Lead Belly

The Legend of Leadbelly: Goodnight Irene

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Leadbelly was a living, breathing musical history lesson, able to sing almost any type of folk or blues song imaginable, and he also sang folk-gospel pieces, fiddle tunes, children’s rhymes, and work songs as well as penning (usually by shifting new words to old melodies) several bona fide classics like “Good Night Irene,” which have become folk songs by more than compositional pedigree. There are countless collections of Leadbelly on the market, and this one isn’t a whole lot different, which isn’t really a problem, since with Leadbelly you get Leadbelly, and four of his signature standards, “Goodnight Irene,” “The Gallis Pole,” “The Bourgeois Blues,” and “Bring Me a L'il Water Silvy” are here.

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