We got a hot one for you here. From Natchez, Mississippi (or thereabouts) around 1958. William “Cat-Iron” Carradine recorded in his own living room by folklorist Frederic Ramsey, Jr. The record was issued in limited number back in 1958, and so shall it be in 2016. You have to get your hot hands on this, though. The packaging includes a reprint of the original liner notes and photos in a booklet, a gorgeous black and white cover, and translucent yellow vinyl. All this before I mention that the music (and recording) is of astounding quality. Ramsey had found Carradine 20 years on from his blues singing. He didn’t own a guitar, and had converted to Christianity, but with a little coaxing and a borrowed guitar Carradine gets the floorboards shaking in his clapboard shack. Of particular value to roots music enthusiasts here is Ramsey’s inclusion of Cat-Iron’s lyrics, a fantastic look into the blues vernacular, and the story telling prowess of a legendary, and nearly entirely mythical blues man.
From Exit Stencil Recordings:
We are proud to be making the lone recording by the Louisiana blues-man, William “Cat-Iron” Carridine, Cat-Iron Sings Blues and Hymns, available on LP for the first time since its original pressing in 1958. Originals of the LP sell for inordinate amounts on Discogs, so we are happy to make it accessible to everyone again. Release date is November, 25th, 2016 and is strictly limited to 500 copies on translucent yellow vinyl—just like the original.
Cat-Iron was “discovered” during the folk-craze of the late ’50s and recorded only this one album—cut live in his living room. It’s a pretty awesome recoding—equal parts blues and devotional songs—complete with found sounds, and occasional laughter.
Cat-Iron Sings Blues & Hymns is available as of 11/25/2016 from Exit Stencil Recordings for the very fair price of $25. Limited to 500, so get it now.