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Yank RACHELL's Tennessee Jug-Busters – Mandolin Blues 1963

Posted in BLUES, Yank RACHELL on November 15, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Yank RACHELL’s Tennessee Jug-Busters – Mandolin Blues 1963
1998 Issue.


People have a lot of strange ideas about the blues–Believe it or not, there are quite a few folks out there who actually think that Keb Mo’ is the real deal! Serious fans of this often misunderstood art form probably already know that Yank Rachell is one of the great unsung heroes of the blues. This collection of his work ranks among the very best of hardcore acoustic blues recordings, bar none. Mandolin, guitar, and harmonica wail as if with one voice, and what an intensely satisfying voice it is! Rachell and his small band evoke both the joy and the pain of human experience, often at the very same moment in a single heartfelt tune. The music is somewhat reminiscent of the pre-electrified Muddy Waters, before his country roots began fading under the harsh lights of Chicago sophistication. For blues fans who are chiefly familiar with the Mississippi styles of Robert Johnson and his followers, the Tennessee-rooted sound of Yank Rachell will come as a breath of fresh air. I like this album a lot better than most of what I’ve heard of Rachell’s recordings with Sleepy John Estes. If you care at all about country blues, you can’t go wrong with this one!
Yank Rachell has long been a legend in the blues world. One of the few blues mandolin players, Rachell recorded several notable sessions during 1929-1941 and then was off record for 22 years. After spending time outside of music, he was rediscovered and in 1963 he performed the music on this CD reissue. Rachell (who was in his fifties at the time), is in excellent voice throughout the date although it is his mandolin work that makes this set particularly special. He is reunited with two notable friends from the 1930s (guitarist Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon who is heard on harmonica and jug) and is assisted on some numbers by both Big Joe Williams and the up-and-coming Mike Bloomfield on guitars; several numbers find Rachell backed by three guitars. Yank Rachell would remain active until shortly before his death on Apr. 9, 1997. This comeback set (which adds six previously unreleased tracks to the original ten-song program) is one of his definitive recordings and is a perfect showcase of the great bluesman’s talents.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Yank Rachell is mostly known as a mandolin player who accompanied Sleepy John Estes and Sonny Boy Williamson during the 1930’s. He also recorded under his own name during those years.
He was lucky enough to be “rediscovered” in the 60’s and to record some more under his own name and with others.
This CD has Rachell jamming with Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon, with Big Joe Williams and Mike Bloomfield joining in for the last 6 tracks.
There are a lot of happy moments here. The first 10 tracks, until Big Joe enters, are lighter and relaxed. Big Joe add his heavy touch to the remaining tracks, and is himself the singer on “move your hand”.
Rachell’s mandolin is the leading voice throughout – playing well and making us wonder why this instrument was not used more often by others.
The jam session quality of the recordings is welcome – there is not enough of it around.
The linear notes say that Rachell is acknowledged to be the best player among the mandolin trio – with Charly Mccoy and Johnny Young. This is a bit foolish, since all three are great mandolin players, and Mccoy plays on some of the most important country blues records ever made – with Tommy Johnson and his brother Kansas Joe.
Overall, this CD is recommended to all country blues fans.
By Nadav Haber.
Yank Rachell- (Vocals,Guitar,Mandolin)
Sleepy John Estes- (Vocals,Guitar)
Big Joe Williams- (Vocals, 9-string Guitar)
Hammie Nixon- (Vocals,Harmonica,jug)
Mike Bloomfield- (Guitar)
01. Texas Tony 3:45
02. Girl of My Dreams 5:08
03. Do the Boogie Mama (Take 3) 2:47
04. Starvation in My Kitchen 4:32
05. I’m Gonna Get Up in the Morning 3:57
06. Lonesome Blues 2:22
07. Shout Baby Shout 3:07
08. Rocky Mountain Blues 4:15
09. Do the Boogie Mama (Take 2) 2:39
10. Stop Knocking on My Door 2:57
11. Doorbell Blues 4:26
12. Move Your Hand 3:49
13. Get Your Morning Exercise 2:31
14. When My Baby Comes Back Home 3:45
15. Up and Down the Line 4:16
16. Bye Bye Baby 3:48

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