Search - William Harris, Buddy Boy Hawkins :: Complete Recorded Works (1927-29)

Complete Recorded Works (1927-29)
William Harris, Buddy Boy Hawkins
Complete Recorded Works (1927-29)
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

"Did you ever wake up with bullfrogs on your mind?" asks earnest Alabama bluesman William Harris on his country-blues dance tune "Bullfrog Blues." Talk about pickup lines. With a driving guitar and piney vocal style develo...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: William Harris, Buddy Boy Hawkins
Title: Complete Recorded Works (1927-29)
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Document
Release Date: 1/10/1996
Album Type: Import
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Delta Blues, Traditional Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 714298503524, 788518503526, 669910034156

"Did you ever wake up with bullfrogs on your mind?" asks earnest Alabama bluesman William Harris on his country-blues dance tune "Bullfrog Blues." Talk about pickup lines. With a driving guitar and piney vocal style developed throughout the Southeast and Texas, this itinerant musician left us such popular classics as "I'm Leaving Town," "Kansas City Blues," and "Keep Your Man out of Birmingham." Walter "Buddy Boy" Hawkins, from Blytheville, Arkansas, coupled a similarly plaintive voice with nimble guitar work influenced by Bach and flamenco motifs learned overseas during World War I. This selection features Hawkins at his eccentric best with his quick, danceable "Raggin' the Blues," the poignant "Awful Fix Blues," a takeoff on Charley Patton's "Shake It and Break It" (recorded with drunk Patton shouting in the background) called "Snatch It and Grab It," and the novelty ditty partly sung with pinched nostrils, "Voice Throwin' Blues." --Alan Greenberg

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CD Reviews

A Beautiful Blues Twofer
Josh Z. Bonder | Toronto | 07/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I will preface my review with the information that Document Records has re-released this cd, and it is available directly from their website.

I suppose the question now is whether it is worth going to the trouble of ordering, and I would answer that with an enthusiastic yes! That is if you have any interest in country blues, or if you've heard and enjoyed at least one song by either of these artists. While some Document cds can be filled out with material by less than stellar musicians, both Harris and Hawkins are powerful performers, each in their own way.

I've read multiple theories placing William Harris around the Mississippi Delta, or in Alabama. It's hard to be sure, but his driving performances are certainly akin to other Delta bluesmen. His strongest songs are those he drives the hardest, such as "Leaving Town Blues" and "Bullfrog Blues". That's not to say the others aren't blues of a very high calibre, but the aforementioned songs reveal a distinctive performer who grabs your attention from the get go. I should point out that in their efforts to compile all the recorded sides in chronological order, Document have included a version of "Electric Chair Blues" which is virtually unlistenable, even to these static-seasoned ears. Oh well, the others more than make up for one lost track.

Buddy Boy Hawkins is also said to be from either Mississippi or Alabama, but he was an itinerant musician who probably frequented both locales. Hawkins possesses a beautiful tonal quality to his guitar playing, and shows a bit more variety in his repetoire. This variety stems from the eclecticism of the songster tradition, which found artists performing blues, rags, breakdowns, and even some novelty tunes. While Hawkins was undoubtebly a consumate bluesman, his recordings delve into each of these song genres with vigour and consistent proficiency. Just to point out a few points of interest, the song "Snatch it and Grab it" features a second vocalist who it is suspected might be Charley Patton. The last song (also mentioned by the other reviewer) is called "Voice Throwing Blues". This is another version of the classic tune "Hesitation Blues", albeit made into a bizarre and fascinating novelty song as Hawkins does his best nasal sounding ventriloquism, which works surprisingly well on record.

In all this is a very satisfying compilation of the complete works of two artists who deserve to be heard and appreciated again (and again and again). Very highly recommended to the country blues lover."
Check out the crazy sounds he makes with his voice
Peter Panagakos | Philadelphia, PA | 10/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hey.,,,"Voice throwing blues" is unbelievable.He does this
weird funky throat thing when he sings it n' it sounds
like he has a talk box type effect on it.Keep in mind that
it is a very old track.Check it out"