Cannon's Jug Stompers
were one of the best jug bands in the 1920s and '30s, featuring a wild, fun sound with a solid blues base and frequent, unexpected melodic turns that kept them continually interesting. The group's earliest recordings are here, including the classics "Feather Bed," "Viola Lee Blues," and "Minglewood Blues," but it's the first five tracks that make this compilation something more than just a first act. Recorded in 1927, prior to the formation of the Jug Stompers
, and released under the name Banjo Joe, the first five cuts are duets of sorts with Gus Cannon
on five-string banjo and the great Blind Blake
on acoustic guitar, including one track, "Poor Boy, Long Way From Home," in which Cannon
actually plays bottleneck slide banjo. There are several single-disc collections of Cannon's Jug Stompers
on the market, but the inclusion of the Cannon
material makes this one special.