Robert Wilkins

Prodigal Son

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Born in Mississippi, Robert Wilkins moved to Memphis as a teenager, and his vocal and guitar approach on the 17 sides he cut for the Victor, Brunswick, and Vocalion labels between 1928 and 1935 form an almost perfect bridge between the Delta and Memphis country blues styles. Wilkins was a fine guitarist, a rehearsed singer (it's obvious he wasn't just winging it at these sessions), and a deliberate songwriter, and songs like "That's No Way to Get Along" (the Rolling Stones covered this one on their Beggars Banquet album as "Prodigal Son" and Wilkins had no problem calling it that when he was rediscovered in the 1960s), "I'll Go with Her Blues," and "Old Jim Canan's" show he had a clear and focused compositional purpose. This set includes all of his surviving 78s, including fine takes on each of the above songs. It's a small blues legacy, but it's a striking one.

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