Various Artists

Texas Field Recordings (1934/1939)

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This set of field recordings done in Texas in 1934 and 1939 shows the tremendous influence of Blind Lemon Jefferson, as both Pete Harris and Smith Casey, who have the bulk of the tracks here, have repertoires almost entirely based on Jefferson's work. Harris does "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" here as "Blind Lemon's Song," and takes a couple of stabs at "Jack O' Diamonds," also a Jefferson staple. "Carrie" is less in the Jefferson vein, and features some nice slide guitar work. Casey also does "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" here, only under the song's more common title, "Two White Horses Standing in a Line," and a song called "I Wouldn't Mind Dyin' if Dyin' Was All" that is definitely Jeffersonian in construction. Jesse Lockett has a single track, Augustus Haggerty has four, and Tricky Sam also adds three tracks, including the pleasant, rag-inspired "Ella Speed," to round out the disc. Nothing here is indispensable, but as a historical collection it is sure to interest students and scholars of early Texas blues.

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