Soul Station Feature: Washboard Sam

Gamblin’ Man

Washboard Sam (Robert Clifford Brown) went from being one of the most popular blues artists in Chicago during the 1930s to a police officer who, when he passed in 1966, ended up in an unmarked grave. He came to Chicago in the early 1930s from Memphis and shortly there after began recording for the famous/infamous Lester Melrose. While I like some of his 30s sides, the records he made that I like the most all were done after WWII and they have a slight jazz tinge to them. This one in particular has a nice sax solo, followed by pianist Bob Call, someone who has been largely overlooked. But after that, there is a profoundly great electric guitar solo by Willie Lacey. Lacey had become known for playing with John Lee Williamson (THE Sonny Boy Williamson) before his tragic death. His fluid lines and dazzling technique are unlike any other guitarist I can think of in Chicago during the late 1940s, and his work on this record is quite great!

DJ Pi/Paul Yamada