2007 CD boxset, from the wonderful JSP label.
104 tracks from Sleepy John Estes and fellow country bluesmen (and occasional sidemen) like Yank Rachell, Son Bonds and Charlie Pickett! But it's Estes' crying voice that is the star here, lending stark emotional power to such tunes as Drop Down Mama; Floating Bridge; Lawyer Clark Blues; Someday Baby Blues, and more.
During the folk and blues revival of the 1960s, John Adam "Sleepy John" Estes experienced what the entertainment industry referred to as a comeback. This meant that a young and ethnically diverse generation of listeners was able to hear him perform in person, creating a surge in popularity that led to further recording sessions and a European tour while generating interest in the records he'd made prior to the Second World War. In 2007, Estes' early works were remastered, annotated, and reissued by JSP on the four-CD set Legendary Country Blues Artists along with recordings of comparable vintage by James "Yank" Rachell, Son Bonds, and Charlie Pickett.
The radial pattern of this collection is geographically centered in Brownsville, Tennessee, northeast of Memphis and not far from Ripley where Estes was born in January 1904. JSP's selection begins with 14 sides cut for the Victor label in Memphis during the autumn of 1929 and the spring of 1930. These were variously released as by Estes, Rachell, or the Three J's Jug Band. The participation of pianist Jab Jones constituted a strong link with the Memphis Jug Band, and Rachell's mandolin compares nicely with that of Charlie McCoy. Estes' high-pitched vocals are similar to the keening of Frankie Half Pint Jaxon and J.B. Lenoir. The rural sounds of the duos, duets, and small groups in this set have tones and textures in common with those by the Mississippi Sheiks and Peg Leg Howell, minus the fiddles. arwulf arwulf ~ AllMusicGuide
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