I don’t really know anything about today’s singer – Genevieve Davis – outside of this track she recorded with Louis Dumaine’s Jazzola Eight is flat out fantastic. The song is a familiar theme of northern disillusionment that followed both great migrations northward best represented in the blues world in Lonnie Johnson’s Southland Is Alright By Me. Davis doesn’t go into the theme as deeply as Johnson – but her lyrics are particularly effective lines like “did you ever dream lucky/wake up gold [referring to her honey] in hand/and you didn’t have a dollar to pay your house rent man.” Davis’ work on the song is done pretty quickly at around the minute and the half mark – leaving the rest of the song up to the Jazzola Eight who really knock it out of park – incredible work and some of the best examples of pre-war New Orleans jazz that I’ve heard. It is also the first by the Eight that I’ve heard. If anyone has their solo or backing work – I’d love to hear it.
Genevieve Davis – Haven’t Got A Dollar To Pay Your House Rent Man (1927)
I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday – here at Honey H.Q. our holidays have been postponed until after the New Year because of shipping and logistic delays. I’ve fixed the Utah Smith link below – so everyone can hear that wonderful song, instead of me just teasing you with it. In the comments section of that post I was correct about the location of Mississippi Records, it is actually a domestic record shop in Portland,OR. I was able to track down one e-retailer that has it (Other Music out of NYC) Aquarius Records out of San Fransisco stock the record, but they are out of stock at the moment.
I’m going back to an older Trikont release today, Flashback #4 Blue and Lonely is a great introduction to pre-war blues and jazz. It covers most of the big names like Ma Rainey, Blind Willie Johnson and Tampa Red, but also has some more obscure artists and some other non-blues popular music from the period. I think it makes a much better introduction to blues as a whole than those Rough Guide To… compilation discs or even the Folkways Classic Blues series (as far as introduction to the genre goes). This track is by Lee Morse and the Blue Grass Boys, though it’s certainly not a bluegrass song – Morse goes in and out phrasing styles – from blues to vaudeville which might put some people off – but I find the song enjoyable despite the questionable choice of her flat delivery.
Buy the disc here!
Lee Morse and the Blue Grass Boys – Moanin’ Low (1928)
Dust To Digital (the wonderful people behind Goodbye, Babylon) released a smattering of wonderful albums towards the end of last year. Apparently I was the last one to know about this, so I’m late posting samples from their new box set How Low Can You Go? The first major anthology of string bass in pre-war music. This Fletcher Henderson led jazz track from 1930 features John Kirby on string bass and was a big come back record for Henderson which would take him in to the 1930s and would eventually lead to Henderson finding and backing some of the best female blues singers of the era.
Buy this box set direct from the wonderful people at Dust To Digital.
Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra – Chinatown, My Chinatown