Free & Equal Blues

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
This fine 26-song compilation of material was recorded by folklorist Moses Asch in the 1940s, at a time when Josh White was beginning to reach an urban, educated audience with his mixture of blues, folk, and pop styles. What comes across particularly strong in this set is his versatility and all-around appeal; he handles topical songs about discrimination and war, spirituals, covers of blues by Leroy Carr and Victoria Spivey, folk ballads, and theatrical pieces, even extending to a cover of Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets." "One Meatball" provided some of the musical inspiration for the classic Merle Travis tune "Sixteen Tons"; "Freedom Road" had lyrics by poet ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
This fine 26-song compilation of material was recorded by folklorist Moses Asch in the 1940s, at a time when Josh White was beginning to reach an urban, educated audience with his mixture of blues, folk, and pop styles. What comes across particularly strong in this set is his versatility and all-around appeal; he handles topical songs about discrimination and war, spirituals, covers of blues by Leroy Carr and Victoria Spivey, folk ballads, and theatrical pieces, even extending to a cover of Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets." "One Meatball" provided some of the musical inspiration for the classic Merle Travis tune "Sixteen Tons"; "Freedom Road" had lyrics by poet Langston Hughes. Because he was less earthy and not as Southern-sounding as Leadbelly and Big Bill Broonzy, White has been accorded less critical respect, but this anthology shows him to be one of the unquestioned linchpins of the first stirrings of the folk revival. Free & Equal Blues includes copious notes by White biographer Elijah Wald.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/17/1998
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • UPC: 093074008126
  • Catalog Number: 40081
  • Sales rank: 177,357

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Josh White Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Pete Seeger Banjo, Vocals
Bill Coleman Trumpet
Mary Lou Williams Piano
Alan Lomax Vocals
Jimmy Butts Bass
Eddie Dougherty Drums
Union Boys Vocals
Technical Credits
Burl Ives Contributor
Josh White Arranger
W.C. Handy Composer
Tom Glazer Contributor
Moses Asch Engineer
Brownie McGhee Contributor
Leonard DePaur Arranger
Peter Green Composer
Randy Kling Mastering
Martha E. Koenig Composer
Jeff Place Producer
Elijah Wald Liner Notes
Will Weldon Composer
Spencer Williams Composer
Michael Maloney Contributor
Richard Lescallette Mastering
Public Domain Composer
Traditional Composer
Jacobs Composer
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