Various Artists

Blues Hangover

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This two disc, 43 track collection collects up a treasure trove of rare and unissued performances from the vaults of Excello Records. All but one of the 17 tracks collected on the first disc were produced by Jay Miller in his Crowley, Louisiana studio, home of Excello's unmistakable 'swamp blues' sound. The first 10 tracks are by Jimmy Anderson, who impersonates the vocal and harmonica style of Jimmy Reed so pervasively, it's downright eerie. Three tracks from Whispering Smith, a stray Lightnin' Slim cut and both sides of the mysterious Blue Charlie single are aboard, as well as rare singles from the equally mysterious Ole Sonny Boy, Little Al (Gunter) and Little Sonny. But the true find here are the first time release of 15 tracks from a 1966 audition tape by one Early Drane. For all intents and purposes, this appears to be the same 'Earl Draines' that recorded for the label as part of The Blues Rockers ("Calling All Cows") in the mid 50s. But these remarkable tapes are the man alone in his living room, singing and playing a quirky collection of original material, blues and gospel covers that careen from brilliant to downright loony. Add to this lineup four tracks by Detroit bluesman Baby Boy Warren (featuring Sonny Boy Williamson on harmonica) and two early 60s stereo swingers by the little known James Stewart and you've got an Excello rarities packages that's pretty hard to beat.

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