Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2016

Josh White - Sings Easy (1944)

Langston Hughes' liner notes:

"You could call Josh White the Minstrel of the Blues, except that he is more than a Minstrel of the Blues. The Blues are Negro music, but. although he is a Negro, Josh is a fine folk-singer of anybody's songs - southern Negro or southern white, plantation work-songs or modern union songs, English or Irish ballads - any songs that come from the heart of the people.

When Josh was a little boy, he used to lead the famous Blind Lemmon Jefferson around, and he probably passed the tin cup. Blind Lemmon was a singer of Blues and Moans and Shouts. Blind Lemmon was great at those lonely songs that one man or one woman sings alone. Perhaps it was from Blind Lemmon that Josh absorbed the common loneliness of the folk song that binds one heart to all others-and all others to the one who sings the song. For Josh has a way of taking a song like Hard Times Blues and making folks who have never even had a hard time feel as though they had experienced poverty.

The guitar that Josh White plays is as eloquent, as simple and direct as are his songs themselves. His guitar keeps a heart-beat rhythm that makes you feel his songs in your heart. His guitar has in it at one and the same time, sadness and gaiety, despair and faith. Sometimes his guitar laughs behind a sad song. Sometimes it cries behind a happy song. Sometimes it makes a Chaplinesque comment on One Meat Ball. Josh White and His Guitar used to be billed together. They are one and inseparable.
Josh White sings with such ease that you never feel like he is trying. That is the secret of true folk-singing-for the folk-song never tries to get itself sung. If it just doesn't ease itself into your soul and then out of your mouth spontaneously, to stay singing around your head forever, then it isn't a folk-song. If it doesn't sing easy and wear like an o
ld shoe, it isn't a folk-song. And if the singer tries too hard and gets nowhere with such a song, that singer isn't a folk-singer.

The popular song hits sort of go in one ear, ring around in your head for a bit, then out the other ear. But folk songs like Water Boy, or Lord Randall, or any good old Blues, sort of soak into your being and remain there with no effort. The great folk-singers give them off again-with no effort, either. From Blind Lemmon to Burl Ives, from Bessie Smith to Aunt Molly Jackson there runs a wave of singing easy. Josh White also sings easy."

"Sings Easy" was a set of three singles released in 1944 by Asch Records with the following tracks:

- I Got A Head Like A Rock
- Fare Thee Well

- Outskirts Of Town
- One Meat Ball

- When I Lay Down And Die Do Die
- The House I Live In

Josh White - Sings Easy (1944)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

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