Various Artists: The Rough Guide To East Coast Blues

The black music of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

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Early recordings of African-American music in the southeastern states had a different character from those of the deep south, the vocal approach more conversational, the guitar tunes often based on ragtime progressions, as in Blind Blake’s Come On Boys Let’s Do That Messin’ Around or Blind Boy Fuller’s Truckin’ My Blues Away No. 2.

Repertoires were more diverse, too, and among the notable songsters represented here are Blind Willie McTell, Luke Jordan, Pink Anderson, Julius Daniels and Peg Leg Howell. South Carolina Rag exhibits the superb blind guitarist Willie Walker, Brownie Blues the interlocking guitars of Tarter & Gay, and No No Blues the stomping slide guitar of Curley Weaver. Major figures are caught early in their careers: Josh White with Lord, I Want To Die Easy, Sonny Terry with Harmonica Stomp and Rev Gary Davis with I Saw The Light. A few tracks are from iffy transfers, but the sound quality is generally okay.