Search - Sonny Terry, Brownie Mcghee :: California Blues

California Blues
Sonny Terry, Brownie Mcghee
California Blues
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #1

The vocal and acoustic interplay of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee is one of the most instantly recognizable sounds in the blues canon. Brownie's intricate fingerpicking and Sonny's colorful harp playing were forged from yea...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Sonny Terry, Brownie Mcghee
Title: California Blues
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Fantasy
Original Release Date: 7/13/1990
Re-Release Date: 7/9/1990
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop
Styles: Classic Country, Delta Blues, Traditional Blues, Regional Blues, East Coast Blues, Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 025218242325

Synopsis

Amazon.com
The vocal and acoustic interplay of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee is one of the most instantly recognizable sounds in the blues canon. Brownie's intricate fingerpicking and Sonny's colorful harp playing were forged from years of playing with pioneers like Blind Boy Fuller and Leadbelly. But while they recorded excellent material earlier in their careers, it wasn't until these recordings in 1957 that they were swept up by the folk movement and into the national spotlight. California Blues contains their first two albums for the Fantasy label, and folk-blues dominate the proceedings. Personalized versions of traditionals like "John Henry" and "Motherless Child" are affecting, but the true highlights are the playful tunes like "I Got Fooled" and "I Done Done," which showcase the duo's harmonizing. Repeated listenings reveal a lulling sameness to many of these tracks, but the playing is up to their usual high standards and Sonny's trademark whoops and hollers always entertain. --Ken Hohman

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CD Reviews

Wonderful Folk Blues
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 02/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is actually a repackaging of two earlier Fantasy albums (Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, tracks 1-14, and Blues and Shouts, tracks 15-26), both originally recorded in March, 1957. [They actually recorded 38 tracks at that session. The other twelve songs, all spirituals, were released as Just a Closer Walk With Thee.] There are no session musicians used here, just Terry on harmonica and McGhee on guitar; both provide vocals. They sometimes sing solo--it's McGhee's smooth vocal on tunes like "I Got Fooled" and "I Feel So Good," and Terry's rougher-edged voice on "California Blues" and "I Have Had My Fun"--but on many of the tracks they harmonize wonderfully, like on the McGhee-penned "Sportin' Life," which Baby Boomers will recognize as a song covered by the Lovin' Spoonful. They also harmonize on "John Henry," which was performed at the close of the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that featured both Terry and McGhee in the cast from 1955-1958.This is wonderful folk blues and though not as strong as the other Fantasy re-issue Midnight Special, it is still a welcome addition to any Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee collection. RECOMMENDED"
Great Sonny and Brownie
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There's some discrepancy over the correct recording dates for these two Fantasy albums included on this CD. Some sources say only the SONNY TERRY AND BROWNIE MCGHEE sides (#1-14) were recorded in 1957, the other album being recorded in 1961. Whatever the case may be, these are excellent performances. Sonny's singing is rougher and more old-fashioned than Brownie's. I GOT FOOLED is a terrific piece and THINKIN' AND WORRYIN' has an unusual form: 4-bar verses piled up one after the other - different and captivating. Sonny and Brownie sing duets on a handful of tunes. The second album is a bit more folky than the first, with the oft-recorded JOHN HENRY included as well as a version of TAKE THIS HAMMER. Both albums are excellent and will give much enjoyment."