Jet Black Mare
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Audio CD, April 2, 2013
Nobody’s Business (3:02)
Drunken Driver (5:35)
That’s All Right (2:40)
Boy Got a Fever (2:25)
I’m a Stranger Here (2:45)
Pony Blues (3:06)
Rooster’s Crowing Blues (2:41)
Black Betty (1:23)
Jet Black Mare / Pallet on Your Floor (5:49)
Duck’s Yas Yas (3:25)
Money Never Runs Out (1:48)
Total running time, 34:40
“Jet Black Mare” is primarily traditional blues. “Nobody’s Business” is a commonly heard tune from the first third of the 20th century; I learned this particular version from the recordings of Memphis blues and jug band artist Frank Stokes.
“Drunken Driver” is a compelling lyric I learned from the Smithsonian field recordings of North Carolina ballad singer Dillard Chandler. I’ve adapted it to a slow blues beat, with slide guitar in the background.
“That’s All Right” owes something to the field hollers of the American South. I’ve used some folk percussion under this track.
“Boy Got a Fever” is an original blues tune, with a slow, sizzling beat.
“I’m a Stranger Here” is often found in songbooks, and is listed as traditional. I’m not sure where I heard it first, but once I sang it, I felt I’d been singing it all my life.
“Pony Blues” is my electric adaptation of what was originally a folk blues tune by Charley Patton.
“Rooster’s Crowing Blues” is my version of a song first recorded in 1929 by banjo blues legend Gus Cannon.
I learned the field holler “Black Betty” from early recordings of Leadbelly.
“Jet Black Mare” is an original song. As I was recording it, I somehow slipped into an early blues precursor, “Pallet On Your Floor.”
“Ducks Yas Yas” is a hokum jazz-blues song, originally recorded by James “Stump” Johnson in the late 1920s.
“Money Never Runs Out” was first recorded in 1927, with banjo and jug, by Gus Cannon.
Dean Rathje: vocals, guitars, dobro, banjo, piano, bass.
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