Resume by Max Haymes ......
The reason I am writing this
short resume on the forthcoming 4-CD set, on JSP Records, Meaning In
The Blues, is because this was the sub-title of the very first book
published in the UK concentrating solely on the Blues and for the most
part the early or Ďpre-warí blues (1890-1943) at that. 2010 marks the
50th. anniversary of this truly seminal publication. Of
course Paulís output has continued right up to the present day and
includes equally essential titles such as Conversation With The Blues,
Screening The Blues, Songsters & Saints, Blues Off The
Record,-to mention just a few.
As well as countless essays,
dissertations, L.P. & CD sleeve notes, Paul Oliver has given a vast
series of lectures and talks on the Blues, worldwide. Indeed, I had the
great honour of sharing the podium with him at Oxford University taking
part in a day-long symposium on the Blues. This was about 8 years ago
and I count that day as one of the highlights in my life. I have
subsequently visited his fascinating home (parts going back to the 17th.
century) and I am proud to call my literary mentor also as a friend.
Paul has interviewed and
recorded scores of Blues singers from the early 1960s onwards, and he is
basically an essential corner stone in the understanding of the Blues;
certainly from an outsiderís viewpoint.
Paul Oliverís iconic Blues
Fell This Morning (Meaning in the Blues) changed my life forever.
This JSP release (in early 2011) is my way of paying tribute not
only to this book but also to the great man who wrote it. I have chosen
a few selected themes from it and only a handful of the recorded
examples used by Paul. The unprecedented and burgeoning Blues scene
across the planet in the early 21st. century owes much to
Paul Oliverís awesome dedication and contributions to Blues writings and
Before going on to a short
Ďtrailerí from JSPís Meaning In The Blues, Iíd like to dwell
briefly on the booklet which accompanies this CD set. Containing some
21,000 words (!) it is greatly enhanced by the many illustrations
provided by the record companyís graphic designer, Andrew Aitken (as
well as a few of my own). On receiving the proofs for these notes I
was totally overwhelmed by the 100-page layout, and I have to say that
JSP has pulled all the stops out in response to my initial suggestion
for this project. Thank you John Steadman (bossman at JSP).
Now, Alan has asked me to
include a short excerpt from this booklet, or as we called it in the
world of movies, a Ďtrailerí. So without further ado here it is...
Many thanks to Max for the resume.
Alan White, Earlyblues.com
"Meaning In The Blues - The 50th Anniversary of Blues Fell This
Morning by Paul Oliver"
JSP Records 4-Cd Set JSP77141 - available now
Otis Harris, Rambliní Thomas, Bukka White, Gene
Campbell, Kokomo Arnold, Tommy Settles,
Ida Cox, Tom Dickson, Nellie Florence, Rube Lacey, Henry Williams, Alice
Moore, Bo Carter
and many more ...
"Remember 1960 when you went out and bought
that copy of Phillips BBL7369 - Paul Oliverís compilation of pre-war
gems Blues Fell This Morning? What a revelation it was, virtually no
blues was available here in the UK at that time, the blues boom of the
sixties hadnít started yet and it was thanks to enthusiasts like Oliver
that it did. The album was a companion to his book of the same name and
young blues loonies like yours truly devoured any word the great man
wrote. Hereís a great idea by blues writer Max Haymes: dedicate a 102
track anthology (and 80 page book!) to Paul Oliver to celebrate both the
wonderful music and the career of our greatest blues writer.
Thatís exactly what he's done. Big one of the year from JSP?"
Tony Chilcott, Red Lick Records
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