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Showing 1-10 of 19 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 43 reviews
on April 16, 2017
Another of the great Yazoo compilations. James is one of the most instrumentally competent of "country" bluesmen. Some find his falsetto passages offputting, but to me they add greatly to the haunting quality of his best songs. He is at his peak in this collection, although I think his recordings from the sixties are just as compelling, however much they may reflect the degradation of his vocal and instrumental skills. Highly recommend Steven Calt's "I'd Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues" to give badly-needed context to this man's life, and to the culture from which he sprang: even the wicked suffer more than they deserve. Unlike some blues writers, Calt does not confuse honest biography with romanticized leftwing ideology, or the Great American Novel.
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on February 13, 2015
...by this Skip James disc. I will admit that I am not very knowledgable about the blues, but I really dig the haunting bleak rawness of Skip's early delta blues recordings. I prefer the guitar tracks to the piano tracks (exception being the 22-20 Blues). Devil Got My Woman, Cypress Grove Blues, Cherry Ball Blues, and the peerless Hard Time Killing Floor Blues. Amazing.

Some folks are actually complaining about the recording quality. Unbelievable. The scratchiness is part of the charm of these recordings...and frankly the recording quality preserved on CD is probably not that all that different than what the 78s sounded like when they were brand new. It's not like they were listening to this stuff on a $250k McIntosh system back in 1930. And if you must hear a cleaner Skip James recording, buy Hard Time Killing Floor Blues, originally recorded in 1964. Skip re-recorded several of his older songs on that '64 compilation. Try to remember, however, that the 1964 recording also wasn't made digitally last week.

Scratchiness aside, it is definitely worth owning this album.
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on February 21, 2016
. So very spellbinding and haunting album by one of the blues greatest poets and creative spirits. These are the old tracks from the beginning mostly. If you like old school blues you must have this.
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on August 5, 2012
Skip James is definitely one of the most influential classic bluesmen out there. If you have or have not heard his stuff, do yourself a favor. Get this cd. Great songs with that great old timey sound. Skip is one of the best in my book. I own around 25 pre 1940 blues recordings... and this is one of the best.
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on January 5, 2000
Skip James has an unusual, if not strange, voice. His guitar playing is also completely his own. This "early recordings" CD displays the original versions of the songs James sung 30 years later after being "rediscovered". The main differences are in the quality of the recordings. Some of the songs are in a very bad shape, even considering when they were recorded. James' originality lays in his high pitched voice and personal style of singing. He also plays some piano. He guitar playing is perfect and complements his singing. If it were not for the poor sound quality - I would give the CD 5 stars. Despite his originality, James was not widely imitated, althuogh he is considered the founder of the Bentona style, which is slower and softer then most other Mississippian styles. The best of the 4 star CD's I ever heard. A must for serious blues fans.
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on August 5, 2016
great
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on February 4, 2016
Skip James is truly awesome.
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on November 21, 2010
Had all these numbers on records-getting a CD comp with all the 30's material is great-sound is better on this than it was on my records...amazingly great acoustic blues. Highly recommended if you are into Robert Johnson, Bukka White and Son House...or if you're into blues period.
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on November 4, 2009
Great, amazing and unexpected vibrant pure blues! This is the telling of a hard life coming from guitar and singed words of anger! This is real blues! Like it or not. The words that sing of evil and hardship come from real life!
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on February 23, 2011
If your a blues fan at all this is a must. This one of those albums that you dont want no distractions when you listen to it and play it all the way through so you can grasp what skip james is feeling when he made this beautiful piece of music. Also what grabs me and makes me love this album more is his guitar playing its amazing to me and its sounds hard to duplicate that style of playing on the guitar. Just buy it this is one that will never disappoint.
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