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Monday, February 24, 2014

Buddy Moss: Complete Recorded Works Vol. 2


1) Broke Down Engine No. 2 (take 1); 2) Broke Down Engine No. 2 (take 2); 3) B & O Blues No. 2; 4) Some Lone­some Day (take 1); 5) Some Lone­some Day (take 2); 6) New Lovin' Blues; 7) Unkind Woman; 8) When The Hearse Roll Me From My Door; 9) Insane Blues; 10) Tricks Ain't Walking No More; 11) Stinging Bull Nettle; 12) Oh Lordy Mama; 13) Dough Rolling Papa; 14) Some Lonesome Day; 15) Misery Man Blues; 16) Jinx Man Blues; 17) Evil Hearted Woman; 18) Too Dog Gone Jealous; 19) Someday Baby (I'll Have Mine); 20) Love Me, Baby, Love Me; 21) Sleepless Night; 22) Shake It All Night Long.

The second volume of Buddy's complete oeuvres (to be precise, complete pre-war oeuvres) co­vers a one-year period from September 1933 to August 1934 and runs pretty much in a straight, unbroken line together with the first one, so it is not highly likely you will find any serious dif­ferences from the first volume, other than perhaps a larger percentage of completely solo (single guitar) tracks, and just a few scattered attempts to introduce syncopated «dance blues» patterns in the repertoire (ʽTricks Ain't Walking No Moreʼ) that broaden the range, but do not add extra in­sights that hadn't already been there with Blind Blake.

One song from these sessions that has managed to make a little history is ʽOh Lordy Mamaʼ, later known as ʽHey Lawdy Mamaʼ and remade by countless artists from Count Basie and Louis Arm­strong to Freddie King and even Cream (who played the song for the BBC and later merged it with Albert King's ʽCrosscut Sawʼ to make a ʽStrange Brewʼ indeed). Musically, it sounds exact­ly the same way as about a dozen other songs in Buddy's catalog (country-blues with a boogie bass line to it), but it goes to show how much fuss just a teensy-weensy bit of variety in the 12-bar world can make — here, inserting the «hookline» of "oh lordy mama..." after each first line of the verse, which gives a funny illusion of extra complexity and «progressiveness» compared to the more rigid three-line-verse formula. Just an illusion, really, but sometimes an illusion is all it takes to gain additional popularity.

On the other hand, Buddy is just too good a guitarist to be continuously recycling exactly the same ideas, and serious blues fans with a good ear for nuance will most certainly be able to single out unusual takes — for instance, ʽDough Rolling Papaʼ makes some interesting stop-and-starts between the regular bars, and the melody is played as if the bass strings and the higher strings were holding a busy dialog with each other rather than working in tandem; the opening notes of ʽSomeday Baby (I'll Have Mine)ʼ are quite pretty-poetic; and the final track from the 1934 ses­sions (ʽShake It All Night Longʼ) ends the period on a musically/lyrically joyful rather than me­lancholic note. If only half of the other songs did not begin with the exact same note sequence (the pre-proto-ʽDust My Broomʼ pattern), I'm sure Buddy's legacy would have enjoyed more at­tention today; as it is, admiring all of these twenty-two tracks in straight sequence is more of a business for fanatical connoisseurs or students of acoustic blues playing techniques.

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