Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blind Willie McTELL - Pig 'n Whistle Red 1993

Blind Willie McTELL - Pig 'n Whistle Red 1993
BCD 126


This twenty-track set from Sony Records is a remastered reissue of the set Willie McTell and James "Curly" Weaver cut for the now-defunct Regal Records label in 1950, and it was previously issued in 1993 on Biograph with a different cover (but the same track sequence).

These fine songs have McTell and second guitarist Weaver sharing the vocals. They include remakes of McTell's 1933 singles "Talkin' To You Mama" and "Good Little Thing", as well as more recent material, and this session was left out of many McTell discographies until it resurfaced in 1993. And it's a good thing it did, because it is by far the best-sounding Willie McTell-material available, and the sheer diversity of this wonderful album makes "Pig 'n Whistle Red" an indispensable (and delightful) recording.
It includes country blues, gospel, ballads, and more country blues, and two quite different versions of a 20s pop song, "Pal Of Mine".

The playing is amazingly sharp and crisp, and the vocals wonderfully delicate, and this collection has to be considered essential to any serious acoustic blues collection.
(Pig 'n Whistle Red was a barbecue stand in Atlanta, by the way, and one of the places where McTell and Weaver played for tips. These sides were originally released under that moniker.)

Willie Samuel McTell and Curley Weaver were a legendary duo in Atlanta, Georgia even before World War II. Weaver, known as "The Georgia Guitar Wizard", played a strongly rhythmic, percussive second guitar, often playing full chords behind McTell's finger-picked twelve-string lead guitar. It is a real gift to have these two men still together and in excellent form on this wonderful postwar recording.
By Docendo Discimus.
01. Don't Forget It 2:34
02. Good Little Thing 2:17
03. You Can't Get That No More 2:55
04. Love Changin' Blues 2:30
05. Savannah Mama 2:23
06. Talkin' To You Mama 3:08
07. East St. Louis 2:39
08. A To Z Blues 2:19
09. Wee Midnight Hours 3:08
10. Brown Skin Woman 3:17
11. I Keep On Drinkin' 2:33
12. Pal Of Mine (Take 1) 2:09
13. Pal Of Mine (Take 2) 2:41
14. Honey It Must Be Love 2:41
15. Sending Up My Timber (Take 1) 3:04
16. Sending Up My Timber (Take 2) 2:51
17. Lord Have Mercy If You Please 2:33
18. Climbing High Mountains 2:23
19. It's My Desire 2:42
20. Hide Me In Thy Bosom 2:40

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