Early Sessions

The two lps in this jacket were recorded between 1959 and 1964 when part of the 1959 sessions were recut. John recorded them himself on rented or borrowed home tape machines.

Album Art

We have always been concerned with the low fidelity (the highs cut off at about 8000) and the fact that they no longer reflect John's skills as a guitarist or his present ideas of arrangement, but Takoma is not wealthy and it was not until mid-1967 that enough money was accumulated to go into a studio and cut the songs the way they should have been cut. I feel that these early sessions are inferior in many ways to the 1967 sessions which are now on sale as Takoma C 1002s and C 1003s. However there are always people who are interested in earlier versions of songs either thru preference for a particular moment of history, or a desire to follow the development of an artist, or for the esoterical itself. John and I are among them with our backgrounds in collecting negro folklore, so we are keeping these sessions available in this form.

ED Denson


On Doing An Evil Deed Blues *
St. Louis Blues
Poor Boy Long Ways From Home
Uncloudy Day
John Henry
In Christ There Is No East Or West *
Desperate Man Blues *
Sun Gonna Shine In My Back Door Someday Blues
Sligo River Blues

All recorded April 1959, Adelphi Maryland, except selections marked * which were recorded in the Arhoolie Studios, Berkeley, Calif. April 13, 1964.


Sunflower River Blues
When The Springtime Comes Again
Stomping Tonight On The Pennsylvania/Alabama Border
Some Summer Day
On The Beach At Waikiki
John Henry Variations
Spanish Dance
Take A Look At That Baby
Episcopal Hymn
The Downfall Of The Adelphi Rolling Grist Mill
(with Nancy McLean - flute) *

All selections recorded in the fall of 1963 in Berkeley, Calif., except that marked * which was recorded Feb. 24, 1962 at St. Michael's Church, Maryland.

Many other selections recorded under various names have been issued on Fonotone acetate 78's which are available from Fonotone Records, Joe Bussard, 503 Flemming Ave. Fredrick, Maryland 21781.

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