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Not Guilty Blues

Brownie McGhee

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Album Review

Here's an 18-track collection of McGhee's earliest recordings, all of it emanating from sessions held in 1940 and the following year. Brownie's recordings as Blind Boy Fuller #2 are here, as well as the first recordings pairing him with longtime future partner Sonny Terry. His work with washboard player Oh Red and the mysterious Jordan Webb playing harmonica is every bit as effective, though, and tracks like "Picking My Tomatoes" and "Born For Bad Luck" get this set off to a wonderful start; the musical quotient stays high all, the way to the end. Everything is pulled off of old, beat-up 78s, and the quality is up and down on every track, but this as fine an early Brownie McGhee set as you'll come across.

Biography

Born: 30 November 1915 in Knoxville, TN

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Brownie McGhee's death in 1996 was an enormous loss in the blues field. Although he had been semi-retired and suffering from stomach cancer, the guitarist was still the leading Piedmont-style bluesman on the planet, venerated worldwide for his prolific activities both on his own and with his longtime partner, blind harpist Sonny Terry. Together, McGhee and Terry worked for decades in an acoustic folk-blues bag, singing ancient ditties like "John Henry" and "Pick a Bale of Cotton" for appreciative...
Full bio