Various Artists

Alabama & the East Coast

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The music on this CD can easily be divided into two. The first ten selections feature the rather limited but mostly interesting singer-guitarist Sonny Scott, whose main skill seems to have been as a lyricist. Scott was accompanying singer Lucille Bogan in 1933 when it was decided to record him as a soloist; guitarist Walter Roland helps out on one song. The remainder of this CD dates from 1937 when the American Record Company went on a field trip to Birmingham, AL to record some of the best local talent. Singer Charlie Campbell fares well on "Pepper Sauce Mama" and "Goin' Away Blues," the strangely billed "Peanut the Kidnapper" (his real name is James Sherrill) does a good impression of Peetie Wheatstraw on four numbers, and both Guitar Slim (George Bedford) and the completely unknown Georgia Slim come across as pretty decent local singer-guitarists. None of the Birmingham performers would ever record again, making one wonder what other fine blues singers and musicians never had the opportunity to document their music for posterity.

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