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Various Artists - Blues Guitar Women

Blues Guitar Women

Various Artists

RUF 1110

Ruf Records
Ludwig-Wagner-Str. 31 A
D-37318 Lindewerra/Germany

Available from the Ruf Records web site

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

This double disc set is divided into a contemporary disc, definitely more city and electric; and a traditional disc, more country blues and acoustic orientated. There are a number of gems on both discs and though all of the cuts have been released before on various discs there is nothing here that has been overplayed, and there are some great cuts by people who have not received the wide notice of a Rory Block, Memphis Minnie, or Bonnie Raitt; those who thoroughly deserve more notice such as; Alice Stuart, Precious Bryant, or Erja Lyytinen (from Finland). There are no weak cuts on the discs, and they hold together well as good sampler of the range of music these women are playing. You can range from the age and maturity of the great Memphis Minnie and her iconic styling on her rendition of In My Girlish Days, to barely out of her teen, Eve Monseesí sipping it up on Lonely Lonely Nights, and all manner of individuals in-between.

This is such a sweeping coverage, and the only unifying theme is woman who play blues guitar that it is difficult to summarize these discs until you change your focus and come at it from a different view. Use these discs as an introduction to a subgenre of the blues that doesnít quite get the publicity and may contain many undiscovered gems. All of the women have discs out or are on some other compilations, and yet I venture there are going to be names here you donít recognize, or recognize but have never heard. Some you might love and others you will disregard, but at least you now have heard what they can or canít do. For myself there were 9 artists on the 2 discs I hadnít heard of and 5 I had heard of and never heard; that comes to almost half of the 29 ladies here. No one was heard that I would not go to see if given the chance, and several that I would brave earthquakes to see, pretty good education for about 2 hours of listening. A great sampler that has good notes and some too underappreciated artists.

Track List:

Disc 1Disc 2
  • Can't Quit The Blues - Lara Price Band featuring Laura Chavez
  • Takin' It All To Vegas - Debbie Davies
  • The Man's So Good - Alice Stuart
  • Mediterranean Breakfast - Sue Foley
  • The River Wild - Deborah Coleman
  • Living On The Road - Joanna Connor
  • Navajo Moon - Ana Popovic
  • Judgement Day Blues - Carolyn Wonderland
  • Lonely Lonely Nights - Eve Monsees
  • It's A Blessing - Maria Muldaur & Bonnie Raitt
  • Dreamland Blues - Erja Lyytinen
  • Lynn's Blues - Barbara Lynn
  • Goin' Down - Tracy Conover
  • Baghdad Blues - Beverly "Guitar" Watkins
  • Woke Up This Mornin' - Ruthie Foster
  • Fool Me Good - Precious Bryant
  • Going Down This Road - Algia Mae Hinton
  • Doggie Treats - Sue Foley
  • Fixin' To Die - Rory Block
  • Dead End Street - Ellen McIlwaine
  • Rather Be The Devil - Alice Stuart
  • Streamline Train - Jessie Mae Hemphill
  • Nothing's Changed - Gaye Adegbalola
  • One Dime Blues - Etta Baker
  • Ain't Nothing In Ramblin' - JoAnn Kelly
  • Down The Big Road Blues - Mattie Delaney
  • Motherless Child Blues - Elvie Thomas
  • Skinny Legs Blues - Geeshie Wiley
  • In My Girlish Days - Memphis Minnie

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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