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Album Review

a Short Life of Trouble [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

mickeyslim   3/19/2013   12-inch, Blues

At it again, Mississippi Records releases a collection of gems from big names like The Carter Family and Woody Guthrie, to the obscure Shortbuckle Roark or Buell Kazee. Ol’ time folk tracks recorded between ’27 and ’43, dealing with murder and lost loves. Slide guitar, banjoes, fiddles, harmonies, and no percussion of any kind on the whole album. Most of the tracks are traditional ballads, and have no real author, much like “John Henry.”

“Pretty Polly” is a banjo murder balled. “Why I’m Grieving” is a yodeling sister duo, and there’s a bitchin’ version of “Man of Constant Sorrow” on the B-side. Mississippi John Hurt’s “Louise Collins” is about the murder of a girl, originally about a male victim. Rare recording of solo Jimmie Tarlton who almost exclusively recorded with a guy named Tom Darby. A couple Delta bluesy song find their way in there, too. Check it out, drop that needle like its hot…

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