365 Days of Album Recommendations – March 29

Mance Lipscomb – Texas Sharecropper & Songster

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There was a time when I bought ANYTHING on vinyl from Arhoolie that I could find. This is my greatest acquisition, and it’s why I bought all the other ones. This album is a treasure of such musical magnitude its value is simply not quantifiable.

If you listen to this album, and read I Say Me for a Parable: The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman, you will absorb as much knowledge about the true meaning of life as you would if you read The Bible, or The Koran, or The Diamond Heart Sutra, or whatever spiritual tome it is that guides your way on the path.

There is so much wisdom and beauty in Mance’s music, but he is also sly, funny, earthy, clever, dark, light, bouncy, brilliant, simple, complicated, funky, raggy, swingy, stompy, mysterious, approachable, mesmerizing, familiar, strange, and wonderful. In short, his music is life.

We need a heavy, heavy injection of Mance Lipscomb into the veins of today’s blues music. Because there ARE more than 12 bars, and less than that as well. Because there ARE more than 3 chords, and less than that as well. Because there ARE more grooves than shuffles, and jazz ain’t the only thing that swings. Because there ARE stories about somethin’ other than yer damn baby leavin’ you; and honestly, if you’re as dumb and as predictable and as lacking in imagination and as derivative as you seem to be, I’d fuckin’ leave ya too …

This son of Navasota was delivered unto us so that we might understand the magic of song.

I know for myself personally, regarding the entirety of my guitar style, a good quarter of it can be traced directly to this man’s sound. And if you look at my 20+ years worth of a discography, and if you find there something resembling eclecticism, I ask you instead to consider me simply a mendicant musicianer at the altar of Mance’s accomplishment, one who is simply trying to understand the magic of song.


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