Compiled by Alan Lomax, 'Murderers Home' is collected here for a second cassette re-issue. Its a collection of work songs and field hollers performed by inmates of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (also known as Parchman Farm) in 1947. It was originally released in 1957 on the UK's Pye Nixa label, but recordings also found their way onto the 1958 LP 'Negro Prison Songs'. Limited to 100 copies.
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- DEATH002 / Ltd tape on Death Is Not The End. Edition of 100 copies. Recordings from the Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1947 compiled by Alan Lomax
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This one's a bit of a treat! Renowned sonic documentarian Alan Lomax is of course legendary for obsessively documenting the sound of the common man over half a century ago, and this collection is surely one of his most interesting. Recorded at Mississippi State Penitentiary all the way back in 1947, 'Murderer's Home' collects 18 spirituals and work songs performed by the inhabitants of said correctional facility.
Not only is it a truly interesting historical document but the music contained on this tape is all just terrifically vibrant and alive and human. The songs are often led by a slow clap, with several inmates mumbling, hollering and harmonising along to the leads as the mood takes them. It's a fascinating glimpse into the past, hearing this music from which rock'n'roll would eventually develop in about as raw and authentic a form as you're likely to find it. Entrancing stuff.
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