Leroy Carr

Singin' the Blues, 1934

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The Biograph folks got hold of original CBS test pressings of this classic blues material to try to improve sound quality possibilities, but as can be imagined with recordings from the early '30s there is a lot missing and the performers sound like they are coming at you from the house around the corner. And the mighty blues licks might have been struck with a toothpick. Of course no matter what the quality of the recording, certain things about these tracks still jump right out, such as their rhythmic feel, always easy and unforced, never too fast or too slow, and the equally unstrained but compelling vocals. These tracks are all among the last recorded by Leroy Carr and sidekick Scrapper Blackwell; they include sideman appearances by the young Josh White, who went on to a successful career as a folk-blues artist but never recorded anything as down to earth as this again.

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