365 Days of Album Selections – July 31

Charley Patton – The Complete Recordings 1929-1934 (Disc 2)


With international week now over, we can get back to the Delta Blues, and when we do the delta blues, we do Charley Patton. Simple.

We reviewed Disc 1 of this incomparable collection, which is in effect the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Delta Blues. We now do Disc 2.

Disc: 2
1. Hammer Blues: Take 1
2. I Shall Not Be Moved
3. High Water Everywhere: Part 1
4. High Water Everywhere: Part 2
5. I Shall Not Be Moved
6. Rattlesnake Blues
7. Going To Move To Alabama
8. Hammer Blues: Take 2
9. Joe Kirby
10. Frankie And Albert
11. Magnolia Blues
12. Devil Sent The Rain Blues
13. Runnin’ Wild Blues
14. Some Happy Day
15. Mean Black Moan
16. Green River Blues
17. That’s My Man – Edith North Johnson
18. Honey Dripper Blues: No. 2 – Edith North Johnson
19. Eight Hour Woman – Edith North Johnson
20. Nickel’s Worth Of Liver Blues: No 2 – Edith North Johnson

High Water Everywhere, Parts 1 & 2, is a musical accomplishment of such staggering excellence it’s hard to convey my excitement when I first heard it, and every time since, including right now, as I’m listening to it again.

While I understand much of the idolatry that surrounds Robert Johnson, and while I understand why in many ways it’s justified, one thing I’ve never understood is the notion that his guitar playing was so otherworldly better than anything that had been heard prior, or why Lonnie Johnson is so often cited as the only precursoring influence who could give him a run for his 6-string money. Listen to High Water Everywhere, Part 1. It’s just a fucking tour de force. Patton does more with a guitar than any one human has rights to do. It’s funky, it’s melodic, it’s sophisticated, it’s raw, it’s so bloody complicated. He thumps, and pulls, and slaps, and bangs, and he rings chords, and he runs single strings, and he throws down inversions and walks and segues and turnarounds, and it’s just bloody remarkable.

And that’s just 2 of 20 songs. Get religion, people. Patton is a god.

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