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Showing posts with label Mississippi Fred McDowell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mississippi Fred McDowell. Show all posts

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Shake 'Em On Down - Mississippi Fred McDowell

Fred McDowell (January 12, 1904 – July 3, 1972) known by his stage name; Mississippi Fred McDowell, was an American Hill country blues singer and guitar player. McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from plowing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he started to work in the Buck-Eye feed mill where they processed cotton into oil and other products. He also had a number of other jobs and played music for tips. Later in 1928 he moved south into Mississippi to pick cotton. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger. While commonly lumped together with Delta Blues singers, McDowell actually may be considered the first of the bluesmen from the 'North Mississippi' region - parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region - to achieve widespread recognition for his work. A version of the state's signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots (often eschewing the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp), the north hill country blues style (or at least its aesthetic) may be heard to have been carried on in the music of such figures as Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, while serving as the original impetus behind creation of the Fat Possum record label out of Oxford, Mississippi. The 1950s brought a rising interest in blues music and folk music in the United States and McDowell was brought to wider public attention, beginning when he was discovered and recorded in 1959 by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins. McDowell's records were popular, and he performed often at festivals and clubs. McDowell continued to perform blues in the North Mississippi blues style much as he had for decades, but he sometimes performed on electric guitar rather than acoustic guitar. While he famously declared "I do not play no rock and roll," McDowell was not averse to associating with many younger rock musicians: He coached Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar technique, and was reportedly flattered by The Rolling Stones' rather straightforward, authentic version of his "You Gotta Move" on their 1971 Sticky Fingers album. McDowell's 1969 Malaco Records album I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll, recorded in Jackson, Mississippi, was his first featuring electric guitar. It features parts of an interview in which he discusses the origins of the blues and the nature of love. (This interview was sampled and mixed into a song, also titled "I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll" by Dangerman in 1999.) McDowell's final album, Live in New York (Oblivion Records), was a concert performance from November 1971 at the Village Gaslight (aka The Gaslight Cafe), Greenwich Village, New York. McDowell died of cancer in 1972, aged 68, and was buried at Hammond Hill Baptist Church, between Como and Senatobia, Mississippi. On August 6, 1993 a memorial was placed on his grave site by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund. The ceremony was presided over by Dick Waterman, and the memorial with McDowell's portrait upon it was paid for by Bonnie Raitt. The memorial stone was a replacement for an inaccurate and damaged marker (McDowell's name was misspelled) and the original stone was subsequently donated by McDowell's family to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Goin Down to the River - Mississippi Fred McDowell


Fred McDowell (January 12, 1904 – July 3, 1972) known by his stage name; Mississippi Fred McDowell, was an American Hill country blues singer and guitar player.
McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from plowing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he started to work in the Buck-Eye feed mill where they processed cotton into oil and other products. He also had a number of other jobs and played music for tips. Later in 1928 he moved south into Mississippi to pick cotton. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger.

While commonly lumped together with Delta Blues singers, McDowell actually may be considered the first of the bluesmen from the 'North Mississippi' region - parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region - to achieve widespread recognition for his work. A version of the state's signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots (often eschewing the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp), the north hill country blues style (or at least its aesthetic) may be heard to have been carried on in the music of such figures as Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, while serving as the original impetus behind creation of the Fat Possum record label out of Oxford, Mississippi.

The 1950s brought a rising interest in blues music and folk music in the United States and McDowell was brought to wider public attention, beginning when he was discovered and recorded in 1959 by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins. McDowell's records were popular, and he performed often at festivals and clubs. McDowell continued to perform blues in the North Mississippi blues style much as he had for decades, but he sometimes performed on electric guitar rather than acoustic guitar. While he famously declared "I do not play no rock and roll," McDowell was not averse to associating with many younger rock musicians: He coached Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar technique, and was reportedly flattered by The Rolling Stones' rather straightforward, authentic version of his "You Gotta Move" on their 1971 Sticky Fingers album[citation needed].

McDowell's 1969 Malaco Records album I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll, recorded in Jackson, Mississippi, was his first featuring electric guitar. It features parts of an interview in which he discusses the origins of the blues and the nature of love. (This interview was sampled and mixed into a song, also titled "I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll" by Dangerman in 1999.) McDowell's final album, Live in New York (Oblivion Records), was a concert performance from November 1971 at the Village Gaslight (aka The Gaslight Cafe), Greenwich Village, New York.

McDowell died of cancer in 1972, aged 68, and was buried at Hammond Hill Baptist Church, between Como and Senatobia, Mississippi. On August 6, 1993 a memorial was placed on his grave site by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund. The ceremony was presided over by Dick Waterman, and the memorial with McDowell's portrait upon it was paid for by Bonnie Raitt. The memorial stone was a replacement for an inaccurate and damaged marker (McDowell's name was misspelled) and the original stone was subsequently donated by McDowell's family to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

When I Lay My Burden Down - Mississippi Fred McDowell


Most of these guys never got their due. Sad!

Fred McDowell (January 12, 1904 – July 3, 1972) known by his stage name; Mississippi Fred McDowell, was an American Hill country blues singer and guitar player.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Alan Lomax Recordings - Fred McDowell


Fred McDowell: The Alan Lomax Recordings are the first recordings made of
Fred McDowell before the folk festivals and blues clubs, before
Mississippi was inserted in front of his name, before the Rolling Stones
covered his You Got To Move. They're the sound of the music McDowell
played on his porch, at picnics, and juke joints; with his friends and
family; occasionally for money but always for pleasure. It's the music he
taught a young R.L. Burnside to play. Freshly remastered from 24-bit
digital transfers of Alan Lomax's original tapes, and annotated by
Arhoolie Records' Adam Machado and the Alan Lomax Archive's Nathan
Salsburg, they are an illustration of the mind-blowing revelation that was
Fred McDowell. This was released DIGITALLY by Global Jukebox
September 6


On the first day of fall, 1959, in Como, Mississippi, a farmer named Fred
McDowell emerged from the woods and ambled over to his neighbor Lonnie
Young's front porch with a guitar in hand. Alan Lomax was there recording
the Young brothers' fife and drum ensemble, as well as the raggy old
country dance music of their neighbors, the Pratcher brothers, and he had
no idea what to expect from this slight man in overalls. He certainly
didn't expect that Fred would soon become internationally known as one of
the most original, talented, and affecting country bluesmen ever recorded.

The Alan Lomax Archive is the repository of thousands of hours of Lomax's
field recordings from across his seven-decade career, and Global Jukebox
is its first independent music label. It will draw on the full range of
the archive's worldwide
collections.

Title: Fred McDowell:
The Alan Lomax Recordings
Label: Global Jukebox
Catalog #: GJ1007
UPC: 847108079473
Genre: Folk, Blues, Traditional
Street Date: 8.2.11
PDF booklet: 8-page booklet of photos and
song notes.

NO PHYSICAL PROMOS AVAILABLE FROM US.

Also available as an LP on
Mississippi Records / Domino Sound
Track List
1. Shake 'Em on Down
2. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
3. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning
4. Fred McDowell's Blues
5. Woke Up This Morning with My Mind on Jesus
6. Drop Down Mama
7. Going Down to the River
8. Wished I Was in Heaven Sitting Down
9. When the Train Comes Along
10. When You Get Home Please Write Me a Few
of Your Lines
11. Worried Mind Blues
12. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning
(Instrumental Reprise)

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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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"

Saturday, June 4, 2011

John Henry - Mississippi Fred McDowell


Fred McDowell (January 12, 1904 – July 3, 1972) known by his stage name; Mississippi Fred McDowell, was a blues singer and guitar player in the North Mississippi style.McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee, near Memphis. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from plowing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he started to work in the Buck-Eye feed mill where they processed cotton into oil and other products. He also had a number of other jobs and played music for tips. Later in 1928 he moved south into Mississippi to pick cotton. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger.

While commonly lumped together with Delta Blues singers, McDowell actually may be considered the first of the bluesmen from the 'North Mississippi' region - parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region - to achieve widespread recognition for his work. A version of the state's signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots (often eschewing the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp), the North Mississippi style (or at least its aesthetic) may be heard to have been carried on in the music of such figures as Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, while serving as the original impetus behind creation of the Fat Possum record label out of Oxford, Mississippi.[citation needed]

The 1950s brought a rising interest in blues music and folk music in the United States and McDowell was brought to wider public attention, beginning when he was discovered and recorded in 1959 by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins. McDowell's records were popular, and he performed often at festivals and clubs. McDowell continued to perform blues in the North Mississippi blues style much as he had for decades, but he sometimes performed on electric guitar rather than acoustic guitar. While he famously declared "I do not play no rock and roll," McDowell was not averse to associating with many younger rock musicians: He coached Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar technique, and was reportedly flattered by The Rolling Stones' rather straightforward, authentic version of his "You Gotta Move" on their 1971 Sticky Fingers album.

McDowell's 1969 album I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll was his first featuring electric guitar. It features parts of an interview in which he discusses the origins of the blues and the nature of love. (This interview was sampled and mixed into a song, also titled "I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll" by Dangerman in 1999.) McDowell's final album, Live in New York (Oblivion Records), was a concert performance from November 1971 at the Village Gaslight (aka The Gaslight Cafe), Greenwich Village, New York.

McDowell died of cancer in 1972, aged 68, and was buried at Hammond Hill Baptist Church, between Como and Senatobia, Mississippi. On August 6, 1993 a memorial was placed on his grave site by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund. The ceremony was presided over by Dick Waterman, and the memorial with McDowell's portrait upon it was paid for by Bonnie Raitt. The memorial stone was a replacement for an inaccurate and damaged marker (McDowell's name was misspelled) and the original stone was subsequently donated by McDowell's family to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Louise - Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell

Fred McDowell (January 12, 1904 – July 3, 1972) known by his stage name; Mississippi Fred McDowell, was a blues singer and guitar player in the North Mississippi style.McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee, near Memphis. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from plowing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he started to work in the Buck-Eye feed mill where they processed cotton into oil and other products.He also had a number of other jobs and played music for tips. Later in 1928 he moved south into Mississippi to pick cotton. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger.

While commonly lumped together with Delta Blues singers, McDowell
actually may be considered the first of the bluesmen from the 'North Mississippi' region - parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region - to achieve widespread recognition for his work. A version of the state's signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots (often eschewing the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp), the North Mississippi style (or at least its aesthetic) may be heard to have been carried on in the music of such figures as Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, while serving as the original impetus behind creation of the Fat Possum record label out of Oxford, Mississippi.[citation needed]

The 1950s brought a rising interest in blues music and folk music in the United States and McDowell was brought to wider public attention, beginning when he was discovered and recorded in 1959 by Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins.McDowell's records were popular, and he performed often at festivals and clubs.McDowell continued to perform blues in the North Mississippi blues style much as he had for decades, but he sometimes performed on electric guitar rather than acoustic guitar. While he famously declared "I do not play no rock and roll," McDowell was not averse to associating with many younger rock musicians: He coached Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar technique, and was reportedly flattered by The Rolling Stones' rather straightforward, authentic version of his "You Gotta Move" on their 1971 Sticky Fingers album.

McDowell's 1969 album I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll was his first featuring electric guitar. It features parts of an interview in which he discusses the origins of the blues and the nature of love. (This interview was sampled and mixed into a song, also titled "I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll" by Dangerman in 1999.) McDowell's final album, Live in New York (Oblivion Records), was a concert performance from November 1971 at the Village Gaslight (aka The Gaslight Cafe), Greenwich Village, New York.

McDowell died of cancer in 1972, aged 68, and was buried at Hammond Hill Baptist Church, between Como and Senatobia, Mississippi. On August 6, 1993 a memorial was placed on his grave site by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund. The ceremony was presided over by Dick Waterman, and the memorial with McDowell's portrait upon it was paid for by Bonnie Raitt. The memorial stone was a replacement for an inaccurate and damaged marker (McDowell's name was misspelled) and the original stone was subsequently donated by McDowell's family to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
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