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Memphis Minnie Vol. 4 (1938-1939)

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Album Review

The fourth volume in the series opens with Memphis Minnie's lone 1938 studio date; backed by mondolinist (and former brother-in-law) Charlie McCoy, the session possesses elements of the classic string band sound, with sides like "I'd Rather See Him Dead" and "Good Biscuits" among the most sexually explicit in her catalog. The remaining material, all cut in February 1939, is comprised of guitar-duet accompaniments with Little Son Joe, heralding the format consistent throughout the majority of Minnie's pre-war recordings; indeed, as stellar performances of "Keep Your Big Mouth Closed" and "Low Down Man Blues" indicate, perhaps no other arrangement was more ideally suited to her unique style.


Born: June 3, 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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