Free & Equal Blues

Free & Equal Blues

by Josh White


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Free & Equal Blues

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/17/1998
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
UPC: 0093074008126
catalogNumber: 40081
Rank: 144378

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Josh White   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
Martha E. Koenig   Composer
Jeff Place   Producer
Elijah Wald   Liner Notes
Spencer Williams   Composer
Michael Maloney   Contributor
Public Domain   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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