Personnel: Lonnie Johnson (electric guitar, vocals), Elmer Snowden (guitar) and Wendell Marshall (bass).
Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 5, 1960. Originally released on Bluesville (1011). Includes original liner notes by Chris Albertson.
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
One of Lonnie Johnson's numerous comeback albums of the early 1960s, BLUES & BALLADS coincides with the folk/blues revival of that era, and presents the revered New Orleans-born guitarist/singer in fine form, despite years of inactivity. Ably assisted by guitarist Elmer Snowden and bassist Wendell Marshall, Johnson applies his plaintive croon and deft guitar playing to both sauntering rural blues tunes (the weary "Back Water Blues") and gorgeous jazz-tinged ballads (a spare, poignant take on "Memories of You"), effortlessly revealing his artistic range. A must for fans of the underrated bluesman, this record is followed by the excellent companion piece BLUES, BALLADS, AND JUMPIN' JAZZ.