This year I've spent some time exploring the world of music blogs that offer mp3s of rare or out of print albums that can't be readily found in stores or online. This is what I guess happens when you own pretty much every album you want to own and a few thousand bootlegs (through trading with fellow fans via bittorrent) on top of that and there's not a decent record store within driving distance of your house despite living in a metropolitan area: you go out digging through the rare and used bins online. I started out looking for LPs that I vaguely remembered from the late 60s / early 70s that had caught my interest back then but were soon passed over for better albums. The quantity of quality releases back then was so high that some albums that I thought weren't that good now sound darn near brilliant when compared to what's being released today. But, alas, the Illinois Speed Press and Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys deserved their obscurity. On the other hand, the Mylon and Alvin Lee On The Road To Freedom album is really top notch, complete with a great George Harrison song with George adding his trademark slide and Ron Wood and Mick Fleetwood in the rhythm section. If someone wants to reissue the CD, I'll put my money down.
Two albums I (re)discovered have a Memphis connection and are definitely worth checking out.
The first is Lou Johnson's With You In My Mind – produced by Allen Toussaint and released by Stax in 1971. Never reissued and that is a shame because it's a great record. I'll leave it up to the posting blogger to fill you in but here's what you need to know: Toussaint himself rates it right at the top of his production work.
The second album is the debut by Sid Selvidge, a name known to all devotees of the 1970s Big Star / Chilton / Memphis scene. I once owned this record and it's good to hear it again (without having to fork over 50 bucks for a used LP). Sid has released three albums in the past decade and I highly recommend A Little Bit of Rain in particular. He's currently out on tour with Amy Speace. Check him out if he comes to your town.