Tuesday, November 12, 2013


If you can forgive the un-P.C., heck, racist, spoken intro to this piece you’ll enjoy hearing a fine bottleneck piece, based on “John Henry,” played by blind man Riley Puckett. I first heard this on an LP called The String Bands Vol. 2 on the Old Timey label back in the 60s and it quickly became a favorite. Now the Tompkins Square label has put together a wonderful collection of old time “primitive” guitar pieces and this tune is on it along with equally fine work by Sylvester Weaver, Sam McGee from Tennessee, David Miller, Frank Hutchinson, Lemuel Turner, and the mysterious Bayless Rose.

Riley Puckett • The Darkey’s Wail • 1927

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