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I'm Going Down to North Carolina: The Complete Recordings of the Red Fox Chasers (1928-
     

I'm Going Down to North Carolina: The Complete Recordings of the Red Fox Chasers (1928-

by Red Fox Chasers
 
During their relatively brief time together as a recording ensemble, the Red Fox Chasers are believed to have waxed some 48 records. Released in 2009, the Tompkins Square label's I'm Going Down to North Carolina is a double-disc collection containing 42 selections dating from the years 1928-1931. It is at present the most comprehensive collection exclusively

Overview

During their relatively brief time together as a recording ensemble, the Red Fox Chasers are believed to have waxed some 48 records. Released in 2009, the Tompkins Square label's I'm Going Down to North Carolina is a double-disc collection containing 42 selections dating from the years 1928-1931. It is at present the most comprehensive collection exclusively devoted to this little four-piece band, which consisted of guitarist A.P. "Fonzie" Thompson, harmonica handler Bob Cranford, banjoist Paul Miles, and fiddling Guy Brooks. Most of the performances feature simple, straightforward, twangy Appalachian vocals, sometimes sweetened with a dash of sentimentality. "Looking to My Prayer" seems to have been rooted in the shape-note singing tradition learned at prayer meetings by Cranford and Thompson when they were schoolboys. When not concentrating on love songs and comforting airs like "Honeysuckle Time" and "Bring Me a Leaf from the Sea," the Chasers hunkered down and dealt with real life by tossing off unfettered exercises in realism like "May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister?" "Wreck on the Mountain Road" (a pioneering effort in the subgenre of rural disaster songs), and "Murder of the Lawson Family." Charles Davis Lawson was a tobacco farmer in Stokes County who massacred six members of his own family and then killed himself on Christmas day 1929. Evidence suggests that Lawson became psychotic and went on this rampage after impregnating one of his own daughters. The Chasers dutifully intone selected details of the sordid tale in the approved rural murder ballad tradition. For most listeners, this group's best and most attractive recordings will probably be instrumentals and lively upbeat numbers like the ever popular "Arkansas Traveler," "Mississippi Sawyers," "Twinkle Little Star," "Devilish Mary," "Under the Double Eagle," "Turkey in the Straw," and "Did You Ever See the Devil, Uncle Joe?" Both CDs in this set end with two segments from "Making Licker in North Carolina," a four-part humorous skit interspersing wisecracks and hog calls with bursts of instrumentation employing familiar themes such as "Flop Eared Mule" and "Don't Let the Deal Go Down."

Product Details

Release Date:
08/18/2009
Label:
Tompkins Square
UPC:
0894807002219
catalogNumber:
2219

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