When the Levee Breaks: Mississippi Blues Rare Cuts 1926-41 (CD)

$ 28.99


Release Date: 04/03/07

Mississippi Delivers

The majority of the music on these discs was made as much as eighty years ago. Some tolerance should be exercised when hearing what are sometimes the only copies of records close to mythical status. An example is Son House's 'Mississippi County Farm Blues', recorded in May 1930. This and 'Clarksdale Moan' were known to have been released but only recently has a copy -luckily in reasonable condition - been found. These titles, along with an unmastered version of 'Walkin' Blues' made an eloquent connection between House and Robert Johnson, are among the building blocks of blues. When Mississippi blues is mentioned, it's usually associated with the Delta, with its supposed prevalence of slide or bottleneck guitar. In reality, this was but one of many Mississippi styles. At least as prevalent was the rhythm-based approach favored by musicians from the eastern hill country. These men infiltrated the Delta - gifted individuals like Richard 'Hacksaw' Harney, heard behind Walter Rhodes and Mississippi John Hurt. Most of these musicians were undocumented itinerants, whose arrival in front of a microphone was often a matter of chance. Some of the earliest to get their chance included Freddie Spruell and Sam Butler. Spruell grew up in Chicago, but even so, he's regarded as a Mississippi bluesman not least for his recording of 'Low-Down Mississippi Bottom Man'. Sam Butler - also known as Bo Weavil Jackson - may have been from Alabama but he too is an honorary Mississippian. He cut sessions for Paramount and Vocalion within a month of each other in 1926 and disappeared. Some musicians made their way to Jackson, MS, to seek H.C. Speirs, who recorded them on his basic equipment, sent dubs to northern record companies and for the chosen, arranged their travel to sessions. Fame has little to do with quality. While Son House was a towering talent, there were other artists, no less talented, to whom fate was less kind. Their careers were brief but their work is just as vital.

Label: Jsp Records
Genre: Blues

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