April 03, 2001
Classic Blues
Blues, Acoustic Blues, Country Blues, Pre-War Country Blues, Piedmont Blues, Regional Blues, East Coast Blues

Album Review

A masterful guitar player and a nimble, expressive vocalist, North Carolina's Blind Boy Fuller was a street musician who lived fast and died young at the age of 33, somehow managing to compress a lifetime's worth of recording into a few short years between 1935-1940. His mixture of slide, ragtime, pop, and blues, with just a hint off Appalachia thrown in, practically defines the Piedmont blues tradition, and the sound of Fuller's National Steel guitar is as distinctive as any in the prewar blues era. This two-disc collection has all the songs generally associated with Fuller, including his signature tunes "Rag Mama Rag," "Trucking My Blues Away," and his version of J.B. Long's "Step It Up and Go." Variety was not Fuller's forte, however, and the predominance of ragtime material here, although wonderfully played, quickly gets repetitive after a couple of tracks and, in the end, it is the non-rag pieces that stick out the most, particularly a pair of sacred songs ("No Stranger Now," "Twelve Gates to the City") recorded less than a year before his death.
Steve Leggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Untrue Blues
  2. Rag Mama Rag [Take 1]
  3. Jivin' Woman Blues
  4. I'm a Rattlesnakin' Daddy
  5. Pistol Slapper Blues
  6. Mama Let Me Lay It on You No. 2
  7. Meat Shakin' Woman
  8. Jitterbug Rag
  9. Big Leg Woman Gets My Pay
  10. Ain't It a Crying Shame
  11. Log Cabin Blues [Take 2]
  12. Weeping Willow
  13. Too Many Women Blues
  14. What's That Smells Like Fish
  15. Sweet Honey Hole
  16. Homesick and Lonesome Blues
  17. Truckin' My Blues Away
  18. Walking and Looking Blues
  19. Piccolo Rag
  20. Screaming and Crying Blues
  21. I'm a Stranger Here
  22. I Crave My Pigmeat
  23. Step It Up and Go
  24. Looking for My Woman
  25. Heart Ease Blues
  26. Bull Dog Blues
  27. Get Your Yas Yas Out
  28. Worn Out Engine Blues
  29. Thousand Woman Blues
  30. No Stranger Now
  31. Twelve Gates to the City
  32. Walking My Troubles Away
  33. Shake It, Baby
  34. I Want Some of Your Pie
  35. Black and Tan
  36. You've Got Something There