Black Music Matters Festival

Jimmie Rodgers

Train Whistle Blues - The Legendary Jimmie Rodgers – 1998 (Koch)

Reviewed by Raspberry Jones

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CDs by Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers was at the more grandiose crossroads of 20th century American folk musics - the switchman on duty when white-folk mountain singing, the Delta blues and Western balladry all strapped on to his melancholy locomotive of a voice and pulled into the Penn Station of popular consciousness.

Spanning all six years of the recordings (1927-1933) of the man credited with creating country music, this 1958 RCA LP gathered of 16 sides that show a human ,s variety of emotions to the blue yodeler's music-making - storyteller, pre-honky tonk swinger, introspective blues man. To say that most (if not all) of this music withstands every test of time is to state the obvious. Together, these songs are like a treatise/postcard from a way station to the great beyond - things done, things pondered, things seen - told in a straight-forward manner of the experienced.

As reissues go, Koch's packaging is mediocre (minimal musical credits, only a reprint of the original essay), but with sounds this steeped in "the meaning of it all," some critic's words of praise would only be superfluous.