Various Artists

Old Time Mountain Blues: Rural Classics 1927-1939

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The blues was a major influence on musicians in the southern mountains on either side of the Great Depression, and combined with the European-influenced modal styles of Appalachian banjo players and fiddlers, the result was a sort of early template for modern country music. It's an awfully short leap from the players presented on Old Time Mountain Blues, all of whom released commercial 78s between 1927 and 1939, and the slightly smoother blues yodels of Jimmie Rodgers, and the hop from Rodgers to Hank Williams and the dawn of modern country music is so clear as to seem inevitable. Among the revelations here are Sam McGee's "Railroad Blues," Dock Boggs' spooky blues banjo on "Down South Blues," and the accomplished slide guitar work of Frank Hutchison (on "Cannonball Blues") and Jimmie Tarlton (on "Careless Love"). There are some fiddle and string band pieces presented here as well, making this a nice introduction to a seldom recognized aspect of Appalachian music.

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