Search - Blind Lemon Jefferson :: King of the Blues

King of the Blues
Blind Lemon Jefferson
King of the Blues
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1

Although these recordings are from the late 1920s, Jefferson lends them an elegance and sophistication that most people don't associate with blues of that era. His melodic country-blues style incorporated prominent elemen...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Blind Lemon Jefferson
Title: King of the Blues
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: Yazoo
Release Date: 10/8/1990
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
Styles: Traditional Blues, Regional Blues, Texas Blues, Acoustic Blues, Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 016351016928, 016350106941, 669910073551

Although these recordings are from the late 1920s, Jefferson lends them an elegance and sophistication that most people don't associate with blues of that era. His melodic country-blues style incorporated prominent elements of ragtime and featured numerous "break-aways," or solo-guitar riffs. Many of his songs were based around traditional folk songs, and Jefferson often presented them with asymmetrical constructions and odd time signatures. His fluent guitar work was able to step out on its own or provide cohesive support for his vocals. As one of the first commercially successful blues artists, his influence is widespread: from fellow Texans Lightnin' Hopkins and T-Bone Walker to Piedmont bluesmen such as Gary Davis. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

Poor Sweet Lemon
Howard Sauertieg | Harrisburg, PA USA | 08/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"King of the Country Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson. Say no more? If you're new to the 78 rpm country blues, then by all means you should invest in this CD. It's not easy listening - Lemon was badly recorded in his day, and time hasn't improved the sound quality. Back when this CD was produced, Yazoo was holding out against NoNoise sonic treatments which other companies such as Columbia were using to remove crackles and hiss from the original masters (78 rpm records, usually). So Lemon is heard through an auditory haze, as it were - but this is nothing new, and the wear and tear actually contribute to the ambience of Lemon's music. The liner notes are a primer on Lemon's music, his place in history, and his influence (or lack thereof) on contemporary blues musicians. Note that there are 23 tracks on the CD. I have the LP version of this collection - it has 28 tracks, but "That Black Snake Moan" is missing from the LP also. I assume that Yazoo has a recording of that tune, and that its physical condition makes it unsuitable for release. Nevertheless, these 23 tunes are enough Lemon for a lifetime - and they get sweeter as the years go by. If they don't impress you on first hearing, by all means don't sell the CD to some used-CD hawker. Put it on the shelf and come back to it months or years later, and see how many of these tunes have stuck in your memory. More than you thought, probably... Anyhow, that's been my experience with this CD. One of the best."
Maybe the best of them all
Jostein Berntsen | Porsgrunn, Norway | 05/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blind Lemon Jefferson was a legendary blues performer, and Yazoo has collected many of his classics on this CD. I have owned this on vinyl for many years and is on my top 10 playlist. Blind Lemon Jefferson was a incredible guitar player delivering many unique blues licks. He was an inventor in both song and lyrics, and was one of the most selling artists of his day. My favourite tracks are 'Shuckin' sugar' and 'Bad Luck Blues' which have very singular and beautiful melodies. If you love the blues or any kind of music you should own a Blind Lemon Jefferson record. This is a good place to start."
Compared to Lemon, Angels Have Stupid-Fingers
Dwight Peters | Santa Rosa, California | 05/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is for a good reason that this CD is entitled "King Of The Country Blues." If for no other reason then, in his time, to any bluesman, his name was synonymous with God's--with one exeption, God could'nt play the blues like Lemon did. He was the master. And, in this CD released by Yazoo records, a record company with one of the best and widest selectons of music from the 20's and 30's,(I have a few dozen CD's from this company) Blind Lemon's deftness in both singing and guitar playing are immediately apparent. For example, on this album there is the the classic recording "see That My Grave is Kept Clean" where Blind Lemon plays a very crafty fingerstyle guitar coupled with hauntingly impassioned vocals. Also on the CD, is the fun-jiving "Hot Dogs" (one of my favorites) which undoubtedly will make even Granny swing-- while Lemon taps his foot. I could continue listing the merits of each and every track, but all one really needs to do is LISTEN. A couple of notes: 1. Any devoted blues fan will immediately notice that "Black Snake Moan" is lacking from this CD. That song can be picked up along with many other great tracks on Columbia/Legacy's Roots& Blues release called or almost called "String Dazzelers &... :Great Blues Guitarists" or some such name. 2. If anyone really loves this CD they should go directly to the complete recordings, which can be found on Document records, and is called(suprise-suprise) the complete recordings(on 4 CD's)."