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Mississippi Fred McDowell: Down Home Blues 1959 – also featuring Lonnie Young, Forest City Joe, John Dudley, Miles & Bob Pratcher

Neil Slaven, JSP Records, 2011

LET SHIRLEY COLLINS set the scene. In her fascinating autobiography, America Over the Water, she tells of her first meeting with Fred McDowell at the end of a hot September day in 1959 in Como, Mississippi. "Towards dusk, a slight figure in dungarees and carrying a guitar appeared out of the trees and walked into the clearing. Lonnie introduced him. His name was Fred McDowell, he was a 50-year-old farmer and he'd been picking cotton all day…. Fred started to play bottleneck guitar, a shimmering and metallic sound. His singing was quiet but strong and with a heart-stopping intensity. By the time he'd finished his first blues, we knew we were in the presence of a great and extraordinary musician."

Total word count of piece: 2027


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