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The likes of Amazon and Youtube have made a whole host of old music readily available at the click of a mouse, it seems I regularly come across an old blues artist that I've never heard of and a recent find is Mance Lipscomb.
At the turn of the 19th/20th century, there were loads of songsters who drew on all aspects of musical culture at the time but a couple of decades later there were very few left, one of them was this Texan songster who doesn't just limit his repertoire to blues but also plays other popular songs of the era, tracks such as "Long Way to Tipperary" and somewhat surprisingly "Missouri Waltz", perhaps somewhat tongue in cheek considering the song contains racist terms and Lipscomb - the son of an Alabama slave and Choctaw Indian chose the name "Mance" as short for emancipation.
Whilst Mance Lipscomb is considered a bit of an all rounder rather than a blues artist, his guitar picking and heavy damp strumming is very similar to that of fellow blues artist Blind Willie Johnson and his slide guitar is unbelievably raw and well-timed.
Mance Lipscomb has a rather smooth voice, it's got a gravelly feel to it but it's neither booming nor unintelligible. This album has a great range of tracks and the artist born in the 1890s recalls the bluesier tunes being named "out and down" music pre-blues label, certainly a lot of tracks on this album show the hard side of life "Cocaine Done Killed My Baby" and "Joe Turner Killed A Man"
Another great songster is the slightly more well known Mississippi John Hurt and if you like his music, you'll undoubtedly like this. This album was originally recorded in the 60s during a folk revival as the artist was not really picked up in the 20s by the record companies.