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Hemphill, Sid – “Devil’s Dream, The” – [Mississippi Records]

surferrosa   4/16/2013   12-inch, Blues

These are archival recordings collected by Alan Lomax, ethnomusicologist and folklorist, of Sid Hemphill (1876-1961) out of Sledge Mississippi, recorded August 1942…Sid Hemphill called his work ‘old folks music’ and handmade many of his band’s instruments. These recordings are full of crackly old folk songs and instrumentals, most certainly with that post-war, whiskey sippin’, jams and ditties on the front porch on a hot day sort of sound. Outstanding fiddle-fodder makes for a square dance kind of feel on a lot of these tracks.. banjo twang to make your toes tap.. Some feature the ‘quil’ a hand cut cane panpipe, which you can find on many of the short instrumentals paired with a snare drum, which echoes of a civil war drum-line march. Vocals are soulful, and gritty, wailing about hunting or the devil himself. All this underlined with the wonderful pops, cracks and hisses of a recording made long long ago. -Surfer Rosa

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