Charlie Patton, The Best Of Charlie Patton

Alex Abramovich

By Alex Abramovich

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The Best Of Charlie Patton

Charlie Patton
Boasts, railroad songs and sexual taunts — all the stuff that legends are made of.

Gravel-voiced Charlie Patton might be remembered as "The King of the Delta Blues," but his repertoire ranged widely across the entire spectrum of Southern song. This collection — one of the best single-disc retrospectives available — includes hokum tunes ("Shake It and Break It") and descriptions of natural disasters ("High Water Everywhere Pt. 1"), as well as the boasts, railroad songs, sexual taunts and laments that virtually define the country blues as an art form. A direct influence on blues and gospel stars like Howlin 'Wolf and Pops Stables (both of whom learned at Patton's feet), and an icon for rock & roll revivalists like Eric Clapton, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Jack White, Patton was no less remarkable in his own right. Every one of his songs is essential listening for anyone interested in the history of American music.