Leadbelly Leadbelly's Last Sessions (4-CD Box Set)

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Format: CD  (4 Discs)
Item:  SFW 40068

CD Details

  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Released: September 20, 1994
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways

Entertainment Reviews:

Q - 3/95, p.118
3 Stars - Good - "...though these were his last recordings, they were his first made on magnetic tape and the medium's fidelity communicates a greater intimacy than was achieved on his many other recordings..."
Vibe - 12/99, p.158
Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century

Tracks on Disc 1:

  • 1.Yes, I Was Standing in the Bottom
  • 2.Yes, I'm Going Down to Louisiana
  • 3.I Ain't Going Down to the Well No More
  • 4.Dick Ligger's Holler
  • 5.Miss Liza Jane
  • 6.Dog Latin Song
  • 7.Leaving Blues
  • 8.Go Down, Old Hannah
  • 9.Blue Tail Fly
  • 10.Nobody in This World Is Better Than Us
  • 11.We're in the Same Boat, Brother
  • 12.Looky, Looky Yonder
  • 13.Jolly O' the Ransom
  • 14.Old Ship of Zion
  • 15.Bring Me a Little Water, Silvy
  • 16.Mistreatin' Mamma
  • 17.Black Betty
  • 18.Ain't Goin Down to the Well No More
  • 19.I'm Going Back Down in Louisiana
  • 20.I Don't Know You, What Have I Done
  • 21.Rock Island Line
  • 22.Old Man, Will Your Dog Catch a Rabbit?
  • 23.Shorty George
  • 24.Stewball
  • 25.Bottle up & Go
  • 26.You Know I Got to Do It
  • 27.Ain't It a Shame to Go Fishin' on a Sunday
  • 28.I Ain't Gonna Drink Anymore
  • 29.Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues - (previously unreleased)
  • 30.My Lindy Lou
  • 31.I'm Thinking of a Friend
  • 32.He Never Said a Mumbling Word
  • 33.I Don't Want No More of Army Life
  • 34.In the World
  • 35.I Want to Go Home

Tracks on Disc 2:

  • 1.New Iberia
  • 2.Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
  • 3.John Henry
  • 4.Salty Dog
  • 5.National Defense Blues
  • 6.Easy, Mr. Tom
  • 7.Relax Your Mind
  • 8.Bottle up and Go
  • 9.Polly Wolly Wee
  • 10.Pig Latin Song - (alternate take)
  • 11.Hawaiian Song
  • 12.Drinkin' Lum y a Alla
  • 13.The Grey Goose
  • 14.Silver City Bound
  • 15.The Titanic
  • 16.Death Letter Blues
  • 17.Mary Don't You Weep
  • 18.He Never Said a Mumbling Word

Tracks on Disc 3:

  • 1.Midnight Special
  • 2.Boll Weevil Song
  • 3.Careless Love
  • 4.Easy Rider
  • 5.Cry For Me
  • 6.Ain't Going to Drink No More (De Kalb Blues)
  • 7.Birmingham Jail
  • 8.Old Riley
  • 9.Julie Ann Johnson
  • 10.It's Tight Like That
  • 11.4, 5 & 9
  • 12.Good Morning Babe, How Do You Do?
  • 13.Jail House Blues
  • 14.Well, You Know I Had to Do It
  • 15.Irene
  • 16.25 Cent Dude
  • 17.How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
  • 18.Hello Central
  • 19.Hesitation Blues
  • 20.I'll Be Down on the Last Bread Wagon

Tracks on Disc 4:

  • 1.Somebody's Diggin' My Potatoes - (previously unreleased)
  • 2.Springtime in the Rockies
  • 3.Chinatown
  • 4.Rock Island Line
  • 5.Backwater Blues
  • 6.Sweet Mary
  • 7.Irene
  • 8.Easy, Mr. Tom
  • 9.In the Evening, When the Sun Goes Down
  • 10.I'm Alone Because I Love You
  • 11.House of the Rising Sun
  • 12.Mary Don't You Weep
  • 13.Talk About Fannin Street
  • 14.Fannin Street
  • 15.Sugared the Beer
  • 16.Didn't Old John Cross the Water
  • 17.Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
  • 18.Bully of the Town
  • 19.Sweet Jenny Lee
  • 20.Yellow Gal
  • 21.He Was the Man
  • 22.We're in the Same Boat, Brother
  • 23.Leaving Blues

Product Description:

Personnel includes: Leadbelly (vocals, acoustic guitar).
Recorded between September and November, 1948. Originally released on Folkways (241/2941, 242/2942). Includes liner notes by Frederic Ramsey, Jr. Moses Asch, Sean Killeen, Anthony Seeger, Jeff Place and Matt Walters.
Legend has it that when Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter was shown one of the first commercially available tape recorders--as opposed to the then-standard disc-cutting machines--in the fall of 1948, he immediately sat down in front of it for a marathon impromptu recording session. This fact comes across on the first of these discs taken from those tapes: most of its 35 tracks are traditional blues hollers without even his trademark 12-string guitar for accompaniment.
The other three discs are jam-packed with songs, fragments, and often fascinating conversations. Rather than edit the material--which the listener can do quite nicely with a programmable CD player and blank cassettes--the archivists at Smithsonian/Folkways wisely chose to release these four hours of material exactly as it was recorded. As a result, the sound quality is occasionally a bit dodgy, but the historical import and musical quality of these recordings are undeniable.

Music Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 5.0
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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 130,438
  • UPC: 093074006825
  • Shipping Weight: 0.50/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 4 items