Friday, May 27, 2016

Alvin Youngblood Hart 2002 Down In The Alley

Genre: Blues
Rate: 320 kbps CBR / 44100
Time: 00:43:08
Size: 98,67 MB

United States

While of course Alvin Youngblood Hart has the right to do any kind of music he chooses, it would be hard to dispute that he does downhome African-American music best. He's in top form on this splendid recording, which harks back to the sound of his first. Like Lead Belly, Mississippi John Hurt, Henry Thomas, and Mance Lipscomb, he is a gifted bluesman but not only a bluesman. He is also immersed in the older rural traditions out of which the blues emerged a century or so ago.

Thus, for two examples, the riveting renditions of the deep-folk songs "Deep Blue Sea" (not to be confused with the Tommy McClennan "Catfish Blues" variant of the same name) and "Chilly Winds." Though credited to Odetta, the latter is actually a cobbling-together of the title song (ubiquitous in both black and white tradition), "Pea Vine Whistle," and "K. C. Moan" -- themselves merely versions of older songs of murky origin. Hart not only revives the all-but-lost art of African-American five-string banjo but also masters it. The result is a sound nothing short of exhilarating.

I like everything on this album, with one small qualification. Hart boldly takes on the masters, making even Charley Patton's "Tom Rushen Blues" beautifully his own. Yet Skip James defeats him, as James seems to defeat everybody who tries him. Hart's version of "Devil Got My Woman" isn't bad, but James's original has an otherworldly quality which manages always to evade capture or even reinvention. If somebody has ever done a better version of any James song than James himself, I have never heard it.

This quibble notwithstanding, this is the sort of recording one has a very hard time taking off one's turntable. It should make all who hear it grateful that Hart is a relatively young man and that there's more -- plenty more, one hopes -- where it comes from. (Jerome Clark)


01 - Judge Bouche 04:08

02 - How Long Before I Change My Clothes 03:36

03 - Deep Blue Sea 02:21

04 - Jinx Blues 03:24

05 - Bootlegger's Blues 02:48

06 - Alberta 05:41

07 - Broke And Hungry 03:28

08 - Devil Got My Woman 03:08

09 - Chilly Winds 04:40

10 - Tom Rushen Blues 03:41

11 - Please Baby 03:01

12 - Motherless Child 03:12

Gamble for more Alvin Youngblood Hart

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