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Wilburt Lee Reliford Seems Like A Dream (LP)

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  • LPBLM00582
  • 0.28
(Big Legal Mess Records) 12 tracks The harmonica has been conspicuously absent from the North... more

Wilburt Lee Reliford: Seems Like A Dream (LP)

(Big Legal Mess Records) 12 tracks

The harmonica has been conspicuously absent from the North Mississippi Hill Country music scene in recent decades, but that wasn't always the case. Johnny Woods (1917-1990) was a frequent playing partner of both R.L. Burnside and Mississippi Fred McDowell, whose collaboration with Woods is recorded on the Fat Possum LP Mama Says I'm Crazy.

Another fixture on the North Mississippi juke joint and house party scene was Wilbert Lee Reliford, a blind harmonica player, singer, and occasional guitarist. Reliford recalled that he was born in 1924 near Rossville, Tennessee, McDowell's hometown, but grew up near Chulahoma, Mississippi, the site of Junior Kimbrough's infamous juke joint.

At age 11, he lost his sight after a doctor treating him for Bright's disease accidentally took out his "good" eye. "I cried many nights after I went blind," Reliford told Sylvester Oliver. "I also prayed a lot, and over time I learned to play guitar and got better on the harp." Reliford learned his first harmonica licks from a family friend, Katherine Holloway, and studied the records of West Tennessee native John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. He was inspired to play guitar by local bluesman Monroe "Guy" Jackson, who built Reliford's first instrument out of a candy box.

Reliford mostly stuck with the harmonica, preferring the accompaniment of a good guitarist - his partners included Henry Hardin and Claudell Campbell - and he recalled becoming known as the "champ" of the little instrument through his performances at "gin houses" in the hills and as far away as Clarksdale in the Delta. His engagements sometimes lasted all weekend as he played for players in speakeasies and oil-lit barns.

"They wanted you to play for them all day and all night ... They just wanted to hear some music. Usually there was no dancing ... Sometimes there were a few women, but mostly it was just men. They wanted music to comfort the players."

In the 1980s, Reliford gained wider, if limited, attention through regular appearances at events such as the annual Northeast Mississippi Blues Festival, hosted by Oliver at Rust College in Holly Springs, and the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, as well as television appearances with the Rust College Studio Band. The present recordings were made in 1989 by Dutch researcher Ko de Korte, with producers Bruce Watson and Will Sexton giving the band tracks a modern redux. Reliford died on July 30, 1993, and is buried in Lamar, Benton County, at Greenwood Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.

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Article properties: Wilburt Lee Reliford: Seems Like A Dream (LP)

  • Interpret: Wilburt Lee Reliford

  • Album titlle: Seems Like A Dream (LP)

  • Genre Blues

  • Geschwindigkeit 33 U/min
  • Vinyl record size LP (12 Inch)
  • Record Grading Mint (M)
  • Sleeve Grading Mint (M)
  • Label Big Legal Mess Records

  • Artikelart LP

  • EAN: 0854255005828

  • weight in Kg 0.28
Reliford, Wilburt Lee - Seems Like A Dream (LP) LP 1
01 Seems Like A Dream Wilburt Lee Reliford
02 Coal Black Mattie Wilburt Lee Reliford
03 Sugar Mama Wilburt Lee Reliford
04 Going Away Wilburt Lee Reliford
05 Tappin' That Thing Wilburt Lee Reliford
06 Hello Stranger Wilburt Lee Reliford
07 Somebody's Knockin' Wilburt Lee Reliford
08 I Won't Be Back No More Wilburt Lee Reliford
09 Peaches Wilburt Lee Reliford
10 Rock Me Wilburt Lee Reliford
11 I'm Gonna Leave Wilburt Lee Reliford
12 Call Mama Wilburt Lee Reliford
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