Review - Trouble in Mind

Artist: Big Bill Broonzy

From 1920 to well after World War II, Big Bill Broonzy was as recorded as any bluesman in history. He was an accomplished sideman as well as solo artist who wrote hundreds of songs, including two all-time blues staples, "All By Myself" and "Key to the Highway." Culled from Broonzy's '50s Folkways label sessions, as well as live radio and concert recordings, "Trouble in Mind" captures Broonzy in 1956 and 1957, a year before his death from throat cancer, performing some of the rural country-blues, spirituals and controversial songs that made him famous.

Broonzy's intricate guitar-picking can be heard on "Hey, Hey Baby" and the excellent talkin' "Mule-Ridin' Blues," while "Black, Brown, and White" shows him tackling the subject of racism. This is an essential release from one of the blues' most important figures.