A collection of fifteen rare recordings by Leadbelly, Dan Smith and Reverend Gary Davis, made for the Biograph Records label. To listen to the artistry of these three consumate artists is to realize why blues and gospel music is one of the deepest and most heartfelt expressions of the American experience.
Tracks 1-6 were recorded in 1940. Tracks 7-10 were recorded in 1975. Tracks 11-15 were recorded in 1971.
Personnel: Lead Belly (vocals, guitar); Dan Tobin Smith (vocals, harmonica); Jack Hume (guitar, bass guitar); Huddie Leadbetter, Rev. Gary Davis (guitar); Dan Smith (harmonica); Nick Seeger (vocals, guitar); Bessie Jones (vocals, tambourine); Michael Cooney (guitar, banjo); Bill Vanaver (guitar, mandolin, maracas); Larry Breezer (guitar).
Liner Note Authors: Arnold S. Caplin ; Chris Albertson; Don Kent; Barbara Caplin; Joel Bernstein.
Recording information: New York, NY (06/19/1940-??/??/1975); Sherman Fairchild's Studio, New York, NY (06/19/1940-??/??/1975); Vermont (06/19/1940-??/??/1975).
Photographers: Arnold S. Caplin ; Queen O. Robinson.
Acoustic blues music cannot be denied as the root of popular music, and this compilation shows the connection. The six Leadbelly tracks from 1940 showcase the godfather of country blues in his precious glory, especially on his signature number, "Worried Blues." Then, in a quantum leap of generations, Dan Smith offers four original country blues tunes from 1975, all very well played, with a band, and in some instances, quite a revelation for this lesser-known man. Reverend Gary Davis, a true immortal of this genre, concludes the set with five of his pieces, done solo and recorded in 1971, including chestnuts "Candy Man" and the all-timer "Hesitation Blues." It's a good introduction to this style of roots Americana, left on the back shelf for far too long. ~Michael G. Nastos