Various Artists

Barrelhouse Women, Vol. 1 (1925-1930)

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Five long-forgotten female singers from the mid- to late 1920s have their complete output reissued on this CD. Evelyn Brickey and Katherine Adkins only recorded two songs apiece, both accompanied by a pianist; Adkins plays piano for herself on "Did She Fall or Was She Pushed." Bertha Ross (who may have been Lucille Bogan) made it to records under that name for four songs, with backing by pianist Vance Patterson and (on one song) Jaybird Coleman on harmonica. The bulk of this disc features Frances Wallace and/or Clara Burston. Burston is heard on nine numbers, including two on which she is accompanied by Wallace's piano and the two-part "Frankie and Clara," which teams the duo as a vocal duet. In addition, Wallace is featured on four numbers of her own. None of the five singers were destined for great fame (or necessarily deserving of it), but their recordings should interest collectors of 1920s blues.

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