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Sonny Terry – Sonny Is King


This Bluesville album is really the result of two separate recording sessions. Side A, the first session, features Sonny Terry on vocals and harmonica but playing with a larger group than usual. And the fantastic, Lightnin’ Hopkins on guitar, Leonard Gaskin on bass, and Belton Evans, the drummer, make a really sturdy blues unit behind Sonny.

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SKU: Bluesville 1059 (45) [2] Categories: , , , Tags: , ,


The second session featured Sonny again on vocals and mouth harp, but accompanied by his old walking buddy, Brownie McGhee. The idea of using these two separate sessins as one album was to demonstrate the contrast between Sonny’s work with a large group, and his performance with the more familiar accompaniment of Brownie McGhee’s guitar. But actually any contrast is lessened a good deal because of the manner in which Sonny dominated both dates. Sonny wheels and deals, just as he always does, coming quite close, sometimes, to convincing any interested listener that his blues is a really new kind of expression, unheard of before this album.
AllMusic Review by Thom Owens
Half of Sonny Is King is devoted to a rare session between Sonny Terry and Lightnin’ Hopkins. The two guitarists are supported by bassist Leonard Gaskin and drummer Belton Evans, but the rhythm section fails to kick the pair into overdrive, and much of the music disappointingly meanders. Sometimes change is not a good thing. That’s proven by the second side of the album, where Terry falls into the comfortable setting of duetting with Brownie McGhee. While these aren’t among the duo’s very best recordings, they are nonetheless enjoyable, suggesting that there’s something to be said for the familiar.


1. One Monkey Don’t Stop The Show
2. Changed The Lock On My Door
3. Tater Pie
4. She’s So Sweet
5. Diggin’ My Potatoes
1. Sonny’s Coming
2. Ida Mae
3. Callin’ My Mama
4. Bad Luck
5. Blues From The Bottom


Additional information

Weight 0.760 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm