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Varied collection of raw rural folk & blues
on October 14, 2010
Bookended by tunes by R&B star Stick McGhee (brother of trad bluesman Brownie)are a broad variety of rural tunes. In the Folkways tradition, this CD ranges from the country blues of Brownie and Rev. Gary Davis, to folk singers like Josh White and Doc Watson. Some of the tunes were audience recordings culled from an early folk festival, others stem from field recordings and studios, so the sound quality varies, though it all sounds crisp. Instrumentation includes accoustic guitars, mandolins, harmonicas and fiddles. "Blues Around My Bed" by J.C. Burns is a harp solo, with vocal passages alternating with blasts of raw harmonica. On "The Road Is Rough & Rocky", Archie Edwards is accompanied by two guitars and the shouts of the audience. Josh White sings a smooth "Outskirts Of Town" (the Ray Charles number) with nice fingerpicked guitar, while Etta Baker shows her precision picking on the instrumental "One Dime Blues", both live. Pink Anderson (one of the two blues artists that the progressive rock band Pink Floyd named itself after), offers an aggressive "You Don't Know My Mind". The finale is a nice small band version by Stick, with Sonny Terry and Brownie, of his biggest hit, "Wine Blues" (Spo-De-Oh-Dee). The 21 cuts run over an hour.