Friday, March 25, 2011

Big Bill Broonzy - In Chicago 1932- 1937.

The indomitable William Lee Conley Broonzy would have already passed his 100th birthday, and hardcore blues enthusiasts are of course ever grateful for the many, many great records made by Big Bill and his century's worth of influence. The "itinerant" Reverend's high old time in Chicago spanned a far longer period than In Chicago 1932-1937 documents, although these are without question choice and demonstrative cuts performed at a distinct and motivated peak in the man's career. All of these spare but full-tilt blues classics can be found on numerous other collections, although there is a well-knit and sequenced quality to these live versions that distinguishes this record from even other live Windy City shows. "Long Tall Mama," "You Know I Got a Reason" and "Little Bug" are the kind of sweet-smiling, affectionately home-cooked blues songs that bring to mind and heart an almost fatherly Big Bill. "Oh Babe" is a plaintive but convincing suitor's song, and "Come Up to My House" is pure mischief. Regardless of the selection, there is zero doubt found here or anywhere else that Chicago is this man's town, and 1932 to 1937 was more like a great blues weekend there.

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