The Original Sonny Boy Williamson (Box Set) by Sonny Boy Williamson

Label: JSP Records.
Release Date: October 9, 2007.
Recording Time: 306 minutes.
Release Info: Compilation Studio Recording.
Recording Date: May 5, 1937 - July 31, 1939.

Styles: Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Electric Blues, Harmonica Blues, Regional Blues.

JSP is a reissue label sent by angels to alleviate suffering and dispel ignorance in the world. We know this because JSP has done a fantastic job of compiling remastered blues, jazz, gospel, country, Cajun, and western swing recordings in reasonably priced four-CD sets packed with loads of discographical information and insightful liner notes. Released in 2007, JSP's intensive, 100-track tribute to Chicago blues harmonica legend John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson (1914-1948) zeroes in on his earliest recorded works, dating from the years 1937-1939. Rather than confining the scope of the retrospective exclusively to records issue under his name, JSP has included 41 titles by musicians with whom he hung out, gigged, and recorded. These are guitarists Big Joe Williams, "Jackson" Joe Williams, Robert Lee "Rambling Bob" McCoy, Henry Townsend, and Elijah Jones, as well as blues mandolin man Yank Rachell and boogie-woogie pianist Speckled Red. Additional support was provided by second chair mandolinist Will Hatcher and the great Big Bill Broonzy. This is where Chicago's modern blues harmonica tradition really began. All of the genre's essential components are firmly in place; the songs tell us everything that needed to be said about living, loving, working, scuffling, and trying to survive in a city whose working class population was largely committed to the meat packing industry during the years immediately preceding the Second World War. This was Sonny Boy Williamson I, not to be confused with Sonny Boy Williamson II, an entirely different individual who lived long enough to make records with British rockers during the '60s. Williamson I was beaten to death on the way home from a gig on the first of June 1948. Posthumously honored and widely imitated, his potent musical legacy is finally getting the sort of careful attention that it has always deserved. - Review by arwulf arwulf.

Credits: Big Bill Broonzy - guitar; Will Hatcher - mandolin; Elijah Jones - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Robert Lee McCoy - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Yank Rachell - mandolin, primary artist; Neil Slaven - Liner Notes; Speckled Red - Piano, primary artist, vocals; Henry Townsend - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Big Joe Williams - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Joe "Jackson Joe" Williams - guitar, primary artist, vocals; Sonny Boy Williamson I - primary artist, vocals, harmonica.

Tracks - Disc 1: 1) Good Morning, Little School Girl; 2) Blue Bird Blues; 3) Jackson Blues; 4) Got the Bottle Up and Gone; 5) Sugar Mama Blues; 6) Skinny Woman; 7) Tough Luck (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 8) Prowling Night-Hawk (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 9) Sweet Pepper Mama (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 10) I Know You Gonna Miss Me (feat. Big Joe Williams); 11) Rootin' Ground Hog (feat. Big Joe Williams); 12) Brother James (feat. Big Joe Williams); 13) I Won't Be in Hard Luck No More (feat. Big Joe Williams); 14) Up the Country Blues; 15) Worried Me Blues; 16) Black Gal Blues; 17) Collector Man Blues; 18) Frigidaire Blues; 19) Suzanna Blues; 20) Early in the Morning; 21) Project Highway; 22) My Friend Has Forsaken Me (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 23) Mean Black Cat (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 24) Brickyard (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 25) Mamie Lee (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 26) Take It Easy Baby (feat. Robert Lee McCoy).

Tracks - Disc 2: 1) I Have Spent My Bonus (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 2) CNA (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 3) Lose Your Man (feat. Henry Townsend); 4) All I've Got's Gone (feat. Henry Townsend); 5) A Ramblin' Mind (feat. Henry Townsend); 6) Now I Stay Away (feat. Henry Townsend); 7) My Little Cornelius; 8) Decoration Blues; 9) You Can Lead Me; 10) Moonshine; 11) Miss Louisa Blues; 12) Sunny Land; 13) I'm Tired Trucking My Blues Away; 14) Down South; 15) Beauty Parlor; 16) Until My Love Come Down; 17) Katy Fly (feat. Elijah Jones); 18) Big Boat (feat. Elijah Jones); 19) Only Boy Child (feat. Elijah Jones); 20) Lonesome Man (feat. Elijah Jones); 21) Mean Actin' Mama (feat. Elijah Jones); 22) Stuff Stomp (feat. Elijah Jones); 23) J.L. Dairy Blues (feat. Yank Rachell); 24) Rachel Blues (feat. Yank Rachell); 25) Lake Michigan Blues (feat. Yank Rachell).

Tracks - Disc 3: 1) I'm Wild and Crazy as Can Be (feat. Yank Rachell); 2) Honey Bee Blues; 3) My Baby I've Been Your Slave; 4) Whiskey Headed Blues; 5) Lord, Oh Lord Blues; 6) You Give an Account; 7) Shannon Street Blues; 8) You've Been Foolin' Round Town; 9) Deep Down in the Ground; 10) When You Feel Down and Out (feat. Yank Rachell); 11) Texas Tommy (feat. Yank Rachell); 12) It's All Over (feat. Yank Rachell); 13) My Mind Got Bad (feat. Yank Rachell); 14) Get Your Head Trimmed Down (feat. Joe "Jackson Joe" Williams); 15) Peach Orchard Mama (feat. Joe "Jackson Joe" Williams); 16) Haven't Seen No Whiskey (feat. Joe "Jackson Joe" Williams); 17) Goin' Up the Mountain (feat. Joe "Jackson Joe" Williams); 18) You Got to Fix It (feat. Speckled Red); 19) Number Five Blues; 20) Christmas Morning Blues; 21) Susie-Q; 22) Blue Bird Blues, Pt. 2; 23) Little Girl Blues; 24) Low Down Ways.

Tracks - Disc 4: 1) Goodbye Red; 2) The Right Kind of Life; 3) Insurance Man Blues; 4) Rainy Day Blues; 5) Next Door Neighbor (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 6) Big Apple Blues (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 7) Freight Train Blues (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 8) Good Gamblin' (feat. Robert Lee McCoy); 9) Bad Luck Blues; 10) My Little Baby; 11) Doggin' My Love Around; 12) Little Low Woman Blues; 13) Good for Nothing Blues; 14) Sugar Mama Blues No. 2; 15) Good Gravy; 16) T.B. Blues; 17) Something Goin' on Wrong; 18) Good Gal Blues; 19) Joe Louis and John Henry Blues; 20) Thinking My Blues Away; 21) I'm Not Pleasing You; 22) New Jail House Blues; 23) Life Time Blues; 24) Miss Ida Lee; 25) Tell Me, Baby.