Good Blues Tonight is the title of a 25-track collection released by Memoir in 2000. The recordings date from the years 1924-1942 and were cut in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Aurora, San Antonio, and New Orleans. The lineup combines the work of well-known figures like Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Blind Willie McTell with that of individuals who have not achieved such high levels of posthumous recognition. "Southern Casey Jones Blues" and "Lonesome Day Blues" are by pianist Jesse James; "Superstitious Blues" and "Sadie's Servant Room Blues" are sung by Hattie Burleson, and "Heavenly Sunrise" is by gospel singer Laura Henton. Mozelle Alderson's "Tight in Chicago" is one of her party-time records, and has found its way onto a number of hokum blues collections. "She Stays Out All Night Long," with a vocal by Will Shade, is a good example of the Memphis Jug Band's down-to-earth approach, and Sam Theard's "State Street Blues" features the definitive boogie-woogie piano of Cow Cow Davenport. "Church Bell Blues" comes from Luke Jordan's first recording session, and "Macon Blues" and "Fat Mouth Blues" are the only records known to have been made by Crescent City blueswoman Dorothy Everetts -- her accompanist was pianist Steve Lewis, and these are two of the few phonograph recordings that have preserved his sound for posterity. Victoria Spivey was never timid about subject matter, and her "Dirty T.B. Blues" occupies a special category of disease-inspired songs, along with Memphis Minnie's "Memphis Minnie-jitis Blues." The earliest recordings on this album are a pair of piano solos from April 1924 by Jimmy Blythe, whose career was abruptly terminated by (here it is again) meningitis. The latest offering ("Good Old Cabbage Greens") was waxed in February 1942 by Washboard Sam with alto saxophonist Frank Owens, guitarist Big Bill Broonzy, and pianist Roosevelt Sykes. These people will take care of you all right, so let them into your space and see what happens.
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