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  • Deep River of Song: Black Texicans: Balladeers And Songsters of the Texas Frontier
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Deep River of Song: Black Texicans: Balladeers And Songsters of the Texas Frontier

4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 9, 1999
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$49.51 $9.75

Editorial Reviews

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One-fourth to one-third of the cowboys in the Old West were African American, a fact virtually erased from history. But one listen to this entry from the Deep River of Song series of the Alan Lomax Collection sets the record straight. Men with prosaic names like Phineas "Flatfoot" Rockmore, "Butter Boy," Moses "Clear Rock" Platt, and James "Iron Head" Baker recast British ballads to fit their own experiences ("St. James Hospital"), turn in idiosyncratic readings of cowboy standards ("The Old Chisholm Trail"), and prove that square dances knew no race ("Little Liza Jane"). Their harsh, straining voices can convey ruggedness and clarity alike; they work with sprung rhythms, regular rhythms, and no rhythms at all, but their songs are too rich in melody and catch phrases to be easily forgotten. Recorded between 1933 and 1940, these raw sides will appeal primarily to roots fanatics but fill an essential hole in American music--and history. --John Morthland

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder Select
  • ASIN: B00000I5K7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,101 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pharoah S. Wail VINE VOICE on August 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have noticed that this website doesn't bring up every disc in this series with just a "Deep River Of Song" search. In the interest of helping people find these discs here, I'll name every other disc in the series.

South Carolina

Bahamas 1935

Bahamas 1935 Volume 2

Mississippi: The Blues Lineage

Mississippi: Saints and Sinners

Georgia

Big Brazos

Black Appalachia

Virginia and the Piedmont

Alabama

I bought the entire Deep River Of Song series all at once. So many surprises awaited me! Some discs I thought about not buying because maybe I wouldn't be into them, and some I assumed I'd love. This was one of the discs I was iffy on. Until I heard it.

This and Big Brazos are two of the best discs in the series, in my opinion. They are also two I originally thought maybe I wouldn't like. Moses "Clear Rock" Platt is great. I particularly love his Old Chisholm Trail, which happens to be the source for Mike Seeger's Whoopin' Up Cattle on his excellent solo cd, Southern Banjo Sounds. James "Ironhead" Baker's St. James Hospital, which was clearly the source for Doc Watson and Tony Rice's excellent versions (on the Doc Watson and Native American albums, respectively), haunts me. Ironhead is a true highlight of this disc.

This disc also contains my one exposure to "eephing". An odd vocal thing that defies description. In terms of musicianship... guitar playing... Smith Casey is the hidden gem of this collection. His East Texas Rag is sublime acoustic slide guitar. He certainly could have earned more tracks here. I also particularly enjoy Phineas "Flatfoot" Rockmore's Boll Weevil done to a familiar Frankie & Johnny melody.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Interzone_Records on December 6, 2013
Format: Audio CD
1 Moses "Clear Rock" Platt - St. James Hospital 1:13
2 Moses "Clear Rock" Platt - The Old Chisolm Trail 1:06
3 Pete Harris - Ranging Buffalo (The Buffalo Skinners) 1:02
4 Lead Belly* - Western Cowboy 3:30
5 Percy Ridge - Western Cowboy 2:09
6 James "Iron Head" Baker - St. James Hospital 2:15
7 Pete Harris - Jack Of Diamonds 2:06
8 Pete Harris - He Rambled 1:12
9 Lightnin' Washington - My Pretty Little Yellow Gal (My Yellow Gal) 3:13
10 Unknown Artist - Pick A Bale Of Cotton 1:56
11 Moses "Clear Rock" Platt - That's All Right, Baby 4:23
12 "Butter Boy" - Old Aunt Dinah 1:22
13 Pete Harris - Square Dance Calls (Little Liza Jane) 2:13
14 Smith Casey - East Texas Rag 2:06
15 Angelina Quartet, The - When I Was A Little Boy 2:36
16 Ace Johnson - Rabbit In The Garden 2:53
17 Henry Truvillon - Old Aunt Dinah 2:20
18 Henry Truvillon - Let's Go A-Huntin' (Come On Bosy And Let's Go A-Huntin') 1:55
19 Henry Truvillon - Walk-A-Dolly Walk 1:00
20 Unknown Artist - Fox Chase 1:47
21 Moses "Clear Rock" Platt - Old Joe Clark 0:42
22 Moses "Clear Rock" Platt - Long Summer Day 1:54
23 Uncle Billy McCrea - Log Rolling 1:50
24 Arthur Armstrong - Buzzard Song (Old King Buzzard) 1:41
25 Phineas Rockmore - Boll Weevil 2:36
26 Don Mooney - Been On The Cholly So Long 1:02
27 Will Roseborough - The Dallas Railway 1:29
28 Phineas Rockmore - Travelling Man 3:07
29 Unknown Artist - The Train 2:00
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Franz on January 31, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In addition to the above comments, there is also a Louisiana volume (for those seeking to complete their collection)
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This collection is fantastic and shows a great respect for men who were forgotten in the history books.
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