Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps and Blues

by

DOCD-32-20-03

Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps & Blues (Document CD)

from http://www.document-records.com:

These days the mandolin is almost exclusively identified with Bluegrass music but for decades it had maintained a regular showing in mainstream old time music, ragtime and blues (both urban and rural). This is illustrated to the dates appended to the title of this CD which refer at one end to Dallas Rag and Carbolic Rag, various display pieces, one each from the black and white traditions, and at the other Lint Head Stomp, a track often considered to be proto-Bluegrass.

The mixture is maintained throughout but is weighted in favor of black artists. Care has also been taken to present the mandolin in a supporting role or as a part of an ensemble. So, along with the finger-knotting rags, breakdowns and stomps from the like of Leecan and Cooksey, Prater and Haighs, The Dallas String Band, Mississippi Mud Steppers and Phebel Wright, you can hear the instrument working for its crust as part of a jug band, backing blues singers as Yank Rachel backs John Estes, or even keeping up with Arizona Dranes romping barrelhouse gospel piano.

The overriding principle has been excellence: excellence in selection, sound quality and presentation. The first two aspects are beyond reproach, carefully chosen track having been often lifted direct from good quality 78s and subjected to meticulous cleaning (without sacrificing any of the musical content), while the last is aided by a twelve page booklet, well illustrated in both black and white and colour, fronted by a glowing studio portrait of Charlie McCoy.

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