Guy Davis and Fabrizio Poggi begin their tribute of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee by honoring the Bluesmen in song, starting off their recent album release with the title track for Sonny and Brownie’s Last Train. The tune envisions Sonny and Brownie boarding a rail line that slowly picks up speed as the rhythms increase. Guy Davis and Fabrizio Poggi provide the background story, the soundtrack, and the beat with an original tune on an album that collects cuts from the rich musical history of the Blues innovators. Cuts from both Sonny Terry (“Hooray, Hooray, These Women are Killin’ Me”) and Brownie McGhee (“Evil Hearted Me”) are mixed with the work of contemporaries and traditionals such as “Shortnin’ Bread”, “Take This Hammer”, and “Step It Up and Go”.
Originally partnered with Blind Boy Fuller, Sonny Terry began playing harmonica to compliment the guitar of Brownie McGhee in 1941. The pair formed a duo based in New York City Folk scene alongside artists such as Lead Belly, Josh White, and Woody Guthrie. They performed and recorded together sporadically over the next two decades though it was the Folk music boom of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that jettisoned Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee into superstars in Folk circles. Sonny and Brownie’s Last Train puts the harmonica work of Fabrizio Poggi with the guitar and vocals of Guy Davis in partnership. The pair offer tracks that form a cornerstone of Blues history with tunes by Big Bill Broonzy and Robert Pete Williams (“Louise, Louise”), Big Joe Williams (“Baby Please Don’t Go Down to New Orleans”), Elizabeth Cotton (“Freight Train”), and St. Louis Jimmy Oden (“Goin’ Down Slow”). Guy Davis and Fabrizio Poggi plays the parts of the pair they tribute in the title as they close out Sonny and Brownie’s Last Train by hitching a ride on the traditional track “Midnight Special”.