Scrapper Blackwell

Mr. Scrapper's Blues

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Blackwell, it's not always remembered, was rediscovered in the late 1950s, though he didn't have much chance to make a new career out of the blues revival before his death a few years later. He performs well, but not wonderfully, on this July 1961 session in Indianapolis, accompanied only by his guitar (although he uses piano on one song, "Little Girl Blues"). His guitar playing is in better shape than his vocals, and, in fact, his instrumental work is sparkling on tunes like "Blues Before Sunrise," where the pacing and alternation of chords and single-note runs is immaculate. The instrumental "'A' Blues" is also a standout in its tradeoffs between high and low notes. It's mostly blues of a slow and deliberate, if varied, pace, though "Little Boy Blues" picks up the mood into a charging, swinging rhythm.

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