Blues, Rags and Hollers

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Blues, Rags and Hollers
Koerner ray glover 0.jpg
Studio album by Koerner, Ray & Glover
Released June 1963
Recorded March 24, 1963 at the Woman's Club, Milwaukee, WI
Genre Blues, country blues
Length 50:45
Label Audiophile AP 78
Producer Koerner, Ray & Glover, Paul Nelson
Koerner, Ray & Glover chronology
Blues, Rags and Hollers
(1963)
Lots More Blues, Rags and Hollers
(1964)Lots More Blues, Rags and Hollers1964
Alternative Cover
Cover of the Elektra re-release in November, 1963
Cover of the Elektra re-release in November, 1963

Blues, Rags and Hollers is the first album by the American country blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover, released in 1963.

History[edit]

The first album of the country blues trio from Minneapolis, Minnesota, had Tony "Little Sun" Glover on harmonica, "Spider" John Koerner on guitar and vocals, and Dave "Snaker" Ray on guitar and vocals. Koerner, Ray & Glover were part of the revival of folk music and blues in the 1960s. In his piece for No Depression magazine, Joel Roberts stated, "Like Bob Dylan, their Minnesota pal and fellow early ’60s folk-blues enthusiast, they combined a deep knowledge of the blues idiom with a sense of humor and irreverence that was absent from the work of many of their much-too-serious contemporaries."[1]

Speaking of the trio's experience playing the music of Lead Belly, Blind Lemon Jefferson and other black blues musicians, Koerner later related, "I don’t understand the psychology of it, but somehow we decided to imitate these guys down to the note. And we decided to go out and drink and party, and chase women just like they did in the songs and all kind of shit. And when I look at it now, it seems weird to tell you the truth."[2]

Despite recording, performing and being billed as a trio, the three play together only on the opening track, "Linin' Track". Of the other tracks, two feature Ray and Glover, one features Koerner and Glover, and the rest are solo performances.

Blues, Rags and Hollers was recorded in Milwaukee in a one-day session.[3]

Originally released on the Audiophile label with a pressing of 300 copies, Blues, Rags and Hollers was quickly reissued by Elektra Records in 1963 without "Ted Mack Rag", "Too Bad", "Dust My Broom" and "Mumblin' Word". These tracks were restored when Red House digitally remastered and reissued the album in 1995.[4] It was also reissued by WEA International along with Lots More Blues, Rags and Hollers in 2004.[5] Koerner, Ray & Glover recorded two more albums for Elektra.

In 2008, Koerner, Ray & Glover were inducted into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame in the category Blues Recordings for Blues, Rags and Hollers.[6]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]
Allmusic 2004 reissue 4.5/5 stars [5]
Allmusic 1995 reissue 4.5/5 stars [4]

Allmusic critic William Ruhlmann called it "one of the defining albums of the folk revival. were the quintessential young, white collegiate folk-blues enthusiasts from the North striving to play the traditional music as if they were old, black, uneducated musicians from the South. The thing was, they succeeded, not only in re-creating the sound... but also in writing their own original songs that sounded authentic."[7] Reviewing the 2004 reissue, Steve Leggett wrote, "In retrospect, Koerner, Ray & Glover got it exactly right, approaching their traditional material with a perfect mixture of reverence and fun, resulting in a kind of front-porch acoustic blues that still sounds pretty fresh all these years later."[5] Thom Owens reviewed the Red House Records reissue and called it "a strong, catchy album that nevertheless sounds closer to folkies than the typical British blues record."[4]

In discussing Elektra Records in his biography of Jim Morrison, author Stephen Davis noted that the signing of Koerner, Ray & Glover "gave Elektra considerable street cred" and described the album as "the coolest, hardest-rocking record of the whole folk revival."[8]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Linin' Track" (traditional) – 2:16
  2. "Ramblin' Blues" (John Koerner) – 2:42
  3. "It's All Right" (Dave Ray) – 3:50
  4. "Hangman" (Lead Belly) – 2:28
  5. "Ted Mack Rag" (Koerner) – 1:28
  6. "Down to Louisiana" (Lightnin' Hopkins, McKinley Morganfield) – 2:52
  7. "Creepy John" (Koerner) – 2:38
  8. "Bugger Burns" (traditional) – 1:37
  9. "Sun's Wail" (Glover) – 1:51
  10. "Dust My Broom" (Elmore James) – 4:04

Side two[edit]

  1. "One Kind Favor" (Blind Lemon Jefferson) – 3:56
  2. "Go Down Ol' Hannah" (traditional) – 2:55
  3. "Good Time Charlie" (Koerner) – 1:39
  4. "Banjo Thing" (Koerner) – 1:23
  5. "Stop That Thing" (Sleepy John Estes) – 2:00
  6. "Too Bad" (Koerner) – 1:50
  7. "Snaker's Here" (Ray) – 3:41
  8. "Low Down Rounder" (Peg Leg Howell) – 2:09
  9. "Jimmy Bell" (Cat Iron) – 2:43
  10. "Mumblin' Word" (Lead Belly) – 2:43

Personnel[edit]

  • Tony Glover – harmonica, vocals, liner notes, arrangements
  • John Koerner – guitar, harmonica, arrangements, vocals
  • Dave Ray – guitar, arrangement, vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, Joel (July–August 1999). "Review: (Lots More) Blues, Rags and Hollers". No Depression (22). Archived from the original on 2012-09-28. 
  2. ^ Fenchel, Luke Z. ""Interview with Bluesman Spider John Koerner"". Ithaca Times. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ Blues, Rags and Hollers: The Koerner, Ray & Glover Story. 1995. Latch Lake (video documentary).
  4. ^ a b c Owens, Thom. "Blues, Rags and Hollers - 1995 Reissue". Allmusic. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Leggett, Steve. "Blues, Rags and Hollers - 2004 Reissue". Allmusic. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame
  7. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Blues, Rags and Hollers > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ Davis, Stephen (2005). Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend. Gotham. p. 127. ISBN 1-59240-099-X. 

External links[edit]