FEATURED ARTIST / S
Leadbelly Vol 5 1938 - 1942
Leadbelly, vocal, 12-String Guitar.
With contributions by: Brownie McGhee, vocal, guitar; Sonny Terry, vocal, guitar.
Informative booklet notes.
The sessions on this Leadbelly CD were recorded in Havers Studio, New York City (1938) and in Washington D.C. (1940 - 1942). During this time Leadbelly was recording and socialising with the political / urban folk scene. This is shown on the opening track. Scottsboro Boys reflects Leadbelly's political awareness in which he tells the story of a group of black boys who were wrongly accused of a gang rape of two white girls in 1931. The second and third tracks recount the story of John Henry a legendary black rail worker who challenged a steam drilling machine to a contest, which he won, but then died of exhaustion.
A lot of the tracks here exemplify the way in which Leadbelly would not only sing a song but would also describe the context of the story and his personal involvement in the song. Near the end of the album are the blues tracks How Long and T.B. Blues recorded with Brownie McGhee on vocals, guitar and Sonny Terry on vocals, harmonica, which show Leadbelly enjoying the accompaniment of his fellow musicians.