Blues With a Message

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
Blues With a Message isn't just about lost love and the toils of specific lives, the blues particularly within the folk-blues traditions spent some time dealing with sociopolitical issues on the side, primarily before the rise of electric blues. Here, Arhoolie has compiled a set of pieces related to a surprisingly large number of issues. Among them: Minstrel shows, the mechanization of cotton farming, and its related exodus to the North, sharecropping, segregation, the Korean War, the influenza epidemic, the New Deal, civil rights movements, Chicago employment opportunities -- all are given a song or two here. The music quality is roughly equivalent to many of the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
Blues With a Message isn't just about lost love and the toils of specific lives, the blues particularly within the folk-blues traditions spent some time dealing with sociopolitical issues on the side, primarily before the rise of electric blues. Here, Arhoolie has compiled a set of pieces related to a surprisingly large number of issues. Among them: Minstrel shows, the mechanization of cotton farming, and its related exodus to the North, sharecropping, segregation, the Korean War, the influenza epidemic, the New Deal, civil rights movements, Chicago employment opportunities -- all are given a song or two here. The music quality is roughly equivalent to many of the folk-blues recordings available, though the "big name" artists are largely absent from this one Lightnin Hopkins does make an appearance singing about sharecropping, however. The songs are deliberately focused on the issues more than the music, but the music can still carry its soul. This one probably won't be on many highest-sales lists in the blues, but it's both historically important and musically enjoyable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/21/2005
  • Label: Arhoolie Records
  • UPC: 096297051023
  • Catalog Number: 510
  • Sales rank: 138,855

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Have to Paint My Face - Sam Chatmon (2:50)
  2. 2 John Henry - John Jackson (3:53)
  3. 3 Walked Down So Many Turn Rows - Mercy Dee (3:08)
  4. 4 Tom Moore's Farm (3:41)
  5. 5 Tom Moore Blues - Lightnin' Hopkins (5:01)
  6. 6 River Blues, Pts. 1-2 (5:19)
  7. 7 Levee Camp Blues - Mississippi Fred McDowell (5:35)
  8. 8 The 1919 Influenza Blues - Essie Jenkins (4:04)
  9. 9 Why I Like Roosevelt (5:59)
  10. 10 Little Soldier Boy (3:03)
  11. 11 Prisoner's Talking Blues - Robert Pete Williams (5:14)
  12. 12 I Got to Climb a High Mountain (3:15)
  13. 13 Depression Blues (4:46)
  14. 14 Stockyard Blues - Johnny Young (3:24)
  15. 15 What Will I Tell the Children (3:30)
  16. 16 It's Enough (2:59)
  17. 17 Things Gonna Get Better (3:10)
  18. 18 Back Home Blues (4:21)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Sam Chatmon Composer
Lowell Fulson Composer
Mance Lipscomb Composer
Johnny Young Composer
Bee Houston Composer
Johnie Lewis Composer
Mississippi Fred McDowell Composer
Mercy Dee Walton Composer
Lightnin' Hopkins Composer
Herman E. Johnson Composer
Robert Pete Williams Composer
Isaiah Ross Composer
Joe Lee Williams Composer
Paul Oliver Liner Notes
Weldon Bonner Composer
Willie Eason Composer
Essie Jenkins Composer
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