- Released: May 18, 1999
- Label: Arhoolie Records
CMJ - 6/7/99, pp.28-9
"...you get the feeling that this is the real deal, raw and unadorned. You won't find a more authentic document of rural Mississippi blues this year."
- 1.Back Home Blues
- 2.Baby Please Don't Go
- 3.Saturday Night Women
- 4.Been in Crawford Too Long - (featuring Glover Lee Conner)
- 5.Sugar Diabetes Blues
- 6.Run Here Jailer With the Key - (featuring Austin Pete)
- 7.Take Me Out of the Bottom
- 8.Bird Nest - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 9.Corrina - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 10.I Walked All Night Long - (featuring Austin Pete)
- 11.Sugar on the Bottom - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 12.Bad Luck - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 13.Checkin' Out - (featuring Amelia Johnson)
- 14.My Last Girl-Don't Treat Her Wrong! - (featuring Amelia Johnson)
- 15.Can't Listen No More - (featuring Amelia Johnson)
- 16.Don't Stay Long - (featuring Amelia Johnson)
- 17.I'm Wild About My Jelly Roll - (featuring Austin Pete)
- 18.Moanin' 'Fo Day - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 19.I'm Leavin' This Town
- 20.I Don't Know Why - (featuring Glover Connor)
- 21.My Baby Stopped Drinking Water - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 22.Good Times Here, Better Down the Road - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 23.Shake It Enough For Me
- 24.Mary Frances
- 25.My Baby Don't Stand No Foolin' - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
- 26.She Have Broken My Heart - (featuring John "Shortstuff" Macon)
Personnel: Big Joe Williams, Austin Pete, John "Shortstuff" Macon (vocals, guitar); Glover Lee Connor, Amelia Johnson (vocals).
Producers: Chris Strachwitz, Big Joe Williams.
Recorded in Crawford, Mississippi on May 21, 1971 and at a radio station in Starkville, Mississippi in March 1971. Includes liner notes by Chris Strachwitz.
Recording information: 1971.
Although Williams takes lead vocals on eight of the 26 songs on this disc, and plays his distinctive guitar throughout, it's billed to Big Joe Williams & Friends since the majority of the tracks feature other Mississippi singers on vocals. Williams was trying to bring other singers from his region to the attention of folklorist/Arhoolie owner Chris Strachwitz; most of this CD was recorded by Strachwitz in May 1971 in Crawford, MS, although seven songs were done at a Mississippi radio station a few months earlier. Because of Williams' oft-secondary role, it would have to be considered a secondary item in the Williams' catalog, but it's still pretty solid Mississippi country blues. The performances are pretty tight and focused, and the guitar work good, especially the slide. None of the other singers -- Austen Pete (who also plays second guitar behind Williams), John "Shortstuff" Macon (who plays what's listed on the sleeve as "rattling" guitar), Glover Lee Connor, and Amelia Johnson -- are as arresting as Williams, but none are bad. The fidelity on the Strachwitz-recorded material is good; the quality of the material done at the radio station is less clear, but not hard to listen to. Williams recorded "Baby Please Don't Go" several times, but the one here is certainly good and a highlight of the disc. ~ Richie Unterberger