16 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

During his prolific career of nearly six decades, Louisiana Red managed to remain an idiosyncratic and unpredictable performer, forging his own artistic pathway and refusing to conform to preconceived notions as to how the blues should sound and what they ought to say. At a time when bluesmen were expected to represent the folk wisdom of past ages, Red’s recordings were startlingly contemporary; his early work included stirring indictments of the segregationist South, humorous commentary on the Cuban missile crisis, and even a song that suggested that Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, and Ray Charles should be granted positions in the U.S. Senate. When My Mama Was Living is a set of 16 previously unreleased recordings that Red cut for the Blue Labor label in the mid-‘70s. Red released two first-rate full-lengths for Blue Labor during this time, and this material is primarily made up of outtakes from those sessions. It includes stirring interpretations of standards like “John Henry” and Slim Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee," as well as impressive originals like “Cold White Sheet” and the title track.

EDITORS’ NOTES

During his prolific career of nearly six decades, Louisiana Red managed to remain an idiosyncratic and unpredictable performer, forging his own artistic pathway and refusing to conform to preconceived notions as to how the blues should sound and what they ought to say. At a time when bluesmen were expected to represent the folk wisdom of past ages, Red’s recordings were startlingly contemporary; his early work included stirring indictments of the segregationist South, humorous commentary on the Cuban missile crisis, and even a song that suggested that Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, and Ray Charles should be granted positions in the U.S. Senate. When My Mama Was Living is a set of 16 previously unreleased recordings that Red cut for the Blue Labor label in the mid-‘70s. Red released two first-rate full-lengths for Blue Labor during this time, and this material is primarily made up of outtakes from those sessions. It includes stirring interpretations of standards like “John Henry” and Slim Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee," as well as impressive originals like “Cold White Sheet” and the title track.

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