Celebrate the 50th anniversary of America's first festival dedicated to the blues with this 180g vinyl LP. The album features previously unheard performances by B.B. King, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Son House, Big Mama Thornton and more!
Third Man Records is excited to announce the release of ANN ARBOR BLUES FESTIVAL 1969, a 50th anniversary celebration collecting 24 previously unheard songs by such blues legends as Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, James Cotton, Son House, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, Junior Wells, Big Mama Thornton, Clifton Chenier, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin Hopkins, Pinetop Perkins, J. B. Hutto & His Hawks, Roosevelt Sykes, Luther Allison, Otis Rush, Big Joe Williams, Charlie Musselwhite and more. The first ever release of music recorded live at the landmark event, ANN ARBOR BLUES FESTIVAL 1969 is available in two volumes of 2LP collections pressed on 180 gram vinyl.
The historic gathering was presented by a small group of blues-obsessed University of Michigan students determined to give their blues heroes a public spotlight where they might shine before it was too late. Among those enterprising student-promoters was John Fishel, whose teenage brother Jim Fishel, gathered some friends to help record the festival as a personal memento. Taking advantage of their all-access pass and juggling a small Norelco tape recorder from set to set, the friends let the 1/4 tape roll. Though field recordings in the literal sense of the term, they capture the brilliance of the musicians, the excitement of the crowd and the loose, convivial nature of the entire festival. Those tapes, long thought to be lost, have now been lovingly restored to capture the electric energy of the landmark concert. Both volumes include never-before-seen photographs, artist biographies, an exclusive reminiscence from Jim Fishel, and extensive liner notes by Parker Fishel, Sophie Abramowitz and David Beal.
"How these tapes came to the attention of the folks at Third Man and how they were restored to sounding far beyond my expectations considering how they were recorded, is a story for another time but the packaging is quite good including 32 black and white photos ('snapshots' would be more accurate) in each gatefold plus full sized booklets and though the opening essay repeats, it's followed by bios and photos of each performer plus well-curated suggestions for further listening. Even though Sleepy John Estes and Yank Rachell's performances are missing, the bios, photo and suggested listening are included. Yes the sound is mono and in some cases rough (including places where audience members are more on mic than are the performerssomething familiar to all bootleg connoisseurs), the overall sonics are pretty good and once you lock into the music you won't care. This is the real shit. It's been in serious 'Heavy Rotation' since the LPs arrived here (I purchased, no promos). The sound rating reflects how it sounds, but were I rating it based upon the quality of the restoration given what the tapes probably originally sounded like, the number would have been considerably higher. The restoration was all-analog until the final digitization. You won't regret buying this set. When the sound is good, it's immediate and transparent." - Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, Music 10/11, Sound 6/11
"The sound quality is often rough, but that shouldn't diminish the vitality of these collections. This festival represented a crucial pivot point in blues as the old guard stood alongside young bucks with electric instruments and a bevy of white musicians building off their foundational work. Pointing out highlights feels near to impossible, but I would direct you to spend some time with Son House's growling performance of 'Death Letter Blues,' the sultry 'Key to the Highway' by drummer/vocalist Sam Lay and his band and the prickly guitar solo on the track from Jimmy 'Fast Fingers' Dawkins' set. From there, drink in the whole thing slow and easy. You won't be disappointed." - Paste Magazine
• 180g Vinyl
• Double LP
• Celebrating the 50th anniversary of America's first festival dedicated to the blues
• Previously unheard performances from Muddy Waters, Son House, Big Mama Thornton and more!
• Gatefold jacket
• Rare photos
• Exclusive liner notes
• Manufactured by Third Man Pressing in Detroit, MI
1. Long Distance Call Muddy Waters
2. Movin' And Groovin' Charlie Musselwhite
3. I Feel So Good (I Wanna Boogie) Magic Sam
1. Jelly Jelly Blues Shirley Griffith
2. Mojo Boogie Big Mojo Elem
3. Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad) T-Bone Walker
4. Announcements Big Bill Hill
1. Ball And Chain Big Mama Thornton And The Hound Doggers
2. Juanita Big Joe Williams
3. Key To The Highway Sam Lay
4. Mojo Hand Lightnin' Hopkins
1. Off The Wall James Cotton Blues Band
2. Death Letter Blues Son House