May 12, 2013

The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James (1930)

Strangely eerie, especially when sung in a floating blues counter tenor. These aren't the greatest delta blues recorded, because they just don't sound that much like delta blues, even though James eventually became more influential than just about anyone except Charlie Patton thanks to the revival in the 60s. The hard times in these tunes are the hard times of someone slightly more religious and idiosyncratically sombre than the average sharecropper, who probably would never have had much of an opportunity to learn piano either. Not that Crow Jane would be especially consoled to know this, because it looks like sexual anxiety and murder are universal, even if your cultured finger picking exceeds what the average delta guitar player could pull off. Actually, Skip's recording of 'I'm so Glad' ranks as one of the greatest blues cuts of the 30s, despite it's manic optimism not being a recurring mood in his songs.

A+ - which is kind of a given because the blues I've been posting are almost as historically significant for the US as the constitution, and waaaay more relevant to non-Americans like me.


Is there a better photo in American history?

1 comment:

  1. one song possibly has a digital error i didn't notice. will see if i have a better rip.