Blind Blake – Complete Recordings 1926 – 1929 Vol 4 (1929-1932)
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Complete Recorded Works c. July 1926 – c. June 1932
Vol 4 (August 1929 to June 1932)
Featuring the recordings of:
Blind Blake, vocal / guitar. Blind Blake, vocal / guitar; possibly Tiny Parham or Aletha Dickerson, piano. Blind Blake (as by Blind Arthur), guitar solo. Blind Blake, vocal / guitar / speech; Papa Charlie Jackson, banjo / vocal / speech. Chocolate Brown: Irene Scruggs, vocal; accompanied by Blind Blake, guitar / comments. Laura Rucker, vocal; accompanied by Blind Blake, guitar.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Early Chicago Blues, Georgia Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Guitar, Ragtime Guitar, Blues Piano, Female Blues, Guitar Solo
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. Despite the name of Blind Arthur being used for two guitar solos recorded in October 1929, there can be little doubt that it is Blind Blake who is playing his famous piano-sounding guitar (to quote a Paramount advertisement) on Guitar Chimes. It has the same use of harmonics as in Police Dog Blues (DOCD-5026) but played in the key of C and latterly commented on by a noted musicologist thus, most country blues guitarists were not sufficiently well versed in C to have hazarded such an instrumental. By comparison, Blind Arthurs Breakdown is an object lesson in finger-picking, the playing more in keeping with the technique of Virginian, William Moore. For Baby Lou and Cold Love, Blake again returns to his theme of the mistreating lover, Baby Lou having the chord structure and tempo of the South American tango. In May the following year Blake was in the studio, both in his own right and as accompanist to former St. Louis vaudeville singer, Irene Scruggs. Recording as Chocolate Brown, on one song, Itching Heel, Scruggs scoffs at chauvinistic blues singers (he dont do nothing but play on his old guitar, while Im busting suds in the white folks yard) to which Blake, in knee-jerk reaction, responds by speeding up the rhythm indicating that the remark hadnt escaped unnoticed. Diddie Wa Diddie No. 2, unlike the first song (DOCD-5026), now finds Blake admitting that he knows what diddie wa diddie means which he delivers with heavy irony. In his long career Blind Blake only once recorded a two part blues and in Rope Stretchin Blues, suitably sung to the tune of St James Infirmary, he uses the occasion to recount, with a degree of morbidity, the ultimate penalty resulting from the infidelities of others;
Dont trust no woman who mistreats a man, when you think shes in your kitchen cooking, shes got a stranger by the hand,
I have a lots of women I sure dont want none now, she always milks me dry, than ever you milk a cow.
Blind Blakes final two recordings took place in June 1932 and so uncharacteristic is one of the songs that commentators have argued that perhaps two singers were involved with the session. Despite doubts it is fairly certain that Blake sings on Champagne Charlie Is My Name, a song composed by George Leybourne and set to music by Alfred Lee in 1868, found fame in the Victorian music hall. The equally topical Depressions Gone From Me, appropriately sung to the tune of Sitting On The Top Of The World, witnessed Blind Blake ending his six year recording career and, one assumes, his life, on a positive note.Alan Balfour Copyright 1991 Document Records