Richer Tradition: Country Blues and String Band Music 1923-1942

Richer Tradition: Country Blues and String Band Music 1923-1942

     
 
The 1920s is perhaps the only time when we hear what America was actually singing of its own accord, and since record companies at the time had little idea what might actually sell, they went out and recorded seemingly anyone and everyone who had a tune in their head. This, coupled with an increasingly awareness of the black record buying market, meant a time of

Overview

The 1920s is perhaps the only time when we hear what America was actually singing of its own accord, and since record companies at the time had little idea what might actually sell, they went out and recorded seemingly anyone and everyone who had a tune in their head. This, coupled with an increasingly awareness of the black record buying market, meant a time of unparalleled diversity in the kind of product labels put out there. By the mid-'30s, this amazing window began to close and labels, starting a process that still plays out nearly a hundred years later, started to dictate rather than reflect what America would be singing. That initial diversity, though, is well apparent on this four-disc, 100-track set of country-blues pieces and maverick black string band releases recorded between 1923 and 1942. There are all sorts of blues forms here, from Richard Rabbit Brown's harrowing and stark "James Alley Blues" (which was completely unlike anything else in his repertoire) from 1927, Big Boy Cleveland's cane fife workout "Quill Blues," also from 1927, the Johnson Boys' "Violin Blues" (that's crack guitarist Lonnie Johnson playing the fiddle and singing) from 1928, Long "Cleve" Reed and Harvey Hull's rare "Original Stack O'Lee Blues," released by Black Patti Records in 1927, Mattie Delaney's harrowing "Tallahatchie River Blues," apparently the only record she ever released, from 1930, and Bogus Ben Covington's version of the odd "I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop," which had been originally tracked by Big Jim Jackson and was itself a parody of the hymn "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say." Also definitely worth pointing out here are two absolute gems from guitarist and singer George Carter, "Rising River Blues" and "Weeping Willow Blues," both from 1929 and both full of Carter's lyrical singing and understated but powerfully elegant slide guitar work. Economics in America as the '30s opened meant that record labels could no longer afford to record anything and everything, and the concept of market planning began to rear its opportune head. It just made better business sense to target an audience and then force-feed that audience the records created for it rather than seek out homegrown musicians in the hopes that they had a song or two that might hit home. America, from that moment on, sang what was presented to it. Thank God for sets like this.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/06/2007
Label:
Jsp Records
UPC:
0788065779825
catalogNumber:
7798
Rank:
185438

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Guitar Blues
  2. Time Ain't Gonna Make Me Stay
  3. Sundown Blues
  4. Salt Lake City Blues
  5. Whiskey and Gin Blues
  6. James Alley Blues
  7. Goin' to Leave You Blues
  8. Hey Lawdy Mama/The France Blues
  9. A Chicken Can Waltz the Gravy Around
  10. Bamalong Blues
  11. Man Trouble Blues
  12. Blue Coat Blues
  13. Frisco Whistle Blues
  14. Two Ways to Texas
  15. Gravel Camp Blues
  16. T and T Blues
  17. Death Bell Blues
  18. C.C. & O. Blues
  19. Middlin' Blues
  20. Rolling Log Blues
  21. Kyle's Worried Blues
  22. Bull Frog Blues
  23. Sobbin' Woman Blues
  24. Miss Meal Cramp Blues
  25. Unknown Blues

Disc 2

  1. Jail House Blues
  2. Blues, Just Blues, That's All
  3. String Band Blues
  4. Black Cat Blues
  5. Dirty Guitar Blues
  6. Boodle-Am-Shake
  7. Quill Blues
  8. The Jug Band Special
  9. Cold Morning Shout
  10. Violin Blues
  11. Winner, Easy
  12. G. Burns Is Gonna Rise Again
  13. I Got a Gal
  14. The Jazz Fiddler
  15. Knox County Stomp
  16. Adam and Eve
  17. Runnin' Wild
  18. Giving It Away
  19. Jackson Stomp
  20. Rising Sun Blues
  21. Travelin' Railroad Man Blues
  22. Old Hen Cackle
  23. Ted's Stomp
  24. Dusting the Frets
  25. Arkansas Traveler

Disc 3

  1. Original Stack O'Lee Blues
  2. Tuxedo Blues
  3. Mean Conductor Blues
  4. Back Door Blues
  5. Spanish Blues
  6. Helena Blues
  7. I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop
  8. Rising River Blues
  9. She Could Toodle-Oo
  10. Weak Minded Woman
  11. Old Rock Island Blues
  12. Cairo Blues
  13. I Ain't Givin' Nobody None
  14. Showers of Rain Blues
  15. Framer's Blues
  16. If I Call You Mama
  17. Never Drive a Stranger from Your Door
  18. Mississippi Swamp Moan
  19. Paddlin' Madeline Blues
  20. Shaking Weed Blues
  21. South Carolina Rag
  22. Beans
  23. Poor Jane Blues
  24. Window Pane Blues
  25. Hot Jelly Roll Blues

Disc 4

  1. Labor Blues
  2. Goin' Away Blues
  3. No Baby
  4. Early Mornin' Blues
  5. Dreaming Blues
  6. Weeping Willow Blues
  7. Way Down in Arkansas
  8. Wild About My Loving
  9. Indian Squaw Blues
  10. Florida Bound
  11. God Didn't Make No Monkey Man
  12. Tallahatchie River Blues
  13. Diamond Ring Blues
  14. Bedside Blues
  15. Lonesome Midnight Dream
  16. Billy Goat Blues
  17. That Won't Do
  18. Ghost Woman Blues
  19. "Toby" Woman Blues
  20. Rollin' Dough Blues
  21. Starvation Farm Blues
  22. Farewell to You Baby
  23. Teasin' Brown Blues
  24. Married Woman Blues
  25. Dago Blues

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lonnie Johnson   Guitar,Violin,Vocals
Sylvester Weaver   Guitar,Soloist
Cal Smith   Tenor Banjo
Howard Armstrong   Violin
Clifford Hayes   Violin
Pink Anderson   Guitar,Vocals
John Byrd   Guitar,Vocals
Hambone Willie Newbern   Guitar,Vocals
Ed Bell   Guitar,Vocals
Carl Martin   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Jaybird Coleman   Harmonica,Vocals
Willie Baker   Guitar,Vocals
Ted Bogan   Guitar
Sam Brooks   Guitar
Bob Campbell   Guitar,Vocals
John Chapman   Vocals
Lonnie Chatmon   Violin
Big Boy Cleveland   Guitar,Vocals,Quills
Lonnie Coleman   Banjo,Vocals
David Crockett   Guitar,Vocals
Tom Dickson   Guitar,Vocals
Simmie Dooley   Guitar,Vocals
Eli Framer   Guitar,Vocals
Harry Gay   Guitar
William Harris   Guitar,Vocals
Nap Hayes   Guitar
Papa Harvey Hull   Vocals
Alec Johnson   Vocals
Luke Jordan   Guitar,Vocals
James Kelly   Mandolin
Lottie Kimbrough   Vocals
Louie Lasky   Guitar,Vocals
Arthur McClain   Guitar,Mandolin
Charlie McCoy   Mandolin
Joe McCoy   Guitar
Earl McDonald   Vocals,Jug
Tom Nelson   Violin,Vocals
Miles Pruitt   Guitar
Long "Cleve" Reed   Guitar,Vocals
Shorty   Bass
Stephen Tarter   Guitar,Vocals
Jim Thompkins   Guitar,Vocals
Willie Walker   Guitar,Vocals
Sunny Wilson   Guitar
Willie Black   Mandolin,Tenor Banjo
Robert Cooksey   Harmonica,Vocals
Jess Ferguson   Violin
Elizabeth Johnson   Vocals
Bobby Leecan   Banjo,Guitar
Alfred Martin   Guitar
Rudolph Thompson   Jug
Buford Threlkeld   Guitar,Vocals
Curtis Hayes   Banjo
Lockwood Lewis   Alto Saxophone,Vocals
Ben Covington   Banjo,Harmonica,Vocals
Tommie Bradley   Guitar,Vocals
Gene Campbell   Guitar,Vocals
Mae Glover   Vocals
James Arnold   Guitar,Vocals
Andrew Baxter   Violin
Beans Hambone   Guitar,Vocals
Matthew Prater   Mandolin
Roland Martin   Guitar
Mattie Delaney   Guitar,Vocals
Willie Lee Harris   Guitar,Vocals
Henry Spaulding   Guitar,Vocals
George "Bullet" Williams   Harmonica,Spoken Word
Alfred Lewis   Harmonica,Spoken Word
George Torey   Guitar,Vocals
Eddie Weston   Violin,Vocals
Joe Evans & Arthur McClain   Guitar,Mandolin
Emery Glen   Guitar,Vocals
Mooch Richardson   Guitar,Vocals
T.C. Johnson   Guitar,Vocals
Walter Taylor   Vocals
James Cole & His Washboard Band   Violin,Vocals
Arthur Petties   Guitar,Vocals
Lewis Black   Guitar,Vocals
Roland Armstrong   Bass
Charlie "Papa" Jackson   Banjo,Vocals
Theo Boone   Cornet
Walter Vincson   Guitar,Vocals
Eddie Dimmitt   Mandolin
Harvey Hull   Guitar,Vocals
Adam Fox   Guitar,Vocals
Jim Baxter   Guitar,Vocals
Edward Andrews   Guitar,Vocals
Tommy Settlers   Kazoo,Vocals
Jesse Ferguson   Violin
Carl Davis   Guitar,Vocals
Virgil Childers   Guitar,Vocals
Edward Thompson   Guitar,Vocals
Jack Gowdlock   Guitar,Vocals
Willie Reed   Guitar,Vocals
Charlie Kyle   Guitar,Vocals
Whistlin' Pete   Human Whistle
Morrow   Guitar,Vocals
Johnny "Daddy Stovepipe" Watson   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Theophilus Stokes   Washboard
Porkchop   Vocals
Frank Dalton   Guitar
Tom Carrol   Bass
George Carter   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Long "Cleve" Reed   Duet
Neil Slaven   Liner Notes
Harvey Hull   Duet

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