Field Recordings, Vol. 5: Louisiana, Texas, Bahamas (1933-1940)

Field Recordings, Vol. 5: Louisiana, Texas, Bahamas (1933-1940)

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This installment of Document's field recordings series covers Alan Lomax's Library of Congress-sponsored trips to Louisiana, Texas, and the Bahamas between 1933 and 1940. Lomax met Leadbelly at Angola Prison in Louisiana, and the tracks on this disc are the first Leadbelly recordings, and while they aren't as assured as his later recordings,

Overview

This installment of Document's field recordings series covers Alan Lomax's Library of Congress-sponsored trips to Louisiana, Texas, and the Bahamas between 1933 and 1940. Lomax met Leadbelly at Angola Prison in Louisiana, and the tracks on this disc are the first Leadbelly recordings, and while they aren't as assured as his later recordings, they do have a sheen of authority, particularly "Mister Tom Hughes' Town," which has the tone and feel of a modern composition. Another great track from Angola is the junkyard percussion gem by Curtis Harton and unnamed others called "(Don't) The Moon Looks Pretty," which sounds like Tom Waits and Harry Partch in the captain's tower playing the blues with a Memphis jug band. In Shreveport Lomax ran into singer and guitarist Joe Harris and mandolin player Kid West, and the duo recorded an arresting and emotionally balanced version of "Railroad Rag" for Lomax. The brief Bahamas section that closes the disc features David Pryor and others singing Bahamian work songs like the succinct, haiku-like "Bowline." The sound quality on this collection is a little difficult to bear at times, but the historical nature of the material makes it definitely worth a listen.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/02/1998
Label:
Document
UPC:
0714298557923
catalogNumber:
5579

Tracks

  1. Shake, Shake Mattie
  2. The Western Cowboy/Honey, Take a Whiff on Me/Angola Blues/Angola Blues
  3. Irene/Take a Whiff on Me/You Cain' Lose Me, ...
  4. Mr. Tom Hughes Town
  5. I Got up This Morning, Had to Get up Soon
  6. Western Cowboy
  7. Blind Lemon Blues
  8. Matchbox Blues ("Hawaiian Blues")
  9. (Don't) The Moon Looks Prety @@Harton Curtis
  10. Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés
  11. Railroad Rag
  12. Nobody's Business If I Do
  13. Bully of the Town
  14. Old Hen Cackled and Rooster Laid an Egg
  15. I Done Tole You @@Noah Moore
  16. Irene @@Uncle Bob Ledbetter
  17. Boll Weevil
  18. Wasn't That a Mighty Storm @@Sin-Killer Griffin
  19. The Man of Calvary @@Sin-Killer Griffin
  20. Roll 'Im on Down
  21. Dig My Grave
  22. Round the Bay of Mexico
  23. Bowline
  24. Sail, Gal
  25. Hallie Rock
  26. Bimini Gal @@Nassau String Band

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lead Belly   Guitar,Background Vocals
Jimmy Peters and the Ring Dance   Accordion,Vocals
Congregation   Vocals
Elizabeth Austin   Vocals
Joe Harris   Guitar,Vocals
Kid West   Mandolin,Vocals,Track Performer
Ronald Jones   Harmonica,Percussion,Kazoo,Vocals,Washboard
Curtis Harton   Harmonica,Percussion,Kazoo,Vocals,Washboard
Willie Herbert   Harmonica,Percussion,Kazoo,Vocals,Washboard
Willie George Albertine King   Vocals
Robert Reston   Harmonica,Percussion,Kazoo,Vocals,Washboard
Joe Sift   Harmonica,Percussion,Kazoo,Vocals,Washboard
David Pryor   Vocals

Technical Credits

Big Bill Broonzy   Composer
Lead Belly   Composer
Bessie Smith   Composer
Alan Lomax   Composer
Johnny Parth   Producer
Howard Rye   Liner Notes

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