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Fixin' To Die [Original recording remastered]

Bukka White Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 6.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Complete Blues
  • ASIN: B0001PJDW0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,641 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

Twenty tracks representing the very best of the last great Delta Blues singer. These recordings cut in Memphis, Chicago and the notorious Parchman Farm Penitentiary between 1930 and 1940 include 'Fixin' to Die' and 'Parchman Farm Blues' . With informative notes and session details this set is part of the Complete Blues series, described by Uncut magazine as ' a dazzling, comprehensive story of the blues...the most user-friendly compendium on the market'.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flashes of brilliance 24 April 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The music on this CD has been described as coming from the last great classic country blues recording session but already by the late thirties when this music was made, a gulf had opened up between the kind of legendary performances executed between the mid twenties and early thirties. By the time Bukka White entered the studio to make these tracks, the home-spun nature of the recording industry emerged from the Depression very much more commercial as well as savvy to the increasingly sophisticated tastes of the record buying public. As a consequence, I think the music is not quite as compelling as the efforts of an earlier generation of performers.

There are some great tracks on this disc. The first four numbers on this CD are fabulous and there are other gems like "Fixin' to die" which are pretty much essential too. I particularly like the spirited field recording "Po' Boy" which transcends the scratchy recording quality. At it's best, this music is brilliant as witnessed by "Shake 'em on down" and the wonderful "Special streamline." However, there is too little variety over the course of the 60 minutes of this disc and the gruff sound of White's voice is a case of a little goes a long way. The other downside is the use of a washboard which very much distracts from what is going on in the record - it almost feels like White was not confident about his time -keeping. This feels at odds with tracks like "Bukka' jitterbug swing" which reflects the then (1940) current dance craze. As someone who also prefers the picking style of guitar as championed by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie McTell, I think the guitar playing is not quite of the same calibre as the more celebrated or even legendary players of the Blues.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One solid and sustained beam of brilliance... 2 Dec 2011
Format:Audio CD
This record is superb throughout, with more variety than you tend to get in most blues collections. Beyond praise, so I won't go on about it. But NB it's well worth getting both this set and the JSB 5-disc LEGENDS OF COUNTRY BLUES containing all the pre-war recordings of Bukka White, Son House, and others, since the recordings of White made at Parchman Farm prison -- including the wonderful 'Po Boy' -- are cleaned up and made listenable on this single disc (they're barely audible on the JSB set, though the other transfers are excellent).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Bukka White purchase you could make... 5 Jan 2007
By Francois - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album includes all the known early works from the late 1920s early 1930s and the sessions at the end of the 1930s or beginning of the 1940s. Sound quality is acceptable and the music, of course is outstanding. I gave it 5 stars because I've yet to find a better purchase by this artist.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the early great blues singers 31 Dec 2007
By Steven A. Peterson - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
He was born Booker T. Washington White (Bukka became his name due to a mistake in one of his recording sessions many years later) in 1909, and had a career lasting until 1977. His first recording session was in 1930; he didn't make much of an impression since he did not record anything else until 1937. This CD features his early recordings, made in 1930, 1937, 1939, and 1940.

The liner notes identify him as one of the early greats, the end of the line of blues players originating with Charley Patton and Son House (with Tommy Johnson thrown in for good measure). From this early generation came later well know blues players such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.

Anyhow, what about his craft and his art? Three cuts illustrate:

"The New Frisco Train" comes from his first recording session. Early on, he did railroad songs as one of his genres, and this song comes from that set of works. He shows very good guitar playing, comparing very favorably with the guitar work of others early blues singers. His blues voice is mighty fine, too. The song's focus is trains. There is a second vocalist, identified as "Miss Minnie." The back and forth banter between the two works nicely. The recording quality isn't great, but it's better than some other early blues recordings.

"Shake 'em on down" is a 1937 cut, from his second recording session. This is much more blues oriented than the song previously mentioned. Again, nice guitar work and some good blues vocal wailing.

"Fixin' to Die" was later covered by Bob Dylan, according to the notes. There is the recurring line:

"I know I was born to die. . . ."

Good guitar work again and fine singing. He's backed on washboard by "Washboard Sam."

This is the first work of Bukka White that I have ever listened to(if my memory is correct). And I'm pretty happy with what I have listened to! White is an important part of the early blues, ranking with some of the other greats of the era.
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete early Booker White & Inexpensive 6 Jun 2010
By KASHIWA - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Booker White's complete catalog of early recordings. If you know who he is, this CD is an inexpensive alternative to the Complete Bukka White CD. The difference between the two is that the more expensive CD is in chronological order. Nevertheless, Fixin' To Die has all twenty tracks. You may also find, as I have, that the later [rediscovered] Booker White, is a more fluid and confident singer and guitar player than he is in this CD. If you do not know Booker White, he is one of THE quintessential Delta Bluesmen, along with Charley Patton and Son House, both of which he personally knew. In other words, this CD is one you should own.
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