New York City Blues Various Artists (States & Regions)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP 1618

This release is a tie-in with the book “New York City Blues” by Larry Simon and edited by John Broven.

The compilation has a dual purpose: not only to enjoyably complement the book but also to present an overview of the New York blues scene in all its variety from the post-World War II years through its golden age into the 1960s. There is also a look at the city’s 1980s-90s revival with author Larry Simon’s Killing Floor NYC Band backing many pioneering bluesmen.

On our journey, we travel from the early Piedmont country blues of Blind Boy Fuller through to the tough street sounds of Harlem blues and R&B. New York’s hitmakers and songwriters are not forgotten, either, nor are the label owners.

A real bonus is the standout studio musicians featuring top guitarists “Wild” Jimmy Spruill and Mickey “Guitar” Baker.

The two later recordings here are first rate. ‘New York City Blues’, by guitarist Larry Dale (written by British blues author Dave C Williams) supported by Bob Gaddy (piano) and Jimmy Spruill (guitar), could easily have been cut by Harlem record man Bobby Robinson in his prime. ‘I Wanna Get High’, by veteran Rosco Gordon, shows him for the first time being backed by ska musicians in the Jamaican musical style he is acknowledged as influencing.

Other highlights include John Hammond’s version of ‘I Wish You Would’, with The Band’s Robbie Robertson playing in the same earth-shattering guitar style that contributed so much to Bob Dylan’s early ‘electric’ records; another member of rock royalty on the session is the Rolling Stones’ bass player Bill Wyman. Paul Oscher’s workout ‘Mudcat’, with Muddy Waters, is a reminder of the Brooklyn-born harmonica player’s five years with the best blues band anywhere.

This Ace CD, along with the book, will serve to bring welcome focus on the neglected New York blues scene. The well-illustrated package is enhanced by detailed notes from Simon and Broven with excellent photographs by Robert Schaffer, Val Wilmer and Paul Harris.


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview New York City Blues - Larry Dale & The Houserockers

  • 02 Preview Step It Up And Go - Blind Boy Fuller

  • 03 Preview Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee - "Stick" McGhee & His Buddies

  • 04 Preview The Guy With A "45" - Allen Bunn & Trio

  • 05 Preview My Fault #2 - Brownie McGhee

  • 06 Preview Goodbye Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison

  • 07 Preview Bad Blood - Champion Jack Dupree

  • 08 Preview Stormy Monday Blues - Bob Gaddy

  • 09 Preview Kansas City March - Wild Jimmy Spruill

  • 10 Preview Say No To The Devil - Reverend Gary Davis

  • 11 Preview Four Women Blues - Larry Johnson & Hank Adkins

  • 12 Preview Idle Hours - Lonnie Johnson with Victoria Spivey

  • 13 Preview Chicken Hop - Billy Bland

  • 14 Preview Mambo Baby - Ruth Brown & Her Rhythmakers

  • 15 Preview Boogie Woogie Country Girl - Joe Turner

  • 16 Preview I Still Love You - Buddy & Ella Johnson

  • 17 Preview Honey Baby - Dave "Baby" Cortez

  • 18 Preview Hard Times (The Slop) - Noble "Thin Man" Watts & His Rhythm Sparks

  • 19 Preview Believe Me, Darling - June Bateman

  • 20 Preview Security - Tarheel Slim & Little Ann

  • 21 Preview Jack, That Cat Was Clean - Dr Horse

  • 22 Preview Mudcat - Muddy Waters with Paul Oscher

  • 23 Preview I Wish You Would - John Hammond

  • 24 Preview I Wanna Get High - Rosco Gordon

  • 25 Preview Honky Tonk (Part 1) - Bill Doggett

  • 26 Preview Honky Tonk (Part 2) - Bill Doggett

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