Son Bonds / Brownsville Son Bonds / Charlie Pickett

Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order 1934-41

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

This is an above average collection from Wolf Records in Vienna, both in terms of audio quality and content. The 18 songs by "Brownsville" Son Bonds, recorded between 1934 and 1941, are in surprisingly decent sound, for the most part, with no horrendous flaws to mar the collection. The songs are all good and the playing generally inspired, especially on the later tracks, where Bonds added a kazoo to his sound and really takes off, in a more rocking and freewheeling way than even Tampa Red. The diversity of the material is also a surprise -- four of the songs are rough, fervent gospel numbers, including the extraordinarily beautiful "I Want to Live So God Can Use Me," "Ain't That News," and "Give Me That Old Time Religion," cut by Bonds working as "Brother Son Bonds" (with Hammie Nixon backing him up on vocals and jug). They fit in well with their raw quality amid the lusty country blues numbers ("All Night Long," "She Walks Like My Woman," etc.) that make up the rest of this disc. The guitar-harmonica duets between Bonds and Nixon are especially pleasing, but Bonds' voice, surging and soaring, is the real show, especially on the early numbers, where the recordings really don't do justice to his guitar. The last four songs on this disc feature Charlie Pickett on vocals and guitar, and were recorded in 1937, with Nixon linking one of Pickett's songs with the rest of this collection.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:58
2
3:10
3
2:51
4
2:46
5
3:07
6
2:53
7
2:57
8
2:57
9
3:04
10
3:04
11
2:29
12
2:39
13
2:57
14
2:52
15
3:13
16
2:54
17
2:58
18
2:56
19
3:14
20
2:53
21
2:52
22
3:14
blue highlight denotes track pick