Friday, March 16, 2012

Sonny Boy Williamson II - Down and Out Blues (1959)

More blues, pilgrims. I've been dreaming the blues lately. Sonny Boy Williamson, real name Alex Miller, was actually the second of two blues musicians to go by the name. Hence he's often billed as Sonny Boy Williamson II. However he's called, he was a brilliant harmonica blues player that was a contemporary and colleague to many greats, including the recently shared Big Joe Williams and Robert Nighthawk (note: the Sonny Boy mentioned in the interview on Nighthawk's album was the first one). Similarly he was part of the blues revival of the 50s and 60s. Although he'd be recording since 1951, Down and Out Blues was his first full-length album, though really a compilation of earlier singles. While the harmonica playing is absolutely fantastic, I think his lyrics and soulful singing may even outshine his mastery of the blues harp. Notable musicians contributed such as Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood Jr. among others. Truly a blissful way to spend a touch over a half and hour.

To be had here:

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