Sleepy John Estes – Brownsville Blues
Delmark DD 613 (1992)
When Big Joe Williams informed Bob Koester of Delmark Records the Sleepy John Estes was still living, Koester was naturally skeptical. No doubt, the improbability of Estes being alive kept blues researchers from looking for him. Discographies list 1941 as his last recording date. It was Chicagoan David Blumenthal who found him while making a documentary film in Brownsville, Tennessee. Estes was brought to Chicago for an exploratory recording session. On March 24, 1962 Sleepy John recorded most of the songs on this album including six previously unissued tracks not on the original LP release of Brownsville Blues. Four songs from this session were issued on John’s first Delmark release The Legend of Sleepy John Estes (Delmark 603). However, most of the material on Legend was from the June, 1962 group session. The theme of Brownsville Blues is the many people and places of John’s hometown. Here is the legendary country blues artist Sleepy John Estes singing as well as ever, still writing blues poetry, and playing guitar better than in former years.