Modern Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 4: Southern Country Blues Guitarists 1948-1952

Various Artists

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Modern Downhome Blues Sessions, Vol. 4: Southern Country Blues Guitarists 1948-1952 Review

by Steve Leggett

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.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Smokey Hogg / Alexander Herman Moore 02:41 SpotifyAmazon
Smokey Hogg / Alexander Herman Moore 02:54 SpotifyAmazon
3 Smokey Hogg / Alexander Herman Moore 02:35 SpotifyAmazon
4 Smokey Hogg / Alexander Herman Moore 02:39 SpotifyAmazon
Jesse Thomas 02:49 SpotifyAmazon
Jesse Thomas 02:55 SpotifyAmazon
7 Pine Top Slim 02:37 SpotifyAmazon
8 Pine Top Slim 02:30 SpotifyAmazon
9 Pine Top Slim 02:54 SpotifyAmazon
10 Pine Top Slim 02:43 SpotifyAmazon
11 Lane Hardin / Leroy Simpson 02:45 SpotifyAmazon
12 Lane Hardin / Leroy Simpson 03:01 SpotifyAmazon
13 Lane Hardin 02:32 SpotifyAmazon
14 Lane Hardin 02:38 SpotifyAmazon
Big Bill Dotson 02:38 SpotifyAmazon
Big Bill Dotson 02:35 SpotifyAmazon
17 Pine Top Slim 03:09 SpotifyAmazon
18 Pine Top Slim 02:45 SpotifyAmazon
19 Pine Top Slim 02:48 SpotifyAmazon
20 Pine Top Slim 02:29 SpotifyAmazon
21 Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson 02:27 SpotifyAmazon
22 Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson 03:02 SpotifyAmazon
23 Jesse Thomas 03:37 SpotifyAmazon
Jesse Thomas 02:39 SpotifyAmazon
25 Charles Bradix 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
26 Charles Bradix 02:42 SpotifyAmazon
27 Charles Bradix 02:30 SpotifyAmazon
28 Charles Bradix 02:41 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick