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Author Topic: Lewis 'Rabbit' Muse  (Read 4362 times)

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Offline Stefan Wirz

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Lewis 'Rabbit' Muse
« on: August 12, 2006, 10:03:38 AM »
first time I built a discography without ever having heard anything of his recordings: 'Rabbit' Muse , he played ukelele and kazoo, has two 1970s LPs out on the Outlet label (not on CD yet !?).

Any opinions if it's worth chasing those LPs (these days there are the two of 'em offered for 200.-- USD)?
Stefan
« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 10:04:53 AM by Stefan Wirz »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lewis 'Rabbit' Muse
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2006, 12:10:41 AM »
first time I built a discography without ever having heard anything of his recordings: 'Rabbit' Muse , he played ukulele and kazoo, has two 1970s LPs out on the Outlet label (not on CD yet !?).
Any opinions if it's worth chasing those LPs (these days there are the two of 'em offered for 200.-- USD)?
Stefan, nice work. The Global Village CD was first released as cassette (C1003) a couple of years previous, a review of which Blues & Rhythm published in issue 78, April 1993. FWIW here's what was said, none of which is earth shattering as a critique:

This collection originally appeared on an album as part of an enterprising series issued by the Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College. Virginia about a decade ago. That series was poorly promoted on this side of the Atlantic and hence most didn't get reviewed in B&R at the time. I also have a feeling that I've read some of these titles appeared on the Outlet label. Can anyone confirm that?

With the exception of the Luke Jordan's 1929 Victor titles and James Lowry's 1953 radio broadcasts these recordings were made during the period 1976-78 when the artists' ages ranged from 59 (John Tinsley/Herbert Richardson) to 29 (Richard Wright/William Richardson). This magnificent collection serves to remind us that the traditions created by the like of Blind Boy Fuller and Buddy Moss were still being perpetuated in the Piedmont area well into the late 1970s. The Fuller influence is most apparent in the work of Clayton Horsley ("My Little Woman"), Marvin Foddrell ("Looking For My Woman"), the young Richard Wright and, to a lesser degree, John Tinsley who also nods in the direction of Big Bill Broonzy. Those not strictly in the Fuller mould in this context are Turner Foddrell, whose delightful "Slow Drag" brings to life John Hurt while his approach to "Going Up The Country" could've been learnt from an Arhoolie recording of John Jackson. The ancient sounding Rabbit Muse, brings a touch of minstrelsy to the proceedings with ukulele and kazoo accompaniment to "Rabbit Stomp", while the astonishingly talented Richardson family perform a guitar duet that just left me pleading for more. The James Lowry items, though historically important, are pleasant but somewhat derivative ("Karo Street" is a fairly routine version of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "One Dime Blues", but whether the given title of "Early Morning Blues" is one and the same I can't confirm). The best I've left until last. Luke Jordan's exquisite, "My Gal Done Quit Me", ranks with Richard 'Rabbit' Brown's "James Alley" and Blind Willie McTell's "Mama 'Taint Long 'Fore Day" as one of those songs which will always captivate and enthrall listeners - once heard forever hummed.

As usual with Global Village the packaging and notes (even in cassette form the booklet runs to 11 pages of information and are of the highest calibre. If you so require, a further 14 page booklet can be had for $5). Global Village deserve to be congratulated on their enterprise but I suspect that in this compact disc hungry era they would garner more sales on CD than that of the cassette, but only time will tell. To use Mike Raven's oft quoted endorsement, 'my kinda music'.


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lewis 'Rabbit' Muse
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2006, 10:37:14 AM »
Mike Joyce and Bob Rusch, conducted a lengthy interview with Lewis Anderson 'Rabbit' Muse which was published in Cadence (August 1977). Regretably my first 25 has gaps, of which one is that particular issue. 

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Lewis 'Rabbit' Muse
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2006, 03:36:50 AM »
Blues bibliographer Robert Ford has kindly supplied me with a 5 page scan of the interview published in Cadence. It's interesting in that part of it is a discussion between Muse and Rod Shiverly (Outlet Records) concerning the recording of the first LP (see Stefan's page).

Anyone wanting to read this feature PM me giving an email address.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lewis 'Rabbit' Muse
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 09:43:04 AM »
Speaking of Rabbits, Stefan I don't know if you still haven't heard Rabbit Muse, who's wonderful, but there are some non-pro (and subsequently somewhat rough) recordings available online at the Digital Library of Appalachia.

I don't know the criteria for your discographies though know that unreleased recordings have been included in others.

Rocking Chair Blues and Sixty Minute Man are recorded better than the others, which sound like they were done on a portable tape recorder in the audience. These sound like a portable tape recorder right beside him. Also there are interviews with him, done by a female college student. Apparently he got the name Rabbit playing baseball.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 09:57:49 AM by uncle bud »

 


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