is a unique figure in blues history, a female country blues singer who emerged in the late '20s when the field (at least on record) was exclusively filled by men. But, gender aside, she was one of the most talented blues singer/guitarists of the '30s and '40s. This CD reissue primarily dates from her period between her partnerships with Cousin Joe
and Little Son Joe
is heard mostly playing her variations of good-time urban blues (à la Bill Broonzy
), an even 12 bars to a chorus but with the feeling and emotion of the country blues. Pianist Blind John Davis
and Charlie McCoy
's mandolin help out on some of the tracks of the accessible set, which serves as a fine introduction to Memphis Minnie
. Five of its 20 selections were previously unreleased.