Thursday, March 03, 2016

Kokomo Arnold - Old Original Kokomo Blues

Kokomo Arnold was a travelin' bluesman, who was born outside of Atlanta, GA, but moved around throughout the North, working in the steel mills, before settling in the Chicago area. There he recorded a number of sides for Decca in the 30's, including his iconic "Milk Cow Blues" and "Old Original Kokomo Blues".

In this compilation we also get his first recordings - a couple of tunes he did as Gitfiddle Jim, which showed his proficiency at acoustic slide guitar years before his more famous sessions. Besides his exceptional guitar work, he has some fine lyrics and melodies, strung together in his own unique and interesting ways. His work was influenced by his friend Tommy Johnson and he, in turn, impacted Robert Johnson.

The songs are all strong, as are his performances, making me wonder why this man isn't more well known. Possibly due to the fact that he did not go out of his way to promote himself and seemed just as content to work as a janitor than to play shows. Regardless, any fan of acoustic blues should hear this!