Sonny Terry Vol 1 1938 – 1945 – Full Album
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Sonny Terry Vol 1 (1938-1945)
Sonny Terry, vocal harmonica.
With contributions by Oh Red, washboard; Blind Boy Fuller, guitar; Jordan Webb, harmonica; Brownie McGhee, guitar; Woodie Guthrie, vocal, Cisco Houston, vocal, banjo. Alonzo Scales, vocal and others…
Genres: Carolina Country Blues, Piedmont Blues, Blues Harmonica.
Informative booklet notes by Kip Lonell.
The recordings on this Document CD cover the years of 1938-1945 and range from a recording at Carnegie Hall with Oh Red, to New York sessions with Blind Boy Fuller and Brownie McGhee, and also tracks recorded with Woody Guthrie.
These selections find Terry near the beginning of his recording career. Although he had recorded with Fuller in 1937, the first songs issued under his own name (actually credited to Sonny Terry and Oh Red) were not released until the summer of 1940. For some strange reason, this and Terry’s next effort – Harmonica Stomp / Harmonica And Washboard Blues – were released as part of the general series and then were assigned a different release number for classical buffs! All of these selections feature Terry’s distinctive vocals, which sometimes veered off-key, his falsetto whoops, and foot stomping. Terry’s harmonica work is that of a virtuoso. His sense of dynamics and his ability to control the tone of his harmonica through the cupping and uncupping of his hands, is unsurpassed by any of his peers.
Sonny Terry excelled at straight ahead blues, for example on Blowing The Blues and fast-paced country stomps, such as Harmonica And Washboard Breakdown. But the true test of any good harmonica blower is their imitation of a Fox Chase and Terry was simply one of the best.
Sonny Terry the consummate accompanist, rarely came to the fore. He usually accompanied other musicians, mostly men who came from his home territory – the Piedmont of Georgia through the Carolinas. His highly rhythmic, beautifully controlled playing graces some of the finest recordings of Blind Boy Fuller, whom he ‘partnered” for several years beginning in 1934. In the years following World War I he worked with Gary Davis in clubs and at concerts in their adopted hometown of New York City.