Friday, May 28, 2010

Abner Jay

Can't stop won't stop Mississippi Records has reissued a second Abner Jay LP.

Solo musician Abner Jay played outsider blues songs through the 1920s until the 1990s. Self described as; "the last great Southern black minstrel show" he first got a taste for music when his grandfather, Louis W Jay who was born a slave, passed down a six string banjo to him. Jay was taught an enormous repertoire of songs which he would continue to play throughout his career. He toured ingeniously with a portable home that folded out into a stage.

His unusual and unique heartfelt blues/folk songs about politics, relationships, war, religion struck a chord with music lovers, collectors and critics alike.

Jay's records were originally released on his own label 'Brandie' (named after his wife). Following his death in 1993 original LP's on 'Brandie' would go for upwards of $100 a pop. Today, first pressings are even more rare than ever before.

To make his work freely available again, Subliminal Sounds were the first to reissue material on 'One Man Band' at a modest price. Then, last year Mississippi began contributing to archiving Jay's work as well at a cost that won't equal the sum of third world debt.

Oh and did I mention this is the second reissue on Mississippi? 'True Story of Abner Jay' is just as good as the recent 'The Original Folk Style of Abner Jay'. Always a sharp shooter; bleak, soulful hymns are delivered with the deepest sincerity and brilliant comical anecdotes. First track 'Depression' is accompanied with what sounds like a full band, fuller than the version on the previous LP 'I'm So Depressed'.

Abner Jay in his own words: 'World's Champion Cotton Picker and Pea Picker, World's Fastest Tobacco Crapper, World's Greatest Jaw Bone Player, World's Fastest Mule Skinner... THE WORLD'S WORSE BUSINESS MAN'.

Read full review of Folk Song Stylist - Abner Jay on ©

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