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McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred Down Home Blues 1959

Down Home Blues 1959
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  • CDJSP4227
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(1959) (153:22/46) more

McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred: Down Home Blues 1959

(1959) (153:22/46)

Article properties: McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred: Down Home Blues 1959

McDowell, Mississippi Fred - Down Home Blues 1959 CD 1
01 When You Get Home Write Me A Few Little Lines McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
02 Drop Down Mama McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
03 Shake 'em On Down McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
04 Fred McDowells Blues McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
05 Goin' Down To The River McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
06 You Gonna Be Sorry McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
07 You Done Tol' Everybody McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
08 Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Jesus McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
09 Soon One Mornin' McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
10 Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
11 Wished I Was In Heaven Sittin' Down McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
12 Germany Blues McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
13 Good Morning Little Schoolgirl McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
14 Freight Train Blues McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
15 Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning McDOWELL; Mississippi Fred
16 Been Drinkin' Water Out Of A Hollow Log McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
17 I Want Jesus To Walk With Me McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
18 61 Highwy Blues McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
19 Lord Have Mercy McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
20 Worried Mind McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
21 What's The Matter Now McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
22 Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning (instr) McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
23 Shake 'em On Down (alt.) McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred
24 Cool Water Blues DUDLEY, John
25 Po' Boy Blues DUDLEY, John
26 Clarksdale Mill Blues DUDLEY, John
27 Jim & John YOUNG, Ed & Lonnie & G.D.
28 Hen Duck YOUNG, Ed & Lonnie & G.D.
29 Chevrolet YOUNG, Ed & Lonnie & G.D.
30 Oree YOUNG, Ed & Lonnie & G.D.
31 Sittin' On Top Of The World YOUNG, Ed & Lonnie & G.D.
32 All Night Long PRATCHER, Miles & Bob
33 I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Til I Die PRATCHER, Miles & Bob
34 Buttermilk PRATCHER, Miles & Bob
35 Leevee Camp Reminiscence FORREST CITY JOE
36 Train Time FORREST CITY JOE
37 Red Cross Store FORREST CITY JOE
38 You Gotta Cut That Out FORREST CITY JOE
39 Stop Breaking Down FORREST CITY JOE
40 Drink On Little Girl FORREST CITY JOE
41 She Lived Her Life Too Fast FORREST CITY JOE
42 She Don't Love Me That Way FORREST CITY JOE
43 Forrest City Jump FORREST CITY JOE
44 Boogie Children BOY BLUE
45 Joe Lee's Rock BOY BLUE
46 You Got Dimples In Your Jaw JONES, Willie
Mississippi Fred McDowell Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning (Traditional) Summer 1959... more
"McDOWELL, Mississippi Fred"

Mississippi Fred McDowell

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning

(Traditional) Summer 1959 Atlantic LP 1346

Musicologist Alan Lomax roamed the back roads of the South during the early 1940s, discovering and recording Mississippi bluesmen Muddy Waters and David 'Honeyboy' Edwards for the Library of Congress (see the first disc of this set). Lomax hit the road anew in 1959, this time on behalf of Atlantic Records. Portable recording equipment had come a long way. The mammoth disc recorder Lomax once hauled had been replaced by a stereo reel-to-reel tape rig.

 

Lomax came across a slide guitarist in Como, Mississippi that was easily the equal of his prior discoveries: Mississippi Fred McDowell. That nickname was a bit of a misnomer; McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee on January 12 of either 1904 or '05 (he wasn't sure which). His uncle Gene Shields taught him how to play slide with a beef rib bone when Fred was just a lad (he eventually used the neck off a Gordon's gin bottle). Local musicians Raymond Payne and Vandy McKenna showed him some licks. McDowell finally corralled his own guitar in 1940, when he moved to Como after some years in Memphis. He wed Annie Mae Collins in Como (she would be his frequent duet partner on the religious pieces that constituted a good portion of his repertoire) and played local dances but mostly farmed.

 

Then Lomax rolled into Como during the late summer of 1959 and changed Fred's life forever. During a lengthy field session at McDowell's domicile, the guitarist laid everything he had on tape for the folklorist, including the haunting, slide-soaked Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning, which had been recorded in December of '28 by slide master Blind Willie Johnson. Atlantic included several of Fred's debut tracks on a series of Lomax-produced albums in late 1960, introducing a new blues giant born over half a decade prior to Robert Johnson.

 

By 1962, other researchers were finding their way to McDowell's door. Testament Records owner Pete Welding and Arhoolie label boss Chris Strachwitz issued a series of excellent McDowell LPs over the next few years. Fred played the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, his pungent slide proving very influential to a young Bonnie Raitt. He was convinced to go electric in 1969 for a set waxed at Malaco Studios in Jackson, Miss. ironically titled 'I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll.' The Rolling Stones covered McDowell's You Gotta Move on their 'Sticky Fingers' LP in 1971. But the slide specialist didn't have long to enjoy the royalties he'd share with Rev. Gary Davis; stricken with cancer, he died July 3, 1972. Stardom came uncommonly late to McDowell, but he wore it magnificently.

                                                                                        --Bill Dahl

 

BCD 17229 Verschiedene Interpreten - Acoustic Blues Vol.1 (1923 - 1939)
BCD 17230 Verschiedene Interpreten - Acoustic Blues Vol.2 (1941 - 1959)
BCD 17231 Verschiedene Interpreten - Acoustic Blues Vol.3 (1960 - 1979)
BCD 17232 Verschiedene Interpreten - Acoustic Blues Vol.4 (1980 - 2012)

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