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Blues & Ballads (Reissue) [With Elmer Snowden]

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Album Review

This combination works quite well. Guitarist-singer Lonnie Johnson was just starting a successful comeback, and here he is teamed up with acoustic rhythm guitarist Elmer Snowden (who had not recorded since 1934) and bassist Wendell Marshall. Johnson sings smooth blues and sentimental ballads with equal skill, and both guitarists have opportunities to display their complementary but distinctive styles. This CD reissue is easily recommended, as is its more instrumental counterpart, Blues, Ballads, and Jumpin' Jazz, Vol. 2.


Born: 08 February 1899 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Blues guitar simply would not have developed in the manner that it did if not for the prolific brilliance of Lonnie Johnson. He was there to help define the instrument's future within the genre and the genre's future itself at the very beginning, his melodic conception so far advanced from most of his prewar peers as to inhabit a plane all his own. For more than 40 years, Johnson played blues, jazz, and ballads his way; he was a true blues originator whose influence hung heavy on a host of subsequent...
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