This comprehensive Bear Family audiotheque is dedicated to the mid-Sixties German Beat music boom. A total of 30 installments with 20 to 30 titles per CD, all remastered for the best possible sound quality. The author, Hans-Jürgen Klitsch, has written the hugely informative booklets for our CDs. Please note that all liner notes are in German language. Another Bear Family exclusive!
Having come to the U.S. from his native Nigeria to study medicine, percussionist Babatunde Olatunji eventually became one of the first African music stars in the States. He also soon counted jazz heavyweights like John Coltrane ("Tunji") and Dizzy Gillespie among his admirers (Gillespie had, a decade earlier, also courted many Cuban music stars via his trailblazing Latin jazz recordings). And, in spite of it being viewed by some as a symbol of African chic, Drums of Passion is still a substantial record thanks to Olatunji's complex and raw drumming.
All of Sleepy LaBeef's most important records – from his early singles for Starday to his latter-day sides for Sun – are included on the mammoth, six-disc box set Larger Than Life. LaBeef recorded for a number of different labels during his career, and during that time, he explored a variety of roots music, from rockabilly and country to blues and soul. Spanning three full decades, Larger Than Life contains 158 tracks, including all of his recordings for Starday, Dixie, Columbia, and Sun.
After a long and productive hibernation, Bear's Den is days away from releasing Red Earth and Pouring Rain, the first album since the amicable departure of Joey Haynes. Part of the album's inspiration comes from the likes of a painting from Edward Hopper, the novels of Raymond Carver, and film director, Robert Altman's Short Cuts…
Perhaps the most difficult thing in writing about a box set like this is how to convey in words – few or many – the magic, wonder, and intimidating musicianship that is contained on these recordings. Over four CDs, the seeds, roots, branches, and trees of a musical partnership were formed and lived out on the public stage, and remain all but unknown to those who were not country music fans during the era. While one Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant compilation has appeared on Razor & Tie, as a single disc it only begins to offer the legend of this pair of musical innovators.
Ferlin Husky shares billing on his volume of Bear Family's ongoing rockabilly and country-boogie series, Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight, with Simon Crum and Terry Preston – two aliases he adopted in the thick of and at the start of his career, respectively. Unlike Collectors' Choice Music's 2002 collection Country Music Is Here to Stay, the focus of this 2016 set is not on the novelties of Simon Crum. Instead, this rounds up 32 sides Husky recorded in any incarnation, with the uniting factor being its swing.