365 Days of Album Recommendations – March 22

Blind Lemon Jefferson – The Complete Classic Sides Remastered: Chicago 1926 Disc A


If there is an official “sound” of the acoustic blues, it’s the sound of Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Blind Lemon Jefferson’s music is the well from which all subsequent artists must ladle.

The imagery in the lyrics, the lyric form—these words and forms are canonized with the recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson.

The long first vocal syllable, the tumbling melodic descent—these sounds are canonized in the recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson.

The irregular bar counts, the idiosyncratic melanges of single-string runs, chordal moves, and bass line thumps—these brilliant eccentricisms are all canonized with the recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson.

These recordings are remastered by JSP—my favorites.

These are Blind Lemon Jefferson’s first recordings.

If you do not know these recordings, you do not know blues music.

Pro tip: When you take your first ride through this album, skip the first two gospel songs. They’re anomalies. They’re important, and you will listen to them. But skip them the first time. Start on track #3: Got The Blues. Suddenly, every other blues song you’ve ever heard will suddenly make a whole lot more sense.


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