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The Washboard Rhythm Kings Collection Vol. 5 - 1930-1931

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Album Review

This CD contains three complete sessions by the prolific Washboard Rhythm Kings, originally cut for the Vocalion and Banner labels (the later recordings on Columbia and Bluebird are bypassed), including the group's last date. Three different overlapping groups are featured. The first six songs utilize several vocalists (including Lavaida Snow, Bella Benson and banjoist Steve Washington) along with fine trumpet work from Valaida Snow. The second date (which resulted in ten songs) has a mostly unidentified personnel, other than Steve Washington, who takes vocals on all but one of the tunes, while the final session uses an expanded seven-piece horn section and has bassist George "Ghost" Howell's spirited vocals. The good-time music (which features a washboard prominent in the ensembles) is hard-swinging and quite enjoyable. An early vocal version of "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You" is an oddity, while the highlights include "Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia," "I Would Do Anything for You," "Blue Drag," "Dog and Cat" and "Old Man Blues."


Formed: 1928

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s

The Washboard Rhythm Kings (which had different personnel on each session) played jubilant jazz that defied the soothing musical trend of the early Depression years, featuring a washboard player and usually a couple of horns along with spirited group vocals. The emphasis was on basic goodtime music that fell between Dixieland and swing. It debuted as the Alabama Washboard Stompers in 1930, became the Washboard Rhythm Kings in 1931, and by 1934-1935 was known as the Georgia Washboard Stompers. Some...
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