Thursday, December 3, 2009

JB SMITH: EVER SINCE I HAVE BEEN A MAN FULL GROWN & TWO OTHER PRISON SONGS SUNG UNACCOMPANIED

From: http://honeycombhive.com/beehive/december-09/

JB SMITH: EVER SINCE I HAVE BEEN A MAN FULL GROWN & TWO OTHER PRISON SONGS SUNG UNACCOMPANIED

Recorded at Ramsey Prison Farm in Texas on November 18th, 1965 by Bruce Jackson, this is not only a lyrical expression about the hardships of prison life in rural Texas, but also a document about some essential aspects of the African American experience. Directly grounded in the worksongs and spirituals forged during slavery in North America, J.B. Smith presents a personal interpretation of a music tradition born out of suffering - you’ll be stunned and amazed. From the liner notes:

“Smitty - J.B. Smith - is eleven years into a forty-five year sentence that begun in 1954; he is 48 years old. This is his fourth time in prison in Texas and he does not expect to be paroled for some time. For him, a song like “No More Good Time in the World for Me”, though it draws heavily on the general inmate song vocabulary, is completely personal; the situation applies to him almost without qualification.”

J.B. Smith: “The oldtimers still sing. That is, if whoever is carrying (in charge of) the squad will let them. In some cases the boss won’t let them sing.”

“The young men don’t get a chance to work with the older men and they haven’t experienced working with older men. A lot of them have never been in the system before. And the crews they work with don’t even know the songs, the worksongs that they work by. But once they get to working with the older men, they learn the songs and they try to carry them on when they can. But like I said, in most cases they can’t because they’re not permitted.”

“All Takoma records should be available from any local friendly superior record dealer, and can be ordered direct from us otherwise for $5 the copy, postpaid.”

Takoma B 1009, 1965

Side One:

1. I Got Too Much Time For the Crime I Done (9′47)
2. The Danger Line (0′43)
3. No More Good Time In the World For Me (13′26)
4. Sundown Man (0′24)

Side Two:

1. Ever Since I Been A Man Full Grown (23′19)
2. Bud Russell (0′54)

[.zip_pt.1] [.zip_pt.2]
(Link to the original Tonal Bride blogpost is above to see if these still work)

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