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Memphis Minnie Vol. 5 (1940-1941)

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Album Review

The fifth and final volume in Document's series begins with a mid-1940 studio date, Memphis Minnie's first in over a year; recorded with Little Son Joe on second guitar, these simple, unaffected sides are among her strongest, with tracks like "Ma Rainey" (a tribute to the recently deceased blues great) and "Nothing in Rambling" brimming with confidence and inspiration. Her final pre-war session, recorded late in 1941, closes out the set; performing on amplified guitar, Minnie's music adopts a relatively urbanized sound on tracks like the superb "I Am Sailin'" and "Don't Turn the Card," precipitating the Chicago blues of the postwar era.


Born: 03 June 1897 in Algiers, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

Tracking down the ultimate woman blues guitar hero is problematic because woman blues singers seldom recorded as guitar players and woman guitar players (such as Rosetta Tharpe and Sister O.M. Terrell) were seldom recorded playing blues. Excluding contemporary artists, the most notable exception to this pattern was Memphis Minnie. The most popular and prolific blueswoman outside the vaudeville tradition, she earned the respect of critics, the support of record-buying fans, and the unqualified praise...
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