Lead Belly – American Epic: The Best Of Lead Belly (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:23 minutes | 437 MB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Columbia/Legacy
“American Epic” compilation series is a collection of releases of music associated with the film series “The American Epic”, a historical documentaries are a journey back in time to the “Big Bang” of modern popular music.
In the 1920s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent. The recordings they made of all the ethnic groups of America democratized the nation and gave a voice to everyone. Country singers in the Appalachians, Blues guitarists in the Mississippi Delta, Gospel preachers across the south, Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana, Tejano groups from the Texas Mexico border, Native American drummers in Arizona, and Hawaiian musicians were all recorded. For the first time, a woman picking cotton in Mississippi, a coalminer in Virginia or a tobacco farmer in Tennessee could have their thoughts and feelings heard on records played in living rooms across the country. It was the first time America heard itself.
This is not “remastering”, in the normal sense, but something closer to fine art restoration. The intent is not for people to marvel at the antiquity of these discs, but rather to experience them as vital, immediate performances that speak to us as directly as they did on the day they were recorded—not simply great art for their time, but great art for all times. Engineer Nicholas Bergh has reassembled this recording system from original parts and it is now the only one left in the world. The system consists of a single microphone, a towering six-foot amplifier rack, and a live record-cutting lathe, powered by a weight-driven pulley system of clockwork gears. The musicians have roughly three minutes to record their song direct to disc before the weight hits the floor. In the 1920s, they called this “catching lightning in a bottle”.
Louisiana delta native Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter is the master of twelve-string blues guitar. His story is one of high-highs and low-lows, from serving stints in prison after killing a man in a fight for a woman’s heart, but then eventually earning early release by entertaining his fellow prison-mates and penning a song for the governor, thus cementing his reputation of singing his way out of prison. Folklorists John and Alan Lomax were early supporters that brought Lead Belly to the attention of Ivy Leaguers as well as a European audience. His songs have been widely covered by artists such as Elvis, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, and the Grateful Dead. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.
01 – Mr. Tom Hughes’ Town
02 – C.C. Rider
03 – You Can’t Lose Me, Charlie
04 – Kansas City Papa
05 – Death Letter Blues, Pt. I
06 – Death Letter Blues, Pt. II
07 – Fort Worth and Dallas Blues
08 – Bull Cow
09 – Ox Drivin’ Blues
10 – Shorty George
11 – You Don’t Know My Mind
12 – Match Box Blues
13 – My Baby Quit Me
14 – Baby Don’t You Love Me No More