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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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Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die (1959) - Alan Lomax

Miles Pratcher, vocal and guitar; Bob Pratcher, fiddle. Recorded by Alan Lomax in Como, Mississippi. September 22, 1959. From "I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die," one of five albums commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lomax's "Southern Journey" field recording trip. Released in 2011 digitally by Global Jukebox (GJ 1005) and on LP by Mississippi Records (MR 065).

The Pratcher brothers were neighbors of bluesman Fred McDowell in Como, and also farmers, but were of an earlier musical generation. Miles and Bob were repositories of the raggy country dance music that would have been heard at picnics and other social occasions in the fin-de-siecle Mississippi Hill Country. Lomax wrote of this performance in 1978 that he "always thought of this genre as a bluesy ballad in ragtime," lying chronologically and stylistically "between black square dance music and the first true instrumental blues." "I'm Going to Live Anyhow Until I Die" was composed in 1901 by the black rag-writer Shepard N. Edmonds, for whom it was a huge hit, and it found a renewed popularity in 1920s as "Tennessee Coon" or "Coon from Tennessee"----about a wicked fellow who "never believed in church or Sunday school"----for hillbilly performers Charlie Poole, the Georgia Crackers, and the Georgia Yellow Hammers. In the hands of the Pratchers, Lomax wrote, "the blues are still happy. The Pratchers grinned bawdily through all their performances." They no doubt meant it when they sang: "I'm gonna shake it well for my Lord."

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