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Papa George Lightfoot - Natchez Trace (1969)

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Papa George Lightfoot - Natchez Trace (1969)

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1- My Woman Is Tired Of Me Lyin'   
2- New Mean Old Train   
3- Love My Baby   
4- Goin' Down That Muddy Road   
5- Ah, Come On Honey   
6- Heard Somebody Crying   
7- Take It Witcha   
8- Nighttime [sic]   

Papa Lightfoot - vocals, harmonica
Carson Whitsett - piano 
Jerry Puckett - guitar 
Don Barret (Ron Johnson) -  bass 
Tommy Tate – drums

Until producer Steve LaVere redicovered him in 1969, harp giant Papa Lightfoot was revered for a mere handful of '50s sides. This album for Vault served as his comeback announcement, a gloriously down-in-the-alley affair cut at then-fledgling Malaco studios in Jackson, MS. Six bonus tracks, including three minutes of spoken monologue, have been added to the import CD reissue, enhancing an already fine album. ---Bill Dahl, Rovi

 

Thanks to a handful of terrific 1950s sides, the name of Papa Lightfoot was spoken in hushed and reverent tones by 1960s blues aficionados. Then, producer Steve LaVere tracked down the elusive harp master in Natchez, cutting an album for Vault in 1969 that announced to the world that Lightfoot was still wailing like a wildman on the mouth organ. Alas, his comeback was short-lived; he died in 1971 of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

Sessions for Peacock in 1949 (unissued), Sultan in 1950, and Aladdin in 1952 preceded an amazing 1954 date for Imperial in New Orleans that produced Lightfoot's "Mean Old Train," "Wine Women Whiskey" (comprising his lone single for the firm) and an astonishing "When the Saints Go Marching In." Lightfoot's habit of singing through his harp microphone further coarsened his already rough-hewn vocals, while his harp playing was simply shot through with endless invention. Singles for Savoy in 1955 and Excello the next year (the latter billed him as "Ole Sonny Boy") closed out Lightfoot's '50s recording activities, setting the stage for his regrettably brief comeback in 1969. --- Bill Dahl, Rovi

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Last Updated (Saturday, 07 February 2015 21:40)

 

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