Rare And Unreleased Skip James


World excluding USA & Canada
Catalogue Id:
VCD 79705

Skip James was one of the greats of early country blues, a name to mention in the same breath as Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton and Bukka White. His reputation rests chiefly on the songs made for Paramount in 1931. On these he accompanies his own singing on guitar and, on five songs, piano. Two of the latter - Little Cow And Calf Is Gonna Die and If You Haven't Any Hay Get On Down The Road - are classics, weird call-and-response exercises between voice and piano and normal pitch vocals and falsetto.

Following his rediscovery in 1964, Skip not only reworked in masterly fashion his earlier classics but also expanded our knowledge of his keyboard style nearly threefold with the belated release of Skip's Piano Blues (made that same year but not released until the 90s on Edsel EDCD 481). Just when it seemed the well was dry, here comes another essential album containing 19 previously unreleased songs from a 1967 recording session, including more piano explorations (Backwater Blues, Lazy Bones, Omaha Blues), spine-chilling vocals (Oh, Mary Don't You Weep) and tumbling, slashing guitar lines (Jack Of Diamonds).

by John Crosby

Track listing

Side 1

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Press quotes

For anybody interested in the work of the 'rediscovered' country blues singers from the early 1960's this has to be the most significant release of the new millennium so far.

Blues & Rhythm

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