Woody Guthrie - Worried Man Blues (Music CD)

Release Date: 02 May 2011
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The Woody Guthrie album Worried Man Blues: The Best Of, released by Master Classics in 2005, is identical in contents and annotations to the Woody Guthrie album The Very Best Of released by Purple Pyramid in 2001. Ever since 1947, when record company owner Moses Asch declared bankruptcy and his former partner and creditor, Herbert Harris of Stinson Records, held onto a batch of Asch's Woody Guthrie masters in lieu of payment, those tracks, a small part of a cache of hundreds of casually recorded songs Guthrie and such friends as Cisco Houston and Sonny Terry made starting in April 1944, have been issued over and over on albums that, while unauthorized, are -- strictly speaking -- not illegal. (Asch disputed Harris' ownership of the tracks, but neither had the wherewithal to pursue claims in court.) The first of these albums were on Stinson Records, of course, but they have appeared on many labels since. Here is another collection of a baker's dozen of them, licensed from San Juan Music Group. These old folk songs sometimes boast new lyrics from Guthrie, and the collection also includes the occasional Guthrie original, such as "Pretty Boy Floyd." With Houston chiming in on tenor vocals here and there, plus Sonny Terry's harmonica added to the guitar and/or mandolin accompaniment, the style is somewhat akin to the old-timey country music of such 1930s artists as the Monroe Brothers, and for the most part, this is not the Woody Guthrie of "This Land Is Your Land." Master Classics has taken some actions to separate its release from the pack of similar competitors, and bringing in Dave Thompson to write liner notes on each individual song was a good idea, along with listing recording dates and personnel. ~ William Ruhlmann
Release Date: 02 May 2011

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Catalogue No: MCLCD8038