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Mance Lipscomb - You Got To Reap What You Sow

CAT. #: 398

Price: $15.00

CD 398

Mance Lipscomb - vocal & guitar.

Along with Leadbelly, Pink Anderson, and Jesse Fuller, Mance Lipscomb, from Navasota, Texas, was one of the few African American “songsters” to record extensively his remarkably wide-ranging repertoire of popular songs, blues, ballads, dance tunes, rags, spirituals, children's songs, breakdowns, jubilees, and slow-drags. This, Arhoolie's second Mance Lipscomb collection (for our first CD note 306), contains a wide range of songs, including an a capella version of “Lord Thomas” and the remarkable regional protest song about “Tom Moore's Farm.”

1. Charlie James
2. Come Back Baby
3. Spanish Flang Dang
4. You Got To Reap What You Sow
5. Cocaine Done Killed My Baby
6. Joe Turner Killed A Man
7. Bumble Bee
8. Boogie In A
9. Hattie Green
10. Silver City
11. The Titanic
12. If I Miss The Train
13. Lord Thomas
14. Tom Moore Blues
15. So Different Blues
16. Tall Angel At The Bar
17. Mama, Don't Dog Me
18. Long Way To Tipperary
19. Willie Poor Boy
20. You Rascal You
21. I Looked Down The Road And I Wondered
22. Sentimental Blues
23. Police Station Blues
24. Missouri Waltz


“The late Mance Lipscomb was a major discovery by Mack McCormick and Chris Strachwitz. 'You Got to Reap What You Sow' is a new Arhoolie compact disc of his music. The subtitle 'Texas Songster Volume 2,' says it all. Mance Lipscomb wasn't a blues performer, but rather was a songster who played all sorts of songs for his family and friends. Once he was discovered and started playing concerts, he perhaps skewed his repertoire to the blues, but it was the depth of his repertoire that is invaluable The 24 songs give a sense of the depth of his repertoire, and include versions of Texas blues themes like 'Hattie Green'; blues recordings like Walter Davis' 'Come Back Baby' and Memphis Minnie's 'Bumble Bee'; ballads like 'Joe Turner Killed a Man,' and 'The Titanic'; and popular songs like 'Long Way to Tipperary' and `You Rascal You.' Mance was a wonderful guitarist and a warm singer. Reflecting the country house parties that he would play for most of his life, his performing style is simple and direct, devoid of gimmicks. This is an expanded version of the original album, which was his second Arhoolie release, and includes 13 previously unissued songs, including a rendition of 'Tom Moore Blues,' a blues about a Washington County, Texas landowner.”

(Ron Weinstock — D.C. Blues Calendar)

“Mance Lipscomb was one of the subtlest, gentlest, and most tasteful bluesmen to ever record, with a style that resembled Henry 'Ragtime Texas' Thomas and Mississippi John Hurt. Lipscomb set himself apart with his love of lyrics. His versions of classic blues are masterpieces of editing, including the absolute cream of available verses. His own songs were funny, wry, poetic, and retained a rare degree of internal cohesionhis guitar work was perfectly suited to his light, swinging vocals, with a monotonic, rhythmic bass and dancing melodic lines. When he played slide, he owed an obvious debt to his Texas contemporary Blind Willie Johnson, especially when covering Johnson tunes like 'The Titanic.'

Mance Lipscomb was a spectacularly versatile songster, and Arhoolie's Chris Strachwitz was committed to recording as much of his repertoire as possible. The result is one of the most varied bodies of work on record, ranging from the earliest African-American material to blues, rags, and pop tunes. This is a re-release of Arhoolie's second Lipscomb album, with 13 extra unreleased tracks from the same marathon session. The original album was one of Lipscomb's best, with such trademark numbers as 'Charlie James' and strong versions of 'Cocaine Done Killed My Baby,' 'Joe Turner,' and 'The Spanish Fandango.' The additional tunes are by no means inferior. Some of them, like the odd and beautiful `So Different Blues' appeared on other albums, but no two Lipscomb performances were ever identical and the new versions are excellent. Then there are surprises like Lipscomb's a cappella version of the old English ballad 'Lord Thomas.' While he only sings a fragment of the story, it is fascinating to hear how he has adapted the traditional Anglo-American ballad style. This album clocks in at 78 minutes and only whets one's appetite for more.”

(Elijah Wald — Living Blues)