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The Sonet Blues Story

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Album Review

Very little recorded material exists of Delta bluesman J.D. Short. He only recorded two sessions in the early '30s for Paramount and Vocalion, then quickly faded into obscurity, making this edition of The Sonet Blues Story such a welcome reissue. Thanks to music historian Samuel Charters, Short was recorded at his transplanted home base of St. Louis in 1961 while Charters was passing through the area making similar field recordings of Henry Townsend, Barrelhouse Buck Edith North Johnson, Henry Brown, and Daddy Hotcakes. Charters returned a year later in 1962 to shoot some footage for a documentary film. These ten cuts were recorded mainly in the kitchen of Short's ghetto home, performing informally with acoustic guitar and harmonica. Short played original material, some of which had been handed down to him during his childhood, notably "Slidin' Delta," which he claimed to have first heard in 1907, while other tunes were built around existing themes like "By the Spoonful," and "Make Me Down a Pallet." Although it's impossible to detect, a few months after the 1962 session J.D. Short unexpectedly passed away at the age of 60. Luckily, fans of unfettered country blues can include this gem in their collections.

Biography

Born: February 26, 1902 in Port Gibson, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Gifted with a striking and almost immediately identifable vocal style characterized by an amazing vibrato, J.D. Short was also a very versatile musician. He played piano, saxophone, guitar, harmonica, clarinet and drums. Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, Short learned guitar and piano. He was a frequent performer at house parties before he moved to St. Louis in the '20s. Short played with the Neckbones, Henry Spaulding, Honeyboy Edwards, Douglas Williams, and Big Joe Williams from the '30s until...
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The Sonet Blues Story, J.D. Short
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