Tracks 1-5, recorded West Memphis, Arkansas in 1974
Tracks 6-8, recorded Falls Church, Virginina on December 16,1964
Tracks 9-14, recorded Atlanta, Georgia in 1949. On tracks 9-14, Blind Willie McTell is accompanied by Curley Weaver.
All of the tracks were recorded directly from the original master tapes.
Released: August 28, 2007
Originally Released: 2007
Label: Collectables Records
Original Album: Biograph Records BCD 107 (1988)
Description by OLDIES.com:
A compilation of classic blues recordings by Bukka White, Skip James and Blind Willie McTell. Three men, and three shades of blues. From the driving percussion of Bukka White's "Mama Don' Low" through the modal introspection of Skip James' "Special Rider Blues" to the ragtime rhythms of Willie McTell's "East Street Blues," these men are some of the pieces of the story of early recorded blues music. From the archives of Biograph Records.
Three Shades of Blues comprises a selection of tracks cut by Bukka White, Skip James, and Blind Willie McTell, all recorded during different eras. James's tracks were made in 1964, the first he cut since 1931. James fares the worst -- he sounds unsure of himself and several of the songs are painful to listen to. The five White tracks were recorded in 1974, after he was released from prison; while his voice does sound worn, they're fascinating historical items. McTell's recordings are taken from the last commerical sessions he made in 1949, and they're more than historical curiosities -- he sounds as haunted and powerful as he ever has. ~ Thom Owens