Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Skip James IS the Blues

Originally posted on April 6, 2009

What can you say about Skip James? He is a special member of the country blues pantheon who made a seminal series of recordings in the early days of the record industry, disappeared like so many and was rediscovered in the mid-sixties. Skip passed on much too soon after re-establishing his artistry in a series of concerts and recordings. Document Records has two concert appearances from the second phase of his career (on Live Volume 1), that should still be around if you search.

The first from Boston in 1964 marked his re-emergence in fine fashion, the second, from Philadelphia in 1966, finds him apparently ailing but still going strong. There’s that wonderful high-ranged blues voice, and great accompaniment on guitar as well as piano. It shows that his powers were as strong as before and will be a real treat for anyone with a liking for the music. He had a sense of humor and a delivery that cannot be duplicated. By all means get this one.

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