This two CD set captures four blues giants in several classic studio dates. The first six tracks are spirited performances in a jam session that includes guitarists Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGhee, and Big Joe Williams, plus Sonny Terry on harmonica. The humorous vocal exchanges on the laid-back "Ain't Nothin' Like Whiskey" and the upbeat "Wimmin From Coast to Coast" are riotous, and the crisp lines of the acoustic guitars are timeless. McGhee and Terry made many fine duo recordings together, but the dozen tracks included from a 1959 session are among their best. Their vocals complement one another very well on "Lose Your Money," while "Louise" showcases Terry's emotional harmonica against McGhee's strong vocal and driving guitar. The last 16 tracks featuring Big Joe Williams don't measure up to the rest of the package. Accompanied by an unidentified bassist and drummer in a 1968 studio session, the sound is surprisingly distorted due to sloppy engineering and poor microphone placement. Even so, Williams manages to perform decent, if poorly recorded, versions of "Pearly Mae" and "Toledo to Buffalo." This collectible set should be considered essential by blues Ken Dryden, Allmusic

CD 1
Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry
01 Ain't Nothin' Like Whiskey 02 Penitentiary Blues
Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGee, Sonny Terry & Big Joe Williams
03 If You Steal My Chickens, You Can't Make 'Em Lay
Lightnin' Hopkins, Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry
04 First Meeting 05 How Long Have It Been Since You Been Home? 06 Wimmin From Coast To Coast
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
07 Key To The Highway 08 Lose Your Money 09 Louise 10 Sportin' Life 11 New Harmonica Breakdown 12 Prison Bound 13 Livin' With The Blues 14 Blowin' The Blues
CD 2
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
01 Baby, Please Don't Go 02 Twelve Gates To The City 03 Pawnshop Blues 04 Brownie's Guitar Blues
Big Joe Williams
05 Oh Baby 06 Hand Me Down My Old Walking Stick 07 Shady Grove 08 Mama Don't Like Me Runnin' 'Round 09 Sittin' 'n' Thinkin' 10 Scardie Mama 11 Blues 'Round The World 12 Everybody's Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone 13 Pearly Mae 14 Baby Keeps On Breaking 'Em Down 15 Church Bells Ring 16 Take It All 17 Toledo To Buffalo 18 She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain 19 Old Folks Tavern 20 Baby, Please Don't Go
...served by Gyro1966...

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