Various Artists

Chicago Blues After Midnight 1952-1957

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Most of the artists on this anthology are fairly well known, even if the selected material is more than a little bit obscure. Beginning with J.B. Hutto, his "Price of Love" was one of two tracks from his 1954 Chance session that never made it to a single, this being pulled from a lone surviving acetate. Also from the originally unissued file is Jimmy Reed's "State Street Boogie," an instrumental featuring the same unidentified Chicago symphony violin player who added so much sparkle to Jimmy's "Odds and Ends" and a fine pair of tracks from Eddie Taylor, "Stroll Out West" and "Find Me a Baby." Grace Brim, the drumming wife of John Brim, contributes "Hospitality Blues" and "Man Around My Door," while Baby Face Leroy is featured with both sides of his 1952 JOB single, "Pet Rabbit" and "Louella." Howlin' Wolf is the ringer of this Chicago anthology with his "Sweet Woman" and "Dorothy Mae," both actually recorded in Memphis. The collection is rounded off with a pair of tracks each from Tampa Red ("Please Mr. Doctor" and "I Should Have Loved Her More"), Curtis Jones ("Flamin' Blues" and "Upside Down Blues") and L.C. McKinley ("Rosalie Blues" and "Pains In My Heart"), making this collection some of the rarest of the classic Chicago sound and a fine cross-section of the musical activity in Chicago in this formative period.