Crucial blues music, crucial string band music
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 04/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD was an attempt in the 1960s to get together some senior Black musicians to reproduce the black blues string bands that were a big part of blues music in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The effort is led with the fiddling, singing, and general musical direction of the Great Carl Martin..
This is the way that the blues was presented as much as it was presented by individual guitar playing bluesmen. The socalled jug bands were simply iterations of these bands with jugs, often adding jugs because there was a fad to record jug bands and hire them for white parties.
This music is important since it is closer to how blues was experienced by African Americans as a dance music played by enough people to power good dancing. The idea of the single isolated blues singer with a guitar, singing a three minute song heavy on words, is a product of the limits of the 78 record, and the white post folkie bluesniks who took the blues out of the African American context. If Robert Johnson's recordings are all just him and his guitar, his companions report Johnson was usually looking for a partner to perform and play with and was thinking of setting up a combo with even a horn at the time of his death.
The problem again is that both folklorists of the 30s and 1940s and the recording industry were more partial to single blues guitarists or pianists and were not at all interested in Black string band music.
What a pity. This is good music to move to, to dance to, to listen to."