- Tracks 1-9 recorded in New York City on January 24, 1935 and March 25, 1935
- Tracks 9-21 from Library of Congress Session recorded November 5, 1940
- Released: September 4, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
Two of the greatest legends of all time on one CD, performing the best examples of country blues. Leadbelly set standards for playing before the blues era even began. Blind Willie McTell was one of the finest guitarists and singers in the history of down South blues. From the archives of Biograph Records.
JazzTimes - 3/97, p.78
"...Huddie Ledbetter belts with gospel-holler intensity on eight tracks recorded in 1935...while Blind Willie demonstrates a more mellifluous vocal style along with an astounding command of the guitar..."
Personnel: Lead Belly (guitar); Blind Willie McTell (guitar).
Not a duet album but a compilation of solo tracks by both performers, the 21-track MASTERS OF THE COUNTRY BLUES is a fine compilation with interesting obscurities sitting alongside better-known standards.
Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter's eight featured tracks were recorded in New York in 1935, soon after his move there from his native rural Louisiana. Though the tracks are among Leadbelly's first commercial recordings, his astonishingly original style--melding acoustic Delta blues with folk, gospel, pop, and jazz influences--is already in full flower. The two-part "Death Letter Blues" is a particular standout, with the devastating "TB Woman Blues" nearly as essential. His other four tracks are lighter, almost playful, and provide a nice contrast. The album's remaining 13 tracks, by the legendary guitarist Blind Willie McTell, run the gamut from fervent gospel to sly blues like "Dying Crapshooters Blues," making for a fine example of McTell's art.