Grayson & Whitter

Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 2: 1928-1929

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The second volume of Grayson & Whitter's complete works contains 14 more classic recordings by the duo, as well as seven tracks by another guitar and fiddle duo, Robinette & Moore. If the accomplishments of the latter pair are overshadowed by the towering figures of Grayson & Whitter, fiddler Melvin Robinette and guitarist Byrd Moore nonetheless perform some excellent sides of their own and conclude the collection very nicely. Their waltzing "Birmingham Jail" is fueled by the insistent rhythm of Moore's thumping bass notes and Robinette's nasally tenor harmony; on fiddle tunes such as "That Old Tiger Rag," Robinette demonstrates the remarkable prowess that made him one of the most expert, if under-recorded, players of his day. Despite these fine performances, though, the work of Grayson & Whitter will necessarily remain the disc's chief attraction for most listeners. As in their earlier sessions, fiddler Grayson and guitarist Whitter perform numerous latter-day standards for the first time on record, including "Tom Dooley," "Little Maggie With a Dram Glass in Her Hand," "The Nine-Pound Hammer," and the instrumental "Going Down the Lee Highway." The sound quality is thankfully very good throughout this set, and each recording is undertaken with considerable skill and care, resulting consistently in some of the finest pieces of their kind. The playing and singing of Grayson & Whitter is direct, honest, and timeless, akin to the duets of the Mississippi Sheiks in their combination of raw emotional depth and expert musical control. Along with Document's Volume One, this collection is highly and unreservedly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:51
2 2:46
3 3:27
4
3:08
5 3:13
6
2:47
7
3:28
8 3:02
9 2:51
10
2:53
11 3:11
12 2:48
13 2:57
14
2:50
15 3:03
16
2:54
17
2:59
18
3:00
19
3:01
20
3:08
21
2:53
blue highlight denotes track pick