Snooks Eaglin New Orleans Street Singer

This classic album, originally released in 1959, has been hailed as one of the best acoustic blues recordings of all time, and for good reason, as this restored and expanded edition beautifully displays. The title is accurate, as the album was Eaglin’s first foray into a recording studio after being discovered playing on the streets of the French Quarter. Although he is still active after a half-century, these takes expectedly capture him in the raw, showing off his unique mix of Delta blues grit with remarkable Django Reinhardt-like flourishes. At times he sounds like two completely different performers, but there can be no arguing his choice of material, from the New Orleans standard "St. James Infirmary,” to Leadbelly’s "Rock Island Line” and T-Bone Walker’s "Mean Old World.” Aside from the unmistakable stamp that Eaglin puts on them with his guitar playing, his smooth, easy-going vocal delivery is equally exceptional. One of the great re-discoveries of the year. (Smithsonian Folkways)