Williamson, John Lee: Complete Recorded Works 1937-1947 Vol. 5 (1945-1947)

John Lee Williamson: Complete Recorded Works 1937-1947 Vol. 5 (1945-1947)
Title: Complete Recorded Works 1937-1947 Vol. 5 (1945-1947)
Label: Document

John Lee Williamson recorded 124 titles in the decade from 1937 to 1947, all now available on Document's five volumes. In that time, he developed away from his country blues origins into a hard-driving city musician whose music reflected the post-war emphasis on jump music. At this remove it's useless to speculate on what part he might have played in '50s Chicago blues, whether he would have remained a leader or been pushed to the side-lines by Little Walter or one of his other disciples. Undoubtedly, as Volume 5 shows, he was in the process of change when he was murdered on June 1st, 1948, seven months after his last recording session. Volume 5 opens up with Sonny Boy being in the company of the Chicago blues piano ace, Big Maceo, who can be herd on the October 1945 session, which features a stirring version of "Early In The Morning", "Stop Breaking Down" and "You're An Old Lady". Davis and Boyd are featured on Sonny Boy's remaining sessions. These four dates contain Sonny Boy's most consistently exciting music, in which he was willing to be an ensemble player, giving his accompanists their chance to shine on songs like "Sonny Boy's Cold Chills", "Mellow Chick Swing" (do I hear Sonny Boy including the "Honeydripper" theme in his harmonica solo?), "Polly Put Your Kettle On", "Bring Another Half Pint" (his second recording of "Sloppy Drunk"), "Apple Tree Swing" (Rice Miller copied the tune for "Peach Tree") and "Better Cut That Out".

1.1 Early in the Morning
1.2 The Big Boat
1.3 Stop Breakin' Down
1.4 You're An Old Lady
1.5 Sonny Boy's Cold Chills
1.6 Mean Old Highway
1.7 Hoodoo Hoodoo
1.8 Shake the Boogie
1.9 Mellow Chick Swing
1.10 Polly Put the Kettle on
1.11 Lacey Belle
1.12 Apple Tree Swing
1.13 Wonderful Time
1.14 Sugar Gal
1.15 Willow Tree Gal
1.16 Alcohol Blues
1.17 Little Girl
1.18 Blues About My Baby
1.19 No Friend Blues
1.20 I Love You for Myself
1.21 Bring Another Half a Pint
1.22 Southern Dream
1.23 Rub a Dub
1.24 Better Cut That Out

Williamson, John Lee: Complete Recorded Works 1937-1947 Vol. 5 (1945-1947)

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