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Charley Jordan, Vol. 3 (1935 - 1937)

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Album Review

This volume is somewhat less compelling than the other two in the series, if only because even the producers themselves acknowledge that eight of the 23 songs here, credited to "The Two Charlies," probably don't feature the St. Louis-based Charley Jordan at all, but another artist of the same name, while four others, credited to Leroy Henderson, may feature Jordan. On other songs, Jordan sings duets with Verdi Lee and Mary Harris (possibly also Verdi Lee working under a pseudonym), and those are great tracks, to be recommended without reservation, except perhaps for the fact that the guitar is a bit muted on these numbers, compared with Jordan's solo stuff. "Signifying at You" is a great piece of female-sung blues, raw, angry, defiant and funny. The Two Charlies tracks, featuring a Charley Jordan working with a guitarist/singer named Charlie Manson, are fine acoustic blues, all good songs (especially "Don't Put Your Dirty Hands On Me") and even better guitar duets, including the surprisingly dissonant "Pork Chop Blues," but they sound much more like Atlanta blues than St. Louis material — their inclusion here adds nothing to the St. Louis Charley Jordan's reputation, but they make an enjoyable interlude.


Born: 1890 in Mabelvale, AR

Genre: Blues

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

Time has been kind to Charley Jordan's music. He had some moderate success in his own right as a recording artist during his own time, in the 1930s, but he's probably better known among casual blues listeners of the 21st century than he was outside of St. Louis in the '30s. Jordan wasn't the greatest singer of his era, but he had a way with a song and especially his guitar, which makes his records some of the most endearing of the '30s St. Louis blues scene, of which he was a key part. He was a relative...
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Charley Jordan, Vol. 3 (1935 - 1937), Charley Jordan
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