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Washboard Sam Vol. 4 1939-1940

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Album Review

One of the most popular and prolific of the blues performers who recorded for Bluebird during the late 1930s and early '40s, Washboard Sam is heard on his greatest hit during this collection, "Diggin' My Potatoes." The 24 selections were recorded during three busy eight-song sessions that fell during a ten-month period in 1939-1940. Sam alternates between good-time pieces and more threatening blues, swinging throughout. Although his instrument, the washboard, was associated with music of a decade earlier, Washboard Sam's music fit the urban blues mainstream quite well. Altoist Buster Bennett (who switches to soprano on "Oh Babe") sounds a bit like Pete Brown and hints at jump music and early R&B. He works well with Sam, as does guitarist Big Bill Broonzy, a constant on many of Sam's recordings. Whether it be "This Time Is My Time," "Somebody Changed That Lock on My Door," "Beauty Spot," and "She Fooled Me," Washboard Sam sings about the universal topics of love desired, lost and found. Fun music.


Born: 15 July 1910 in Walnut Ridge, AR

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s

A popular hokum blues artist, Washboard Sam recorded hundreds of records in the late '30s and '40s, usually with singer/guitarist Big Bill Broonzy. Out of all the washboard players of the era, Sam was the most popular, which was due not only to his to his washboard talent, but also to his skills as a songwriter, as well as his strong voice. As an accompanist, Sam not only played with Broonzy, but also with bluesmen like Bukka White, Memphis Slim, Willie Lacey, and Jazz Gillum. Washboard Sam (born...
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Washboard Sam Vol. 4 1939-1940, Washboard Sam
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