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Acoustic Sounds Direct to Disc Vinyl Giveaway!
Acoustic Sounds

  All members of the Enjoy the Music.com™ Mailing List were eligible to win one of the two complete sets of four Acoustic Sounds direct to disc vinyl recordings as follows:

Blue Heaven Studio

AAPO 001 - Henry Gray
AAPO 002 - Pinetop Perkins
AAPO 003 - Lazy Lester
AAPO 004 - Wild Child Butler

These recordings were made either before or after the recent Blues Masters at the Crossroads. Please see our recent show coverage written by Dave Glackin by clicking here. Acoustic Sound's Blue Heavens recording studio also has information on their website on the two day concert (day 1and day 2).

Blues Masters at the Crossroads

We are proud to be able to offer these direct to disc vinyl recordings to our Mailing List members. Be among the first in the world to enjoy vinyl that is recorded from the microphones to the mixing board, then directly to the cutter lathe's head. No master tape distortions or deteriorations! Nothing but a pure live performance! If you are not already a Mailing List member and would like your chance to win free music, then please click the link near the bottom of this page.

APO and Blue Heaven Studios recently purchased a Neumann VMS 70 Lathe with an Ortofon cutter head and amplifiers. It was installed by the world famous cutting engineer Stan Ricker (who cut nearly all of Mobile Fidelity's LPs). After installing the lathe we then completed four direct to disc recordings by legendary blues men, with David Baker as the recording engineer and Stan Ricker the cutting engineer.

Recording direct to disc is the most demanding way to record on both the engineer and artist. It is also the purest and best sound possible. The signal from the microphone is transmitted directly to the lathe. This process eliminates the use of tape and thereby eliminates tape hiss and other forms of noise with possible distortion inherent in tape recording. A noticeable difference in background noise level and improved dynamic range are possible with this method. This along with the great acoustics of a 70 year old gothic church provide the most rewarding sound available today and the closest thing possible to a live performance.

APO is proving once again that we continually strive to provide our customers with the highest quality recordings available.

 

Henry Gray
The lustrous Chicago blues scene of the 1950's was predominated by great pianists. Otis Spann, Henry Gray, Johnnie Jones and Sunnyland Slim were among the era's very best. Henry’s rolling two-fisted keyboard work graced countless Chicago blues recordings during the ‘50s for leading labels. Unlike most of his contemporaries there, he was from Louisiana rather than Mississippi-and since 1968, he’s been living at his boyhood home just outside of Baton Rouge once again, a stalwart on the swamp blues circuit.

Born in Kenner, Louisiana, Henry arrived in Chicago in 1946, fresh from a stint in the Philippines during World War II. Strongly influenced by ivories master Big Maceo, Henry’s rapidly escalating talents were soon in heavy demand. After starting out with Little Hudson’s Red Devil Trio, Henry appeared on classic sides by Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, Billy Boy Arnold and Morris Pejoe before joining Howlin’ Wolf’s combo in 1956 for a 12-year run.

Although Henry’s ability on the 88s is renowned worldwide, his warm expressive vocals may come as something of a revelation. There’s more than a hint of Henry’s Louisiana roots in his music. The brilliant piano style of Henry Gray once represented the very best Chicago had to offer. You know, some things never change.

Henry cut five songs solo on this direct-to-disc. He plays a Steinway Concert Grand 9-foot model D.
LP = AAPO 001

 

Pinetop Perkins
Perkins began his blues existence primarily as a guitarist, but a mid-40s encounter with an outraged knife-toting chorus girl at a nightspot left him with severed tendons in his left arm. That dashed his guitar aspirations, but Joe Willie Perkins came back strong from the injury, concentrating solely on piano. He traveled to Helena with Robert Nighthawk in 1943, playing with the elegant slide guitarist on his radio program. Perkins soon switched over to rival Sonny Boy Williamson’s beloved King Biscuit Time radio show and remained for an extended period. He accompanied Nighthawk on a 1950 session for the Chess brothers that produced "Jackson Town Gal," but Chicago couldn’t hold him at the time. He hit the road, pausing at Sam Phillips’s studios in Memphis long enough for Perkins to wax his first version of "Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie" in 1953, then headed back to the windy city in 1969 when Otis Spann split from Muddy Waters. That is when the stage was set for Pinetop Perkins’s reemergence. It was only then that his rolling mastery of the ivories began to assume outsized proportions. After joining Muddy Waters, Pinetop made up for precious lost time in the studio. Discs for Antone's, Omega (Portrait of a Delta Bluesman, a solo outing that includes fascinating interview segments), Deluge, Earwig, and several other firms ensure that his boogie legacy won’t be forgotten in decades to come.

Pinetop at a young 87 years old admits he wasn’t the originator of the seminal piano piece "Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie," but it’s a safe bet that more people associate it nowadays with Pinetop than with the man who devised it in the first place, Clarence "Pinetop" Smith.

Pinetop plays six songs on a Steinway Concert Grand 9' model D with Jimmy D. Lane on guitar.
LP = AAPO 002

 

Lazy Lester
Harpist Lazy Lester swears he never was lethargic. People say he seldom was in much of a hurry either, although the relentless pace of his swamp blues classics "I'm a Lover Not a Fighter" and "I Hear You Knockin'" might contradict that statement.

Lester’s entry into playing professionally was by accident. While riding on a bus in the mid-50s, he met guitarist Lightnin' Slim, who was searching fruitlessly for a harpist. Their styles meshed seamlessly, and Lester became Slim's choice.

In 1956, Lester stepped out front at Miller’s Crowley, La., studios for the first time. He waxed such gems as "Sugar Coated Lover," "If You Think I’ve Lost You" and "The Same Thing Could Happen to You". Lester proved invaluable as an imaginative sideman for south Louisiana producer J.D. Miller, utilizing everything from cardboard boxes and claves to whacking on newspapers in order to locate the correct percussive sound for the producer's output.

This cult legend of swamp blues and bayou harp master has worked with some of the finest in the business (Slim Harpo, Katie Webster, Derek O’Brien, Guitar Gable and Teddy Morgan to name a few) mixing his roots in Louisiana along with back-country blues. Lazy’s low-down, raw sense of grittiness and leisure seasoned with a touch of stripped down, bare guitar-vocal tunes captures insight to a side of Lazy that most have never heard.

Lester returned with a 1988 album for Alligator, Harp & Soul and a W.C. Handy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Artist. His swamp blues sound remains as atmospheric (and dare we say it, energetic) as ever on subsequent releases, including 1998's "All Over You".

On side A, Lazy Lester plays solo acoustic guitar, harmonica and foot percussion. On Side B, Lazy Lester is accompanied by Henry Gray on Piano and Jimmy D. Lane on rhythm guitar. 6 songs
LP = AAPO 003

 

Wild Child Butler
From all accounts, George Butler came by his nickname “Wild Child” honestly. On Sundays, some of the older ladies would come to the shack where he lived to visit his mother. Even as a toddler, little George would grab their legs and tug their skirts. The ladies would tell his mother that she had to "do something about that wild child", and the name stuck. Fortunately, he found time between the youthful shenanigans to learn some harp basics at age 12. He was gigging professionally as a bandleader by the late 1950s, but the harpist didn’t have much luck in the recording wars until he moved to Chicago in 1966 and signed with Shreveport, La., based Jewel Records.

Wild Child’s resume is top notch. He has toured with Jimmy Rogers, Lightnin' Hopkins, Cousin Joe and Roosevelt Sykes. His biggest influence is John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson and yet his sound is all his own. A prolific songwriter, Wild Child Butler performs mostly original compositions.

George Butler is one of the most stylistically interesting and underrated blues performers in the business today. In this, an era when Blues is so frequently used with rock, soul and other more commercially viable music forms, Wild Child stands his artistic ground. Wild Child still plays and sings his blues in exactly the same authentic style that he developed and learned from his rural Alabama sharecropping mentors more than 40 years ago. When asked if he would change his style to be more commercially successful, Wild Child’s didn’t hesitate. "No I would not! Record companies have asked me to do that before. I wouldn’t do it then, and I wouldn’t do it now, just to sell more records. The way I do my blues, that’s me! The blues isn’t just something that I do, it’s something that I am."

George is polite but firm with his audiences. In fact, when you meet George Butler, one finds him to be a pleasant, highly personable man with a ready smile as big as an Alabama cotton field, and in no way keeping with the image conjured up by the name Wild Child. He was asked "Why in spite of all the hard times and bad luck, do you still keep going?" He replied with an audible grin, "The blues is the facts of life, the truth, and the blues is what I’m about."

Indifferent agents, unethical record companies, insensitive audiences and the tough life on the road have not squelched the blues fire in Wild Child Butler. The swamp-harp king is one authentic original folk blues artist who can, in his own words, "Sho' 'nuff make the blues come down."

Side A is Wild Child and his electric band. Side B is acoustic with Jimmy D. Lane accompanying on guitar. Six songs total.
LP = AAPO 004

 

UPDATE January 25, 2001 from Acoustic Sounds
Analogue Productions regrets to inform you that we will not be releasing the Pinetop Perkins and Henry Gray direct-to-disc LPs as advertised. There was a problem with the production of those two albums.

Direct-to-disc LPs of Lazy Lester and Wild Child Butler will be released and are still available on a limited basis. Those releases capture the benefit of the direct-to-disc recording method, where the signal from the microphone is transmitted directly to the cutting lathe, eliminating any tape hiss.

Because of the above circumstances we at Enjoy the Music.com will still give away eight albums, though there will be four winners who each receive two direct to disc albums (Lazy Lester and the Wildchild Butler release).

 

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