Bessie Smith: Down Hearted Blues (2003)
Listening to these recordings 80 years down the road offers us a brief glimpse of American vocal arts at ground zero. Smith’s phrasing derived from that of the Delta blues singers crossed with Vaudeville. Listening to these sides is like hearing Robert Johnson after Led Zeppelin. It is the epiphany of realizing that there is nothing new under the sun and that sometimes the original is best left alone. The sonics of these old recordings have been improved by technology, but not enough to remove the sepia tone from the music. This is music so strong and vibrant that it emerges from the murk of decades.
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Track Listing: Downhearted Blues; Gulf Coast Blues;
Personnel: Bessie Smith