Walter Brown McGhee (1915-1996) was an articulate spokesman for the blues who, in partnership with Sonny Terry, proselytized the buoyant Piedmont-Blues style to folk audiences a decade before most ever heard of the Mississippi Delta. Though he is largely associated with the "folk boom" which made Sonny & Brownie familiar names worldwide, Brownie's recording career began in chicago in 1940; the second song in this retrospective, Me and My Dog, was his first issued recording. Other reminders here of Brownie's pre-war blues career are Death of Blind Boy Fuller (written to order on the occasion of Fuller's 1941 demise) and the Fuller influenced Pawn Shop Blues.
Tennessee born, Carolina-influenced, New York based in his folk boom glory, and a Californian at the time of his death, Brownie showed a wide stylistic range from turn-of-the-century ragtime (Come On Keep It Coming) to the lyrical sophistication of such original songs as Conversation With a River. His flair for the dramatic aside and autobiographical insight augment passionate vocals and splendid guitar work in 14 performances, a moving retrospective of an artist too-long taken for granted. Sonny Terry accompanies Brownie on six songs.
Titles include: Kansas City Blues, Me and My Dog, I'm Gonna Tell God How You Treat Me, Pawn Shop Blues, Born and Living With the Blues, Life is a Gamble, Automobile Blues, My Father's Words, Conversation With a River, I Feel So Good, Drinkin' Wine, Keys to the Highway, Come On Keep It Coming, Death of Blind Boy Fuller
Running Time: 60 minutes