Various Artists

The Paramount Piano Blues 1928-32, Vol. 1

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The Black Swan Record label's overview of Paramount recordings from the late 1920s through the early '30s filled half-a-dozen discs that are well-worth investigating. Three of these were designated as piano blues collections, and the first installment features the work of Little Brother Montgomery, Charlie Spand (paired with Blind Blake), and Skip James mingled with equally solid offerings from Blind Leroy Garnett, William Ezell, Louise Johnson, who shares the "All Night Long Blues" with Son House, and Bob Call, who backs vocalist James "Boodle It" Wiggins on the "Evil Woman Blues." Both neophytes and seasoned old-time blues lovers will thrill to the inclusion of rarer recordings by Jabo Williams, Charles Avery, Wesley Wallace, Lonnie Clark, and Henry Brown. Since this Black Swan series first appeared in the early '90s, the Yazoo, Document, and JSP labels have vastly increased the ready availability of this wonderfully honest and uncontrived music recorded long ago by engineers working for Paramount Records, a division of the Wisconsin Chair Company.

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