Joseph Spence

Good Morning Mr. Walker

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With over 60 minutes and 21 tracks, adding ten to the 1972 release, it would be hard to find a much more definitive collection of Bahamian Joseph Spence. Featuring a deep repertoire of folk songs, hymns, sea chanties, children's songs, and pop tunes, Spence's incredibly intricate, polyrhythmic guitar playing rivals that of the American country-blues greats. His vocal technique has to be heard to be believed, as it comes across as a strange combination of an exuberant grunt, a cough, and a laugh, all serving the purpose of accenting the melody carried by the guitar. Doubtless, Spence was an extremely unique and original artist, but it appears that his singing style was probably formed as much from his admitted lack of familiarity with the lyrics of his material as any visionary innovation, as he usually doesn't include much more than a fragment of a verse and a chorus with the rest being vocal improvisation. Still, Good Morning Mr. Walker, also including seven tracks from a live performance, is the perfect showcase for this rare talent.

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