Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill's Stomp

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At first glance it would be easy to mistake P-Vine's Big Bill's Stomp for a skimpier Big Bill Broonzy collection put out by Fruit Tree a few years later, as both album covers use the same historic photo of him dressed up nice holding a finely crafted Gibson guitar. The difference between the two collections is considerable, as P-Vine packs in a hefty 24 tracks and covers a slightly larger time span, dipping back earlier than many other Broonzy retrospectives. Cut in November 1927, "House Rent Stomp" comes from his first issued phonograph record, made at a time when he maintained a farm in Pine Bluff, AR and visited Chicago for periodic recording dates. P-Vine presents an excellent overview of Broonzy's steady development throughout the ‘30s, capped with a pair of Bluebird sides from December 1941. As a special treat, "Romance in the Dark" and "Just Rockin'" feature gutsy vocalist Lil Green and pianist Jack Dupree, whereas "You Drink Too Much Whiskey" is sung by blues harpist Jazz Gillum. While some folks will need to dig deeper and investigate the legacy in greater detail all the way up to his folksier recordings from the late ‘50s, this set is recommended as a single-disc sampling of highlights from the first leg of Broonzy's musical odyssey.

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