I Want to Dance

    With You (Rounder) — Sam

    Broussard and

    COLOR="#003163">Beausoleil's Michael

    Doucet drop in to deepen the grooves with this young Cajun

    band. Twelve tracks, including "The Monkey and the Fiddle," "I'm Lonely

    Tonight," "Pascal's Egrets," "I Want To Dance With You."

  • Hazel Dickens, It's Hard To

    Tell the Singer From the Song (Rounder) — Reissue of 1987 solo

    bluegrassy 11-track collection by arguably one of the most influential

    women in 20th-century American acoustic music.

  • Equation, The Lucky Few

    (Putumayo) — English band's second U.S. release is a 12-track

    collection of ballads and catchy folk-rock, including the radio-friendly

    opener "Not the Man" and the bluesy "Hard Underground."

  • Roy Gaines, New Frontier

    Lover (Severn) — Latest solo offering from the

    COLOR="#003163">T-Bone Walker protégé serves up

    12 tracks of electric guitar blues, including "W.C. Handy Sang the

    Blues," "Texas Millionaire," "My Woman, My Blacksnake and Me," "You

    Can't Make Nobody Love You" and "The World's Biggest Fool."

  • Woody Guthrie, Dust Bowl

    Ballads (Buddha) — Reissue of the folk troubadour's

    career-making 1940 collection includes some of the greatest classics in

    the American folk music canon, including "Do Re Me," "I Ain't Got No

    Home," "Pretty Boy Floyd," "Tom Joad" and "Talking Dust Bowl Blues."

  • Steve Harley, Hobo With a

    Grin (Blueprint [UK]) — Reissue of Harley's 1978 solo debut

    includes two bonus tracks, "Spaced Out" and "That's My Life in Your

    Hands." Guitarist Marc Bolan pops up

    on "Amerika the Brave." Other guests include a who's-who of America's

    folky/bluesy "soft rock" scene, circa 1975.

  • Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Best

    of the Bizarre Sessions (Manifesto) — Latest compilation of the

    wild bluesman's prodigious output offers 18 tracks, including "Ice Cream

    Man," "Ol' Man River," "Heart Attack and Vine," "Shut Your Mouth When

    You Sneeze," "Ignant and Shit," "Brujo."

  • Howard & the White Boys, Live

    at Chord on Blues (Evidence) — Your basic Chicago bar band with

    chops, equally at home with funk, rock and blues. Here they're in their

    element — onstage, with an audience, churning out a set of

    good-time blues-rock.

  • Wes Jeans, Hands On

    (Icehouse) — The trend toward ever-younger hot blues guitarists

    continues, with the 18-year-old Jeans cranking up the amps for Texas

    blues-rock influenced by Freddie

    King, Jimi Hendrix and

    Howlin' Wolf.

  • Lonnie Johnson, Mr. Johnson's

    Blues (Aim) — Reissue of 14 recordings made by the melodic

    acoustic country-blues guitarist in the late 1920s and early '30s.

  • Lonnie Johnson, The Unsung

    Blues Legend (Blues Magnet) — Previously unreleased living-room

    concert of 17 tunes taped shortly before the influential bluesman's

    death in 1970.

  • Freddie King, Your Move

    (Blue Moon [UK]) — Nine tracks, including "Sweet Home Chicago,"

    "Big Legged Woman," "Hideaway," "Ain't Gonna Worry Anymore," "Guitar


  • Kingston Trio, Something

    Special/Back in Town (Collector's Choice Music) — Two-disc

    reissue of albums originally released by Capitol in 1962 and 1964.

    Back in Town is a concert album recorded at San Francisco's

    hungry i club.

  • Kingston Trio, Both Sides of

    the Kingston Trio, Vol. 2 (Silverwolf) — Twelve more folk

    classics as rendered by the prototypical early-'60s folk group,

    including "Long Black Veil," "Scotch and Soda," "Hard Travellin'," "Tom

    Dooley" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"

  • The Leroi Brothers, Kings of

    the Catnap (Rounder) — Twelve new originals from the Texas band

    that whips up a rootsy gumbo of swamp rock, R&B and rockabilly.

    COLOR="#003163">Jimmie Vaughan, Buck

    Owens, Asleep at the

    Wheel's Cindy Cashdollar,

    former Faces member

    COLOR="#003163">Ian McLagan, soulful songstress

    COLOR="#003163">Toni Price, Jim

    Lauderdale and The Band's

    Garth Hudson drop by to pick 'n'


  • Finlay MacNeill, Fonn Is

    Furan (A Tune and Welcome) (Temple Records/Rounder) — Reissue

    of award-winning Scottish piper/singer's 1982 cassette-only release,

    comprised of 14 Gaelic folk songs.

  • Doug MacLeod, Whose Truth,

    Whose Lies? (AudioQuest Music) — Eighth solo album by the slyly

    entertaining acoustic blues guitarist, a longtime fixture on the

    Southern California blues scene who started out playing behind the likes

    of Big Joe Turner,

    COLOR="#003163">Charles Brown and

    COLOR="#003163">Eddie Vinson.

  • Pete Nelson, Days Like

    Horses (Signature) — Critically lauded singer/songwriter's

    second album is subtitled "A novel in 15 songs," and uses divorce as

    source material for an ultimately hopeful song cycle.

  • Michael Peloquin, House of

    Cards (Globe) — Longtime blues sideman (

    COLOR="#003163">Albert King, Johnnie

    Johnson, Sy Klopps) takes

    a rootsy approach on his first solo outing. Guitarist

    COLOR="#003163">Tommy Castro guests.

  • Jerry Ricks, Many Miles of

    Blues (Rooster Blues) — The storytelling guitarist

    "Philadelphia" Jerry Ricks literally learned at the feet of

    COLOR="#003163">Mississippi John Hurt,

    COLOR="#003163">Lightnin' Hopkins,

    COLOR="#003163">Skip James, Son

    House, Rev. Gary Davis,

    Brownie McGhee and other blues

    legends he booked into Philly's Second Fret cafe back in the '60s.

  • Memphis Slim, U.S.A.

    (Candid-Navarre) — The Tennessee-born pianist developed a forceful

    style after leaving Big Bill

    Broonzy's employ in the early 1940s. "Born With the Blues,"

    "New Key to the Highway," "Harlem Bound," "John Henry" and "I Believe

    I'll Settle Down" are among the 14 songs on this somewhat ironically

    titled compilation (Slim relocated to Europe in 1962 and stayed there

    till his death in Paris in 1988).

  • Darden Smith, Extra Extra

    (Valley) — The eclectic Austin, Texas-raised singer/songwriter

    describes his latest solo outing as new recordings of selected old songs

    from his catalog.

  • Rosalie Sorrels, No Closing

    Chord — Songs of Malvina Reynolds (Red House) — Richly

    appropriate tribute to the great social activist/folk artist

    Malvina Reynolds by a woman who is

    herself a much-respected standard bearer in the folk realm.

    Contributions by Bonnie Raitt and

    Laurie Lewis bring some marquee

    wattage to the project.

  • Various artists, Angel From

    Montgomery: Bluegrass Celebrates Bonnie Raitt (CMH) — Nuggets

    from deep in the blues-loving artist's catalog are reworked with a host

    of acoustic instruments — Dobro, banjo, mandolin and, yes,

    harmonica. Tracks include Paul

    Seibel's "Louise," Sippie

    Wallace's sassy "Woman Be Wise," plus Raitt's own "Nick of

    Time" and "Give It Up or Let Me Go."

  • Various artists, Bluegrass

    Guitars Destroyed the World (CMH) — Serious shredding and

    string-bending by the likes of formidable guitarist

    COLOR="#003163">Bryan Sutton,

    COLOR="#003163">Bluegrass Etc.'s multi-instrumental

    COLOR="#003163">Dennis Caplinger,

    COLOR="#003163">Laurel Canyon Ramblers' mandolinist

    COLOR="#003163">Kenny Blackwell and banjoist

    COLOR="#003163">David West on rock classics such as "Layla,"

    "Sin Wagon" and "All Along the Watchtower." Their cuts are augmented by

    three older recordings by the mighty Joe

    Maphis — "Rocky Mountain Special," "Town Hall Rag," and

    "Water Baby Boogie" (with guitarist Arthur


  • Various artists, Pickin' on

    Aerosmith (CMH) — Rock goes to the country one more time, with

    a lineup of hot-fingered acoustic pickers taking on

    COLOR="#003163">Aerosmith tunes such as "Sweet Emotion,"

    "Dream On" and "Same Old Song and Dance."

    (Click here for a full report on this week's releases.)