365 Days of Album Recommendations – Apr 25

Blind Boy Fuller – Volume 1: 1935-1938


No self-respecting Country Blues fan has a music collection that lacks Blind Boy Fuller. He’s canonical. And once again, JSP does it right with these remasters.

He’s excellent. Blind Boy Fuller is excellent.

He’s also tragic. His was a life of hardship, and continued mistreatment at the hands of a system that repeatedly failed him. He worked hard, was bloody damn good at what he did, and was ill most of his life. He died too young, and his legacy has been tarnished by inaccurate attempts to paint him as violent, irresponsible, and self-destructive. The truth is, his fate was to be constantly trying to get help from a system that refused to acknowledge his craft and his work ethic in positive ways. He recorded over 120 songs, was well-known and popular, and died essentially penniless and destitute.

Shame on us all for that!

Musically, he is kind of a “bridge” artist, with the chord progressions and finger-picking techniques of the Piedmont written into his bouncing style, and the rough-hewn Delta rawness emanating from his National Resophonic and his gruff but melodic voice. The blend is both beguiling and harrowing; sly and serious.

He is so, so good. Don’t leave home without him.

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