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Blues With A Message (2005)

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Blues With A Message (2005)

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1 	–Sam Chatmon	 	I Have To Paint My Face 	2:50
2 	–John Jackson	 	John Henry 	3:53
3 	–Mercy Dee 	        Walked Down So Many Turn Rows 	3:08
4 	–Mance Lipscomb 	Tom Moore's Farm 	3:41
5 	–Lightnin' Hopkins 	Tom Moore Blues 	5:01
6 	–Lowell Fulson 		River Blues, Pts. 1-2 	5:19
7 	–Fred McDowell 	        Levee Camp Blues 	5:35
8 	–Essie Jenkins 		The 1919 Influenza Blues 	4:04
9 	–Willie Eason 	        Why I Like Roosevelt 	5:59
10 	–Doctor Ross 	        Little Soldier Boy 	3:03
11 	–Robert Pete Williams 		Prisoner's Talking Blues 	5:14
12 	–Johnie Lewis 		I Got To Climb A High Mountain 	3:15
13 	–Herman E. Johnson 	Depression Blues 	4:46
14 	–Johnny Young  And Big Walter Horton	 	Stockyard Blues 	3:24
15 	–Juke Boy Bonner 	What Will I Tell The Children 	3:30
16 	–Juke Boy Bonner 	It's Enough 	2:59
17 	–Bee Houston 		Things Gonna Get Better 	3:10
18 	–Big Joe Williams 	Back Home Blues 	4:21


The Blues, contrary to popular conception, are not always concerned with love, razors, dice, & death. — Richard Wright, arhoolie.com


Blues With a Message isn't just about lost love and the toils of specific lives, the blues (particularly within the folk-blues traditions) spent some time dealing with sociopolitical issues on the side, primarily before the rise of electric blues. Here, Arhoolie has compiled a set of pieces related to a surprisingly large number of issues. Among them: Minstrel shows, the mechanization of cotton farming, and its related exodus to the North, sharecropping, segregation, the Korean War, the influenza epidemic, the New Deal, civil rights movements, Chicago employment opportunities -- all are given a song or two here. The music quality is roughly equivalent to many of the folk-blues recordings available, though the "big name" artists are largely absent from this one (Lightnin Hopkins does make an appearance singing about sharecropping, however). The songs are deliberately focused on the issues more than the music, but the music can still carry its soul. This one probably won't be on many highest-sales lists in the blues, but it's both historically important and musically enjoyable. ---Adam Greenberg, Rovi

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Last Updated (Saturday, 07 November 2015 21:37)


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