Sunday, July 18, 2010

The perfect morning for some Mississippi Fred

It's sultry out.
That's perfect for a morning spent listening to MISSISSIPPI FRED MCDOWELL.

Infamously overlooked when BLUES talent scouts scoured the South in the 1930s, McDowell's massive talent didn't come to light on a wide scale until his 1959 "discovery" by musicologists ALAN LOMAX and SHIRLEY COLLINS.

Collins memorably described their initial meeting:

"Towards dusk, a slight figure in dungarees and carrying a guitar appeared out of the trees and walked into the clearing. He was a 50-year-old farmer and he'd been picking cotton all day. Fred started to play bottleneck guitar, a shimmering and metallic sound. His singing was quiet but strong and with a heart-stopping intensity. By the time he'd finished his first blues, we knew we were in the presence of a great and extraordinary musician."

McDowell has a languid style that seems perfect for a cloudy, hot day where all I want to do is lay low until late afternoon.


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