FEATURED ARTIST / S
|Sonny Boy Williamson|
Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson, vocal, harmonica.
With contributions by: Walter Davis, piano; Yank Rachell, mandolin; Robert (Nighthawk) Lee McCoy, guitar; Speckled Red, piano; Big Bill Broonzy, guitar.
Genres: Chicago blues, Blues harmonica, Urban Blues
Informative booklet notes by Keith Briggs.
For the next session Sonny Boy Williamson found himself in the recording company of Robert Lee McCoy (Nighthawk) on guitar, Rufus 'Speckled Red' Perryman on piano and an unknown (speculated to be Willie Hatcher) on mandolin. This time round the songs were more of a mixture and Sonny Boy illustrates that both he and his Harmonica have made the transition from a country style of playing to a big city environment sound. On the tracks Little Girl Blues and Low Down Ways it is almost impossible to believe that the same man can be both playing and singing. Other tracks include the swing dance numbers Susie Q, and Goodbye Red which is a reply to Harlem Hamfat's hugely successful "Oh Red!". These upbeat, foot tapping, down-home numbers are balanced by the urban inspired tracks Insurance Man and The Right Kind Of Life.
More innovations were to follow on the 1939 session where Sonny Boy was joined by Walter Davis and Big Bill Broonzy. One of the outstanding tracks Little Low Woman Blues has Sonny Boy playing a high register Harmonica which foreshadows the sound of Jimmy Reed. Big Bill's guitar work is more sophisticated than that of Sonny Boy's previous partners, shown to good effect on the tracks Good For Nothing Blues and Sugar Mama Blues No.2 where his delicate runs and fills almost over-shadow the harmonica. On the final track Good Gravy Big Bill and Sonny Boy spark off each other to perform a bravura performance that really swings.