Various Artists

Female Blues Singers, Vol. 8: H1 (1923-1928)

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Included on this CD are all of the recordings by Josie Harley (a couple forgettable numbers), Lillian Harris (six songs plus three alternate takes), Sister Harris (eight numbers), and Clara Herring (just two songs), plus a couple of previously unreleased test pressings by Alma Henderson (with backing from guitarist Lonnie Johnson and pianist DeLoise Searcy). Both Lillian Harris and Sister Harris (who is backed on "Sugar Blues" by the Original Memphis Five) are excellent, but it is Clara Herring (whose two songs hint at Bessie Smith) who is the biggest surprise; whatever happened to her? Recommended, as are all 14 CDs in this series of true rarities.

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