Blind Joe Taggart Vol. 2 (1929-1934)
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Blind Joe Taggart
Complete Recorded Works (8 November 1926 – 4 December 1930)
Vol. 2: c. December 1929 to 1934
Blind Gussie Nesbit 1930 ~ 1935
Rev. Edward W. Clayborn Complete 1929 Recordings & 1 1927 Alternate Take
Featuring the recordings of:
Six Cylinder Smith (possibly Blind Joe Taggart) vocal / guitar; unknown, 2nd guitar on 1; unknown, harmonica on 2, 3. Blind Joe Taggart, vocal / guitar; prob. Joshua White, vocal / guitar (except on 4). Blind Joe Taggart, vocal / guitar. Blind Joe Taggart, vocal on 13 / Blind Joe Taggart And Bertha Taggart, vocal duet on 15 /1 6; accompanied by Blind Joe Taggart, guitar. Blind Gussie Nesbit (as Blind Nesbit), vocal / guitar. Blind Gussie Nesbit, vocal / guitar. Rev. Edward W. Clayborn (The Guitar Evangelist), vocal / guitar.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Carolina Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Gospel, Guitar Evangelist, Bottleneck-slide Guitar, Blues Harmonica,
Abridged from this album’s original booklet notes. When Blind Joe Taggart brought Josh White into the Paramount studio in Chicago in late 1928 he was modernizing his own sound while inaugurating Josh’s own forty year recording career. By 1928 Josh was already rather accomplished in the finger picking style associated with Greenville, South Carolina. Although he was only fourteen and a half years old at their first session together, Taggart was obviously aware of his young partner’s ability as a guitarist and the contrast his high, thin voice provided. Their combination of talents resulted in recordings that were less intense than Taggart’s prior efforts, but, based on the number of surviving copies of the 78s, were more popular. Blind Joe Taggart’s last recordings for Paramount in 1931 found him returning to his more volatile solo style with several of his strongest performances. He Done What The World Couldn’t Do was a powerful version of a song usually known as Lord, He Sure Is Good To Me, I Ain’t No Sinner Now was a solo execution of a title remade as a duet for Decca, and In That Pearly White City Above featured a novel approach on guitar for Taggart – all are emotionally charged examples of street evangelism at its best. All of Blind Joe Taggart‘s Paramount 13000s are among the rarest 78 RPM discs, and all of us who enjoy this music today owe a debt of gratitude to the late James McKune for having the foresight to collect these records in the 1940s. Blind Gussie Nesbitt was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and moved to Union in his teen years. He learned guitar (by listening to records) shortly before he himself recorded in 1930. Nesbitt was ambitious enough to write to the Columbia people in Atlanta that year, who pointed him to Burm Lawson, manager of Cooper’s Furniture Store in Union. Lawson sent Nesbitt and Lil McClintock, another local musician, to record in Atlanta in December 1930. The two issued titles from that session appear to be patterned after earlier recordings: Pure Religion on Blind Lemon Jefferson‘s All I Want Is That Pure Religion (See DOCD-5017), and Canaan Land on Bo Weavil Jackson‘s I’m On My Way To The Kingdom Land (see DOCD-5036). (The Jefferson and Jackson discs, issued in 1926, were among the first rural black religious recordings made). Nesbitt felt no compunction performing secular music and he is known to have had contact with many of the local and itinerant bluesmen during his travels throughout the Carolinas. He recorded again with guitarist Jack Gowdlock (from Cross Keys, South Carolina) for the Victor company in May 1931. Of the four titles, two were unissued religious pieces and two were blues issued on the yet undiscovered Victor 23419. In 1935 Nesbitt travelled to New York to record for Decca. On Motherless Children he was again influenced by an earlier recording, in this case Blind Willie Johnson‘s Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time on which Nesbitt approximates Johnson’s false bass vocalizing. He was still active in church music in 1971.(Biographical information on Blind Gussie Nesbitt from “Red River Blues” by Bruce Bastin). In contrast to Blind Joe Taggart and Blind Gussie Nesbitt, there is nothing known about the life of Edward W. Clayborn. His rich voice and melodically accurate bottleneck technique are his trademarks. Also in contrast is Clayborn’s uniform approach to sacred song which some listeners perceive as repetitious or even tedious. In the context of this collection, however, several of his pieces together give an enjoyable sample of yet another facet in the diamond of pre-war black religious music.Ken Romanowski Copyright 1993 & 2007 Document Records