Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blind Boy Fuller - Get Your Yas Yas Out

Subtitled "22 great tracks from one of the most popular and influential country bluesmen of the 30's", this compilation has some terrific blues, ragtime and song stylings - both religious and bawdy & secular -  from
this man, who was previously unknown to me.

Fuller is a fine, though maybe not exceptional, guitarist, and he is augmented on the recordings by various players throughout, from the great Rev. Gary Davis, to Oh Red on washboard to Sonny Terry on harp. The song styles vary from fairly traditional blues, to jumpin' rag ("Rag Mam Rag") to the holy ("Precious Lord") to "party songs" like "I Want Some of Your Pie" and "Sweet Honey Hole". Some highlights include the blues "Boots and Shoes" and "Homesick and Lonesome" (that uses a variation of the "Dust My Broom" lick - Fuller was a contemporary of Robert Johnson's - wonder who had this first?), the ragtime of the title track (not unlike "Hot Tamales and Red Hots" and obviously where the Stones got their album title) and the oft-covered "Step It Up and Go", which this attributes to Fuller, though I'll bet this is yet another song of ambiguous origin.

Assuming that these songs are presented in chronological order, Fuller does improve throughout his all-too-short six year career and does some pretty fancy finger-pickin' by the time we get to "Jivin' Woman Blues", "Sweet Honey Hole". and "Jitterbug Rag". But, all of the tunes are high quality and tons of fun. One of the better finds that I've found lately!