Josh White Vol 3 1935 – 1940
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Complete Recorded Works 1929 1940
Vol. 3: (18th March 1935 to 7th March 1940)
Featuring the recordings of:
Joshua White (The Singing Christian), vocal / guitar; Walter Roland, piano. Joshua White (as Pinewood Tom), vocal / guitar; Walter Roland, piano. Joshua White (The Singing Christian), vocal / guitar; Buddy Moss, guitar. Joshua White (The Singing Christian), vocal / guitar; Buddy Moss, vocal / guitar. Joshua White (The Singing Christian), vocal / guitar; Buddy Moss, guitar. Joshua White (as Pinewood Tom), vocal / guitar. Josh White Trio: Josh White, vocal / guitar; Sidney Bechet, clarinet; Wilson Myers, stand-up bass. Josh White, vocal / guitar; Wilson Myers, stand-up bass; Bill White, vocal added on 22.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, South Carolina Blues, Carolina Blues, Piedmont Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Rural Blues, Gospel, Country Gospel, Carolina Gospel, National Guitar, Blues Piano, Jazz,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. March 1935 saw Josh White in ARC’s New York studio, teamed up once again with pianist Walter Roland, with whom he’d first recorded seven months earlier. The new sessions included a pair of up-tempo religious number, I Got A Home In That Rock and Paul And Silas Bound In Jail, amongst a batch of blues. The final session resulted in a single recording by Josh, Prodigal Son, although on that date he had also added his guitar to a couple of numbers by Walter Roland, both of which remained unissued. When Josh returned to the studio in August 1935, he was joined by the singer and guitarist Buddy Moss. Moss, from Georgia, had been recording since 1930, with artists such as Barbecue Bob, Curley Weaver, and Blind Willie McTell. Together they formed a competent duo, producing a session of eight mainly religious numbers, some of which, like the powerful How About You?, featured Buddy’s deeper voice, nicely complementing Josh’s. My Soul Is Gonna Live With God was also a strong performance of a song which Josh would repeat often throughout his career, and which, under the title of I Don’t Care Where They Bury My Body, would help to fuel the British folk boom of the 1950s. The single non-religious song from the session was Talking About My Time, which also featured Buddy’s voice, and was the song perhaps better known as Cornbread, Peas, And Black Molasses. At the same sessions, Josh White also appeared on a batch of blues, lending his guitar, and sometimes his voice, to recordings by Buddy Moss. (These can be heard on Document DOCD-5125.) The partnership was broken up shortly afterwards, when Buddy Moss went to prison for five years. Josh was alone in the studio a month later to record a single blues, When The Sun Goes Down, also known as In The Evening, a song associated with Leroy Carr, and later popularised by Big Bill Broonzy. Josh’s was a fine version, and included vocal inflections that were to reappear two years later in Robert Johnson‘s Love In Vain. Five months later, in February 1936, Josh recorded his last two songs for ARC. Also, solo performances, these were No More Ball And Chain and Silicosis Is Killin’ Me, both of which marked a departure from his previous recordings, in that these were the first of the social protest songs with which Josh was to become strongly identified. Around this time Josh White sustained severe cuts to his right hand, and there was a threat of amputation. Josh had to re-learn how to play guitar, and his next recordings, in 1940, certainly demonstrate a somewhat less fluent guitar technique. This session, from March 1940, produced eight songs. The first pair appeared as a Blue Note single, and featured Josh with jazz clarinettist Sidney Bechet and his bass-player, Wilson Myers, performing Careless Love and Milk Cow Blues. The remaining six songs were recorded without Sidney Bechet, although Josh’s brother Bill added his voice to one number. The records were issued by Musicraft as a three-disc album set entitled “Night Life In New York” and included another version of Careless Love, Hard Time Blues (a re-working of Things About Coming My Way) and a two-part Motherless Children, which appears to have been mistitled, since it is not the Blind Willie Johnson number, as covered by Josh back in 1933, but another version of Pure Religion, Hallilu, which Josh also recorded in that earlier session. The performances on these recordings were good, although they hinted at the influence of the sophisticated white night-club world into which Josh had drifted at that time.Dave Moore Copyright 1993: Document Records