Sonny Terry

Country Blues Troubadours 1938-1948

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AllMusic Review by

Country Blues Troubadours contains 125 tracks, spread out over five CD's, tracing blind harpist Sonny Terry and guitarist Brownie McGhee's earliest recordings between 1938 and 1948. JSP not only does an admirable job remastering the tracks, but providing recording dates, personnel, and a bit of history that is easily accessible in individual jewel cases, as opposed to a bulky booklet. Recorded in New York and Chicago, the Piedmont duo encounter, both separately and collectively, blues, jazz, and R&B veterans including Washboard Slim, Baby Dodds, Curley Russell, Hal "Cornbread" Singer, Gene Ramey, Big Chief Ellis, Blind Boy Fuller, Stick McGhee, and Champion Jack Dupree. The discs are divided into five themes: "Getting started and getting around," "Blind Boy Fuller and what followed," "Library of Congress and living with Leadbelly," "New York residents and established artists," and "Mainly Brownie and an interlude with Champion Jack." As far as budget-blues box sets are concerned, this is one of the best.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:09
2 3:32
3 3:16
4 3:16
5 2:48
6 2:44
7 2:42
8 2:37
9 2:48
10 2:54
11
2:50
12 2:54
13 2:24
14 2:45
15 2:44
16 2:53
17 2:38
18 2:34
19 2:36
20 2:41
21
2:36
22 2:43
23 2:48
24 2:37
25 2:44

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:46
2 2:51
3 3:00
4 2:42
5 2:32
6 2:51
7 2:51
8 2:36
9
2:35
10 2:42
11
2:55
12 2:48
13 2:34
14 2:53
15 3:02
16 2:31
17 2:33
18 2:59
19 2:36
20 2:41
21 2:42
22 3:03
23 2:44
24 2:51
25 2:49

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:48
2 2:48
3 2:47
4 2:35
5 2:56
6 2:40
7 2:54
8 2:24
9 2:43
10 2:28
11 1:33
12 2:16
13 3:22
14 3:06
15 2:06
16
2:56
17
3:07
18 2:53
19
2:46
20
2:46
21 2:52
22
3:08
23 2:53
24 2:49
25
2:58

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:04
2
2:50
3 2:28
4 2:41
5 2:57
6 2:31
7 2:38
8 2:27
9
3:13
10
2:56
11 2:55
12 2:42
13
3:02
14
2:42
15 2:47
16 3:15
17
3:19
18
2:17
19 2:44
20 2:59
21 2:49
22 3:07
23
2:49
24
3:11
25 2:53

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:39
2
2:58
3
2:44
4
2:57
5
2:52
6 2:27
7 2:50
8 2:46
9 2:43
10 2:45
11
2:54
12
2:34
13 2:51
14 2:59
15 2:50
16 2:35
17
3:13
18
3:01
19 3:07
20
2:22
21 2:44
22
2:33
23
2:54
24
2:46
25 2:26
blue highlight denotes track pick