Giants Of Country Blues Guitar – 1967-1991 – Vol. 1



Track Listing:
Jessie Mae Hemphill: 1. Eagle Bird - 3:40   2. Shame, Shame - 2:45   Son House: 3. Baby Please Don't Dog Me 'Round - 7:33   Sam Chatmon: 4. Stoop Down Baby - 2:12   5. Baby Please Come Back to Me - 2:24   6. Stop and Listen - 2:16   Eugene Powell: 7. 44 Blues - 3:51   8. Suitcase Full of Troubles - 3:48   9. Texas - Santa Fe - 2:50   Furry Lewis: 10. Going to Brownsville - 4:22   Jack Owens: 11. Hard Times - 3:28   12. Cherry Ball - 2:53   13. Give Me Your Money - 2:50   14. Devil Blues - 4:33   Mager Johnson: 15. Traveling Blues - 2:32   Mott Willis: 16. Traveling Man Blues - 2:21   17. Someday Blues - 1:46   18. Bad Night Blues - 3:00


1. AllMusic - Steve Leggett
Giants of Country Blues Guitar, Vol. 1 is a curious and fascinating collection of field recordings of Mississippi country blues guitarists done between 1967 and 1991, most of the selections recorded in the musicians' homes, which means there is a good deal of incidental background noise, including people talking and laughing, dogs barking, and a whole lot of foot stomping. All of this adds a certain degree of intimacy to the performances, which range from excellent to incredibly shaky. Jessie Mae Hemphill, Sam Chatmon, and Jack Owens fare the best, while the lone track by Son House, "Baby Please Don't Dog Me 'Round," is a horrible recording, with more distorted foot stomp than guitar (although it is still a fascinating track, in spite of it all). Furry Lewis does "Going to Brownsville" here on electric guitar, which is interesting, since he was normally recorded in an acoustic setting. Also worth noting is a single cut by Mager Johnson, Tommy Johnson's brother, who does "Traveling Blues" on electric guitar. Not always a smooth listen, Giants of Country Blues Guitar, Vol. 1 has probably more archival and historical value than anything else, but the sheer intimacy of some of these recordings gives it a very special grace. 

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