Alec Seward

The Back Porch Boys

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The name Guitar Slim has been used several times in the blues world. The most famous Guitar Slim was Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones; others have included James "Guitar Slim" Stephenson, Norman "Guitar Slim" Green, and Rodney "Guitar Slim Jr." Armstrong (who is Eddie Jones' son). But the Guitar Slim who is heard on this CD is Alec "Guitar Slim" Seward, a Virginia native who was born on March 16, 1901, and died in New York (his adopted home) on May 11, 1972. When Seward formed a duo with the obscure Louis "Jelly Belly" Hayes (not to be confused with jazz drummer Louis Hayes) in the late '40s and early '50s, they were billed as the Back Porch Boys (or in some cases, the Blues Boys). Seward and Hayes had a lot in common -- both were country blues singers who played acoustic guitar, and both were natives of the South who had moved to the Big Apple. Seward and Hayes' 1947 duets for Apollo are the main focus of this CD, and one can see why they called themselves the Back Porch Boys -- their rugged, unapologetically raw recordings make one think of Southern bluesmen playing their acoustic guitars on the back porch. Not all of the songs on this collection are by the Back Porch Boys; drawing on the Apollo catalog, Delmark also provides enjoyable late-'40s or early-'50s material by singer/pianist Champion Jack Dupree (the CD's most urban performer), an obscure country bluesman named Dennis McMillon, and the well-known Blind Willie McTell (who favors an interesting blues/gospel blend instead of the secular lyrics he was best known for). This CD isn't recommended to those who have only a casual interest in country blues, but serious blues collectors will find it to be enjoyable and generally rewarding.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 02:49
3 02:57
4 03:01
6 02:41
7 02:55
8 03:07
9 03:09
11 02:49
12 02:19
13 02:42
15 03:21
17 02:32
18 03:37
19 02:29
20 02:39
21 02:40
22 02:34
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