Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crate diggin: box me up

I've been slowly working thru several boxed sets that I have found new or more likely scrounged out of the used bin at places like Vintage Vinyl or The Princeton Record Exchange.

Charley Patton - Complete Recordings 1929-34 (JSP, 2002) I am a big blues fan although I don't post as often about that genre of music as I should. Patton was a true innovator for his time, one of the first true delta bluesmen to be recorded (by Paramount in Grafton, Wisconsin of all places.) Patton is an extraordinarily powerful presence, even coming through the hail of surface noise from the old 78 rpm records from which these performances were transferred. His voice was gravelly, deep and epic while his slashing guitar and bottleneck slide kept the beat as he played gin-joints, barbecues and back alley shacks. His most powerful work and much more is included here, classics like "Pony Blues," the topical "High Water Everwhere" about the great Mississippi flood of 1927. Also included are very important performances from Patton's contemporaries like Son House, who's epochal "Preachin' the Blues" and "My Black Mama" are included. This is a five compact disc set, which I think might have been a bit much for me, but for the used price of $9.99 it was a good deal and a fine primer of the delta blues during their formative years. Charley Patton Complete Recordings 1929-34 - amazon.com