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Bankers Blues - A Study In The Effects Of Fiscal Mischief

Document Records

24 tracks; Total Time: 69minutes 21 secs

If you’re looking for rare, classic, vintage blues, jazz, boogie-woogie, gospel and country music then Document Records is the place for you. Many call it ‘the only’ place. Established in 1998, and based in Scotland, Document has uniquely sourced, re-mastered and digitized the vast majority of Afro-American acoustic blues, jazz, spirituals and gospel recordings (1900-1945) from original 78 recordings. But Document nearly got screwed at the height of the ‘credit crunch’ in 2008, when, despite no fiscal problems, a full order book and a comprehensive business plan, their bank refused to give them credit. Put simply, a company that was/is hugely successful became a victim of want Document call the ‘inappropriate behavior of financial whiz kids’. The company survived and is now fully back in business. This CD is their revenge (they call it ‘a riposte’) on their bankers HBOS and a comment on too many bankers profligate ways..

Dedicated to Bernard Madoff (who needs no introduction) and to a number of others involved in aspects of the recent financial meltdown, the CD draws on Document’s vaults to bring us recording made at the beginning and the height of the Great Depression, as well as some after-the-event philosophising. Depression stuff includes: Barbeque Bob’s (‘We Sure Got Hard Times Now’) recorded in 1930 at the height of the Great Depression "You heard about a job, now you is on your way (x2) Twenty men after the same job, all in the same 'ol day." By 1931, Robert Hicks (Barbecue Bob’s real name) was dead from pneumonia; Big Bill Broonzy’s [as Big Bill Johnson] (The Bankers Blues) recorded in 1930 with a sly word of caution "If you got money in the bank, don't let your woman draw it out, "Cos she'll take all your money and then she'll kick you out.". Words of advice come from Little Son Jackson (1953) who’s ‘No Money’ (sometimes called ‘No Money, No Love’) needs no explanation and neither does Memphis Minnie’s, 1948, ‘Million Dollar Blues’. A 1958 prediction comes from Rufus Thomas (‘Save That Money’) "You’d better save your money, things gonna get tough again."

In short, this is a terrific collection of roots music, but one word of warning. Some of the tracks, like Blind Alfred Reeds old-timey fiddle piece, ‘Money Craving Folks’ and the wonderfully named Brother Fullbosom’s ‘A Sermon On A Silver Dollar’ are not blues but are no less delightful.

Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South a monthly flier p11igs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer and has a webcast regular blues radio show on Phonic FM in Exeter (1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).

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