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Listening to Townsend on these tracks, it's easy to hear that he's a veteran blues artist, but it's difficult to believe that he cut these tunes when he was 90 years old.

Listening to Townsend on these tracks, it's easy to hear that he's a veteran blues artist, but it's difficult to believe that he cut these tunes when he was 90 years old. He plays guitar and barrelhouse piano and sings with a measured authority that has real presence. He wrote all 12 songs on the album as well. Townsend was learning his music when the blues was being invented, so he knows the genre from way back in the day. Henry's blues is a distinctive sound. Some tunes have the uncluttered quality of Delta blues, while his piano blues echoes the more embellished styles of New Orleans and St. Louis—though even here his arrangements have the economy of country blues. The sublime grace of this music, however, is the quality that will win your heart. Distributed in the U.S. by Harmonia Mundi.—PVV

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