The Anthology, Henry Thomas and Hype

I checked out the Anthology of American Folk Music edited by Harry Smith from the library. Somebody should have directed me to it long ago. I am making my way through it rather slowly. Each find is terrific. I know that music tastes tend to crystalize with age. Although I wish I had listened earlier, it is good to know that new sounds can still catch my ear.

This story that aired on NPR‘s Morning Edition several years ago tells the story behind the anthology. The feature opens with “Spike Driver Blues” by Mississippi John Hurt, a favorite of mine. Jeff Place, the archivist interviewed, contributed to the booklet that comes with the CD set. I have enjoyed it as bedtime reading.

My favorite new tune is “Fishing Blues” by Henry Thomas. I had heard Taj Mahal‘s cover, which is great, but the joyous bouncing of the old recording is terrific. It includes solos on the quills (cached). Now I want to make my own set.

Although my interest in Henry Thomas is overshadowed by the one song, he recorded more. Texas Worried Blues is on my list for listening. I enjoyed this review. This page on the Hype Machine led me to this post about Henry Thomas. It has several tracks. Using my special skills, I found a few more tracks. According to this page, he is believed to have performed at the 1904 World’s Fair. My great-grandmother went to the fair, and now I live in fairsville.

The Hype Machine is a great idea, and I like the implementation. It aggregates music blogs. Popular tracks and the Flash player are my favorite parts so far. Podcasts and other formats abound there.

1 Comment »

Michael M. on July 18th 2006 in General, Music, Recorded

One Response to “The Anthology, Henry Thomas and Hype”

  1. diatriber responded on 19 Jul 2006 at 9:00 am #

    weird. i came across the 6 cd set in my basement last night and realized i had never converted into mp3 files for my computer/iPod. now i can carry a digital version of those old 78s around with me wherever i go.

    i always liked “sugar baby” by dock boggs. if you like boggs btw, i highly recommend this release on Revanant that includes a 64 page book of essays:
    http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:usjw7i81g77r

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