Worried Blues

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
This intriguing four-disc set collects the complete recorded works of guitarist Frank Hutchison and singer Kelly Harrell, then splits the final disc between two very different mountain string bands, the Tenneva Ramblers and the Blue Ridge Highballers. All of these artists were active in the Virginia/West Virginia area in the 1920s. Hutchison, in particular, was an arresting talent, with a striking and consistent slide guitar style and a rough but charmingly everyman vocal style that gives the songs he recorded for OKeh Records like "Worried Blues," "Train That Carried the Girl From Town," "The Miner's Blues," "The Last Scene of the Titanic," and the impressive guitar ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
This intriguing four-disc set collects the complete recorded works of guitarist Frank Hutchison and singer Kelly Harrell, then splits the final disc between two very different mountain string bands, the Tenneva Ramblers and the Blue Ridge Highballers. All of these artists were active in the Virginia/West Virginia area in the 1920s. Hutchison, in particular, was an arresting talent, with a striking and consistent slide guitar style and a rough but charmingly everyman vocal style that gives the songs he recorded for OKeh Records like "Worried Blues," "Train That Carried the Girl From Town," "The Miner's Blues," "The Last Scene of the Titanic," and the impressive guitar instrumental "Logan County Blues," an individualistic twist almost unique in Appalachian music. Much like banjoist Dock Boggs, he incorporated a high degree of black blues into his repertoire. Not nearly as steady a performer as Hutchison, singer Kelly Harrell recorded 40 some sides for Victor and OKeh Records between 1925 and 1929, which was an accomplishment in itself considering he didn't play an instrument and possessed a voice that creaked and cracked around the melodies of his ballad-based folk material. The two tracks of his that stand out the most are " My Name Is John Jo Hannah" and "Charles Giteaux." The former is a variant of "The State of Arkansas" set to a "Maggie Walker Blues" melody and it benefits mightily from the fiddle playing of Posey Rorer, but Harrell's wild and loose vocal is a good part of why it works. "Charles Giteaux" has the assassin of President Garfield telling his story, and again, Harrell's cutting, barely in control singing gives the song a haunting kinetic push. "Peg and Awl" is also interesting, since it details the effects of new technology on workers in the shoe industry, but the balance of Harrell's output tends to the generic and maudlin. His earliest sides also suffer from being backed by big city musicians unfamiliar with the southern musical traditions from which Harrell drew his inspiration. The Tenneva Ramblers were actually the Grant Brothers guitarist Claude Grant and mandolin ace Jack Grant with Jack Pierce on fiddle and Claude Slagle on banjo, and for a time they were Jimmie Rodgers' backup band, although the Ramblers never made any recordings with Rodgers. The group, on their own, issued 13 tracks between 1927 and 1929 for the Victor and Columbia labels, most notably their haunting version of "The Longest Train I Ever Saw," a song that has been recorded countless times and had many titles but is probably best known as "In the Pines." The Blue Ridge Highballers Charley La Prade on fiddle, Arthur Wells on banjo, and Lonnie Griffith on guitar were a hyper-charged instrumental string band that prefigured the pace of bluegrass by a quarter of a century, and they tore through their mountain dance tune repertoire like a train at full steam. Taken together like this, these four very different acts form a kind of survey of the kinds of traditional music being played in a very specific region of the southern mountains in the mid to late 1920s, which gives this generous box set a unique horizontal and historical sweep. These were commercial recordings at the time they were made, but the record industry was in its infancy and wasn't yet placing marketing over musical substance to the degree that would come later which gives these old 78s an added collective authenticity.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/13/2005
  • Label: Jsp Records
  • UPC: 788065774325
  • Catalog Number: 7743
  • Sales rank: 221,905

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Worried Blues (3:13)
  2. 2 Train That Carried the Girl from Town (3:15)
  3. 3 Stackalee (2:47)
  4. 4 The Wild Horse (3:00)
  5. 5 Long Way to Tipperary (3:00)
  6. 6 The West Virginia Rag (2:56)
  7. 7 C & O Excursion (3:21)
  8. 8 Coney Isle (3:05)
  9. 9 Old Rachel (3:04)
  10. 10 Lightning Express (3:26)
  11. 11 Stackalee (3:01)
  12. 12 Logan County Blues (3:11)
  13. 13 Worried Blues (3:23)
  14. 14 Train That Carried the Girl from Town (3:02)
  15. 15 The Last Scene of the Titanic (3:32)
  16. 16 All Night Long (2:55)
  17. 17 Alabama Girl, Ain't You Comin' Out Tonight? (2:57)
  18. 18 Hell Bound Train (3:00)
  19. 19 Wild Hogs in the Red Brush (3:06)
  20. 20 The Burglar Man (2:50)
  21. 21 Back in My Home Town (3:03)
  22. 22 The Miner's Blues (3:17)
  23. 23 Hutchison's Rag (3:01)
  24. 24 The Boston Burglar (3:11)
  25. 25 The Chevrolet Six (3:13)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Cumberland Gap (3:06)
  2. 2 The Deal (3:33)
  3. 3 Railroad Bill (3:13)
  4. 4 Johnny and Jane, Pt. 1 (3:14)
  5. 5 Johnny and Jane, Pt. 2 (3:12)
  6. 6 Cannonball Blues (3:23)
  7. 7 KC. Blues (3:04)
  8. 8 New River Train (3:22)
  9. 9 Rovin' Gambler (2:26)
  10. 10 I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again (2:48)
  11. 11 Butcher's Boy (3:18)
  12. 12 I Was Born About 10, 000 Years Ago (2:33)
  13. 13 Wild Bill Jones (3:04)
  14. 14 Peg and Awl (2:41)
  15. 15 I Was Born in Pennsylvania (2:52)
  16. 16 I'm Going Back to North Carolina (2:40)
  17. 17 Be at Home Soon Tonight, My Dear Boy (2:55)
  18. 18 The Wreck on the Southern Old 97 (3:40)
  19. 19 Blue Eyed Ella (3:41)
  20. 20 New River Train (3:22)
  21. 21 Rovin' Gambler (2:28)
  22. 22 I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again (3:22)
  23. 23 Butcher's Boy (3:10)
  24. 24 O! Molly Dear Go Ask Your Mother (2:50)
  25. 25 Broken Engagement (3:21)
Disc 3
  1. 1 The Dying Hobo (2:52)
  2. 2 Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (2:45)
  3. 3 My Horses Ain't Hungry (2:35)
  4. 4 Bright Sherman Valley (3:03)
  5. 5 The Cuckoo She's a Fine Bird (2:38)
  6. 6 Hand Me Down My Walking Cane (2:32)
  7. 7 Bye and Bye You Will Soon Forget Me (3:03)
  8. 8 Oh, My Pretty Monkey (3:24)
  9. 9 I Love My Sweetheart the Best (2:54)
  10. 10 Henry Clay Beattie (3:03)
  11. 11 I Want a Nice Little Fellow (3:06)
  12. 12 My Name Is John Jo Hannah (3:12)
  13. 13 In the Shadow of the Pine (3:24)
  14. 14 Charles Giteau (3:03)
  15. 15 I'm Nobody's Darling on Earth (3:01)
  16. 16 She Has Gone and Left Me (3:18)
  17. 17 Row Us Over the Tide (2:58)
  18. 18 I Have No Loving Mother Now (3:16)
  19. 19 For Seven Long Years I've Been Married (3:16)
  20. 20 Charley, He's a Good Old Man (2:38)
  21. 21 The Henpecked Man (2:54)
  22. 22 She Just Kept Kissing On (2:56)
  23. 23 All My Sins Are Taken Away (2:47)
  24. 24 Cave Love Has Gained the Day (2:45)
  25. 25 I Heard Somebody Call My Name (3:24)
Disc 4
  1. 1 The Longest Train I Ever Saw (3:05)
  2. 2 Sweet Heaven When I Die (2:59)
  3. 3 Miss Lisa, Poor Girl (2:39)
  4. 4 Darling Where Have You Been So Long (3:05)
  5. 5 If I Die a Railroad Man (2:47)
  6. 6 I'm Goin' to Georgia (2:36)
  7. 7 The Curtains of Night (3:11)
  8. 8 Seven Long Years in Prison (3:01)
  9. 9 When a Man Is Married (2:34)
  10. 10 Goodbye, My Honey, I'm Gone (2:59)
  11. 11 Tell It to Me (2:42)
  12. 12 Johnson Boy (2:46)
  13. 13 Green Mountain Polka (3:15)
  14. 14 Skidd More (3:10)
  15. 15 Flop Eared Mule (3:08)
  16. 16 Darneo (3:04)
  17. 17 Soldier's Joy (3:04)
  18. 18 Darling Child (3:06)
  19. 19 Under the Double Eagle (3:23)
  20. 20 Fourteen Days in Georgia (3:10)
  21. 21 Sandy River Belle (3:05)
  22. 22 Round Town Girls (3:15)
  23. 23 Wish to the Lord I Had Never Been Born (2:54)
  24. 24 Going Down to Lynchburg Town (3:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Frank Hutchison Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Soloist, Spoken Word
Carson Robison Harmonica
Roy Smeck Harmonica, Jew's Harp
Posey Rorer Fiddle
Sam Freed Violin
Claude Grant Guitar, Vocals
Jack Grant Mandolin, Vocals
Kelly Harrell Vocals, Human Whistle
Jack Pierce Fiddle, Vocals
Claude Slagle Banjo
Henry Whitter Guitar, Harmonica
Lonnie Austin Fiddle
Joseph Alfred Stegall Guitar
Arthur Wells Banjo
Sherman Lawson Fiddle
Charley La Prade Fiddle
Lonnie Griffith Guitar
The Blue Ridge Highballers Track Performer
Luther B. Clarke Vocals
Gorodetzer Fiddle
Raymond D. Hundley Banjo
Henry Norton Vocals
Technical Credits
Pat Harrison Liner Notes
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