Saturday, October 30, 2021

George Smith And Bacon Fat - The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions (1970 us, astonoshing blues rock, 2006 remaster and expanded)

George Smith was born on April 22, 1924 in Helena, Arkansas, but was raised in Cairo, Illinois. At age four, he was already taking harp lessons from his mother, a guitar player and a somewhat stern taskmaster: it was a case of get-it-right-or-else. In his early teens, he started hoboing around towns in the South and later joined Early Woods, a country band with Early Woods on fiddle and Curtis Gould on spoons. He also worked with a gospel group in Mississippi called the Jackson Jubilee Singers. Smith moved to Rock Island, Illinois, in 1941 and played with a group that included Francis Clay on drums. There is evidence that he was one of the first to amplify his harp. While working at the Dixie Theater, he took an old 16mm cinema projector, extracted the amplifier/speaker, and began using this on the streets.

Smith's first album on World Pacific, A Tribute to Little Walter, was released in 1968. In 1969, Bob Thiele produced an excellent solo album of Smith on Bluesway, and later made use of Smith as a sideman for his Blues Times label, including sets with T-Bone Walker and Harmonica Slim. Smith met Rod Piazza, a young white harp player, and they formed the Southside Blues Band, later known as Bacon Fat. In 1969, Smith signed with U.K. producer Mike Vernon and did the No Time for Jive album. He was less active in the '70s, appearing with Eddie Taylor and Big Mama Thornton. Around 1977, Smith became friends with William Clarke and they began working together. Their working relationship and friendship continued until Smith died on October 2, 1983.
by Michael Erlewine

Blue Horizon didn’t sign many contemporary US acts, although they did reissue lots of classic American tracks. Bacon Fat featured two bona fide blues heroes in the shape of the West Coast harmonica ace George Smith and the pianist J. D. Nicholson, as well as a bunch of talented white kids, including the harmonica- star-in-the-making Rod Piazza. Together, in these 1970 cuts, they give a blues masterclass with Smith — a revered figure among harp fans — showing off his big, almost sax-like harmonica sound and Piazza revelling in some choice Little Walter numbers.
by John Clarke, September 23 2006
Disc 1 Bacon Fat "Grease One For Me" 1970
1. Up The Line (Walter Jacobs) - 4:15
2. Boom, Boom (Out Goes The Lights) (Stanley Lewis) - 3:47
3. Small's On 53rd (Rod Piazza) - 3:46
4. She's Wrong Woman (Rod Piazza) - 5:21
5. I Need Your Love (J.D. Nicholson) - 3:44
6. Juicy Harmonica (George Clinton Smith) - 3:54
7. Nobody But You (Walter Spriggs) - 2:13
8. Telephone Blues (George Clinton Smith, Sam Ling) - 5:58
9. You're So Fine (Walter Jacobs) - 3:09
10.Too Late (Willie Dixon) - 5:57
11.Evil (Willie Dixon) - 2:43
12.Blues Feeling (Rod Piazza) - 3:58
13.Off The Wall (Walter Jacobs) - 2:57
14.Ah' W Baby (Walter Jacobs) - 3:39
15.Mellow Down Easy (Willie Dixon) - 3:25
16.Blues With A Feeling (Rabon Tarrant) - 3:09
17.Tight Dress (George Clinton Smith, Nat McCoy) - 2:59
18.I've Had My Fun (James B. Oden) - 6:53
19.Help Me (Sony Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon) - 3:56
20.My Babe (Part 1) (Willie Dixon) - 2:38
Bonus Tracks 11-20
Tracks 11-12 single versions
Tracks 13-20 previously unreleased
Disc 2 George Smith "No Time For Jive" 1970
1. Someday You're Gonna Learn (To Treat Me Right) (Nat McCoy) - 4:14
2. Blue Switch (George Clinton Smith) - 2:53
3. Mississippi River Blues (George Clinton Smith) - 9:14
4. Before You Do Your Thing (You'd Better Think) (Nat McCoy) - 4:18
5. I Don't Want To Go, Baby (Nat McCoy) - 7:03
6. Good Things (Nat McCoy) - 3:45
7. Soul Feet (George Clinton Smith) - 3:44
8. No Time For Jive (George Clinton Smith) - 7:21
9. My Babe (Part 2) (Willie Dixon) - 1:55
10.I'm Ready (Willie Dixon) - 2:51
11.Telephone Blues (George Clinton Smith, Sam Ling) - 5:23
12.Forty Four (Chester Burnett) - 4:40
13.Blues With A Feeling (Rabon Tarrant) - 3:33
14.Summertime (DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) - 3:43
15.Got My Mojo Working (Preston Foster) - 4:09
16.Hamp's Boogie Woogie (Lionel Hampton, Milt Buckner) - 5:16
Bonus Tracks 9-16

*George Clinton Smith - Harmonica, Vocals
*Rod Piazza - Harmonica, Vocals
*J.D. Nicholson - Organ, Piano
*Buddy Reed - Guitar
*Gregg Schaefer - Guitar
*Pee Wee Crayton - Guitar
*Marshall Hooks - Guitar
*Dick Innes - Drums
*Jerry Lee Smith - Bass
*Mike Vernon - Tambourine

Related Acts
1970  Bacon Fat - Grease One For Me