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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alcohol Blues - Mance Lipscomb

Mance Lipscomb (April 9, 1895 – January 30, 1976) was an American blues singer, guitarist and songster. Born Beau De Glen Lipscomb near Navasota, Texas, United States, he as a youth took the name of 'Mance' from a friend of his oldest brother Charlie ("Mance" being short for emancipation). Lipscomb was born April 9, 1895 to an ex-slave father from Alabama and a half Native American (Choctaw) mother. Lipscomb spent most of his life working as a tenant farmer in Texas and was "discovered" and recorded by Mack McCormick and Chris Strachwitz in 1960 during the country blues revival. He released many albums of blues, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley and folk music (most of them on Strachwitz' Arhoolie label), singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He had a "dead-thumb" finger-picking guitar technique, and an expressive voice. Lipscomb often honed his skills by playing in nearby Brenham, Texas, with a blind musician, Sam Rogers. His debut release was Texas Songster (1960). Lipscomb performed old songs like "Sugar Babe," the first song he ever learned, to pop numbers like "Shine On, Harvest Moon" and "It's a Long Way to Tipperary". Trouble in Mind was recorded in 1961, and released on a major label, Reprise. In May 1963, Lipscomb appeared at the first Monterey Folk Festival in California. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not record in the early blues era, but his life is well documented thanks to his autobiography, I Say Me for a Parable: The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman, narrated to Glen Alyn, which was published posthumously, and also a short 1971 documentary by Les Blank, A Well Spent Life. He began playing guitar early on and played regularly for years at local gatherings, mostly what he called "Saturday Night Suppers" hosted by someone in the area. These gatherings were hosted regularly for a while by himself and his wife. The majority of his musical activity took place within what he called his "precinct", meaning the local area around Navasota, until around 1960. Following his "discovery" by McCormick and Strachwitz, Lipscomb became an important figure in the folk music revival of the 1960s. He was a regular performer at folk festivals and folk-blues clubs around the United States, notably the Ash Grove in Los Angeles, CA. He died in his hometown of Navasota in 1976, two years after suffering a stroke. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

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