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Black & Blue

Black & Blue

25 May 2009

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 25 May 2009
  • Release Date: 25 May 2009
  • Label: Universal Music Group International
  • Copyright: (C) 1992 Fantasy, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 37:07
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002BPZB6K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,708 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Aug 2010
Format: Audio CD
Little Sonny (real name Aaron Willis) is an Alabama born blues harmonica player not surprisingly often confused with Sonny Boy Williamson (the Chess Records harmonica player) because of his chosen instrument and his nickname. Little Sonny is less well known than his more famous mentor from Tennessee, but nonetheless produced some great records that deserve your attention - especially if you like your Blues with a Funky feel.

Just approaching his Forties, Willis started a trio of albums for Stax and its subsidiary label Enterprise in the early Seventies. "New King Of Blues Harmonica" came first in 1970 with "Hard Goin' Up" being number three in 1973 (it charted Stateside). "Black & Blue" is the one in the middle - released in 1972 on Enterprise ENS 1018 in the USA - and then remastered and reissued onto this now rare US-only CD in 1992.

His backup band for the album was TOMMY WILLIAMS on Tenor And Baritone Saxophones, RON GORDEN on Organ, BOBBY MANUEL and EDDIE WALLIS on Guitars with WILLIAM HALL on Drums. The Horns were arranged and played by THE BAR-KAYS and production handled by ZORN PRODUCTIONS and AL BELL (Tracks 3, 4, 7 and 9). The tapes were remastered by PHIL DE LANCIE at the Fantasy Studios in the USA and the sound quality is great - full, clear and with muscle where it's needed. There's no compression and virtually no hiss.

Stax SCD-8575-2 breaks down as follows (37:35 minutes):

Side 1:
1. Hung Up [Little Sonny writer]
2. Sonny's Fever (Instrumental) [Little Sonny writer]
3. You Got A Good Thing [Bettye Crutcher/Bobby Manuel writers]
4. A Woman Named Trouble [Bettye Crutcher/Bobby Manuel writers]
5. Honest I Do [Jimmy Reed cover]
6. Wade In The Water (Instrumental) [Traditional Song cover]
Side 2:
1.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"...I'm Goin' Home...Where Women Got Some Meat On Their Bones..." 12 Aug 2010
By Mark Barry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Little Sonny (real name Aaron Willis) is an Alabama born blues harmonica player not surprisingly often confused with Sonny Boy Williamson (the Chess Records harmonica player) because of his chosen instrument and his nickname. Little Sonny is less well known than his more famous mentor from Tennessee, but nonetheless produced some great records that deserve your attention - especially if you like your Blues with a Funky feel.

Just approaching his Forties, Willis started a trio of albums for Stax and its subsidiary label Enterprise in the early Seventies. "New King Of Blues Harmonica" came first in 1970 with "Hard Goin' Up" being number three in 1973 (it charted Stateside). "Black & Blue" is the one in the middle - released in 1972 on Enterprise ENS 1018 in the USA - and then remastered and reissued onto this now rare US-only CD in 1992.

His backup band for the album was TOMMY WILLIAMS on Tenor And Baritone Saxophones, RON GORDEN on Organ, BOBBY MANUEL and EDDIE WALLIS on Guitars with WILLIAM HALL on Drums. The Horns were arranged and played by THE BAR-KAYS and production handled by ZORN PRODUCTIONS and AL BELL (Tracks 3, 4, 7 and 9). The tapes were remastered by PHIL DE LANCIE at the Fantasy Studios in the USA and the sound quality is great - full, clear and with muscle where it's needed. There's no compression and virtually no hiss.

Stax SCD-8575-2 breaks down as follows (37:35 minutes):

Side 1:
1. Hung Up [Little Sonny writer]
2. Sonny's Fever (Instrumental) [Little Sonny writer]
3. You Got A Good Thing [Bettye Crutcher/Bobby Manuel writers]
4. A Woman Named Trouble [Bettye Crutcher/Bobby Manuel writers]
5. Honest I Do [Jimmy Reed cover]
6. Wade In The Water (Instrumental) [Traditional Song cover]
Side 2:
1. Paying Through The Nose [Bettye Crutcher/Bobby Manuel writers]
2. Memphis B-K (Instrumental) [Little Sonny writer]
3. Where Women Got Meat On Their Bones [Bettye Crutcher/Bobby Manuel writers]
4. I Found Love [Arzel Hill writer]
5. They Want Money [Little Sonny writer]

Musically "Black & Blue" is in the vein of Albert King blues, except that a harmonica and brass are to the fore rather than a guitar - and more Funk-Soul than Blues. Gems include the funky and irresistible opener "Hung Up" and the ABC-Dunhill Bobby Bland Seventies feel of "You Got A Good Thing" which was issued as a 45 on Enterprise ENA-9034 in 1971 in the States with "A Woman Named Trouble" as its B-side.

As you can see from the track list above, there are 3 instrumentals - each of them has been huge on the dancefloor circuit of the UK. "Wade In The Water" is faster and funkier than the Ramsey Lewis Trio and Marlena Shaw versions of 1966 and not surprisingly has become a Mod favourite - turning up on those cool Ace/Kent CD compilations and BGP LP releases (Beats Goes Public). The hand-clapping harmonica funk of "Memphis B-K" has graced Luv N' Haight compilations - a sure sign of quality - and on top of all this is one of the great unsung lady-heroes of Soul and Funk - BETTYE CRUTCHER - whose song-writing has made many a Stax platter shine with wit and talent (the lyrics to "Where Women Got Meat On Their Bones" title this review).

So there you have it - a cool little album that's short but oh so sweet. And although it's rare and may cost, it's absolutely worth you seeking out - especially given the quality of the tunes and the fab remastered sound...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
grab it 24 Sep 2005
By Jacob Weisman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Fewer bands have ever rocked the blues harder than Little Sonny's on Black & Blue. Sonny rarely pauses, poring as much soul into his voice and harmonica as he is physically able, his band laying down funky, hard driving riffs, occasionally adding a little hand clapping to the mix. The intensity never wavers. Black & Blue represents thirty-seven minutes of raw, uptempo blues with few frills.

Born Aaron Willis, Little Sonny took his inspiration and his name from the legendary harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson, who Sonny met after moving North from Greensboro, Alabama. Until then Sonny had wanted to play baseball. "I knew," says Sonny, "no baseball scout was going to see me as far back in the woods as I was."

Originally released in 1971, Black & Blue enjoyed limited regional success, reaching #3 on Detroit's LP chart. Otherwise, the album quickly vanished into obscurity, dragging its relatively unknown artist behind.

Make no mistake, however, this re-issue is one of the finest crafted albums ever released by Stax records.
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