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Black Snake Moan

Blind Lemon Jefferson

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Album Review

Blind Lemon Jefferson was a street singer with a wide and varied repertoire, although he is best known for his straight-ahead blues pieces like the title track here, "Black Snake Moan." As this sampler of Jefferson's 1920s and 1930s 78s from Snapper Records shows, however, he was equally at home doing hillbilly spirituals ("He Arose from the Dead") and folk-blues ("See That My Grave Is Kept Clean"), and he also had a fine slide sound ("Jack O'Diamond Blues"). Immensely popular, Jefferson's 78s were poorly pressed and frequently played, so these tracks have a good deal of surface hiss, which may be bothersome to some listeners.

Biography

Born: 24 September 1893 in Couchman, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '00s, '10s, '20s

Country blues guitarist and vocalist Blind Lemon Jefferson is indisputably one of the main figures in country blues. He was of the highest in many regards, being one of the founders of Texas blues (along with Texas Alexander), one of the most influential country bluesmen of all time, one of the most popular bluesmen of the 1920s, and the first truly commercially successful male blues performer. Up until Jefferson's achievements, the only real successful blues recordings were by women performers,...
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