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Henry Thomas - Texas Worried Blues (Complete Recorded Works 1927-1929)
"One of the earliest blues performers of the pre-war era, and an offspring of a family of freed slaves, Henry ""Ragtime Texas"" Thomas was one of the most influential, but also one of the most enigmatic practitioners of the blues genre. Much of Thomas' life was unchronicled by historians (The exact date of his death is still a point of contention) except to say that much of his life he lived as a drifter, making his living by performing on street corners and for railway employees. Though his personal life is still shrouded in mystery, his music remains significant, so many decades later. Thomas stood out from his peers primarily by the way he strummed his guitar; as one would strum a banjo. His songs emphasized dance rhythm over complex picking, and often utilized instruments unorthodox to blues music, such as the Deep South folk instrument the quills. This sound proved to be instrumental in the development of the Texas blues sound, and would be his trademark across the 24 sides that he recorded for Vocalion Records, of which only 23 would be released commercially. So many decades later, Yazoo proudly presents all 23 of these sides on one 3-record compilation. Recorded from 1927 to 1929, Texas Worried Blues covers songs of Thomas' that proved highly inspirational during the folk-blues revial of the 50s and 60s, and informed the sounds of Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, and so many other blues revivalists of the era."