Dock Boggs – Country Blues : Complete Early Recordings
Listening to the early recordings of Dock Boggs ought to disabuse you of a few key misconceptions:
Country Blues is NOT weird or creepy music. Scratch that. This shit is WEIRD.
The banjo is not cool. Nix. This shit is COOL.
Sugar Baby is a sweet thing to call someone. Nope. You’ll never use the term the same way again.
White people can’t play country blues. Wrong. Dock Boggs can.
Important to note, that this is an instance where you HAVE to find the original early recordings. Boggs’ “rediscovery”-era tracks just ain’t the same.
This collection is the one you want. The 60+ pages of liner notes are worth the price of admission. Tracks like Sugar Baby, Country Blues, Pretty Polly, Danville Girl—they’ll all blow your mind.
Joseph Spence. Yep. That’s right. Joseph Spence. Caribbean Country Blues. Trust me. And here’s the best way to get your head wrapped around the gloriously bent and magic acoustical muttering beauty of this strange and incredible artist. Listen to his version of Sloop John B. Because you know the song, but you have NEVER heard it like this. And it’s so, so phenomenal … I mean, literally cool beyond imagining. Seriously. Dig this.
Dock Boggs. I am a firm believer that proper Country Blues needs to occasionally be a bit creepy. And there is little music in the world that is more creepy than Dock Boggs’ original version of Sugar Baby.
Freddie, by Mance Lipscomb. Mance is associated with a great many fantastic things, and rightfully so. But not often with one chord drone songs. And let’s digress for a moment to note that one chord drone songs are the ultimate measure of a musicianer. And Country Blues does it best. Yeah, take that, modal jazz! (which I happen to love, btw). Anyhow, Mance hypnotizes on this one, so dig:
And here’s one from the newden days. Chris Whitley (RIP) laying into Spoonful with the Billy Martin & Chris Wood, the esteemed Medeski, Martin & Wood rhythm section. Just when you thought an ol’ blue chestnut like this one couldn’t be reimagined successfully, here comes this motherfu&*er of a rendition. This, people, is modern country blues. Not … that other stuff. This.
To be continued, but please. Listen to this music. Listen to this Country Blues.