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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Council Spur Blues - Robert Curtis Smith

Robert Curtis Smith is a hard working farm laborer in upper Mississippi. He supports a wife and eight children by driving a tractor ($3 a day top) during the farming season, by hunting rabbits in the winter. He has a borrowed guitar with which he sings of women he has loved, lost, discarded, or found worthy of erotic praise. Unlike most of the young men of his generation, he reflects the softer style — if not always the songs — of the older blues. It is a style that bends the voice to the subtle punch of rhythmic shading of the round-hole acoustical box, and a tradition that stands in a 1:1 relationship with the facts of country life, though not revealing those facts so much as assuming they are common experience between the singer and his audience. The songs are mostly women blues but they leave the listener aware of broader discontent. Smith is a dismally underprivileged working man who was born, raised and helplessly lives yet in the Yazoo basin country of Mississippi. Only 31 years old at the time this album was recorded, Smith’s musical growth was somewhat apart from the era of the great Delta bluesmen which produced such intense personalities as Charlie Patton, Tommy McClennan, Muddy Waters, and Robert Johnson. By the time Smith began playing in 1948, the first great blast of the electric guitar was being heard in the rhythm-and-blues boom. THe older Mississippi players had died, one off, or stopped playing to seek grace with the Baptist Church. Most of the younger men were clustered around 40-watt amplifiers on Chicago’s South Side.

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