Storyville Records

The Chicago Blues Box

Price $64.99

Catalogue Number
8CD Box
Jimmy Dawkins / Jimmy Johnson / Willie Kent / Eddie Clearwater / Big Voice Odom / Andrew Blueblood / Magic Slim / Big Mojo Elm / Bobby King
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The brief and dazzling life of MCM Records was a labor of love that captured many treasurable live performances from the last flowering of the classic Chicago Blues age. A young French woman Marcelle Chailleux Morgantini was married to Jacques Morgantini who changed her life into American jazz and blues.

Guitarist Jimmy Dawkins was a good friend and helped them in Chicago to meet and hear the many good blues musicians that played at the different clubs in Chicago. Marcelle returned from her Chicago pilgrimage filled with excitement. Says Jacques Morgantini: It was the year of Marcelle’s 50th birthday and she came into some money from her family. She said to me, “I do not want an expensive coat or jewels – I want to go to Chicago to record the blues. She knew that it could only be done if she had her own record label and complete artistic control. Marcelle made three trips to Chicago in 1975,1976 and 1977 and arrived with her Nagra machine, a small mixing desk and a selection of microphones.

She recorded live: Magic Slim, Big Mojo Elem,John Littlejohn, Eddie Clearwater,Eddie Taylor, Bobby King,Jimmy Johnson, Luther Johnson Jr.,Willie Kent, James Lyons,Hip Lankchan,Big Vocie Odom,Bluebloos McMahon, Joe Carter and Jimmy Dawkins at “Ma Bea’s”, “Golden Slipper”, “Queen Bea’s”, and “Big Duke’s”, on Chicago west and south side. Many of the blues musicians had not recorded before and can only been found on the Storyville label that issued all the recordings on CD’s. She was at the right place at the right time.


CD1: Magic SLim, Alabama Junior Pettis, Nick Holt, Douglas Holt - Recording date Nov. 1976

CD2: Big Mojo Elem, Willie James Lyon, Wayne Bennett, Freddy Below - Recording date Oct. 1977/John Littlejohn, Larry Burton, Aaron Burton, Candy Utah - Recording date Nov. 1976

CD3: Eddie Clearwater, Jimmy Dawkins, Sylvester Boines, Freddy Belov - Recording date Nov. 1976/Eddie Taylor, Lacy Gibson, Hayes Ware, Freddy Below - Recording date Oct. 1977

CD4: Bobby King, Leonard Gill, Harry Mitchum, Bill Warren, Muddy Waters Jr. - Recording date Oct. 1975

CD5: Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Dawkins, Sylvester Boines, Tyrone Centuray, Andrew Odom - Recording date Oct. 1975/Luther Johnson Jr., Willie James Lyons, Willie Kent, Tyrone Centuray - Recording date Oct. 1975/Willie Kent, Willie James Lyons, Big 'Guitar' Red, Tyrone Centuray - Recording date Oct. 1975

CD6: Jimmy Dawkins, Richard Kirch, Sylvester Boines, Tyrone Centuray - Recording date Nov. 1976/Hip Lankchan, Jimmy Miller, Ernest Gatewood, Tyrone Centuray - Recording date Nov. 1976/Jimmy Johnson, David Matthews, Ike Anderson, Dino Neal - Recording date Oct. 1977/Alabama Junior Pettis, Magic Slim, Nick Holt, Douglas Holt - Recording date Nov. 1976

CD7: Andrew Odom, Jimmy Dawkins, Jimmy Johnson, Sylvester Boines, Tyrone Centuray, Carey Bell - Recording date Oct. 1976

CD8: Andrew MacMahon, John Littlejohn, Jimmy Dawkins, Larry Burton, Candy Utah - Recording date Nov. 1976



H YEAH!! The Chicago Blues Box

May 2, 2013

Do you want to hear the blues? I mean DO YOU WANT TO HEAR THE BLUES?DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HEAR THE BLUES?!?!? Just making sure, because…

Storyville Records just put out this 8 cd set of material that will make you feel like you’re in a smoky and sweaty Chicago juke joint, my friend. The story behind it is this teacher in Paris named Marcelle Chailleux Morgantini fell in love with the Chicago blues (go figure!) and actually started a label (MCM) that had bluesman Jimmy Dawkins take Ms Morgantini through the nooks and crannies of the South Side. So, you’ve got here gents you may not have ever heard before, but have names that make you want to listen no matter what: Magic Slim, Willie James Lyons, Willie Kent, Bobby King, Eddie Clearwater and Jimmy Johnson, just to name a few.

These 8 discs are what makes America’s music “America’s Music.” No other country has music this emotional, raw and rhythmically visceral that is still part of the present culture. In some ways, each artist is anonymous in that he is simply a “blues musician,” and Chicago Blues is, after all, Chicago Blues. In a whole other sense, within that scope, the individuality of each guitarist and vocalist using the canon of the chord progressions, rhythms and songs by the likes of BB King, Robert Johnson, Lowell Fulson and all the rest is as personal as one’s fingerprint. Each cd features one or two artists, and guys you may never have heard of such as Magic Slim (guess what he looks like. Guess again, this IS the blues, after all!) play with a corpuscular inbreeding of this music that you feel like they were created for this sole (or is it “soul”) purpose. Be it Slim’s foreboding voice, or the earthy cries of Big Mojo Elem telling his woes on “Drowning on Dry Land” or Eddie Clearwater playing licks that were meant to cut like a knife on ”Let’s Jam,” you feel like you’re sitting in a naugahyde booth with about 3 neon beer signs lighting up the background of the local hangout. You can almost hear the crack of the pool balls when Bobby King moans “Reconsider Baby” and “Everyday I Have The Blues.” Be it shuffle blues, boogie blues, rockin’ blues, jammin’ blues or moanin’ blues, rough and ready material like “You Don’t Love Me” by Jimmy Dawkins” or “Going to California” by Andrew “Big Voice” Odom feels like the foundation of every type of music that has ever been played in America.

This type of music is much more of a rarity in this country, with synthesized rhythms and whispy limp wristed vocals. These men sing like men, and it doesn’t matter if the themes are booze, broads or bucks, they’re feeling it, and they want you to feel it. So, hike down and out of this Grand Canyon of Musical Americana and get real perspective of the world, and one that hopefully won’t go away. - The Baltimore Blues Society's Bluesrag

"Yet no matter how much of a godsend those LPs were, their limited commcercial promotion only hastened by the death of Morgantini's short-lived MCM Records, one of the greatest blues labels you've likely never heard - or even heard of. However, those albums - eight CDs in all!! - are now conviniently bundled together into one monumental over-stuffed Cicago Blues Box." 

An explosion of guitar snarls and urgent vocals.

Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat

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