Blind Boy Fuller Vol. 5 29th October 1938 to 5th March 1940
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Blind Boy Fuller
Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order 23 July 1935 – 19 June 1940
Vol. 5: 29th October 1938 to 5th March 1940
Blind Boy Fuller, vocal (except on 6) / speech on 6 / guitar; Sonny Terry, harmonica on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Bull City Red, washboard on 4, 5, 6; unknown, kazoo on 6. Blind Boy Fuller, vocal / guitar; Sonny Terry, harmonica on 9, 17, 19, 20, 21; Oh Red (Bull City Red), washboard on 10, 15, 16, 18, 19 / speech on 18; poss. Sonny Jones, 2nd guitar on 10, 18 Blind Boy Fuller, vocal / guitar; Oh Red (Bull City Red), washboard on 22.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Piedmont Blues, Carolina Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Harmonica, National Guitar
Abridged from this albums booklet notes. In Blind Boy Fuller, students of the Piedmont blues have the good fortune of having an artist whose eclectic repertory was regularly and extensively documented during the course of his five year recording career. Much like Robert Johnson in the Mississippi delta, Fuller was most adept at consolidating a number of disparate stylistic elements and welding them into a unified structure that was simultaneously unique and paradigmatic for future bluesmen. Fuller was also like Johnson in that he had come to maturity during the recording boom of the 1920s and was as likely to draw material from recorded sources as from his local folk tradition. These new, post-depression stylistic amalgamations were to follow the black migratory patterns northward. In Johnsons case, his fusion of styles ultimately became the foundation for the post-war electric styles of Chicago and Detroit, while in Fullers instance his blend became the basis for much of the north eastern sound typified by the group of musicians associated with Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. The components of Fullers style are divided equally between local elements and recorded sources. Firmly set in the east-coast, Piedmont style of ragtime guitar, Blind Boy Fuller had any number of recorded models from the surrounding states. Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell, Buddy Moss and Julius Daniels all contributed indirectly to Fullers style, most likely via records and recognizable bits of their work are scattered throughout his repertory. Similarly, Fuller drew upon the records of the most popular blues artists of that time so that elements of the styles of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe, Tampa Red, and Big Bill Broonzy are present in his work as well. Couple this with the impact of a major local performer, Gary Davis, from whom Fuller took lessons for a time, and several able contemporaries like Dipper Boy Council and the Trice brothers, and a picture begins to emerge of an artist who was a virtual melting-pot of blues styles. The only session in 1939 took place in Memphis with Fuller, Terry, Red (now calling himself Oh Red in the wake of his and Fullers popular record) and possibly guitarist Sonny Jones. On Reds Got The Piccolo Blues, they reprised New Oh Red while Youve Got Something There was a thorough rewrite of Buddy Moss Daddy Dont Care. Those were the only Fuller titles that included Sonny Jones. I Want Some of Your Pie, which became another of the little groups signature tunes was clearly modelled on Buddy Moss and Pinewood Toms You Got To Give Me Some Of It from 1935. Jivin Big Bill Blues was a good-natured put-on as well as stylistic page out of Bills fake-book. While they were in Memphis, Long apparently saw Charlie Burse record Oil it Up and Go and the song stayed with him. By the time of Fullers next recording date Long had rewritten it as Step It Up and Go. It was ideally suited for him and became yet another of the signature pieces associated with Blind Boy Fuller from then on.Ken Romanowski Copyright 1992 Document Records