Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Skip James. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1595-1 (1 LP)

Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Skip James. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1595-1 (1 LP)

Article excerpt

Skip James. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1595-1 (1 LP).

Bukka White. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1596-1 (1 LP).

R. L. Burnside. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1597-1 (1 LP).

Mississippi John Hurt. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1598-1 (1 LP).

Furry Lewis. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1599-1 (1 LP).

Honey Boy Edwards. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1600-1 (1 LP).

Houston Stackhouse. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1601-1 (1 LP).

Reverend Gary Davis. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1602-1 (1 LP).

Reverend Robert Wilkins.Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1603-1 (1 LP)

Little Brother Montgomery. Worried Blues. Fat Possum/Amazon FP1604-1 (1 LP).

Since 1968, Gene Rosenthal has owned and operated Adelphi Records, releasing albums and CDs of blues, folk, bluegrass, jazz, rock, and reggae. From 1994 through 2000, through his Adelphi/Genes Blues Vault series, he released about 15 CDs of his 1960s rediscovery-era recordings of elder blues legends. Although some of the music had appeared in the 1970s on Adelphi LPs, most of it was appearing for the first time. Many of these releases were also leased to the Edsel label for British sales. As I remember, the Blues Vault Genes CDs were not widely available, as retail was just beginning to emerge on the World Wide Web (Amazon, for one e-retailer, had begun in 1994), and most CD stores did not have large sections for blues, nevermind for Blues Genes CDs. In 2017, ten of these recordings were reissued on vinyl LPs, CDs, and digital downloads by arrangement with Fat Possum Records and Amazon, at a time when the blues has been recognized anew as Americana, and when the means to order through the web has been securely developed.

Fat Possum is located in the northern hill country region of Mississippi, initially in Oxford and now in Water Valley. Founded in 1990, Fat Possum has released many more new CDs of blues and rock than it has of historic recordings, although its 1990s CDs of regional bluesmen R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough currently enjoy classic status. When it has released historic material, it has tended to show interest in early recordings of its hill country artists, whether Burnside, Kimbrough, or Fred McDowell. Its release in 2008 of the George Mitchell Collection of hill country music was a major investment for the label but it has been a long-term seller. Re-releasing the Rosenthal blues recordings enables Fat Possum to add to its hill country catalog the Blues Vault release of its Burnside tape, along with nine other reissues of music by the very best of the 1960s blues rediscoveries.

Strictly speaking, Mississippi John Hurt (1892 or 1893-1966) was not a bluesman, but rather a genial songster who was versatile at playing blues, dances, and folk ballads. The basis of his fame rests on his 1928 recordings for the Okeh label, one of which, "Avalon Blues," refers to his hometown of Avalon, Mississippi. It was there in 1963 that he was located by Tom Hoskins, who helped him relocate to Washington, DC, and develop a full-time performing career for urban white audiences. Rosenthal recorded Hurt live during two stands at the Ontario Place Coffee House in Washington, on November 27-28 and December 12, 1964. By this time, Hurt had two studio LPs released on Dick Spottswood's Piedmont label, but neither was enjoying the wide circulation of Vanguard's 1964 two-LP anthology Blues at Newport (Vanguard VRS-9145) that included three songs by Hurt at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. Rosenthal's tapes capture Hurt on a typically good night (did he ever have a bad night?), playing the full range of his repertory, from bad-man songs ("Louis Collins," "Stagger Lee," "Joe Turner"), blues ("Worried Blues," "Avalon Blues"), and vintage popular songs ("A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight"). The 1993 Blues Vault Genes issue Memorial Anthology (GCD 9906/07) was on two CDs, containing 27 songs and an interview conducted by Pete Seeger. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.