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BLUES IMAGES CALENDAR 2017 (with free 23 track CD)

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Blues Images (CAL2017)

CD has 23 tracks by Charley Patton, Skip James, Blind Joe Reynolds, Blind Blake, Mobile Strugglers, Garfield Akers, Blind Willie Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Leroy Garnett, Blind Gussie Nesbitt, Ishman Bracey, Jed Davenport, Frank Palmes, and Joe Williams.

Once again we are presented here with a regular highlight of a blues lover’s year, the landing on the doormat of the annual Blues Images calendar!

The 2017 edition is the 14th in the series and, once again, presents us with a delightful array of beautifully presented photography and advertising artwork from the bygone era of pre-war blues. 

Each and every year we state that John Tefteller and his dedicated team have surpassed themselves once more and, in so doing here, we make no apologies for repeating ourselves again. Of the twelve images chosen for each month in the calendar year, there is a mix of rare (and high quality) photographic reproductions of blues performers (including this year Big Bill Broonzy and the Mobile Strugglers) as well as advertising imagery relating to 78rpm releases from the 1920s and 1930s of Skip James, Charley Patton, Jed Davenport, Blind Joe Reynolds, Garfield Akers,  Blind Willie Johnson and others.

As usual, the calendar comes with a free CD which contains 12 songs that directly match up to the monthly calendar artwork. This year this features such beauts as Blind Willie Johnson’s Let Your Light Shine On Me, Illinois Blues by Skip James, Nehi Blues by Blind Joe Reynolds, Charley Patton’s Lord, I’m Discouraged and Memphis Minnie’s I’m Talking About You, alongside lesser known artists and titles such as Louisiana Glide by Blind Leroy Garnett and Ain’t Gonna Lay My ‘Ligion Down - Take 2 by Frank Palmes.

And, as with the previous volumes, the CD adds a number of bonus tracks to those directly related to the 12 cuts featured in the calendar. Most of these are additional (often quite rare) sides from the artists featured in the calendar. Most rare of all however is the inclusion of an only recently discovered track by Big Bill Broonzy - The Western Blues, originally listed as being by Big Bill Johnson And The Western Kid (Frank Braswell).  Also ratcheting up the rarities value are a couple of little-known tracks from Ishman Bracey.

Even if you already have some of the tracks on the CD, the sound here on these re-masters is invariably better and clearer than you can find elsewhere. The versions on offer here have been re-processed using the highly sophisticated restoration techniques from the American Epic’s sound team.

 If you have loved these calendars in the past, the 2017 edition is again a must-have purchase. The only downside this year is unfortunately the price increase; caused by an unfortunate combination of a rise in production costs, an increase in shipping costs from the USA and, rather worryingly. a nose-dive in the international value of the British Pound in relation to other currencies. Brexit be damned!

Review Date: October 2017

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