Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
Great Harp Players 1927 - 1936

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Blues Birdhead
Bubbling-Over Five
Ollis Martin
Francis and Sowell
Alfred Lewis
Palmer McAbee
Smith and Harper
El Watson
Ellis Williams
George 'Bullet' Williams
William Francis and Richard Sowell


William Francis and Richard Sowell
01 - John Henry blues
02 - Roubin blues

Ollis Martin
03 - Police and high sheriff come ridin` down

El Watson
04 - Pot licker blues
05 - Narrow gauge blues
06 - El Watson`s fox chase
07 - Bay rum blues
08 - Sweet bunch of daisies
09 - One sock blues

Palmer McAbee
10 - Lost boy blues
11 - McAbee`s railroad piece

George Williams
12 - Touch me light mama
13 - Frisco leaving Birmingham (take 2)
14 - The escaped convict (take 2)
15 - Middlin` blues

Blues Birdhead
16 - Don`t mistreat your good boy friend (the Bubbling-Over Five)
17 - Get up off that jazzophone (the Bubbling-Over Five)
18 - Mean low blues
19 - Harmonica blues

Ellis Williams
20 - Buttermilk blues
21 - Smokey blues

Alfred Lewis
22 - Mississippi swamp moan (1930)
23 - Friday moan blues

Smith and Harper
24 - Poor girl (1936)
25 - Insurance policy blues


Genres: Country Blues, Blues harmonica.

Informative booklet notes by Howard Rye.
Detailed discography.

Review by Scott Yanow:

Although one may think of the blues harp beginning with Little Walter, the first Sonny Boy Williamson, or Sonny Terry, a variety of harmonica players did record in the '20s. Some of their recordings were technical displays that featured them imitating everything from animals to trains, while other players were more blues-oriented. This valuable CD has two selections from the guitar-harmonica team of William Francis and Richard Sowell; Ollis Martin's Police and High Sheriff Come Ridin' Down; six pieces by Eli Watson (including El Watson's Fox Chase); two cuts apiece by Palmer McAbee, Ellis Williams, Alfred Lewis, and the team of Smith & Harper (which is the only music on this CD recorded after 1930); plus four songs/displays from Blues Birdhead (including Get up off That Jazzophone) and George "Bullet" Williams (highlighted by Frisco Leaving Birmingham and The Escaped Convict). Fascinating music.

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