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Libby Rae Watson | Sweet 'n' Salty

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United States - Mississippi

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Blues: Delta Style Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Sweet 'n' Salty

by Libby Rae Watson

Traditional Country Blues, Mississippi style. Learned at the feet of the old masters of blues. Influenced by Sam Chatmon, Furry Lewis, Big Joe Williams and other Mississippi bluesmen who are now gone. Trying to keep the torch lit!
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sugar
2:49 $0.99
2. Ain't No Need Tellin' On Me
2:24 $0.99
3. Catfish Blues
2:31 $0.99
4. You Don't Know My Mind
2:25 $0.99
5. Rollin' and Tumblin'
2:30 $0.99
6. Ashtray Taxi
3:10 $0.99
7. One Hour Mama
2:49 $0.99
8. In My Girlish Days
3:11 $0.99
9. Yo Yo Mama / Shake Your Moneymaker
2:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Sweet 'n' Salty is an apt title indeed for the powerful, fresh and edgy renditions of venerable blues songs performed herein by Libby Rae Watson. Singing and playing guitar, Watson makes these classics all her own. Her passionate sound reflects both her own Mississippi roots and the personal, hands-on training that Watson received in her youth from the legendary blues artists Furry Lewis, James "Son" Thomas and especially Sam Chatmon. All three played in distinctly different and individualistic styles. And all encouraged their young pupil to do the same, to first and foremost be herself.
A native of the Gulf Coast port town of Pascagoula, Watson was teenager when she purchased the seminal 'Country Blues Songbook' by Stefan Grossman, Hall Grossman, and Stephen Calt. "The book was full of photos of people like Son House, Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, and many other iconic blues players." Watson recalls. "Plus, the songs had titles and lyrics like I'd never heard. I was totally captured! And soon I realized that a lot of the songs I was listening to on the radio, by groups like Cream, the Allman Brothers, and Hot Tuna, were actually old blues numbers." Watson came to informally study with her blues mentors 'up north,' relatively speaking. In 1978 she helped locate and book the talent for the first Mississippi Delta Blues Festival, held in Greenville. "I knew," she says fondly, " while sitting in Sam Chatmon's kitchen one day, that I had to be the luckiest girl in the world!" And we in turn are lucky that Watson applied herself so astutely with these sages, and that she put equal care into learning songs by the diverse likes of Memphis Minnie, Ida Cox, and Joe Callicott.
Libby Rae Watson is a veteran performer who has recorded two albums with her band, The Liberaetors. Sweet 'n' Salty marks her solo debut, however. Watson still lives in Pascagoula, just blocks from the Gulf. In 2005 her house was inundated when Hurricane Katrina came raging ashore. All of her possessions, including the tapes fro this album, recorded in 1979 and 1994, were seemingly ruined. Twenty-first century digital technology subsequently restored these songs, but there's more to it than that, at least in Watson's opinion. She swears that the stormy salt water imbued this album with a certain heightened bluesy quality, an intangible level of added fervor. That's debatable, since Watson had already drilled deep into the soulful transformative force which makes blues performances convincing. What's quite safe to say, however, is that Furry, Son and Sam would all be very proud.
-Ben Sandmel

Ben Sandmel is a New Orleans based journalist, folklorist , and producer, and the former drummer for blues artists including Sunnyland Slim and Boogie Bill Webb, and for the Cajun-swing band the Hackberry Ramblers. Sandmel's latest book is Ernie K-Doe The R&B Emperor of New Orleans (www.erniekdoebook.com)



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