Georgia Stringbands, Volume 1
by Various Artists
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- Released: September 6, 2000
- Label: Document
- 1.Where The Morning Glories Grow - Cofer Brothers
- 2.The Great Ship Went Down - Cofer Brothers
- 3.The All Go Hungry Hash House - Cofer Brothers
- 4.The Georgia Hobo - Cofer Brothers
- 5.Riley The Furniture Man - Georgia Crackers
- 6.The Coon From Tennessee - Georgia Crackers
- 7.The Georgia Black Bottom - Georgia Crackers
- 8.Diamond Joe - Georgia Crackers
- 9.I've Got A Gal In Baltimore - Georgia Crackers
- 10.Stockade Blues - Georgia Crackers
- 11.Chinese Rag - The Spooney Five
- 12.My Little Girl - The Spooney Five
- 13.Bob Murphy - Watkins Band
- 14.Gideon - Watkins Band
- 15.Little Girl, You Know I Love You - Watkins Band
- 16.Tom's Rag - Watkins Band
- 17.Wimbush Rag - Theo. ; Gus Clark
- 18.Barrow County Stomp - Theo. ; Gus Clark
- 19.Becaused He Loved Her So - Cofer Brothers
- 20.Keno, The Rent Man - Cofer Brothers
- 21.Rock That Cradle Lucy - Cofer Brothers
- 22.How Long? - Cofer Brothers
- 23.Rome Georgia Bound - Carroll County Revelers
- 24.Georgia Wobble Blues - Carroll County Revelers
Personnel: Ben Evans (whistling, guitar); Henry Chamblie (guitar); John Patterson (banjo); Pat Patterson (mandolin); Jess Chamblie (fiddle); Herschel Brown, J.H. Brown (washboard, spoons).
Audio Remasterer: Gerhard Wessely.
Liner Note Author: Tony Russell.
Recording information: Atlanta, GA (1927-1930).
This unique collection highlights some of the lesser-known figures of Georgia's hillbilly industry. The Spooney Five, the Watkins Band, Theo and Gus Clark, and the Carroll County Revelers each offer lively dance pieces, most of them instrumental and of fine if unexceptional quality. The real stars of this album, meanwhile, are the Cofer Brothers, Paul and Leon, whose obscure career produced a handful of remarkable and unpredictable string-band sides, showcasing a deeper connection with black musical styles than is evident in the mainstream string-band recordings of the period. The brothers play fiddle and guitar duets in a ragged, earthy fashion, their utter lack of refinement constituting a distinct, often amusing, and genuinely entertaining sound. On the sentimental tune "Where the Morning Glories Glow," their shaky, comically pitiful voices warble feebly through romantic descriptions of childhood against Paul Cofer's equally uncertain violin accompaniment; their "All Go Hungry Hash House" is a very funny treatment of a tune which crops up also in the repertoires of Dave Macon and Charlie Poole, and in "The Great Ship Went Down" the brothers take on the popular theme of the Titanic. The Cofers also recorded six sides as the Georgia Crackers, with friend Ben Evans on guitar and Leon switching to banjo; on these tracks, the brothers' sound is markedly different: the vocals grittier, the rhythm more insistent, and the performances rendered overall bluesier, completely abandoning any remnants of gentility. Their "Georgia Black Bottom" is a marvelous reworking of the traditional "Deep Elem Blues," while "Riley the Furniture Man" is the rowdier, raunchier half-brother of a later Cofer Brothers creation, "Keno the Rent Man." The performances of the Cofers and the Crackers are immensely valuable revelations of the rawest and darkest outskirts of early white string-band music, and, at least for some enthusiasts, should make up for the album's slower spots. ~ Burgin Mathews
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