Fred McDowell played the blues. He once famously stated, “I do not play no rock and roll.” And when the Rolling Stones covered his “You Got To Move,” they played it uncharacteristically straight up, hardly changing the feel of it. Before he was known as Mississippi Fred McDowell, Alan Lomax visited Fred McDowell and recorded him doing his thing. You want to talk about raw authenticity? This is a solo performance, caught in the location where it was conceived, in monophonic analog reel to reel tape with no effects. Recently mastered up and released to the Digiwebs by Global Jukebox. This is pure treasure.
“Fred McDowell’s Blues” (download mp3)
from “Fred McDowell: The Alan Lomax Recordings”
“Fred McDowell’s Blues” (play)
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Mississippi Fred McDowell‘s recording of “What’s The Matter Now?” is truly raw Delta Blues. Another piece of Alan Lomax’s massive contribution to recorded music history, this was recorded in 1959 at a gas station where McDowell worked at the time. No studio, no effects, no edits, no BS. A man, a microphone, and a moment, caught on tape, eventually transferred from vinyl to CD and then mp3. What a journey to our ears! For more on this influential artist, check out Kevin Swan’s tribute at Rubber City Review.
“What’s the Matter Now?” (download mp3)
from “I’ll Meet You On That Other Shore: Alan Lomaxs “Southern Journey,” 1959-1960″
“What’s The Matter Now” (play)
Takin’ it back in tha Wayback Machine with this vintage gem recorded by Alan Lomax. To know recorded American roots music is to know Alan Lomax’s singular legacy, and to not know it is to be missing out on some of life’s gr8 treasures. Here’s Fred McDowell layin’ it down for real. A man, his steel guitar, his voice and inner rhythm. 100% legit.
“Woke Up This Morning” (download mp3)
from “I’ll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down: Alan Lomax’s “Southern Journey, “1959-1960”
“Woke Up This Morning” (play)
Need s’more o’ that good stuff!