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Negro Work Songs and Calls Rounder, 1999 CD I 5 17, $15.00 African American song has permeated die southern air for centuries. From earliest times, whites marveled at the skill widi which slaves combined rhythm and work. By 1943 when this recording was originally issued, diat centuries-old worksong tradition was slowly dying out. This cd preserves the vestiges ofAfrican American musical creativity designed to ease die tremendous burdens ofmanual labor. Songs to accompany cotton picking, plowing, laying railroad rails, sounding calls to measure depths along die Mississippi River, or tunes that helped pass die time in prison work gangs all demonstrate the breaddi of circumstances in which African American laborers used music. Altogedier, with good liner notes and many pictures from the 1940s, this cd recaptures a time when die human voice on die job was not drowned out by mechanical devices. Illrd Tyme Out John and Mary Rounder, 1999 CD I1661-0463-2, $15.00 As bluegrass looks back on fifty years oftradition, few prominent current bands hew closer to bluegrass 's roots than IIIrd Tyme Out. The group's tight harmonies and inspired traditionalism have won widespread acclaim, and dieir latest release will not disappoint fans. \nJohn andMary they blend well-loved tunes like "Milk Cow Blues" and "I Pray My Way out ofTrouble" with songs diey've remade like "Cold Summer Day in Georgia" and widi tunes diey've written themselves. True to form, the band's instrumental work is solid but it never overpowers the finely wrought harmonies. Without slavishly imitating previous artists, the cd should appeal to hard-core bluegrass fans as well as those interested in hearing one of bluegrass's premier groups. Music Recordings 93 ...


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