Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps & Blues - Vintage Mandolin Music (1927-1946)

Various Artists.
Informative 12 page, colour illustrated booklet by Richard Cherry.
Detailed discography.

Keith Briggs of Blues & Rhythm Magazine writes; "These days the mandolin is almost exclusively identified with Bluegrass music but for decades it had maintained a regular showing in mainstream old time music, ragtime and blues (both urban and rural). This is illustrated to the dates appended to the title of this CD which refer at one end to Dallas Rag and Carbolic Rag, various display pieces, one each from the black and white traditions, and at the other Lint Head Stomp, a track often considered to be proto-Bluegrass. The mixture is maintained throughout but is weighted in favor of black artists. Care has also been taken to present the mandolin in a supporting role or as a part of an ensemble.

The secret weapon for many a string band was and still is the mandolin. This compilation brings together some wonderful blues, jazz, bluegrass and country performances, built around this small but potent instrument. Continued...

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The Two Poor Boys 1927 - 1931

Joe Evans, vocal, kazoo, guitar; Arthur McClain, kazoo, guitar.
(Also mandolin and guitar by either Evans or McClain)

Genres: Country Blues, Country Blues guitar, Tennessee Blues. Country Blues Duet.
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

Joe Evans and Arthur McClain are reported to have come from Fairmount, in eastern Tennessee, a region where blacks were outnumbered twelve to one by whites, and this goes some way to explaining the evident hillbilly influences on their music. Otherwise, all we know about “The Two Poor Boys” is in the grooves of their 78s.  Continued...

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