Big Bill Broonzy

See See Rider

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In 2002 Past Perfect/Silverline gave the world another welterweight collection drawn from Big Bill Broonzy's massive legacy of great blues recordings. Like several other Broonzy samplers released during the same decade, See See Rider combines a modest helping of early examples -- in this case a strand of Bluebird sides from the '30s -- with a heftier selection representing his adventures as an internationally acclaimed elder statesman of the blues during the '50s. Big Bill was an extraordinarily adept communicator, and if no other Broonzy is readily available, the album is worth visiting for the sake of heartfelt performances like the title track, "In the Evenin' (When the Sun Goes Down)," and "The Sun Gonna Shine in My Back Door One Day." With only 16 titles to its credit, and especially when placed in context among numerous other excellent Broonzy collections, See See Rider may seem like a passel of snapshots rather than a real portrait. The bigger picture is more panoramic than what's represented here.

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