Papa Charlie Done Sung That Song: Now on Document Records
The 2-CD set, featuring Adam Tanner and Jen Maurer with guests Dom Flemons and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, includes new interpretations of 15 Papa Charlie songs (Disc 1) plus the remastered originals (Disc 2).
This is a milestone project for Document Records and for aficionados of traditional blues and related music of the early 20th century. For Document, it is exceptional in containing material by living musicians, a rarity for the label. For music lovers, it contains both the first-ever recorded tribute to Papa Charlie Jackson (Disc 1) and the first selected compilation of Papa Charlie’s music since vinyl (Disc 2). Charlie Jackson is a pivotal figure in American music history.
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Historians credit Jackson with being the first famous male blues singer, the first famous self-accompanied blues artist, and the first blues musician to record primarily original material. Jackson cut his first sides in 1924 and by the late 20’s was one of Paramount Records’ biggest stars. His unusual virtuosity on 6-string banjo also put him in demanded as an accompanist for major early blues singers such as Ma Rainey and Lucille Bogan. On the banjo-driven tribute disc, Cary Moskovitz, Jen Maurer, and Adam Tanner are joined by guests Dom Flemons (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) and up-and-coming early blues master Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton—along with a host of others. The five singer-musicians are accompanied by an exceptionally wide variety of instrument combinations include tenor and 6-string banjos, fiddle, guitar, piano, bass, tuba, harmonica, clarinet, trumpet, bass clarinet, accordion, trombone, euphonium, tenor guitar, and kazoo.
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In addition to the two discs, the 16-page booklet contains a musical biography of Jackson written by Jas Obrect, former editor of Guitar Player magazine and author of books such as Blues Guitar: The Men Who Made the Music and Rollin’ & Tumblin’: The Postwar Blues Guitarists.