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Whiskey Is My Habit, Good Women Is All I Crave - The Best of Leroy Carr

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Album Review

The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here — all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label — features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material — check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document. But given the fact that these sides are wonderfully remastered, and 40 tracks are enough for virtually anybody but the hardest core blues punter, this is the set to have.

Customer Reviews

Essential Blues

This is great blues, unfortunately not as well known as it should be. Scrapper Blackwell and Josh White provide the guitar.


Born: March 27, 1905 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s

The term "urban blues" is usually applied to post-World War II blues band music, but one of the forefathers of the genre in its pre-electric format was pianist Leroy Carr. Teamed with the exemplary guitarist Scrapper Blackwell in Indianapolis, Carr became one of the top blues stars of his day, composing and recording almost 200 sides during his short lifetime, including such classics as "How Long, How Long," "Prison Bound Blues," "When the Sun Goes Down," and "Blues Before Sunrise." His blues were...
Full Bio
Whiskey Is My Habit, Good Women Is All I Crave - The Best of Leroy Carr, Leroy Carr
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  • $16.99
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Chicago Blues
  • Released: May 18, 2004

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