“blues after hours” ELMORE JAMES british blues movement research #1

October 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

jkm>27/5/07>I’ve been wanting an Elmore James CD in my collection for awhile. I’m debating between the Rhino release of The Sky Is Crying: The History Of Elmore James, and Whose Muddy Shoes, with all his Chess sides.
I assume that sound quality is inconsistent but I have most of the Chess 50th Anniversary CDs and they sound pretty good for the most part. Hence my interest in the Chess CD.


signothetimes53>27/5/07>The Chess “Whose Muddy Shoes” is essential stuff, though it does not feature the raw, distorted slide guitar that Elmore recorded prior to recording for Chess. “Sky Is Crying” is decent, but there are better compilations out there.
If you can find it, you should start with “Classic Early Recordings, 1951-1956” box set, now OOP, issued on Ace in the U.K. It is Elmore at his loudest, rawest, most electric best.
Easy to find, and, my second choice, is the recently issued (in 2005) “Blues After Hours” also on Ace. What makes this compilation so special?
Someone at Ace found some master tapes of a bunch of Elmore’s early recordings that are audibly superior to anything previously issued. I’ve been listening to Elmore since 1970, and I thought it was just hype when this CD was issued that it was sonically a “revelation”….but I bought it anyway, and was startled at how someone really did find some tapes that were spectacularly better than any other issues of this material.



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