SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE McGHEE
CRIPPLE CREEK (2CD)
NOT NOW MUSIC (NOT2CD304)
Sometimes, if you're not careful, precious little gems slip by. Because this isn't any old Sonny & Brownie reprint, it's the glorious Folkways recordings!
On this 2CD set you get the full tracks of four Folkways 10" LPs plus eight bonus cuts taken from various parts of their career. Choice stuff indeed and rare too. If you were to bid for the four albums included, you'd need around £400 to win them.
CD 1 contains the 1952 album ‘Get On Board', the seven cuts from the 1956 Folkways album ‘Washboard Band-Country Dance Music' - a kind of a Almanac Singers gung-ho session supervised by the ubiquitous and as-always-over-enthusiastic Pete Seeger plus four blues from the 1940s.
On CD 2 ‘Brownie McGhee's Blues' (Folkways 2030) from 1955 sits alongside the historic ‘Sonny Terry's Washboard Band' (Folkways 2006) which supposedly features Sonny playing all the instruments. But the notes on my 10" LP copy clearly states (in 59 year old pen and ink admittedly) that it's Alex Seward on washtub bass and JC Burris on bones! Then you get a further 5 tracks including a raucous Blind Boy Fuller's ‘Custard Pie Blues' and a buoyant harp instrumental ‘Lonesome Train' - a rampant boisterous workout ringing with Sonny's expressive harp and plenty of his trademark whoops and hollers. This music was recorded at a time when Sonny & Brownie were wowing the New York music crowd with their authentic traditionally based material.
In later years, thanks to the blues revival of the sixties, they revitalised their careers playing for and thrilling white audiences across the globe but as time wore on, their music appeared less authentic and therefore less appealing to the real blues fan.
But this is the real McCoy - Sonny and Brownie playing full tilt and at the top of their game. This is a fabulous set and at our ridiculously low price, it's an absolute steal!! Get this while you can.
A real steal at Red Lick - amazingly only £5.35 plus p&p for this slice of blues history.
Review Date: July 2009