String Bands – Various Artists – Complete Recorded Works (1926-1929)
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Complete Recorded Works (1926 1929)
Featuring the recordings of
Kansas City Blues Strummers: Unknown, violin; unknown, vocal; unknown, banjo: unknown, guitar; unknown, vocal (possibly different for each side). Old Pal Smoke Shop Four: Ben Rainey, vocal on 3; John Chapman, vocal on 4; accompanied by two unknowns, banjo; unknown, guitar; unknown, mandolin; unknown, stand-up bass (bowed). Taylors Kentucky Boys: Jim Booker, violin; Marion Underwood, banjo; Willie Young, guitar. Taylors Kentucky Boys: Aulton Ray, vocal; accompanied by Jim Booker, violin; Marion Underwood, banjo; probably Willie Young, guitar. Booker Orchestra: John Booker, Joe Booker, Robert Steele, violin / guitar / kazoo. Georgia Yellow Hammers: Andrew Baxter, violin; Uncle Bud Landress, speech; Charles Ernest Moody, banjo; Phil Reeve, guitar; Clyde Evans, guitar. Andrew And Jim Baxter: Andrew Baxter, violin / speech on 13; Jim Baxter, guitar / vocal / speech on 14, 15. Nap Hayes and Mathew Prater (Johnson Boys / Blue Boys): Nap Hayes, guitar; Matthew Prater, mandolin. Alabama Sheiks: Eddie West, violin / vocal; Ad Fox, guitar / vocal.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Kansas Blues, Alabama Blues, String Band, Blues Violin, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Guitar, Old-timey, Country,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. The Kansas City Blues Strummers and The Old Pal Smoke Shop Four both recorded in late July of 1926, probably in Chicago. There are other similarities that suggest some of the same personnel were involved in each group, although the Blues Strummers had a more hard-edged, rough sound. The use of a cello in the band was a bit unusual as was the extended bowed bass solo of the Old Pal band. Jim Booker was a black fiddler born in Kentucky in 1837. His eldest son Jim played fiddle on the recordings by Taylors Kentucky Boys – an otherwise white string band (recorded examples of black fiddlers backed up by white musicians are far from common. The only other example I can think of is G Rag, on which Andrew Baxter plays with the Georgia Yellow Hammers). Bookers two younger sons John and Joe recorded two blues numbers under the name The Booker Orchestra, along with their neighbour Robert Steele. Besides playing on G Rag accompanied by the Georgia Yellow Hammers, Andrew Baxter also recorded seventeen duets with (his brother?) Jim, on guitar. Unfortunately, only eleven of these were issued, and only seven have been found to date. Baxters immediately recognizable fiddle playing is at its plaintive best on the two blues cuts. In 1928, Nap Hayes and Matthew Prater recorded four mandolin-guitar duets in Memphis. While the Nothin Doin’ and Prater Blues are just blues, Easy Winner is based at least partly on Scott Joplin rags (Somethin Doins second part is similar to the fourth section of Joplins Something Doing, and Easy Winners first two parts are from The Entertainer). Eddie West (violin) and Ad Fox (guitar) recorded four sides for Victor on January 20th 1931. Their Sittin On Top Of The World was a vain attempt to cash in on the earlier success that the Mississippi Sheiks had with the tune.Terry Zwigoff Copyright 1993 Document Records