Lomax: discs 2617-2622

March 19, 2010

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, discs 2617, 2618, 2619, 2620, 2621 & 2622. 1939. (on mp3, from the Library of Congress website)

There’s one more disc of recordings of Mexican and Spanish songs from Brownsville – more of the same.

There are a few discs of Frank Goodwyn, whom we’ve met before, singing cowboy songs. Again, more of the same.

Then, there are two discs of Lake N. Porter, an 85-year-old cowboy fiddler. I’m just going to link to all of his songs. It’s pretty cool to listen to them in order and hear him build up steam. He starts off sloppy and kind of awkward, works his way through some interesting dissonant harmonies (“Black Jack Grove,” for instance), and by the time he gets to “Sally Goodin” sounds like he’s trying to start a fire with his fiddle.
“Drunkard’s Lament”
“Lady in the Center and Three Hands Round”
“Black Jack Grove”
“Old Cacklin’ Hen”
“The Lost Girl”
“Billy in the Lowground”
“Sally Goodin”


Lomax: discs 2614-2616

February 5, 2010

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, discs 2614, 2615 & 2616. 1939. (on mp3, from the Library of Congress website)

Frank Goodwyn sings cowboy songs, in both English and Spanish.  There are some nice songs, but Frank’s singing isn’t anything special.


Lomax 1939, discs 2607-2613

January 29, 2010

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, discs 2607, 2608, 2609, 2610, 2611, 2612 & 2613. 1939. (on mp3, from the Library of Congress website)

Recordings of Mexicans in and around Brownsville, Texas.  There’s a blind singer, José Suarez, whose voice is grating and guitar playing is crap.  And there’s a school teacher, Manuela Longoria, whose recordings are pleasant but unremarkable, and her students.


Lomax 1939, discs 2604-2606

January 27, 2010

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, discs 2604, 2605 & 2606. 1939. (on mp3, from the Library of Congress website)

More recordings of convicts in a Texas prison, singing blues and spirituals.  With the exception of a couple songs where the recording didn’t turn out, they’re pretty much all great tracks.

Highlights:
“Hesitating Blues” (mellow blues with guitar)
“Jesus Walk’ Round Your Bedside” (solo vocal spiritual)
“This Heart o’ Mine” (solo vocal spiritual)
“Gambler Where Was You?” (spiritual with guitar, a great song but unfortunately poorly recorded)
“Smokey Mountain Blues” (delta blues with guitar)
“Worry Blues” (unaccompanied group spiritual)
“Come On and Bow Down” (a peppy spiritual with guitar)


Lomax 1939, discs 2600-2603

December 9, 2009

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, discs 2600, 2601, 2602 & 2603. 1939. (on mp3, from the Library of Congress website)

2600-2602 are songs from a Mexican Christian drama, “Morir en la cruz con Cristo, o Dimas, el buen ladrón.” It’s all pretty boring and irritating, probably because the singers are terrible.

2603 has a couple folk songs by the above singers, and also a few prison recordings made a month later: some field hollers and a barbershop-ish gospel quartet which is quite good, “Ride On, King Jesus.”


Lomax 1939, discs 2596-2599

December 3, 2009

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, discs 2596, 2597, 2998 & 2599. 1939. (on mp3, from the Library of Congress website)

Recordings of convicts in a Texas prison. Ace Johnson plays harmonica (“Mama Don’t ‘Low No Swingin’ Out in Here,” “Train“), Smith Casey and Jesse Lockett play guitar and sing, and of course there are a number of work songs. It’s mostly unremarkable, compared to Alan Lomax’s 1959 prison recordings, and there seem to be technical difficulties going on.


Lomax 1939, discs 2594-2595

December 2, 2009

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip, discs 2594 & 2595. 1939. (on mp3, from the Library of Congress website)

Ray Wood sings children’s songs from the Ozarks which he’d published in a couple books. Highlights:
– “Chew My Terbaccer” (somewhat unsuitable for children)
– “Johnny, Get Your Gun” (very much not suitable for children)
– “Jump Josie
– “I Stuck My Finger in a Crawdad’s Hole
– “Turn Over
– “Little Birdie in the Tree
– “When I Die
– “I Wish I Was a Little Rock” (pretty funny)
– “Speak to Me, Darling” (Guthrie-ish lullaby)