Peetie Wheatstraw

Saint Louis to Chicago to New York

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Fremeaux's Peetie Wheatstraw edition is similar to the Classic Blues sampler released in early 2003 as the Essential Peetie Wheatstraw. Each collection has 36 tracks, and the two have about a dozen titles in common. Fremeaux presents the selections chronologically, beginning with two Bluebird recordings from 1931 and throwing down well-chosen examples of his work in a progression that ends with his "Separation Day Blues," recorded in November 1941 just weeks before his death in a car wreck at the age of 39. Wheatstraw's influence is clearly detectable in the work of Robert Johnson, and in much of the blues recorded during the '30s and ‘40s. His memory is well served by this excellent set. A more detailed examination of his prolific output is possible, thanks to a seven-volume retrospective presented by Document during the '90s. Wheatstraw also pops up like a will-o'-the-wisp amongst the collected works of Charlie Jordan, Kokomo Arnold, Blind Teddy Darby, Bumble Bee Slim, Casey Bill Weldon, Mary Johnson, the Sparks Brothers, Sammy Price, and jazz trumpeter Jonah Jones. Anyone moved to conduct deeper research requiring further insights and information really ought to track down a copy of Paul Garon's outstanding biographical tribute, Peetie Wheatstraw: The Devil's Son-in-Law. If all you think you need is a good taste of the man's best moments on record, Fremeaux's Wheatstraw edition will fix you right up.

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