Thursday, September 14, 2017

Blind Snooks Eaglin - That's All Right

Fird "Snooks" Eaglin was a New Orleans child prodigy singer and guitarist, who started working as a teenager with NO legend Allen Toussaint before moving onto a solo career. This album of solo acoustic blues (playing 6 and 12 string guitars) was recorded in 1961 and shows his versatility as well as his mastery of the guitar. His voice has a Ray Charles-like quality (he even billed himself as "Little Ray Charles" at one point), and is effective and evocative in these numbers.

Starting with a variation of the vaudeville blues of Washboard Sam's "Mama Don't You Tear My Clothes", he moves into the upbeat blues of "Mailman Passed", with some exceptional guitar work, some country-pop in "I'm a Country Boy", Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" as an acoustic blues number, an early version of the folky "Corinna Corinna" done as "Alberta", the Fats Domino-like "Brownskin Woman" and Tampa Red's "Don't You Lie to Me" is spiced up with some dazzling string-work.

Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right" is a boppin' r'n'b workout, "If I Don't Get Well" (apparently taken from St. Louis Jimmy as well as Howlin' Wolf) is a cool, slow, standard blues, "Bottle Up and Go' is a pretty straight, upbeat reading, back to the down'n'gritty, crawlin' blues (with more fine guitar) for "The Walkin' Blues", Amos Milburn's "One More Drink" has a whole different feel on guitar as opposed to the original piano, but it works well (although the guitar is buried a bit on this cut), and as a finale, there's one more 12-string blues in "Fly Right Baby".

Eaglin's style is slick and almost jazzy at times, but his guitar prowess cannot be denied and this is a fine collection of the man and his guitar. Nice stuff!