Solo performer: Blind Willie McTell (vocals, guitar). Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1949. Originally released as Atlantic (7224). Includes original release liner notes by Simon A. Napier. Digitally remastered by Stephen Innocenzi (December 1991, Atlantic Studios). One of the finest bluesmen of all time, Blind Willie McTell purveyed a softer, jazzier style than the hard-line Mississippi Delta blues that originated down the way from his native Georgia. With his trademark 12-string playing (his songs are always propelled by a full, chiming, finger-picking style) and casual, entertaining singing (his crystal-clear enunciation is a rarity in blues), McTell specialized in rags and story-songs. While Legacy's THE DEFINITIVE BLIND WILLIE MCTELL provides a more comprehensive overview, ATLANTA TWELVE STRING offers an excellent look at McTell in the late 1940s. Though his voice had weathered a bit, McTell is in great form on these recordings. McTell revisits some of his classic tunes (the slow, mournful "Broke Down Engine Blues"), while also spinning through a remarkably varied repertoire. In both singing and playing, McTell displays absolute command of rags ("The Razor Ball"), unfolding narratives ("Dying Crapshooter's Blues"), boogie ("Pinetop's Boogie Woogie"), traditional blues ("On the Cooling Board"), and gospel ("Ain't It Grand to Live a Christian"). One has to marvel at the stylistic perfection McTell exhibits throughout, revealed to fine effect in these intimate sessions. ATLANTA TWELVE STRING is a keeper--a classic blues set of the first order.