26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating, but not for 1st-time listeners,
This review is from: Last Session (Audio CD)
This fascinating 1956 recording finds Willie sitting on a stool in a pawn shop near the end of his life, drunkenly reminiscing about his life and music, and playing tunes dating back to WWI. He is not quite as sharp as you will find him on my personal favorite Blind Willie Mctell recording, the 1949 session released under the name "Atlanta 12 String" (two tracks from that later session are included here). He hesitates and slurs his way through his classic "Kill it Kid," and his phrasing elsewhere also lacks his characteristic precision.
But what makes this recording a must for anyone who has fallen uder the spell of Willie McTell--a monumentally underappreciated musician and protean virtuoso of American musical forms from ragtime to country--is the glimpse it gives into his character and life. He plays a tune from his days with a traveling Plantation show in 1918, a country tune, and whatever else strikes his fancy. And for me the imperfections only make the record more vivid, almost as if you are sitting in the room with Willie, sharing his bottle of corn whiskey and watching his wrinkled old hands fly over his battered old 12-string.
I recommend you start with one his other records and get this when you have become a full-fledged member of the cult of Willie.