Stony Plain 40 Years box set review…June 12, 2016…

VARIOUS ARTISTS

STONY PLAIN 40 YEARS

SPCD 1400

CD ONE: SINGERS, SONGWRITERS, AND MUCH MORE:–COLIN LINDEN–NO MORE CHEAP WINE   SPIRIT OF THE WEST–THE CRAWL  CORB LUND–I WANNA BE IN THE CAVALRY  DOUG SAHM–LOUIS RIEL  HARRY MANX AND KEVIN BREIT–DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP  EMMYLOU HARRIS–WHERE WILL I BE  JAMES BURTON, ALBERT LEE, AMOS GARRETT, DAVID WILCOX–THAT’S ALL RIGHT MAMA  NEW GUITAR SUMMIT–FLYING HOME  RODNEY CROWELL–FUNKY AND THE FARMBOY  VALDY AND GARY FJELLGAARD–VLT  JR. GONE WILD–POET’S HIGHWAY  TIM HUS–WILD ROSE WALTZ  IAN TYSON–COTTONWOOD CANYON  JENNIFER WARNES–BLUE MOUNTAINS OF MEXICO  STEVE EARLE–RIVERS OF BABYLON  ERIC BIBB–NEEDED TIME (FEAT.  TAJ MAHAL, THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, AND RUTHIE FOSTER)

CD TWO:  BLUES, R&B, GOSPEL, SWING, JAZZ, AND EVEN MORE–KENNY “BLUES BOSS” WAYNE–BANKRUPTED BLUES  JOE LOUIS WALKER–EYES LIKE A CAT–ROSCO GORDON–SIT RIGHT HERE  RONNIE EARL AND THE BROADCASTERS–IT TAKES TIME  MARIA MULDAUR–SOUL OF A MAN (FEAT. TAJ MAHAL)  LONG JOHN BALDRY–MIDNIGHT SPECIAL  PAUL REDDICK–MOURNING DOVE  MONKEYJUNK–MOTHER’S CRYING  JAY MCSHANN–GOING TO CHICAGO  JEFF HEALEY–HONG KONG BLUES  BILLY BOY ARNOLD–BAD LUCK BLUES  RORY BLOCK–CANDY MAN  BIG DAVE MCLEAN–ATLANTA MOAN  RUTHIE FOSTER–KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH CLOSED  SONNY RHODES–MEET ME AT THE 10TH STREET INN  JIM BYRNES–WRAPPED UP, TIED UP  AMOS GARRETT–LOST LOVE  ELLEN MCILWAINE–ALL TO YOU  KING BISCUIT BOY–BLUE LIGHT BOOGIE

CD THREE: RARITIES AND PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED MATERIAL–DUKE ROBILLARD–AIN’T GONNA DO IT–REHAB  ERIC BIBB–SHINGLE BY SHIINGLE– WAYFARING STRANGER   MARIA MULDAUR–IN MY GIRLISH DAYS–I BELONG TO THE BAND  DAVID WILCOX–UPTOWN BUMP  SAM CHATMON AND HIS BARBEQUE BOYS–ALL NIGHT LONG–I HATE THAT TRAIN  BOB CARPENTER–SATAN’S GOLDEN CHAIN–MISTER BLUE  WALTER “SHAKEY” HORTON WITH HOT COTTAGE–SHAKEY’S EDMONTON BLUES

For the 40th anniversary of Stony Plain Records, label president Holger Petersen presents a three-CD box set, each one uniquely different, showcasing the various artists and styles that have been associated with this label since 1976.  Based in Alberta, Canada, this label boasts many legendary bluesmen as well as several contemporary artists releasing viable sets quite recently.  Noted Canadian publicist Richard Flohil adds a brilliant timeline to go along with Holger’s extensive liner notes, making this one a blues “history lesson” as well.

There’s a lot to savor, so let’s get with it.  CD One is entitled “Singers, Songwriters,And Much More.  Highlights include “No More Cheap Wine” from Colin Linden’s 2015 “Rich In Love” album; a live cut from Emmylou Harris, the beautifully-charming “Where Will I Be”; the surprisingly-bluesy “Funky And The Farmboy” from Rodney Crowell; and Jennifer Warnes’ beautiful tribute to Ian Tyson, “Blue Mountains Of Mexico.”

CD Two is entitled “Blues, R & B, Gospel, Swing, Jazz, And Even More,” and it is just that–it runs the gamut from the jumpin’ opener from Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, “Bankrupted Blues,” and rolls on thru the Django-flavored jazz guitar of Jeff Healey and “Hong Kong Blues.”  The women get in on the fun, too, with Rory Blocks playfully-sexy “Candy Man,” and Ruthie Foster’s ode to Memphis Minnie, “Keep Your Big Mouth Closed.”

If this set had ended right there, it would still be an awesome collection.  However, Holger went a huge step further to give us fans something we could really cherish–CD Three is entitled “Rarities And Previously Unreleased Material,” and it is a collector’s dream.  Over the course of these thirteen cuts, you get a real glimpse of the history of this label.  Duke Robillard hits a home run with a killer instrumental of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,” and things only get better.  Eric Bibb seamlessly melds blues and gospel with “Shingle By Shingle” and “Wayfaring Stranger.”  And, Doc MacLean and a nineteen-year old Colin Linden, billing themselves as The Barbeque Boys,  play alongside the iconic Sam Chatmon–he of Mississippi Sheiks fame–for two 1979 recordings, “I Hate That Train” and “All Night Long.”

This is an irresistibly-strong overview of Stony Plain Records’ first 40 years.  We’d like to say a hearty “Thank you,” Holger, for your leadership of this label, and look forward to many more years of the best in roots and blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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