The second “Bluesin’” volume in the “By The Bayou” series concentrates on musicians from South Louisiana and South East Texas discovered and recorded by J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler. These two giants of the post-war recording scene were supreme talent-spotters. They knew the sounds that appealed to the local record-buying public, their target audience. What they couldn’t have known, or even guessed at in their wildest fantasies, was that the appeal of their recordings would last so long and encompass the globe.
The forgotten sound of South Louisiana. Setting out on the “By The Bayou” journey, I didn’t envisage reaching CD 12. The project started as a vehicle for white Louisiana rockers, but exploration of the tape vaults of J.D. Miller and the catalogues of Eddie Shuler’s Goldband, Floyd Soileau’s Jin, Sam Montelbano’s Montel and Joe Ruffino’s Ric and Ron labels revealed more than enough great vocal group material to fill a dedicated CD. So here is a collection of chanting rockers and sweet harmonies, rather overlooked as ingredients which go into the rich gumbo of South Louisiana music of the 50s.
Ace’s flagship “Golden Age” series continues to be among our best selling and most highly respected releases. After a short hiatus, we’re pleased to announce this new volume featuring 28 country recordings that made the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1963. As “More Country Hits” is in the “Golden Age Of American Popular Music” series, the content is more melodic overall than a “Golden Age Of American Rock’n’Roll” edition might be. Nevertheless, there’s a generous helping of up-tempo hillbilly and borderline rockabilly among the straight-ahead country to give listeners a bit of light and shade. As usual, the CD comes with a generously illustrated and copiously annotated booklet.
Ten volumes into their seemingly never-ending, always-excellent By the Bayou series, Ace returns to R&B for Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies. Like nearly all of its predecessors, this is primarily archival – i.e., there aren't a lot of familiar names, but there are acts that have popped up on previous Bayou installments because, at this point, it's been proven that the well is deep but not fathomless. Newly discovered cuts by unknowns can hardly be called "recycling," and this, like its cousins, is pretty close to straight-up aural dynamite.
A limited edition 2CD set featuring 52 rare studio and live recordings, including 20 previously unissued. Package includes a bumper 40-page booklet containing many unpublished photographs and a definitive 12,000 word essay incorporating interviews with several band members. Johnny & the Hurricanes fans – standby to celebrate! This is unlike any other compilation on the market. Instead of the same old titles forever recycled, we have collected together many tracks that you will be hearing for the first time. With 20 unreleased tracks plus piles of rarities this bumper set is easily the most exciting release in decades from one of rock’n’roll’s most-loved bands.
It may open up with Aaron Neville's 1993 rendition of George Jones' classic "The Grand Tour," but Ace's 2012 compilation Behind Closed Doors: Where Country Meets Soul focuses on the golden age of country soul – the late '60s and early '70s, the age when the borders between these two strands of southern American music became decidedly blurring. And many of the 23 cuts on Behind Closed Doors are firmly within the Southern soul tradition – slow, smoky, gritty, and soulful, anchored by languid stride piano and buttressed by muscular horns.
Sweet Dreams: Where Country Meets Soul, Ace's second dip into the country-soul well, is every bit as good as its 2012 predecessor. Basically, it's cut from the same cloth as the first volume, concentrating on recordings from the late '60s but stretching deep into the '70s (Millie Jackson's "Sweet Music Man" dates from 1977), with Ted Taylor's 1962 "I'll Release You" and Orquestra Was' 1996 "Forever's a Long, Long Time Ago" functioning as de facto ringers. "Forever's a Long, Long Time Ago" may fit aesthetically but certainly not sonically, as it's a crisp digital blast on a collection devoted to warm, lush, analog soul.
If the release of Cold Cold Heart proves anything, it's that Where Country Meets Soul is one of Ace Records' most popular series of the 2010s. If this third volume proves anything else, it's that the well of country-soul has hardly been tapped dry by compiler Tony Rounce and the label. Apart from a handful of tracks cut in the early '60s right in the wake of Ray Charles' groundbreaking Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music plus a few sides cut in the disco era or later, Cold Cold Heart is firmly grounded in the late-'60s heyday of soul music.
Not a set of country-styled soul music – as you might guess from the title – and instead a package that shows the undeniable influence that soul music songs had on the sound of country music in the 60s and 70s! The flipside of the scene has been well-documented on collections of western-tinged soul music we've stocked in the past – but this great set is the first we've ever heard to show the way that country singers were able to easily pick up hit soul songs of the time, then recraft them completely with a whole new sort of style!
Like Ike & Tina Turner, the Ikettes had a pretty confusing recording career, releasing numerous discs for several labels and enduring several lineup changes. They did, however, settle at Modern for a while in the mid-'60s, releasing six singles and one LP for the company. This 27-track compilation includes all of that material, as well as some solo recordings by Ikettes Venetta Fields and Flora Williams (aka Delores Johnson), adding quite a few outtakes and alternate takes not issued in the '60s. It's not, it should be a clarified, a greatest-hits compilation; it doesn't include anything not recorded for Modern, which means it doesn't have their biggest hit, 1962's Top 20 single "I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)" (released on Atco), though it does have their only other Top 40 pop entry, 1965's "Peaches 'n' Cream."