A soulful rendition of “I Must Have That Man,” Billie Holiday’s intimate crooning and impeccable timing doesn’t disappoint. Lady Day confirms that, like her voice, heartbreak is timeless. Recorded in New York, early on in her career, you feel her personal tragedies in this gem. But, like Billie, the end of this sorrowful song is triumphant with a strong brass finish.
This scratchy copy of “Mississippi Country Farm Blues” is a window into Son’s oppressive up bringing. A master at creating unusual chord structures, he uses his vocal and guitar to create moving double harmonies. Jack White of White Stripes fame dedicated the White Stripe’s first album to Son House.
Charlie Spand’s notoriety stems from his genius in the boogie-woogie and barrelhouse style of piano. The first few bars of “Back to the Woods Blues” illustrates what Spand was best at, skillfully moving those fingers over the piano keys to make blues tunes that can’t help but stir the heart. Ultimately, Charlie Spand is an elusive figure in blues history because no one knows much about his life, but what we are left with are 33 of the most wicked piano blues tracks to remember him by.
“Back To The Woods Blues“ (play/download mp3)