CD The Tradition Masters [Leadbelly] (CD 839250),
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The Tradition Masters [Leadbelly]

  • 1. New Orleans (The Rising Sun Blues)
    2. Goonight Irene
    3. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
    4. How Long
    5. John Hardy
    6. When I Was a Cowboy - (Western Plains)
    7. Pretty Flower in Your Backyard
    8. Roberta
    9. Pretty Flower in Your Backyard
    10. Yellow Gal
    11. Looky, Looky Yonder / Black Betty / Yellow Women's Doorbells
    12. Po' Howard / Green Corn
    13. De Kalb Blues
    14. Gallis Pole, The
    15. Bourgeois Blues, The
    16. Noted Rider (She's No Good Rider)
    17. Big Fat Woman
    18. Borrow Love & Go
    19. Bring Me Lil Water, Silvy
    20. Julie Ann Johnson
    21. Line 'Em
    22. Whoa, Back Buck!
    23. John Hardy
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1086

  • Credits
    ProducerTom Vickers (Compilation)

    Personnel: Lead Belly (vocals, 12-string guitar, accordion, piano); Josh White (guitar, background vocals); Sonny Terry (harmonica, background vocals).
    Includes liner notes by Ed Ward.
    All tracks have been digitally remastered.
    This is part of Tradition's Master Series.
    Along with Woody Guthrie, Huddie Leadbetter modernized folk music, laying down a sturdy foundation for the folk revival that would blossom in the late '50s and early '60s. And even if one has never heard of Leadbelly, he or she's probably heard the Animals' version of "House of the Rising Sun" or Nirvana's take on "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." The Tradition Masters collects these classics along with a number of others recorded for the Stinson label between 1942 and 1944. With few exceptions, Leadbelly performs favorites like "Goodnight Irene," "The Gallis Pole," and "Roberta" solo. Even alone, though, his booming voice and 12-string Stella produce a big sound. Leadbelly's joined by harmonica player Sonny Terry on "How Long" and guitarist/singer Josh White on the suggestive "Pretty Flower in My Backyard." The only thing one might consider controversial about this collection is the song credits. It's interesting, for instance, that "benefactors" Alan and John Lomax receive recognition for a number of traditional songs when it's not even clear how much Leadbelly contributed to them. Regardless of music business shenanigans, The Tradition Masters capture Leadbelly in fine form and offer a proper introduction to one of the fathers of modern folk music. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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