Monday, August 24, 2009
Fishin' For Blues
While we were walking down to the beach the song "Fishing Blues" popped into my head. Most people know the great Taj Mahal version from "De Old Folks at Home" album, but the tune was originally recorded in the 1920s by Henry "Ragtime Texas" Thomas. Thomas, a black man born in the late nineteenth century, was equally adept at country two steps and dance tunes as he was at the blues. His lively dance music gives us a glimpse of the type of music that might have been heard at a nineteenth century African American house party. Dead Heads may be interested to know that Thomas also made the first recording of the Grateful Dead standby "Don't Ease Me In."
Check out "Henry Thomas Texas Worried Blues: Complete Recorded Works 1927-1929" on YaZoo Records. My personal favorite version of "Fishing Blues" is Bruce Molsky's rendition from his Rounder Records release "poor man's troubles." On this tune Bruce shows that not only is he world class fiddler he can also do some pretty fancy pickin' on the acoustic guitar.
Henry Thomas Texas Worried Blues CD
Henry Thomas Texas Worried Blues Mp3
Bruce Molsky Poor Man's Troubles CD
Bruce Molsky Poor Man's Troubles Mp3