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Blues Masters: Mance Lipscomb

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Album Review

A self-described "sharecropper and songster," Texas singer and guitarist Mance Lipscomb didn't just play the blues, although he was well acquainted with both the realities and cultural myths of the genre. He also played ballads, reels, rags, waltzes, children's songs, and spirituals, and was even known to tackle a foxtrot or polka when the situation called for it. This 22-track compilation collects some of the key recordings from the five LPs the songster issued with Chris Strachwitz's Arhoolie Records, including fine versions of "Jack O'Diamonds," "Sugar Babe," and "Tom Moore's Farm," and Lipscomb's warm, unassuming, and gentle approach shines through even when he dips into the darker regions of the blues.


Born: 09 April 1895 in Navasota, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s

Like Leadbelly and Mississippi John Hurt, the designation as strictly a blues singer dwarfs the musical breadth of Mance Lipscomb. Born on April 9, 1895 in Navasota, TX, Lipscomb was a sharecropper/tenant farmer all his life who didn't record until 1960, "songster" fits what Lipscomb did best. A proud, yet unboastful man, Lipscomb would point out that he was an educated musician, his ability to play everything from classic blues, ballads, pop songs to spirituals in a multitude of styles and keys...
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Blues Masters: Mance Lipscomb, Mance Lipscomb
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