I knew Burse was Will Shade's right hand man, but didn't realize the breadth of his contributions until I undertook to complete the personnel listings for every Memphis Jug Band recording. Through tha...
Time period: Pre-WWII
Date nominated: Jul 27, 2018
Average rating: 4.01
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Charlie Burse is best known for his work with the Memphis Jug Band, but the details of his contributions to that band aren't widely known. He played in the band for longer than anyone but its leader, Will Shade, and recorded on more instruments than anyone but Shade. He was skilled on guitar, mandolin and his trademark tenor guitar, which earned him the nickname "Uke Kid" (in his era, the tenor banjo he played in his earlier years was called a "uke banjo"). His distinctive voice is most easily recognizable on the band's high-energy later recordings like "Insane Crazy Blues" and "Bottle It Up and Go," but his earlier and plainer vocal style led the band on the landmark "Stealin' Stealin'" and filled out numerous earlier songs.
Burse also led his own bands, and his facility with contemporary styles is evident in his version of "Shorty the Barber," recorded for Sun Records in 1950.
Jug Band Hall of Fame
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