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Brownie McGhee: The Last Great Blues Hero

Guitarist-singer Brownie McGhee was one of the most renowned and beloved country bluesmen for nearly half a century. The Last Great Blues Hero is his final session, recorded on May 6, 1995, less than a year before he died. Though McGhee made his biggest impact in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s with longtime partner harmonica ace Sonny Terry, he continued to record and tour after the duo broke up in 1981. He retired in 1989, then returned to the scene with renewed vigor in 1995 at the age of 80. He’s in fine, forceful voice on this final session, hollering out solid renditions of signature tunes like “Good Morning Blues,” “Rock Island Line,” “Walk On,” “Stranger Blues,” “Key to the Highway” and “Drinking Wine,” an R&B hit in 1949 for his brother, Sticks McGhee. A relaxed and nostalgic vibe permeates these tracks, which cast Mark Fenichel in the Sonny Terry role and also feature Elmer Lee Thomas on second guitar.

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