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Big Joe Williams - Shake Your Boogie

Cod.artículo: 315

Precio: $15.00

CD 315

Joe Lee “Big Joe” Williams - vocals and 9-string guitar
Mary Williams - vocal on 6, Charlie Musselwhite - harmonica on 20, 21, & 24.

All of ARH LP 1002 from 1960 and most of ARH LP 1053 from 1969.

1. Sloppy Drunk Blues
2. Yo Yo Blues
3. President Roosevelt
4. Forty Four Blues
5. Greystone Blues
6. I Want My Crown
7. Mean Step Father
8. Brother James
9. Shake Your Boogie
10. Vitamin A Blues
11. She Left Me A Mule To Ride
12. So Glad
13. Louisiana Bound
14. Killing Floor Blues
15. Throw The Boogie Woogie
16. Dirt Road Blues
17. Montreal Blues
18. Take Me Out Of The Bottom
19. Thinking Of What They Did To Me
20. The Death Of Dr. Martin Luther King
21. Army Man In Vietnam
22. Creole Queen
23. Remember Way Back
24. King Jesus


“For some reason, Big Joe Williams wasn't taken quite as seriously by blues buffs in the '60s as he should have been. I think it was probably because, unlike Son House and Skip James who had been long-lost and found again, or Charley Patton and Robert Johnson who were seriously enigmatic stiffs, Big Joe had kept right on being there, a working musician. Like Fred McDowell, he was ever so slightly taken for granted for being mainly present on modern recordings. Foolish really, because also like McDowell (who similarly has another mind-bogglingly wonderful one of these "Over 60 Minutes Of Classic Blues" Arhoolie CDs to himself) he was just dynamite.

Big Joe played a 9-string guitar which he pounded, slapped and drove like a demented downhill slalom through a thicket of seminal Delta blues, singing in a gutsy, raw, emotion-exhausting voice. Many of his songs were loosely constructed around the beaten chassis of a familiar Mississippi tune or riff, but in his hands they were totally personal, often topical masterpieces. And in spite of a shoe-string budget for Arhoolie founder Chris Strachwitz when he recorded the bulk of these tracks back in 1960, the re-mastered CD sound just jumps out of the speakers and tears chunks off you with its teeth. If I had to pick a CD to try and hook a newcomer to country blues, this would surely be one of the candidates.”

(Ian Anderson — Folk Roots)

“The last time I saw Big Joe Williams was in Memphis in 1980. A blues concert was being held there. Big Joe wasn't invited but he'd taken the Greyhound bus up from his Mississippi trailer home near Crawford on the off-chance of a gig. It wasn't to the credit of the organisers that they refused to find a spot for him .

But he sat, puffed, reminisced, and played for me on his home-adapted, wired up, nine-string acoustic guitar. One could hardly have guessed from his earlier Bluebird recordings that Big Joe would have survived to become respected as a major blues artist in the 1960s. Yet he really epitomized, perhaps more than any of his contemporaries, the rambling, anarchic, individual, unlettered, Ievee camp, creative blues singer. If the stereotype of the 'itinerant blues singer' needed justifying, it was Big Joe who truly represented it. Hoboing, literally, catching the Greyhound when he could, bumming a ride, always out of luck and money, he would turn up in St. Louis, Chicago or out on the West Coast, unannounced.

That was the case when Bob Geddins recorded 'She Left Me A Mule To Ride' in the fall of 1959. Equipment failure spoiled the session but a year later Chris Strachwitz recorded the celebrated `Tough Times' album which constitute the first dozen titles of this CD. He had got into a spot of trouble and had been bailed in Oakland, later to be transferred to the Greystone 'correctional facilities' at Pleasanton, California. His anxieties are touchingly expressed in 'Greystone Blues,' like 'Mean Stepfather' an autobiographical blues. In a sense though, they all are, for no one played or sang a standard such as 'Forty-Four Blues' like Big Joe. His playing on this item is scintillating. He used the same theme for a remarkable blues-ballad `Brother James' who was killed riding a ''29 Ford.' It would have been good to have heard more of Joe's wife Mary, who sang splendidly on the gospel song, 'I Want My Crown.' A decade after 'Mule' was cut, Strachwitz recorded Big Joe again, making the session that was issued on Arhoolie 1053 and which is also in its entirety on this CD.

It is hard to tell the passing of the years, though there is perhaps greater range in Joe's voice, especially on 'Louisiana Bound'. Like the former set this includes a boogie track, though the CD title notwith-standing this is not where his work is most important, even though it is an exciting performance. Titles like 'Death Of Martin Luther King' and 'Army Man In Vietnam,' like the early 'President Roosevelt' are typical of Big Joe's singular perception of national figures and world events. On these two titles and a couple of others Charlie Musselwhite played sympathetic harmonica. It is tempting to discuss every track, but the conclusion remains the same: this is one you've got to have. Sixty-seven minutes of blues genius.”

(Paul Oliver — Blues & Rhythm)