Bukka White – Parchman Farm (1970/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 38:50 minutes | 1,44 GB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Columbia – Legacy
White is self accompanied except for one tune with piano. His sound is a bit faster, and he understands the importance of a good beat. “Parchman Farm Blues” is the tale of his time there, also known as the Mississippi State Penitentiary. Parchman is legendary in blues circles as well as Grisham novels as a huge farm collective prison. Many men incarcerated there were allowed to record.
I like the whole thing, and there is a spoken word tidbit of White recalling knowing Charlie Patton, a claim some historians question. Patton was the best known rural blues player of the late ’20’s up to his death in 1934, following in the steps of Blind Lemon Jefferson. It would therefore be tempting to name drop Patton because he was charismatic enough to be able to sell tickets and play for white audiences as well, putting on a show with the guitar over his head and between his legs, maybe the first to do so.
For those interested in how rural blues was progressing after Robert Johnson, this is a good starting point. It must be said though that those looking for a more complete blues picture that involved more slick and complicated tunes, eventually setting the stage for Muddy Waters and modern Chicago blues, one will have to investigate the urban blues of Chicago especially and Memphis. Bukka White is nonetheless the real deal, and those already into rural blues should be checking him out.
01. Pinebluff, Arkansas
02. Shake ‘Em On Down
03. Black Train Blues
04. Strange Place Blues
05. When Can I Change My Clothes?
06. Sleepy Man Blues
07. Parchman Farm Blues
08. Good Gin Blues
09. High Fever Blues
10. District Attorney Blues
11. Fixin’ to Die Blues
12. Aberdeen Mississippi Blues
13. Bukka’s Jitterbug Swing
14. Special Streamline