Jessie Mae Hemphill

She-Wolf

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This compact disc reissue gathers up all the original tracks from Jessie Mae's 1980 debut album for the French Vogue label along with four remixed bonus tracks, all seeing their first domestic release. Recorded by folklorist Dr. David Evans (who also contributes second guitar on 13 of the 15 tracks here) in various locales around Memphis and Mississippi, the music stays down-home and primal throughout. There's a strong sense of rhythm that permeates this record, whether it comes from the fife and drum-derived percussion work of Calvin Jackson and Joe Hicks or simply Jessie Mae's own foot-operated tambourine driving the beat home. Highlights include "Jessie's Boogie" and "Standing In My Doorway Crying" (both sides of her first 45 single, underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts), "Honey Bee," "Boogie Side of the Road," "Crawdad Hole," "Lovin' In the Moonlight," "Married Man Blues" and the title track. The blues, real and raw.

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