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Deep River of Song: Georgia

Alan Lomax Collection

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Album Review

Deep River of Song: Georgia is another entry in the series of Southern and Caribbean field recordings completed by Alan & John A. Lomax during the '30s and '40s. This disc contains 22 songs, including blues and group singing, performed by singers known and unknown. Four songs are sung and played by Blind Willie McTell, and they are highlights of this recording. "Boll Weevil" and "Dying Crapshooter's Blues" feature McTell's laid-back, soulful vocals and some nice guitar work. He adds a spiritual twist and a little slide work on "Just as Well Get Ready, You Got to Die" and "I Got to Cross the River Jordan." A number of songs, including "Captain Haney Blues" and "Longest Trail I Ever Saw," are performed by groups of male singers. These vibrant songs are easily accessible, with lively presentation and memorable melodies, making them a good entry place for those unfamiliar with field recordings. Robert Davis delivers the blues guitar instrumental, "Poor Joe Breakdown," complete with foot-stomping, and one shouldn't miss the harmonica playing of Buster Brown on "I'm Gonna Make You Happy." The liner notes are extensive and well-written, and there is a nice introductory essay by Dr. David Evans. While this album certainly has a historical value, it is also enjoyable and easy to recommend to anyone with a passing interest in field recordings. Beware though. Listening to this album will only lead one to pick up the other wonderful titles in Rounder's Deep River of Song series. ~ Ronnie Lankford Jr., Rovi

Deep River of Song: Georgia, Alan Lomax Collection
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