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Mississippi's Big Joe Williams and His Nine-String Guitar

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Album Review

Those who've never heard Big Joe Williams might be genuinely surprised at just how outstanding a musician he was, being tremendously accomplished on his self-made nine-string guitar and with vocals as expressive and forceful as Muddy Waters. Beautifully remastered, this collection finds Williams' talents at their peak with a fine variation of raw country blues like "Whistling Pines" and "Kings Highway Blues," and more strongly uptempo tracks like "Somebody's Been Fooling #1" and "King Bisquit Stomp #2." None of the thirteen tracks disappoint, as this ranks among the strongest releases in the Big Joe Williams' catalogue.


Born: 16 October 1903 in Crawford, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Big Joe Williams may have been the most cantankerous human being who ever walked the earth with guitar in hand. At the same time, he was an incredible blues musician: a gifted songwriter, a powerhouse vocalist, and an exceptionally idiosyncratic guitarist. Despite his deserved reputation as a fighter (documented in Michael Bloomfield's bizarre booklet Me and Big Joe), artists who knew him well treated him as a respected elder statesman. Even so, they may not have chosen to play with him, because...
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