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Complete Recordings: 1929-1934 [Box]

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Complete Recordings: 1929-1934 [Box]

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Pony Blues
Spoonful Blues, A
Down the Dirt Road Blues
Prayer of Death, Pt. 1
Prayer of Death, Pt. 2
Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues
Banty Rooster Blues
Tom Rushen Blues
It Won’t Be Long
Shake It and Break It (But Don’t Let It Fall, Mama)
Pea Vine Blues
Mississippi Boll Weevil Blues
Lord, I’m Discouraged
I’m Goin’ Home
Snatch It and Grab It
Rag Blues, A
How Come Mama Blues
Voice Throwin’ Blues
Hammer Blues: Take 1 – (take 1)
I Shall Not Be Moved
High Water Everywhere, Pt. 1
High Water Everywhere, Pt. 2
I Shall Not Be Moved
Rattlesnake Blues
Going to Move to Alabama
Hammer Blues: Take 2 – (take 2)
Joe Kirby
Frankie and Albert
Magnolia Blues
Devil Sent the Rain Blues
Runnin’ Wild Blues
Some Happy Day
Mean Black Moan
Green River Blues
That’s My Man
Honey Dripper Blues: No.2
Eight Hour Woman
Nickel’s Worth of Liver Blues: No. 2
Some of These Days I’ll Be Gone
Elder Green Blues: Take 2 – (take 2)
Jim Lee: Pt. 1
Jim Lee: Pt. 2
Mean Black Cat Blues
Jesus Is A-Dying (Bed Maker)
Elder Green Blues: Take 2 – (take 2)
When Your Way Gets Dark
Some of These Days I’ll Be Gone: Take 2 – (take 2)
Heart Like Railroad Steel
Circle Round the Moon
You’re Gonna Need Somebody When You Die
Be True, Be True Blues
Farrell Blues
Tell Me Man Blues
Come Back Corrina
Some Summer Day
Bird Nest Bound
Future Blues
M and O Blues
Walkin’ Blues
My Black Mama, Pt. 1
My Black Mama: Pt. 2
Preachin’ the Blues: Pt. 1
Preachin’ the Blues: Pt. 2
Dry Spell Blues, Pt. 1
Dry Spell Blues, Pt. 2
All Night Long Blues – (Take 1)
On the Wall
All Night Long Blues – (Take 2)
By the Moon and Stars
Long Ways from Home
Dry Well Blues
Moon Going Down
We All Gonna Face the Rising Sun
Moaner Let’s Go Down in the Valley
Jesus Got His Arms Around Me
God Won’t Forsake His Own
I’ll Be Here
Where Was Eve Sleeping?
I Know My Time Ain’t Long
Watch and Pray
High Sheriff Blues
Stone Pony Blues
Jersey Bull Blues
Hang It on the Wall
34 Blues
Love My Stuff
Poor Me
Revenue Man Blues
Troubled ‘Bout My Mother
Oh Death
Yellow Bee
Mind Reader Blues

Performer Notes:

  • Personnel: Charley Patton (vocals, guitar, slide guitar); Walter Hawkins (vocals, guitar); Son House (vocals, slide guitar); Henry “Son” Sims (vocals, fiddle); Edith North Johnson, Louise Johnson (vocals, piano); Bertha Lee (vocals); Ivory Lou Allen (tenor saxophone).
  • Audio Remasterer: Charley Patton.
  • Liner Note Author: Ray Templeton.
  • Recording information: Grafton, WI (06/14/1929-02/01/1934); New York, NY (06/14/1929-02/01/1934); Richmond, IN (06/14/1929-02/01/1934).
  • At the end of just the first disc on this five-CD set, the listener may feel like he/she was in the audio equivalent of a visual “white-out,” so powerful are the sounds on that disc. From the opening bars of“Pony Blues,” Charley Patton becomes a gigantic musical presence, who gets even bigger as his work goes on; with a guttural, stentorian voice that paves the way for everyone from Louis Armstrong to early Bob Dylan — but especially for Howlin’ Wolf — he cuts through the poor condition surviving Paramount pressings like a call from the Great Beyond, almost unnaturally powerful and expressive in its smallest gesture. What’s more, Patton must have broken more than his share of strings, because his playing also comes through on these sides better than almost any artist that ever recorded for Paramount, even on ruined masters like “Pea Vine Blues.” This is all a lot more than a trip through history for the scholar, and some sides are just too close to some classics of the future to ignore — “Down In The Dirt Road Blues,” which could be where Willie Dixon got the idea for “Down In The Bottom,” and the notion that Howlin’ Wolf was the man to record it; similarly, “Some Summer Day,” from the other end of Patton’s career, could easily have been the demo for “Sittin’ On Top Of The World” — actually, the geneology of both songs is a lot more complicated than that, but each of these could easily have been a key part of the evolutionary chain for one or the other. And there is a raw, primordial power to Patton’s music that not only grabs the listener but leaves them wanting more; that’s why this box makes perfect sense, even for the casual blues listener — the man never recorded a second-rate side or one that didn’t offer at least a few of the attributes that made his best work so powerful. On a cautionary note, however, the producers have actually been a bit misleading by presenting this set as 92 sides by Charley Patton — there are actually 63 sides by Patton, and the rest, appended to each disc, are recordings by other artists and are believed to have featured Patton, playing and singing or just playing, and people who were featured on Patton’s sides; the latter two groups include Son House, Louise Johnson, Henry “Son” Sims, and Willie Brown, with the Big Delta Four filling out the last disc. And these sides offer some fascinating sounds, including killer tracks by Son House in his prime, and oddities like Brown’s “Future Blues,” which lifts part of its content from Jimmie Rodgers’ repertory. The audio is remarkably consistent and, in fact, the whole set is so rewarding, that it raises an interesting notion — might JSP or another enterprising label consider doing a series of Paramount Records boxes, assembling the surviving sides, blues, gospel, or whatever, in chronological order, as Bear Family did with Sun Records a few years back? ~ Bruce Eder

Format: CD (1 Disc); Mono

Country: USA

Studio/Live: Mixed

Release Date: 26 August, 2002

Label: JSP (UK)

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