Joseph Lee Williams

b. October 16th, 1903 in Crawford (Mississippi)

d. December 17th, 1982 in Macon (Mississippi)

JAYBIRD COLEMAN & THE BIRMINGHAM JUG BAND

Document

December 1930

Fils de Cora Logan et John Williams (un indien Cherokee), Joe vit une enfance misérable et part sur la route jouer de sa guitare dans les bars, les magasins, les chantiers. Au début des années 20, il fait partie des Rabbit Foot Minstrels, une célèbre revue itinérante qui sillonne les états du sud. Il grave ses premiers titres au sein du Birmingham Jug Band pour le label Okeh en décembre 1930. Celui-ci est composé de Joe Williams, Jaybird Coleman, Ben Covington, Dave Miles et quelques autres membres restés non-identifiés. Cet excellent jug band n'a gravé que huit titres mais ils sont remarquables et pleins de ferveur comme "Cane brake blues", "The wild cat squawl" et "Birmingham blues".

Son of Cora Logan and John Williams (a Cherokee Indian), Joe lives a miserable childhood and goes on the road to play his guitar in bars, shops, work camps. In the early 1920's, he was part of the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, a famous traveling revue that crossed the southern states. He recorded his first titles with the Birmingham Jug Band for the Okeh label in december 1930. It is made up of Joe Williams, Jaybird Coleman, Ben Covington, Dave Miles and a few other unidentified members. This excellent jug band has only recorded eight tracks but they are remarkable and full of fervor like "Cane brake blues", "The wild cat squawl" and "Birmingham blues".

BREAK 'EM ON DOWN

Document

February 1935 - December 1941

Big Joe Williams, qui a joué avec Tommy Mac Clennan et Charley Patton, se fixe à Saint Louis en 1930 et se marie avec Bessie Mae Smith. Grâce à Henry Townsend et Walter Davis, il rencontre le producteur Lester Melrose qui le fait signer sur le label Bluebird pour une longue collaboration qui contribue à la définition du Chicago Blues électrique et orchestral. Dès février 1935, il enregistre en compagnie d'Henry Townsend, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Robert Lee Mac Coy (alias Robert Nighthawk) des morceaux fabuleux : "Little leg woman", "Somebody's been borrowing that stuff", "Stepfather blues", la première version de son célèbre "Baby please don't go" (avec le violoniste Dad Tracy) qui devient un standard du Blues. On pourrait citer aussi "49 highway blues", "Crawlin' kingsnake" ainsi qu'une seconde et superbe version de son "Baby please don't go" avec cette fois l'harmonica de John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson.

Big Joe Williams, who played with Tommy Mac Clennan and Charley Patton, settled in Saint Louis in 1930 and married Bessie Mae Smith. Thanks to Henry Townsend and Walter Davis, he met producer Lester Melrose who signed him to the Bluebird label for a long collaboration that contributed to the definition of electric orchestral Chicago Blues. From february 1935, he recorded in the company of Henry Townsend, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Robert Lee Mac Coy (alias Robert Nighthawk) fabulous pieces : "Little leg woman", "Somebody's been borrowing that stuff", "Stepfather blues", the first version of his famous "Baby please don't go" (with violinist Dad Tracy) which becomes a Blues standard. We could also point out "49 highway blues", "Crawlin' kingsnake" as well as a second and superb version of his "Baby please don't go" with this time the harmonica of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson.

SOMEBODY'S BEEN WORRYIN'

Document

July 1945 - 1949

Après dix ans de collaboration, Big Joe Williams quitte le label Bluebird après une dernière séance en juillet 1945 (le superbe "Somebody's been worryin'"). Deux ans plus tard, il enregistre pour Columbia avec derrière lui un petit combo électrique terriblement excitant : John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Ransom Knowling et Judge Riley. Ces titres pour Columbia sont également particulièrement aboutis, des chefs d'oeuvre du Chicago Blues : "Baby please don't go" (et les magnifiques parties d'harmonica de Williamson), "Stack of dollars", "Wild cow moan", "King Biscuit stomp". Après l'assassinat de John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson en juin 1948, Big Joe quitte Chicago.

After ten years of collaboration, Big Joe Williams left the Bluebird label after a last session in july 1945 (the superb "Somebody's been worryin'"). Two years later, he recorded for Columbia with a terribly exciting little electric combo behind him : John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Ransom Knowling and Judge Riley. These titles for Columbia are also particularly achieved, masterpieces of Chicago Blues : "Baby please don't go" (and the magnificent harmonica parts of Williamson), "Stack of dollars", "Wild cow moan", "King Biscuit stomp". After the assassination of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson in june 1948, Big Joe left Chicago.

THE ORIGINAL RAMBLIN' BLUESMAN

Jasmine

1945 - 1961

Ce double CD recueille la superbe période Columbia (déjà présente dans le précédent CD "Somebody's been worryin'"). A Saint Louis, Big Joe grave deux morceaux pour Bullet en 1949. Puis pour le label Trumpet de Jackson (dirigé par Lillian Mac Murry), il participe à deux séances en septembre et décembre 1951 qui débouchent sur six titres remarquables, puissants et terriens ("Delta blues", "Overhauling blues", "She left me a mule"). Quelques mois plus tard, Joe grave quatre bons morceaux pour le label Specialty d'Art Rupe qui resteront malheureusement inédits (deux morceaux sont finalement édités en 1972 dans l'anthologie "Dark muddy bottom" et les deux autres dans "Country blues" l'année suivante). De retour à Chicago, Big Joe grave quatre superbes titres pour Vee-Jay avec Sam Fowler (harmonica) et Al Duncan (batterie) : "Goin' back", "Baby left town", "Eula Mae". On trouve aussi dans ce recueil les deux EP édités par Collector où Joe est accompagné par le jeune pianiste Erwin Helfer. Moins connu, Big Joe a gravé une poignée de titres - en configuration piano/guitare - pour le label Cobra d'Eli Toscano qui restèrent inédits jusqu'en 1981 (et la parution du LP Flyright "Unissued blues of the 50's"). Enfin, les derniers morceaux reprennent des faces Folkways de 1961 déjà publiées par ailleurs.

This double CD collects the superb Columbia period (already featured in the previous CD "Somebody's been worryin'"). In Saint Louis, Big Joe cuts two songs for Bullet in 1949. Then for Jackson's Trumpet label (directed by Lillian Mac Murry), he participated in two sessions in september and december 1951 which resulted in six remarkable, powerful and earthy titles ("Delta blues", "Overhauling blues", "She left me a mule"). A few months later, Joe wrote four good tracks for the Art Rupe's Specialty label which will remain unfortunately unissued (two songs were finally released in 1972 in the "Dark muddy bottom" anthology and the other two in "Country blues" the following year). Back to Chicago, Big Joe burns four superb tracks for Vee-Jay with Sam Fowler (harmonica) and Al Duncan (drums) : "Goin' back", "Baby left town", "Eula Mae". We also find in this collection the two EPs issued by Collector where Joe is accompanied by young pianist Erwin Helfer. Less known, Big Joe has recorded a handful of songs - in piano / guitar configuration - for Eli Toscano's Cobra label which remained unreleased until 1981 (and the issue of the "Unissued blues of the 50's" Flyright LP). Finally, the last pieces pick Folkways sides of 1961 already published elsewhere.

PINEY WOODS BLUES

Delmar

Delmark

77

January - February 1958

En 1956, il rencontre Robert Koester dans son magasin de disques, le Jazz Record Mart à Saint Louis sur Delmar Avenue. En plus de cette activité, Koester souhaite enregistrer ses bluesmen préférés. Impressionné par Big Joe Williams, il lui fait graver un premier disque pour son label nouvellement crée Delmar (qui devient rapidement Delmark quand il s'installe à Chicago quelques mois plus tard). Big Joe enregistre dès juin 1957 pour le jeune producteur mais ces premières séances sont restées inédites. Ce disque est constitué de trois séances captées en janvier et février 1958. Une set-list merveilleuse avec "Baby please don't go" (encore une très jolie version), "Drop down mama", "No more whiskey", "Someday baby", "Peach orchard mama", "Juanita". Historiquement, cet album reste très important car il fut un de ceux qui initia l'émergence du blues revival.

In 1956, he met Robert Koester in his record store, the Jazz Record Mart in Saint Louis on Delmar Avenue. In addition to this activity, Koester would like to record his favorite bluesmen. Impressed by Big Joe Williams, he made him cut a first record for his newly created label Delmar (which quickly became Delmark when he moved to in Chicago a few months later). Big Joe records since june 1957 for the young producer but these first sessions have remained unissued. This album consists of three sessions captured in january and february 1958. A wonderful set-list with "Baby please don't go" (another very nice version), "Drop down mama", "No more whiskey", "Someday baby", "Peach orchard mama", "Juanita". Historically, this album remains very important because it was one of those which initiated the emergence of the blues revival.

I GOT WILD

Delmark

January 1958 - July 1961

Ce CD rassemble plusieurs morceaux inédits captés par Robert Koester entre 1958 et 1961 entre Saint Louis et Chicago. Son blues rageur donne quelques excellents titres comme "Coffeehouse blues", "Angel child", "P-Vine blues", "That thing's in town". Il y est parfois accompagné de Ransom Knowling. On entend aussi quelques échanges très intéressants entre Big Joe et Koester dans le studio.

This CD brings together several unreleased tracks captured by Robert Koester between 1958 and 1961 between Saint Louis and Chicago. His raw blues gives some excellent titles like "Coffeehouse blues", "Angel child", "P-Vine blues", "That thing's in town". He is sometimes accompanied by Ransom Knowling. We also hear some very interesting exchanges between Big Joe and Koester in the studio.

STAVIN' CHAIN BLUES

Delmark

SUPER BLACK BLUES vol.1

Goody

February 1958

Joe est associé à son cousin J.D. Short pour cette nouvelle séance Delmark. Celui-ci joue de la guitare et de l'harmonica et chante même sur trois titres. Mais J.D. Short n'a ni la verve ni l'inspiration de Big Joe. On trouve malgré tout de bons moments intenses : "Mean stepfather", "Nobody knows Chicago", "Rambled and wandered".

Joe is associated with his cousin J.D. Short for this new Delmark session. He plays guitar and harmonica and even sings on three songs. But J.D. Short has neither the verve nor the inspiration of Big Joe. Despite everything, we find some good intense moments : "Mean stepfather", "Nobody knows Chicago", "Rambled and wandered".

TOUGH TIMES

Arhoolie

SHAKE YOUR BOOGIE

Arhoolie

Late 1959 - October 1960

Pour le label Arhoolie nouvellement crée par Chris Strachwitz, Big Joe Williams livre ici un de ses meilleurs opus. Gravé après quelques jours de prison à Oakland, le bluesman y imprime toute sa rage et son inspiration. Un contenu superbe qui se doit de figurer dans n'importe quelle collection Blues. Un sommet du Delta Blues qui contribua à le faire connaitre d'un nouveau public. "President Roosevelt", "Forty four blues", "I want my crown" (chanté par sa femme Mary Williams), "Mean stepfather", "Shake your boogie", "She left me a mule to ride" (enregistré par Bob Geddins) figurent parmi ses meilleurs morceaux.

For the Arhoolie label newly created by Chris Strachwitz, Big Joe Williams delivers here one of his best opus. Engraved after a few days in prison in Oakland, the bluesman imprints all his rage and inspiration there. Superb content that must be included in any Blues collection. A Delta Blues summit that helped make him happen get to know a new audience. "President Roosevelt", "Forty four blues", "I want my crown" (sung by his wife Mary Williams), "Mean stepfather", "Shake your boogie", "She left me a mule to ride" (recorded by Bob Geddins) are among his best tracks.

BLUES 'N TROUBLE vol.2

Arhoolie

Late 1959

DOWN SOUTH SUMMIT MEETING

World Pacific

Telstar

PENITENTIARY BLUES

Fontana

FIRST MEETIN'

World Pacific

July 1960

Remarquable association de quatre grands bluesmen (Brownie Mac Ghee & Sonny Terry, Big Joe Williams, Lightnin' Hopkins) dans une atmosphère relachée et pleine de feeling. La séance fut organisée par Ed Michel pour le label californien World Pacific. Ils se relaient au chant avec un beau naturel et se complètent efficacement musicalement. Un superbe programme prenant et immanquablement terrien : "Ain't nothin' like whiskey", "Penitentiary blues", "First meeting", "Wimmen from coast to coast".

Remarkable association of four great bluesmen (Brownie Mac Ghee & Sonny Terry, Big Joe Williams, Lightnin' Hopkins) in a relaxed and full of feeling atmosphere. The session was organized by Ed Michel for the californian label World Pacific. They take turns singing with a beautiful feeling and complement each other effectively musically. A superb program that is invariably down home : "Ain't nothin' like whiskey", "Penitentiary blues", "First meeting", "Wimmen from coast to coast".

BLUES 'N TROUBLE

Arhoolie

October 1960

Un titre provenant de la séance de "Tough times" : l'excellent "Married woman blues".

A title from the "Tough times" session : the excellent "Married woman blues".

I HAVE TO PAINT MY FACE

Arhoolie

October 1960

Autre titre provenant de la même séance Arhoolie : "Texas blues".

Another track from the same Arhoolie session : "Texas blues".

HEAR ME HOWLING

Arhoolie

October 1960

I BLUESKVARTER CHICAGO 1964 vol.3

Jefferson

May 1961

Pour documenter une série d'émissions radiophoniques sur le blues, le suédois Olle Helander fait quelques séjours à Chicago à partir de mai 1964. Il s'installe au Sutherland Lounge de Chicago pour enregistrer et interviewer les artistes de la ville. Mais, en fait, ces trois titres antérieurs au voyage de 1964 furent enregistrés par le suédois en mai 1961. Ils furent captés au domicile de Willie Dixon (on entend le métro dans le fond sonore). Trois morceaux remarquables : "Rootin' groundhog", "Southern blues" et "King's highway blues".

To document a radio series on the blues, the swedish Olle Helander made several trips to Chicago in may 1964. He settled at Sutherland Lounge in Chicago to record and interview the artists of the city. But, in fact, these three titles prior to the 1964 trip were recorded by the swedish man in may 1961. They were recorded at Willie Dixon's home (the subway can be heard in the background). Three remarkable tracks : "Rootin' groundhog", "Southern blues" and "King's highway blues".

BLUES ON HIGHWAY 49

Delmar

Delmark

July 1961

Ce disque remarquable est constitué par deux séances de juillet 1961 pour le label Delmark (Delmar pour la première édition) de Robert Koester. Big Joe Williams est à son meilleur, parfaitement supporté par la basse de Ransom Knowling. La verve et l'inspiration du bluesman sont à leur zénith ici : "Highway 49", "Blues left Texas", "Down in the bottom", "That thing's in town", "Tiajuana blues", "Walk on little girl".

This remarkable record is made up of two sessions in july 1961 for Robert Koester's Delmark label (Delmar for the first edition). Big Joe Williams is at his best, perfectly supported by Ransom Knowling's bass. The verve and inspiration of the bluesman are at their zenith here : "Highway 49", "Blues left Texas", "Down in the bottom", "That thing's in town", "Tiajuana blues", "Walk on little girl".

NINE STRING GUITAR BLUES

Delmark

July 1961

Les magnifiques séances de juillet 1961 donnèrent lieu à plusieurs disques remarquables comme "Blues on highway 49" et ce "Nine string guitar blues". Ici, Big Joe toujours au sommet de son art propose quelques pépites comme "Haunted house blues", "I done stop hollering", "Indiana woman blues", "Jiving the blues".

The magnificent sessions of july 1961 gave rise to several remarkable records such as "Blues on highway 49" and this "Nine string guitar blues". Here, Big Joe always at the top of his art offers some nuggets like "Haunted house blues", "I done stop hollering", "Indiana woman blues", "Jiving the blues".

MISSISSIPPI BIG JOE WILLIAMS AND HIS NINE STRING GUITAR

Folkways

July 1961

Ces titres édités par Folkways - le label de Moses Asch - proviennent des mêmes séances de juillet 1961, supervisées par Robert Koester et initialement prévues pour Delmark. Sa conviction, sa force, sa puissance demeurent irrésistibles comme sur "Bluebird blues", "Elevate me mama", "Somebody's been fooling" (en deux versions), "King Biscuit stomp", "Rooting ground hog".

These tracks issued by Folkways - the label of Moses Asch - come from the same sessions of july 1961, supervised by Robert Koester and initially planned for Delmark. His conviction, his strength, his power remain irresistible as on "Bluebird blues", "Elevate me mama", "Somebody's been fooling" (in two versions), "King Biscuit stomp", "Rooting ground hog".

BLUES FOR 9 STRINGS

Prestige - Bluesville

WALKING BLUES

Fantasy

October 1961

Cette fois, Big Joe Williams est accompagné par le jeune harmoniciste Larry Johnson et Willie Dixon. Un programme plutôt sympathique produit par Kenneth Goldstein pour le label Bluesville (appartenant à Prestige). Il n'y a pas autant de fougue que dans les séances Delmark mais le disque mérite toutefois une écoute attentive. Le CD "Walking blues" reprend tous les titres.

This time, Big Joe Williams is accompanied by the young harmonica player Larry Johnson and Willie Dixon. A rather nice program produced by Kenneth Goldstein for the Bluesville label (owned by Prestige). There is not as much ardor as in the Delmark sessions but the record nevertheless deserves careful listening. The "Walking blues" CD includes all titles.

STUDIO BLUES

Prestige - Bluesville

WALKING BLUES

Fantasy

October 1961

Second album pour Bluesville, gravé le même jour à New York que le précédent avec les mêmes musiciens (Larry Johnson, Willie Dixon). Big Joe chante et joue de sa guitare neuf cordes avec feeling et ferveur. Le CD "Walking blues" reprend tous les titres.

Second album for Bluesville, recorded the same day in New York as the previous one with the same musicians (Larry Johnson, Willie Dixon). Big Joe sings and plays his nine strings guitar with feeling and fervor. The CD "Walking blues" includes all the titles.

AT FOLK CITY

Prestige - Bluesville

Xtra

February 1962

Devenu un des bluesmen favoris du jeune public blanc qui découvre le Blues, Big Joe Williams se produit ici sur la scène du Gerde's Folk City à New York. Une belle performance bien enregistrée qui parait chez Bluesville. On retient l'excellent "Trouble gonna take me to my grave" et une belle reprise du "Bottle up and go" de Tommy Mac Clennan.

Become one of the favorite bluesmen of the young white public audience who discovers the Blues, Big Joe Williams performs here on the stage of Gerde's Folk City in New York. A beautiful well-recorded performance that appears on Bluesville. We point out the excellent "Trouble gonna take me to my grave" and a beautiful cover of Tommy Mac Clennan's "Bottle up and go".

THREE KINGS AND THE QUEEN

Spivey

March 1962

Séance new-yorkaise pour Spivey dans laquelle Big Joe Williams est associé au jeune et débutant Bob Dylan dont il venait de faire la connaissance. Les deux hommes jouent "Sitting on top of the world" et "Wichita". Big Joe joue encore deux morceaux supplémentaires : "Strange girl blues" et "No partnership woman".

New York session for Spivey in which Big Joe Williams is associated with the young and beginner Bob Dylan whom he had just met. The two men play "Sitting on top of the world" and "Wichita". Big Joe plays two more songs : "Strange girl blues" and "No partnership woman".

KINGS AND THE QUEEN vol.2

Spivey

March 1962

Deux autres titres provenant de la même séance pour Spivey : "Big Joe, Dylan and Victoria" et "Drifting blues".

Two other tracks from the same session for Spivey : "Big Joe, Dylan and Victoria" and "Drifting blues".

MANDOLIN BLUES

Delmark

March 1963

Dans cet album de Yank Rachell, Big Joe Williams joue sur plusieurs titres et chante sur "Move your hand".

In this Yank Rachell album, Big Joe Williams plays on several tracks and sings on "Move your hand".

BLUES FROM THE SOUTH SIDE

Stack-O-Hits

CHICAGO 63

Acrobat

1963 / September 1965

RARE BLUES

Takoma

Sonet

1963 / September 1965

RARE GEMS

Roots

1963 / September 1965

Deux morceaux de Big Joe Williams : un sur la scène du Fickle Pickle capturé en 1963 et l'autre en septembre 1965 avec l'harmoniciste Paul Butterfield.

Two tracks by Big Joe Williams : one on stage with the Fickle Pickle captured in 1963 and the other in september 1965 with harmonica player Paul Butterfield.

THE GEORGE MITCHELL COLLECTION

Fat Possum

1963

Ces excellents titres proviennent d'un concert donné au Fickle Pickle en 1963 (concert organisé par Norman Dayron et Mike Bloomfield). Big Joe est en bonne forme et livre de belles versions de "Shake your boogie" et "Limousine blues".

These excellent titles come from a concert given at the Fickle Pickle in 1963 (concert organized by Norman Dayron and Mike Bloomfield). Big Joe is in good shape and delivers beautiful versions of "Shake your boogie" and "Limousine blues".

AMERICAN FOLK BLUES FESTIVAL '63

Fontana

L+R

October 1963

Devenu un artiste important du Blues Revival depuis 1959, Big Joe Williams est invité à participer à la tournée du fameux American Folk Blues Festival en Europe en 1963. Celle-ci - produite par Horst Lippmann et Fritz Rau - va lui permettre - ainsi qu'aux autres artistes présents - de toucher un nouveau public. Dans ce disque, il joue "Don't have a friend at all (I have no friends)".

Become an important artist of the Blues Revival since 1959, Big Joe Williams was invited to participate in the tour of the famous American Folk Blues Festival in Europe in 1963. This tour - produced by Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau - will allow him - as well as the other artists present - to reach a new audience. In this record, he plays "Don't have a friend at all (I have no friends)".

THE LOST BLUES TAPES

ACT

October 1963

Trois morceaux inédits captés pendant l'American Folk Blues Festival de 1963 : "Big roll blues", "Back in the bottom" et son classique "Baby please don't go".

Three unreleased tracks captured during the American Folk Blues Festival of 1963 : "Big roll blues", "Back in the bottom" and his classic "Baby please don't go".

AMERICAN FOLK BLUES FESTIVAL '63 - UNISSUED TRACKS

Blue Eye blog (only on mp3)

October 1963

Un autre titre inédit provenant de la tournée de l'American Folk Blues Festival, l'excellent "Mean stepfather".

Another unreleased track from the American Folk Blues Festival tour, the excellent "Mean stepfather".

PORTRAITS IN BLUES vol.7

Storyville

BIG JOE WILLIAMS

Everest

DON'T LEAVE ME HERE

Storyville

BLUES MASTERS vol.2

Storyville

October 1963

Cette séance pour le label danois Storyville a été enregistré pendant la tournée de l'American Folk Blues Festival 1963. Big Joe semble en grande forme délivrant ses blues avec véhémence. Un programme intense avec la reprise de "Shake 'em on down" mais aussi "Jinx blues", "Ramblin' and wanderin' blues", "El Paso blues", "Don't you leave me here". Certains titres de cette séance paraissent sur des anthologies Storyville ("Guitar blues", "Best of the blues") mais l'intégralité des faces est rassemblée sur le CD "Blues masters".

This session for Danish label Storyville was recorded during the 1963 American Folk Blues Festival tour. Big Joe looks in great shape delivering his blues vehemently. An intense program with the cover of "Shake 'em on down" but also "Jinx blues", "Ramblin' and wanderin' blues", "El Paso blues", "Don't you leave me here". Some titles from this session appear on Storyville anthologies ("Guitar blues", "Best of the blues") but all the sides are collected on the "Blues masters" CD.

CAN'T KEEP FROM CRYING

Testament

1964

BACK TO THE COUNTRY

Testament

February - March 1964

Ce disque apparait un peu différent des faces où Big Joe Williams joue seul. Ici, le bluesman est associé à Jimmy Brown (violon) et Willie Lee Harris (harmonica) et recrée l'atmosphère des string-bands d'antan. Un programme inégal, une musique parfois un peu confuse mais souvent sympathique : "Ain't gonna be your lowdown dog", "Worry you off my mind", "Shake your boogie", "My baby left me a mule to ride". Sur certains titres, Brown et Harris chantent également. Il y a deux morceaux supplémentaires sur la version CD (dont "Goin' back home" déjà paru dans l'anthologie Storyville "Blues roots vol.1 : Mississippi blues").

This record appears a little different from the sides where Big Joe Williams plays alone. Here the bluesman is teamed up with Jimmy Brown (violin) and Willie Lee Harris (harmonica) and recreates the atmosphere of the string bands of yesteryear. An uneven program, sometimes a little confusing but often nice music : "Ain't gonna be your lowdown dog", "Worry you off my mind", "Shake your boogie", "My baby left me a mule to ride". On some tracks, Brown and Harris also sing. There are two additional tracks on the CD version (including "Goin' back home" already appeared in the Storyville anthology "Blues roots vol.1: Mississippi blues"). fiddle

THE SOUND OF THE DELTA

Testament

1964

Deux titres inédits (un troisième - l'excellent "Walkin' blues" - sur la version CD) provenant des séances pour Testament, le label de Pete Welding.

Two unreleased tracks (a third - the excellent "Walkin' blues" - on the CD version) from sessions for Testament, Pete Welding's label.

BLUES SCENE USA vol.3 : BLUES ALL AROUND MY BED

Storyville

1964

Un morceau issu des séances pour Pete Welding : une remarquable reprise de "Hellhound on my trail" avec Bill Foster à la seconde guitare.

A track from the sessions for Pete Welding : a remarkable cover of "Hellhound on my trail" with Bill Foster on the second guitar.

BOTTLENECK BLUES

Testament

1964

On trouve dans cette anthologie deux titres inédits de Big Joe Williams ainsi qu'un court monologue à propos de l'usage du bottleneck.

Included in this anthology are two unreleased tracks by Big Joe Williams as well as a short monologue about the use of bottleneck.

HELL BOUND & HEAVEN SENT

Folkways

May 1964

Associé au guitariste John "Short Stuff" Macon, Big Joe Williams propose un disque de pur Delta Blues pour Folkways. Les deux hommes se partagent le chant dans ce bon programme. "My jack don't drink water no more", "Hell hound blues", "Don't leave me here", "Bumble bee", "Rock road bad treatin'" méritent une écoute attentive.

Associated with guitarist John "Short Stuff" Macon, Big Joe Williams offers a CD of pure Delta Blues for Folkways. The two men share the song in this good program. "My jack don't drink water no more", "Hell hound blues", "Don't leave me here", "Bumble bee", "Rock road bad treatin'" deserve careful listening.

INTRODUCING MR SHORT STUFF

Spivey

May 1964

ENCORE FOR THE CHICAGO BLUES

Spivey

May 1964

Un titre - "Move your hand" - issu de la séance Spivey de Big Joe Williams et John "Short Stuff" Macon.

A track - "Move your hand" - from the Spivey session of Big Joe Williams and John "Short Stuff" Macon.

CLASSIC DELTA BLUES

Milestone

July - September 1964

Pour une fois, Big Joe Williams joue sur une guitare six cordes (et pas sur son habituelle guitare neuf cordes). Ici, il interprète - comme le titre de l'album l'indique - des standards du Delta Blues empruntés à Charley Patton ou Robert Johnson. Mais avec son feeling habituel, il donne à ces morceaux un style bien à lui : "Bird's nest bound", "Crossroads blues", "Pony blues", "Pea vine special", "Terraplane blues".

For once, Big Joe Williams is playing a six-string guitar (not his usual nine-string guitar). Here, he interprets - as the title of the album indicates - Delta Blues standards borrowed from Charley Patton or Robert Johnson. But with his usual feeling, he gives these songs a style of his own : "Bird's nest bound", "Crossroads blues", "Pony blues", "Pea vine special", "Terraplane blues".

RAMBLIN' ON MY MIND

Milestone

July - September 1964

Une belle version de "Ramblin' on my mind" qui donne son titre à l'anthologie issue des séances de l'album "Classic delta blues".

A beautiful version of "Ramblin' on my mind" which gives its title to the anthology resulting from the sessions of the album "Classic delta blues".

DOWN HOME SLIDE

Testament

July - September 1964

Quatre titres de Big Joe Williams provenant des mêmes séances pour Testament dont "Which way my baby go" et "Walk on little girl".

Four tracks by Big Joe Williams from the same sessions for Testament including "Which way my baby go" and "Walk on little girl".

THESE ARE MY BLUES

Testament

1965

Ce concert de Big Joe Williams capté par Pete Welding au Rockford College a seulement été publié en 1998 par Testament. Une set-list intéressante avec de bons moments ("A man amongst men", "Mellow peaches", "These are my blues") mais qu'il vaut mieux conseiller aux fans confirmés.

This Big Joe Williams concert captured by Pete Welding at Rockford College was only issued in 1998 by Testament. An interesting set-list with good moments ("A man amongst men", "Mellow peaches", "These are my blues") but it is better to advise it to confirmed fans.

BIG JOE WILLIAMS

Xtra

May 1965

Apparemment, cette séance new-yorkaise était prévue pour le label Folkways mais vit finalement le jour sous le label Xtra. Il s'agit d'un disque bancal et maladroit qui ne devrait intéresser que les complétistes. La musique semble improvisée et sans ligne directrice. De plus, les deux musiciens derrière Joe semblent bien peu inspirés.

Apparently, this New York session was planned for the Folkways label but finally saw the light of day under the Xtra label. This is a wobbly and awkward record that should only be of interest to completists. The music seems improvised and without a guideline. In addition, the two musicians behind Joe seem very uninspired.

CHICAGO BREAKDOWN

Takoma

Sonet

September 1965

LIVING LEGENDS

Verve - Folkways

August 1966

Superbe album collectif recueillant les passages de Bukka White, Son House, Big Joe Williams et Skip James au Cafe au Go-Go, un club de New York en aout 1966. Il y a trois beaux titres de Big Joe en particulier "Somebody evil".

Superb collective album compiling performances of Bukka White, Son House, Big Joe Williams and Skip James at the Cafe au Go-Go, a New York club in august 1966. There are three good tracks of Big Joe in particular "Somebody evil".

HAND ME DOWN MY OLD WALKING STICK

Liberty

World Pacific

Sequel

October 1968

Pendant la tournée de l'American Folk Blues Festival de 1968 (qu'aucun album ne viendra immortaliser), Big Joe grave ce disque à Londres sous la supervision de Tony Mac Phee et Mike Batt. Pour l'occasion, sa guitare est exagérement amplifiée sur certains titres et réduit la subtilité de son jeu. Mais, on trouve aussi de bons moments bien qu'il s'agisse d'un opus mineur. A noter que la réédition World Pacific ajoute une basse et une batterie en overdubs.

During the American Folk Blues Festival 1968 tour (which no album will ever immortalize), Big Joe cuts this record in London under the supervision of Tony Mac Phee and Mike Batt. For the occasion, his guitar is excessively amplified on certain titles and reduces the subtlety of his playing. But, there are also good moments although it is a minor opus. Note that the World Pacific reissue adds overdubbed bass and drums.

REALLY CHICAGO'S BLUES

Adelphi

September 1969

THINKING OF WHAT THEY DID TO ME

Arhoolie

SHAKE YOUR BOOGIE

Arhoolie

December 1969

Les séances que Big Joe a gravé pour Arhoolie sont uniformément excellentes et figurent parmi ses meilleures. Ce disque merveilleux ne fait pas exception à la règle et comporte de remarquables réussites pleines de rage et de feeling : "Killing floor blues", "Louisiana bound", "Take me out of the bottom", "Thinking of what they did to me", "The death of Dr Martin Luther King", "Army man in Vietnam". Sur certains titres, Joe est rejoint par l'excellent harmoniciste Charlie Musselwhite.

The sessions Big Joe cut for Arhoolie are consistently excellent and rank among his best. This wonderful record is no exception to the rule and includes remarkable achievements full of rage and feeling : "Killing floor blues", "Louisiana bound", "Take me out of the bottom", "Thinking of what they did to me", "The death of Dr Martin Luther King", "Army man in Vietnam". On some tracks, Joe is joined by the excellent harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite.

GOING BACK TO CRAWFORD

Arhoolie

March - May 1971

Ces faces Arhoolie de 1971 durent attendre l'année 1999 pour enfin être éditées en CD. Pourtant, elles sont proprement remarquables et auraient méritées d'être exhumées plus tôt. Big Joe est une nouvelle fois à son meilleur, particulièrement en verve sur son jeu au bottleneck. Il est rejoint à certains moments par d'autres musiciens de la région comme John "Short Stuff" Macon, Austen Pete, Glover Lee Connor, Amelia Johnson. De nombreux moments intenses comme "Back home blues" ou "Sugar diabetes blues".

These 1971 Arhoolie sides had to wait until 1999 to finally be released on CD. However, they are truly remarkable and would have deserved to be exhumed earlier. Big Joe is once again at his best, particularly lively on his bottleneck playing. He is joined at times by other musicians from the region like John "Short Stuff" Macon, Austen Pete, Glover Lee Connor, Amelia Johnson. Many intense moments like "Back home blues" or "Sugar diabetes blues".

BLUES FROM THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA

Blues on Blues

1971

HIGHWAY MAN

Southland

February 1972

Séance gravée à La Nouvelle Orléans sous la supervision de Lars Edegran, John Bentley et Cosimo Matassa. On trouve de superbes moments dans ce disque : "Highway 99", "'72 Cadillac blues", "Church bells ringin'", "Highway 61", "I'm gonna overhaul your machine".

Session recorded in New Orleans under the supervision of Lars Edegran, John Bentley and Cosimo Matassa. We find great moments in this record : "Highway 99", "'72 Cadillac blues", "Church bells ringin'", "Highway 61", "I'm gonna overhaul your machine".

AMERICAN FOLK BLUES FESTIVAL '72

Atlantic

L+R

March 1972

Pour sa troisième tournée de l'American Folk Blues Festival (après 1963 et 1968), Big Joe Williams pose encore une fois le pied en Europe. Il joue trois bons titres dans cet album.

For his third American Folk Blues Festival tour (after 1963 and 1968), Big Joe Williams once again sets foot in Europe. He plays three good titles in this album.

BIG JOE WILLIAMS

Storyville

March 1972

De passage au Danemark pendant sa tournée de l'American Folk Blues Festival de 1972, Big Joe grave ce disque pour le label Storyville de Karl-Emil Knudsen. Presque septuagénaire, il montre qu'il est toujours en forme sur "Pretty Willie done me wrong", "I want to know what my baby's puttin' down", "Turnroad blues", "Same old rainey day".

While in Denmark during his tour of the American Folk Blues Festival in 1972, Big Joe burned this record for Karl-Emil Knudsen's Storyville label. Almost in his seventies, he shows that he is still in good shape on "Pretty Willie done me wrong", "I want to know what my baby's puttin' down", "Turnroad blues", "Same old rainey day".

THE LEGACY OF THE BLUES vol.6

Sonet

GNP - Crescendo

THE SONET BLUES STORY

Verve

March - April 1972

Cette fois en Suède, Joe enregistre cet album pour la fameuse série "The legacy of the blues" supervisée par Sam Charters. Rarement médiocre, il délivre ici une belle tranche de Delta Blues brut et évocateur. La réédition CD de cette belle séance comprend cinq titres additionnels.

This time in Sweden, Joe records this album for the famous series "The legacy of the blues" supervised by Sam Charters. Rarely mediocre, he delivers here a beautiful slice of raw and evocative Delta Blues. The CD reissue of this beautiful session includes five additional tracks.

MALVINA MY SWEET WOMAN

Oldie Blues

March 1973

BACK TO THE ROOTS

Ornament

WATERGATE BLUES

Ornament

Chrisly

March 1973 / July - August 1978

Séances recueillies par Axel Küstner entre l'Allemagne et les Etats-Unis. Un long programme varié mais inégal qui mérite une écoute attentive. Tour à tour aux guitares 6 et 9 cordes (et même 12 cordes sur un titre).

Sessions collected by Axel Küstner between Germany and the United States. A long, varied but uneven program that deserves careful listening. Alternately on 6 and 9 strings guitar (and even 12 strings on a title).

BIG JOE WILLIAMS

L+R

NO MORE WHISKEY

Evidence

March 1973 / March 1977 / July - August 1978 / August - October 1980

Recueil de différentes séances capturées entre 1973 et 1980 avec notamment sa dernière séance en octobre 1980. Comme sur le disque précédent, bien que Big Joe ne soit plus au meilleur de sa forme, il délivre son Delta Blues brut sur guitares 6 ou 9 cordes. On note aussi les apparitions de la chanteuse Lydia Carter et de l'harmoniciste Cooper Terry.

Collection of different sessions captured between 1973 and 1980 with in particular his last session in october 1980. As on the previous album, although Big Joe is no longer at his best, he delivers his raw Delta Blues on 6 or 9 string guitars. We also note the appearances of singer Lydia Carter and harmonica player Cooper Terry.

DON'T YOUR PLUMS LOOK MELLOW HANGING ON YOUR TREES

Bluesway

1974

Cet album est unique dans la discographie de Big Joe Williams. Il est enregistré dans les studios de Muscle Shoals sous la houlette du producteur Al Smith. Big Joe est accompagné pour l'occasion par une section rythmique un peu trop monolithique composée de Jerry Bridges (basse) et Roger Clark (batterie). Il n'a donc pas du tout la même sonorité que ses autres albums. On trouve d'excellents moments comme "Don't your plums look mellow", "Working on the levee" sans oublier les superbes "She won't do right" et "Going down home".

This album is unique in the Big Joe Williams discography. It is recorded in the studios of Muscle Shoals under the direction of producer Al Smith. Big Joe is accompanied for the occasion by a little too monolithic rhythm section composed of Jerry Bridges (bass) and Roger Clark (drums). It therefore does not have the same sound at all as his other albums. We find excellent moments like "Don't your plums look mellow", "Working on the levee" without forgetting the superb "She won't do right" and "Going down home".

LIVE 1974

Wolf

SHAKE YOUR BOOGIE

Wolf

November 1974

Concert à Jackson en novembre 1974. Big Joe se montre en bonne forme et la qualité sonore se révèle très correcte. Un album live mineur mais plutôt sympathique néanmoins. La version CD possède quatre morceaux supplémentaires (mais omet un titre du programme original).

Concert in Jackson in november 1974. Big Joe is in good shape and the sound quality is very correct. A minor live album but rather nice nonetheless. The CD version has four additional tracks (but omits a title from the original program).

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC

Red Lightnin'

Indigo

January 1976

Il s'agit de la bande son d'un documentaire sur le Blues réalisé pour la BBC. Deux titres de Big Joe Williams : "Watergate blues" et une belle version de son "Highway 49".

This is the soundtrack of a documentary on the Blues produced for the BBC. Two tracks from Big Joe Williams : "Watergate blues" and a nice version of his "Highway 49".

MORE DEVIL'S MUSIC

Red Lightnin'

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC

Indigo

January 1976

On trouve ici trois titres supplémentaires joués par Big Joe Williams : "Providence help the poor people", "Sloppy drunk" et "Meet me at the bottom".

We find here three additional tracks played by Big Joe Williams : "Providence help the poor people", "Sloppy drunk" and "Meet me at the bottom".

THE BLACK WAY : LA MEMOIRE DU PEUPLE NOIR

L'Escargot

1979

DELTA BLUES FESTIVAL '79

DBF

September 1979

THE FINAL YEARS

Verve - Gitanes Jazz

September 1979

Paru sur le célèbre label Gitanes Jazz, cet album est enregistré à Muscle Shoals (Alabama) et édité sur CD grâce à Jean Philippe Allard. Big Joe Williams joue seul de sa guitare neuf cordes sous la supervision de George Cummings, Joe Stewart et Ken Hatley. Malgré son âge, il donne une tranche de Blues brut et dévastateur dont il a le secret.

Released on the famous Gitanes Jazz label, this album was recorded in Muscle Shoals (Alabama) and issued on CD thanks to Jean Philippe Allard. Big Joe Williams plays alone his nine-string guitar under the supervision of George Cummings, Joe Stewart and Ken Hatley. Despite his age, he gives a slice of raw and devastating Blues which he has the secret.