Friday, December 11, 2009

1033 - Mojo Special 3 - Various Artists - American Anthology of Folk Music (collection 1952)

Track Listing

1. Henry Lee - Justice, Dick
2. Fatal Flower Garden - Nelstone's Hawaiians
3. House Carpenter - Ashley, Clarence
4. Drunkard's Special - Jones, Coley
5. Old Lady And The Devil - Reed, Belle
6. Butcher's Boy (The Railroad Boy) - Kazee, Buell
7. Wagoner's Lad (Loving Nancy) - Kazee, Buell
8. King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O - Parker, Chubby
9. Old Shoes And Leggins - Dunford, Uncle Eck
10. Willie Moore - Burnett & Rutherford
11. Lazy Farmer Boy - Carter, Buster
12. Peg And Awl - Carolina Tar Heels
13. Ommie Wise - Grayson, G.B.
14. My Name Is John Johanna - Harrell, Kelly
15. Bandit Cole Younger - Crain, Edward.L.
16. Charles Giteau - Harrell, Kelly
17. John Hardy Was A Desperate Little Man - Carter Family
18. Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand - Williamson Brothers
19. Stackalee - Hutchison, Frank
20. White House Blues - Poole, Charlie
21. Frankie - Hurt, 'Mississippi' John
22. When That Great Ship Went Down - Smith, William & Versey
23. Engine 143 - Carter Family
24. Kassie Jones - Lewis, Walter 'Furry'
25. Down On Penny's Farm - Bentley Boys
26. Mississippi Boweavil Blues - Masked Marvel
27. Got The Farm Land Blues - Carolina Tar Heels
28. Sail Away Lady - Stevens, Uncle Bunt
29. Wild Wagoner - Jilson Setters
30. Wake Up Jacob - Hunt, Prince Albert Texas Ramblers
31. La Danseuse - Gaspard, Blind Uncle
32. Georgia Stomp - Baxter, Andrew
33. Brilliancy Medley - Robertson, Eric & Family
34. Indian War Whoop - Ming, Floyd & His Pep-Steppers
35. Old Country Stomp - Thomas, Henry
36. Old Dog Blue - Jackson, Jim
37. Saut Crapaud - Fruge, Columbus
38. Acadian One-Step - Various Artists
39. Home Sweet Home - Breaux Freres
40. Newport Blues - Cincinnati Jug Band
41. Moonshiner's Dance Part One - Cloutier, Frank
42. You Must Be Born Again - Gates, Rev. J.M.
43. Oh Death Where Is Thy Sting - Gates, Rev. J.M.
44. Rocky Road - Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
45. Present Joys - Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
46. This Song Of Love - Middle Georgia Singing Convention
47. Judgement - Nelson, Sister Mary
48. He Got Better Things For You - Memphis Sancified Singers
49. Since I Laid My Burden Down - McIntosh, Elder & Edwards' Sanctified Singers
50. John The Baptist - Mason, Rev. Moses
51. Dry Bones - Lunsford, Bascom Lamar
52. John The Revelator - Johnson, 'Blind' Willie (1)
53. Little Moses - Carter Family
54. Shine On Me - Phipps, Ernest & His Holiness Singers
55. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room - McGee, Rev. F.W.
56. In The Battlefield For My Lord - Rice, Rev. D.C. & His Sanctified Congregation
57. Coo Coo Bird - Ashley, Clarence
58. East Virginia - Kazee, Buell
59. Minglewood Blues - Cannon's Jug Stompers
60. I Woke Up One Morning In May - Hebert, Didier
61. James Alley Blues - Brown, Richard 'Rabbit' (1)
62. Sugar Baby - Boggs, Dock
63. I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground - Lunsford, Bascom Lamar
64. Mountaineer's Courtship - Stoneman, Ernest V.
65. Spanish Merchant's Daughter - Stoneman Family
66. Bob Lee Junior Blues - Memphis Jug Band
67. Single Girl Married Girl - Carter Family
68. Le Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme - Breaux, Clemo
69. Rabbit Foot Blues - Jefferson, Blind Lemon
70. Expressman Blues - Estes, 'Sleepy' John
71. Poor Boy Blues - Thomas, Ramblin'
72. Feather Bed - Cannon's Jug Stompers
73. Country Blues - Boggs, Dock
74. 99 Year Blues - Daniels, Julius
75. Prison Cell Blues - Jefferson, Blind Lemon
76. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean - Jefferson, Blind Lemon
77. C'Est Si Triste Sans Lui - Breaux, Clemo
78. Way Down The Old Plank Road - Macon, 'Uncle' Dave
79. Buddy Won't You Roll Down The Line - Macon, 'Uncle' Dave
80. Spike Driver Blues - Hurt, 'Mississippi' John
81. K.C. Moan - Memphis Jug Band
82. Train On The Island - Nestor, J.P.
83. Lone Star Trail - Maynard, Ken
84. Fishing Blues - Thomas, Henry


This is a collection that is truly hard to judge. Firstly it consists of 84 different tracks from loads of different artists, secondly it is split into three main categories (Ballads, Social Music and Songs) and in third place it is so historically important that it is hard to judge it in pure musical terms.

In 1952 Harry Smith compiled this collection from his 78rpms of Amateur, Semi-Professional and Professional singers from the years pre-dating the Depression from 1926 to 30 approximately. As such it is a unique collection of almost forgotten artists which really points us to the future of not only folk but all kinds of American music.

In this collection you can see what will become Soul, or alternative folk. You can hear Dylan, Barnhardt, Bunyan but also James Brown. The historical importance of this collection cannot be minimised. However, it is like any collection meant to give a realistic picture of music of a certain period widely varying in terms of quality. Some of the performers are less than proficient but they are always authentic. There is a certain sense of musical purity here which is hard to find elsewhere. Again this is an extremely important milestone in the democratisation of music, the voice of the disposessed, you couldn't get much further away from Cole Porter or Gershwin than this, the fact that the music isn't perfect or pristine made a revolution in the late 50s and 60 in some ways similar to the punk revolution, if they can do it so can we, Dylan might not have had the greatest voice but he sure as hell had something to say.

More than enjoyable this is a lesson in history which is essential as a learning tool for the development of Anglo-Saxon music in the 20th century.

Track Highlights

1. Spike Driver Blues
2. King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O
3. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
4. John The Revelator

Final Grade

9/10 (musically) 10/10 (for other reasons stated above)


From Wikipedia:

Smith also edited and directed the design of the Anthology. He created the liner notes himself, and these notes are almost as famous as the music, using an unusual fragmented, collage method that presaged some postmodern artwork. Smith also penned short synopses of the songs in the collection, which read like newspaper headlines-- for the song "King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O" by Chubby Parker, a song about a mouse marrying a frog, Smith notes: "Zoologic Miscegeny Achieved Mouse Frog Nuptuals, Relatives Approve."

Spike Driver Blues:

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