If you don't already know Blind Blake was guitarist nonpareil of the 20th century, then hear this! Apart from his usually great singing, always great humour, firsts like earliest recorded vocal/guitar/harp solo, his fine piano on one track, and talent to adapt his guitar accompaniment for whatever singer, pianist, jass clarinet, banjar, or bones :o) player he was with - IT'S THE GREAT GUITAR!!!
There was none better, maybe won't ever be. Songs include rags and blues, usually in natural, but also variations like dropped D & Vestapol, he really had the lot. Maybe Lonnie Johnson was more erudite, Memphis Minnie more funky, Bo Carter more versatile, Blind Boy Fuller more sassy, but Blake had all this plus virtuosity to burn. Incredible on both hands, and unbelievable fast fingers & thumbs on sides like Police Dog & Diddie Wa Diddie.
I'm right now listening to this complete set from go to whoa for the second (but far from last) time. The sound is as good as can be got from these crappy old semi-cardboard Paramount 78s - can't do much more about that. Only 4 or 5 tracks that are truly painful.
But it's fascinating to follow the already great Blake in 1926 - all 3 takes of both Early Morning & West Coast bear witness, but especially Too Tight - right through to Too Tight No. 2 on that immortal recording date 17 Aug 1929. The difference between these two Too Tights shows just how far he had come. 1926 version was great, 1929 is incomparable. Talk about syncopation, it's a masterpiece, and that's scarcely an adequate word. Other masterworks include Diddie Wa Diddie, Police Dog, Blind Arthur's Breakdown, Southern Rag, Georgia Blues, That'll Never Happen No More, etc. - I don't have enough superlatives to describe this music.
This collection lets one follow the whole (recorded) progression of this superb guitarist and blues singer. Recommended beyond any banal adjectives. "Hey, Hey, your Daddy's feelin' blue"!