The Washboard Sam Collection 1935-53
Catalogue Number: ACTRCD9038
In the history of the blues, Washboard Sam (real name Robert Brown) was probably the best known exponent of that most basic, but in the 1920s and ‘30s almost universal, percussion rhythm instrument, the washboard. He was purported to be Big Bill Broonzy’s half-brother, but whether he was or not, he performed and recorded with Broonzy in Chicago in the pre-electric era of the ‘30s and ‘40s, along with a coterie of other noted performers based in the city – Buster Bennett, Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Roosevelt Sykes and others. This 3-CD collection is a selected overview of the 150 and more recordings he made during the two decades of his primary career - unable or unwilling to make the transition to the electric era, he retired to become a Chicago policeman before making a comeback in the blues revival of the ‘60s. It’s a great value 75-track 3-CD set, presenting some of the most entertaining acoustic blues you could wish to hear - some sniffy critics have dismissed have dismissed him as ‘hokum’, but there is it’s an anthology which demonstrates that Sam was every bit as authentic and influential as many of his more lauded contemporaries.