The fourth in a series spotlighting blues releases from the Bihari Brothers' California-based Modern Records label, this installment features gutbucket country-blues, mostly recorded in Atlanta and Dallas between 1948 and 1952. This isn't polished stuff, and while these sides aren't exactly field recordings, they have that same sort of ragged, immediate intimacy, and what they lack in slickness they make up for with enthusiastic abandon. Highlights include the rousing opening track, "Neglected Woman" (a piano and guitar romp featuring Alexander Herman Moore and Smokey Hogg), "Gonna Write You a Letter," which sports an ominous solo electric guitar turn from Jesse Babyface Thomas, and a tense, nuanced "Milford Blues" by Little Son Jackson. The real delights here, however, are the eight sides (including two takes of "Applejack Boogie") by Pine Top Slim. With easy, sparse, acoustic guitar accompaniment, Pine Top (exactly who he is remains somewhat of a mystery) turns in fine country-blues versions of "Applejack Boogie" and "Baby Please Don't Go." There isn't too much here for the general listener, but collectors and historians of late-period country-blues will find this disc to be a valuable archival document.
Modern Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 4: Southern Country Blues Guitarists 1948-1952
Modern Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 4: Southern Country Blues Guitarists 1948-1952 Review
by Steve Leggett