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.

TITLE TIME
4:53
3:54
4:59
2:09
3:41
3:26
3:49
5:13
2:54
2:47
2:59
3:35
3:38
5:32
4:16
8:42

About Louisiana Red

Louisiana Red (born Iverson Minter) was a flamboyant guitarist, harmonica player, and vocalist. He lost his parents early in life through multiple tragedies; his mother died of pneumonia a week after his birth, and his father was lynched by the Klu Klux Klan when he was five.

Red began recording for Chess in 1949, then joined the Army. After his discharge, he played with John Lee Hooker in Detroit for almost two years in the late '50s, and continued through the '60s and '70s with recording sessions for Chess, Checker, Atlas, Glover, Roulette, L&R, and Tomato, among others.

Louisiana Red moved to Hanover, Germany in 1981, and maintained a busy recording and performing schedule through the subsequent decades into the new millennium, his 21st century releases including 2001's Driftin' on Earwig, 2002's A Different Shade of Red on Severn, 2004's Bad Case of the Blues on Mojo Tone, 2005's No Turn on Red on Hightone and Hot Sauce on Red Lightnin', and 2008's Back to the Black Bayou (recorded in Norway with producer/guitarist Little Victor) on Ruf. He died in Germany in 2012 when his thyroid imbalance brought on a stroke. ~ Ron Wynn

  • ORIGIN
    Bessemer, AL
  • GENRE
    Blues
  • BORN
    March 23, 1932

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