Big Bill Broonzy – Complete Recorded Works 1927 – 1947 Vol 3 (1934-1935)
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Big Bill Broonzy
Complete Recorded Works c. November 1927 – 15th September 1951.
Vol. 3: 18 October 1934 to 3 July 1935
Featuring the recordings of:
Big Bill Broonzy, vocal / guitar; prob. Black Bob, piano; prob. Charlie Jackson, banjo on 1 added. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal / guitar; prob. Black Bob, piano. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal / violin; Black Bob, piano. State Street Boys: Big Bill Broonzy, vocal on 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 / guitar on 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16; Jazz Gillum, vocal on 9, 10, 13, 15 / harmonica on 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; Carl Martin, guitar on 10, 11, 13, 14 / vln on 12; unknown, speech on 9, 12, 13, 14, 15; Black Bob, piano; Joe (prob. Bill Settles), stand-up bass; Zeb Wright, violin on 11, 13, 14, 15, 16. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal / guitar; probably Black Bob, piano. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal / guitar; Louis Lasky, guitar. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal / guitar; prob. Black Bob, piano.
Genres: Blues, Arkansas Blues, Early Chicago Blues, Blues Guitar, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Harmonica, Blues Piano, Blues Harmonica, Blues Violin, Hokum
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. Prior to the recordings presented here Bill had worked with Georgia Tom Dorsey to produce one of the many successful guitar/piano combinations that were so popular in the wake of Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, the latter being a man to whom Bill gave a lot of attention. They had worked with Jane Lucas and the results were nothing like the blues and stomps of Bills first appearances in the recording studios. Following this he had formed an alliance with pianist Black Bob with whom he worked the clubs and recorded. Along with Bob he would join with a group of other humble toilers in the local entertainment industry to produce the State Street Boys. At this stage such groups rarely featured the trumpets and clarinets that they later inherited from The Harlem Hamfats and had not yet sunk into the moribund repeated celebration of it being tight like that, beedle um bum. One commentator has pointed out that apart from the use of a string bass in lieu of drums the two-guitar line-up of Bill and Carl Martin; the harmonica of Jazz Gillum and Black Bobs piano equates with the basic make-up of the classic post war Chicago bar bands. This may be so but the addition of Zeb Wrights harshly scraped violin and the choice of material denies such comparisons. Bill and Jazz shared the vocals with Jazz taking the lead on Crazy About You and the two train songs Midnight Special and Mobile And Western Line. They split a bowdlerised version of The Dozen between them, which never reaches the acerbic level of the exchanges for which the game was designed. Indeed there is something of a parlour feel to all the Boys recordings, probably due to Wrights violin work, which even aspires to pizzicato on The Dozen. However this is balanced somewhat by Bills vocal on She Caught The Train:Some low-down man learned my baby how to Cadillac 8 Ever since she learned that position I cant keep my business straight
Dont Tear My Clothes has a long history that included versions by Big Joe Turner and Smokey Hogg before Bob Dylan took it over as Baby Let Me Follow You Down and bequeathed it to The Animals in the mid-sixties. Bill was also using Black Bob for recordings under his own name and it is almost certainly that adroit ivory agitator working so well on Southern Blues and the up-tempo Good Jelly which includes the wonderful observation that Its a sin and a shame; its a sin when you can get it and a shame when you cant. Bills guitar is well to the fore on these skilful collaborations. Another of Bills friends was the under-recorded Louis Lasky, from whom he is alleged to have taken some of his guitar style, and it is probably that individual working with Bill on the justly acclaimed C And A Blues. The blues staple Sitting On Top Of The World forms the basis of You May Need My Help a title, and idea that later found an echo in the work of Bills most famous protégé, Muddy Waters.Keith Briggs Copyright 1991 Document Records