VA - Virginia Traditions: Tidewater Blues (2013)

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VA - Virginia Traditions: Tidewater Blues (2013)

Artist: Various Artists
Title Of Album: Virginia Traditions: Tidewater Blues
Year Of Release: 1982/2013
Genre: Blues Folk
Label: Smithsonian Institution
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 46:08
Total Size: 114 MB
Covers: Full

01. Carl Hodges - Leaving You, Mama (3:12)
02. Henry Harris - Albemarle County Rag (1:23)
03. Virginia Four - I'd Feel Much Better (2:32)
04. Pernell Charity - Blind Love (3:00)
05. William Moore - Barbershop Rag (2:59)
06. The Back Porch Boys - King Kong Blues (2:59)
07. John Cephas - Black Rat Swing (3:36)
08. Corner Morris - Going Down The Road Feeling Good (2:19)
09. Pernell Charity - War Blues (2:58)
10. Big Boy - Blues (4:35)
11. The Back Porch Boys - Sweet Woman Blues (3:03)
12. Henry Harris - Motorcycle Swing (1:26)
13. Monarch Jazz Quartet Of Norfolk - Pleading Blues (2:46)
14. Carl Hodges - Poor Boy Blues (3:14)
15. John Cephas - Richmond Blues (2:43)
16. William Moore - One Way Gal (3:15)

Another in the Virginia Traditions series assembled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Appalachian Studies at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia, Tidewater Blues combines commercially released 78s from the 1920s with field recordings done in the 1940s, '50s and '70s to provide a historical sketch of blues in the region. Often called Piedmont or East Coast blues (there are those who would split hairs and make each a distinct school), tidewater blues is generally more intricate and delicate than the Delta or Texas strains of the genre, and draws more heavily on piano rags as well as the black string band tradition and features a gentle, melodic and easy rolling feel. Among the highlights here are two gentle and perfectly nuanced blues songs by guitarist Carl Hodges, "Leaving You Mama" and "Poor Boy Blues," recorded by folklorist Kip Lornell in 1979, and Pernell Charity's accomplished guitar instrumental, "Barbershop Rag," recorded in 1928. The Virginia Four's unaccompanied "I'd Feel Much Better," from 1939, isn't so much blues as secular black gospel, as is "Pleading Blues," sung by the Monarch Jazz Quartet and drawn from a 1929 recording. Tidewater Blues ends up being a gentle, soothing portrait of blues (and blues-based forms) from the coastal region of Virginia, and makes a fine complement to another volume in the Virginia Traditions series, Western Piedmont Blues, which places its focus further inland. ~Review by Steve Leggett

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