Originally recorded in 1957, these sessions turned out to be the last the legendary Big Bill Broonzy would record; only a little over a year later, he succumbed to lung cancer. This collection consists not of fan or producer favorites, but Broonzy favorites, and includes a variety of blues, folk, and devotional music. Though he was instrumental to the development of the blues and the Chicago sound, much of the material on this three-disc set reaches back to the music that the blues came from, with a lot of drop-in help from Broonzy's friends, of which there were many. That makes these recordings not only recordings, but documentation, a testament to a bluesman who was at once musician and historian.
First up is Big Bill Broonzy pulling out all the stops for a smokey bistro set in '56 and '57, followed by a Roosevelt Sykes studio session from '61. Songs include The Honeydripper; Night Time Is the Right Time; Sweet Old Chicago; House Rent Stomp; Saturday Night Blues; Guitar Shuffle, and more.
Big Bill Broonzy’s recording career spanned from 1927 until his death in 1958. His repertoire was well recorded, from solo to duets to ensemble playing. He was rediscovered just as the "folk-revival" began in the early 1950s. Big Bill was a master of ragtime and country blues guitar. His playing was highlighted by a strong pulsating bass and melodic lead lines. Woody Mann carefully explains Big Bill’s techniques and style in this video lesson.
This is a particularly fascinating CD, for it has the first 26 selections ever recorded by Big Bill Broonzy as a leader. The beginning of Document's complete reissuance of all of Broonzy's early recordings, the set starts with four duet numbers that Broonzy cut during 1927-28 with fellow guitarist John Thomas. Although his style was already a bit recognizable, the young guitarist/vocalist really started coming into his own in 1930……