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Classic Blues from Smithsonian Folkways, Vol. 2

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Classic Blues from Smithsonian Folkways, Vol. 2 album cover
01
Dark Road
Artist: Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry
2:46
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02
Step It Up and Go
Artist: Warner Williams
2:38
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03
It Was Early One Morning
Artist: Lead Belly
2:27
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04
Blues - Until My Baby Comes Home
Artist: Nora Lee King
2:55
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05
That's No Way to Do
Artist: Pink Anderson
2:25
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06
Farro Street Jive
Artist: Little Brother Montgomery
2:18
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07
I Ain't Gonna Cry No More (Depot Blues)
Artist: Son House
2:59
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08
Graveyard Blues
Artist: Roscoe Holcomb
3:02
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09
44 Blues
Artist: Roosevelt Sykes
2:45
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10
Big Fat Mama
Artist: Honeyboy Edwards
2:59
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11
Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor
Artist: Lucinda Williams
3:53
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12
Lieutenant Blues
Artist: Barrelhouse Buck
2:40
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13
The Woman Is Killing Me
Artist: Sonny Terry and Friends
2:26
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14
Little Drops of Water
Artist: Edith North Johnson and Henry Brown
3:09
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15
When Things Go Wrong (It Hurts Me Too)
Artist: Big Bill Broonzy
3:01
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16
Poor Boy a Long, Long Way From Home
Artist: Cat-Iron
2:47
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17
My Jack Don't Drink Water No More
Artist: Shortstuff Macon
3:44
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18
'Way Behind the Sun
Artist: Barbara Dane
3:51
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19
Tell Me, Baby
Artist: Lightnin' Hopkins
2:36
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20
Just A Dream
Artist: Memphis Slim
4:15
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21
Jelly Jelly
Artist: Josh White
2:29
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22
Down in the Alley
Artist: Chambers Brothers
3:07
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 22   Total Length: 65:12

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They Say All Music Guide

Like the first volume, this brings together a lengthy single-disc program of blues of various shades from the vaults of Folkways. Most, though not all, of these 22 tracks are acoustic, with acoustic guitar blues being well represented with selections from Leadbelly, Pink Anderson, Son House, Honeyboy Edwards, Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Josh White, as well as lesser-known figures like Cat Iron, who plays an eerie slide guitar on “Poor Boy a Long, Long Way from Home.” Give the compilation credit for supplying a good deal of variety, however, also dipping into piano blues by Roosevelt Sykes, Memphis Slim, and Mary Lou Williams; though Williams is known as a jazz pianist rather than a blues one, she’s the accompanist for Nora Lee King’s blues-jazz outing “Blues — Until My Baby Comes Home.” There’s also room for a little full-band blues too, with Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry’s “Dark Road” (on which they’re backed by a drummer), and the much fuller “Down in the Alley,” an early electric band recording by the Chambers Brothers. And a couple of white performers make it into the program too, those being Barbara Dane, Roscoe Holcomb (with “Graveyard Blues”), and a young Lucinda Williams (who covers “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor”). A solid and wide-ranging collection this is, but like its predecessor, it suffers from an absence of original recording or release dates for much of the material, though the annotation in the 24-page booklet is otherwise extensive. – Richie Unterberger

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