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Memphis Minnie Vol. 1 (1935)

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Album Review

The first volume in Document's series of Memphis Minnie solo recordings collects the material she cut in Chicago over a period of six sessions between the first weeks of 1935 and Halloween of that same year. Her first sides following her personal and professional breakup with Kansas Joe McCoy, the material suggests a rebirth of sorts, marked by a new sense of experimentation — two tracks, "Let Me Ride" and "When the Saints Go Marching Home," are pure gospel, while "Ball and Chain Blues" is her first step into the band style prevalent at the end of the 1930s. Among the other highlights are the tracks from her final Decca session, a solo date which spotlights her amazing guitar work.

Biography

Born: 03 June 1897 in Algiers, LA

Genre: Blues

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

Tracking down the ultimate woman blues guitar hero is problematic because woman blues singers seldom recorded as guitar players and woman guitar players (such as Rosetta Tharpe and Sister O.M. Terrell) were seldom recorded playing blues. Excluding contemporary artists, the most notable exception to this pattern was Memphis Minnie. The most popular and prolific blueswoman outside the vaudeville tradition, she earned the respect of critics, the support of record-buying fans, and the unqualified praise...
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