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  • Dock Boggs: His Folkways Years 1963-1968
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Dock Boggs: His Folkways Years 1963-1968 Double CD


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Audio CD, Double CD, September 15, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 15, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • ASIN: B00000AFQO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,673 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Down South Blues
2. Country Blues
3. Pretty Polly
4. Coal Creek March
5. My Old Horse Died
6. Wild Bill Jones
7. Rowan County Crew
8. New Prisoner's Song
9. Oh, Dear
10. Prodigal Son
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Banjo Clog
2. Wise County Jail
3. Sugar Baby
4. The Death Of Jerry Damron
5. Railroad Tramp
6. Poor Boy In Jail
7. Brother Jim Got Shot
8. John Henry
9. Davenport
10. Dying Ranger
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is old-time folk music-50 tracks by Appalachian banjo/vocal great Dock Boggs! These are his last recordings before his death in 1971, and they'll take you straight back to the Depression-era rural South.

Amazon.com

Dock Boggs champions will look back at 1998 as a monumental year for the Virginia-born banjo-playing songster who, but for a few years in the late '20s and the early '60s, lived in obscurity. His first recordings have been beautifully reissued in Revenant's Country Blues: Complete Early Recordings package. His shadow looms over Greil Marcus's Invisible Republic--the critic's best book since Mystery Train. And Smithsonian Folkways has brought back 50 recordings made by Mike Seeger during the autumn of Boggs's life. Together with the Revenant material, this two-CD reissue--including a brilliant essay by Barry O'Connell--details one of the most mysterious voices in American music. When Boggs sings he tears each line to pieces and, in turn, the language of his death-obsessed blues rends his voice into a scratchy, painful tremolo. This is not folk music for the timid. "Oh, I've got no sugar baby now," he wails in one of his best-known songs. "It's all I can do for to see peace with you / And I can't get along this-a-way." Along with celebrated material from the '20s, Boggs also chose for these '60s sessions a few gospel tunes, which are sung with the revealing intensity. And on every track, even on the shaky, jagged instrumentals, Boggs captures the darkest and resiliency of a man's soul. --Roy Kasten

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
16
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See all 21 customer reviews
A must for every Old Timey music fan.
Ben Fitzgerald
Just a point of fact, Bogg's banjo style is closer to bluegrass than most other banjo players of his time.
Tony Thomas
I just have to be happy people like this are part of my life.
Pharoah S. Wail

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John H. Rasmussen II on December 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Dock Boggs is the quintessential haunting and haunted banjo player and singer. When I first heard his music a decade ago I felt a shock of recognition that I've never experienced with ANY other musician, regardless of musical style. Perhaps growing up in the backwoods of Mississippi in the 1960s lent me a familiarity to his musical & personal power that may be missing from more "modern" sensibilities. Every fibre in my body has been shaped and haunted by intensely personal innerworkings created by listening to & singing old-time songs and hymns and I find that my emotions are exactly reflected in Dock's music.

Upon hearing him for the first time, I immediately became a Dock Disciple and have incorporated many of his songs into my own banjo & guitar repetoire. It's a long shot that folks with more modern sensibilites will be as overwhelmed by Dock's vision as I, but I can only hope & pray that there are people out there (particularly the younger folks) that will be as moved by the awesome power of Dock as I have been. Dock represents a wisdom and strength of character that is becoming increasingly rare in the country's population today.

Several years ago, when I sat down on his grave in Norton, Virginia and played several of his songs to him on the banjo, the sun was beaming as bright as it could be; when I finished half an hour later with his devastating song "Calvary", it was pouring rain....which seemed so very fitting. Dock's playing & singing reflect an overwhelming quality of "terrible beauty".
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rob Damm on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is dark music. Not stagey, Marilyn Manson dark, but really the deepest dark of the soul. All the tunes here sound even better-- more tortured, sadder, lonlier than they did on Boggs' original recordings from the 20's. Best are the "new" gospel tunes he chose for this session... the conviction and passion is just awe-inspiring. Sit in a dark room and listen to these recordings alone. It is a life changing experience. The quality of the recordings (especially with HDCD gear) is spectacular... you can almost believe Dock is in the corner, singing his soul out... just for you...and the demons.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hayden Childs on March 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album is rough, beautiful, chilling, warm (yes, both chilling & warm), spare and rich, terrifying and funny. Dock makes his banjo sound alternately like Judgment Day & payday. Necessary for fans of old-time music.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on August 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This collection is interesting for a number of reasons in addition to the music itself. First, Dock Bogs is a musician whose career was interrupted for 35 years by the Depression. The natural musicianship which shows itself after such an interruption is fascinating in itself. Second, the notes to the tracks tell where Dock Boggs learned the song which provides interesting insights to how folk music perpetuates itself in the concrete rather than abstract. Including the lyrics in the booklet would have been useful.
The breadth of the material is delightful. "My Old Horse Died" is based on a verse from a life insurance advertisement. There are blues, ballads and gospel pieces all played on the banjo learned from relatives, friends, recordings or self-composed.
Count this as a must-have for anyone with an interest in folk banjo or Appalachian music.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on January 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dock Bogg's music is typical of old time music by white appalachian performers, particularly banjo players. In this forum, his grand neice points out that he has one of the best combinations of Blues and country ever found. He was a singularly personal performer.
In many ways he is more like the Skip James of old time banjo than the Robert Johnson, particularly if you listen to the haunted original recordings James made in the 1930s. In fact in the 1960s when he joined the folk revival and performed along with a lot of the old blues musicians who had similarly been "rediscovered" Dock Boggs said if he had to do it all over again, he would have learned to play guitar and sing the way Mississippi John Hurt played and sang!
The bluesiness of this all may be more pronounced in Boggs' work, but it was really typical of the white Southern banjo players of his era. They are playing an African instrument, transmitted into their area by African Americans, their repetoire ranges into blues, their musical styles on the instruments even in non-blues are influenced by blues music. They lived in a society where the formal racial separation of Jim Crow Segregation and Lynch law existed because of the actual integration of the lives and cultures of white and black workers and farmers and above all musicians was greater than what we have today.
Dock Boggs was quite explicit. He recalled the names of the black banjo players he saw in childhood who played banjo finger style, rather than in the claw hammer style that his brothers played. From childhood he wanted to play like them. Many of the tunes he recorded he said he got from listening to Black blues records.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


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