Label: Document Records
Release Date: August 15, 1993
Releases: June 2, 1994; September, 2000; October 25, 2005
Recording Time: 74 minutes
Recording Date: February 14, 1928 - November 1, 1935
Styles: Country Blues, Delta Blues, Pre-War Blues, Regional Blues
Featured Artists: Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton, Arthur Petties, Mr Freddie Spruell.
Having already released collections of the more famous of the Mississippi country blues players of the 1920s and 1930s, England's Document Records is now swinging back and spotlighting blues players from the state who have only a handful of tracks to their name. This volume gathers the complete known recorded work of Arthur Petties, Freddie Spruell, and Willie "Poor Boy" Lofton, all of whom show the influence of Tommy Johnson, particularly Lofton, whose "Dark Road Blues" is a spirited version of Johnson's "Big Road Blues." Lofton also turns in fine performances on the humorous (but resolute) "It's Killin' Me" and the alcohol-themed "Jake Leg Blues," which refers to the drag leg gait of seriously impaired drunks. Petties and Spruell aren't as immediately memorable, but Petties has a warm and expressive voice, while Spruell hits a nice proto-ragtime feel on "Let's Go Riding," a song that ended up on the soundtrack to the movie Ghost World in 2001. Spruell appears to have been living in Chicago by the time he made these recordings, and his actual connection to Mississippi (other than stylistically) is uncertain. The sound on some of these tracks, particularly Spruell's, is a little rough, full of the crackles, pops, and hiss that is endemic to rare 78s.
by Steve Leggett
Credits: Kokomo Arnold - composer; Willie Lofton - composer, guitar, primary artist, vocals; Arthur Petties - composer, guitar, primary artist, vocals; Leon Petties - composer; Freddie Spruell - composer, guitar, primary artist, vocals; Big Joe Williams - composer.
Tracks: 1) Two time blues - Arthur Petties; 2) Out on santa fe-blues - Arthur Petties; 3) That won`t do - Arthur Petties; 4) Good boy blues - Arthur Petties; 5) Quarrellin` mama blues - Arthur Petties; 6) Revenue man blues - Arthur Petties; 7) Milk cow blues - Freddie Spruell; 8) Muddy water blues - Freddie Spruell; 9) Way back down home (Milk cow blues) - Freddie Spruell; 10) Tom cat blues - Freddie Spruell; 11) Low-down Mississippi bottom man - Freddie Spruell; 12) 4a Highway - Freddie Spruell; 13) Don`t cry baby - Freddie Spruell; 14) Your good man is gone - Freddie Spruell; 15) Let`s go riding - Freddie Spruell; 16) Mr. Freddie`s kokomo blues - Freddie Spruell; 17) It`s killin` me - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton; 18) Poor boy blues - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton; 19) Jake leg blues - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton; 20) My mean baby blues - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton; 21) Dirty mistreater - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton; 22) Rainy day blues - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton; 23) Beer garden blues - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton; 24) Dark road blues - Willie 'Poor Boy' Lofton.