U0093074006627

Joseph Spence - The Complete Folkways Recordings: 1958

Number of Discs
1
Release Date
04/21/1992
Artist
Joseph Spence
Format
CD / Album
Label / Studio
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Duration
00:50:38

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These recordings of Joseph Spence, made by Samuel Charters in 1958, display one of the most inventive guitar styles ever put to tape. Spence improvised on traditional tunes in a manner comparable to African-Americans Elizabeth Cotten and Mississippi Fred McDowell, like them adding rhythmic and melodic accents and changes in unexpected ways. In addition to his guitar work, he possessed an unparalleled vocal style. The closest match is the deep-voiced blues singer Howlin' Wolf. Charters met Joseph Spence, who was well-known to people on the island of Andros in the Bahamas, somewhat unintentionally while looking for Bahamian folk music. The recordings were made with field equipment, and the sound quality reflects this. As with all field recordings, this is a blessing and a curse. The lack of a studio preserves the "authenticity" of the folk sound, while the vocals on some tracks end up too low in the mix, thus de-emphasizing one of the most interesting aspects of the music. Nonetheless, the songs on this collection are intriguing and novel, even to the seasoned folk music listener. Spence's complexity of guitar work and uniqueness of vocal style are an unmatched combination. ~ Ben Tausig

1) Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer (06:05)
2) There Will Be a Happy Meeting in Glory (06:04)
3) Brownskin Gal (05:15)
4) I'm Going to Live That Life (06:25)
5) Face to Face That I Shall Know Him (04:30)
6) Jump in the Line (05:30)
7) Bimini Gal (06:13)
8) The Lord Is My Shepherd (05:53)
9) (Glory, Glory) When I Lay My Burden Down (04:43)

Album
The Complete Folkways Recordings: 1958
Publisher
Ryko Distribution
Main Format
CD
Explicit Lyrics
No
Keyword Index
The Complete Folkways Recordings: 1958 | Joseph Spence