New Arrivals, Restocks, & Rarities - nearly summer 2015

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75 Dollar Bill
Wooden Bag
Other Music Recording Co.
LP
$13

Restocked once again. "75 Dollar Bill formed in New York City in 2012; the singular music of this instrumental duo draws various sources from around the world and across disciplines, everything from Mauritanian guitar to raw minimalism and blown-out urban blues, yet sounds unlike anything we’ve heard before. Wooden Bag is their debut vinyl release (after various cassette and digital EPs) and first for Other Music Recording Co., packaged in a limited-edition (500 copies) hand-stamped sleeve, download included." - Other Music. https://soundcloud.com/other-music-recording-co/75-dollar-bill-cuttin-out-1

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79rs Gang
Fire on the Bayou
Sinking City
LP
$13

“79rs Gang are Big Chief Romeo Bougere of the 9th Ward Hunters and Big Chief Jermaine Bossier of the 7th Ward Creole Hunters. Traditionally rivals representing different tribes in different wards of the City, these Big Chiefs have come together to shine the light on this unique culture and sound. Call and response lyrics detail the realities of New Orleans notoriously rough streets and highlight the unique aspects of Mardi Gras Indian culture, where Indians spend the entire year sewing an elaborate new suit to debut on Mardi Gras morning. These calls and chants interplay with the sounds of bass drum, snare, bottles, cowbell, cymbals, and handclaps, calling both on the ancestors and warning contemporaries to stay out of the way.

“Mardi Gras Indian culture is endemic to New Orleans. For well over 100 years men, women, and children have masked in elaborate feathered and beaded suits painstakingly hand sewn over an entire year. Mardi Gras Indians tell the stories of their origins where escaped African slaves found refuge and intermarried with the Native Americans of South Louisiana. Suits glorify resistance to slavery, to cowboys, and to the ethnic cleansing of native people. Each year at Mardi Gras time, both of these Big Chiefs lead their own gang out on the streets of New Orleans. Fire On The Bayou is a chance to experience that excitement at any time or place.” - Sinking City. Hear Drama: https://soundcloud.com/sinking-city-records/03-drama

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Daniel Carter
Work in Process
Pitchfork Poetry Press
book, 12 pages
$4

Nice 12-page chapbook of Daniel Carter's spontaneous freeform prose. Carter is a musician, writer, visual artist, conversationalist, and all-around inspirational spirit based in New York City who has been creating freely improvised music since the early 1970s. He performs most often on alto and tenor saxophones, trumpet, clarinet, and flute, though he also plays drums, guitar, and sings. While he is probably most well-known for his key role in long-standing free jazz collectives such as Other Dimensions in Music and Test, he also regularly collaborates with rock bands, abstract noisemakers, singer-songwriters, and more. These projects include some relatively famous outfits, but most often involve countless others who are less familiar to the general public. It’s probably safe to say that he has collaborated with thousands of musicians over the years.

Mr. Carter's writing has also been published in anthologies such as Wandering Archive One, 50 Miles of Elbow Room, Dyed-in-the-Wool, The Tinker, and others, but this is his first stand-alone publication. Published in a hand-numbered edition of 200 copies.

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Tom Carter
Numinal Entry
Halatern, Etc.
LP
$18

"This is the second release from the Halatern, Etc. label, run by Keith Connolly (of NNCK/No Neck Blues Band fame). Tom Carter requires no introduction (those who are curious are encouraged to visit the historically rich wholly-other.com). Of late, his Kazuyuki K. Null meets Franco Falsini excursionary instrumentalism has taken on an increased luminosity, due in no small part to some unexpected time spent at a certain house on the borderland. In his own words: 'Information-inscribed ribbons unravel from a spool spinning into relaxed entropy. Floating smoke-scrap phrases dissolve before the awakening namer; whispers of causation refute a dozen irreal plot lines, showering text onto re-emergent reality as a deeper narrative retreats to a place hidden from scrutiny. I am awake, and you are here with me. Holding our hands before our eyes we stare skyward, light leaking through our fingers, rays shift and rearrange as we flex our fingers. The beams emanate from within, not without; the light pours out of our eyes, animating all we see, bearing the unbearable heat in us. These memories intertwine with 'reality' in a way that's impossible to parse. One night not so long after my return, I attempted to transcribe them in the only sensical way, via degenerating melodic and harmonic arcs, free of the inevitable collapse of language. These recordings are the result.' The recordings he speaks of comprise Numinal Entry, the second LP released by Halatern, etc. The sounds contained therein offer a glimpse of something slightly outside of living experience, something slowly holy, and something eternal. Edition of 300 copies." - Halatern, Etc.

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Kyle Eyre Clyd
Pale Dawn Creeps
Halatern, Etc.
LP
$18

"This is the first release from the Halatern, Etc. label, run by Keith Connolly (of NNCK/No Neck Blues Band fame). "Is it the sight of death, the thought of saying? What sinks us deeper into melancholy: sexual incompleteness or its spastic conclusion? What seems to line our life with satin? What brings the rouge to both our cheeks? Loneliness, emptiness, worthlessness, grief... each is an absence in us. We have no pain, but we have lost all pleasure, and the lip that meets our lip is always one-half of our own. Our state is exactly the name of precisely nothing, and our memories, with polite long faces, come to view us and to say to one another that we never looked better; that we seem at last at peace; that our passing was... well -- sad -- still -- doubtless for the best (all this in a whisper lest the dead should hear)" --William Gass, from On Being Blue. Kyle Clyd is of an orphaned ascendancy, more Geeshie Wiley or Anne Gillis than any of her visible peers. In talking about Pale Dawn Creeps, her debut full-length, she refers a kind of blues, itself perhaps a mercurial essence resigned to antiquity: "To believe that the bits of paper in your pocket have real value or to take the word for the thing itself is the 'unpardonable sin' of the New Testament. Those guilty are condemned to blackness. Black manifests in the instant the accusatory finger is lifted, or guilty hand raised, but blue is not so easily won. Blue is not a second coming, but its denial -- our shortcomings hovering in the dead air of judgment's lag." While certainly not blues in the traditional (read: idiomatic) sense, Pale Dawn Creeps' depth-of-shallows abstraction belies an unmistakable lyricism and almost sing-song vacancy that is something of a cipher, asking where, when it has all been said, do songs really come from? Edition of 300 copies." - Halatern, Etc.

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Fire Into Music
s/t
Ballroom Marfa
LP
$16

Very scarce LP by Fire Into Music (Jemeel Moondoc, Steve Swell, William Parker, & Hamid Drake) recorded live in Marfa, TX, on October 8, 2004.  Moondoc and Swell each contribute a tune that gets a side-long going over from the band.  Strong solos from everybody, some deep Parker/Drake grooves, well-done cover art, all bases covered.  Furthermore, you get to hear Parker solo accompanied by a passing train (must've been an outdoor gig), drawing some hollers from the audience.  Only 500 copies of this LP were pressed and most were sold by the band members while on tour.  Had this years ago, very glad to get a few more.  Hear some of Junka Nu.

Steve Swell: trombone
Jemeel Moondoc: alto saxophone
William Parker: bass
Hamid Drake: drums

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Jimmy Lee Harris
Vol. 25 of the George Mitchell collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7" EP
$5

Absolutely terrific acoustic country blues from Jimmy Lee Harris, recorded in Phenix City, Alabama, by George Mitchell in ~1980. Harris was around 45 years old at the time and a vibrant player with a loose, hypnotic style. Most of his songs are originals, a few of which sound largely improvised, with a relaxed, comfortable approach that’s very appealing. On one track he’s accompanied by his brother Eddie, a fine guitarist in his own right, while Jimmy Lee contributes some very convincing mock harmonica, a technique he learned while incarcerated (“I didn’t have nothing to play in there, and I made that up in jail.  I put my hands to my mouth and just did it, they all called me the Harp Boy. It sounded all right to the boys, so that’s how we had our music.”). Hear I Wanna Ramble.

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Jessie Mae Hemphill
Vol. 45 of the George Mitchell collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7" EP
$5

First ever recordings of the great Jessie Mae Hemphill. Two sweet-voiced a cappella gospel numbers (Home Going and I Want To Be Ready) on one side and an interesting interview on the other, where she discusses learning to play music from her grandfather, the legendary Sid Hemphill. Recorded in Senatobia, MS in August 1967, back when she was still known as Jessie Mae Brooks.

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Rev. Charlie Jackson
Wrapped Up Tangled Up in Jesus / Morning Train
Booker Records
45rpm 7"
$9

Officially licensed reissue of Rev. Charlie Jackson’s first 45. All his original singles are in high demand, this one especially so: 2 hot, classic sides. Edition of 500. Hear clips of Wrapped Up Tangled Up in Jesus & Morning Train.

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Rev. Charlie Jackson
Wrapped Up in Jesus / Lord You're So Good
Jackson Records
45rpm 7"
$24

Original copies of this very scarce 45, privately pressed by Rev. Charlie Jackson on his own Jackson Records imprint in the 1970s.

Rev. Charlie Jackson played an especially potent brand of raw, bluesy gospel. Born in 1932 just outside of McComb, Mississippi, he took up the electric guitar as a young man and started out playing the blues. Soon afterwards, he gave up the blues to serve the Lord. He developed a powerful, instantly recognizable style and often played on church programs with the legendary Rev. Utah Smith. He subsequently recorded a string of incredible and legendary 45s for Booker Records out of New Orleans.

After the Booker material went out-of-print, Rev. Jackson took matters into his own hands and started his own private press label, Jackson Records, in the late ‘70s. This 45 is Jackson 101 and it features a re-recording of “Wrapped Up and Tangled Up in Jesus,” one of his most popular numbers that had been previously released on Booker, backed by the previously unrecorded “Lord You’re So Good,” a deep and measured ballad.

This version of “Wrapped Up…” has not been reissued in any form. Since Rev. Jackson sold these records exclusively at church services, they never entered the marketplace and therefore didn’t receive any other distribution.

Each side plays with relatively low but steady background crackle as well as the occasional pop which decreases in frequency a bit as the side progresses, probably reflection on the quality of the pressing. Generally speaking, these are quite clean copies, but there may be occasional minor idiosyncrasies in label and vinyl. Hear clips of Wrapped Up in Jesus & Lord You're So Good.

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Robert Johnson
Vol. 27 of the George Mitchell collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7" EP
$5

Robert "Nighthawk" Johnson sang bluesy, time-stopping gospel. He would pick stark tunes on the acoustic guitar, sometimes with a bottleneck, and sing in a deep, moaning style: "Been drinkin' tears for water, tryin' to make it home". The lucky among us are familiar with Johnson's haunting and powerful contributions to the top-tier Sorrow Come Pass Me Around compilation LP (see below). On this record, Mr. Johnson is accompanied by his daughters Norma, Dorothy, and Shirley. Recorded in Skene, Mississippi, on July 2, 1969, and the spirit was moving. Hear Hold My Body Down and He'll Make a Way.

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Cleve Pozar
Cleve Solo Percussion
CSP
LP
$60

Born Robert F. Pozar in 1941, Cleve Pozar is a percussionist and composer who is schooled in a wide array of musical styles, including Afro-Cuban, Latin, jazz, free improvisation, classical, avant-garde, funk, country, polka, and more.  During the 1960s, he participated in a couple of the seminal events in free jazz and avant-garde classical music: with Bill Dixon at the October Revolution in Jazz and with Eric Dolphy, Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley, and many others at the ONCE Festivals in Ann Arbor. Early entries in his discography include Bob James’ “Bold Conceptions” and “Explosions,” and Bill Dixon’s “Intents and Purposes”.  Dixon also produced Pozar’s first album as a leader, “Good Golly Miss Nancy,” released by Savoy in 1967.

Cleve brought this diverse background and a wide-open mind to his study of different musical modes, which he worked out using a heap of percussion instruments, an Echoplex, organ, and plenty enough other gear to fill a 14-foot van to capacity.  Eventually, these songs took shape into becoming an album, Cleve Solo Percussion, privately pressed by Pozar in 1974.  In a nutshell, calling it “Solo Percussion” is quite an understatement.  From his liner notes:  “The third movement is distorted guitar harmonics which were looped, live bicycle wheel and four tom-tom rims and Echoplexed double bass drums” and  “In place of the rest of the drum set I use two ratchets, Indian bells, two wood blocks and solenoid-activated gongs, which I play with my feet”.  Got all that? And he would do this at gigs.

The dedication, ingenuity, and self-sufficient mindset that Cleve dedicated to this project made a significant impact on Cooper-Moore, who, like Cleve, was living in the Boston area at that time.  He still often quotes Cleve, “With the tools and a good library, you can do anything any other man can do.”

Unfortunately, most other folks weren’t quite as ready for this in those days and the record came and went with few sales.  Over time, however, it slowly established a reputation as a rare and singular document.  I’ve played this record to listeners from a wide variety of backgrounds and the response is almost always: “wow.”   It has all the idiosyncratic, visionary gusto you could want from a private-press record (or any record, really).

It’s a pleasure to offer original copies of this LP via a direct arrangement with Cleve.  The covers are quite clean, though there may be light wear.  There’s a bit of storage warp on some copies, so I will do a quick play-check before shipping.  Hear a couple clips: Echo Afrika & Magistrate Lousvart.

Read plenty more about this album via this October 2008 interview with Cleve, here. And here is a trailer for a documentary in progress about Cleve: http://vimeo.com/38011368

Last copies!

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The Sensational All-Stars
I Got My Ticket / Jesus Never Left Me Alone
Gospel Time Records
45rpm 7"
$6

Original copies of this gospel 45 out of Jackson, Mississippi. Guessing it's from around the early 1980s? The a-side is laid back & mildly funky while the flip is side more traditional & upbeat. Not a destination my ears would usually go by design, but I didn't mind the side trip. Just a few copies here. Hear clips of I Got My Ticket & Jesus Never Left Me Alone.

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Will Shade
Vol. 33 of the George Mitchell collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7" EP
$5

Ragged but right four-song EP from Will Shade, formerly of the Memphis Jug Band. Two of these tracks were also found on the Tennessee Legends compilation, but even owners of that record will want this 7” to get in on Shade’s hilariously foul-mouthed Dirty Dozens. On Wine-Headed Man, Shade delivers an excellent improvised number that pokes fun at the visiting white boys, a tradition that is often executed but seldom commercially released. Fahey: “He had the most infectious smile I have ever seen on anyone. He could have sold me the Brooklyn Bridge if he wanted to.”

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Sonny Simmons
Global Jungle
no label / private release

cassette
$15

Original cassette issue of this somewhat elusive Sonny Simmons session, recorded in 1982 & first released on this format in 1985. Notable also for an appearance of Earl Freeman on side A. Hear some of Global Jungle.

“Sonny Simmons is a revered and unrelenting pioneer, one of the remaining few. His dozen or so recordings from 1961-1970 established him as one of the most exciting new horn players of that era. During the ‘70s and ‘80s, Simmons stayed true to his art form, writing some of his major compositions, working with local musicians, and ‘dealing with it.’ Unfortunately, this time period produced little recorded material.

“Global Jungle is one of the rare recordings that captures Simmons’ prolific work of the 1980s. Listening to these compositions, one hears searing white hot saxophone, the long winded legato, and multiple tonguing techniques for which Simmons is noted. The fluidity of this recording is further enhanced by the spontaneous and direct response from the rhythm section. Global Jungle is raw and real. It is life drama.” - notes from the CD issue

Sonny Simmons: alto saxophone & vocals
Kirk Charles Heydt: cello
Dylan Morgan
: drums
Earl Freeman: electric fretless bass (side A)
Perry Thorsell: acoustic bass (side A)
Freddie "Bon Ganni" Williams: acoustic bass (side B)
Jeffrey Donald: vocals (side B)

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J. B. Smith
No More Good Time in the World for Me
Dust-to-Digital
2CD
$15

"Folklorist Bruce Jackson was among the last to record work songs. In 1964 he visited Ramsey State Farm in Rosharon, Texas, where he met Johnnie B. Smith, prisoner #130196. A native of Hearne, Texas, Smitty was 46 years old and on his fourth prison term. In his younger days, Smitty toted lead hoe in a flat-weeding gang and led the work songs. It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good song leader in the penitentiary setting—one needed to be rhythmically, lyrically, and physically reliable, to maintain those songs over interminable hours of hard labor under an unforgiving south-central Texas sun.

"But J.B. also sang other songs, different songs—those he’d made up to occupy himself while chopping sugarcane or picking cotton. He referred to them as his 'little ol’ songs.' The longest stretched to thirty-three verses, or more than twenty-two recorded minutes. Although Smitty knew and sang a variety of melodies, to an assortment of work songs and sacred pieces, he employed only one tune for his compositions. What changed were the tempo and the ornamentation with which he individualized them. 'The Major Special,' 'No More Good Time In The World For Me,' 'Ever Since I Been A Man Full Grown' — each song Smith charged with its own emotional ambience, as a seasoned preacher intuits the particular colors and atmospheres that should imbue each portion of his service.

"Smith was paroled in 1967, a year after his final session with Jackson  and the release, on John Fahey’s Takoma Records, of an LP — Ever Since I Have Been A Man Full Grown — of three of Smitty’s songs. That summer, Bruce arranged for him to sing at the Newport Folk Festival, at which he appeared on stage with Pete Seeger, and, in one of the only photos that survive of him, in the company of Robert Pete Williams and Muddy Waters. A couple of years passed before Bruce heard from him again. He had returned to Amarillo, where he preached for a while; a parole violation then sent him back to prison." - Dust-to-Digital. Hear some of his epic, breathtaking No Payday Here.

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James "Son" Thomas
Gateway to the Delta
Rustron Records
LP
$20

Original sealed copies of this obscure late-80s release from celebrated blues singer and folk artist James “Son” Thomas. Thomas generally brought the heavy gravitas when being photographed (especially when pictured with his sculptures of skulls that sometimes included real human teeth), but his music at times also had a sly playfulness to it. This is a quite nice and varied acoustic set, warm and lived-in, with Thomas being accompanied by Walter Liniger on harmonica for around half of the songs. Especially nice versions of It Hurts Me Too & After the War. Released on Rustron Records, out of Holly Springs, Mississippi. These flew out of here last time, found a few more.

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Lonzie Thomas
Vol. 8 of the George Mitchell collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7" EP
$5

“I watched my daddy’s fingers on the guitar and I caught it,” remembered Lonzie Thomas, who was born in his present home of Lee County, Alabama, in 1921. He was shot in the face and blinded at the age of 22. “After I got blind, I got more interested in playing and singing,” he said. “It was something to keep my mind off worrying.” It was also one of the few ways a blind man could make a living, and he began playing on the streets of Opelika and Columbus for tips and at parties.” – George Mitchell, from In Celebration of a Legacy. His take on Raise A Ruckus Tonight is a particular favorite.

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Big Mama Thornton
Ball and Chain (part 1) / Wade in the Water
Arhoolie
45rpm 7"
$75

Stock copy of this killer 45. A couple storage scuffs & pressing dimples, but they don't impact playback. Very desirable. Hear Bee Houston’s scorching solo, etc.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRzWeXYqb5g

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Various Artists
Drop on Down in Florida
Dust-to-Digital
2CD & hardcover book
$32

“Based on four years of fieldwork throughout the state, the Florida Folklife Program released the two-album, 27-track 2LP Drop on Down in Florida in 1981. The album was intended to highlight African American music traditions for a statewide public audience, blues and sacred traditions in particular. In recent years, the Folklife Program sought the opportunity to produce an expanded reissue of the album that would include previously unissued fieldwork recordings and photos. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork materials now housed in the State Archives of Florida, the expanded reissue includes nearly 80 previously-unreleased minutes of music on 28 new tracks, plus numerous photos documenting the musicians and communities that perpetuated these traditions.

“Notable among the previously unreleased tracks are additional musical selections and personal narratives from one-string musician Moses Williams, four-shape-note Sacred Harp singing from an African American community in the Florida Panhandle, and recordings from the Richard Williams family in the blues and gospel-blues traditions. The reissue also includes new track notes from respected music scholars David Evans and Doris J. Dyen; reflective essays from past and present folklorists with the Florida Folklife Program, including Peggy A. Bulger, Dwight DeVane, Doris J. Dyen, and Blaine Waide; and an extensive essay on African American one-string instrument traditions by David Evans.

“The 2012 edition of Drop on Down in Florida: Field Recordings of African American Traditional Music 1977–1980 highlights the significance of the previously unreleased material. In addition, it calls attention to the importance of the original LP and makes its contents available once again, this time to a larger audience.” - Dust-to-Digital. Truly one of the great compilations. Hear some clips from Robert Denis, Emmett Murray, Moses Williams, Richard Williams, & Ella Mae Wilson.

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Various Artists
Sorrow Come Pass Me Around
Dust-to-Digital
LP
$19

All-time killer gospel comp finally reissued. "A collection of spiritual and gospel songs performed in informal non-church settings between 1965 and 1973. Most are guitar-accompanied and performed by active or former blues artists. 'Most records of black religious music contain some form of gospel singing or congregational singing recorded at a church service. This album, though, tries to present a broader range of performance styles and contexts with the hope of showing the important role that religious music plays in the Southern black communities and in the daily lives of individuals.' --David Evans, from the liner notes. LP, 16-page 11"x11" booklet, tip-on sleeve, 16 photographs." - Dust-to-Digital. Hear Blind Pete Burrell, Eddie Lee Jones, & oh man Pattie Rosemon.

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Pete Whelan
78 Quarterly - Issue No. 6
78 Quarterly
book, 96 pages
$12

Published ~1990.  Schlitz Jug Band on the cover.  Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages.  Front and back covers show slight rubbing.  Features include:
“Paramount Part IV: The Advent of Arthur Laibly” by Stephen Calt and Gayle Dean Wardlow
“The Rarest 78s (H-I-Ja)”
“Louie Bluie, Part 2” by Terry Zwigoff
“100 Years from Today: A Survey of Afro-American Music in 1890 as Recorded by the Black Community Press” by Doug Seroff, Lynn Abbott, and Ray Funk
“The Myth of Rock and Roll” by Stephen Calt
“Booker White on Bullet Williams” by Cal Stephens
“Gennett-Champion Blues: Richmond, Indiana (1923-1934), Part 4” by Tom Tsotsi

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Pete Whelan
78 Quarterly - Issue No. 8
78 Quarterly
book, 112 pages
$8

Frank Stokes on the cover. No publishing date listed, but presumably this is from the early-mid 1990s. Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages.  Front and back covers show more significant wear, so a reduced price on this one.  Featured articles:
“H. C. Speir (1895-1972)” by Gayle Dean Wardlow
“Gennett Records: Capturing America’s Musical Grassroots” by Rick Kennedy
“Portrait of a Blues Singer, Part 6” by Stephen Calt (excerpt from Calt’s book on Skip James)
“The Rarest 78s (L-M-N)”
“Southern Echoes” by Tony Russell
“Gennett-Champion Blues: Richmond, Indiana (1923-1934), Part 5” by Tom Tsotsi
“Sweet Mattie Dorsey: Been Here, but She’s Gone” by Doug Seroff and Lynn Abbott
“Foolishness Rag: The Perception of Ragtime in Europe” by Rainer E. Lotz
“The Earliest Boogie Woogie” by E. S. Virgo
“American Ragtime Performers in Britain” by Mark Berresford