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This a true classic country-blues album. Recorded and issued in the mid-sixties by the re-discovered bluesman Skip James. He was an old man at the time (born 1902) and had been away from recording-business for decades. The album is maybe the most, in true sense, beautiful blues-album I ever have heard. James is not as devilish as Robert Johnson or nor as mean as Muddy Waters or Sonny Boy Williamson can be but he's small stories of the black man's life in southern USA are both touching and exemple of pure poetry. He's guitar-playing is masterful. This album is a milestone in country-blues and should not be missed by anyone with true intrest in blues and R&B.
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VINE VOICEon 4 May 2007
Skip James was perhaps the most unremittedly morose performer in all bluesdom, and by the time he recorded this album he was an ailing, bitter old man. Having not recorded for over thirty years since his sessions for Paramount, he viewed his later work with contempt, barely concealing his bitterness that success was coming near the end of his life. Nevertheless, drawing from his canon of superb late twenties recordings, he reels off dazzling guitar showpieces and demonstrates an idiosyncratic piano technique picked from the Memphis brothels where he added pimp and house-pianist to his CV. "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" is a stand-out, perhaps the second greatest depression song ever, and one the finest examples of James's eerie falsetto and cross-tuned guitar. Also featured are "Cherry Ball", "Crow Jane" "Drunken Spree" and of course, "I'm So Glad" a brief, freewheeling song which Cream would later turn into a live staple that would last about as long as the last ice age. A classic acoustic blues album, ideally it should be purchased with "Devil Got my Woman" which is a perfect companion piece
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on 13 August 2007
I have the originals of Skip James and in my opinion his brilliant falsetto vocals and superb accoustic guitar playing have actually improved over the years although the sound quality on this cd is excellent. Big Bill Broonzy once said "you don't just sing the blues, you have to feel them" this is where I feel Skip James rates so highly with the likes of Robert Johnson and Tommy Johnson. You can hear the emotions in his voice. "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues", "Crow Jane" and "I'm So Glad" are just a few examples of pure blues, however, I can state quite categorically that there is not one bad track on this cd. It was an absolute travesty that Skip James did not benefit more from his brilliance!
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on 5 February 2009
the general consensus is that skip james's work in the 60's (after he was re-discovered following a 33 year hiatus) is pretty good but doesn't match up to his classic 1931 session upon which his legend was built... I would have concurred with that if my view was simply based on the excellent Wim Wenders film I saw the other day - which incidentally was the first time I'd heard his music. Since then I've purchased 3 of his cd's: 'i'd rather be the devil (1931 session), 'Today' (recorded 1965, released early '66) and 'devil got my woman' recorded/released 1968... '

After constant listening, I now prefer the 60's material - ..The 'today' album is simply magnificent. Apart from the obvious improved sound quality, his guitar skills and truly haunting beautiful vocals (a few octaves higher than 1931) are sublime -the songs are powerful and extremely moving. I'd choose this album over Robert Johnson any time. Every song is excellent. No other musicians play on the session - just him and guitar or piano....

I also highly recommend his final album ' devil got my woman'...

For me, Skip James is the true King of the delta blues singers.....
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on 15 May 2005
Heard Skip James on a blues prog on BBC 3 and needed to buy an album and was not disappointed.
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on 29 January 2014
This is a superb blues album. Skip had his own unique way of singing that is haunting, moving and absolutely 'the blues'.
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on 9 May 2015
dint keel over
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