Matchbox Bluesmaster Series: Songsters & Saints
Volume 7 of the CD release of the iconic Matchbox Bluesmaster LP series from the 1980s with extensive notes from world authority on the blues, Paul Oliver.
The 42 LP albums that make up the iconic Matchbox Bluesmaster Series were released by Saydisc Records between Nov 1982 and June 1988. Most of the albums were subtitled “Complete Recordings in Chronological Order” with a few under the subtitle “The Remaining Titles” or “New to LP”. The originating 78 rpm records (many of them extremely rare) were provided by several collectors under the editorship of well known Austrian collector, Johnny Parth and were re-mastered by Hans Klement of Austrophon Studios in Vienna. Johnny Parth had already created his extensive Roots Records label which Saydisc distributed in the UK and the Matchbox Bluesmaster Series was a carefully sculpted edition of black blues roots music giving a broad spectrum of the genre. Saydisc has in its vaults many more pre-Bluesmaster blues albums which may be issued on CD in due course.
“This, the seventh (and final) six-CD set in the peerless Matchbox Bluesmaster Series, features blues expert Paul Oliver’s selection of tracks sacred and secular (four CDs) alongside a single-artist album of songs and a CD of humorous ‘hokum’ music… As Paul Oliver says, in his summary at the end of his characteristically learned notes: ‘We should no longer let our absorption with blues and gospel deflect our attention from the richness and variety of those idioms of an early era; not only because the roots of contemporary music are embedded in them, but also for their intrinsic worth…’ Amen to that.” Chris Parker, London Jazz News
It is quite rewarding that the entire Matchbox catalog is now available on CD. Paul Oliver’s original definitive liner notes are also included and are a major bonus to this highly recommended series. Scott Yanow, Los Angeles Jazz Scene
"One marvels at the incredible gospel and blues tunes included… I highly recommend this and the entire series…All of America’s popular music came from these early blues and gospel music and hearing it gives us a great look into how that all happened." Steve Jones, President of the Crossroads Blues Society, USA
“…Set 7 of the stunning Matchbox Bluesmaster Series… British writer Paul Oliver wrote several highly regarded books on the history and roots of the blues, including in 1984, Songsters & Saints, but until now the recordings that went with the book have not seen the light of day on CD. Here they are at last and the wait has been more than worthwhile… You could write pages on these wonderful recordings… each bring you music you will never forget. Long overdue for release, grab yourselves copies while these remain available. This is the blues as good as it will ever get.” Pete Clack, Blues in Britain