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Author Topic: Drop on Down in Florida: Field Recordings of African American Traditional Music  (Read 2427 times)

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Offline btasoundsradio

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    • BTA Sounds Radio: Podcast of Obscure Musics
http://www.dust-digital.com/florida/
This looks awesome, gonna make a good Xmas present for someone!
Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

Offline uncle bud

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Thanks for the heads up. Looking forward to it. Some of these musicians, who are not exactly household names even among country blues fiends, can also be heard on When the Palm Trees Shake at Night, which I mentioned elsewhere was available as a free download by the Florida Folklife Collection at http://www.floridamemory.com/audio/cd5.php and also in a podcast discussed by Pan in another thread. All threads can be accessed through the tags below, for those interested.

Offline Cleoma

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Is there a track listing anywhere for Drop on Down in Florida?  I looked on the website, but couldn't find it.

Offline uncle bud

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Still no sign of a tracklist anywhere I can find, but Dust to Digital have posted two songs at http://www.dust-digital.com/ (in the miniplayer labelled Lend an Ear). They have also posted a half hour film of Moses Williams playing and building a large diddley bo-like instrument (which has great tone for a door). Cool!


Offline dj

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There's a lot more Florida folk music available for online listening and download at http://www.floridamemory.com/audio/.  I recommend seeking out That's Alright by Johnny Brown, a fairly short one chord blues recorded in St. Petersburg in 1978.

Thanks, powerlinehorizon, for pointing out this stuff.

Offline Pan

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I kind of like the low tuned electric guitar of mr. Emmet Murray. You'll find more of his music on the Florida Folklife site.


Offline uncle bud

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Yup, that's the tune for me, Pan.

Offline Pan

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Well, since I liked some of the artists on the Florida Folklife  podcast, I decided to e-mail Dust to Digital and ask for the track listings. Here they are:

Disc 1
1. Robert Dennis   -Early One Foggy Morning
2. Robert Dennis   -Boogie
3. Robert Dennis   -Questionnaire Blues *
4. Robert Dennis   -Mean Mistreater Blues *
5. Richard Williams   -Tain't But the One Thing That Grieves My Mind *
6. Richard Williams   -Baby Please Don't Go *
7. Richard Williams   -Old Forty
8. Ella Mae Wilson and Richard Williams   -Careless Love
9. Ella Mae Wilson and Richard Williams   -Polk County Blues
10. Willie Gillard    -Polk County Blues
11. Emmett Murray   -Old-Time Rounders
12. Emmett Murray   -She?s a Fool, She Ain?t Got No Sense
13. Emmett Murray   -Mobile Blues
14. Emmett Murray   -I'm Gonna Dig Myself a Hole
15. Emmett Murray   -I?ll Find My Way *
16. Emmett Murray   -Drinkin? Bad Bad Whiskey *
17. Moses Williams   -I'm from Itta Bena, Mississippi *
18. Moses Williams   -Rolling and Tumbling
19 Moses Williams   -Sitting on Top of the World
20. Moses Williams   -Mama Got More out of Me away from Home *
21. Moses Williams   -I Was Natalie Roberta's Son *
22. Moses Williams   -Harmonica Solo *
23. Moses Williams   -Harmonica Hustle *
24. Moses Williams   -The Train *
25. Moses Williams   -Catfish Blues *
26. Moses Williams   -Come Back Baby *
27. Moses Williams   -Apple Farm Blues *
28. Moses Williams -  13 Highway *
29. Moses Williams   -Which Way Did My Baby Go

Disc 2
1. Johnny Brown   -That's All Right
2. Johnny Brown   -Precious Lord, Take My Hand
3. Johnny Brown   -Will the Circle Be Unbroken *
4. Johnny Brown   -He Got the Whole World in His Hand *
5. Johnny Brown   -I Don't Know What I'd Do without the Lord *
6. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams    -Motherless Children
7. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams    -Do, Lord, Remember Me
8. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams   -Trial in Judgment
9. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams   -When the Saints Go Marching In (When the Moon Go Down in Blood)
10. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams   -You Got to Move *
11. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams   -I Knew It Was the Blood *
12. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams    -In the Morning *
13. Ella Mae Wilson, Lillie B. Williams, and Richard Williams   -He's a Battle Axe *
14. Testerina Primitive Baptist Church   -I Don't Know What I'd Do without the Lord/Did Christ o'er Sinners Weep (The Weeping Savior)
15. Miccosukee Church of God of Prophecy   -Altar Call/Congregational Prayer/He Set Me Free
16. Florida-Alabama Progressive Seven-Shape-Note Singing Convention    -God's Gonna Set the World on Fire
17. Florida-Alabama Progressive Seven-Shape-Note Singing Convention   -Inside the Pearly Gates
18. Southeast Alabama And Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention   -The Old Ship of Zion
19. Southeast Alabama And Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention   -Florida Storm
20. Southeast Alabama And Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention   -Service of the Lord *
21. Southeast Alabama And Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention   Sweet Morning *
22. Southeast Alabama And Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention   -Alas! and Did My Saviour Bleed *
23. Southeast Alabama And Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention   -Pisgah *
24. Southeast Alabama And Florida Union Sacred Harp Singing Convention   -Parting Hand *

* Not on original double-LP

Looks tempting, no? :)

Cheers

Pan

Offline Johnm

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Boy, that Emmett Murray track is sensational.
All best,
Johnm

Offline JakobGreen

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Been waiting on this one. Dust to Digital always does great work.

Offline Rivers

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Pan, you are the man!

Offline Pan

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Hi all

I decided to purchase the CDs, and now have listened to most of the music once. A few words.

As you might have noticed from the track listing, the program is divided in two; the first CD being devoted to secular, and the second for sacred music.

My preferences remain pretty much the same as with the podcast, some highlights being the music of Robert Dennis, the Williams family and Emmet Murray. For those alone I'm happy for the purchase, even if I personally don't care so much for some of the church choir recordings on the 2nd CD.

The over 200 paged hardback book is well worth mentioning. Not only have you essays about the African American music traditions and fieldwork in Forida, by known scholars, but each artist is also portrayed with a short biograph and great black and white photographs. Furthermore, each individual song is also analysed, presenting possible origins and influences, and complete transcriptions of lyrics are provided. References and related recordings by other artists are also cited.

The sound quality is very good IMO. These kind of field recordings sometimes have a warmth in them, that no commercial studio recording can reproduce. It's almost like if you are sitting in the room as a guest for the Williams family musical gathering!

In sum I think this is a fine product and well worth the money. I would suppose it makes for a great gift idea, for the upcoming holiday season, for those people who care about this kind of music.

Cheers

Pan

Edited to add: perhaps I should also add, that a special essay and many tracks are devoted to the one-string diddle-bow player Moses Williams. He shows surprising variety in the sound of his instrument, and is a fine singer as well.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 05:45:32 PM by Pan »

Offline Laura

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Hi Pan, If you don't mind me asking, where did you buy your copy?  There is one on Amazon which is over 30pounds.  I find they are generally cheap but occasionally charge way more for certain books.

Offline Pan

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Hi Pan, If you don't mind me asking, where did you buy your copy?  There is one on Amazon which is over 30pounds.  I find they are generally cheap but occasionally charge way more for certain books.

Hi Laura,

I ordered my copy straight from Dust-to-Digital, for $35 + shipping. You can calculate the shipping on their shopping cart page, before submitting the order.

http://www.dust-digital.com/florida/

Cheers

Pan

Offline Pan

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