CD My Rough and Rowdy Ways, Vol. 1 (CD 170655),
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My Rough and Rowdy Ways, Vol. 1
1. Tell It to Me - Grant Brothers & Their Music
2. Little Sadie - Clarence Ashley
3. Bad Luck Dice - Clifford Gibson
4. Way Up on Clinch Mountain - Jilson Setters
5. Frankie - Dykes Magic City Trio
6. Canned Heat Blues - Tommy Johnson
7. Got the Jake Leg Too - The Ray Brothers
8. Country Blues - Dock Boggs
9. Kentucky Blues - Little Hat Jones
10. Prisoner's Dream - Allen Brothers
11. John Hardy - Ernest V. Stoneman/Sweet Brothers
12. Better Leave That Stuff Alone - Will Shade
13. Way Down the Old Plank Road - Sam McGee/Uncle Dave Macon
14. Fate of Talmedge Osborn, The - Ernest V. Stoneman/Kahle Brewer
15. Viola Lee Blues - Cannon's Jug Stompers
16. Rock House Gamblers - Cleve Chaffin/The McClung Brothers
17. Dupree Blues - Willie Walker
18. All Bound Down - Haywood County Ramblers
19. Low Down Rounder Blues - Peg Leg Howell
20. Stack-O-Lee - Fruit Jar Guzzlers
21. My Crime Blues - Barefoot Bill
22. Jesse James - Ken Maynard
23. Chain Gang Special - Watts & Wilson
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2039
Richard Nevins; Richard Nevins (Compilation)
Includes liner notes by Charles Wolfe.
Digitally remastered from the original recordings by Richard Nevins.
Audio Remasterer: Richard Nevins.
Liner Note Authors: Charles K. Wolfe; Don Kent; Charles Wolfe.
Recording information: ??/1920-??/1930.
A disc of classic recordings is a rarity, but that's exactly what this is. Some of the performers are well known people, like Clarence Ashley, Dock Boggs, Uncle Dave Macon, and Tommy Johnson. Others, like the Haywood County Ramblers, are far from household names, but that doesn't mean their songs are lesser creations. And these ballads of bad men, hell raisers, violence, and drinking are the stuff of legends, like "Frankie" by the Dykes Magic City Trio, a version of "Frankie and Johnny" by a group reminiscent of the Carter Family. It's interesting that the performers on these songs from the '20s and '30s are both black and white, and the music sounds remarkably similar -- a clear indication that prejudice didn't extend everywhere at the time, and that music was colorblind. From a time when American rural song was still a strong musical force -- before Tin Pan Alley and commercialization had changed everything -- "Little Sadie" and "Viola Lee Blues" come across the years with complete crispness, while the banjo style of Dock Boggs can be heard as an influence on so many who followed. But these pieces also come from the cusp, when urban culture was about to take over, and songs like the Allen Brothers' "Prisoner's Dream" would be replaced by other tunes. In fact, the one piece here that offers any kind of continuity is a version of "Stack-O-Lee" from the Fruit Jar Guzzlers, although their version seems hopelessly nave and country compared to others that would come later. This is, as it's meant to be, a collection that's very much of its place and time. But since they both represent a crossroad, it's a great place and perfect time in the development of American music. ~ Chris Nickson
CMJ (12/21/98, pp.26-27) - "...rock 'n' roll fans who have yet to unearth the joys of American folk music may begin to see the light..."
Dirty Linen (4-5/99, p.75) - "...some great, hard-to-find country blues and old-timey classics....this set brings together some wonderful performances that explore the pre-war blues and 'hillbilly' ethos of bad men, bad living and all the bad things that'll drag a good man down."
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