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Sonny Boy Williamson II – P-Vine Presents 21 Blues Giants (2001)

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Sonny Boy Williamson II – P-Vine Presents 21 Blues Giants (2001)

1.  Do It If You Wanna 
2.  Cool, Cool Blues 
3.  Come On Back Home 
4.  Stop Crying 
5.  Eyesight To The Blind 
6.  West Memphis Blues 
8.  Crazy About You Baby 
9.  Nine Below Zero 
10.  Mighty Long Time 
11.  She Brought Life Back To The Dead 
12.  Stop Now Baby 
13.  Mr. Downchild 
14.  Sonny Boy's Christmas Blues 
15.  Pontiac Blues 
16.  Too Close Together


For hearing the man born as Alec (Rice) Miller as he had rounded into near-complete game shape, in the years immediately preceding the seminal sides he would cut for Chess beginning in the mid-to-late 1950s, there is no better package than this of Sonny Boy Williamson's incandescent, embryonic recordings for the ancient Trumpet label. Many of these songs would get the Sonny Boy makeover when he re-cut them during his Chess years, and it's intriguing to compare between the Trumpet originals and the Chess refineries of such signature songs as "Eyesight To The Blind," "Cross My Heart," "Nine Below Zero," "Mr. Down Child," and "Mighty Long Time." Then again, the tandem treat is to hear a good enough dollop of some of Sonny Boy's more personal material, particularly the slightly haunting "West Memphis Blues," which he wrote about the fire that actually burned down the house he had bought with his wife.

Then, there are the bonuses: one of the last broadcasts of the legendary "King Biscuit Time" on which Sonny Boy would appear before his death; and perhaps the earliest known version Elmore James would cut of his signature "Dust My Broom," this one with Sonny Boy (who was long reputed to have tricked him into cutting it for Trumpet) sliding in with some fills showing he was a deft an accompanist/partner as he was a harmonica virtuoso. Accompanying the cantankerously poetic Sonny Boy, mostly, are such legends of Memphis/Helena blues as guitarist Joe Willie Wilkins (Robert Jr. Lockwood he ain't, but for laying a sensible support and spitting out the occasional fill and run he acquits his own self very nicely), bassist Cliff Bivens, drummer Frock, and pianist Dave Campbell, and they deliver yeoman's work. ---BluesDuke, amazon.com

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 July 2013 11:57)


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