Label: Century Media/Story of the Blues
Release Date: December 4, 2000
Recording Date: July 24, 1935 - July 13, 1939
Styles: Country Blues, East Coast Blues, Piedmont Blues, Pre-War Country Blues, Regional Blues
Not a bad compilation -- 13 songs cut by Bull City Red over a four-year stretch, which include gospel-tinged songs as well as country blues in the Blind Boy Fuller mode. The sound is reasonably good throughout, given the rarity of some of the records, and the analog-to-digital transfer fairly clean given the age of the source material -- Red's guitar comes through in startling clarity, and surface noise is generally held in check, or at least to manageable levels. Among the highlights here is Red's version of "I Saw the Light," and which, in another form, entered the repertory of Hank Williams, among others. His singing, however, is actually much better on more traditional blues numbers like "I Won't Be Dogged Around" and the grimly amusing "Pick and Shovel Blues." The last five numbers here, from July of 1939 (four years later than the next oldest cuts), were credited to "Brother George and His Sanctified Singers," and have a strong religious content, although they still play out okay as blues. Sonny Terry also sings on those, and Sonny Jones plays some of the guitar, while Red goes back to washboard.
by Bruce Eder
Credits: Bull City Red - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Blind Boy Fuller - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Paul Oliver - photography; Rudi Steager - executive producer; Hank Williams - composer.
Tracks: 1) Now I'm Talking About You; 2) I Saw the Light; 3) Richmond Blues; 4) I Won't Be Dogged Around; 5) Pick and Shovel Blues; 6) Black Woman and Poison Blues; 7) Mississippi River; 8) Have You Decided?; 9) I See the Sign of Judgement; 10) Everybody Wnats to Know How I Die; 11) I Feel Like Shoutin'; 12) Jesus Touched Me; 13) Talkin' With Jesus.