Swingmaster Records
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Big Boy Henry
I'm Not Lying This Time
Swingmaster
LP
$14

Richard “Big Boy” Henry (1921-2004) was a North Carolina blues singer & guitarist who came up listening to Blind Boy Fuller, Buddy Moss, and others.  In his early years he traveled throughout the southeast on commercial fishing boats, where he would sing shanty songs with his co-workers.  The circumstances under which these 1947 & 1952 recordings were made is unclear, but the notes mention that Henry would sometimes pre-record his radio program in the back room of a record store in New Bern, NC, so perhaps that’s the source. His solo acoustic blues ranges from lively to ruminative, and for my money it’s the two longer, deep, and moaning recordings from ’52 that hit hardest, perhaps showing a John Lee Hooker influence. Hear some of Trying to Get Back Home.

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George and Ethel McCoy
At Home with the Blues
Swingmaster
LP
$14

Exceptional brother / sister blues duo from St. Louis who were kin to Memphis Minnie and who also cut a very nice + desirable LP for Adelphi. Check out this footage to get a sense of where they were coming from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PY5EgXfCj4

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Henry Townsend
Hard Luck Stories
Swingmaster
LP
$14

Very nice solo recordings on guitar & piano from Henry Townsend (1909-2006), one of the great blues musicians from St. Louis.  This session dates from 1981 and contains 11 original compositions. Hear a bit of Hard Luck Story.