Doom and Gloom
Posted in 1920s,1930s,Country Blues on 01.29.08

My computer is in tip top shape. Time Machine managed to scramble my password upon restore which didn’t make my life easier, I’ll say that.
If anyone has any information on the Folklore programs at Western Kentucky, Georgia State or UNC(Chapel Hill) let me know. Thanks!

Doom and Gloom is the latest pre-war related release on the Trikont label and like always it’s a fantastically researched and document release two things that almost never ever go together. The theme behind Doom and Gloom and pretty self explainartory – though War and Wrecks might be more clear – as most of the songs deal with wars and accidents and ships sinking (this is also the theme behind People Take Warning) more so than gloom per se. The set is also smartly bookended with two wonderful Blind Willie Johnson songs and features some real deep cuts from family faces like Charlie Poole, Big Bill Broonzy and Casey Bill Wheldon which is always refreshing. The two tracks I’m highlighting are a solid pre-war side from Big Bill Broonzy about the great flood of 1927, and I’ve sadly neglected Big Bill even though he is one of the finest blues guitar players of all time. The second side is the Sinking of the Titanic by Richard Rabbitt Brown who I hadn’t heard before – but according to the linear notes played mostly in brothels which makes me want to seek out the rest of his recordings.

update: apparently I have heard Richard Rabbitt Brown before, he’s on The Anthology as well as Goodbye, Babylon I’ve never really noticed him until now though. There is also a movement that says he might have recorded under Blind Willie Harris

Buy It Here!!!

Big Billy Broonzy – Southern Flood Blues (1937)
Richard Rabbitt Brown – Sinking of the Titanic (1927)


3 Comments so far
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By Chris on 02.11.08 5:47 am

This is a coincidence… I dropped by to search your archives for Richard Rabbit Brown, and here he is on the front page. I’ve been playing Brown’s “James Alley Blues” non-stop for days, after an article about him was posted on Metafilter. His voice reminds me strongly of late-period Dylan, and his guitar is thrilling — melodic, powerful, rocking… and the lyrics of “James Alley Blues” are the epitome, for me, of chilling, haunting prewar blues: last verse runs, “Some times seems like you’re too sweet to die, Other times seems like you ought to be buried alive”.

By patrick on 03.10.08 7:31 pm

u might know this but there’s 6 songs on a myspace page set up for richard rabbitt brown. here:

By Daniel on 04.21.08 3:58 pm

Richard “Rabbit” Brown’s “James Alley Blues” and “I’m Not Jealous” are two of the greatest records of the 1920s. Seriously. If you want me to send you the mp3s, I’d be more than glad.

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