Joseph Spence Happy All the Time
- Released: January 21, 2003
- Label: Water
The Wire - 4/03, p.64"...[Spence] proved a musical revelator and his quirky phrasing and rugged fingerpicking style left its mark directly on influential figures such as Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal....Historically significant recordings are rarely so pleasurable..."
Dirty Linen - 2/04, p.73"Spence's imaginative flights of improvisational fancy were never given such free rein as on this 1964 session."
- 1.Out on the Rollin' Sea
- 2.Bimini Gal
- 3.We Shall Be Happy
- 4.The Crow
- 5.Diamond on Earth
- 6.Uncle Lou / No Lazy Man: Uncle Lou / No Lazy Man
- 7.How I Love Jesus
- 8.Conch Ain't Got No Bone
- 9.I Am Living on the Hallelujah Side
Personnel includes: Joseph Spence (guitar).
Recorded in the Bahamas in 1964. Includes liner notes by Sam Charters and Guy Droussart.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Joseph Spence (vocals, guitar).
Liner Note Authors: Paul Rothchild; Jac Holzman; David Suff.
Recording information: Nassau, Bahamas.
A blues artist who had plenty of reasons to be happy--he lived in the Bahamas, after all--guitarist/vocalist Joseph Spence was enjoying acclaim for his Smithsonian Folkways recordings by the time of this 1964 outing and, no doubt, receiving added attention due to the folk/blues revival happening in England and the States. On these tracks, Spence's staccato acoustic-guitar lines skip around gleefully, while his unmistakable rasp emanates from the background. Many of these tunes feature a prominent gospel vibe, most notably the sunny "Out on the Rolling Sea," the sauntering "Oh, How I Love Jesus," and the lengthy improvisation "I Am Living on the Hallelujah Side." HAPPY ALL THE TIME also boasts a wonderful nod to Caribbean life with "Conch Ain't Got No Bone," an ode to the delicious staple of islander cooking. An album awash in optimism, this record is one of the finest examples of Spence's utterly unique contributions to the blues.
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