West Coast Blues Albums

At the end of the Sunset Route out of Texas, the West Coast developed as a centre for the Blues and R&B after WWII.

JOHNNY OTIS – MIDNIGHT AT THE BARRELHOUSE

This collection starts from the earliest days, and includes all Johnny’s chart hits. It also has some well chosen tracks where Johnny’s band backs Big Mama Thornton, on the original ‘Hound Dog’, and with others like The Royals and The Sheiks.

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T-BONE WALKER – THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION

This 36 track double CD gives superb, clear reproduction of T-Bone’s original hits. The first CD documents his time with Capitol and Black & White, and the second is composed of his later releases. Beware of cheaper imitations with alternate takes!

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AMOS MILBURN – ROCKIN’ AND DRINKIN’

Recorded between 1946-1959, this 50-track double album chronicles all Amos’s chart hits, with a few lesser-known gems thrown in.

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Amos Milburn

CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE – STAND BACK

This is ground-breaking stuff! After the British Invasion, Charlie hired a top Chicago rhythm section to back his authentic Blues harp and great growlin’ vocals, and the result established beyond doubt that The Blues knows no colour. With Harvey Mandel on guitar, this album helped to re-establish Blues music in it’s own backyard, with a new young audience.

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charley musselwhite

JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON – GANGSTER OF LOVE

This collection of 29 Federal and Modern tracks includes all Johnny’s hit singles including the influential ‘Three Hours After Midnight’.

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Johnny Guitar Watson

CECIL GANT – I WONDER

21 tracks of Blues and boogie-woogie from Cecil’s 1944/45 sessions.

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CecilGant

RY COODER – PARADISE AND LUNCH

This is an essential component of any record collection.

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Ry Cooder

GEORGE Harmonica SMITH – NOW YOU CAN TALK ABOUT ME

This disc contains some original, unissued 60s recordings, but is mainly from sessions in 1982, with George playing chromatic harp with his customary flair.

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George Smith

CHARLES BROWN – THE COOL, COOL BLUES OF CHARLES BROWN.

This 50-track double CD shows just how influential Charles was on singer/pianists like Nat ‘King’ Cole and Ray Charles. Another West-Coast legend, Amos Milburn guests on a couple of tracks.

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Charles-Brown

CAL GREEN – WHITE PEARL

Cal’s choice of material makes this a pure Blues album, and he gives a workout to some classic songs as he slides his smooth guitar lines through the tracks.

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Cal Green

JOE LIGGINS – LEGENDS OF SPECIALTY

Strong sax and piano driven West-coast boogie might have been called Rock’n’ Roll if they played it on guitars! Joe’s band give us 25 tracks that lit up the dance floor in their day, as part of the label’s Legacy Series.

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Joe Liggins

CARLOS SANTANA – ABRAXAS

For anyone who missed this one first time around, or fans who only know Carlos’ work over the last 20 years, this album is an essential bargain.

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Santana

IVORY JOE HUNTER – SINCE I MET YOU, BABY

Ivory Joe was a big singing star back in the 50s, whose songwriting talents are on display in this fantastic material.

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Ivory Joe Hunter

JJ CALE – THE VERY BEST OF JJ CALE

All JJ’s music was supeerbly chilled, and this has some wonderful examples, but if you want more there are several box sets.

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JJ CALE

LITTLE FEAT – ORIGINAL ALBUM SERIES

All five albums come with original art on mini-sleeves, and even a few bonus tracks thrown in.

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Little Feat

TOMMY CASTRO – THE ESSENTIAL TOMMY CASTRO

This album shows Tommy’s versatility with Rock and Soul songs, mostly self written, all performed with a solid Blues sensibility.

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Tommy Castro

CANNED HEAT – BOOGIE WITH CANNED HEAT

Probably the best work Canned Heat did was on these albums, with the classic line-up of Wilson, Hite, Taylor, Vestine and Cook.

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Canned Heat

LADY BIANCA – SERVIN’ NOTICE

The 5th album Bianca has issued in her own Magic-O label is a finely honed, well polished affair.

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Lady Bianca

COCO MONTOYA – THE ESSENTIAL COCO MONTOYA

Chosen from his three albums with Blind Pig, Coco’s own songs like ‘You Don’t Love Me’ has the feel of an Albert Collins song, and Coco covers a couple of the Master’s tunes too.

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COCO MONTOYA

RICK ESTRIN – DELUXE EDITION

Disturbing the Peace is maybe their best album, but this collection shows the quality of their work over many decades.

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RICK ESTRIN