Wednesday, December 20, 2023

VA - Living Chicago Blues Vol. 1 - Vol. 4 [1991] (4 x CDs)


Previously posted July 21, 2019

VA - Living Chicago Blues Vol. 1 - Vol. 4 [1991] (4 x CDs)

Alligator Records Living Chicago Blues series Volumes 1 thru 4 are the gold standard for 1970's Blues. Originally issued in the late '70s on six LPs, every song in the collection has been put onto four CDs, each lasting over an hour long. What I especially like about this series is that Alligator Records gives you several songs from each artist which allows the listener to get a much better feel for the abilities of these performers. This is the absolutely best compilation album any blues fan can own. The reason for buying such an album is to get a nice sampling of artists you probably don't own any music from. Certainly, that is the case here were many of the artists appear for the first and maybe only time ever, but the music is first rate.  (Amazon)

Volume 1

Features the lightly recorded Left Hand Frank. That makes this CD a gem. The Jimmy Dawkins Band material is also very strong. Not a bad track on this CD.

Volume 2
Not only is the music great but there are over 60 minutes packed onto the CD for your enjoyment. Each of the selections on this CD is played in the style of traditional blues. This CD does not have a "rock" blues feel to it at all. Lonnie Brooks' Cold, Lonely Nights is chock full of sultry, steamy emotion as is Pinetop Perkins' Blues After Hours. Both pieces give you the feeling that you're at a local blues joint, nursing your last shot of whiskey just before closing time.

Volume 3
May be the best of the lot. This is first rate Chicago blues with a high energy pulse, stinging musicianship and plenty of soul. AC Reed, the sons of the blues, Lacy Gibson and my all-time fav band Scotty and the Rib Tips might not be in the blues hall of fame, but the cuts here combine for one of the finest blues albums you can own!

Volume 4
Is one of those desert island discs. All of the artists are great. Jimmy Johnson's performance is magic. His voice talks to your soul. "Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home" is one of my all-time favorite songs. It's the perfect companion to a rainy day. However, you should get any of them as fast as you can. If you've never been to a Chicago blues bar, any of these CDs will let you know what you are missing. If you are a fan of straight Chicago Blues, you must have these recordings in your blues collection.






Track list


01    Jimmy Johnson Blues Band - Your Turn To Cry    5:49
02    Jimmy Johnson Blues Band - Serves Me Right To Suffer    3:59
03    Jimmy Johnson Blues Band     - Ain't That Just Like A Woman    3:13
04    Jimmy Johnson Blues Band     - Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home    4:45
05    Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang - It' Alright    2:55
06    Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang - Out Of Bad Luck    3:20
07    Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang - Stoop Down, Baby    4:02
08    Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang - Sitting On Top Of The World    3:42
09    Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang - My Baby's So Ugly    3:30
10    Left Hand Frank and His Blues Band - Come Home, Darling    4:05
11    Left Hand Frank and His Blues Band - Blues Won't Let Me Be    2:31
12    Left Hand Frank and His Blues Band - One Room Country Shack    4:30
13    Left Hand Frank and His Blues Band - Linda Lu    4:12
14    Carey Bell's Blues Harp Band - Too Late    2:42
15    Carey Bell's Blues Harp Band - Laundromat Blues    4:31
16    Carey Bell's Blues Harp Band - One Day    2:50
17    Carey Bell's Blues Harp Band - Woman In Trouble    4:42

01    Lonnie Brooks Blues Band - Don't Answer That Door    4:15
02    Lonnie Brooks Blues Band - Two Headed Man    3:28
03    Lonnie Brooks Blues Band - Cold, Lonely Nights    4:44
04    Lonnie Brooks Blues Band - Move Over, Little Dog    4:13
05    Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker - Would You, Baby?    3:25
06    Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker - Worry, Worry    4:16
07    Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker - Sunnyland Blues    2:50
08    Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker - Cry, Cry Darling    3:21
09    Magic Slim and the Teardrops - Stranded On The Highway    4:26
10    Magic Slim and the Teardrops - Dirty Mother For You    5:08
11    Magic Slim and the Teardrops - Spider In My Stew    4:21
12    Magic Slim and the Teardrops - Don't Say That No More    3:43
13    Pinetop Perkins - Take It Easy, Baby    3:30
14    Pinetop Perkins - Blues After Hours    5:02
15    Pinetop Perkins - Little Angel Child    5:17
16    Pinetop Perkins - How Much More Long    3:31

01    A.C Reed & the Sparkplugs - Hard Times    3:17
02    A.C Reed & the Sparkplugs - She's Fine    4:17
03    A.C Reed & the Sparkplugs - Moving out of the Ghetto    3:54
04    A.C Reed & the Sparkplugs - Going to New York    3:37
05    Scotty & the Rib Tips - Big Leg Woman    3:42
06    Scotty & the Rib Tips - Careless With Our Love    3:02
07    Scotty & the Rib Tips - Road Block    2:49
08    Scotty & the Rib Tips - Poison Ivy    3:16
09    Louie Lee with Carey Bell - I Dare You    2:49
10    Louie Lee with Carey Bell - Nobody Knows My Troubles    5:17
11    Louie Lee with Carey Bell - Sweet Little Girl    3:15
12    -Louie Lee with Carey Bell - Naptown    3:02
13    Lacy Gibson - Drown In My Own Tears    4:42
14    Lacy Gibson - Crying for You Baby    2:48
15    Lacy Gibson - Feel So Bad    3:54
16    Sons of Blues - Wish Me Well    2:56
17    Sons of Blues - Have You Ever Loved a Woman    6:11
18    Sons of Blues - Berlin Wall    4:26
19    Sons of Blues - Prisner of the Blues    4:15


01    Detroit Junior - If I Hadn't Been High    4:03
02    Detroit Junior - Some Nerve    3:03
03    Detroit Junior - Sombody to Shack    5:20
04    Detroit Junior - I Got Money    2:35
05    Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson - Somebody Have Mercy    3:02
06    Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson - Got to have Money    3:18
07    Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson - Just Like Mama Said    3:01
08    Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson - Look What You Done    3:49
09    Queen Sylvia Embry - Going Upstairs    4:58
10    Queen Sylvia Embry - Blues This Morning    2:06
11    Queen Sylvia Embry - Tired of being Pushed Around    2:52
12    Queen Sylvia Embry - Please Let Me Stay    4:30
13    Big Leon Brooks - Blues for a Real Man    3:32
14    Big Leon Brooks - Thirteen Years in Prison    3:03
15    Big Leon Brooks - Country Boy    4:21
16    Big Leon Brooks - My Life Ain't the Same    3:17
17    Andrew Brown - I Got News for you    4:59
18    Andrew Brown - Morning, Noon and Night    3:41
19    Andrew Brown - Two Years    4:00



  1. This is a great series - highly recommend it to anyone who's curious about blues or fans that aren't familiar with some of the artists here. Alligator forever!

    1. Thanks, simonthecat.
      Alligator has some great compilations. I should put more up.