Classic Blues from Smithsonian Folkways

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Starting in the 1940s, Folkways made significant blues recordings, particularly of important artists who might not have had the easiest time getting or keeping contracts with more commercial labels, but still had something to say artistically. This 26-track compilation assembles material recorded between the 1940s and 1990s that showed up on various Folkways releases. Unfortunately, the liner notes don't name the exact dates of all the recordings, but certainly the substantial majority of them predate 1970. These recordings were targeted toward a somewhat scholarly folk revival audience, and some might find them a little folky and gentle. Electric instruments barely ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Starting in the 1940s, Folkways made significant blues recordings, particularly of important artists who might not have had the easiest time getting or keeping contracts with more commercial labels, but still had something to say artistically. This 26-track compilation assembles material recorded between the 1940s and 1990s that showed up on various Folkways releases. Unfortunately, the liner notes don't name the exact dates of all the recordings, but certainly the substantial majority of them predate 1970. These recordings were targeted toward a somewhat scholarly folk revival audience, and some might find them a little folky and gentle. Electric instruments barely appear at all with the notable exception of the early Chambers Brothers cut "Oh Baby, You Don't Have to Go", and there's little that's as rough as the average prewar Delta blues track. Yet overall, it's a good compilation of many major and minor mid-20th century blues performers and styles. The bigger names include Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee whose "Old Jabo," with drums, almost verges on Bo Diddley-styled rock & roll, Reverend Gary Davis represented by a 1957 version of his famous "Candy Man", Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon performing together, Lightnin' Hopkins, Leadbelly, Roosevelt Sykes, Son House, Champion Jack Dupree, Elizabeth Cotten, Lonnie Johnson, and Josh White. While acoustic guitar blues including a field recording of K.C. Douglas' "Mercury Blues," later covered by Steve Miller gets a fair amount of airtime, so do boogie piano, a cappella singing Vera Hall, and some actual Delta blues Son House, from a 1942 field recording.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/25/2003
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • UPC: 093074013427
  • Catalog Number: 40134
  • Sales rank: 29,464

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Old Jabo - Sonny Terry (2:14)
  2. 2 Mule-Ridin' Blues - Big Bill Broonzy (3:46)
  3. 3 Joggie Boogie - Memphis Slim (3:27)
  4. 4 Black Woman - Vera Hall (1:27)
  5. 5 Mercury Blues - K.C. Douglas (2:21)
  6. 6 Ran the Blues Out of My Window - Roosevelt Sykes (2:57)
  7. 7 Leaving Blues (2:23)
  8. 8 One Dime Blues (3:46)
  9. 9 County Farm Blues (2:11)
  10. 10 Clog Dance (Stomping Blues) (2:02)
  11. 11 Boll Weevil (3:06)
  12. 12 Nickel's Worth of Liver - Edith North Johnson (2:43)
  13. 13 Don't Leave Me Here (2:43)
  14. 14 Jimmy Bell (2:20)
  15. 15 Candy Man (2:35)
  16. 16 Beer Drinking Woman - Memphis Slim (2:32)
  17. 17 Come Go Home With Me (3:55)
  18. 18 Careless Love (3:23)
  19. 19 I Asked Her If She Loved Me (2:55)
  20. 20 Rising Sun (2:43)
  21. 21 Pony Blues (3:28)
  22. 22 Vicksburg Blues (4:02)
  23. 23 Vastapol (2:11)
  24. 24 Drifting Along Blues (2:59)
  25. 25 Oh Baby, You Don't Have to Go (2:49)
  26. 26 Don't Lie Buddy (2:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Blind John Davis Piano
Champion Jack Dupree Piano
Lonnie Johnson Guitar, Vocals
Lead Belly Choir, Chorus, 12-string Guitar
Memphis Slim Piano, Vocals
Henry Townsend Guitar, Vocals
Brownie McGhee Guitar, Vocals
George Chambers Bass
Lester Chambers Vocals
Willie Chambers Guitar
Brian Keenan Drums
Coyall McMahan Maracas
Gene Moore Drums
Sonny Terry Harmonica, Vocals
Edith North Johnson Vocals
Willie Dixon Band Bass
Nora Lee King Shouts
Tommy Bankhead Guitar
Technical Credits
Blind Lemon Jefferson Composer
Rev. Gary Davis Arranger, Composer
Jeff Place Archival Assistant
Pete Reiniger Mastering
Robert Geddins Composer
Barry Lee Pearson Annotation
Traditional Composer
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