Saturday, March 21, 2009

James Alley Blues

When I first heard "James Alley Blues" by Richard "Rabbit" Brown I was stunned, and it remains one of my favorite pieces of early music and blues to this day. If you know it, it's probably because it appears on the Harry Smith Anthology. It also shows up on the excellent Times Ain't Like They Used to Be series and on a Document Records disc that Brown shares with Mississippi John Hurt (and which I see has been discontinued).

The Wikipedia entry mentions that many modern musicians have covered the piece. I've heard only a couple, but my advice is -- don't bother. Nothing can approach the original.

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