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Shake It Baby

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Album Review

The 12-song Heritage of the Blues: Shake It Baby collection of Mississippi singer/guitarist Jessie Mae Hemphill is certainly needed. She didn't have the opportunity to record very often. As a matter of fact, her greatest exposure came through an appearance in Robert Palmer's 1993 film Deep Blues, which featured footage of Hemphill playing bass drum as part of Jessie Mae's Fife and Drum Band and then playing solo guitar. The tracks on Heritage of the Blues were recorded between 1979 and 1988 and feature Hemphill on guitar, diddley bow, drums, foot tambourine, and bells. It also includes three previously unreleased versions of "All Night Boogie (Jessie's Boogie)," "Shake It, Baby," and "Baby, Please Don't Go." This is timeless electric Delta blues recommended to both novices and historians.


Born: 18 October 1934 in Senatobia, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A Mississippi singer/guitarist, Jessie Mae Hemphill weaves strong Delta traditions into her idiosyncratic style. Hemphill comes from a musical background -- reportedly, her grandfather was recorded in the fields by Alan Lomax in the '40s. Jessie Mae learned how to play guitar as a child by watching her relatives perform. Throughout the '60s and '70s, she sang with various Mississippi bar bands. In the early '80s, she decided to pursue a solo career. Hemphill began playing solo dates, supporting...
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Shake It Baby, Jessie Mae Hemphill
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