Rappahannock Blues CD Review and Festival Notification
by Monica Yasher

Posted on 6/10/2010 by Monica Yasher


The release of 'RAPPAHANNOCK BLUES' will be celebrated at the “2010 Tinner Hill Blues Festival – A Tribute to John Jackson”, June 10-13, 2010 in Falls Church, VA (Washington DC area). For more information, visit

We are fortunate to have the John Jackson (1924-2002) CD that includes 20 selections from a man who vowed never to play a guitar again. One day in 1946 as he was performing, he survived a house party fight and layed his guitar down. It was twenty years after that date that he was rediscovered as an accomplished guitarist.

Soon after being rediscovered, he layed ninety tracks in twelve hours, and some of these songs are included in this collection, the “Rappahannock Blues“.

Though the blues may be thought of by many as the devil’s music, this CD shows the influence of his mother, a Christian woman, with selections such as “Don’t You Want to Go Up There?“ and “Just A Closer Walk with Thee”.

The feel of this music goes well beyond the Blues genre. It is quite evident the Appalachian influence is through every song played. You can hear a huge Bluegrass influence in all of the selections. And, this influence left the Appalachian Mountains, the United States and continued on a tour through Asia in 1984 with Ricky Skaggs, Buck White and Jerry Douglas.

In summary, thank you to the Smithsonian for sharing his music and sharing a window to the history of blues and bluegrass music. For anyone interested in the roots of Blues music, or specifically in the history of Appalachian music and its region, this CD provides an excellent starting point for further investigations. For those who aspire to understanding the history of the blues, I hope that this CD may serve to stimulate similar studies of other legendary artists. Though there has been much documented history on the Chicago Blues, the Delta Blues and many other subgenres of Blues Music, the efforts of this compilation deserve recognition both for its aspirations and for its considerable achievement of taking the listener to one of the least explored roots of the Blues genre, the Appalachian Blues.

And, though the influence of bluegrass holds heavily within these songs, Mr. John Jackson always wished to be known as a Bluesman. We are proud to have him on our pages of American Blues News.

John Jackson Rappahannock Blues (*denotes previously unreleased track)
Track Listing
1. Rocks and Gravel (John Jackson) *

2. Too Tight Rag (Blind Blake) *

3. Candy Man (Mississippi John Hurt) *

4. Truckin’ Little Baby (Blind Boy Fuller)*

5. Railroad Bill (traditional)

6. Nobody’s Business (If I Do) (traditional) *

7. Don’t You Want to Go Up There (trad.; arr. John Jackson) *

8. The Year Clayton Delaney Died (Tom T. Hall) *

9. John Jackson’s Breakdown (John Jackson) *

10. Red River Blues (traditional) *

11. Brown’s Ferry Blues (The Delmore Brothers) *

12. Cindy (trad.; arr. John Jackson) *

13. You Ain’t No Woman (Bill Jackson) *

14. John Henry (traditional)

15. Diddy Wah Diddy (Blind Blake) *

16. Just a Closer Walk with Thee (Kenneth Morris) *

17. Frankie and Johnny (traditional) *

18. Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (trad.; arr. John Jackson) *

19. Step It Up and Go (Blind Boy Fuller; arr. John Jackson) *

20. West Coast Rag (Blind Blake) *

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

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