Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Memphis Minnie

  • Bumble Bee: The Essential Recordings of Memphis Minnie [Indigo, 1995] A-
  • Queen of the Blues [Columbia/Legacy, 1997] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Bumble Bee: The Essential Recordings of Memphis Minnie [Indigo, 1995]
It's said this guitar muthuh fuh yuh proves women impacted rural blues as much as the vaudevillian "classic" kind, but there's only one of her, and her way was to take vaudeville to the country. Citywise entertainment values and picking as brightly declarative as her vocals carry her bawdy canon when it flags in the middle. On the ends you'll find "Bumble Bee" and "What's the Matter With the Mill," "Ice Man," and "Me and My Chauffeur Blues." A-

Queen of the Blues [Columbia/Legacy, 1997]
Pretty much past her prime, but not so's she's ready to admit it ("He's in the Ring," "Call the Fire Wagon," "New Orleans Stop Time"). ***