Big Bill Broonzy
On Tour In Britain, 1952
(Jasmine (2002) 3011/2)
2 CDs, 47 tracks, 129 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: November 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Approximately 30 minutes of this fine 2-CD set consists of Big Bill Broonzy talking to his audience, but the performance level remains fairly high throughout. Disc one was recorded at Usher Hall in Edinburgh in February of 1952 and although Broonzy is in strong and stable form, the preponderance of slow material may be a bit distracting. A stunning House Rent Stomp and tough as nails Plough Hand Blues are the standouts. Disc two was recorded at Hove Town Hall near Brighton almost ten months later in December and finds Broonzy in riveting fashion delivering a set of folk songs and blues. John Henry/Midnight Special/Back Water Blues/Willie Mae and others are brilliant. Careless Love and I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover find Broonzy accompanied by the Christie Brothers Stompers, a small jazz outfit with trombone, trumpet, clarinet and a rhythm section. Broonzy's lengthy conversations with his audience are of particular interest as are the informative liner notes.
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