Third Man To Release on 2, 2 LP Volumes First Ever Music From Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969

Third Man Records will release on Friday August 2nd, previously unheard live recordings from the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. The 50th anniversary release includes live performances from Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Son House, B.B. King, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Big Mama Thornton, Otis Rush and many others.

The release will be on 2, double 180g LP sets housed in gatefold packaging featuring fan snapshots and on CD. The festival, held August 1-3, 1969 at Fuller Flatlands, University of Michigan was presented by a small group of blues-obsessed U of M students including John and Jim Fishel. The latter Fishel used his all-access pass to go from set to set and record much of it on a 1/4" tape Norelco recorder. The long thought lost tapes—"field recordings" of sorts— were recently discovered and have been restored to as best as possible sonic condition, with the project overseen by Third Man co-founders Ben Blackwell and Ben Swank. The set includes never before seen photographs, artist biographies and more.

Though it's not likely to match the sometimes spectacular sound of the later ann arbor Blues & Jazz Festival 1972 released by Atlantic Records (SD2-502) featuring Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, Hound Dog Taylor, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt and Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra, the 1969 musician's lineup easily bests that of the later festival.

Classic Records re-issued the 1972 festival recording with even better sound than the original, but it was a sales flop for Classic, probably because it didn't include The Eagles.

If you pre-order Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 from the Third Man Recods store or one of Third Man's wholesale affiliates, while supplies last you will receive free two previously unheard performances on the world’s first Mississippi Fred McDowell 78 RPM record. The extremely limited, promo-only release, featuring McDowell’s signature song (“Shake ‘em on Down”) and a rare collaboration with Big Mama Thornton (“My Heavy Load”)

steveoxf's picture

Many many thanks.

Ordered !!!

Jancuso's picture

Thank you! Will order and send a big 'thank you' to Jack and Third Man! During this period, these artists were turning legions of students on to Americas original music and performing some of their best sets. Bravo!To the Fishel's.

warpig's picture

Hope to get the promo. Did not see anything about it.

misterc59's picture

Many thanks, cost me $70 US which is about $700 CDN :) I made an earlier jazz purchase on your recommendation which was beautiful. Hoping this recording is even half as good!


Michael Fremer's picture
But sound is not great because it was done with a mono Norelco tape recorder "in the field".... but well worth getting!