Sonny Terry / Brownie McGhee / Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Going It Alone

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The title doesn't lie; Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee may share equal billing on this reissue, but they do so separately, with separate bands from separate mid-'70s recording dates. Both of the sessions on Going It Alone found the respective "loners" striving for more of an ensemble sound, with Terry fronting an acoustic trio rounded out by guitarist Bob Malenky and pianist Michael Rura, and McGhee opting for an electric combo that included guitarist Louisiana Red and harp blower Sugar Blue. The results are enjoyable but uneven, mainly due to the tentative chemistry between the frontmen and their individual sidemen. McGhee's combo seems to gel better than Terry's, which is no surprise considering Terry's more irregular sense of timing; perhaps another factor was that most of the songs in Terry's set were written by Malenky and producer Kent Cooper, whereas McGhee stuck to his own material. Despite the hit-or-miss quality of these informal sessions, Terry and McGhee still come off as masters of their craft. It might not be as strong as classic Terry & McGhee material, but Going It Alone gives a compelling glimpse of how two former partners had to cope without each other.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:50
2 3:36
3 4:42
4 3:11
5 4:02
6 2:30
7 2:52
8 4:00
9 3:18
10 4:18
11 6:50
12 4:57
13 2:37
14 4:37
blue highlight denotes track pick