6/28/2004 02:06:37 PM|||peter patnaik|||i realize i've now used "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone twice in my post tiles, so i'm including that as a bonus mp3 for the week. This weekend for me just flew by - and i'm back in summer classes and because of them i'll be updating the blog a little later for the rest of the summer, but I'll try to make sure everything is up by the end of the work day, for all the 9 to 5ers that check this site out.

I'm posting a song by one of the most mysterious figures in blues history - Washington Phillips. Born in Texas, Phillips was reported to play a dolceola, a novelty minature piano like instrument, but the actual instrument use has come to be of some dispute in recent years (check out the links posted below). Phillips played gospel music only, no secular songs, in the Texas tradition of Blind Willie Johnson. Unlike Johnson however, Phillips is very low key in his delivery and playing - but still retains a very passionate voice that speaks to the listener in a way a preacher would speak to his congregation.

A side note about the recordings. I am using the Yazoo collection "The Complete Recorded Works of Washington Phillips" and like all of Yazoo's discs, it doesn't contain any information on the actual recordings, such as dates and studios as well as little to no information about Phillips himself (though it goes into great detail about his use of the dolceola), but to Yazoo's credit the disc sounds great. I really wish Yazoo would start giving more detailed track descripitions (a la Document Records)on their releases, i noticed that on their most recent collections they have started to put the year the track was recorded, but that's hardly enough, considering the amount of information that most labels put on their blues releases.

An intersting link about Phillips:

The dolceola debate also contains a link to the a great text by Michael Corcoran

  • Washington Phillips - I Had A Good Mother and Father


  • bonus track!

  • Nina Simone - Feeling Good




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