TER­RELL’S TUNE-UP

Pasatiempo - - SAILING ALONG - Steve Ter­rell

im­pro­vised, as if Jones is moan­ing when the spirit says “moan,” shout­ing when the spirit says “shout.” The track “Devil Don’t Un­der­stand Moan­ing,” for in­stance, is part of a ser­mon — a tra­di­tional black ser­mon in which you don’t re­al­ize when the mu­sic sub­tly takes over from the preach­ing. At one point, Jones’ gut­tural shouts sound as if he’s in the midst of a strug­gle deep in­side his soul.

The screams of a fe­male parish­ioner whose soul is ob­vi­ously on fire give a real edge to “Some­times I Feel Like I’m Al­most Gone.” Ob­vi­ously, the word “al­most” wasn’t nec­es­sary for some of those who felt the spirit while this was be­ing recorded.

Baby, How Can It Be? Songs of Love, Lust, and Con­tempt From the 1920s and 1930s. While the other discs I’m re­view­ing this week are field record­ings (with some tracks recorded in ac­tual fields), this three-disc set from Dust-to-Dig­i­tal con­sists of com­mer­cial 78-rpm records.

The themes of love, lust, and con­tempt each get their own disc. The 66 songs are taken from the col­lec­tion of old-timey mu­si­cian John Heneghan (he has a band in New York called Eden & John’s East River String Band). The songs in­clude hillbilly, blues, jazz, jug band, string band, and even a few Hawai­ian tunes. The col­lec­tion spills over with sex and hu­mor.

There are some fa­mous peo­ple in this com­pi­la­tion — Cab Cal­loway, Mis­sis­sippi John Hurt, and Blind Lemon Jef­fer­son. But some of the ob­scure artists steal the show, like screechy-voiced Mis­sis­sippi Matilda, Ge­orge “Short­buckle” Roark (who in­sists “I Ain’t a Bit Drunk”), and Laura Smith, who kicks off the Con­tempt disc with a funny ditty called “I’m Gonna Kill My­self.”

Grate­ful Dead­heads will rec­og­nize “Don’t Leave Me Here” by Henry Thomas. The Dead turned it into “Don’t Ease Me In” — cof­fee, tea, and jail­house key in­cluded. R. Crumb’s Cheap Suit Ser­e­naders cov­ered “Pussy,” a song about a spe­cial fe­line by Harry Roy and His Bat Club Boys on the Lust disc. Mean­while, Tiny Tim fans will be happy to find the orig­i­nal “Tip­toe Through the Tulips With Me” by Ed­die Pe­abody.

Wave The Ocean, Wave The Sea; Wor­ried Now, Won’t Be Wor­ried Long; I’ll Meet You On That Other Shore; I’ll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down & I’m Gonna Live Any­how Un­til I Die. These five al­bums fea­ture se­lec­tions from Alan Lo­max’s South­ern Jour­ney,

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