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Best of Josh White
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
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Not the "Best of" this Great Bluesman
(2 out of 5 stars)
"One of the paradoxes of the blues is that if you happen to have a voice like burlap, you get critical points of autheticity. If you are blessed with a golden vocal chords as Josh White clearly was, critics will classify you as a cabaret signer. White is anything but a musical lightweight. His music greatly influenced folk legends Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. Contrary to its title, this amalgamation does not do justice to White. It leans heavily toward his more popular songs (which came later in his career) which are not necessarily his best from an artistic standpoint.There is a chronological set of White's work available. The first three of these to contain his best work. Any of these would rate four stars."
This is an odd recording, not the best of Josh White.
Jonathan B. Gordon | Dobbs Ferry NY | 06/27/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Josh White was among the greatest bluesmen ever. He also recorded lots of repertoire from the "crossover" repertoire of the Folk Boom. That stuff is not necessarily so hot, and that is what is on this recording. For curious fans only."
Great music from the era of Cafe Society
Island Reviewer | Alameda, CA United States | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard this music more than 50 years ago, listening to my mother's 10-inch long-play records, and I still love it. I have to disagree with the reviewers who decry this, and similar Josh White albums, as being some how not authentic or blues-y enough.
I, for one, don't classify Josh White, or his alter ego Pinewood Tom, as a "great" bluesman in the tradition of Ledbelly, Muddy Waters, or Robert Johnson. If you expect that kind of music from this album, you will be dissappointed.
White, who had a wonderful voice and a unique guitar syle, broke out of his blues roots and achieved a real, though limited, mainstream success during the during the late 40's and early 50's, playing to largely white audiences in New York's then-trendy clubs, including Cafe Society. This album, from that era, shows off White's vocal and guitar cabaret style beautifully. White is accompanied by his own solo guitar playing, or with just bass and drums. This music is a sort of torch-blues singing; great stuff for listening to in the late evening. Highly recommended.