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Times Ain't Like They Used To Be Vol.5

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Times Ain't Like They Used To Be Vol.5

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1 	–Sam McGee 	Railroad Blues 	
2 	–Floyd County Ramblers 	Step Stone 	
3 	–Skip James 	Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues 	
4 	–Weems String Band 	Greenback Dollar 	
5 	–Jimmie Davis 	Doggone That Train 	
6 	–Eli Framer 	Framer's Blues 	
7 	–Roy Harvey And Jess Johnston 	No Room For A Tramp 	
8 	–Garland Brothers & Grinstead 	Just Over The River 	
9 	–Ben Covington 	Mule Skinner Moan 	
10 	–Reaves White County Ramblers 	Shortening Bread 	
11 	–J.P. Nestor & Norman Edmonds 	Black-Eyed Susie 	
12 	–Buddy Boy Hawkins 	A Rag Blues 	
13 	–Roy Harvey And Jess Johnston* 	Railroad Blues 	
14 	–Grayson County Railsplitters 	Way Down In North Carolina 	
15 	–The Swamp Rooters 	Citaco 	
16 	–Unknown Artist 	Pistol Blues 	
17 	–Murphy Brothers Harp Band 	Boat Song March 	
18 	–Frank Blevins & His Tar Heel Rattlers 	I've Got No Honey Babe Now 	
19 	–Wilmer Watts And The Lonely Eagles 	Bonnie Bess 	
20 	–Blind Joe Reynolds 	Cold Woman Blues 	
21 	–Wyzee*, Tucker & Lecroy 	Hamilton's Special Breakdown 	
22 	–Bull Mountain Moonshiners 	Johnny Goodwin 	
23 	–Charley Patton 	Some Happy Day

 

Each volume in Yazoo Records' Times Ain't Like They Used to Be series (this one is the fifth installment) collects 1920s and '30s commercial 78s, and taken together they project a vital and energetic early-20th century rural America of jug and string bands, country blues players, fiddlers, banjoists, sacred singers, and musical roustabouts of every conceivable rustic style imaginable. This process makes each volume remarkably similar even as the particular artists and songs included on each may be tremendously different. Vol. 5 includes such gems as Sam McGee's bright "Railroad Blues," Skip James' classic and striking "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues," a breakneck version of "Black-Eyed Susie" by string band great J.P. Nestor, and a unusually hopeful blues treatment of "Some Happy Day" from Charley Patton. Since everything is drawn from exceedingly rare 78s, many of which were played to death by their original owners, there is a fair amount of ambient needle noise on several of these tracks, but that only adds to the overall feel of history actually coming alive that is inherent to these kinds of compilations. Well selected, varied, and artfully sequenced, Times Ain't Like They Used to Be, Vol. 5 is yet another welcome addition to a hopefully never-ending series. ---Steve Leggett, AllMusic Review

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