Charley Patton
May 25, 2012 7:41 PM   Subscribe

"Charley Patton" by Robert Crumb (recommended listening: "Down the Dirt Road Blues", "High Sheriff Blues", "A Spoonful Blues", "You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die") (very previously)

A fuller biography of Patton by Dr. David Evans can be found at these three links.
posted by Trurl (8 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
The best sounding versions of these recordings are those released as The Definitive Charley Patton.
posted by Trurl at 7:43 PM on May 25, 2012

The Holy Grail of Patton collections, of course, is this one: a labor of love from the late guitarist and creator of Revenant Records, John Fahey.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:45 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was introduced to Patton through this record (liner notes). The last track is the best, but this one is a close second.
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 10:56 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I loves me some Patton. I have a bad habit of springing him on unsuspecting blues neophytes when they ask me for "some real-low down rootsy stuff." If they survive, I give them Blind Willie Johnson as a chaser.

Fair warning: do not listen to "Oh Death' in an empty house way out on the country, late on a dark night while drinking whiskey. Your friends will not understand why you suddenly have to hear a human voice NOW when you call them at 3am.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:36 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

very previously

Just plain old previously.

The Holy Grail of Patton collections, of course, is this one: a labor of love from the late guitarist and creator of Revenant Records, John Fahey.

Ditto that 72 point bold Copperplate Gothic all caps.

And among the songs of those he influenced, on the 5th disc, there is a delightful clip of an interview of Howlin' Wolf on the topic, not to mention an awesome live Staples Singers Too Late.
posted by y2karl at 8:17 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

See also
On an undistinguished block in Brooklyn, New York, a few minutes walk from the Williamsburg Bridge, near a synagogue, a Portuguese grocery, and a Muslim community centre, stands an unrecognised landmark in American music. ...decades ago it was a lodging house run by the Williamsburg branch of the YMCA, and it was here, in a single room on the uppermost floor one unknowable day in the mid-1950s, that the Delta blues was born.

Born, that is, in the imagination of one of the YMCA’s long-term residents, a record collector named James McKune...

In its distaste for contemporary black popular music, its obsession with the authentic, primal sounds of black suffering, McKune’s brand of connoisseurship was in many ways troubling. Yet what drove it was the same quest for transcendence that has propelled the histories of religion and art. In a deeply secular age, McKune took refuge in a personal faith, in which poring through record bins in junk shops became a kind of pilgrimage and listening to old recordings became an act of devotion. ''Only the great religious singers have ever affected me similarly,'' he wrote of Charley Patton. In the end, he should be judged by what he left behind: a legacy of salvaged voices whose intense, mournful beauty has transfixed the world, voices he invested with wonder and reverence, by listening ''silently. In awe.''
Natural truth
posted by y2karl at 8:30 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also worth reading on Mr. Patton: This writing by Tom Piazza, from his book, Devil Sent the Rain. Entitled, "A Light Went on and He Sang," it his the nail on the head on why this music continues to resonate.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:24 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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