It makes sense to pair Charley Patton
and Blind Lemon Jefferson
sides together like this, since between them Patton
provided the foundation for recorded country blues. Patton
's vicious slide guitar attack and guttural vocals are the very template of Mississippi Delta blues, while Lemon
's ragged and explosive Texas-styled single string guitar runs are equally as defining, and his strong record sales (he cut some 100 sides for Paramount and OKeh in a little less than four years between 1925 and 1929) paved the way for other country blues artists to record by proving this stuff had a large audience. Key tracks here include Patton
's "Mississippi Boweavil Blues" and "A Spoonful Blues," both recorded in 1929, and Lemon
's "Jack O'Diamond Blues" from 1926 and the masterful "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" from 1927. Both of these musicians recorded a lot, so what's here is just the barest of outlines, but it does sketch out the territory and themes that the blues has lived in ever since.