Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - Sing
I first snagged a copy of this on CD back in the oughts in the used bin at the always reliable Aboveground Records in Edgartown, MA. Back then I used to get on my bike after my coffee shop shift and ride the 6 miles to spend all of my cash tips on CDs. My collection and taste for new music was expanding rapidly. I picked this one up completely blind knowing nothing about it other than the fact that I didn’t own any acoustic blues CDs yet and here’s one! I’ll take it. Glad I did! Sonny Terry was born in Greensboro, NC in 1911. He lost his eyesight as a teenager and was taught the harmonica by his father in hopes that he would be able to earn some money at it. He probably did not expect that his son would create his own energetic style of playing that would take him all over the globe. Brownie McGhee was born in Knoxville, TN in 1916 and, upon recovering from polio, started playing guitar in his father’s gospel band at the age of 16. The 2 met in 1939 and soon moved to NYC as a musical duo to become part of the bohemian scene being established by the likes of Pete Seeger, Lead Belly and Woodie Guthrie. By the mid to late 50s the demand for folk and blues acts was growing and Sonny and Brownie rode the wave to the top. They eventually started playing festivals all around the world and established themselves as household names. At the end of their 35 year career together the duo ceased to get along. By the time they had called it quits, though, they had introduced much of the world to Piedmont Blues. And me too!
-Will Pratt 1/3/22
Kinini Village - Rulindo District
Rwanda may yet be our saving grace when it comes to sourcing coffees from Africa. As getting quality coffee from Kenya becomes harder, and as the situation in Ethiopia remains uncertain, we're grateful for some excellent coffee from the Rulindo District in Rwanda's Northern Province. Kinini Village is a 48-member producer group who, with the help and support of the great folks at Crop to Cup, has transformed the landscape to produce some exquisite coffee. Felix, the washing station's manager, keeps the processing equipment extremely well maintained. The coffee is silky and sweet, with crisp melon acidity and flavors paired with Rwanda's classic dried fruit qualities and honeyed sweetness.