Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Garland Jeffreys - Washington, D.C. Hospital Blues


Shortly after his triumphant resurrection at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, Skip James returned to the recording studio for the first time in over three decades to cut the 12 sides which comprise the superb Greatest of the Delta Blues Singers, a career-capping overview which reprises some of the songs from his 1931 Paramount sessions and introduces a half-dozen new compositions as well. Although his guitar skills have lost a step in the intervening years, the passage of time has only made James' vocals that much more expressive; his new material is especially devastating, in particular "Sick Bed Blues" and "Washington D.C. Hospital Center Blues," both detailing the fight with cancer that eventually led to his death.

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