Yet another of the ubiquitous Memphis Slim compilations, Grinder Man Blues is different from most of Snapper Music's budget blues reissues in that it confines itself to a tiny space in its subject's career: his Bluebird sides from 1940-1941.
The sound quality is good, which is no surprise, and the producers have mixed-and-matched the sides, so that slow, solo blues ballads, faster boogie numbers, and duet and full-band numbers alternate.
The best cut here is probably "Old Taylor," which features Slim working (and sharing vocal chores) with an uncredited scat singer, while his piano ripples through and around their work.
Every so often the blues harp joins his piano in the spotlight, while Leroy Batchelor's bass and Washboard Sam's percussion hold the rhythm, elsewhere, as on "Maybe I'll Loan You A Dime" it's pretty much just Slim's voice and piano, which are pretty formidable.
His playing is animated and inventive throughout on these sides, and his voice one of the most expressive in the blues.