Mississippi Bluesrare Cuts 192641 Var
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Box set, 1 April 2015
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- Product Dimensions : 14.2 x 12.7 x 4.29 cm; 386.12 Grams
- Manufacturer : JSP RECORDS
- Manufacturer reference : 7781
- Original Release Date : 2015
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Label : JSP RECORDS
- ASIN : B000MTOLNG
- Number of discs : 4
- Best Sellers Rank: 56,882 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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.
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The Robert Johnson track is a recently discovered alternate take of Travelin' Riverside Blues (the song from which Led Zeppelin took the line about "squeeze my lemon until the juice runs down my leg....") and the Son House tracks are recently discovered recordings from his 1930 session with Paramount Records in Grafton, Wisconsin.
The lesser known names include the Mississippi Juke Band, Garfield Akers, Joe Solomon Hill and many others. All great material - and hard to find material - for traditional blues fans.
The re-mastering on this set is well done; the sound is good for recordings of this era. The current price is reasonable for a 4 CD set.
Overall, an excellent compilation. I have no trouble recommending this one to fellow Mississippi blues fans.