Leroy Carr Vol. 3 (1930-1932) – Full Album
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Complete Recorded Works (19 June 1928 – 25 February 1935)
Vol. 3: 9 September 1930 to 15 March 1932
Featuring the recordings of:
Leroy Carr, vocal, piano; Scrapper Blackwell, guitar (except on 1, 2. vocal, guitar on 9). Tags: Leroy Carr, vocal, piano, Scrapper Blackwell, guitar
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Piano, Tennessee Blues, Indianapolis Blues
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. By 1930 Leroy Carr‘s physique was already beginning to show the effects of his alcoholism and for a man still in his twenties this was not a good sign. As early in his recording career as February 1929 he had sung of drinking; Straight Alky (DOCD-5134) even then managing to conjure up images of impotency and loss of sexual drive with the startling vividness of a mature adult. The session in September 1930 began with Carr soloing on both the maudlin Let’s Make Up And Be Friends Again and the pleading Let’s Disagree (“I know we can’t agree, so let’s disagree”) – both songs directed at a woman he had fallen out with. Given Scrapper’s absence at the start of this session, perhaps it’s not too fanciful to suggest that the songs were veiled references to a disagreement with Blackwell prior to the session and this was Carr’s way of communicating an apology or truce. Whatever the reasons behind Scrapper’s absence, he returned for the remaining eight songs. In fact the two that immediately followed, Sloppy Drunk Blues and Hard Times Done Drove Me To Drink, saw Carr revelling in passing on his drinking experience to his record buying public.“I’d rather be sloppy drunk than anything I know. Give me another half a pint then baby I must go”, he boasted on the former with Blackwell playing some muscular, almost angry, snapping guitar phrases, while on the latter Carr sang “My mind keeps on rolling, three thousand things on my mind, I just keep on drinking to pass away the time”.
The years 1931 and 1932 saw only limited recording activity due to the Depression – just one session in January 1931 and two short ones in March the following year. Perhaps in attempt to bolster sales in a flagging market Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell made two further versions of How Long. The first, rather appropriately, changed the central theme for one of desertion to that of hard times and the second, How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone, returned to its original theme. This latter version was cut in Vocalion’s New York studios and must have been quite popular because of all the copies by numerous other blues singers of the How Long theme, it is invariably this version that is sung. This was to be his last attempt at the number. Another song from that period which also spawned a myriad of copies was the double-timed, Low Down Dog, which was adopted by blues shouter Big Joe Turner and became synonymous with him. Other themes Leroy Carr returned to were, at one extreme, imprisonment (Jail Cell and Big House Blues) and, another, hokum (Papa’s On The House Top, Carried Water For The Elephant, Papa’s Got Your Water On and Papa Wants To Knock A Jug) most of the latter with Scrapper duetting on the choruses. Generally, however, the emphasis was placed on up-tempo material presumably not only as an antidote to the times but also to ensure sales.Alan Balfour Copyright 1992: Document Records.