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Josh White – Backwater Blues (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Josh White – Backwater Blues (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:23:58 minutes | 864 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Jube Legends

Josh White had a long and varied career, beginning as a session guitarist in the 1920s, then had his own run of stellar blues 78s for Paramount and Columbia in the 1930s, becoming a cabaret bluesman in New York in the 1940s, only to be blacklisted as the McCarthy era dawned, which led to his association with Jac Holzman’s fledgling Elektra label in 1955. White recorded seven well-conceived LPs for Holzman between 1955 and 1962, and they restarted his career once again. The Elektra Years collects some of the highlights of that run in a two-disc set, including “You Don’t Know My Mind” (a remake of a Virginia Liston 78 from 1923), “Silicosis Blues” (which White first recorded back in 1936), “Jim Crow Train,” “Jelly Jelly” (complete with the sound of White gargling vodka at the onset), the jailhouse gospel of “Trouble,” and “Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin’ Bed,” which White first tracked in 1934 and was more or less his signature song. The collection ends with a striking 1933 version of “Lay Some Flowers On My Grave,” which White recorded in 1933 for ARC Records when he was only 19 years old. Many hardcore Delta blues aficionados found White’s version of the blues to be a little too refined to be authentic, and these days he is seldom placed in the company of his rediscovered contemporaries like Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Bukka White, or Skip James, which is a shame. It’s true that White had much more of a political and cultural agenda than any of those players, and if he pandered at times to stereotypical notions, it was always in the interest of educating his audiences. In addition, White was an astounding acoustic guitarist, and his laser-guided guitar runs were always tonally perfect. As a guitarist alone, he is due for a reassessment, and these Elektra recordings from Rhino Handmade are the perfect place to start, since he was never recorded in a more favorable sonic setting.


01. Bessie Smith – Backwater Blues (First Version)
02. Traditional – Frankie and Johnny
03. Josh White – His Eye Is on the Sparrow
04. Traditional – John Henry
05. Josh White – Mother on That Train
06. Josh White – I’ve Got a Home in That Rock
07. Josh White – Josh and Bill Blues
08. Traditional – Molly Malone
09. Billy Eckistine – Jelly Jelly
10. Josh White – Empty Bed Blues
11. Josh White – Green Grass Growing All Around
12. Josh White – Strange Fruit
13. Jimmy Cox – Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
14. Josh White – Sometime
15. Traditional – Watercress
16. Josh White – Waltzing Mathilda
17. Josh White – Paul and Silas
18. Josh White – That Suits Me
19. Traditional – Lord Randall, My Son
20. Lily Moore – Evil Hearted Man
21. Traditional – I Gave My Love a Cherry
22. Josh White – Bottle Up and Go
23. Josh White – Baby Baby Blues
24. Loui Singer – The Lass with the Delicate Air
25. Josh White – Lord, Have Mercy
26. Bessie Smith – Backwater Blues (Second Version)


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