The Mississippi Sheiks consisted mainly of the Chatmon family, who came from Bolton, Mississippi and were well known throughout the Mississippi Delta. The father of the family had been a “musicianer” (someone with good technical ability on his or her instrument adept at sight-reading written music) during slavery times, and his children carried on the musical spirit. Their most famous (although by no means permanent) member was Armenter Chatmon – better known as Bo Carter – who managed a successful solo career as well as playing with the Sheiks, which may have contributed to their success. When the band first recorded in 1930, the line-up consisted of Carter with Lonnie and Sam Chatmon, and Walter Vinson. Charlie McCoy (not to be confused with Charlie McCoy, a later American musician) played later, when Bo Carter and Sam Chatmon ceased playing full time. It was Lonnie Chatmon and Vinson who formed the real center of the group. Bo Carter’s solo work is notable for being sexually suggestive in songs and this is carried on to an extent with the group. They primarily earned their income like Robert Johnson and Skip James. They toured throughout the Southern United States, but also reached as far north as Chicago and New York.
Third Man Records is thrilled to announce the release of the first three records in our highly-anticipated Document Records reissue series.
Pre-orders are available now in our online store (with a January 29th in-store release date) for Volume 1 of The Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order of Charley Patton, Blind Willie McTell and The Mississippi Sheiks. The first 400 customers to purchase the bundle of all three records will receive a free 5″ x 8″ print insert of the Rob Jones Charley Patton cover image.
Subsequent volumes will be released regularly and new artists will be slotted for release from this fantastic catalog of blues greats as soon as this first series is complete.
The recordings we’ll be presenting in this reissue series are the building blocks and DNA of American culture. Blues, R&B, Elvis, teenagerism, punk rock… it all goes back to these vital, breathtaking recordings. Third Man Records is proud to present these landmark albums in conjunction with Document Records, with brand new, jaw-dropping artwork by Rob Jones and new insightful liner notes, on vinyl for the first time in decades. Every record collection should have ample room for these highly important and endlessly listenable albums.