Monday, September 10, 2012

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - At Sugar Hill

Sonny & Brownie at Sugar Hill is a live album recorded at the famous San Francisco nightclub. The two musicians were in fine form, with both getting chances to sing some of their standards, including "Sweet Woman Blues," "Born to Live the Blues," "Baby, I Knocked on Your Door," and "I Got a Little Girl." Their interplay is always a joy to hear, and while there are some better live shows available, this is thoroughly entertaining and worth the time of any of their fans.- by Thom Owens, AMG

Sugar Hill was an upscale blues joint in San Francisco, and Sonny and Brownie played it just 6 months after it opened, this CD being the results of that engagement. And it's a beauty. Often on record dates with these two giants, Brownie takes most of the vocals, with Sonny singing 2 or 3 songs; on this one, Sonny sings just as much as Brownie. (Early in their career Brownie once told Sonny that if he wanted half the money he was going to have to sing, not just play harmonica.) Sonny is an old-time blues singer, preferring older forms, traditional verses, all done in his raspy, unrefined voice. Brownie is smoother in voice and likes to experiment a bit with the blues form. For example, BORN TO LIVE, sung by Brownie, is 32-bars long, with a bridge, though it's drenched with blues feeling. WORRY, WORRY, WORRY also is slightly different, and includes a "whomp" at the end of each phrase. Sonny sings JUST ABOUT CRAZY, which sounds very much like a work song, while I FEEL ALRIGHT NOW is a secular spiritual. Both men are in excellent form here. Blues fans should find a lot to love on this CD.- by Bomojaz,

Artist: Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
Album: At Sugar Hill
Year: 1961
Label: Original Blues Classic (1991)
Runtime: 44:27

1.  Hooray, Hooray, This Woman Is Killing Me (Sonny Terry) 2:24
2.  Born To Live The Blues (Brownie McGhee) 3:53
3.  Just About Crazy (Sonny Terry) 2:59
4.  Up, Sometimes Down (Brownie McGhee) 4:02
5.  Baby, I Knocked On Your Door (Sonny Terry) 4:04
6.  Keep On Walking (Brownie McGhee) 4:39
7.  Baby, I Got My Eye On You (Sonny Terry) 3:37
8.  I Got A Little Girl (Sonny Terry) 4:16
9.  I Feel Alright Now (Brownie McGhee) 5:04
10.  Worry, Worry, Worry (Brownie McGhee) 4:55
11.  Sweet Woman Blues (Sonny Terry) 4:30

Brownie McGhee (Guitar and Vocals)
Sonny Terry (Harmonica and Vocals)

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