Big Bill Broonzy – Big Bill Blues – 1927-1942
Big Bill Broonzy (June 26, 1893 – August 14 or 15, 1958) was a prolific American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s when he played country blues to mostly African-American audiences. Through the 1930s and 1940s he successfully navigated a transition in style to a more urban blues sound popular with working-class African-American audiences. In the 1950s a return to his traditional folk-blues roots made him one of the leading figures of the emerging American folk music revival and an international star. His long and varied career marks him as one of the key figures in the development of blues music in the 20th century.
Broonzy copyrighted more than 300 songs during his lifetime, including both adaptations of traditional folk songs and original blues songs. As a blues composer, he was unique in writing songs that reflected his rural-to-urban experiences. Wikipedia
1. House Rent Stomp – 2:30 2. Big Bill Blues – 2:57 3. Down in the Basement Blues – 3:27 4. Saturday Night Rub – 2:54 5. Police Station Blues – 2:48 6. Mr. Conductor Man – 2:59 7. Bull Cow Blues – 2:50 8. Milk Cow Blues – 3:16 9. Mississippi River Blues – 2:40 10. C.C. Rider – 3:15 11. Evil Woman Blues – 2:57 12. Louise, Louise Blues – 2:44 13. New Shake 'Em On – 3:03 14. Wpa Rag – 2:47 15. I Believe I'll Go Back Home – 2:25 16. Just a Dream (On My Mind) – 2:34 17. Plow Hand Blues – 2:56 18. Looking for My Baby – 2:48 19. Lone Wolf Blues – 2:56 20. Lonesome Road Blues – 2:53 21. Key to the Highway – 3:01 22. Tell Me Baby – 2:55 23. Hard Hearted Woman – 3:00
1. AllMusic - Chris Nickson
Exactly what it says -- a veritable greatest-hits collection that showcases just why Big Bill Broonzy is one of the most important blues figures ever. To be fair, the very early material either hasn't cleaned up well, or not a lot of money has been invested in technical work, and some of the sides are barely listenable because of scratches. But, in a perverse way, that's part of the appeal. The sound quality improves considerably (it's only the three tracks pre-1930 where it's a problem). His version of "Key to the Highway," probably his best-known piece, is from the '40s and is still as stinging now as it was then. But it's only one of 23 highlights here; this, after all, is the man who helped shape blues from a rural Mississippi sound to its new urban home in Chicago, literally one of the seminal figures of the genre. Just listen to his "C.C. Rider" or "Milk Cow Blues" and you can hear the raw, rough foundation of rock & roll, as well as the deep roots of the blues. And "House Rent Blues" and "Big Bill Blues" aren't just blues songs -- they stand as commentary on the state of the nation and its people. If you only buy oneBroonzy album -- and everyone needs at least one -- then this is it; it's vital.
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