"Mississippi" Fred McDowell's Come And Found You Gone, CD Review - by J. Blake

Posted on 8/24/2010 by J. Blake

(New York, NY)

Devil Down Records boldly throws their hat into the distribution ring with a great debut release; a previously unheard collection of “Mississippi” Fred McDowell recordings titled COME AND FOUND GONE: THE BILL FERRIS RECORDINGS.

Taken from the official press release:

“This release, the first from Devil Down Records, provides never before heard recordings of McDowell, and also include his wife Annie Mae, friend Napoleon Strickland (a legendary blues harmonica and fife player in his own right), and another unidentified musician. These recordings are different from any other of Fred McDowell due to their very nature: rather than conducted with the production of a record in mind, the recordings were made casually over the course of a night. McDowell is here heard at his best, relaxed and energetic, performing many of his most famous songs as well as songs never before heard. With the his foot tapping on the hardwood floor and laughter in the background, COME AND FOUND GONE brings the listener into that host night in August, 1967, immersing them in the world of the blues house party, and guiding them through the night as it unfolded.”

Given the circumstances of the recording, the sound quality is surprisingly good. Aside from the occasional bit of mic noise, one would never guess that these intimate performances were never intended for official release. McDowell and company are in fine form, serving up a collection of fantastic acoustic blues; with a raw and often fun energy that simply will never be duplicated. These are fascinating recordings that beautifully capture a moment in time.

In addition to 16 musical performances listeners are treated to an entertaining bit of banter between the musicians and a worthwhile audio interview with Dr. William Ferris; the world renowned blues scholar that is responsible for these recordings. The CD also features gorgeous packaging, wonderful photographs and informative liner notes from Dr. Ferris, Luther Dickinson (of the North Mississippi Allstars) and distinguished French blues scholar Vincent Joos.

This is a great first effort from Devil Down Records. If they put this kind of effort into their future releases, blues fans will have a lot to look forward to.

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Thanks and keep reading American Blues News and also check out Media Wah Wah for more of this writer’s thoughts and opinions about Movies, Music, TV & More.

NYC blues fans, make sure you check out Al Green live at B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill on September 2nd!!!

Copyright © 2010 - J. Blake. All Rights Reserved

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