Click on image to order
Audio CD (November 30, 1993)
Original Release Date: 1968
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Arhoolie Records
No Ball & Chain Draggin' Down This Lady, May 30, 2007
When Janis Joplin electrified the folk/blues scene with her
incredibly propelled version of Big Mama Thorton's "Ball &
Chain," I really wanted to hear more from the source. Unfortunately it
wasn't until recently that I listened to this CD that features "Ball &
Chain." I was surprised at the high quality of the entire CD--and also a
little surprised how "modern" Willie Mae "Big Mama" sounded
on the CD. I don't know, I guess I was expecting more in the line of an
anthology, archival performance in the way of Bessie Smith recordings (and I am
serious Bessie Smith fan too.)
Willie Mae originated "Hound Dog" that was later such a hit for Elvis. Elvis' version is great, but I prefer the original.
Legendary Muddy Waters accompanies on five tunes.
As for "Ball & Chain," you can really hear the influence the original had on Janis Joplin--and how Janis also made it her own.
This is CD is hardcore blues delivered in Big Mama's light, almost delicate style.
No, there's nothing "almost" about it. Big Mama Thorton's blues phraseology is both strong & unequivocally delicate.
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thorton is one of the blues Greats, sharing the galaxy with other blues/jazz devas like Billie Holiday & Etta James.
Big Mama Thornton in Europe
The Complete Vanguard Recordings
Hound Dog: The Peacock Recordings
All the Way
The Essential Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 1
I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again, Mama