Life Is A Problem
Posted in Gospel,Meta,Post-War on 12.21.07

Sorry for avoiding the blog for a few weeks but i’ve slowly but I’ve started the slow crawl to unemployment as my work contract has unexpectedly terminated, or rather will be terminated sometime in January or February whenever I finish what I’ve been working on recently. I think I’ve come to the acceptance phase of termination and I’m pretty excited to move on to other and hopefully better employment or possibly grad school.

I am looking for recommendations on graduate schools – I’m interested in getting into a southern studies/history or a musicology program like the one at University of Memphis where I could focus on southern musical culture or history. In my brief search I’ve discover programs at both Ole Miss and University of Memphis that excite me , but I’m open and interested in other programs around the country. I’m sort of nervous about going into a music department because I’ve never taken any music courses (I was a history major in undergrad) and a lot of music programs have very daunting requirements for someone who can’t read music. But please send me your recommendation and advice to pkpatnaik at

I was sent this album a few weeks ago by a reader it was released by a small british label, Mississippi, called Life is a Problem – and I can’t get it out of my head. This track in particular has really changed my mind about Utah Smith – a post-war gospel guitar player who until I heard both of his tracks on this album I thought he was so boring and all coffee shop hype. This track in particular “I Am Free” with his noisy electric blues guitar and his backing chorus with handclaps and shouts that really bring this song alive.

The two releases that I’ve heard of by this label are available for purchase here (UK) and are vinyl only.
For domestic readers of this site – Other Music stocks the album online – here.

Utah Smith – I’m Free


5 Comments so far
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By JW on 12.22.07 5:27 pm

Hi there – just wanted to let you know that the Mississippi label is actually based out of the Mississippi Records store in Portland, OR. The Honest Jon’s label scoops up a lot of their print run, hence the prominent UK distribution. Forced Exposure carries some of their releases in the US.

By Edith Frost on 12.23.07 5:25 pm

This link isn’t working for me, it just takes me back to this page. Love your blog btw!

By Ford MF on 01.10.08 4:35 am

Coffee-house hype? I didn’t know Smith was on ANYONE’s radar. I caught some of his stuff on a few gospel comps and I’ve never been anything less than blown away.

[…] Honey, Where You Been So Long? […]

By Prince Asbo on 01.19.08 5:30 pm

Among other records less relevant to this blog (African, post-punk, jazz, etc.), Mississipi Records put out a complilation called I Don’t Feel At Home In this World Anymore of 20s-30s US immigrant folk music that is simply awesome.

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