Shake Your Boogie

Big Joe Williams

released January 1, 1990

One of the fiercest of the Mississippi blues singers, Big Joe Williams recorded this emotionally charged album for Arhoolie records in 1960. Williams accompanies his vocal lines on a 9-string guitar, using it to add percussive elements and a slapping bass effect. Singing autobiographical, traditional, and improvised blues tunes, Williams gives a forceful delivery steeped in the sound of the hot, humid delta country and of his life’s hardships. Many of the songs are infused with the emotional stress of a recent arrest, which he describes in “Greystone Blues.” Liner notes give a bio of the artist and detail the recording session.

1990, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Originally released on Arhoolie Records.