|Sonny & Brownie's Last Train|
by Willard Manus
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee were stalwarts of the blues scene when I was growing up in New York in the 1940s and 50s, a harmonica/guitar team who sang at coffee houses, bars, hootenanies and left-wing meetings. Both men had come out of North Carolina and played Piedmont-style blues interspersed with classic folk songs, always with a sweet, whooping spirit and sound.
Now Guy Davis and Fabrizio Poggi, two contemporary bluesmen, have collaborated on an album dedicated to the memory of Terry and McGhee. SONNY & BROWNIES LAST TRAIN was recorded in Italy for the American label, M.C. Records, and it features Davis (on guitar) and Poggi (harmonica) working their way through twelve tunes associated with their musical heroes, including Hooray, Hooray, These Women is Killing Me, Evil Hearted Me and Walk On.
Those tunes, which were written by Sonny and Brownie, are given spirited renditions by their acolytes, who are careful to make it clear that their work is not meant to compete with the originals. The album is their way of saying thank you, Sonny, thank you, Brownie.
The other songs on the CD include Louise, Louise, Take This Hammer, Midnight Special and Sonny & Brownies Last Train, which Davis wrote as a salute to the two
geniuses who filled the world with so many joyous, loving sounds.