VAR­I­OUS ARTISTS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - JOE BREEN

First Came Mem­phis Min­nie

Stony Plain Mem­phis Min­nie was an ex­tra­or­di­nary char­ac­ter who helped blaze a trail for fe­male blues mu­si­cians. Born in Al­giers, Louisiana, in 1897, the young Lizzie “Kid” Dou­glas was clearly pre­co­cious and wild, teach­ing her­self to play gui­tar and banjo be­fore run­ning away at 13 for a life on the road. At her peak be­tween 1929 and 1949, Dou­glas recorded a string of gems such as Me and My Chauf­feur Blues, In My Girl­ish Days and Black Rat Swing. They were hard times, but Lizzie’s in­de­pen­dent spirit was her strength, a qual­ity that young Maria Mul­daur recog­nised when she first heard her mu­sic in the 1960s. Now joined by other blueswomen (Bon­nie Raitt, Rory Block, Ruthie Fos­ter, Koko Tay­lor and the late Phoebe Snow), Mul­daur has fi­nally got around to paying trib­ute to her great­est in­flu­ence. Good stuff, but check out the orig­i­nals. mari­amul­daur.com

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