Peg Leg Howell & Eddie Anthony

Atlanta street singer Peg Leg Howell wasn't really much of a guitarist, but his songs, many of which were made up of fragments of street vendor calls and other pre-blues material, have a sort of greasy and rough-hewed grace to them, and when combined with Eddie Anthony's careening fiddle runs, achieved a distinct sound (part string band, part hokum jug band) all too rare in early blues. His "Skin Game Blues" is a poignant and perfectly nuanced classic in the genre, while "Coal Man Blues" is an early statement and indictment of class distinction in the American South. This collection from Document Records gathers both of these songs, recorded in 1926, along with other worthy pieces, including "Tishamingo Blues" (which lends its title to an Elmore Leonard novel, Tishomingo Blues) and the revelatory "New Prison Blues."

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