Complete Recorded Works (1926-1934) by Sam McGee

Label: Document Records.
Release Date: October 12, 1999.
Recording Time: 68 minutes.
Release Info: Compilation Studio Recording.
Recording Date: 1926 - 1934.

Styles: Old-Timey, Traditional Country, Country Blues.

Although he enjoyed a career as country music's first hot guitarist, Sam McGee's name is all but unknown to modern fans. Even his long partnership with Uncle Dave Macon produced very little that survives in the CD era, and as a solo performer he is even more obscure. It's unfortunate, then, that country guitar obsessives should be led compulsively to these early solo recordings, which to say the least are underwhelming. Why? Well, quite simply, McGee couldn't sing, and on most of his early records, he does. There are some transcendent moments during the instrumental "Buck Dancer's Choice" and "Knoxville Blues," but for the most part, McGee's cracked, stick-thin tenor is difficult to listen to, even by these antiquated standards. But since the truly obsessed will probably explore these recordings anyway, it's fair to say that there are other good songs here, most notably a version of the Delmore Brothers' "Brown's Ferry Blues," "Salt Lake City Blues," and McGee's signature song, "Railroad Blues," heard in its earliest incarnation. The curious, however, are advised to initially seek out Arhoolie's Grand Dad of the Country Guitar Pickers because of its mostly instrumental program and sound quality, as 1926-1934 is probably going to be enjoyed primarily under the auspices of historical interest. ~ Jim Smith

Credits: Lorenz Hart - composer; Uncle Dave Macon - guest artist; Sam McGee - composer, primary artist; Johnny Parth - compilation producer, producer; Richard Rodgers - composer; Traditional - composer; Gerhard Wessely - mastering; Charles K. Wolfe - liner notes.

Tracks: 1) Buck Dancer's Choice - Sam McGee; 2) The Franklin Blues - Sam McGee; 3) In A Cool Shady Nook - Sam McGee; 4) If I Could Only Blot Out The Past - Sam McGee; 5) Knoxville Blues - Sam McGee; 6) Old Master's Runaway - McGee Brothers; 7) Charming Bill - McGee Brothers; 8) A Flower From My Angel Mother's Grave - McGee Brothers; 9) C-h-i-c-k-e-n Spells Chicken - McGee Brothers; 10) Salty Dog Blues - McGee Brothers; 11) Salt Lake City Blues - McGee Brothers; 12) Rufus Blossom - McGee Brothers; 13) Ragged Jim - McGee Brothers; 14) Someone Else May Be There While I'm Gone - McGee Brothers; 15) Hannah Won't You Open The Door - McGee Brothers; 16) My Family Has Been A Crooked Set - McGee Brothers; 17) The Tramp - McGee Brothers; 18) Easy Rider - Sam McGee; 19) Chevrolet Car - Sam McGee; 20) As Willie And Mary Strolled By The Seashore - Sam McGee; 21) The Ship Without A Sail - Sam McGee; 22) Brown's Ferry Blues - Kirk & Sam McGee; 23) Railroad Blues - Sam McGee.