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various artists

The Rough Guide to the Blues Songsters

world music network


Released: 25th Sep 2015


lp + download

Released: 31st Mar 2017


Before there was the bluesman there was the songster - Priding themselves on their huge musical repertoires, they performed every form of popular music of the day and could be described as the human jukeboxes of their time.

Songsters performed every form of popular music of the day from folk songs and ballads to rags and spirituals and helped to lay the foundations for the development of the blues. It includes classic interpretations of ballads such as John Henry, Frankie, Stackalee and Railroad Bill and the original version of ‘Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine’ previously covered by The Carolina Chocolate Drops. The album has tracks by legendary bluesmen/songsters such as Leadbelly, Charley Patton and Mississippi John Hurt as well as the earliest known songsters to record such as Henry Thomas, Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown and Jim Jackson.

The Rough Guide to the Blues Songsters

  1. Luke Jordan - Pick Poor Robin Clean
  2. Henry Thomas - Don't Leave Me Here
  3. Jim Jackson - What A Time (Take 1)
  4. Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah - The Spasm
  5. Papa Charlie Jackson - Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine
  6. Mississippi John Hurt - Frankie
  7. Pink Anderson & Simmie Dooley - Every Day In The Week Blues
  8. Frank Stokes - How Long
  9. Furry Lewis - John Henry (The Steel Driving Man) – Part 1
  10. Lonnie Coleman - Old Rock Island Blues
  11. Dick Justice - Cocaine
  12. Charley Patton - Mississippi Boweavil Blues
  13. Frank Hutchison - Stackalee
  14. Hambone Willie Newbern - Nobody Knows (What The Good Deacon Does)
  15. Stovepipe No. 1 & David Crockett - A Chicken Can Waltz the Gravy Around
  16. Louie Laskey - How You Want Your Rollin’ Done
  17. Leadbelly - Midnight Special
  18. Long 'Cleve' Reed & Little Harvey Hull - Hey!
  19. Lawdy Mama - The France Blues
  20. Will Bennett - Railroad Bill
  21. Blind Blake - Come On Boys Let's Do That Messin' Around
  22. Richard 'Rabbit' Brown - James Alley Blues
  23. Cannon's Jug Stompers - Going To Germany
  24. Peg Leg Howell - Coal Man Blues
  25. Tommie Bradley - Nobody's Business if I Do