New Arrivals, Restocks, & Reduced - early 2018
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Marisa Anderson
Traditional and Public Domain Songs
Mississippi
LP
$13

“Originally released on Grapefruit Records, reissued here with new tracks. Marisa Anderson continues her streak of amazing solo guitar LP's. On first glance of the track listing you may feel like you've heard it all before - classic folk songs and anthems - but Marisa takes these tunes to places they have never been. The vibe is heavy on this one. The guitar playing is beautiful at points and intense at others. Not for the feint of heart. Comes with liner notes written by Marisa herself.” - Mississippi. Hear Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning & read more at this NPR profile.

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RL Boyce
Live from the Circle Bar
Go Ape Records
CD
$10

“It was Mardi Gras, and Como, MS, blues legend RL Boyce was in the Circle Bar [in New Orleans]. With the support of Paul Artigues and Todd Mathews, on loan from the Thunder Band, he settled in and grooved an incredible set of down-home, hypnotic hill country blues. This is unfiltered RL BOYCE at his very best. No guest stars. No hot leads. No slide guitar. ALL BOOGIE.” - Go Ape Records. See & hear their epic set opener.

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Cooper-Moore
Solo Piano #2
no label / private release
CD-R
$10

Remarkable & restless solo piano, a studio recording from 2012. Catch a glimpse of the action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaJWdLnXzjg. "Cluster Blue," the far out barrelhouse inspired by the style of his old family friend Mr. Gene Quickley, also always grabs ears. Cooper-Moore discusses this recording in a wide-ranging interview with Jeremiah Cymerman for his 5049 podcast; hear at ~23:10 & ~28:00: http://www.5049records.com/podcast/cooper-moore

No jewel case. Audio samples, track titles, & digital download available for purchase direct from C-M at https://coopermooremusic.com/music

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Cooper-Moore
Deep in the Neighborhood of History and Influence
no label / private release
CD-R
$10

Live solo piano recording c.1999 in Guelph, Canada. Remastered from the original, long out of print Hopscotch pressing. “The ultimate underground jazz document, this is a lo-fi, live solo-piano lecture-concert bursting with personality. Cooper-Moore puts standup-routine eulogies, rants and preambles around a variety of moods, including hailstone-abrasive improvisations, Ellingtonian chords, boogie-woogie and ballads. His irrepressibility is hard to resist.” - Ben Ratliff, NY Times. No jewel case. Audio samples, track titles, & digital download available for purchase direct from C-M at https://coopermooremusic.com/music

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Cooper-Moore
Looking Back #1
no label / private release
CD-R
$10

First retrospective of home & other recordings by Cooper-Moore includes the mammoth mouth bow drone of “Black Strap Suite,” mesmerizing “Banjo Arba Minch Garden,” a beautiful spiritual in “Steal Away,” several vocal pieces, & more. Intimate glimpses of a fearless creative artist at work. No jewel case. Audio samples, track titles, & digital download available for purchase direct from C-M at https://coopermooremusic.com/music

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Cooper-Moore
Looking Back #2
no label / private release
CD-R
$10

This 2nd retrospective of home & other recordings by Cooper-Moore features diddley-bow jump blues & laments, a few solo piano pieces, a discombobulating synth piece dedicated to William Parker, and a few flute & bass duos with Clayton Thomas. No jewel case. Audio samples, track titles, & digital download available for purchase direct from C-M at https://coopermooremusic.com/music

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Nancy Dupree
Ghetto Reality
Mississippi
LP
$6

Reduced price, great deal! "Nancy Dupree initially found her elementary school music students in Rochester, NY, resistant to participation in class. Once she dropped the standard literature (which asked 'Mr. Bear' to 'come and play') and began composing music that bore relevancy to contemporary society and to their very tuned-in and grownup interests, she found they immediately took to performing. Her songs addressed the contributions icons James Brown and Jelly Roll Morton made to society, the intangible assets each child naturally possessed ('What do I have? Guts...heart...and soul'), and fighting for civil rights ('I want my freedom; I want it now'). Not only did singing about meaningful issues in real musical styles reveal the immense talents the students had, but it gave all a critical lesson in empowerment." - Smithsonian/Folkways. Hear James Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzWAylk7G5Y

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Rev. Lonnie Farris
A Night at the House of Prayer
'Buked & Scorned Records
LP
$16

"Absolutely sublime gospel, from stomp to ethereal jams and back again, and all starring Farris' killer slide guitar. All music culled from small artist-run label 45s issued in the 1960s. Hand stamped covers, each unique, edition of 450." - 'Buked & Scorned Records. Hear the rousing title track & Peace in the Valley. Note that since the covers were decorated by hand, there may be idiosyncracies in the stamp &/or paste jobs.

Buy it from 50 Miles & get free MP3s of 2 songs not on the LP (or otherwise reissued, as far as I know): Bernadine Chambers singing We are Praying Your Kingdom Down / I Got His Word, accompanied by Rev. Farris & his Gospel Flames, from a 45 released on his private Farris Records label.

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Emahoy Tsegue-Mariam Guebru
Traditional and Public Domain Songs
Mississippi
LP
$15

“More 1960's recordings of her truly unique solo piano performances. Mariam-Tsegue Guebru is a true original - her playing is somewhere between Erik Satie, Debussy, liturgical music of the Coptic Ethiopian Church, and Ethiopian traditional music. It is some of the most moving piano music you will ever hear! All original compositions available for the first time on vinyl beyond the original early 1960's editions, which are completely impossible to find. Old school ‘tip on cover with gold foil printing. A must have masterpiece.” - Mississippi. Hear Ballad of the Spirits & The Song of the Sea.

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Mississippi John Hurt
Worried Blues
Fat Possum
LP
$14
1964 recordings, not the same Worried Blues album released on Piedmont, previously CD only as Memorial Anthology. Download included. Hear clips of Slidin' Delta & Staggerlee.
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Monroe "Guy" Jackson
Got the Boogie Woogie Blues / Lonesome Home Blues
Rustron Records
45rpm 7"
$14

Monroe "Guy" Jackson was a blues musician who lived in the Holly Springs area of north Mississippi, and I have been told that he played mostly in & around that vicinity, though curiously he apparently made a trip to NYC to play at Lincoln Center in 1985. In a preview for the NY Times, Robert Palmer noted that Jackson was 77 years old at the time and “grew up in the northern Mississippi hill country, which nurtured a blues culture much different from that of the better-known Mississippi Delta. Living on small farms, the hill country blacks developed a lilting, strangely archaic sounding brand of music, and Mr. Jackson is a worthy representative of it.”

That's also the year when he cut this highly enjoyable record for the local Rustron label (who also released the James Son Thomas Gateway to the Delta LP that flew out of here recently) that appears to be his only release. The songs heard here have an open-ended feel that suggests a relaxed informality with his music, and he deals in a couple of the eternal themes: 1) returning to his home after a long absence, and 2) being forbidden to take part in the boogie woogie. (maybe why he left in the first place) The A-side is a droney & danceable northern Mississippi blues, while the flip has some nice bottleneck work. Great stuff, and a pretty obscure release that I'm particularly pleased to be able to offer here. Hear some of Got the Boogie Woogie Blues & Lonesome Home Blues.

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Rev. Charlie Jackson
Wrapped Up Tangled Up in Jesus / Morning Train
Booker Records
45rpm 7"
$8

Officially licensed reissue of Rev. Charlie Jackson’s first 45. All his original singles are in high demand, this one especially so: 2 hot, classic sides. Edition of 500. Hear clips of Wrapped Up Tangled Up in Jesus & Morning Train.

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Skip James
Worried Blues
Fat Possum
LP
$14

1964 recordings, previously CD only as She Lyin'. Download included. Hear clips of I'm So Glad & Catfish Blues.

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The Johnson Spiritual Singers
Don't Let the Devil Ride
Detroit Gospel Reissue Project
LP
$16

“Extremely rare 1970s killer kid-funk gospel from this Saginaw-based family band. Remastered from original master tapes. Extensive liner note booklet inside. Mind-blowingly good. Non-subscriber titles from the Knight Foundation-supported Detroit Gospel Reissue Project. Retail copies, limited to 450.” - Detroit Gospel Reissue Project. Hear some clips on Soundcloud.

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One String Sam
I Need a Hundred Dollars / My Baby, Oooo
J-V-B Recording Co.
45rpm 7"
$8

“Not much is known about One String Sam, an eccentric street musician who walked into Joe’s Record Shop on Hastings Street in Detroit and recorded two odd and unforgettable tracks, ‘I Need a Hundred Dollars’ & ‘My Baby Oooo,’ on a fretless, one-string instrument that was essentially a diddley-bow, consisting of a wood plank with a piano wire stretched between two nails, augmented with an electric guitar pickup. Sam, whose real name was Sam Wilson, fretted the instrument with a baby food jar and, placing the jar near the vocal microphone when he sang, created his own echo chamber. The result was an eerie, spooky, and riveting version of country blues.” - Steve Leggett. Recent reissue. Hear I Need a Hundred Dollars & My Baby, Oooo.

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Isaiah Owens
You Without Sin Cast the First Stone
Mississippi
LP
$6

Reduced price, great deal! Very welcome vinyl version of Isaiah Owens' CD on CaseQuarter, which turned quite a few heads upon release in 2004. "In the early 1990s, Isaiah Owens ended a distinguished 40-year career singing lead with the gospel quartet the Flying Clouds of Montgomery, Alabama in order to focus on solo performance. Early in the 1980s, Owens had begun to teach himself guitar and he soon began sitting in on local AM gospel radio broadcasts, most notably with the Montgomery Gospelaires and later with Ann Talbert’s Cheerful Angels program. Always known for his dynamic vocals and piercing falsetto, Owens augmented the initial chords he taught himself with extremely loud volume. Along with emphasizing the rhythmic over the traditionally musical, Owens was not afraid to incorporate dissonance into his playing. The merging of Owens’ unique guitar style with his accomplished vocals makes for an intriguing and original musical experience truly not heard anywhere else in the gospel world." - CaseQuarter. "Gospel meets blues at the level of raw passion in the songs of Isaiah Owens. ... he sings in a voice that rasps like a preacher and leaps into serrated falsetto, letting loose gospel fervor as an exalted frenzy." - The New York Times. Hear clips of I'll Fly Away & You Without Sin.

Sadly, Bro. Owens passed on March 19, 2017. 50 Miles of Elbow Room is grateful to be among those who came together to produce what unfortunately turned out to be Isaiah's only NYC concerts, back in 2004. Tyler Bell's "Pray and Get Ready" documents this trip: https://vimeo.com/50418242

It's not credited on the sleeve, but Yancey Allison took the beautiful photos found on the front & back covers.

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Sonny Simmons
Global Jungle
Deal with It
CD
$12

Somewhat elusive Sonny Simmons session, recorded in 1982 & first released on cassette (also in stock) in 1985. Notable also for an appearance of Earl Freeman on a few tracks. Hear some of Global Jungle.

“Sonny Simmons is a revered and unrelenting pioneer, one of the remaining few. His dozen or so recordings from 1961-1970 established him as one of the most exciting new horn players of that era. During the ‘70s and ‘80s, Simmons stayed true to his art form, writing some of his major compositions, working with local musicians, and ‘dealing with it.’ Unfortunately, this time period produced little recorded material.

Global Jungle is one of the rare recordings that captures Simmons’ prolific work of the 1980s. Listening to these compositions, one hears searing white hot saxophone, the long winded legato, and multiple tonguing techniques for which Simmons is noted. The fluidity of this recording is further enhanced by the spontaneous and direct response from the rhythm section. Global Jungle is raw and real. It is life drama.” - from the CD liner notes

As a side note, Simmons very generously sat down to speak with me about Earl Freeman back in the summer of 2014. Here is some recent footage of him telling deep stories, part of a project by the good folks of the Jazz Foundation of America: https://vimeo.com/117605409

Sonny Simmons: alto saxophone & vocals
Kirk Charles Heydt: cello
Dylan Morgan
: drums
Earl Freeman: electric fretless bass (side A)
Perry Thorsell: acoustic bass (side A)
Freddie "Bon Ganni" Williams: acoustic bass (side B)
Jeffrey Donald: vocals (side B)

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Various Artists
Ghost Memories
Mississippi
LP
$13

"The long awaited sequel to our Six Feet Under compilation! Absolute killer country and rock and roll songs from the late 1950's - early 1960's. Minor chords abound in both rocking tunes and straight up weepers. The real stuff - no goofy novelties or commercial palp. Honest people's music. All incredibly hard to find tunes from small label 45s." - Mississippi. Hear Willie Hays' Walkin' the Streets After Dark & Harold L & the Offbeats' Three Years.

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Various Artists
I am on the Battlefield for My Lord
'Buked & Scorned Records
LP
$18

"Third volume of this still largely unheard, amazing music. Absolutely stellar performances from the Heavenly Dreamers, Otis Wright, and many more. Lovely silkscreened covers, edition of 450." - 'Buked & Scorned Records. Hear some of Highway to Heaven by Arthur Williams and the Joybells. Full track listing here. Note that some covers are brown (as shown) while others are white. Please let me know if you have a preference.

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Various Artists
Lost Train Blues
Jalopy Records
LP
$14

Repress of this outstanding collection. “Lost Train Blues features 22 selections from the vast holdings of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, 13 of them have never been issued before. The record includes work songs, ballads, blues, political and union songs, guitar, banjo & fiddle music, and Native American vocal music. These recordings were made between 1933 and 1950 and represent the birth of the folk music collections at the Library of Congress, now the largest repository of folk and enthographic holdings in the world. The record demonstrates the groundbreaking work of Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax, but also places them with the context of other important early field workers.

“The deluxe record includes liner notes by Alan Lomax archive curator Nathan Salsburg, as well as a 14 page booklet with photographs and original research about each song, artist and folklorist. The cover features an original lithograph by artist Jeff Tocci. Each selection has been retransferred from original discs and tapes at the Library of Congress and has been carefully remastered by sound engineer Don Fierro making for the best possible audio fidelity.” - Jalopy. Hear Camp Morris & Group's Captain Haney Blues & Buster Buzz Ezell's Roosevelt & Hitler. Full track listing here.

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Various Artists
Running from the Law
Mississippi
LP
$13

"The third volume of the Six Feet Under series! Absolute killer country and rock and roll songs from the late 1950's - early 1960's. Minor chords abound in both rocking tunes and straight up weepers. The real stuff - no goofy novelties or commercial palp. Honest people's music. All incredibly hard to find tunes from small label 45s." - Mississippi. Hear Gene Nitz's Running from the Law & Cecil Moore's Diamond Back.

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Rev. Robert Wilkins
Worried Blues
Fat Possum
LP
$14
1971 recordings from one of the absolute greats of pre- & post-war blues & gospel. Previously CD only as Remember Me. Includes download. Hear the wonderful Don't Let Nobody Turn You 'Round.