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Edwin Buster Pickens - The 1959 to 1961 Sessions
Edwin “Buster” Pickens, vocal, piano. Genres: Texas blues, Blues piano. 12 page informative booklet notes by Jeff Harris. Detailed discography. The sessions that comprise this collection were organized by Paul Oliver for the Blues Research and Recording Project with the recording done by Mack McCormick and Chris Strachwitz. In the summer of 1960 Oliver came to the United States with the aid of a State Department grant and BBC field recorder with the idea, as he writes of “putting on tape the conversation and music of blues artists in the country and the cities, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. Some of the blues singers were famous, or had been, whilst others were unknown and destined to remain so.” As Oliver's journey progressed west he teamed up with Strachwitz and McCormick who had been roaming around Texas looking for blues singers. The recording of Buster Pickens was a result of this collaboration. Pickens lone album, for Heritage (HLP 1008), the self-titled Buster Pickens, was recorded over several sessions in 1960 and 1961 and released in 1962, subsequently reissued in 1977 on the Flyright label as Back Door Blues and now appears on CD for the first time here. It was Oliver who wrote the liner notes and interviewed Pickens, some of which has been transcribed by Oliver in his groundbreaking Conversation With The Blues. Two other songs allegedly by Pickens, (one is more likely a recording Texas Alexander) again reissued on CD for the first time, were recorded in 1959 and come from the album The Unexpurgated Folk Songs of Men collected by Mack McCormick.

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