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The Arhoolie record label owes its beginnings to a trip its founder took in 1960 (while a teacher at Los Gatos High School!) where he met and recorded Mance Lipscomb, resulting in Arhoolie’s first release. Lipscomb (pronounce LIP-scum) was a Texas sharecropper who called himself a “songster”, sometimes improvising lyrics, other times playing traditional favorites. Great guitar work, rich voice, this is the real thing.
I have heard that blues songs about the Titanic date back to when black boxer Jack Johnson could not board, due to racist policies of the time. When the ship sank, some felt it was the hand of an angry God.
“NICE” I just recently became aware of Mance Lipscomb, due to a visit I made to Down Home Music (an excellent record store in El Cerrito), which, as a matter of fact, is in the same building as Arhoolie Records office. They have several of his recordings, as well as some posters/memorabilia hanging on the walls. If you’ve never been to Down Home, it is well worth the trip. Peace; Bryan.
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