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VA - The Rough Guide to Blues Legends Bessie Smith (2011)

VA - The Rough Guide to Blues Legends Bessie Smith (2011)

Bessie Smith sang which has a kind of heartfelt emotion and raw unfiltered passion that can only result from someone with first-hand experience with the deep dark shades with the blues. In her short but kaleidoscopic life Bessie knew poverty, fame, wealth, love, lust, along with the dangerous lure of liquor all too well. Enjoy a fantastic compendium of Bessie?s finest focus on this Rough Guide.

The opening track for this album is Bessie?s debut recording from 1923, ?Down Hearted Blues?. An upbeat tinkling piano line underpins Bessie?s honeyed vocals that wind round the blues scale effortlessly. ?Nobody Knows When You?re Down And Out? is often a lackadaisical slow-paced cover from the well known song. Bessie?s version is soaked in a very thick and treacly half-hearted attitude that conveys the hopeless sentiment of the song perfectly. One of her most successful hits, ?A Good Man Is Hard To Find? is a growly lament, a bitter ode to good honest men, who Bessie informs us are increasingly ?nearly impossible to find?. Continuing for the vein of unsatisfactory men, Bessie tackles cheeky double-entendres having an unmistakeably mischievous tone on ?I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl?.

Her seminal version of ?St Louis Blues? featured here includes Louis Armstrong?s immortally strong cornet playing. The dream duo play in the perfectly anguished yet languorous mood. Bessie can be equally in the home investing syrupy Tin Pan Alley songs with a deep amount of emotion. ?Muddy Water? is transformed coming from a plodding simple song to your hazy bluesy masterpiece. Later in their own career Bessie began to favour a soulful swing with a slow blues tempo. Husky and rasped vocal slides characterize the gently swinging ballad, ?Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer?.

This Rough Guide also includes a bonus disc of the artists who were contemporaries with, and were affected by, the legendary Bessie Smith.


Disc 1 (The Rough Guide to Blues Legends Bessie Smith)
01. Down Hearted Blues 03:27
02. A Good Man Is Hard To Find 03:02
03. I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle 03:22
04. Careless Love 03:25
05. Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan) 03:10
06. T'ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do 03:31
07. I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl 02:52
08. Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair 03:25
09. Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer 03:31
10. Empty Bed Blues (Part One) 03:04
11. Empty Bed Blues (Part Two) 03:21
12. Back Water Blues 03:19
13. The Yellow Dog Blues 03:04
14. Me And My Gin 02:52
15. St Louis Blues 03:11
16. Jazzbo Brown From Memphis Town 03:20
17. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out 03:00
18. After You've Gone 02:58
19. Jailhouse Blues 03:15
20. Dirty No-Gooder's Blues 02:46
21. I'd Rather Be Dead And Buried In My Grave 02:48

Disc 2 (Original Blues Divas)
01. Lucille Bogan / Coffee Grindin' Blues 03:27
02. Lil Johnson / My Stove's In Good Condition 02:54
03. Lil Green / Knockin' Myself Out 03:01
04. Memphis Minnie / Dirty Mother For You 02:49
05. Dinah Washington / Short John 02:54
06. Victoria Spivey / Dope Head Blues 03:21
07. Merline Johnson / Love Shows Weakness 02:41
08. Ella Fitzgerald / When I Get Low I Get High 02:26
09. Trixie Smith / Jack I'm Mellow 02:46
10. Sippie Wallace / I'm A Mighty Tight Woman 02:55
11. Big Maybelle / One Monkey Don't Stop No Show 02:52
12. Ruth Brown / Oh What A Dream 02:53


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