Because guitar evangelist and periodic bluesman Blind Joe Taggart
cut a few sides for Paramount with Josh White
up in Grafton, WI during December 1929, some folks think that he may have also recorded for that label there and then as Six Cylinder Smith
. Volume two of Document's complete Blind Joe Taggart
chronology opens with a pair of titles issued under the Six Cylinder
billing, along with a test pressing of "Pennsylvania Woman Blues," in case anyone really wants to zero in on the forensic evidence to make an informed guess as to the identity of the performer by comparing the blues vocals with those of Taggart
's "Wonder Will My Trouble Then Be Over," "Strange Things Happening in the Land," and "Waded in the Water Trying to Get Home."
Waxed in Grafton in January 1931, tracks 7-12 would be Taggart
's final Paramount sides, and represent his largest batch of solo performances on record. Curiously, he is billed on these Paramounts as Blind Joel Taggart
, the name he would use on his final recording date which took place back in Chicago on Thursday, September 20, 1934. On these Decca records, Taggart
chose to sing duets with a woman identified as Bertha Taggart. Whether this is the same woman as Emma Taggart who sang with Joe
at his first session back in November 1926 is open to conjecture.
Having run out of Taggart
material, the producers at Document Records filled out this album with choice cuts from 1930 by Christian singer and guitarist Blind Gussie Nesbitt and five inspired offerings recorded in 1927 and 1929 by Reverend Edward W. Clayborn
, a fairly prolific Vocalion recording artist who was specifically billed as The Guitar Evangelist
. As for Nesbitt, what are included here are four out of fourteen titles in her discography, not counting four duets she waxed for the Victor label with Jack Gowdlock
in 1931. Taken in combination with the later works of Blind Joe Taggart
, these spiritually inspired performances constitute a valuable addition to Document's extensive catalog of early and mid-20th century African-American music.