Saturday, August 10, 2013

When your way gets dark, baby,
hang your lights up high

Two takes of “Charley’s most ethereal bottleneck piece. . . . ‘Magnolia’s’ remarkable feature is the plaintive guitar cadenza that extends his vocal line, through first lines, continuing through spoken asides and replacing entire second lines. It’s an idea unique to these two songs, and to the blues, and its emotional appeal has been rarely matched.” —Dick Spottswood, from “Song Notes and Transcriptions” in Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton (Revenant 212, 2001)

Charley Patton • Magnolia Blues • 1929

Charley Patton • When Your Way Gets Dark • 1929


  1. Are these from the box set, which also included interviews with H.C. Speirs, etc.? I've always found it hard to decipher Patton's lyrics on most releases, but the sound quality on these is really quite good.

    I've been listening to a lot of pre-war blues lately, thanks in part to the inspiration provided by this wonderful blog.

    P.S. Re: The Continuing Saga of Marie's World - She'll be back soon . . .

    1. Many thanks, and hope to see/hear you again soon!

      The Revenant set does have lyric transcriptions and they're pretty good considering Patton's diction. . . .