Some of My Best Friends Have the Blues
- Artist: Big Al Jano
- Format: CD
- Release Date:4/10/2007
SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS HAVE THE BLUES 50 Years of Bass Back-up, Blues, Booze and Indie Music Trying to produce an original concept CD album is rather difficult these days because just about everything has been done since albums were first introduced around 1947. Therefore, this CD is an eclectic indie compilation of 23 lead singers and 24 tunes that have either blues roots or "bluesy" subject matter but are also uniquely different from one or other. The only common thread that ties all the various tunes and genres together on this CD is the bass that Big Al Jano provides on each of the tracks. Considered an indie producer and a bassist first and a satirical songster on occasion, the only tune that Big Al is actually featured on for this collection is the broadcast version (or politically correct version) of The Condom Man, his 1987 college cult classic. To the best of our knowledge, there is no other 50-year compilation of indie tunes with this unifying concept. If there is one, Hottrax Records condolences to the producer for the stress endured while restoring old master tapes and deciding which tracks were to be used. The tunes selected are Big Al's fave picks for each singer that seem to work together for this quasi-blues compilation. Some tracks were produced in world class, multi-track studios and some were simply caught live to tape with no remixing. Long ago Al realized that an attempt to achieve "perfection" in a recording can be quite boring and sterile. As quoted, 'I 've always preferred the 'feel' of a track over it's preciseness and picked the selections for this compilation with that in mind." Included with the CD is a 20 page, full color booklet with information and pix on each lead singer and a credit list of supporting musicians. Also included for the collector is a complete 50-year discography of his works. Vinyl collectors know that his 1968 psychedelic album "The Square Root of Two" by The Night Shadows is the most valuable album ever produced in the state of Georgia and currently sells for over $1600 per copy. This LP is among those listed. Jaime White/Hottrax Records (firstname.lastname@example.org) TRACK SYNOPSIS Track #01) "Spice In My Life" featuring Sammy B (Sammy Blue) A spicy blend of Piedmont Blues with Delta-Zydeco rhythm (1999) Track #02) "(Gonna Have A) Good Time" featuring Scott Marks - An up tempo blues rocker with a 5 piece horn section whose finale would make one helluva ringtone (1976) Track #03) "Blindside" featuring Bobby "Bones" Jones - Hammond organ style Piedmont Blues with a sleazy barroom feel (1960) Track #04) "Through The Rain" featuring Allan Collay - One of the earliest examples of Southern Blues Rock served up with soulful Cajun influenced vocals (1968/1974) Track #05) "Lucille" featuring Butch "Trooper" Cooper - Chicago style rocking blues laced with great harmonica playing and a unique ending that utilizes this reed instrument to the max.(2001) Track #06) "Give It Everything We've Got" featuring Rick Ware - A Jump-blues that swings like late 1940s and early 1950s R&B due to some smoking tenor & soprano saxophones (2002) Track #07) "Oh Linda" featuring Allen Collay - New Orleans style funky barroom blues (1974) Track #08) "Sista Mary" featuring Danny Deese - Blues dished up for a Rock concert (1978) Track #09) "See See Rider" featuring Judy Argo - A live improvisation by the late jazz diva belting one of Georgia's oldest traditional blues tunes (1963) Track #10) "Roll With Me" featuring Bill Sheffield - Piedmont style Bluesrock with hot guitars and vocals by one of Georgia's most respected artists of Roots & Blues' music (1997) Track #11) "I Don't Want To See You Cry Anymore" featuring Delanna Brody - Heavy metal type bluesrock caught live at a head-banger's bar on a cassette recorder (1983) Track #12) "Auld Lang Syne Hip Hop" featuring Mike Lorenz - The centuries old New Year's song performed in early Hip Hop/Rap style by the late Blues (and Bluegrass) singer (1984) Track #13) "Insurance Man Blues" featuring "Too Tall" Thomas Thompson - Traditional post-war Blues for the Blues purest that eschews Bluesrock (1957) Track #14) "Be Careful What You Ask For" featuring Liane Webb - Alternative Southern Blues Rock outside of the traditional mode but with fiery slide guitar and a primitive rhythm (1996) Track #15) "Caught In Between" featuring Roger "Hurricane" Wilson - Jersey style Blues Rock by one of America's busiest bluesmen with more than 300 shows per year (1993) Track #16) "Plenty Of Trouble" featuring Charlie Adams (a.k.a. Adam Charles) - Psychedelic political bluesrock from the late 1960s in the vein of Blood, Sweat & Tears & Chicago (1969) Track # 17) "Silver Grill Blues" featuring Diamond Lil - A campy Country style blues by the Queen of Diamonds, known also as the Drag Queen of The Blues, in concert (1984) Track #18) "The Way It Used To Be" featuring Little Phil - British inspired rock with a Blues message (B-side of Little Phil & The Night Shadows early 1966 hit single) (1965) Track #19) "We're Only Fooling Ourselves" featuring Wayne Chaffin - An old Tin Pan Alley style blues tune with a jazz progression perfect for lounge lizard martini drinkers (1979) Track #20) "Disco Disaster Blues Strut" - A Wayne Chaffin instrumental written as a reminder of what the disco phenomenon of the 1970s did to destroy live music venues. (1980) Track #21) "Elevator" featuring Little Erv & Helene - An early 1960s R&B tune combining the "boy & girl duo" trend of the era along with the dance craze phenomenon of the time (1962) Track #22) "Rock Me" featuring Luther Houserocker Johnson - A century old blues classic dished up with mixture of barrelhouse piano and traditional blues guitar (1988) Track #23) " I Wish You Very Well" - featuring Bobby Bahr - Fusion of mid-western influenced vocals with Southern Bluesrock musicians creates a unique sound for this track (1973/2007) Track #24) "The Condom Man - Broadcast Version" features Big Al Jano - (Note: The original, raw and very politically incorrect version of this tune is only available on vinyl.) The broadcast version of Big Al's college classic of 1987-1988 featured here was re-written as a "public service message" so more radio stations could air the song. The original version however, was the 17th most requested song in 1987 on 96 Rock in Atlanta, the number one rock station at the time. After headlining a show at the legendary Tramps in New York, a proposed article in People magazine was allegedly killed due to pressure by an advocacy group protesting the original lyrics. Big Al said, "At least I got about 6 minutes of my 15. I just wish I could have gotten copies of the stills for the two shoots they did on the band before the article was axed." (Collector's note: The Condom Man was based on a blues tune recorded by Al in 1961. The lyrics were changed, a chorus was added, the tempo was increased and the guitars recorded had the current rock sound of the day.)
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