Roosevelt Sykes – Complete Recorded Works 1929 -1957 Vol 2 (1930-1931)
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The Complete Recorded Works 14 June 1929 15 December 1944
Vol 2: 12th June 1930 to 10th June 1931
Featuring the recorded works:
Roosevelt Sykes (as by Willie Kelly), vocal, piano. Roosevelt Sykes (as by Dobby Bragg), vocal, piano. Roosevelt Sykes (as by Easy Papa Johnson), vocal, piano. St. Louis Bessie (Bessie Mae Smith), vocal; accompanied by Roosevelt Sykes, piano. Roosevelt Sykes (as by Willie Kelly), vocal, piano. Roosevelt Sykes (as by Willie Kelly), vocal, piano.; Henry Townsend, guitar on 20,21. Roosevelt Sykes (as by Willie Kelly), vocal (except on 24), piano.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Arkansas Blues, Early Chicago Blues, Blues Piano, Female Blues, Blues Guitar, Country Blues Guitar,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. Roosevelt Sykes was already acting as a talent scout and with him to the Victor studios in June 1930 he brought his first major discovery, Walter Davis, on whose first records he supplied the accompaniment. Sykes, himself, was in fine fettle, cutting a distinguished remake of the 44 Blues, and another gun-related number; 32-20 Blues, with excellent lyrics given superb delivery. Still not prepared to settle with one company, Sykes resumed his “Dobby Bragg” persona for a second Paramount session; on 3-6 And 9, the policy combination associated with excreta, and on the mistitled We Can Sell That Thing, he sounded very like Wesley Wallace, to the point where an old reissue LP suggested that this was indeed Wallace; but since “Willie Kelly” could also sound like Wallace when he wanted to (compare You So Dumb), this seems not to have been right. “Easy Papa Johnson“, who shortly turned up on Melotone (with issues also on Vocalion and Polk) was, needless to say, our man yet again. This was a significant session, with outstanding vocal and piano technique on No Good Woman Blues and, in Cotton Seed Blues, a vigorous protest against sharecropping that seems to be the original of James Cotton‘s celebrated Cotton Crop Blues, cut for Sun in the 50s. After this breathless round of the companies, Roosevelt Sykes settled with Victor for seven months, joining their field units for sessions in Memphis and Louisville. His piano playing had continued to develop, becoming more accomplished. On Kelly’s Special and, especially on, Thanksgiving Blues, his admiration for Fats Waller‘s right hand work is obvious. On the first day of two in Louisville, Sykes was joined by the great St. Louis guitarist Henry Townsend, whose playing on As True As I’ve Been To You is particularly forceful and impressive.Chris Smith Copyright Document Records 1992.