Thursday, April 9, 2015
The last three LPs posted at Scratchy Attic are from the "King Blues Master Series" which appeared during 1970 and 1971, very late in the label's initial run. In 1979 Gusto revamped many titles from the original series as expanded two record sets of which this excellent collection of classic sides by Eddie ("Cleanhead") Vinson is an example.
Liner notes (by William "Hoss" Allen of WLAC Radio, Nashville) are as follows:
EDDIE “CLEANHEAD” VINSON
The simpler art forms are often the most enduring. So it is that in the broad field of American music today, the simple blues exercises an influence that can only be termed tremendous.
Record companies have met this growing awareness and King Records has accepted the challenge head-on with its Blues Masters Series. This album features Eddie Vinson, or as he was affectionately known, “Mr. Cleanhead.”
There is little divergence in Vinson’s blues style. It’s authentic, rooted in the traditions of the Southwestern part of the United States, and reflects the Kansas City style of presentation.
Eddie was born in Houston fifty years ago and began his career playing in and around that large area. After a stint with Cootie Williams, he formed his own group in 1945. All through this period, Vinson was not only developing his unique style of blues singing, but also had acquired an earmarking sound with his alto sax playing.
In 1947 he recorded his greatest hit, “KIDNEY STEW BLUES”, and was immediately booked into the Zanzibar, one of the showplaces on Broadway. In subsequent years, with the decline of the band business, Vinson was one of the first to cut his aggregation and continued to tour extensively. He always, however, augmented his group into a large band for recording dates, and this is the Eddie Vinson you hear on this album.
His blues style is special — combining the “shout” technique with his own tricks of phrasing such as you will distinguish on “MY BIG BRASS BED IS GONE.” Like all great blues singers, however, he treasures one attitude which is more important than any stylistic trick; that is, he sings from the heart. Take note of “I NEED YOU” and “PERSON TO PERSON.” There is another element. That is the song material. It is the stuff of life. It is the endlessly repeated story of love or unfaithfulness, of tragedy and pathos. Dig “ASHES ON MY PILLOW.” Vinson can “go to church” with his shouting style with equal eloquence, as he shows so clearly on “FEATHERBED MAMA” and “GOOD BREAD ALLEY.”
As to instrumentation, the arrangements are marked by soulful and inventive passages packed with color and mood with a relaxed feeling that will, in turn, relax the listener.
It’s sort of like “the hair of the dog”, try some blues when you’re blue, especially Eddie Vinson’s brand.
1. Cherry Red
2. Ashes On My Pillow
3. Kidney Stew
4. Queen Bee Blues
5. Somebody Done Stole My Cherry Red
6. Lonesome Train
7. Person To Person
8. My Big Brass Bed Is Gone
9. Rainy Mornin' Blues
10. I Need You Tonight
11. Featherbed Mama
12. Good Bread Alley
1.I'm Gonna Wind Your Clock
2.I'm Weak But Willing
3.No Good Woman Blues
4.Jump And Grunt
5.Big Mouth Gal
6.The People On My Party Line
7.Peas And Rice
8.I Trusted You (But You Double-Crossed Me)
9.Bald Headed Blues
10. If You Don't Think I'm Sinkin'