Jesse "Blind" Harris

Blues, Folk Vocals John A. Lomax

Lived in Livingston, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

 

Field Recordings Vol. 4: Mississippi & Alabama (1934-1942) by Blind Jesse Harris coverDescription: Collection

Genre: Blues

Label: Document (USA)

Catalog No: DOC 5578

Format: CD

Release Date: 2000-09-08 (Original ~ 1998)

Number of Discs: 2

Studio/Live: Studio

Mono/Stereo: Mono

UPC Code: 714298557824

Meridian Jail House

 

From the album Field Recordings Vol. 4: Mississippi & Alabama (1934-1942)

© 2005 Document Records

Blind Jesse Harris — Stagolee — 1940

 

A collection of unaccompanied moans, hollers, calls, jump rope rhymes, and lullabies, along with a parlor concert from a man with an accordion, makes this fourth volume in Document's field recordings series feel like a glimpse into a world tantalizingly close yet forever out of reach. Drawn mainly from research trips John Lomax made to Mississippi and Alabama in the late '30s and early '40s, these brief recordings have an offhand intimacy, as if you've been allowed to hear what America was humming and singing under its breath during a particular summer so long ago. There are some beautiful treasures here, including Charlie Butler's elegant and hopeful lament, "Diamond Joe," Vera Hall's succinct vignettes ("Another Man Done Gone," "Boll Weevil Blues"), and the jump rope wisdom of sisters Katherine & Christeen Shipp as they skip through the kinetic raps of "Ol' Uncle Rabbit" and the mysterious and spooky "See-Lye Woman (Sea Lion)." Tossed into the center of the sequence are a dozen tracks by Blind Jesse Harris recorded in Livingston, AL. Harris is not much of a singer (nor much of an accordion player, for that matter), but he knows a lot of songs, and his wheezing button key version of "Stagolee" is a reminder that the essential ingredients for a successful folk song are simplicity and adaptability. The sound quality of these recordings is a bit rough, and at times, particularly during the Harris selections, it feels like the music is coming from the other end of a long tin tunnel in a rainstorm, but the historical and archival importance of these tracks far outweighs their aural limitations. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi

Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/field-recordings-vol-4-mississippi-alabama-1934-1942#ixzz1DKI6VUDx

 

Track List

I'm Going to Leland - Frank Jordan
I Don't Mind the Weather If the Wind Don't Blow - Jim Henry
Diamond Joe - Charles "Big Charlie" Butler/Charlie "Big Charlie" Butler
Old Cold 'Taters - Lester Fairley
We're Goin' Around the Mountain - Eva Grace Boone
Sissy in the Barn - Eva Grace Boone
Little Rose Lee - Eva Grace Boone
Old Lady Sittin' in the Dining Room - Eva Grace Boone
Little Sally Walker - Eva Grace Boone
All Around the Maypole - Eva Grace Boone
Ol' Uncle Rabbit - Katherine Shipp/Christine Shipp/Katherine & Christeen Shipp
See-Lye Woman (Sea Lion) - Katherine Shipp/Christine Shipp/Katherine & Christeen Shipp
Gwan Roun' Rabbit - Anne Williams
Satisfy - Anne Williams
It Ain't Gonna Rain No More - Group
Boll Weevil - Blind Jesse Harris
Railroad Bill - Blind Jesse Harris
Tilas Mack - Blind Jesse Harris
Stagolee - Blind Jesse Harris
Spanish War - Blind Jesse Harris
All the Friends I Got Is Gone - Blind Jesse Harris
Goin' to War - Blind Jesse Harris
Brady - Blind Jesse Harris
Sun Going Shine in My Door Some Day - Blind Jesse Harris
Meridian Jail House - Blind Jesse Harris
Didn't He Ramble? - Blind Jesse Harris
Take a Whiff on Me - Blind Jesse Harris
Kansas City - Blind Jesse Harris
I'm Gwine to Texas - Rich Manuel "Rich" Amerson
Steamboat Days (Steamboat-Loading Holler) - Rich Manuel "Rich" Amerson
Ho, Boy, Caincha Line? (Lining Track) - Henry Hankins
Rosie - McDonald Family
Knock John Booker to de Low Ground - McDonald Family
Trouble So Hard - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Choose Yo' Seat and Set Down - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Handwriting on de Wall - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Another Man Done Gone - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Boll Weevil Blues - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Down on Me - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Certainly Lord - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Job, Job - Dock Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall/Doc Reed/Henry Reed/Vera Hall
Poor Little Johnny - Harriet McClinton

Go to Sleep - Harriet McClinton

All Hid - Hettie Godfrey

Source: http://www.hbdirect.com/album_detail.php?pid=539200

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_and_Brady

http://www.tdblues.com/?p=629

Cover picture

.....Amerson's harmonica contributions fall within the ambit of blues performance; although they are perhaps a little outside the mainstream of race record material.  Equally, many of the unaccompanied tracks on this disc possess a bluesy tone and sentiment, as though belonging to an era before the idiom had properly crystallised.  Surprisingly enough, though, the disc contains only three examples of accompanied singing.  Of these, one is a Worried Blues, with some rather tasty slide guitar provided by Tom Bell.  The other two examples are by Blind Jesse Harris, who accompanies himself on the accordeon.  What wondrous news is this?  Zydeco musicians apart, the only black rural accordeon player I can ever recall was Leadbelly.  I may be right, or I may be wrong, but I've always presumed Leadbelly's accordeon playing to have been a borrowing from his Cajun near neighbours.  I doubt though that Mr Harris would have been influenced by many Cajun musicians; so what does black Alabama accordeon sound like?  Well, the playing is far less energetic than that of Leadbelly, or of most Cajun musicians, or of most blues instrumentalists.  Perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that his instrument was in a severe state of disrepair, but there are long instrumental breaks which transported me far from Alabama.  Close your eyes.  Listen to the pace and the rhythm and you could almost be on an English village green watching a team of morris dancers.  (sound clip - Honey Take a Whiff on Me)......

Source: http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/alabama.htm

 

 

 

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