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jeudi 14 septembre 2023








This Delta blues Volume 3 starts with the complete work of Shortstuff Macon (John Wesley Macon). Shortstuff born in 1923 at Shuqualak, Ms. was Big Joe Williams' cousin. He started to play guitar around nine years old while listening to local bluesmen and radio stations. He would play on week ends for private parties and this is Big Joe who brought Macon with him to coffeehouses during the blues revival of the early 60's and into studios to record with him in New York City after a gig in Greenwich Village. Shortstuff is a good bluesman on his own, playing rhythmic Delta blues style alternating some local standards with some own blues compositions. He would record again very fine tracks in 1971 at Big Joe's home in
Photo © Len Kundsadt 

Crawford. Although quite shy, Shortstuff could have made overseas tours and more recordings but he died on 28th December 1973 in Macon, Ms.

            Ruby McCoy recorded also a few sides with Big Joe Williams although many unissued tracks still remain in some vaults somewhere that it would be nice to be able to hear. Ruby was born in Bonneville, Ms on 16th august 1917 and was the sister of blueswoman Ethel McCoy (all related to Memphis Minnie & Joe McCoy). She sings with a plaintive but powerful voice wonderfully backed by Big Joe Williams. She died on July 1967.



Photo © Pete Welding 

Elijah Brown is an elder bluesman (born in Macon, Ms. on October 1896) but was also brought to recordings by the ubiquitous Big Joe! Elijah learned the guitar with his brother in law Jerry Ingram and he might have known and maybe played a little with Charlie Patton and Son House all around the Delta juke joints during the 1910's and 20's. The few tracks he recorded display a strong Delta blues style. He probably died not long after his 1965 recording session.


            Thanks a lot to Pete Welding, Chris Strachwitz and Len Kundstadt without whom probably none of those blues artists would have recorded.


                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


SHORTSTUFF MACON (John Wesley Macon), vcl/g; Big Joe Williams, g/vcls. New York City, 23 May 1964

01. My jack don't drink no water

02. Hell bound and heaven sent blues

03. Shortstuff's Corinna

04. Messing with that thing

05. Rock road bad treating

06. Cotton picking

07. Don't want

08. Great big legs

09. I want a little bit

10. I want to love

11. Moanin'

12. No special woman

13. Old Grey mule

Shortsuff Macon, vcl/g; Big Joe Williams, g. Starkville, Ms. March 1971

14. My baby stopped drinking water

15. Good times here, better down the road

16. My baby don't stand no foolin'

17. She have broken my heart

Shortsuff Macon, vcl/g; Big Joe Williams, g. Crawford, Ms. 21 May 1971

18. Bird nest

19. Corrina

20. Sugar on the bottom

21. Bad luck

22. Moanin' 'fo day

RUBY MC COY, vcl; Big Joe Williams, g. Chicago, Ill. 10 October 1974

23. Rising sun blues

24. Rising sun, shine on

25. Black Mary

ELIJAH BROWN, vcl/g. East Saint Louis, Ill. 12 March 1965

26. Crying wont make me stay

27. Pearline

28. Won't be troubled long

29. Winding ball

30. John Henry