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When The Levee Breaks: Mississippi Blues Rare Cuts 1926-1941

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Box Set
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When The Levee Breaks: Mississippi Blues Rare Cuts 1926-1941
When The Levee Breaks: Mississippi Blues Rare Cuts 1926-1941


100 extremely rare early blues recordings. When Mississippi blues is mentioned, it's most often associated with the Delta, with its supposed prevalence of slide or bottleneck guitar playing. In reality, this was but one of many styles to be found within the state's boundaries. At least as prevalent was the rhythm-based approach favoured by musicians from the hill country to the east of the state. These men infiltrated the Delta. Most of these musicians were itinerants, their lives undocumented, whose arrival in front of a microphone was often a matter of chance. Other musicians made their way to Jackson, MS, to seek H.C. Speirs' music shop. Speir recorded them on his basic equipment, sent dubs to northern record companies and for the chosen, arranged their travel to sessions. The majority of the music on these discs was first made as much as 80 years ago. Some tolerance should be exercised when listening to what are sometimes the only copies of records close to mythical status. A case in point is Son House's "Mississippi County Farm Blues", recorded in May 1930. This and "Clarksdale Moan" were known to have been released but only in the last couple of years has a copy, luckily in reasonable condition, been found. This music, vital and entertaining, is also a record of the world these musicians inhabited, its sites, its events, its people - a compendium of knowledge important in its day. These titles are among the building blocks of blues history. Extensive notes tell as much as is known about the background to the recordings.


  1. Name
  2. Cottonfield Blues Part 1 - Garfield Akers
  3. Bedside Blues - Jim Thompkins
  4. Mississippi Bottom Blues - Kid Bailey
  5. Poor Boy Blues - Sam Butler
  6. I'm Leavin' Town - William Harris
  7. Hittin' The Bottle Stomp - Mississippi Jook Band
  8. Last Kind Words Blues - Geeshie Wiley
  9. Third Street Woman Blues - Blind Willie Reynolds
  10. Muddy Water Blues - Freddie Spruell
  11. Fare Thee Well Blues - Joe Calicott
  12. That Won't Do - Arthur Petties
  13. Four O'Clock Flower Blues - Willie '61' Blackwell
  14. Evil Devil Woman Blues - Joe McCoy
  15. The Jail House Blues - Sam Collins
  16. Black Spider Blues - Robert Lockwood
  17. Traveling Riverside Blues Take 1 - Robert Johnson
  18. Baltimore Blues - Charlie McCoy
  19. Down The Big Road Blues - Mattie Delaney
  20. You Scolded Me And Drove Me - Mississippi Bracey
  21. Milk Cow Blues - Freddie Spruell
  22. Ten Pound Hammer - Mose Andrews
  23. Noiseless Motor Blues - Willie '61' Blackwell
  24. Jailhouse Fire Blues - Walter 'Buddy Boy' Hawkins
  25. 4A Highway - Freddie Spruell
  26. Times Has Done Got Hard - King Solomon Hill
  27. Mississippi County Farm Blues - Son House
  28. When The Levee Breaks - Joe McCoy
  29. Ninety Nine Blues - Blind Joe Reynolds
  30. Snake Doctor Blues - Jelly Jaw Short
  31. Little Girl In Rome - Otto Virgial
  32. It's Cold In China Blues - Mississippi Moaner
  33. Bald Eagle Blues - Willie '61' Blackwell
  34. Boodle-De-Bum Blues - Bogus Ben Covington
  35. Bull Frog Blues - William Harris
  36. Dangerous Woman - Mississippi Jook Band
  37. Shaggy Dog Blues - Buddy Boy Hawkins
  38. Devil In The Lion's Den - Sam Collins
  39. Quarrellin' Mama Blues - Arthur Petties
  40. Devil And My Brown Blues - Sam Butler
  41. Take A Little Walk With Me - Robert Lockwood
  42. Last Time Blues - Charlie McCoy
  43. Dough Roller Blues - Garfield Akers
  44. The Crowing Rooster - Walter Rhodes
  45. Motherless Child Blues - Geeshie Wiley
  46. Married Woman Blues - George Torey
  47. She's Young And Wild - Willie '61' Blackwell
  48. Cherry Ball - Mississippi Bracey
  49. Bad Notion Blues - Otto Virgial
  50. Don't Cry Baby - Freddy Spruell
  51. Rowdy Blues - Kid Bailey
  52. My Buddy Blind Papa Lemon - King Solomon Hill
  53. Snatch It Back Blues - Walter 'Buddy Boy' Hawkins
  54. Machine Gun Blues - Willie '61' Blackwell
  55. Revenue Man Blues - Arthur Petties
  56. Mr Freddie's Kokomo Blues - Freddie Spruell
  57. Over To My House - Geeshie Wiley
  58. Barefoot Blues - Jelly Jaw Short
  59. Jumpin' And Shoutin' Blues - Garfield Akers
  60. Look Who's Coming Down The Road - Georgia Pine Boy
  61. Traveling Mama Blues - Joe Calicott
  62. Leavin' Here Blues - William Harris
  63. Got The Blues About Rome - Otto Virgial
  64. Young Heifer Blues - Mose Andrews
  65. Skippy Whippy - Mississippi Jook Band
  66. Yellow Dog Blues - Sam Collins
  67. You Can't Keep No Brown - Sam Butler
  68. Tallahatchie River Blues - Mattie Delaney
  69. Stered Gal - Mississippi Bracey
  70. Motherless And Fatherless Blues - Mississippi Mudder
  71. Don't Misuse Me, Baby - Willie '61' Blackwell
  72. I'm Gonna Train My Baby - Robert Lockwood
  73. Out On Santa Fe Blues - Arthur Petties
  74. It's Hard Times - Joe Stone
  75. Your Good Man Is Gone - Freddie Spruell
  76. Cold Woman Blues - Blind Joe Reynolds
  77. Clarksdale Moan - Son House
  78. Adam And Eve In The Garden - Bogus Ben Covington
  79. Lonesome Man Blues - George Torey
  80. Leaving Home Blues - Walter Rhodes
  81. Loving Lady Blues - Sam Collins
  82. Early Mornin' Blues - William Harris
  83. Number Three Blues - Walter 'Buddy Boy' Hawkins
  84. Tell Me Baby - King Solomon Hill
  85. Little Boy Blue - Robert Lockwood
  86. Cottonfield Blues Part 2 - Garfield Akers
  87. Chalk My Toy - Willie '61' Blackwell
  88. Barbecue Bust - Mississippi Jook Band
  89. Two Time Blues - Arthur Petties
  90. Back Door Blues - Joe Stone
  91. Way Back Down Home - Freddie Spruell
  92. Skinny Leg Blues - Geeshie Wiley
  93. Meat Cutter Blues - Joe McCoy
  94. Mississippi Moan - Mississippi Moaner
  95. Married Man Blues - Blind Willie Reynolds
  96. Jefferson County Blues - Sam Butler
  97. Rampaw Street Blues - Willie '61' Blackwell
  98. I'll Overcome Someday - Mississippi Bracey
  99. Good Boy Blues - Arthur Petties
  100. Grand Daddy Blues - Jelly Jaw Short
  101. Let's Go Riding - Freddie Spruell
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