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First Came Memphis Minnie

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Maria Muldaur has produced this tribute to her blues hero Memphis Minnie. Including previously released tracks by Maria with Alvin Youngblood Hart, Del Rey, Roy Rogers and Steve James, new recordings by Rory Block, Ruthie Foster and Bonnie Raitt and classic tracks by Koko Taylor and Phoebe Snow. Memphis Minnie was one of the most influential and pioneering blues guitarists of all time. Recording over 40 years she was one of the first blues artists to go electric in 1942 when she took her country blues to electric urban blues, paving the way for Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and countless others.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stony Plain Music
  • ASIN: B008YEX7I6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,551 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
For those expecting the usual stale covers of classic blues songs, look elsewhere. This is a great set with all the performers playing with a lot of soul. Although the songs here could easily have turned into a vocalist showcase for this Memphis Minnie tribute, it didn't. It has great guitar and musical accompaniment all throughout this album and has a great mix and good sounding production values.

Maria Muldaur starts the album and is featured on quite a few other tracks. She sings boldly and with great bluesy soul on all her songs. The first track, 'Me and My Chauffeur Blues' kicks off the sexual inuendo-fest and has a great rambling feel with Roy Rogers laying down a bouncing groove. The second track features a great duet with Bonnie Raitt & Steve Freund. Even though he does not sing, the guitars are the ones doing some great harmonizing.

Maria Muldaur returns with Alvin Youngblood Hart on 'I'm Going Back Home' and is one of the better tracks on the album. The other track they do together, 'Crazy Cryin' Blues' has a great old school classic blues feel and is another highlight. Full of Soul. As is the song, 'I'm Sailing', where Maria belts one out from the gut. This is another song with a great band backing her, even if it is not credited... too bad.

Rory Blocks, 'When You Love Me' is a good slide guitar version of the track. It makes it slippery as she handles the guitar very well. Easily the most old school song has Phoebe Snow singing, ' In My Girlish Days'. It starts to pick up nicely and still carries that improvised feel when getting going towards the middle and end of the song.

The three songs Maria does with Del Rey and Steve James are all varied...
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Format: Audio CD
This is Maria Muldaur's tribute to her blues hero Memphis Minnie and features several previously released tracks by Maria accompanied by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Roy Rogers, Del Rey and Steve James. In addition, completely new recordings by Bonnie Raitt, Rory Block and Ruthie Foster are included, together with older Memphis Minnie tracks recorded by Koko Taylor and Phoebe Snow.

Maria has been in the business since the 60s and has returned to her blues roots for her last couple of albums, with age only adding to the authenticity of her voice, which also has a nice swing on many of the songs. Maria's tracks are all nice acoustic blues with excellent guitar accompaniment from the opening "Me and my Chauffeur" (perhaps Minnie's most famous song) to "Crazy cryin' blues" with Alvin Youngblood Hart's excellent sinuous guitar.

As a big fan of both Bonnie Raitt and guitarist Steve Freund it was great to hear them both playing together on "Ain't nothing but rambling", which sounds as though it could have come off Bonnie's first LP all those years ago, could we have a whole album by these two please? (Although Minnie was buried in an unmarked grave in 1973, it was Bonnie Raitt who paid for a headstone to be erected in 1996.) Rory Block and Ruthie Foster are both great singer/guitarists and for me their tracks were among the highlights here. I also really liked Phoebe Snow's subtle version of "In my girlish days" and it was nice to finish the collection with the different sound of Koko Taylor's full-band Chicago blues version of "Black rat swing".

I salute Maria for putting this record together, she could have easily recorded all the songs herself and still have come out with a worthwhile tribute record.
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I was a little disappointed that many tracks had been previously released and I had them already...but all in all a worth while project.
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! This is much more than we expected! Kept me rockin', not wanting to get out of the car. If you like the blues, buy this one. It's a classic!
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Presumably you are reading this because you enjoy listening to the blues and have some interest in blues history. If so, you will likely find this collection to be delightful. The selection of tunes, the musicianship, and the high production value combine to make a very listenable, extremely satisfying whole. A fitting tribute to a blues legend!
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Like most anthologies, the artists differ so the four stars reflects the fact that one likes some better than others. It is excellent and I really liked the various approaches to her work. If you like blues including front-porch arrangements you will like this one...really tasty.
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Fabulous artists. The Rory Block tune is worth the whole collection,never mind that Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt and Ruthie Foster
are all superstars.
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Maria did something really special choosing each of these great artists and keeping these songs alive.. Phoebe Snow was amazing.
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