Down Beat - 3/01, p.683 out of 5
- "...Shows what the acquistion of character and magnaminity over th edecades brings to the music....he makes convincing revists to rags, spirituals and blues from early in his career..."
Personnel: Furry Lewis (vocals, slide guitar); Lee Baker, Jr. (guitar).
Producer: Gene Rosenthal.
Reissue producer: Gene Rosenthal, Dan Doyle.
Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee in October 1969. Includes liner notes by Jim Dickenson, Dave MacKenzie & Denise Tapp.
Digitally remastered by Larry Packer & Gene Rosenthal (Uncle Punchy Studios).
Personnel: Furry Lewis (vocals, guitar).
Liner Note Authors: David MacKenzie; Denise Tapp; Jim Dickinson.
Recording information: Memphis, TN (10/1969-04/2000); Silver Spring, MD (10/1969-04/2000).
Editor: Denise Tapp.
Photographer: Denise Tapp.
Arranger: Furry Lewis.
Memphis bluesman Furry Lewis was pushing 80 (depending on which of the various dates of birth you go by) when this recording was made in October, 1969. Lewis, coaxed out of retirement after a career as a sanitation worker (he gave up music during the Depression), had spent the 1960s as the toast of the folk-blues revival circuit, and his playing with avid student Lee Baker, Jr. had by this time coalesced into a true duo. Even with Lewis' penchant for randomly inserting and removing bars from his chord progressions and equally wild vocal flights, Baker's accompaniment keeps up. The duo takes on Lewis standards like the signature tune "Natural Born Eastman" (aka "Kassie Jones") and "Take Your Time," as well as versions of the old-time standards Lewis loved to reworked in his gruff, yet powerfully effective voice; "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean," as well as the southern gospel tune "Glory Hallelujah." An intimate studio recording that still retains the boisterous atmosphere of a front porch jam. ~ John Duffy