Various Artists

Can't Keep from Crying: Topical Blues on the Death of President Kennedy

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In the wake of John Kennedy's assassination, Pete Welding recorded over a dozen acoustic blues tributes to the late president for this compilation in late 1963 and early 1964. Big Joe Williams, Otis Spann, and Johnny Young are the only widely recognized names on the disc, which also features performers like Mary Ross, Fannie Brewer, and Jimmy Brown. It's hard to be critical about a project devoted to such an emotional and devastating event, but this doesn't hold up too well as more than a slice of history. However heartfelt these pieces may have been, the compositions are not outstanding, and it's wearying to hear more than a dozen topical blues on any subject all in a row. The CD reissue adds previously unreleased tracks by Johnny Young and Avery Brady.

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