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If you don't want me, rider, please don't dog me 'round, just like you found me, you sure can put me down - Ishmon Bracey, Left Alone Blues

Author Topic: Skip James - Cleaner Versions of Illinois Blues and What Am I To Do Blues?  (Read 3926 times)

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Offline Shovel

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  • Posts: 160
The 'Complete Early Recordings' CD I have has pretty rough recordings of each of these.

Does anyone know if any cleaner versions exist of these two songs (original versions)?

Offline Pan

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The 'Complete Early Recordings' CD I have has pretty rough recordings of each of these.

Does anyone know if any cleaner versions exist of these two songs (original versions)?

FWIW, Andrew Rose from the Pristine Classical has put out his versions of the songs. I assume they would be cleaner, but I haven't heard them personally. Mr. Rose's methods seem to be met with mixed opinions.
Perhaps the sound samples on this page might help:

http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeWorks/Jazz/PABL009.php

Cheers

Pan

Offline LD50

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Both of those songs sound the best on Yazoo's *later* Skip James CD, Hard Time Killin Floor. I previously owned Yazoo's Complete Early Recordings CD, and HTKF CD is a considerable improvement.

The 'Complete Early Recordings' CD I have has pretty rough recordings of each of these.

Does anyone know if any cleaner versions exist of these two songs (original versions)?

FWIW, Andrew Rose from the Pristine Classical has put out his versions of the songs. I assume they would be cleaner, but I haven't heard them personally. Mr. Rose's methods seem to be met with mixed opinions.
Perhaps the sound samples on this page might help:

http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeWorks/Jazz/PABL009.php

Cheers

Pan
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 10:08:14 AM by LD50 »

Offline misterjones

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As I noted in another thread, I think Pristine Classical did a commendable job (vis-a-vis Yazoo) with respect to Blind Lemon Jefferson.  One would think Pristine Classical would do a good job on the James Paramounts, as well.  Of course, if the best existing 78s have severe problems, there's probably little anyone can do to make them listenable.  The samples might give you a good idea of what to expect.  They sold me on Jefferson and Hurt.  They indicated to me the Johnson would not be to my liking.

Offline Stumblin

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  • Got the Blues, can't be satisfied
I thought the Charlie Patton Pristine versions sounded strange, I wasn't convinced that whatever process was being used was really helping. It just sounds like a few toppy edges have been cut like jobs under the tories. The two I managed to sit all the way through were just a bit hollow & processed sounding, if that makes sense. Does he just tinker in Sound Forge or something until he's abolished almost all the top end?

Offline Gumbo

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  • So Papa climbed up on top of the house
if anyone wants to lend me their Charlie Patton 78s i'll see if i can do better !! >:D

Offline jpeters609

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The CD accompanying Gayle Dean Wardlow's "Chasin' That Devil Music" book has a very fine sounding "Illinois Blues." Mr. Wardlow surely must have sourced his own copy of the 78 for his CD.

The CD (and the book, of course) come highly recommended. The CD also includes great masterings of Tommy Johnson's "Alcohol and Jake Blues," Ishman Bracey's "Woman, Woman Blues" and many more.
Jeff

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Thyere are only 2 known copies of Illinois Blues and I have one that I used on my CD with the book I authored.  As far as I know there is only ONE known copy of "What Am I To Do Blues" and it was in bad shape so the it has been cleaned up by Yazoo as best as it could be done by ich Neins when he borrowed it. Pete Whelan has that copy.  That's how rare thje Skip James PMs are.  I also used my own copy of  all frecords on my CD except the Tommy Johnson that I borrowed from Whelan who has the only copy of the Tommy Johnson "Alcohol and Jake."  sOME OF THOSE pmS FROM 12900 UP ARE ONE OR 2 COPES AT THE BEST

Offline Shovel

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Thanks for all the information and feedback.

Thyere are only 2 known copies of Illinois Blues and I have one that I used on my CD with the book I authored.  As far as I know there is only ONE known copy of "What Am I To Do Blues" and it was in bad shape so the it has been cleaned up by Yazoo as best as it could be done by ich Neins when he borrowed it. Pete Whelan has that copy.  That's how rare thje Skip James PMs are.  I also used my own copy of  all frecords on my CD except the Tommy Johnson that I borrowed from Whelan who has the only copy of the Tommy Johnson "Alcohol and Jake."  sOME OF THOSE pmS FROM 12900 UP ARE ONE OR 2 COPES AT THE BEST

I broke out my copy of that CD, and sure enough it is superior, imo, especially the beginning.  I can't believe I had forgotten about that version.  Good information about the # of copies of Skip's original 78s.  It's as good as it is discouraging to know.

Offline misterjones

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Good information about the # of copies of Skip's original 78s.  It's as good as it is discouraging to know.

Volume 1 No. 4 of 78 Quarterly (downloadable versions not too hard to find on the internet) includes and article titled "Paramounts in the Belfry" that chronicles how some Patton, House, Etc. Paramounts were discovered by a collector days (and even minutes) before they would have been lost forever.  I guess we should be thankful for what we have.  What's been lost?  I don't even want to think about it.

Offline Tom Rushen

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Good information about the # of copies of Skip's original 78s.  It's as good as it is discouraging to know.

Volume 1 No. 4 of 78 Quarterly (downloadable versions not too hard to find on the internet) includes and article titled "Paramounts in the Belfry" that chronicles how some Patton, House, Etc. Paramounts were discovered by a collector days (and even minutes) before they would have been lost forever.  I guess we should be thankful for what we have.  What's been lost?  I don't even want to think about it.

What's been lost? Well, one could start with the Paramount metal masters, sold for scrap and used for WW2.

But then, any day now, the 2 missing Willie Brown Paramount 78s could turn up! One can dream...

Offline misterjones

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And those copyrighted but lost Jefferson Okehs and Paramounts.  And the Blind Texas Marlin (a/k/a Blind Willie Johnson?) recordings.  What else?  Let's really make this rainy day (here) worse.

Offline LD50

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And those copyrighted but lost Jefferson Okehs and Paramounts.  And the Blind Texas Marlin (a/k/a Blind Willie Johnson?) recordings.  What else?  Let's really make this rainy day (here) worse.

Okay, then. How about the 12 Sam Collins titles that Gennett never issued, or the 14 Collins titles that ARC never bothered to issue? TWENTY-SIX lost songs, total. Enough for a whole CD.

Then there's the 17 Walter Roland tracks that ARC never issued, and the 17 Patton/Lee tracks that Vocalion didn't release and didn't save. Don't forget the eight William Moore titles that we only know about because someone submitted a copyright sheet for them.  Or William Harris: 2 tracks never issued, another 4 issued but never found...


Offline Shovel

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I guess my discouragement is rooted more in the prohibitively small chance that I'll ever hold a copy of Illinois Blues in my hands.  That's probably my favorite Skip James tune.  And there's only two of them.  Not 5, not 12.  2.   

But yeah, obviously there's a great indebtedness to the fiends that hunted so many of these down.  I was born a bit late for that.

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Shovel--If you ever come south through Pensacola, Florida where I live you can look and HOLD a copy of Illinois Blues in your hand and I will play it personally for you. Don't know where you live in USA or another couintry but your are welcome to see it. gayle dean.

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