Willie Wright

I'm on My Way

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This was an unusual entry in the Chess catalog (appearing on its Argo Folk subsidiary): an LP of straight traditional folk music, albeit by an African-American. It's not blues music, though, as Wright runs through a set populated with standards found in the repertoire of many folk performers of the early '60s. There's "House of the Rising Sun," "Wayfaring Stranger," "Go Way From My Window," "Cotton Eyed Joe," and "Sinner Man," for instance, Wright's high vocals and guitar backed by a couple of other guitarists, a bass, banjo, and harmonica. The liner notes quite accurately peg him as a blend of a folksinger and a cabaret singer, and his gentle voice is not fiery enough, nor his interpretations inventive enough, to make his work stand out. Just another face in the crowd as far as early-'60s folk goes, though for what it's worth, the cover's cool, the artist moodily posing in half-shadow.

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