FEATURED ARTIST / S
Blind Blake Vol 2 (October 1927 to May 1928)
Blind Blake, vocal, guitar, piano, possibly harmonica, whistle.
With contributions by: Gus Cannon, banjo; Johnny Dodds, clarinet; Jimmy Bertrand, slide whistle, xylophone; Elzadie Robinson, vocal; Bertha Henderson, vocal; Tiny Parham, piano, Daniel Brown, vocal; And others…
Genres: Ragtime Guitar, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Alan Balfour.
It is Blake’s guitar playing abilities though that gives him his place in the development of a style that commentators now classify as “ragtime guitar”. A dazzling display of this technique can be heard on Southern Rag, a number which hints at his background and perhaps his influences. Accompanying himself with a series of chord changes and alternating thumbed bases he begins a spoken commentary which suddenly moves into the vernacular of the Gullah and Geechie peoples of the Georgia Sea Island, underpinned by a demonstration of an African rhythm on his guitar (“I’m goin’ to give you some music they call the Geechie music now”), finally lapsing back into his usual speech patterns.
Blake’s repertoire also extended to popular black medicine and minstrel show material as in He’s In The Jailhouse Now. In this recording he uses the song to make oblique reference to the exploitation of black political representation by carpet-bagging politicians. Some months later, probably in April 1928 Blake recorded with