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Curley Weaver (1933-1935)

Curley Weaver

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Album Review

Georgia slide guitar wizard Curley Weaver (1906-1962) is best remembered for his lengthy association with Blind Willie McTell, one of several guitarists who are heard on a 23-track compilation of Weaver records dating from 1933-1935. This disc appeared on Document in 1992, was reissued in 2000, and again in 2005. An expressive vocalist who sang at times like Blind Boy Fuller or Blind Blake, Weaver occasionally shifted into a plaintive falsetto while dexterously manipulating his slide over the fretted neck of the guitar. His friendship with fellow Georgians Blind Buddy Keith, Nemehiah Smith, Barbecue Bob, Charlie Lincoln, and Eddie Mapp are legendary. This is only a taste of his recorded legacy; Weaver cut his first sides in 1928 and made his final recordings in 1950 with his old friend Willie McTell. Vocalist Ruth Willis, who was closely affiliated with Weaver and his circle of musical friends, is heard in a duet with him on "Some Cold Rainy Day." As is often the case with Document collections released during the '90s, there are occasional instances of poor sound quality, and tracks 15 and 16 in particular suffer from periodic distortion. Tracks 6-13 are played by the Georgia Browns, a lively little band involving guitarist Fred McMullen and Weaver's harmonica-toting pal Buddy Moss. "Tampa Strut" and "Decatur Street 81" are two of this group's choicest sides, while "Who Stole de Lock?" has a decidedly more rural feel to it than the 1932 recording by Jack Bland's Rhythmakers. Both renditions benefit from a comparison with two earlier recordings of the tune by Bryant's Jubilee Quartet, a fine gospel and secular vocal harmony group whose complete works have also been reissued by Document. Some of Weaver's recordings were included on JSP's excellent four-CD set Atlanta Blues.

Biography

Born: 26 March 1906 in Covington, GA

Genre: Blues

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

Curley Weaver, who was known for much of his life as "the Georgia Guitar Wizard," is only just beginning to be appreciated as one of the best players ever to pick up a six-string instrument. Although he recorded a fair number of sides on his own during the 1920s and '30s, Weaver was most commonly heard in performances and recordings in association with his better-known colleagues Blind Willie McTell (with whom he worked from the 1930s until the early '50s), Barbecue Bob, and Buddy Moss. Weaver was...
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Curley Weaver (1933-1935), Curley Weaver
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