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Blind James Campbell - And His Nashville Street Band

CAT. #: 438

Price: $15.00

CD 438

A bluesy group of street musicians from Nashville, Tennessee, play a hybrid of hillbilly, jazz, blues, old time popular, skiffle, and jug band elements. James Campbell, a Nashville native, on guitar and vocals is joined by Beauford Clay on fiddle, Bell Ray, on second fiddle and guitar, George Bell on trumpet, and Ralph Robinson on bass horn/tuba. This assemblage of street musicians was originally recorded in 1963. The band worked road houses, on the streets of Nashville, at parties, a well as other social functions. This rough and sometimes chaotic African-American country band presents a unique sound, distinguishing itself for its spirit, authenticity, and vitality.

1. Have I Stayed Away Too Long
2. I'm Crazy About You Baby
3. Buffalo Gal
4. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
5. The Moon May Rise In Blood
6. John Henry
7. Baby Please Don't Go
8. Jimmy's Blues
9. Monkey Man Blues
10. This Little Light Of Mine
11. Detroit Blues
12. Beauford's Breakdown
13. Gambling Man
14. Sittin' Here Drinking
15. Jam Piece (George's Boogie)
16. I Never Had Nothing
17. Do You Remember(Theme Song)
18. My Gal Got Evil
19. Beauford's Boogie Woogie
20. When The Saints Go Marching In
21. I Am So Blue When It Rains
22. Pick And Shovel Blues
23. Detroit Jump


“Rhythms and meter tend to be "ragged but right"; European concepts of tuning seem irrelevant; and fiddler Beauford Clay plays with an acerbic tone that makes Henry Sims seem like Stuff Smith. In other words, this is some of the best black string band music since the Mobile Strugglers. Recorded by Chris Strachwitz in 1963, this CD (originally Arhoolie LP 1015) comes with nine previousIy unissued tunes and newly written notes from Strachwitz himself. James Campbell's Nashville Street Band was a loose aggregation: this CD presents, in various combinations, five men playing guitars, fiddles, banjo, trumpet, and tuba. The songs range from blues to black country dance tunes to religious songs, and feature melodies adapted from the white string band tradition and from old-time popular music and the minstrel shows. Campbell's music was meant for entertainment not deep contemplation. The rhythms are strong and well suited for dancing, and both the arrangements and the vocals have a swinging brightness that makes them hard to resist. This roots string band music, some of the best of the post-war era, comes heartily recommended.”

-Peter R. Aschoff, Living Blues