AOTW: Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - SONNY & BROWNIE (SP-4379)


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Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

A&M SP-4379

The partnership of blues performers Sonny & Brownie formed in the 1930s and lasted almost 50 years. For detailed biographical information visit:

People Get Ready 3:58/ Bring it on Home to Me 3:30/ You Bring out the Boogie in Me 2:40/ Sail Away 3:50/ Sonny's Thing 2:04/ White Boy Lost in the Blues 4:58.

The Battle is Over (But the War goes On) 2:40/ Walkin' My Blues Away 3:54/ Big Wind is A'Comin' 2:58/ Jesus Gonna Make it Alright 3:05/ God and Man 3:45/ On the Road Again 5:59.

Produced by Hal Winn & Maurice Rogers for Outburst Productions
Engineered by Bart Chiate/ Recorded at The Paramount Recording Stuidos/
Mastering Engineer: Terry H. More/ Photography by Norman Seeff/ Art Direction and Design by Dean O. Torrence.

Supporting players include: Arlo Guthrie & Michael Franks (guitars), Harry Holt (bass), Maurice Rogers (elec. piano), Sugarcane Harris (violin), Al McKay (elec. guitar), Eddie Greene (drums), Jim Gilstrap, Marti McCall & Maxine Willard (vocals), John Mayall (guitar), John Hammond (guitar), Clydie King, Vanetta Fields, Jackie Ward (vocals).

Reissued on CD by A&M Jazz Series as CD 0829 and by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs (UDCD 641).



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Aside from "Sail Away" appearing on the Altec-ODYSSEY multi-artist sampler (and hearing many other versions by other artists, though it can't hold a candle to "Freedom For The Stallion", a song with a similar "plot"), this is one LP that I have seen, maybe sampled and never saw again...

"People Get Ready" saw a lot of cover-versions (I like Vanilla Fudge's version) and the album sticks to a pretty decent Blues genre you almost associate with Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and the Pop-feel that BB King and Bobby "Blue" Bland specialized in around this time, as well... No suprise how another Blues-great, John Mayall appears on this... Do Arlo Guthrie AND Michael Franks appear on the same track? Funny how they are just credited with 'playing guitar'; a "background voice" by either or both would seem appropriate... While the stable of female background singers play that role well... And I remember seeing Jerry McGee (spelled Mc GHEE) in the credits on guitar, too! And isn't Al McKay a member of Earth, Wind & Fire?

Sonny & Terry were well in their 60's when they recorded this, and worked fairly well as musicians, but I'd heard that outside of recording and playing, they didn't always get along... Terry died in '86, McGhee died 10-years later...



This is such an enjoyable album. Just laid-back, singable country blues and gospel, backed by some great musicians. I had had this record when I was a teenager, and thought about it recently. Of course, then it shows up at the local record store and I have to buy it. Reminds me somewhat of BB King's "In London" album, with all the hip British players. Michael Francks' contribution to this album is interesting - he wrote two of the songs as well. It's not a style I would have associated with him.

I just hope Curtis Mayfield didn't sell the rights to "People Get Ready" outright, because with all the covers of that tune I'd have gone and drowned myself in the river if I'd done that.


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Michael Franks on guitar?
Guitar, mandolin and banjo, apparently. He contributed "You Bring Out the Boogie in Me," "White Boy Lost in the Blues," and "Jesus Gonna Make It Alright."

I spotted this on Qobuz and have it queued up to check it out tomorrow.
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