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Craft Recordings To Launch New Bluesville Records

Craft Recordings, known for their album reissues, will release Bluesville Records, a new reissue series celebrating America’s Blues history.

It was inspired by the original Bluesville imprint, which was launched by Prestige Records in 1959, and is intended for blues enthusiasts of all kinds.

Bluesville Records will release titles from labels including Prestige, Vee-Jay, Riverside, Vanguard, Stax, and Rounder, as well elevate the legacies behind the albums, honouring their impact on modern music.

Each track has been handpicked, and will be released on vinyl, partnering with Acoustic Sounds, an industry leader in audiophiles.

Founder of Acoustic Sounds, Chad Kassem said, “Craft Recordings owns some very important blues albums. I am honored and excited to work with them to ensure that their new Bluesville reissues will sound as good as possible.”

The albums will feature all analogue mastering by Matthew Lutthans, a Grammy nominated engineer, and will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl at QRP. Reproduced tip-on jackets will round out each release as well.

GRAMMY-winning producer, writer and musician, Scott Billington said, “Bluesville represents over 75 years of blues history, from culture-shifting field recordings to dozens of pivotal blues hits. It is thrilling to be a part of the curation of this incredible legacy.”

Additionally, every title in the series will be delivered to digital platforms in remastered hi-res audio.

The first titles will be launched on June 7th, with essential albums from two of the biggest artists in the genre, John Lee Hooker (Burning Hell – originally released in 1964), and Skip James (Today! – originally released in 1966).

The rollout will continue through the year, with titles from Albert King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, and Blind Gary Davis, among others.

John Lee Hooker – ‘Burning Hell’

Known as ‘The King of the Boogie,’ GRAMMY Award-winner John Lee Hooker had a seven decade long career.

He was born in Mississippi, and relocated to Detroit to establish himself in the music industry, creating his debut recordings.

Over a decade later, he laid down one of his first full length LPs, ‘Burning Hell.’ It was recorded in Detroit in April 1959.

The long-awaited reissue marks the first worldwide reissue on a single vinyl LP, as well as its debut in hi-res audio.

Skip James – ‘Today!’

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist Skip James was a Delta bluesman, who didn’t find fame until his later years.

He was born in Mississippi and had a reputation fuelled by allegations of a wild lifestyle and unpredictable mood swings.

He launched his career in the 1920s, and in 1931, he recorded a series of singles for Paramount Records.

Over the next 30 years, he would remain unknown, working in the church as a minister and choir director.

In the ’60s, amid rumors of his death, John Fahey, Henry Vestine, and Bill Barth sought him out, and encouraged him to return to the stage.

He made his comeback at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, and over the next five years, he recorded a series of albums, including 1966’s ‘Today!’ for Vanguard.

The album found him revisiting many of his 1931 singles, showcasing his unique fingerpicking technique on the acoustic guitar, as well as his talents on the piano.

Both titles are available for preorder now for U$30 (A$47) each. Hi-res digital (192/24) will be available for purchase for U$18 (approx. A$27) each at the time of release.

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