TRC

Memphis Jug Band with Cannon’s Jug Stompers: (4 CD Box-set)

00 Memphis Jug Band - Cannon's Jug Stompers

Recorded: 1927-1930
This compilation:
Released: 2005
Label: JSP 7745

*****

Among the recorded members were (at various times) Will Shade (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Charlie Burse (pronounced Bursey) (guitar, mandolin, and vocals), Charlie Nickerson (piano and vocals), Charlie Pierce (violin), Charlie Polk (jug), Tewee Blackman (vocals, guitar), “Hambone” Lewis (jug), Jab Jones (jug), Johnny Hodges/Hardge (piano), Ben Ramey (vocals and kazoo), Casey Bill Weldon (guitar and vocals), Memphis Minnie (guitar and vocals), Vol Stevens (vocals, violin, and mandolin), Milton Robie (violin), Otto Gilmore/Gilmer (drums and woodblocks), and Robert Burse (drums).

Vocals were also provided by Hattie Hart, Memphis Minnie, Jennie Mae Clayton (Shade’s wife), and Minnie Wallace, with Charlie Burse often contributing beautiful harmony parts to Shade’s lead vocal lines.

In the case of Memphis Minnie, the Memphis Blues Band accompanied her on two sides for Victor Records, recorded in 1930 when the band’s career was “winding down”.

The attributed names of the group led by Will Shade on various recording labels vary quite a bit, but recent scholarly consensus has led writers to compile all of these works under the over-arching rubric of the Memphis Jug Band.

In addition to that name, alternative names found on record labels include the Picaninny Jug Band, Memphis Sanctified Singers, the Carolina Peanut Boys, the Dallas Jug Band, the Memphis Sheiks, the Jolly Jug Band and recordings credited to the individual performers Hattie Hart, Minnie Wallace, Casey Bill Weldon, Charlie Nickerson, Vol Stevens, Charlie Burse, “Poor Jab” Jones, and Will Shade, but actually performed with accompaniment by other Memphis Jug Band members.

The Memphis Jug Band played wherever they could find engagements, and busked in local parks.

They were popular among white as well as black audiences.

Musically they were flexible, playing a mixture of ballads, dance tunes, knock-about novelty numbers, and blues.

Some of their songs mention hoodoo magical beliefs, and some members also contributed to gospel recordings, either uncredited or as part of the Memphis Sanctified Singers.

In total, they made more than eighty recordings, first for Victor Records, then (as the Picaninny Jug Band) for the Champion-Gennett label, and finally for OKeh Records.

The Victor recordings were made in Memphis and Atlanta, Georgia between 1927 and 1930, the Champion-Gennetts in Richmond, Indiana in August 1932, while the final sessions on Okeh were held in Chicago in November 1934.

By that time, their style of music was no longer in demand, and Will Shade was no longer able to keep the musicians assembled as a group, although many of the individuals carried on working around Memphis until the 1940s.

In 1963 Will Shade recorded one last time with another Memphian, 79-year-old Gus Cannon, former leader of Cannon’s Jug Stompers, another popular jug band.

They recorded the album Walk Right In, on Stax Records, a result of The Rooftop Singers having made Cannon’s “Walk Right In” into a number one single.

Will Shade on jug and Milton Roby on washboard perform a series of thirteen traditional songs, plus Cannon’s great hit “Walk Right In,” including “Narration,” “Kill It,” “Salty Dog,” “Going Around,” “The Mountain,” “Ol’ Hen”, “Gonna Raise A Ruckus Tonight,” “Ain’t Gonna Rain No More,” “Boll-Weevil,” “Come On Down To My House,” “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor,” “Get Up In The Morning Soon,” and “Crawdad Hole.”

The album is almost an audio documentary tour through different corners of Cannon’s life and career that, ideally, might’ve run to several volumes.

*****

A: Memphis Jug Band (1927, 1928)

A- Memphis Jug Band 1927, 1928

01. Sun Brimmer’s Blues – 3:26
02. Stingy Woman Blues – 3:11
03. Memphis Jug Blues – 3:09
04. Newport News Blues – 3:12
05. Sometimes I Think I Love You – 3:07
06. Sunshine Blues – 2:42
07. Memphis Boy Blues – 2:58
08. I’m Looking For The Bully Of The Town – 2:48
09. I Packed My Suitcase, Started To The Train – 3:15
10. State Of Tennessee Blues – 3:20
11. Bob Lee Junior Blues – 3:12
12. Kansas City Blues – 2:55
13. Beale Street Mess Around – 3:05
14. I’ll See You In The Spring, When The Birds Begin To Sing – 3:08
15. Turpentine Blues – 3:25
16. Hitch Me To Your Buggy And Drive Me Like A Mule – 3:07
17. Vol Stevens Blues – 3:20
18. Baby Got The Rickets (Mama’s Got The Mobile Blues) – 2:55
19. Snitchin’ Gambler Blues – 3:23
20. Evergreen Money Blues – 3:24
21. Coal Oil Blues – 3:33
22. Papa Long Blues – 3:12
23. Peaches In The Springtime – 3:07
24. She Stays Out All Night Long – 3:06

Personnel:

Memphis Jug Band:
Will Shade – harmonica, guitar, vocal
Ben Ramey – kazoo
Will Weldon – guitar, vocal
Charlie Polk – jug, vocal
‘Shakey Walter’ – harmonica
Vol Stevens – banjo, mandolin, guitar
Jennie Clayton – vocal

#15-18:
Casey Bill Weldon – guitar (15,16,17,18), vocal (15,16)
Vol Stevens – guitar (15,16), banjo, mandolin & vocals (17,18)

*****

B: Memphis Jug Band (1928,1929)

B- Memphis Jug Band 1928, 1929

01. Lindberg Hop – 2:51
02. Sugar Pudding – 2:45
03. A Black Woman Is Like A Black Snake – 2:50
04. On The Road Again – 2:50
05. Whitehouse Station Blues – 2:45
06. Stealin’, Stealin’ – 2:58
07. Jug Band Waltz – 2:53
08. Mississippi River Waltz – 2:53
09. Better Leave That Stuff Alone – 3:26
10. She Stabbed Me With An Ice-Pick – 3:23
11. I Can’t Stand It – 2:30
12. What’s The Matter? – 2:54
13. Dirty Butter – 3:02
14. Old Folks Started It, The – 2:45
15. Won’t You Be Kind To Me? – 3:22
16. You Wouldn’t, Would You Papa? – 3:18
17. Feed Your Friend With A Long Handled Spoon – 2:54
18. I Can Beat You Plenty – 2:55
19. Taking Your Place – 3:14
20. Tired Of You Driving Me – 2:42
21. Memphis Yo Yo Blues – 2:53
22. K.C. Moan – 2:34
23. I Whipped My Woman With A Single Tree – 3:02

Personnel:

Memphis Jug Band:
Will Shade – harmonica, guitar, vocal
Ben Ramey – kazoo
Charlie Burse – guitar, vocal
Vol Stevens – banjo, mandolin
Jab Jones – jug
Milton Roby – violin
Tewee Blackman – guitar
Charlie Nickerson – piano
Hattie Hart – vocal

#9, 10:
Will Shade – vocal, guitar
Jab Jones – piano
#13,14:
Minnie Wallace – vocal
? Will Shade – harmonica, guitar
? Milton Roby – violin
? Jab Jones – piano, jug
Charlie Burse – vocal, guitar
#15,16:
Hattie Hart – vocal
? Milton Roby – violin
? Johnny Hardge (Hodges) – piano
? Will Shade or Charlie Burse – guitar

*****

C: Memphis Jug Band (1927-1930)

C- Memphis Jug Band 1927-1930

01. Everybody’s Talking About Sadie Green – 3:10
02. Oh Ambulance Man – 2:43
03. Cocaine Habit Blues – 2:50
04. Jim Strainer Blues – 3:20
05. Cave Man Blues – 3:08
06. Fourth Street Mess – 3:18
07. It Won’t Act Right – 2:33
08. Bumble Bee Blues – 2:55
09. Meningitis Blues – 3:13
10. Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues – 3:08
11. Stonewall Blues – 3:28
12. Spider’s Nest Blues – 3:07
13. Papa’s Got Your Water On – 2:31
14. Going Back To Memphis – 2:27
15. He’s In The Jailhouse Now – 3:13
16. Got A Letter From My Darlin’ – 3:01
17. Round And Round – 3:04
18. You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back – 3:06
19. Move That Thing – 3:09
20. You Got Me Rollin’ – 2:32
21. Son Brimmer’s Blues – 3:12
22. Stingy Woman Blues – 3:17
23. Newport News Blues – 3:11
24. Snitchin’ Gambler Blues – 3:13
25. Lindberg Hop – 2:19

Personnel:

Memphis Jug Band:
Will Shade – harmonica, guitar, vocal
Ben Ramey – kazoo
Will Weldon – guitar, vocal
Charlie Polk – jug, vocal
Vol Stevens – banjo, mandolin
Charlie Burse – guitar, vocal, mandolin
Jab Jones – jug
Hambone Lewis – jug
Charlie Nickerson – vocal
Hattie Hart – vocal
Milton Roby – violin
Memphis Minnie – vocal, guitar

# 16-20:
Memphis Jug Band as Memphis Sheiks and Carolina Peanut Boys
Will Weldon, Ben Ramey, Charlie Nickerson, Will Shade and Charlie Burse
Rec. Memphis, Tennessee, November 26 and 28, 1930.

*****

D: Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers (1928)

D- Cannon's Jug Stompers 1928

01. Minglewood Blues – 3:47
02. Big Railroad Blues – 3:19
03. Madison Street Rag – 3:15
04. Springdale Blues – 3:08
05. Ripley Blues – 3:03
06. Pig Ankle Strut – 3:04
07. Noah’s Blues – 2:54
08. Hollywood Rag – 3:04
09. Heart Breakin’ Blues – 3:06
10. Feather Bed – 3:13
11. Cairo Rag – 2:59
12. Bugle Call Rag – 3:03
13. Viola Lee Blues – 3:07
14. Riley’s Wagon – 2:58
15. Last Chance Blues – 3:17
16. Tired Chicken Blues – 2:55
17. Going To Germany – 2:34
18. Walk Right In – 2:58
19. Mule Get Up In The Alley – 2:49
20. Rooster’s Crowing Blues, The – 3:02
21. Jonestown Blues – 2:50
22. Pretty Mama Blues – 2:42
23. Bring It With You When You Come – 2:47
24. Wolf River Blues – 2:39
25. Money Never Runs Out – 2:50
26. Prison Wall Blues – 2:37

Personnel:

Gus Cannon – banjo, jug, vocal, whistle
Ashley Thompson – guitar, vocal
Noah Lewis – harmonica
Elijah Avery – banjo, guitar
Hosea Woods – guitar, vocal, kazoo

*****

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