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Good Time Tonight

In contrast to the gritty electric performers who succeeded him on the Chicago scene, Big Bill Broonzy wrote and sang highly developed, upbeat tunes about love, lust, and life, all in a handsome folk style. Good Time Tonight, a 20-song collection of recordings (most previously unissued) from 1930-40, finds him variously alone with his guitar, teamed with a pianist and bassist, and joined by a quintet complete with horns. Broonzy’s engaging solo work stands easily on his melodic strength, instrumental skill, and charisma, but this blend of rural blues and urban jazz is a revelation. A-

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