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Harry Smiths

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 28, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILE

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Whether under his given name or under the guise of his bon vivant alter ego Buster Poindexter, David Johansen has long displayed a keen appreciation for roots music. Having pioneered punk as the frontman for the New York Dolls and achieved a measure of fame as a purveyor of party music under the Poindexter nom de plume, Johansen here delves into country blues with the backing of a quartet that takes its name from the man who produced the landmark Anthology of American Folk Music. Actually, only two songs here come from Harry Smith's exhaustive anthology. Elsewhere, Johansen and the adroit backing foursome tackle the likes of Muddy Waters's "Little Geneva," Lightnin' Hopkins's "Katie Mae," and Mississippi John Hurt's "Richland Woman" with surprising insight and sympathy--surprising, given the broad strokes Buster tends to favor. Johansen even revisits Sonny Boy Williamson's "Don't Start Me Talking," a track the Dolls did two and a half decades earlier on their glam classic Too Much Too Soon, in the process demonstrating that a great song never gets old. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 28, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: March 28, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chesky Records
  • ASIN: B00004RKLP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,794 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
David Johansen has had a long and varied singing career. He first gained notoriety as the cross dressing leader of the influential pre-punkers the NY Dolls, and later successfully transformed himself into the lounge lizard Buster Poindexter. One thing has remained constant, however - in his work, Johansen has always shown a deep appreciation for many different types of popular music.
Now, he has reached back to the early roots of American music, releasing a terrific album of classic blues. He interprets the songs of legends such as Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins and Sonny Boy Williamson. Listening to this collections you'll feel like you've been transported back in time to the unforgiving rural South of the 1920's and 1930's. Murder, gambling, drinking, and infidelity are the order of the day. Ah, but what great fun it is to listen to this stuff. If you're a fan of the blues, this CD is a must have. Kudos to Johansen and his band for keeping this vital music alive in the 21st century!
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By A Customer on July 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This has to be one of David's finest cds. His voice was made to sing this music. It is wonderful that he is honoring these often neglected songwriters. His voice and arrangements are powerful. His versatility is a testament to his deep knowledge of music. Bravo Buster! I mean,David...
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By A Customer on July 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bought this on the advice of a friend and loaned it to out before taking a listen myself. Could hardly get the CD back! When I finally heard it for myself I understood why. This is a great album. I've played it and played it and played it again. Johansen's voice is PERFECT for this music, and the arrangements are superlative. A real love of the genre shines through on every track. Not a big blues fan? You just might become one after hearing this CD. I really really hope we're going to get more of of Johansen and the Harry Smiths. I'll be first in line to buy the next album
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Format: Audio CD
David Johansen is a dynamic and multifaceted talent, and he really shines on this collection. His powerful voice has become gravely and smokey over the years, and the force of his performance propels these gritty old blues classics through your heart and into your soul. The mood ranges from the uptempo foot-stompin' "James Alley Blues" to the slow moan of Lightnin' Hopins' songs "Katie Mae" and "Darling , Do You Remember Me?" Muddy Waters' "Little Geneva" has a guitar solo that scorches the song as hard as David Jo's voice. The traditional "Been Down to Memphis" is another foot-stomping romp, great fun. "Old Dog Blues" takes on new life with David's energetic whoops and hollers. There's a lot of humor in "Somebody Buy Me a Drink," but watch out: it's not all fun. "Oh Death," despite its easygoing tone and beat is about begging the grim reaper for another year. "On the Wall" and "Don't Start Me Talking" really cook, and the final song, "Richland Woman," is so tuneful and infectious you'll be humming along and begging for more. In which case, naturally, you can get the other David Jo/Harry Smiths album, which I did. Johansen was a fixture at the Bottom Line in NYC, where I saw him perform numerous times, and in person his energy and talent are a real force. His gifts come across brilliantly on this disc, amply aided by a great band and clean, clear production. Highly recommended. A real standout album.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Even though I know that David Johansen is a very versatile and talented musician I continue to be surprised by the range and quality of his work. This album is a great find. The music is professionally and lovingly performed. I think it is a very good performance and a treasure in its own right. Thank you, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths!
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Format: Audio CD
drawing inspiration from harry smith's massive "anthology of american folk music" (buy that huge collection of recordings if you can afford it), new york dolls lead singer david johansen reinvents himself yet again (see: buster poindexter). here, the results are fantastic. johansen's voice carries these old tunes with deep emotional resonance. the opener "james alley blues," with its lazy contemplative delivery seems a song made for mr johansen. on and on through 13 tracks the singer brings swagger and life to the songs. great songs, great artist, great album of americana music. a 2nd album "shaker" followed, which is well worth getting, but does not live up to the standard set by this fantastic set.
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By A Customer on June 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
delia, with arrangement by bob dylan, has to be one of the greatest cuts Johansen has recorded.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
and he was the best thing there. Harry Smiths are perfect and Buster just lifted people out of their seats. So then I bought the CD, on Amazon of course. This is a perfect CD with not a bad song on it and well engineered to boot. I probably own just about every blues CD manufactured and this goes to the top of the pile.
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