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SID HEMPHILL The Devil's Dream

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▼ Tracklisting

A1.The Devil's Dream
A2.The Eighth Of January
A3.Hog Hunt
A4.Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy
A5.The Carrier Line (Carrie Song)
A6.Soon In The Morning
A7.Leather Britches
B1.Arkansas Traveler
B2.Come On Boys, Let Go To The Ball
B3.John Henry
B4.Jesse James
B5.Sidewalks Of New York
B6.Rye Straw
B7.Boll Weevil
B8.So Soon I'll Be At Home

Multi-instrumentalist, band-leader and composer Sid Hemphill (1876–1961) was for decades the musical patriarch of the Mississippi Hill Country. He and his band — comprised of Alec “Turpentine” Askew, Will Head, and Lucius Smith; like Sid, all from Panola County, Miss. — were fixtures at dances, picnics, and frolics throughout the right triangle formed by Memphis, the Delta, and the Hill Country. Alan Lomax recorded Blind Sid in August 1942, near Sledge, Mississippi, where his band was appearing at a country picnic and banging out their breakdowns, marches, and square-dance tunes, as well as several blues ballads composed by Hemphill himself. By that date hundreds of commercial records had been made of the music of the Delta, and the preponderance of those were of or relating to the blues form, with guitar or piano accompaniment. Lomax’s were the first made of the Hill Country’s local music, and contributed to a broader perspective of black vernacular instrumentation, with their inclusion of the fiddle and banjo of the string band, the fife and drum ensemble, and the cane panpipes or “quills.”

"The Devil's Dream" is the first release devoted to Lomax’s 1942 recordings of Sid Hemphill. Transferred from the fragile original acetate discs and expertly mastered and speed-corrected, the album is a portrait of a once-thriving black regional musical tradition, all but extinct in its native habitat

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