NEW BREED WORKIN’-BLUES WITH A RHYTHM.
NEW BREED WORKIN’-BLUES WITH A RHYTHM.
Not many compilation series survive to release six volumes, never mind thirteen. That’s almost unheard of. However, recently, two compilation series celebrated the release of their sixth and thirteenth volumes. They seem to have found the ‘secret’ of a successful compilation.
For those waiting with baited breath, there’s no magic formula to a successful compilation. The key thing is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic compiler. They must have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of their subject, and know where the hidden gems and musical treasure is buried. That’s been the key to two of the most successful and critically acclaimed compilations of recent years.
Recently, Ace Records released new instalments in two of their longest running, and most successful compilation series. The By The Bayou series celebrated the release of its thirteenth volume. Still, compiler Ian Saddler continues to uncover hidden gems from Louisiana. It’s a similar story with the New Breed compilation series, which released its sixth volume New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm the same day.
New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm was released on Kent Dance, an imprint of Ace Records. It was compiled by the hardest working man in music, Ady Croasdell. Hardly a month passes without a compilation bearing his name being released. They all have one thing in common…their quality. New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm is no different.
Ady Croasdell has dug deep to find the twenty-four tracks that feature on New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm. He’s searched the vaults of labels like Frisco, Cleveland, Dore, Brent, Kent, Krafton, RPM, Music City and Cator. Carefully, Ady Croasdell searched for the perfect mixture of familiar faces, new names, hidden gems and several rarities. This took time.
Eventually, though, Ady Croasdell managed to whittle his long-list down to just twenty-four tracks. They became New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm, the sixth instalment in the series.
Just like previous volumes in the New Breed series, Ady Croasdell had chosen the perfect mixture of familiar faces, new names, hidden gems and rarities. New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm included contributions from from Danny White, Pee Wee Foster, B.B. King, Bertha Tillman, Nookie Boy, Mary Johnson, Cool Papa Jarvis, Billy Ray, Richard Berry and Chet “Poison” Ivey. There were also eight tracks that have never featured on CD before. They’re a welcome addition to New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm. Especially, with veterans collectors of R&B.
Just like collectors of rock, psychedelia or soul, collectors of R&B are always looking for something new to add to their burgeoning collection. Especially, veteran collectors who have spent a lifetime look for those elusive rarities. However, times have changed in the last few years.
Previously, many collectors saw themselves as purists, who were only willing to an original vinyl 45 to their collection. Not any more. Nowadays, many collectors are realists. The price of many 45s are prohibitively expensive. No longer can they warrant paying $100-$200 for one 45. Not in these recession hit times. So when the same track can be found on a compilation, along with twenty-three other tracks it’s a no brainer. Suddenly, this makes financial sense, and compilations like Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm seem like the bargain of the year. That you’ll soon realise, is the case.
Danny White’s The Twitch opens. New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm. It was released in 1963, on the Frisco label. This was Danny’s third single, but first attempt at a launching a dance craze. Despite Danny’s popularity in New Orleans, where he was a stalwart of Bourbon Street, The Twitch sunk without trace. However, fifty-three years later, The Twitch is a favourite of many DJs on the R&B and soul scene.
When looking for tracks for what became New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm, Ady Croasdell found a trio of tracks in the Arock vaults. They were just what Ady Croasdell was looking for. However, there was a problem. Nobody knew who wrote or recorded two of them. The easiest solution would be to forget about them, and pick two more tracks. Not Ady Croasdell. He decided to include them, and rather than credit them to unknown artist gave these unknown artists an alias. If at a later date, the artist’s name is discovered, then they’ll be credited.
Cruel World is first of the two mystery tracks. It was recorded in 1957, and can only be described as an impassioned soul-baring plea. It was credited to Roosevelt Powers. The second mystery track was a cover of Buddy Lucas’ Steamboat, which gave The Drifters a hit single in 1955. Then on 30th March 1963, Steamboat was cut at Sound Plus Studios, in Philly. Sadly, the artist’s name of this delicious cover of Steamboat is unknown. So they became Arthur Grant and The Red Shoes. Unless of course, you know the true identity of the artist.
By 1963, B.B. King had signed to Kent Records. His third single for his new label was The Letter. Hidden away on the B-Side was You Never Know, which features a barnstorming performance from the legendary bluesman. You Never Know also featured on his 1963 eponymous album. However, it was released on Crown Records. Three years later, in 1966, the B.B. King album was repackaged and released by Custom Records. One of the highlights was that barnstorming performance of You Never Know from B.B. King Lucille.
In 1962, Nookie Boy recorded Oliver Morgan’s I’ve Got A Feeling For You Baby. It was released on AFO, a New Orleans label founded in 1961. Mystery surrounded the identity of Nookie Boy. Who was the mystery vocalist record buyers asked? The clue was on the label. Nookie Boy was an alias of Oliver Morgan who penned the song. He combines elements of pop and jazz on his one and only single as Nookie Boy. By the time he released his next single Who Shot The La La La, his Nookie Boy alias had been laid to rest. Since then, copies of I’ve Got A Feeling For You Baby have become a real rarity. They change hands for considerable sums of money, much more than it would cost to buy a copy of New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm.
Two unreleased tracks are back-to-back on New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm. The first is an alternate version of Mary Johnson’s These Tears. It was released on the Foxy label in 1961. The original version doesn’t feature the brass and saxophone solo that’s on the alternate take. This transforms the track, and is the perfect accompaniment to Mary’s powerhouse of a vocal.
Joan Duvalle’s Lucky Girl is the second consecutive unreleased track. It was recorded for the New Orleans’ based AFO label. It was only in existence for two years, and released eighteen singles. Lucky Girl is the one that got away. However, fifty-two years after AFO closed its doors for the last time, Joan Duvalle’s Lucky Girl makes a belated and welcome debut.
Prolific describes Ray Agee. He recorded over seventy singles over a twenty year period. Ray Agee seemed determined to claim the title, the hardest working man in music. In 1967, he recorded Your Thingerma-Do as a single for the Krafton label. On the flip-side was Real Real Love, a stomper that found favour on the UK Northern Soul scene.
When the hits ran dry for Varetta Dillard in 1961, executives at Brent paired her with a group of male backing singers. This marriage of convenience became Varetta and The Thomases Breaking Hearts. Their recording career was brief, and amounted to just one memorable and soulful single Breaking Hearts. It was released on Brent in 1962, and features an emotive powerhouse of a vocal from Varetta.
Back in 1956, Big Boy Groves and Little Margie, his latest musical partner entered the studio to record some new tracks. This included Yes It’s You, and what was meant to be the followup, Another Ticket. Things didn’t quite go to plan, and neither track was released as a single. It wasn’t until 2009, that Yes It’s You featured on Ace Records’ Toast Of The Coast Volume 1 compilation. Six years later, and Big Boy Groves and Little Margie make a welcome return with Yes It’s You, a hidden gem that’s sure to be appreciated on the retro dance scene.
The Music City Soul Brothers only ever released two singles. Their second and final single was Something In My Eye. Tucked away on the B-Side was the Robert Walker penned Looking For My Baby. Robert Walker was the alias of Jimmy Norman who briefly, was the lead singer of The Music City Soul Brothers. His one and only single with The Music City Soul Brothers was Something In My Eye. When it failed to make an impression on the charts, Jimmy Norman moved on. The finest moment of his all too brief career with The Music City Soul Brothers was Looking For My Baby, which features a needy, pain-filled vocal.
Closing New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm is Chet “Poison” Ivey’s heart-wrenching versions of Now We Must Part. It was penned by Chet, and released on the Gator label in 1962. As Chet sings: “and Now We Must Part,” this proved the perfect way to close the sixth instalment in the New Breed compilation series. Hopefully, it won’t be for long, and volume seven will follow hot on the heels of New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm.
Despite reaching the sixth instalment in the New Breed compilation series, the music on New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm is still of the highest quality. It was released on Kent Dance, the same day as another of Ace Records’ most successful compilation series, By The Bayou. Much of the success of these two compilation series’ is down to the compiler.
Ian Saddler has masterminded thirteen instalments in the Bayou series. This side of the Atlantic, Ady Croasdell has some catching up to do. New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm is ‘only’ the sixth instalment in the New Breed series. Just like previous volumes, New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm oozes quality. That’s down to Ady Croasdell’s crate-digging skills.
He’s searched the vaults on countless record companies, including Frisco, Cleveland, Dore, Brent, Kent, Krafton, RPM, Music City and Cator. He’s struck gold several times on New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm, discovering hidden gems rarities and eight tracks that are new to CD. That’s not forgetting six previously unreleased tracks. Ady Croasdell has surpassed himself in his search for tracks for the sixth instalment in the New Breed series, New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm. However, I’m sure it won’t be long before Ady Croasdell sets out in search of more musical treasure.
There’s still plenty more musical gems awaiting discovery by Ady Croasdell. He has an uncanny knack for finding rarities, hidden gems and unreleased tracks. These he mixes with some familiar faces and old friends. This proves a potent combination, and one that’s proved successful. Especially on New Breed Workin’-Blues With A Rhythm, which has the perfect mixture of old friends, familiar faces, new names, hidden gems, rarities and unreleased tracks. It’s a welcome addition to the New Breed series.
NEW BREED WORKIN’-BLUES WITH A RHYTHM.