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There was a time when music knew its place. No longer. Possibly this is not music's fault. It may be that music fell in with a bad crowd and lost its sense of common decency - Fran Lebowitz, "The Sound of Music: Enough Already"

Author Topic: Furry Lewis  (Read 2487 times)

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Offline SpikeDriver

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Furry Lewis
« on: May 02, 2006, 08:20:08 PM »
I noticed this in today's new CD releases:

Fourth & Beale is a remarkably intimate session, recorded at Furry Lewis' rooming house in Memphis on March 5, 1969 with Lewis (he was approaching 80-years-old at the time) playing guitar and singing while propped up in bed. The sound is excellent (Terry Manning taped the session), literally placing the listener right at the foot of Lewis' bed. Truthfully, the guitar is just slightly out of tune and Lewis gets more obviously inebriated as things proceed, but when he pulls out his gentle slide guitar runs full of elegant and watery overtones, all of that melts away. The first nine tracks here were originally released as an LP in 1971 on Barclay Records, and were reissued in 1974 on Blue Star and on CD in 1993 by Verve. This edition adds six additional songs to bring things to around an hour in length, and since Manning wisely left in a fair amount of Lewis' between song patter, a clear portrait of this endearing country bluesman emerges. Highlights include a fine version of Sleepy John Estes' "Going to Brownsville" (the liner notes attribute the song to Lewis, but he clearly picked it up from Estes), Lewis' signature "Casey Jones" (the original late-'20s two-sided 78 of this song by Lewis had it entitled "Kassie Jones"), and a short take of "A Dog Named Blue" where Lewis attempts to demonstrate a banjo frailing technique on the guitar only to have everything collapse beneath his fingers; the song ends up clattering to a close with a lovable chuckle. The most moving track is the final one, a halting version of "God Be With Us 'Till We Meet Again" where Lewis' hushed vocal and gorgeous, fluid slide lines are so well matched that the song soars with heartbreaking grace. Lewis sounds stronger and more certain on his late-'20s recordings, but these intimate tracks are so disarmingly charming and casual that they make the best kind of audio verite. [This version of the album contains bonus tracks.]

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2006, 08:42:55 AM »
Hi there, Spikedriver. Where'd you see this? I ask because I'm wondering where to find the disc's tracklist. I have an older CD version of it and am wondering what the bonus tracks are that this review refers to. Roots and Rhythm?

Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Furry Lewis
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2006, 10:04:40 AM »
just added those bonus tracks to my Furry Lewis discography
It's # 32 (1971, when LP first came out)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Furry Lewis
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2006, 11:38:52 AM »
Thanks Stefan. Quite a bit of bonus material:

- Baby That's All Right
- Lay My Burden Down
- Let Me Call You Sweetheart
- Furry's Rag (Take Your Time, Baby)
- Water Tank
- God Be with Us 'Till We Meet Again

That would make it worth buying the CD a second time. But now I'm wondering whether these are tracks from "Blues Magician" issued on CD on Lucky Seven Records (as was Fourth and Beale) and which I think -- but could be mistaken -- is from the same recording session in Furry's home in 1969. All those song titles appear on the Blues Magician disc.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2006, 11:55:49 AM by uncle bud »


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