Bo Carter Vol 1 1928-1931
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Complete recorded Works c. November/December 1928 12 February 1940
Vol. 1: c. November / December 1928 to 4th June 1931
Featuring the recordings of:
Bo Chatman (Bo Carter), vocal; accompanied probably by own or possibly Lonnie Chatmon, violin; prob. Charlie McCoy, mandolin / vocal on 6; probably Walter Vincson, guitar. Mary Butler (prob. Rosie Mae Moore), vocal; accompanied probably by Bo Carter or possibly Lonnie Chatmon, violin; Charlie McCoy, mandolin; Walter Vincson, guitar. Bo Carter, vocal / guitar; with Walter Vincson (as Walter Jacobs), vocal added on 11, 12. Bo Carter, vocal / guitar; unknown, speech added on 24.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Mississippi Blues, Blues Guitar, Country Blues Guitar, Female Blues, String Band, Blues Violin, Blues Mandolin, National Guitar
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. Bo’s first appearance on record seems to be a Columbia session held in Atlanta, Georgia on November 2, 1928, where he, Charlie and Joe McCoy, and an unknown pianist, backed a singer named Alec Johnson. A Columbia session did take place on December 17, 1928 in New Orleans, with Bo Carter, Charlie McCoy and Walter Vincson, where two titles were cut as the Jackson Blue Boys. But before that session, the group ran into the Brunswick mobile unit and recorded as Charlie McCoy and Bo Chatman, as well as backing Mary Butler on four titles. After Good Old Turnip Greens the vocal chores were turned over to Mary Butler for four blues titles. Bungalow Blues was handled smoothly, although a bit stiffly, with its occasional II and VI chords lending it a vaudeville flavour. On Mary Blues the blues style in the vocal was harder and the guitarist (probably Vincson) begins the instrumental introduction with a few bluesy slurs. On Electric Chair Blues the mandolinist had the same difficulty as on Mary Blues, and Butler cut Mad Dog Blues to better effect with only Vincson on guitar (including some mandolin imitation on the breaks). Chatman and McCoy returned with Bo’s standard Corrine Corrina a lilting vocal duet, but closer to Hillbilly blues than to the tracks just laid down by Mary Butler. Finally, Bo appeared to give in and sang East Jackson Blues, although he didn’t seem quite comfortable with the style. At his first session using the name Bo Carter in Jackson, Mississippi on December 15, 1930, the guitarist had the benefit of two years of varying recording experiences. He neatly divided the songs into three categories. The two finger picked blues numbers were the standouts (I’m An Old Bumble Bee and Mean Feeling Blues); with the next two (I’ve Got The Whole World In My Hands – a version of the Sheiks’ “Sitting On Top Of The World” – and She’s Your Cook) sounding like the Hillbilly approximations of the blues so often favoured by Bo and his brothers. The last two tracks on this date were hokum blues in deference to the popularity of Tampa Red, Georgia Tom, Big Bill and numerous others who rode the wave of the hokum fad into lengthy careers. Clearly, Bo Carter was doing his homework.Ken Romanowski Copyright 1991 & 2007 Document Records.