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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1929-1930) by Barbecue Bob

Label: Document Records.
Release Date: 1991.
Releases: 1992, 2004, 2005.
Recording Time: 60 minutes.
Recording Date: November 6, 1929 - December 8, 1930.
Release Info: Compilation Studio Recording.

Styles: Country Blues, Pre-War Country Blues, Acoustic Blues, Pre-War Blues.

Featured Artists: Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks), Georgia Cotton Pickers, Charley Lincoln.

"Barbecue Bob"'s final recordings are on this third of three discs. Bob (whose name was actually Robert Hicks) died on October 21, 1931, at the age of just 29 from pneumonia. Since his last solo records were made during November 6, 1929, and April 17-December 5, 1930, there is no decline heard in his singing or playing. Barbecue Bob is heard on 13 unaccompanied numbers (including "She Move It Just Right," "Yo Yo Blues No. 2," "We Sure Got Hard Times," and "Atlanta Moan") and interacting with his brother Charlie Lincoln on the amusing two-part "Darktown Gamblin'." Barbecue Bob's final four recordings were made as part of the Georgia Cotton Pickers on December 7-8, 1930, a trio with guitarist/singer Curly Weaver and Buddy Moss on harmonica. Recommended, as are all three volumes of this valuable series.
by Scott Yanow

Personnel: Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks) - vocals, twelve-string guitar; Charlie Lincoln (Charlie Hicks) - vocals, twelve-string guitar; Curley Weaver - vocals, guitar; Buddy Moss - harmonica.

Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

Columbia’s field recording trips to the South took place twice a year from 1925 to 1930, in the spring and the late fall; having collected eight songs (of which they issued six) from Barbecue Bob in November 1929, they returned as usual in April 1930. On this occasion, Bob’s brother Charlie Lincoln made his only recorded appearance under his real name on the comic dialogues Darktown Gamblin’, which were credited to Robert & Charlie Hicks.

Barbecue Bob was still a hot property as far as Columbia were concerned, though they were shortly to find that his, like all blues records, were becoming a luxury that blacks could ill afford in those “hard times”. Similarly, Bob was concerned to keep in tune with trends in the entertainment industry; he recorded a follow up to Yo Yo Blues and continued to turn out variations on “It’s Tight Like That”, including one which referred to that song by name. Twistin’ Your Stuff was un-issued at the time. Monkey And The Baboon may have inspired Bob to write his own animal story, based on the fable of the spider and the fly.

In December 1930, Columbia was back in Atlanta. Bob appeared as usual to record and began with the fiercely sung and played Jambooger Blues. Atlanta Moan and Doin’ The Scraunch were rewrites of hit records. New Mojo Blues, though, confirmed that Bob’s talent for original songs rooted in black culture was still going strong. That session was Barbecue Bob’s last as a solo artist, but shortly afterwards he brought his long-time friend Curley Weaver and a 16 year old boy called Buddy Moss, to the Campbell Hotel. There they cut four magnificent sides as the Georgia Cotton Pickers, with Moss playing fiery harmonica, Weaver playing brilliant slide guitar and Bob contributing rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Their first two songs were versions of hits by the Mississippi Sheiks and Blind Blake, while She Looks So Good was hokum; She’s Coming Back Some Cold Rainy Day was a well known theme around Atlanta, and recorded by several of the local musicians.

Credits: Barbecue Bob - guitar, guitar (rhythm), primary artist, vocals; Georgia Cotton Pickers - ensemble, guest artist; Charlie (Lincoln) Hicks - guitar, speech/speaker/speaking part, vocals; Robert Hicks - composer, guitar, speech/speaker/speaking part, vocals; Charley Lincoln - vocals; Buddy Moss - harmonica; Public Domain - composer; Traditional - composer; Curley Weaver - guitar, guitar (rhythm), vocals; Hudson Whittaker - composer.

Tracks: 1) She moves it just right - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 2) Tellin' it to you - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 3) Yo yo blues no. 2 - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 4) She shook her gin - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 5) We sure got hard times - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 6) Twistin' that stuff - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 7) Monkey and the baboon - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 8) Spider and the fly - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 9) Darktown gamblin', pt. 1 (the crap game) - Robert & Charlie Hicks (Barbecue Bob and Laughing Charlie); 10) Darktown gamblin', pt. 2 (the skin game) - Robert & Charlie Hicks (Barbecue Bob and Laughing Charlie); 11) Jambooger blues - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 12) It just won't quit - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 13) Atlanta moan - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 14) New mojo blue - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 15) Doin' the scraunch - Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks); 16) I'm on my way down home - Georgia Cotton Pickers; 17) Diddle-da-diddle - Georgia Cotton Pickers; 18) She looks so good - Georgia Cotton Pickers; 19) She's coming back some cold rainy day - Georgia Cotton Pickers.