CD The Good Old-Fashioned Way (CD 6964167),
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The Good Old-Fashioned Way
1. Black Jack Davy
2. Wreck of the Number 9 - (previously unreleased)
3. Jasper Jail
4. Talk on Bill Malone - (previously unreleased)
5. Billy Richardson's Last Ride
6. Streets of Laredo
7. Talk on Old-Time Songs - (previously unreleased)
8. Young Roger the Miller
9. Talk on Carnival Barking - (previously unreleased)
10. Cabbage Head (Three Nights Drunk)
11. Three Nights Drunk [The Limey Version] - (previously unreleased)
12. John Hardy
13. Talk on Hot Rod Hogan
14. Sally Make Water - (previously unreleased)
15. Jack of Diamonds
16. Shady Grove
17. Talk on Carnival & Childhood Recollections - (previously unreleased)
18. Little Shirt My Mama Made for Me, The - (previously unreleased)
19. Talk on Drinking Still Mash - (previously unreleased)
20. 100 Gallons - (previously unreleased)
21. Wauhatchie Yards
22. Talk on Racing the Southern
23. Knoxville Girl
24. Devil and the Farmer's Wife, The
25. Talk on Religion & Drinking on Sunday
26. Methodist Pie
27. Good Old-Fashioned Way, The - (previously unreleased)
28. Wearisome Farmer
29. Dark as a Dungeon - (previously unreleased)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): DC427CD
Harmony Korine; Nathan Salsbury
Charles Wolfe; Sol Korine
Liner Note Authors: Charles Wolfe; Sol Korine.
Recording information: Home of Hamper McBee, Monteagle. TN (11/1977-01/1978).
Photographer: Blaine Dunlap.
Hamper McBee was the sort of one-of-a-kind character who's all but extinct in the 21st century. Born in 1931, McBee was a carnival barker, bartender, root farmer, and moonshiner who could spin tall tales for hours on end and sang classic mountain ballads in a strong, expressive voice that would be the envy of plenty of Nashville stars. McBee was discovered by folklorist Guy Carawan, who recorded an album of his singing and stories in 1965, and in 1977 filmmakers Blaine Dunlap and Sol Korine made a documentary about McBee in which he told his tales, sang some songs, and demonstrated how to make corn whiskey. Some of Dunlap and Korine's recordings of McBee made their way on to a 1979 album for Rounder Records, Raw Mash, and The Good Old-Fashioned Way is an expanded and unexpurgated version of Dunlap and Korine's tapes. While most of McBee's musical repertoire is familiar, when he sings tunes like "Streets of Laredo," "Knoxville Girl," "John Hardy," and "Wreck of the Number 9," they sound as if time has stood still and we're hearing them as they were heard in a Tennessee hollow in the 1800s. There's no affectation in McBee's a cappella performances; he simply approached these songs as they'd been sung for generations, he had the voice and the brio to bring these classic tales to vivid life, and he was as compelling a vocalist as anyone uncovered in the traditional folklore movement of the 1950s and '60s. McBee also knew how to tell a story, and if his improbable yarns of hard drinking, brushes with the law, carnival con games, and motorcycle-riding monkeys are a bit hard to swallow, they're fascinating and often hilarious. (He also knew a good dirty joke when he heard one, and there are a few coarse passages here that didn't appear on the earlier Rounder album.) Hamper McBee was a folklorist's gold mine, but you don't have to be a student of rural folk art to enjoy The Good Old-Fashioned Way; anyone who likes good singing or a good laugh ought to have a great time with this album. ~ Mark Deming
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