REW no number – Newton Greer with Williams’ Blues Band – Harmonica Blues
These two tracks on the top 45 appear on Harmonica Williams’ Ahura Mazda label LP from 1971 and follow the trend of REW licensing outside tracks for release. They were also coupled on 45 by Ahura Mazda & possibly the Ruthies label too, so maybe this had three 45 releases in total but definitely two. Ruthies was the New Orleans Record Store pictured on the LP cover. They are electric blues tracks from New Orleans which also feature Little Freddie King on guitar. Born in Mississippi is titled Born Dead on all other releases of the track & is the only song on the LP which sees vocalist Newton Greer present, he is absent from Hi Way 82 which has band/session leader Harmonica Williams on vocals. Hi Way 82 is spelt Highway 82 on the other release too. The other musicians are AB Bruer on bass and Rudy Taylor on drums. The LP was also released on the Saydisc label and was produced by Eldridge Johnson. It is apparantly the first all electric blues LP recorded in New Orleans. John “Harmonica” Williams was something of a influential established New Orleans blues harmonica player at the time with Little Freddie King seen as the up & coming talent on this his debut recordings. Little Freddie King is still going strong today and has carved a long career for himself. From left to right on the LP cover are Williams, Bruer, Taylor & King.
The second 45 also appears to have been released in 1974, licensed for release by Hines & label owner Robert Reese a few years after the LP was recorded and features the same songs but they are just retitled as Harmonica Blues, don’t ask me why.