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Atlanta Strut

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Album Review

Atlanta street singer Blind Willie McTell was a solid 12-string acoustic guitar player with a surprisingly versatile voice who rolled up blues, spirituals, and rags into a distinctive style all his own. This collection brings together several of his mid-'30s 78 RPMs, including early versions of his signature songs, like the elegant and oft-covered "Statesboro Blues" and "Broke Down Engine Blues," as well as the lovely (but lesser known) "Love Changing Blues." There are more comprehensive and complete editions of McTell available, but this one works well as a brief introduction.


Born: 05 May 1901 in Thomson, GA

Genre: Blues

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

Willie Samuel McTell was one of the blues' greatest guitarists, and also one of the finest singers ever to work in blues. A major figure with a local following in Atlanta from the 1920s onward, he recorded dozens of sides throughout the '30s under a multitude of names -- all the better to juggle "exclusive" relationships with many different record labels at once -- including Blind Willie, Blind Sammie, Hot Shot Willie, and Georgia Bill, as a backup musician to Ruth Mary Willis. And those may not...
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