Alan Lomax

Deep River of Song: Mississippi - Saints and Sinners

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Recorded by Alan and John Lomax during the late '30s and early '40s, this volume in the Deep River of Song series focuses on work songs, ballads, spirituals, blues shouts, and all kinds of story songs. A companion volume to Deep River of Song: The Blues Lineage, which presented field recordings by Son House, Muddy Waters, and many other Delta bluesmen, Saints & Sinners presents a good look at the musical climate of rural Mississippi during the early 20th century. Listeners are given an ample view of the atmosphere of the times, which was much closer to the days of slavery than many blues fans realize. The names known best to Delta aficionados are Sid Hemphill and Dobie Red, though much of the best material comes from the many contributors who never made it to a studio; Alec Askew, Crap Eye, Rev. C.H. Savage, Henry Joiner and Deacon Tom Jones are just a few of the mysterious names whose sparse recordings lend a ghostly air to the proceedings. For those captivated by the mystery of many selections from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, Saints & Sinners is a vital addition to their library.

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