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Skip's Piano Blues

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Album Review

Skip James displays his four tool skills on piano, organ, guitar, and vocals on 12 traditional Delta Blues numbers, and employs his whining, age weakened falsetto on every cut. There's nothing fancy — just James accompanying himself and emoting his heart out on a myriad of earthy tales like "Black Gal," "Lazy Bones," "Vicksburg Blues," and "Special Rider Blues." The release is a true reflection of the leading purveyor of the Bentonia Blues style named after James' birthplace, Bentonia Mississippi.

Biography

Born: 21 June 1902 in Bentonia, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Among the earliest and most influential Delta bluesmen to record, Skip James was the best-known proponent of the so-called Bentonia school of blues players, a genre strain invested with as much fanciful scholarly "research" as any. Coupling an oddball guitar tuning set against eerie, falsetto vocals, James' early recordings could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Even more surprising was when blues scholars rediscovered him in the '60s and found his singing and playing skills intact....
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