In the late '20s, Georgia native Robert Hicks, better known by his stage name Barbecue Bob, enjoyed a brief but prolific run as a prominent player in the emerging Atlanta blues scene. Beginning in 1927, he went on to record a total of 68 sides for Columbia's race label and became one of the best-selling blues artists of the era. Alternating between 12- and six-string guitar and frequently employing a bottleneck technique, several of his songs, like "It Won't Be Long Now, Pt. 1" and its "Pt. 2" B-side (which he recorded with his brother Charlie), have come to be recognized as signature recordings of the early Atlanta sound. The former of the two is included in this well-curated 24-track anthology from the Rough Guide series, along with his versions of early blues standards like "Poor Boy a Long Ways from Home" and "Motherless Chile Blues." Although he died in 1931 at the age of 29, Barbecue Bob's witty, original style is considered to have been highly influential in blues development in Atlanta and beyond.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger