Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Classic Railroad Songs, Vol. 3: Night Train
Genres: Blues, Folk, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock
This third volume in Rounder Records' ongoing classic-train-song series focuses on the R&B end of the rails. Its scope is perhaps a little too ambitious, since the selections here span nearly 70 years. Amid some pretty tim... more »
This third volume in Rounder Records' ongoing classic-train-song series focuses on the R&B end of the rails. Its scope is perhaps a little too ambitious, since the selections here span nearly 70 years. Amid some pretty timeless competition, 1990s entries from the Holmes Brothers and Linda Tillery sound even more flatly digital (and surprisingly inanimate, given the subject matter) than they might otherwise. But classics like Louis Jordan's "Choo Choo Ch' Boogie" and Little Junior Parker's original recording of "Mystery Train"--which predates Elvis Presley's earth-shattering cover by a full year--give this volume a propulsive swagger that previous bluegrass- and country-centric volumes in the series lack. --Matt Hanks
African Americans sing about trains
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 03/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many compilations of train songs, including others in this series by Rounder, focus on country and folk music, but this set shows that people sang about trains regardless of musical genre or their own ethnic origin. So this set covers blues, jazz, boogie-woogie, R+B, soul and gospel.Leadbelly adapted Rock Island line in the 1940's, most notably adding the discussion about pig iron and livestock. Others including Johnny Cash and Lonnie Donegan covered his version in the 1950's and beyond. However, the version here, by Linda Tillery and the cultural heritage choir, is more faithful to the song as it existed before Leadbelly made the changes that we now tend to assume were always there.The version of Mystery train here is by Little Esther (actually Esther Phillips) and the robins. Esther had a top ten American hit in the sixties with Release me, a song which was originally a country hit for Ray Price but which is now associated with Engelbert Humperdinck. Esther does a superb job on Mystery Train.
A high standard is maintained throughout this set, beginning with Louis Jordan's classic rendition of Choo choo ch' boogie. Other train classics can be found here, including Trouble in mind and Boogie-woogie choo choo train."