Zeal & Ardor
Father of the Delta Blues: The Complete 1965 Sessions
The Original Delta Blues
Si Kahn

Blues » Country Blues » Work Songs

Handed down from the days of slavery, work songs helped black field workers pass the time under oppressive social and environmental conditions. They were usually simple, repetitive chants and melodies, easily remembered and modified. Some work songs had a spiritual focus, while others were carefully coded metaphors containing social commentary and/or guidelines for escape. After slavery was abolished, work songs continued to be passed along, especially in black sharecropper families who still worked in the South. The field recordings by the father/son team of John and Alan Lomax, most made during the first half of the 20th century, constitute the primary modern-day source for work songs.

Work Songs Artists Highlights

Zeal & Ardor
Zeal & Ardor
Si Kahn
Si Kahn

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Work Songs Album Highlights

Father of the Delta Blues: The Complete 1965 Sessions
Son House
Father of the Delta Blues: ...
The Original Delta Blues
Son House
The Original Delta Blues
World Library of Folk and Primitive Music, Vol. 1: England
Alan Lomax
World Library of Folk and ...
Classic Ballads of Britain and Ireland, Vol. 1
Alan Lomax
Classic Ballads of Britain ...
Forever on My Mind
Son House
Forever on My Mind
World Library of Folk and Primitive Music, Vol. 3: Scotland
Alan Lomax
World Library of Folk and ...

More Work Songs Albums

Work Songs Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Preachin' Blues Son House
Grinnin' in Your Face Son House
Preachin' Blues Son House
Walking Blues Willie Brown / Fiddlin' Joe Martin / Leroy Williams
Poor Lazarus
Vera Hall
Dholak
Walking Blues
Son House
Ballo Dei Gobbi
Ruffillo Casadei
Lu Cenciaru

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