Author: Mark Jones
Publisher: Record Press
In 1967, the fledgling, Bristol based, Saydisc label released its first country blues record, by Anderson Jones Jackson, with Noël Sheldon on jug. By 1968, it was helping Sunflower, Kokomo and Highway 51, three 'pop-up', independent, DIY blues labels, to get to market. These were mere toes in the water and in 1968 Saydisc created the celebrated Matchbox label to release contemporary, British country blues and LPs, transcribed from original 78s, of classic, pre-war, US country blues. Matchbox also pressed the popular, Austrian, Roots label for the UK market and, later, issued contemporary, American blues and transcriptions of Library of Congress recordings. Later again came the Bluesmaster Series. Saydisc released well over 100 blues LPs between 1967 and 1987, when it moved exclusively to CD. By 1968, blues was becoming increasingly popular in the UK, though the focus was mostly on electric blues bands. In July, however, Matchbox released the first LP of home-grown, British, country blues. The time was right and Blues Like Showers of Rain made a big stir. John Peel played it on his Nightride radio show and invited most of the artists up to London to record BBC sessions. The major labels picked up on the buzz and most of the artists were snapped up. Matchbox carried on the momentum over the next few years but eventually shut in July 1977. It returned in 1982 with the extremely well-received Bluesmaster Series, an ambitious undertaking that resulted in 38 LPs along with two 2-LP sets. Amongst other things, this book includes: - Information on every Saydisc-related, blues record released (and one that never saw light of day). - Images of all Saydisc's blues record sleeves. - Images of all Saydisc-related Sunflower, Kokomo, Highway 51 and Ahura Mazda record sleeves. - A cameo appearance by The Village Thing label, which represented 'what came after the blues'. - Memorabilia provided specially by the label owners and other archives/collections, much not seen in print since the 1960s and 1970s (if ever). - Active input from those who were there. - A section on Saydisc's hook-ups with Blues World and November Books' Blues Paperbacks series.