John Jackson

Country Blues & Ditties

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These 25 songs were recorded by Chris Strachwitz in April 1965, December 1967, and the fall of 1969, when Jackson was in his early to mid-forties. It's a pleasant set including interpretations of well-known classics like "Diddy Wah Diddy," "Matchbox Blues," "Just a Closer Walk with Thee," and "He's in the Jailhouse Now." He goes for more unexpected tunes with "I'll Step Aside," an Ernest Tubb hit, and "Lay Down My Old Guitar," probably learned from the Delmore Brothers; this is one of many examples of how Black and White rural music isn't as far apart as some have proclaimed. Without meaning any disrespect at all to the performer, this isn't the kind of recording to get you jumping up and down in excitement; it's relaxed acoustic blues, the kind you'd be happy to hear played at picnics or at a neighbor's home. Jackson's guitar picking is very good, and shown to best effect on the instrumental "John's Guitar Boogie."

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