The Leake County Revelers

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1

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In 1926, the Leake County Revelers began working together in the vicinity of Sebastopol, Mississippi, and in April 1927 they started making phonograph records. Document has reissued 44 selections by this fine little four-piece string band. The first of two volumes packs in 23 sides cut in Atlanta and New Orleans, tracing their chronology through mid-December 1928. Like volume two, this set combines relaxed waltzes in three-four with toe-tapping, upbeat fiddle tunes. The record that put these guys on the map as it were was "Wednesday Night Waltz" (soon to be covered by the Kessinger Brothers), b/w "Goodnight Waltz." Within four years, this one little record had sold more than 195,000 copies, and was still being peddled in its original 78 rpm format during the '50s. Part of the charm of this band was their knack for interpreting old-time melodies in a gentle, singalong manner. Examples of that formula included here are "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," "My Wild Irish Rose," and "Rockin' Yodel," with "Merry Widow Waltz" standing out as an attractive chestnut along with "Listen to the Mockingbird," which features whistled birdcalls. For those who crave a little more action, the Revelers pick up and play like the dickens on "Molly Put the Kettle On," "Bring Me a Bottle" (which sounds a lot like "Flop Eared Mule"); "Make Me a Bed on the Floor," "Monkey in the Dog Cart," "Johnson Gal," and "Leather Breeches," which was also recorded by Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers. Compared with the Lickers, the Revelers were less rambunctious and more dignified, every bit as righteous and rewarding as the East Texas Serenaders, another excellent string band whose complete works have been reissued by Document.

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