CD Times Ain't Like They Used to Be, Vol. 5: Early American Rural Music (CD 171725),
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Times Ain't Like They Used to Be, Vol. 5: Early American Rural Music
1. Railroad Blues - Sam McGee
2. Step Stone - Floyd County Ramblers
3. Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues - Skip James
4. Greenback Dollar - Weems String Band
5. Doggone That Train - Jimmie Davis
6. Framer's Blues - Eli Framer
7. No Room for a Tramp - Jess Johnston/Roy Harvey
8. Just Over the River - Daniel C. Grinstead/Garland Brothers
9. Mule Skinner Moan - Ben Covington
10. Shortening Bread - Reaves White County Ramblers
11. Black-Eyed Susie - J.P. Nestor/Norman Edmonds/J.P. Nestor & Norman Edmonds
12. Rag Blues, A - Buddy Boy Hawkins
13. Railroad Blues - Jess Johnston/Roy Harvey
14. Way Down in North Carolina - Grayson County Railsplitters
15. Citaco - The Swamp Rooters
16. Pistol Blues - Unknown
17. Boat Song March - Murphy Brothers Harp Band
18. I've Got No Honey Baby Now - Frank Blevins and his Tar Heel Rattlers
19. Bonnie Bess - Wilmer Watts & The Lonely Eagles
20. Cold Woman Blues - Blind Joe Reynolds
21. Hamilton's Special Breakdown - Tucker/Wyzee/Lecroy/Wyzee, Tucker & Lecroy
22. Johnny Goodwin - Bull Mountain Moonshiners
23. Some Happy Day - Charley Patton
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2063
Audio Remasterer: Richard Nevins.
Liner Note Author: Richard Nevins.
Each volume in Yazoo Records' Times Ain't Like They Used to Be series (this one is the fifth installment) collects 1920s and '30s commercial 78s, and taken together they project a vital and energetic early-20th century rural America of jug and string bands, country blues players, fiddlers, banjoists, sacred singers, and musical roustabouts of every conceivable rustic style imaginable. This process makes each volume remarkably similar even as the particular artists and songs included on each may be tremendously different. Vol. 5 includes such gems as Sam McGee's bright "Railroad Blues," Skip James' classic and striking "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues," a breakneck version of "Black-Eyed Susie" by string band great J.P. Nestor, and a unusually hopeful blues treatment of "Some Happy Day" from Charley Patton. Since everything is drawn from exceedingly rare 78s, many of which were played to death by their original owners, there is a fair amount of ambient needle noise on several of these tracks, but that only adds to the overall feel of history actually coming alive that is inherent to these kinds of compilations. Well selected, varied, and artfully sequenced, Times Ain't Like They Used to Be, Vol. 5 is yet another welcome addition to a hopefully never-ending series. ~ Steve Leggett
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