She’s Got Jordan River In Her Hips
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Posted in 1930s,Country Blues,Hokum,Honey on 02.27.09

With the new WordPress 2.7 is it not possible to use the new Links feature if your blog isn’t “widget” enabled? I guess it is time for an update for the 2.7 world, but it seems weird that Links doesn’t publish a page anymore.

The next line in the song, She’s Got Jordan River In Her Hips is just as a good as the title, but I won’t spoil it for you. This track was recorded by R.T Hanen who may be Jaydee Short, though I’m not hearing it – especially when Jaydee Short has such a unique voice. Most “dirty” blues songs get pretty old quickly, this one had me laughing all week. I’m also posting a great Jaydee Short song (and one I posted way back in 04) for comparison sake. Listening closer to the Jaydee Short makes me wonder if it was pressed at the wrong speed – the balance of guitar speed and voice pitch seem to be off somewhat.

R.T Hanen – She’s Got Jordan River In Her Hips (1931)

Jaydee Short – Barefoot Blues (1932)

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Dark Was The Night
Posted in Contemporary,Gospel,Instrumental on 02.20.09

Dark Was The Night is my favorite song of all time, let me first say that.

There is a new charity compilation by Red Hot called Dark Was The Night with a bunch of indie bands doing mostly covers , and like all things like this is pretty hit and miss. Antony (of Antony and the Johnson’s) does a great cover of the Bob Dylan B-Side “I Was Young When I Left Home” and Sharon and the Dap-Tone’s cover of Inspiration Information is equally excellent.

Kronos Quartet takes on Blind Willie Johnson’s Dark Was The Night and it leaves me confused. I’ve listened to it a dozen times or so and i can’t really pick out if i like or hate it – it’s this rambling confusing take on the side and I just can’t wrap my head around if it’s successfully or not – which isn’t a shining recommendation I know, but download and let me know what ya’ll think.

Kronos Quartet – Dark Was The Night (2009)

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Garfield
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I haven’t been a huge fan of Dust To Digital’s newest series “Art of Field Recording, ” so I never got around to reviewing the first set in full, but I now have the second set and it’s a bit more interesting, though it has all the major faults if the first one. The sets are boxed in a LP sized set, that compared to Dust to Digital’s other work is both ugly and cumbersome – the cds are are in paper cases separated by cheap grey foam. it looks cheap and unprofessional -  especially compared to Goodbye, Babylon or even Victrola Favorites. Both the box and disc covers are adorned with the artwork of Art Rosenbaum which I think is pretty hit and miss though having a large picture on the box art with a background of four colored boxes doesn’t do it any favors.

The box includes a large book that was written by Rosenbaum as well, giving an overview of his recording philosophy as well as a track-by-track analysis of each track in the set. His thoughts are clear and always interesting and are well worth the read. The music itself is well recorded and of very high quality, though now that I have eight discs of his recordings I they lack the personal touch of say Harry Smith or Lomax, or a distinct point of view of music itself something I think Old Hat does a great job of capturing. That last point is a bit nit-picky perhaps, but it’s something that I think Dust to Digital normally does a great job, and I was let down by both sets.
Of course the music itself regardless of how it’s package is still really amazing. This track by Jake Staggers is an intersting take on the standard Garfield, a song typically about the assination of president Garfield is turned into a Stagger Lee style murder ballad about a murder over some junk talk and cigars. Staggers is a pretty solid banjo player and it’s always great to hear banjo with blues music.

Jake Staggers – Garfield (1981)

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Warm Wipe Stomp
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Posted in 1930s,Country Blues,Instrumental on 02.02.09

Does Anyone else think that “Add New” is a strange way to phrase the create new post feature in WordPress 2.7? It took me awhile to figure it what it was referring to, but maybe I’m not into the swing of posting again yet.

Speaking of oddly titled things – Warm Wipe Stomp is a great dance number by Peg Leg Howell and His Gang – one of the best early blues bands, and one I haven’t really talked about on this site much. This track has a great energy to it and features both violin and mandolin two instrustments mostly found in country recordings – but both feel right at home on this side.

Peg Leg Howell and His Gang – Warm Wipe Stomp (1930)

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