Kokomo Arnold

Kokomo Arnold: The Essential

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Singing slide guitarist Kokomo Arnold (1901-1968) left a substantial quantity of blues recordings for posterity as primary artist, accompanist, and session man. When in the '90s Document reissued 91 chronologically arranged titles in four volumes as his "complete recorded works", early blues lovers were given the opportunity to pig out and absorb the man's legacy in all its glory. Those who seek a more modest and less systematic sampling of his amazing artistry may opt for The Essential Kokomo Arnold, a 36-track double-disc package filled with randomly arranged chestnuts dating from the years 1934-1938. In addition to Arnold's expressive voice and creative bottleneck guitar, listeners will meet up with guest vocalists Peetie Wheatstraw, Alice Moore, Mary Johnson, Roosevelt Sykes, and Lovin' Sam Theard, a hokum-styled comedian backed by Arnold and clarinetist Odell Rand as members of pianist John Oscar's Chicago Swingers. This collection highlights Arnold's stylistic versatility and may incite some listeners to pursue and obtain his complete recorded works (and the works of the other participants) as reissued by Document.

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