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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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Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'll Be Glad When the Sun Goes Down - Alan Lomax

Fred McDowell, vocal and guitar. Recorded by Alan Lomax in Como, Mississippi. September 25, 1959. From "I'll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down," one of five albums commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lomax's "Southern Journey" field recording trip. Released in 2011 digitally by Global Jukebox (GJ 1004) and on LP by Mississippi Records (MR 060).

Fred McDowell was a farmer who emerged from the woods on the first day of fall, 1959, and ambled over to his neighbor Lonnie Young's front porch in his overalls with a guitar in hand. Lomax had no idea what he was in for, but after McDowell's first song he knew he was in the presence of one of the most original, talented, and affecting country bluesmen ever recorded.
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McDowell showed few outward signs of conflict he might have felt by playing sacred and "sinful" music in the same setting. A 1964 record of Fred's, "My Home Is In the Delta" (which wasn't actually the case), devotes its first side to blues and its second side to spirituals and church hymns sung with his wife Annie Mae. Unlike Robert Wilkins, who left off blues altogether when he got religion, or Son House, who spent his life deeply tormented, torn between the two, McDowell could move from a blues about a cheating lover into this earnest religious piece. This recording was the only he ever made of "Woke Up This Morning.
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