Mance Lipscomb

Texas Country Blues

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AllMusic Review by

In the 1960s when the folk revival began to recognize country blues as an important art form, Arhoolie was there to capture it all on tape. It perhaps seems odd in retrospect that a number of scholars and collectors feared that the older forms of the blues had vanished from the landscape during the 1950s. Arhoolie's recordings of Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, and other players gave ample evidence that prewar blues were alive and doing quite well, thank you. Texas Country Blues collects a number of tracks recorded by Mance Lipscomb in the late '60s and early '70s. Lipscomb may be first and foremost a blues player, but unlike Hopkins or McDowell, he broadened his repertoire to include ragtime and folk. "Rag in F" is a fun little ditty that brings to mind the bouncy piano work of Scott Joplin, while "Corrine, Corrina" and "Wonder Where My Easy Rider Gone" conjure up the ghost of Leadbelly. Whatever style he's working in, however, Lipscomb delivers each song with focus and feeling. There's the delightful "Mama, Let Me Lay It on You," and there are sharp, electric versions of "Blues in the Bottle" and "Angel Child." With it's generous running time and fine selections, Texas Country Blues will serve as a superior introduction to an eclectic blues artist.

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