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Detroit Blues Masters Vol.2: Robert Richard - Walter Mitchell

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Detroit Blues Masters Vol.2: Robert Richard - Walter Mitchell

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01. Stop messing around
02. Pet milk blues
03. Broke and hungry

Walter Mitchell – vocals, harmonica
Robert Richard – harmonica
Boogie Woogie Red – piano
Little George – bass
Detroit, Mi. 1948

04. Watercoast blues
05. Low down dirty shame
06. Shady land blues

Walter Mitchell – vocals, harmonica
+ band
Detroit, Mi. 1954

07. Rambling around blues

Sam Kelly – vocals, harmonica
Robert Richard – harmonica
L.C. Green – guitar
Detroit, Mi. 1953

08. Cadillac woman
09. Wig wearing woman
10. Wigwam woman
11. New York Central
12. Root hog
13. Baby please don't go

Robert Richard – vocals, harmonica
Walter Mitchell - harmonica
Boogie Woogie Red – piano
Little George – bass
Detroit, Mi. 1948

14. Drunk driver's coming
15. Stolen property

Robert Richard – vocals, guitar
Howard Richard - vocals, guitar
Detroit, Mi. 1959


Robert Richard (born in Cartersville, Ga. on octobre 4th, 1924) learned the guitar and the harmonica with his uncle, a quite famous bootlegger who had troubles with the Chicago Mafia! Robert, like a lot of other southerners, came to work in the automobile industry in 1942. With his brother Howard (himself a good singer and guitarist), Robert is quite quickly a steady member of the blues fraternity who play in the numerous Hastings Street clubs. Robert acquires a strong reputation with his powerful harmonica style largely derived from John lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's. He records with Walter Mitchell and pianist Boogie Woogie Red in 1948, then is featured as a sideman on many Detroit recording sessions, particularly with Bobo Jenkins (whose band he is a permanent member). He waxes some sides under his name for Chess in Chicago but those titles unfortunately are still unissued! After the blues becomes outfashioned among the young black public in the 60's and the once thrieving Hastings Street bluescene diseppears completely, Robert Richard gives up the music. But he is rediscovered by George Paulus who records him in 1975 and 1977 for an excellent all acoustic LP. But this album sells very poorly and Richard drifts in obscurity. We don't even know the date and place of his probable death.

Walter Mitchell (born in Pickens, Ark on march 19th, 1919) comes to Detroit with his mother in 1926 already playing the harmonica! He hoboes everywhere in the Southern States during the 1930's, playing and singing the blues under the name Little Walter according to his diminutive stature (before Walter Jacobs). Drafted in 1942, Walter is badly wounded in the leg on the Pacific front and discharged in 1944, he settles permanently in Detroit, making a living from his music, frequently in company of his cousin, the singer and guitariste L.C. Green. Although he has been quite often in the Detroit studios as a sideman, Walter made only two sessions under his name, first in 1948 with Robert Richard and another in 1954. He relocates in Toledo during the 60's where he is interviewed by some British researchers for the Blues Unlimited magazine. That allows him to make some great appearances in Toledo. He dies there on january 10th 1990.

Last but not least, harp player and singer Sam Kelly waxed only one title, the stupendous Rambling around blues. Sam is a complete unknown but it has been strongly suggested that Sam Kelly was in fact a nom de disque for none other than Walter Mitchell. --- Gérard Herzhaft, jukegh.blogspot.com

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