Backwoods Blues 1926-1935 (CD)


Price:
$ 14.99

Description

Release Date: 12/17/06

A marvellous collection of four bluesmen all of whom had little in common other than that they recorded briefly and then retreated back into the obscurity from which they came. As the sleeve makes clear the only one of the four about whose later life anything at all is known was King Solomon Hill and, ironically, for many years, it was doubted he even existed. Bo Weavil Jackson (otherwise known as Sam Butler) recorded thirteen tracks all here and all recorded in 1926. He was discovered in Alabama but may have come from the Carolinas. He was a powerful, almost tormented singer, with a high pitched almost howling voice, and accompanied himself with some aggressive powerful bottleneck guitar. He sang some superb blues, such as 'Poor Boy' but also spirituals and leaves you with the strong impression that his religion was not much of a comfort to him. Nothing is known of Bobby Grant who sang two songs in 1927 but recorded nothing else. He may have come from Georgia as he sings of 'Lonesome Atlanta Blues but we don't know. He has a full, slightly soft voice and plays fluent guitar but has none of the torment or anger of Bo Weavil. King Solomon Hill appears on six songs from 1932, his entire then known recorded output, although more has since been discovered. He was later discovered to be Joe Holmes, a Mississippi singer after detective work by Gayle Wardlow. A powerful singer with a propensity to use a falsetto voice occasionally, his blues are masterful. A brooding, haunting version of 'The Gone Dead Train' is particularly memorable. Lastly, Lane Hardin has two songs from 1935, his entire output. Nothing is known of him. The sleeve note speculates he may have been from Mississippi. His songs, 'Hard Time Blues' and 'California Desert Blues' make one wonder if he sought survival in trying to move to California but nothing more was heard of him. He has a full soft voice and a melodic guitar, sounding acquiescent in whatever befell him. Yes, these were obscure singers from the backwoods but two of them were among the finest bluesmen in the history of our music.

Label: Document Records
Genre: Blues
Run Time: 70 mins
 

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