Electric Blues CD-Album-Series by Bear Family Records®
Electric Blues CD-Album-Series with Blues Music on CDs by Bear Family
Bear Family's Electric Blues series "Plug It In! Turn It Up!" wins prestigeous Blues Music Award 2013
Electric guitar and amplified harmonica have been integral components of the blues for so many decades that sometimes it seems they've been around as long as the genre itself. Rest assured that's not the case. The first generation of 1920s blues guitar pioneers—Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Blake, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Tampa Red—strictly played acoustic instruments on their first historic recordings. Ditto Son House, Blind Boy Fuller, Lead Belly, and the immortal Robert Johnson over the course of the next decade.
Guitarists in every musical setting longed to be on equal terms with pianists, drummers, and horn players when it came time to step up and solo, to have enough volume on their flights of fancy to ring out clearly and decisively over the din of their respective bands. Some tried to solve the vexing dilemma by plucking a banjo. Others opted for resonator guitars, also known as Dobros, that were manufactured with a large round metal cone built into the guitar body that increased the volume level and overall resonance of the acoustic instrument.
By the early 1930s, pickups were being invented and perfected that could be slipped beneath the strings of a guitar and then plugged into primitive amplifiers or p.a. systems, a development that would slowly but steadily render the volume problem moot. Hawaiian steel players were among the earliest to experiment with amplifying their axes in 1933, their dreamy sliding chords capturing the mellow mood of the exotic islands.
Bob Dunn startled Western Swing devotees with his jazz-tinged electrified steel guitar on the early '35 Decca waxings of Milton Brown & His Brownies, while Eddie Durham, an arranger and guitarist for orchestra leader Jimmie Lunceford, usually gets credit for the first recorded amplified jazz guitar solo on Lunceford's 1935 waxing Hittin' The Bottle. Gibson was manufacturing its electric ES-150 model in 1936, the model favored by jazz virtuoso Charlie Christian, and teenaged prodigy George Barnes was also playing an electrified Spanish model on wax during the late '30s (notably on a 1938 Big Bill Broonzy session that’s said to be the earliest electric guitar appearance on a blues recording).
By contrast, the blues field was a little bit late getting into the electric ballgame. Most history books cite the opening selection on this compilation, Floyd's Guitar Blues, by Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds Of Joy with Floyd Smith on steel guitar, as containing the first electric blues guitar solo on record, though Kirk's orchestra was actually jazz and swing-oriented rather than a blues outfit.
Bear Family's "Plug It In! Turn It Up! Electric Blues 1939-2005" beat out four other nominees to win the Historical Album category at the 2013 Blues Music Awards, held May 9, 2013 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis.
Bill Dahl, reissue producer of the comprehensive 12-CD series for Bear Family, was in attendance to accept the coveted award at the gala ceremonies, attended by 1300 blues artists, musicians, various movers and shakers, and devoted fans of the genre.
The annual Blues Music Awards are regarded the most important and prestigeous blues music industry awards, worldwide!
Vol.1 Electric Blues 1939-54 (english) BCD 16921
3-CD Digipak (8-plated) with 160-page booklet, 77 tracks. Total playing time approx. 218 mns.
Vol.2 Electric Blues 1954-67 (english) BCD 16922
3-CD Digipak (8-plated) with 172-page booklet, 79 tracks. Total playing time approx. 221 mns.
Vol.3 Electric Blues 1960-69 (english) BCD 16923
3-CD Digipak (8-plated) with 172-page booklet, 70 tracks. Total playing time approx. 221 mns
Vol.4 Electric Blues 1970-2005 (english) BCD 16924
3-CD Digipak (8-plated) with 156-page booklet, 65 tracks. Total playing time approx. 263 mns.