Option - Jan/Feb 92
Recommended - "...There is a wealth of traditional music here, mainly from the black Appalachian blues of the early part of the century...This disc is a treasure."
Blues & Rhythm (Nov 91, p.21) - "...one of the most enjoyable releases for many years...an intimate collection and it is as if you were in her parlour at home. The songs are well chosen and the guitar playing is clear, confident and full of joy..."
Etta Baker was born in North Carolina in 1913 and was influenced by the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is a collection of mostly acoustic guitar instrumentals from the 78 year old artist whose previous recording, "Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians" on the Tradition Records label, was released in 1956.
Personnel: Etta Baker (vocals, guitar, banjo); Cora Phillips (guitar).
Guitarist/vocalist Etta Baker hadn't made any recordings or even been in a studio since 1956 before making the 20 numbers comprising this CD. But judging from the arresting vocals, prickly accompaniment, and commanding presence she displayed on each song, it seemed as if she had been cutting tracks daily. Baker moved from sassy and combative blues tunes like "Never Let Your Deal Go Down" and "But on the Other Hand Baby" to chilling numbers like "Police Dog Blues," novelty tunes, double-entendre cuts, folk pieces, and even country-flavored material. Singing and playing in vintage Piedmont style with a two- and three-finger technique, Etta Baker offers timeless, memorable performances. ~ Ron Wynn