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Southern Journey, Vol. 13: Earlist Times - Georgia Sea Island Songs For Everyday Living
Alan Lomax, Georgia Sea Island Singers
Southern Journey, Vol. 13: Earlist Times - Georgia Sea Island Songs For Everyday Living
Genres: Blues, Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

Noted folklorist Alan Lomax first encountered St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1935 while in the company of revered author Zora Neale Hurston. Twenty-five years later he returned and was welcomed as friend and field recorder...  more »

      
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Noted folklorist Alan Lomax first encountered St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1935 while in the company of revered author Zora Neale Hurston. Twenty-five years later he returned and was welcomed as friend and field recorder--volume 13 of Lomax's Southern Journey series is a document of that 1959-60 visit, wherein he found the Sea Islands much changed by modern progress. Nonetheless, this recording is an essential marker of the vibrant old-time African American rural folk tradition: the islands were (and still are, to a lesser extent) a veritable gumbo of Creole and Indian (Gullah), West African and antebellum plantation influences--an outgrowth of slavery. Differing from earlier releases of the core material, this reissue contains previously unreleased songs that Lomax had deemed too co-opted into the white modern world. Such songs, like the barbershop-quartet-inspired "You Better Mind" and "Union," are now added for the listener's benefit, to stand in contrast to the traditional island sound. At the very heart of these work, play, and worship songs are the singers--most spectacularly colorful group leader John Davis and the heavily sweet-voiced Bessie Jones, who with Bess Lomax Hawes wrote Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs & Stories from the Afro-American Heritage. --Paige La Grone

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Absolutely Awesome!
Pamela T. Burns | 09/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is absolutely amazing. To hear "authentic" African-American spirituals lend a true appreciation for the creations that were made so long ago. These works are as distinct as they are educational. I know each work by memory and have no problem in promoting their righteous place upon American music. Brava!

Dr. PT Burns"