Born Armenter Chatmon, his abilities were initially honed in the company of his brothers Sam and Lonnie in the still (at least among Pre-War Blues connoisseurs) influential Mississippi Sheiks band, one of several famous traveling groups in Mississippi during the early 30s. Cutting his teeth on the road Carter eventually struck out on his own in search of the larger paychecks available through solo gigs. Working from a broad songbook almost completely of his own creation he cut a multitude of sides, each one showcasing crystal clean fretwork and a dry vocal delivery. In many ways he’s reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt in terms of string agility and relaxed presentation. His songs flow easily and evenly and feature sure-fingered instrumental breaks. Tracks like “Let’s Get Drunk Again” juggle obvious self-destructive tendencies with a carefree ambiance that is downright incongruous, but no less infectious.
Sadly unlike Hurt, Carter did not enjoy the fruits of the Blues Revival in the 1960s and passed away by all accounts broke, hungry and alone. As a single disc summary of Carter’s work this disc works incredibly well and it’s something anyone not familiar with the man who harbors affection for Pre-War blues should reference.
Catfish on the web: http://www.catfishrecords.co.uk/
Track Listing: I
Personnel: Bo Carter- guitar & vocals. Recorded: 1930-40.
Record Label: Catfish Records (UK)
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