Lead Belly

Good Morning Blues [Biograph]

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This charming disc from Biograph Records collects songs from Leadbelly, Reverend Dan Smith, and Reverend Gary Davis in a sequence that flows amazingly well, making a cohesive and unified album from what could have easily been a disjointed affair. The Leadbelly tracks were recorded June 14, 1940, and include charming versions of "Boll Weevil," "Went Out on the Mountain," and the kinetic "You Can't Lose Me, Cholly." The four songs by Reverend Dan Smith, a little-known harmonica player and singer who didn't get a chance to record until late in his life, are also delights, particularly "Babylon Is Falling Down." The Smith cuts were recorded in New York and Vermont in 1975. Fine versions of "Hesitation Blues" and "Soon My Work Will All Be Done" are included in the set by Reverend Gary Davis, recorded March 17, 1971. This anthology could have easily been a haphazard, random collection, but instead it presents a well recorded, seamlessly flowing introduction to three fine folk and blues performers.

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