Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Washboard Sam: Rockin' My Blues Away [Bluebird, 1992]
Not a lost genius, just a forgotten "race" star--the 6/26/41 session arranges the same tune the same way three titles running. But this is where anyone who's striven to comprehend the reputations of Sam's half-brother Big Bill Broonzy and associate Memphis Slim will hear the light--they played terrific backup. Scraping away on his homely percussion device, the once and future Robert Brown is almost always uptempo and always happy just to be like he is. So when the record business contracted during World War II, he integrated the Chicago Police Department, an easier target than Billboard. Bill and Slim, sly devils, took off for Europe. A-