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Always Lift Him Up: A Tribute to Blind Alfred Reed

Blind Alfred Reed , Tim O'Brien , Kathy Mattea , Connie Smith , Little Jimmy Dickens , Asleep at the Wheel Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $17.27 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 19 Songs, 2007 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2007 $17.27  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Woman's Been After Man Ever SinceLittle Jimmy Dickens 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. BewareMollie O'Brien 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Telephone GirlTodd Burge 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Why Do You Bob Your Hair, GirlsAnn Magnuson 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Walking in the Way With JesusThe Nichols Family 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. We've Got to Have 'em That's AllKathy Mattea feat. Jerry Douglas 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. You Must UnloadLarry Groce 5:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Prayer of the Drunkard's Little GirlConnie Smith feat. Marty Stuart 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Black and Blue BluesNat Reese 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Money Cravin' FolksThe Carpenter Ants 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. You'll Miss MeTim And Mollie O'Brien 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Always Lift Him Up and Never Knock Him DownDwight Diller & John Morris 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. There'll Be No Distinction ThereBare Bones 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Explosion in the Fairmount MineJohn Lilly 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Fate of Chris Lively and WifeCharlie McCoy 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Walking in the Way With JesusJohnny Staats & Robert Shafer 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Black and Blue BluesRay Benson 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. I Mean to Live For JesusEverett Lilly and The Songcatchers 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and LiveTim O'Brien 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B000W8FY4W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Who can forget the photograph of Blind Alfred Reed and Aunt Rosie Reed, sitting down to Christmas dinner in their cabin in West Virginia? Alfred seems to be eating something and Rosie seems to be watching him with an attitude of concern. Her plate is empty.

Alfred died soon after - of starvation, the story goes - in 1956.

How can a poor man stand such times and live? Reed lived and worked during the Great Depression, and he wrote some of the greatest people s songs of that era. He was a popular entertainer, but a man of deep feeling. He didn t make money. From the perspective of modern times, it s a miracle he was recorded at all. Thanks to the new Lost City Ramblers, his unique songs were revived for modern audiences in the 60s, where I first heard of him. Always Lift Him Up and Never Knock Him Down would make an interesting national anthem: kindness and empathy over bombs and flags.

Now, for the first time, we can listen to the songs of Alfred Reed interpreted by singers and musicians from his home state of West Virginia. What an imagination he had, what insight, what clarity. How is it that these wonderful songs have laid fallow for so long? Yet how fresh and timely they are, and that s the mark of a great artist. Shall I say a great American? Get to know him. Accept Blind Alfred Reed into your life! You must unload! -- Ry Cooder.

Produced by Don Dixon, Michael Lipton and Tim O'Brien.

Features performances by: Tim O'Brien, Kathy Mattea, Little Jimmy Dickens, Connie Smith, Asleep at the Wheel, Marty Stuart, Jerry Douglas, and more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Tribute to Blind Alfred Reed March 15, 2009
Format:Audio CD
What a great CD! And I stumbled upon it by pure chance. After a Tim O'Brien concert here in Italy, I was so enthusiastic about his playing that I decided to have one of his records. Unfortunately, they were all over by the time I reached the selling booth and so I settled for this one. I couldn't have done a better choice. Why? Firstly, it's still a Tim O'Brien album, after all: he sings, produces, plays a variety of stringed instruments in about a third of the 19 tracks and also writes the liner notes (he was also very kind to sign my album copy).
Secondly, I discovered a songwriter I was unaware of. To excuse myself, I must say that I shared my ignorance with quite a good company. From the liner notes: "most of the participants in this tribute were unaware of the man and his music until asked to participate."

This album tries to make Alfred Reed justice and in my opinion it succeeds. Sure, sometimes his songs are preachy ("Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls"), patronizing ("Beware") or pathetic ("The Prayer of the Drunkard's Little Girl"), but they are never dull and you listen to them even though you may differ. Of course, the best songs are when he's more compassionate than preachy. And I'm thinking of his devout hymns to God (the two renditions of "Walk in the Way With Jesus", "There'll Be No Distinction There" and "I Mean to Live for Jesus"), his ballads with heartfelt compassion for the tragedies of the common people ("Explosion in the Fairmount Mines", "Fate of Chris Lively and Wife") or his passionate commentaries about the poor and the sinners ("How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live" and "You Must Unload").

Despite the dark themes of his songs, the music is always quite lively.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag of tunes September 27, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Bought this on the strength of Ry Cooder's previous covers of Blind Alfred Reed songs and Tim O'Brien's participation in this project. Have never heard the original recordings. Some of the tunes on this CD have moving, insightful lyrics. Others songs are quite humorous. The level of musicianship here is generally quite high. Standout tunes include "You'll Miss Me" (Tim and Mollie O'Brien), "There'll Be No Distinction There" (great a capella singing by Bare Bones), and "Explosion in the Fairmount Mine" (by someone named John Lilly who does a very nice, heartfelt version of this tune). That's the good part. Some of the other tunes are, unfortunately, just silly, trite, or tedious. I won't go into great detail, but I suspect you'll find yourself reaching for the "Skip" button on your CD player shortly after some of these songs begin. The tunes mentioned above (and a few others) are excellent, but there are some serious clinkers on here as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent January 17, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great content. Great West Virginia artist done by a variety of West Virginia artist. The songs are produced well. Two thumbs up.
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