Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blind Lemon Jefferson – King of the Country Blues [1990] (Compilation of songs from the late 1920s)

In the first few decades of this century, most commercial blues singers were women – Bessie Smith and Ma Rainy are two well-known examples.  Noted for his intricate guitar technique, Blind Lemon Jefferson was one of the first men to find success in the style, and served as inspiration several other noted Texas bluesmen, including personal favorites Leadbelly and Lightnin' Hopkins.  While other musicians have adopted similar playing techniques, few choose to imitate his high, almost ghostly singing.  That’s a shame, as that lonely-sounding timbre is an appropriate fit for his mournful subject matter.
This compilation was released by Yazoo records, who at the time refused to filter the 78 RPM sources in order to minimize the hiss and pop of the records.  This means that each song emanates from beneath a light haze of noise, but in my opinion it only adds to the character of the songs.

[YouTube] Blind Lemon Jefferson – See That My Grave is Kept Clean

Blind Lemon Jefferson – King of the Country Blues
01 - That Crawlin' Baby Blues
02 - Bad Luck Blues
03 - Matchbox Blues
04 - Hot Dogs
05 - One Dime Blues
06 - Shuckin' Sugar
07 - Rabbit Foot Blues
08 - Corrina Blues
09 - See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
10 - Easy Rider Blues
11 - Broke And Hungry
12 - Black Horse Blues
13 - Lonesome House Blues
14 - Oil Well Blues
15 - He Arose From the Dead
16 - Beggin' Back
17 - Prison Cell Blues
18 - Rambler Blues
19 - Gone Dead On You Blues
20 - Wartime Blues
21 - Booger Rooger Blues
22 - Right of Way Blues
23 - Big Night Blues

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