Price: £39.99
Release Date: 27th October 2023
Running Time: 5 hours 22 minutes
Catalogue No: WNRCD5121
Barcode: 5018755512117
Format: 4CD boxset

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Down Home Blues – Chicago Volume 3: The Special Stuff

  • Down Home Blues: The Special Stuff is the third volume of Chicago Blues post-war down home blues music from Wienerworld: 108 tracks of rare, unissued or alternate takes of blues recorded in Chicago from 1941 through to 1961.
  • This is the sixth box set in Wienerworld’s award-winning Down Home Blues series, which explores the rich heritage and regional identities in the black American blues scene
  • This set is dedicated to the memory of the much-loved and missed Peter Moody, who finished compiling this collection just before his passing in November 2021. His friend and collaborator Chris Bentley – The Special Stuff blues music expert – notes that the title “was one of Peter Moody’s favourite expressions. Anything that he really liked or enjoyed was ‘the special stuff’. The tracks on this box set were selected solely by Peter.”
  • The Special Stuff highlights 36 artists who were prevalent in the Chicago blues scene during its golden age, from the early 40s to early 60s. It includes early down home blues recordings from Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley just before they were on the cusp of taking their music into the new world of rock and roll, as well as later recordings of established pre-war artists such as Robert Lockwood Jr and Sonny Boy Williamson.
  • A 4CD set, packaged in a deluxe digipak with an outer slip case, featuring 108 tracks – all remastered and including alternate takes of well-known recordings. All unissued and alternate take records are from the late Peter Moody’s private collection, many of which are otherwise unavailable.
  • Includes an outstanding 15,000 word, 88-page book, by renowned blues historian Chris Bentley on the post-war Chicago scene; many rare period photographs illustrate the essay throughout; plus full track details, as well as full sessionography detailing the where, when and who of the recordings, expertly compiled by blues expert Mike Rowe. 

The set continues to mix well-known artists with the lesser-known, as on the preceding Down Home Blues compilations. All of the recordings are prime Chicago masterworks – with big hitters like Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Chuck Berry featuring with recordings of alternate takes or originally unissued masters by the record companies, most of which are currently not available on release.

While CD1 sets the scene with the established pre-war bluesmen such as Robert Lockwood Jr and Sonny Boy Williamson, CD2 charts the rise of the amplified electric blues bands immediately following the second world war – such as in never-before-issued Chess recordings of Johnny Temple. CD3 continues the Muddy Waters sequence started on CD2 – and introduces Little Hudson, JB Lenoir and Eddie Taylor.

While beginning with a celebration of Chicago’s flagship rock ‘n’ rollers – in half a dozen tracks from each of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley – CD4 is rounded off by some largely unknown and unheralded artists including Grover Pruitt, Lucky Carmichael & Minnie Thomas. These obscure blues gems mirror the preceding Chicago set – regarding which RNR Magazine were willing to bet that “no matter how vast your blues collection, much of this wonderful music will be unfamiliar to you”, and “even if your knowledge of blues is encyclopedic you won’t even have heard of several of the performers” – a testament to the depth of Peter Moody’s own collection.

  • The Special Stuff follows Volume 2, Sweet Home Chicago (2019), which earned high critical praise from RNR, MOJO, DownBeat, Record Collector, and Shindig, plus the Living Blues 2022 Critics Award

Full track listing

CD 1
1 Black Spider Blues Robert Lockwood

2 I’m Gonna Train My Baby Robert Lockwood

3 County Jail Blues Big Maceo

4 Texas Blues Big Maceo

5 Little Boy Blue Robert Lockwood

6 Take A Little Walk With Me Robert Lockwood

7 Tell It To The O.P.A. Ann Sorter

8 Bad Stuff Ann Sorter

9 Do You Remember Big Maceo

10 Big City Blues Big Maceo

11 Miss Bessie Mae Sunnyland Slim

12 You’ve Gotta Stop This Mess Alfred Wallace (The Fat Man)

13 Keep On Sailing Jazz Gillum

14 Fast Woman Blues Jazz Gillum

15 Long Razor Blues Jazz Gillum

16 Southern Dream Sonny Boy Williamson

17 Bring Me Another Half Pint Sonny Boy Williamson

18 P Vine Blues  Big Joe Williams

19 I’m A Highway Man Big Joe Williams

20 I’m Gonna Train My Baby Jazz Gillum

21 Gonna Take My Rap Jazz Gillum

22 I Love You For Myself Sonny Boy Williamson

23 Alcohol Blues Sonny Boy Williamson

24 King Biscuit Stomp Big Joe Williams

25 Don’t You Leave Me Here Big Joe Williams

26 Memory of Sonny Boy Forest City Joe

27 A Woman On Every Street Forest City Joe


CD 2

1 Biscuit Roller St Louis Jimmy

2 I’m Sorry Now St Louis Jimmy

3 Sawdust Bottom * Forest City Joe

4 Ash Street Boogie * Forest City Joe

5 Boogie Man (Bogey Man) Willie Mahon

6 It Keeps Raining Willie Mahon

7 Dust My Broom Robert Lockwood Jr

8 Pearly B * Robert Lockwood Jr

9 Your Evil Ways St Louis Jimmy

10 Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman St Louis Jimmy

11 Pretty Woman * Johnny Temple

12 Jack and Jill * Johnny Temple

13 Drinkin’ Woman St Louis Jimmy

14 Why Work St Louis Jimmy

15 Pete’s Shuffle Boogie (Part 1) Matu Roy

16 Pete’s Shuffle Boogie (Part 2) Matu Roy

17 Aw Aw Baby Robert Lockwood

18 Sweet Woman From Maine Robert Lockwood

19 Hard Work Boogie St Louis Jimmy

20 Good Book Blues St Louis Jimmy

21 Down Home Child Sunnyland Slim

22 Leaving Your Town Sunnyland Slim

23 Wait Baby * Little Johnny Jones

24 Hoy Hoy Little Johnny Jones

25 TV Mama Big Joe Turner

26 Iodine In My Coffee * Muddy Waters

27 Flood * Muddy Waters


CD 3

1 If It’s All Night Long Little Brother

2 New Vicksburg Blues Little Brother

3 She’s Alright -ALT Muddy Waters

4 This Pain Muddy Waters

5 Sad Sad Day * Muddy Waters

6 Smokestack Lightning Muddy Waters

7 Hoy Hoy -ALT Little Johnny Jones

8 Chicago Blues * Little Johnny Jones

9 Doin’ The Best I Can Little Johnny Jones

10 Come Back Baby * Little Walter

11 My Kind of Baby * Little Walter

12 Pinetop’s Boogie Blues Little Brother

13 Arkansas Blues Little Brother

14 Ah’w Baby -ALT Little Walter

15 Mouth Harp Mambo * JB Hutto

16 Things Are So Slow -ALT JB Hutto

17 Skinny Mama Floyd Jones

18 Pet Rabbit Baby Face Leroy

19 I Have Married * JB Lenoir

20 Ride ‘Em On Down * Eddie Taylor

21 Stroll Out West * Eddie Taylor

22 Don’t Hang Around * Little Hudson

23 Look Out JT Brown

24 Do What I Say JB Lenoir

25 I Feel So All Alone * Jody Williams

26 She’s Fine, She’s Mine Bo Diddley


CD 4
1 Maybe Blues Morris Pejoe

2 Screaming And Crying Morris Pejoe

3 Deep Feeling Chuck Berry

4 How You’ve Changed Chuck Berry

5 Blue Feeling Chuck Berry

6 Worried Life Blues Chuck Berry

7 Sweet Sixteen Chuck Berry

8 I Got To Find My Baby Chuck Berry

9 I Could Cry Junior Wells

10 Prison Bars All Around Me Junior Wells

11 I’m Looking For A Woman Bo Diddley

12 Before You Accuse Me Bo Diddley

13 Pretty Thing Bo Diddley

14 I Can Tell Bo Diddley

15 It’s Been Too Long Memphis Slim

16 Four Walls Memphis Slim

17 Cold Blooded Woman Memphis Slim

18 One Man’s Mad Memphis Slim

19 You Don’t Love Me Willie Cobbs

20 Slow Down Willie Cobbs

21 Don’t Let It Happen To You Minnie Thomas

22 Blues With A Feeling Lucky Carmichael

23 Fool For You Baby Grover Pruitt

24 Every Day and Every Night* Magic Sam/Shakey Jake

25 Have You Seen My Mother* Magic Sam/Shakey Jake

26 A Hard Road * Magic Sam/Shakey Jake

27 Leaving This Morning * Magic Sam/Shakey Jake

28 Sweet Home Chicago* Magic Sam/Shakey Jake

Price: £39.99
Release Date: 27th October 2023
Running Time: 5 hours 22 minutes
Catalogue No: WNRCD5121
Barcode: 5018755512117
Format: 4CD boxset

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