Sonny Boy Williamson I

Complete Recorded Works (1940-47)

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This is a comprehensive collection of the first Sonny Boy Williamson's work during the World War II years (with the exception of the period of the infamous musician's union ban on recording). Some of the pioneering bluesman's topical songs--"Win the War Blues" and "We Got to Win"--comment directly on then-current events, but there also songs adapted from other blues singers. "Ground Hog," for example, is a variant of Tony Hollins's "Crawlin' King Snake," while "She Don't Love Me That Way" cribs from Sleepy John Estes. The overall sound, however, splits the difference between the earlier country blues of Williamson's Bluebird Records period and the proto-Chicago blues to come.