Long Island Blues Society
The MS Sheiks were unique. Consisting of Sam, Lonnie and Armenter Chatmon and Walter Vinson, they were very important in the evolution of the blues. They took the music off the fields of King Cotton and into the burgeoning cities of the New South, helping turn Memphis into the music Mecca of today. Their songs are still played and there’s no doubt that Robert Johnson and his generation listened, copied and were deeply influenced by this group. Their urbanized string band sound blended country blues, ragtime and jazz into a sophisticated city based sound. The desire to pay tribute to these heroes made artists like John Hammond, Bruce Cockburn, Madeleine Peyroux, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Van Dyke Parks and a superb house band filled a Seattle studio and through 3 recording sessions, they cut these tracks in profound gratitude and respect. Songs like “Things About Coming My Way”, Stop and Listen”, “Sitting On Top Of the World” and a host of other great compositions fill this well annotated and documented disk with a new appreciation for the sounds of this seminal quartet who wrote and widely recorded in the 20s and 30s. An important revisiting of some of the blues’ most important early stars.