K.C. Douglas: Mercury Blues

A native of Mississippi who became a mainstay of the Bay Area blues scene in the 1950s, K.C. Douglas is best remembered as the composer of “Mercury Blues,” which has been covered by such artists as Steve Miller, David Lindley and country star Alan Jackson. His Mercury Blues (Arhoolie 475; 74:25) is a collection of Delta flavored material recorded between 1960 and 1974. On a majority of the material, Douglas plays an electric Gibson SG guitar accompanied by drums, rhythm guitar and the sympathetic harmonica of Richard Riggins. On eight tracks, K.C. is featured alone on acoustic guitar. A must for purists and connoisseurs of what the late Douglas called “them cotton picking blues.”