News And The Blues 0890

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rovi.MR0000103320
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    News And The Blues 0890 Legacy / Columbia
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Review

Review Text Like any form of popular music, the blues has reflected the social conditions of the times, sometimes quite explicitly. News & the Blues offers 20 songs from the Columbia vaults from between 1927 and 1947. The Depression is reflected often, as expected, but there are also songs about natrual disasters, public figures like Joe Louis, World War II, and even the atomic bomb. Memphis Minnie and Bill Gaither even take the step of recording specific tributes to other blues singers (Ma Rainey and Leroy Carr respectively). Many of the performers are well-known -- Bessie Smith, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Charley Patton, Memphis Minnie, Bukka White -- and several others are unknown to any but blues scholars (Jack Kelly, Homer Harris, Alfred Fields). Like several of Columbia's anthologies that are loosely grouped under a theme, you don't necessarily have to have a keen interest in the album concept to appreciate the music, which is an above-average gathering of early blues tracks of various styles. ~ Richie Unterberger

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Back Water Blues - 3:21
  2. 2. Dope Head Blues - 3:16
  3. 3. If I Had My Way I'd Tear the Building Down - 3:11
  4. 4. Frankie - 3:24
  5. 5. God Moves on the Water - 3:01
  6. 6. Groceries on the Shelf - 3:58
  7. 7. 7:34 Blues - 3:57
  8. 8. W. P. A. Blues - 3:17
  9. 9. Unemployment Stomp - 3:38
  10. 10. 29 Blues - 3:49
  11. 11. Joe Louis Special - 2:25
  12. 12. Three Ball Blues - 3:57
  13. 13. Parchman Farm Blues - 3:40
  14. 14. Life of Leroy Carr - 3:51
  15. 15. Ma Rainey - 3:45
  16. 16. Moonshine Man Blues (Previously Unreleased) - 3:59
  17. 17. In the Army Now - 3:44
  18. 18. Gambling Man - 3:58
  19. 19. Atomic Bomb Blues (Previously Unreleased) - 3:32
  20. 20. Homeless Blues (Previously Unreleased) - 3:10