Saturday, January 28, 2012
V.A. - Mistakes Were Made - Five Years Of Raw Blues ... (2 CDs)
In 2005 St. Louis resident Jeff Konkel decided to make a life altering decision. He started a new record label called Broke & Hungry and released a raw-sounding disc titled Back to Bentonia by a Mississippi blues artist little known outside of his home town by the name of Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. Five years have since passed and though the label has not become a house-hold name or made a ton of money, they have recorded and released an impressive seven albums by musicians who would’ve been lost in obscurity forever otherwise, as well as being partnered with Roger Stolle from Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art in Clarksdale and Mudpuppy Recordings in the filming of the award-winning M For Mississippi.
Field recordings may have changed significantly since the days of John Hammond, Sr, John Work or John Lomax, with the use of much more impressive equipment. But it is the locating of the musicians that truly matters. To find those who’ve been overlooked and still perform in the truest, pure sense of the blues as handed down from their forebears. Broke & Hungry has brought us exceptional material from artists such as the aforementioned Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, plus Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Odell Harris, The Mississippi Marvel, Pat Thomas, Terry “Big T” Williams, L.C. Ulmer, T-Model Ford, Bill Abel and R.L. Boyce. The only one of the bunch with somewhat prior recognition being T-Model Ford for his releases on the Fat Possum label. But unless you’ve come across them playing on the street in Clarksdale, or in a juke joint in Bentonia, or just for their neighbors, their names were most likely completely foreign to you. But each of their recordings were awe-inspiring and natural in a sense that this is a sound that could’ve easily been played in these same locations some fifty-sixty years back sounding just as they do today.
To celebrate the fact that the label has endured for five years, Broke & Hungry has released a retrospective of tracks from those seven albums that shows their progress. There are thirty tracks in all, but only sixteen have been previously released, meaning there are fourteen new tunes making this 2-CD compilation indispensible if you love blues on edge, maybe a little out of tune and completely from the musicians’ hearts.
original CD from sussex