Sonny Terry And Brownie McGhee - Hometown Blues (Mainstream, 1993)
Harmonica player Sonny Terry and guitarist Brownie McGhee formed one of the most enduring partnerships in the blues, lasting from before the second world war into the 1970's. Although their partnership had some ups and downs, they were certainly on an upswing when they recorded these sides for the Sittin' In With label during the years 1948-1952. Later re-released on the Mainstream label on compact disc and mp3 this compilation finds the duo playing a nice mix of electric R&B and acoustic duo tracks. They draw on traditional blues standards for the bulk of the material on this album, but with Terry's swooping harp and distinctive yodel and McGhee's deftly plucked guitar, they add a new spin on tracks like “Mean Old Frisco" and “Sittin' On Top of the World." After years of just knowing this partnership as an acoustic duo, it is fascinating to hear them play in an electric blues context with with addition of bass, drums and occasionally piano. It turns them into a rollicking little combo that could have held their own at any juke joint in post-war Chicago. This is a great introductory album for those who are interested in the duo as it presents them in a couple of different contexts and allows the listener to enjoy the full range of their talents. Definitely one to keep an eye out for Hometown Blues.