Various Artists

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

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AllMusic 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

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