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Monday, May 7, 2012

Blind Boy Fuller: Complete Recorded Works Vol. 5 (1938-1940)


1) Stop Jivin' Me, Mama; 2) Long Time Trucker; 3) Big House Bound; 4) Flyin' Airplane Blues; 5) Get Your Ya Yas Out; 6) Jitterbug Rag; 7) Screaming And Crying Blues; 8) Blacksnakin' Jiver; 9) I Don't Care How Long; 10) You've Got Something There; 11) Baby, Quit Your Low Down Ways (take 1); 12) Baby, Quit Your Low Down Ways (take 2); 13) It Doesn't Matter, Baby; 14) Black Bottom Blues; 15) I Crave My Pig Meat; 16) Big Leg Woman Gets My Pay; 17) I'm A Stranger Here; 18) Red's Got The Piccolo Blues; 19) I Want Some Of Your Pie; 20) Jivin' Big Bill Blues; 21) Woman, You Better Wake Up; 22) Step It Up And Go; 23) Worn Out Engine Blues.

This one is going to be very short: although the fifth volume covers a longer time period than the fourth, it yields even fewer pretexts to write anything meaningful. Oh yes: this late 1938 session gave us the title of the best live album by the Rolling Stones — ʽGet Your Ya-Ya's Outʼ may be just another rewrite of ʽLog Cabin Bluesʼ, but it was well worth it in the end.

At the other end of the album, ʽStep It Up And Goʼ is probably the first recording of this song that actually uses this title, under which it would later be recorded by plenty of other people (Bob Dy­lan's version is what comes to mind first). But we cannot even give Fuller complete credit, since the merry little jug band dance tune dates back to at least 1932, when it was still called ʽBottle It Up And Goʼ. Fuller's variant is competent, but that's about it.

So, instead of trying desperately to write something about the music on here, let me just throw in a fun fact — apparently, it turns out that, due to his short prison term for the wife-shooting «acci­dent», Blind Boy Fuller never made it to the From Spirituals To Swing show that John Hammond presented in Carnegie Hall. Big Bill Broonzy did, though, and who knows if that event, which in­troduced jazz and blues music in an «academic» manner to «respectable» white audiences, was not partially responsible for future developments of popular tastes? Imagine music lovers not taking after Big Bill Broonzy (who flowed straight into Muddy Waters, who flowed straight into every­thing else), but after Blind Boy Fuller? The guy missed his little chance at world domination here: one drunken shot in the leg, and Piedmont blues was never the same after that...

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