Collector's Edition 0106

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fye.000000400176273084
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    Collector's Edition 0106 Fuel 2000
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Review

Review Text This set does the obvious, and combines Fuel's Absolutely the Best and Absolutely the Best, Vol. 2: In Concert into a single Leadbelly package. The first volume is made up of studio tracks recorded between 1939 and 1944, most of them done for Musicraft Records, while the second volume presents a live show Leadbelly did at the University of Texas in Austin on June 15, 1949, less than six months before he died. Whether Leadbelly actually ever wrote a song from scratch is debatable, but perhaps his real talent was his ability to distill traditional pieces to their central elements, then refine them from there into decidedly modern shapes that managed to still keep their folk character intact, creating, in essence, definitive versions. In his live shows particularly, Leadbelly was adept at placing the songs he sang in cultural context, so that if he sang a field holler or a work song, he would demonstrate the song to his audience as much as sing it, showing its utility, all the while reconstructing and -- at times -- reinventing it. That process is very much in evidence on the live disc here, but unfortunately Leadbelly also sounds weak and exhausted, although his gentle introductions to the songs hint at a very strong connection with the audience that evening. It seems obvious that he knew that this would be one of his last concerts. As a hushed goodbye in his native state, the Austin concert is a precious historical document, and on songs like "Ella Louise," a traditional track-lining holler, Leadbelly certainly retains his ability to both instruct and entertain, but his versions here of "Goodnight Irene" (there are two) are halting and shaky, and while the knowledge of his approaching passing makes them seem poignant, truthfully he did this signature song much better on other recordings, as demonstrated by the much stronger Musicraft version on disc one. ~ Steve Leggett

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. In New Orleans (House of the Rising Sun) - 3:15
  2. 2. Bourgeois Blues - 3:24
  3. 3. Goodnight Irene - 3:32
  4. 4. Looky Looky Yonder/Black Betty - 3:08
  5. 5. Bottle Up and Go - 1:13
  6. 6. De Kalb Blues - 3:04
  7. 7. John Hardy - 3:13
  8. 8. How Long - 2:09
  9. 9. Roberta - 3:06
  10. 10. Pretty Flower in Your Backyard - 2:26
  11. 11. Gallis Pole - 3:11
  12. 12. Where Did You Sleep Last Night - 3:01
  13. 13. Midnight Special - 2:05
  14. 14. John Hardy - 4:19
  15. 15. When I Was a Cowboy - 3:55

CD: 2

  1. 16. Goodnight Irene - 7:12
  2. 17. Ho-Day/Ain't Going Down to the Well No More - 4:40
  3. 18. Rock Island Line - 3:15
  4. 19. Go Down Old Hannah - 2:08
  5. 20. Shine on Me - 4:52
  6. 21. What Can I Do to Change Your Mind - 3:01
  7. 22. Skip to My Lou - 3:28
  8. 23. Mary and Martha - 2:09
  9. 24. C'est Bon les Oeufs (Scrambled Egg Song) - 4:58
  10. 25. Whoa Black Buck - 3:03
  11. 26. John Henry - 3:57
  12. 27. Backwater Blues - 3:49
  13. 28. Ella Lousie - 2:22
  14. 29. I Don't Want No More of Army Life - 3:34
  15. 30. Relax Your Mind - 2:48
  16. 31. Goodnight Irene - 4:32
  17. 32. Old Ship of Zion - 2:48
  18. 33. I Will Be So Glad When I Get Home - 2:15

Product Details

Release Date
1/10/06 

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