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Hell is Full of Musical Amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

Author Topic: John Jackson - Rappahannock Blues  (Read 1569 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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John Jackson - Rappahannock Blues
« on: June 10, 2010, 10:57:31 AM »
Press release from Smithsonian Folkways:

"Rappahannock Blues" by John Jackson - available June 15th

Smithsonian Folkways will release "Rappahannock Blues," a 20-track album by John Jackson, on June 15. Jackson (1924-2002) was the most important black Appalachian musician to come to broad public attention during the mid-1960s. The album is the latest addition to Smithsonian Folkways' African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Raised in a large, musical farm family in Rappahannock County, Virginia, Jackson got his first guitar, bought by his oldest sister Mary for $3.75 from a catalog, when he was nine. He learned a wide-ranging stock of songs from his father, his aunt Etta and from 78-rpm recordings by the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Blake and Blind Lemon Jefferson, but after a fight at a house party in 1946, didn't touch an instrument for nearly 20 years.

Rediscovered at a gas station by folklorist Chuck Perdue, Jackson was quickly recorded by Arhoolie in 1964, laying down 90 songs in 12 hours in his first session. For the next three decades, he enthralled audiences with his vintage style and repertoire, though he worked day jobs his entire career, including a long-stint as a gravedigger and cemetery caretaker.

Although black Appalachian music never received the attention given to the transition from Delta blues to Chicago blues and then to rock and roll, in the mountains a shared black and white string band tradition served as the basis for American roots music, ranging from bluegrass to regional rockabilly. Emphasizing that shared heritage, Jackson toured Asia in 1984 with Ricky Skaggs, Buck White and Jerry Douglas. Two years later, he was designated a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Culled from hundreds of live concert recordings in the Smithsonian Folkways archives, the twenty tracks of 'Rappahannock Blues,' which include Blind Blake's "Too Tight Rag," "West Coast Rag" and "Diddy Wah Diddy," Mississippi John Hurt?s "Candy Man," and "Red River Blues," recorded by Josh White as "Blood Red River" and by Blind Boy Fuller as "Bye Bye Baby," highlight John Jackson the way he said he most wanted to be remembered - as a bluesman. All but two of the tracks are previously unreleased.

The release of "Rappahannock Blues" will be celebrated at the "2010 Tinner Hill Blues Festival - A Tribute to John Jackson", June 10-13, 2010 in Falls Church, VA (Washington DC area). For more information, visit

Offline dj

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Re: John Jackson - Rappahannock Blues
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 11:10:41 AM »
Serendipity.  When I looked at this post, the quote oracle came up with this:  I don?t see how in the world I could complain about anything - John Jackson

Offline uncle bud

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Re: John Jackson - Rappahannock Blues
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 11:17:23 AM »

The tracklist from Amazon:

1. Rocks and Gravel
2. Too Tight Rag
3. Candy Man
4. Truckin' Little Baby
5. Railroad Bill
6. Nobody's Business (If I Do)
7. Don't You Want to Go Up There    
8. The Year Clayton Delaney Died
9. John Jackson's Breakdown
10. Red River Blues
11. Brown's Ferry Blues    
12. Cindy    
13. You Ain't No Woman
14. John Henry
15. Diddy Wah Diddy
16. Just a Closer Walk with Thee
17. Frankie and Johnny
18. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
19. Step It Up and Go    
20. West Coast Rag

Offline Stuart

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Re: John Jackson - Rappahannock Blues
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 11:56:09 AM »
Thanks, Andrew. Another essential CD for the top of my ever expanding list.

Offline Johnm

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Re: John Jackson - Rappahannock Blues
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 06:57:55 PM »
Hi all,
I"m glad to see that "Clayton Delaney" made it on to the program of the CD.  I don't know if John ever recorded that elsewhere, but he really loved to sing it and I loved to hear him sing it.
All best,

Offline banjochris

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Re: John Jackson - Rappahannock Blues
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 11:11:31 PM »
John -- it's on one of his Rounder albums, which are probably out of print -- the second one called Deep in the Bottom if I remember right. He does a great job with that song, I agree.


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