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Mance Lipscomb - The Best of Mance Lipscomb

CAT. #: 537

Price: $15.00

CD 537

In the summer of 1960 Mance encountered Arhoolie Records founder/president Chris Strachwitz and folklorist Mack McCormick scouring the countryside for blues singers. He had never made recordings before, but was willing to give it a try. That encounter resulted in the very first album on Chris’ Arhoolie label. This collection of songs, handpicked by Chris and including 5 songs from that original recording session, gives a glimpse into the understated brilliance of this Texas songster.


Mance was in his own words primarily "a sharecropper and songster" who, after a week of hard work in the fields, would supply the music for both blacks and whites at weekend social gatherings in and around his hometown of Navasota, Texas. He sang and played the blues as part of his vast repertoire, which also included ballads, spirituals, pop and children’s songs, novelty items, instrumental dance tunes - in short, the full range of popular music of his era in rural central Texas.

1. Baby Don’t Lay It on Me
2. Charlie James
3. So Different Blues
4. Long Tall Girl Got Stuck On Me
5. Joe Turner Killed a Man
6. Willie Poor Boy
7. Shake, Shake Mama
8. The Titanic
9. Mance’s Blues
10. Tom Moore’s Farm
11. Rag in G
12. Ain’t It Hard
13. Captain, Captain
14. Freddie
15. Take Me Back, Babe
16. Jack O’Diamonds
17. Sugar Babe
18. Ain’t You Sorry
19. Run, Sinner, Run
20. Angel Child
21. Blues in the Bottle
22. Texas Blues


"For 65 years, Mance Lipscomb managed to remain a Texas secret, hidden away in the cottony flatlands around Navasota.  But then one muggy night in 1960, Chris Strachwitz's tape deck came a calling.  From that point forward, fellow hardscrabble sharecroppers at country frolics were no longer the sole benefactors of that danceably rhythmic guitar and its deep grab bag of songs. This Best of cherry picks 22 highlights from across Lipscomb's numerous Arhoolie records (including that initial 8pm-1am in-home 'discovery' performance) cut over the 16 remaining years of his life.  With a warm voice and quick-fingered acuity, he was a one-man jukebox, the proverbial 'life of the houseparty' with a repertoire as wide as the nearby Brazos River.  Blues, ballads, rags, slow drags, hucklebucks, cakewalks, buzzard lopes were all in his inventory - and each got crisply picked or sharply slid with exquisite mastery atop a rock steady bassline.  Aside from an atypical - yet great - amplified roadhouse trip pumping out 'Blues in the Bottle,' the troubadour works alone and acoustic through 'Joe Turner Killed a Man,' 'Tom Moore's Farm,' and a shot of string-whipped brilliance named 'Willie Poor Boy." - Dennis Rozanski, BluesRag