Various Artists

Mississippi String Bands, Vol. 2

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The County label's second CD compilation dedicated to classic white Mississippi string bands covers a longer time line than its predecessor by presenting music recorded during the years 1927 to 1935. While both volumes touch upon the works of the Leake County Revelers and the fiddle-guitar duo Narmour & Smith, volume two includes "Little Black Mustache" by Gene Clardy and Stan Clements; "Going to the Wedding to Get Some Cake" by the Newton County Hillbillies; the fabulous Nations Brothers (creators of "Sales Tax Toddle," "Bankhead Blues," and "Negro Suppertime") as well as the regionally famous Freeny's Barn Dance Band, a lively little band of square dance specialists which was formed in 1913 by guitarist Fonzie Cannon and fiddler Leslie Freeny. The other two members were auxiliary fiddler Hendrix Freeny and mandolin handler Cleveland Freeny. It was Fonzie who arranged for the Freenys to appear at a storefront audition and a subsequent recording session which took place at the King Edward Hotel in Jackson near the end of the year 1930. The Freenys' "Croquet Habit," which is a peculiarly retitled extension of the Memphis Jug Band's "Cocaine Habit Blues," seems to suggest a special outfit to be worn while brandishing wooden mallets and hopping over wire wickets.

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