Volume three in Document’s series continues where the previous collection left off, with Memphis Minnie still in the midst of her so-called “band period”; beginning here with a series of mid-1937 dates, her backing musicians include both a trumpeter and a pianist (presumably Black Bob Hudson), although their subtle performances allow Minnie to take full command of the material in ways her recent sessions had not. New Orleans clarinetist Arnett Nelson is on hand for the remaining sides, most of which were previously unissued.
Born: June 3, 1897 in Algiers, LA
Years Active: ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s
Tracking down the ultimate woman blues guitar hero is problematic because woman blues singers seldom recorded as guitar players and woman guitar players (such as Rosetta Tharpe and Sister O.M. Terrell) were seldom recorded playing blues. Excluding contemporary artists, the most notable exception to this pattern was Memphis Minnie. The most popular and prolific blueswoman outside the vaudeville tradition, she earned the respect of critics, the support of…