123

Various Artists: Blues From Up The Country

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Various Artists: Blues From Up The Country

Delmark’s 50th Anniversary Collection, Part 4

Blues From up the Country showcases the transitional music between the true Country Blues of Robert Johnson and Son House and the Urban Blues of middle-period Muddy Waters and Walter Jacobs. This mostly acoustic or crudely electrified music, raw and undone, comes from Delmark’s archives, recorded between the 1949 and 1996, with the bulk derived from the 1960s. These blues have a stranger, grittier, more authentic bouquet than the more refined blues of Willie Dixon and Chess Records.



Nowhere is this grittiness heard more than on Big Joe Williams’ "49 Highway Blues" and Arthur Crudup’s "That’s All Right." Williams plays his trademark nine string guitar like he just got off the train and walked right in the studio with the intention to return to Mississippi the next day. Arthur Crudup sings the song that made Elvis famous with the most spare and raw guitar accompaniment possible. Both men have Ransom Knowling playing bass, adding a certain effort to urbanize this rough country fare.



Curtis Jones and Champion Jack Dupree add piano blues to the mix with Jones’ lamenting "Lonesome Bedroom Blues" and Dupree’s rollicking "Rub a Little Boogie." The most recent recording, Jimmy Burns’ "Catfish Blues," retains its late ‘50s flavor in spite of its youthful production. Probably the two most delightfully strange tunes in this collections are Sleepy John Estes’ "Beale Street Sugar" (... not the kind you put in your tea ...) and Blind Willie McTell’s "Hide Me in Thy Bosom," which was released on The Backpoarch Boys (Delmark). McTell was of the habit of showing up in different studios every decade, recording, and disappearing again. Hear the blind singer in great voice on this original spiritual.



For more information, see Delmark Records .


Track Listing: Big Joe Williams

Title: Blues From Up The Country | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Delmark Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "OWT" CD/LP/Track Review OWT
by John Sharpe
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Shock Axis" CD/LP/Track Review Shock Axis
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Live in Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Concert
by David Becker
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Rumi Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Rumi Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.