Furry Lewis

Shake 'Em on Down

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    10
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This 20-song single CD reissues Furry Lewis' first modern commercial recordings, done for two Prestige/Bluesville albums (Back on My Feet Again, Done Changed My Mind) in April and May of 1961 at Sun Studios in Memphis. Lewis is in brilliant form throughout, his fingers nearly as fast and his voice as rich as they were 30-odd years earlier. The disc includes the definitive version of "John Henry" (not just Lewis' definitive version -- the definitive version), one of the greatest vocal performances ever put on record and a guitar workout so dazzling that you'd swear more than one guy was playing. What's more, with the extended running time available on tape (Lewis' sessions in the 1920s having been captured on 78-rpm discs with limited running times), he really stretched out here and obviously loved doing it. The slight reverb in the studio also gives Lewis a larger-than-life stature on this recording.

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